Global News

Holy Batcave! Personal Sighting Leads Dinets to New Data on Spectral Bat

Spectral bats, also called false vampire bats for their imposing size—a wingspan of over three feet—are the largest bats in the Americas and typically roost in trees in lowland forests. Vladimir Dinets, UT research assistant professor of psychology, has discovered evidence that the species also can live in caves and is more adaptable than previously thought, thanks to personal observation and information gleaned from social media accounts of tourists.

Entrepreneurial Journalism Students Challenge Extremism

Students in an entrepreneurial journalism course this fall participated in an international competition to create a social media campaign and strategy to instruct young journalists on how to responsibly report instances of extremism. The campaign was co-sponsored by the US Department of State and Facebook. The UT students came up with the “Report Responsibly” campaign, which provides a call to action for aspiring journalists and media guidelines for reporting on acts of extremism.

Student Tests HoloLens for NASA, Gets Closer Look at Mars Surface

Every day, Rachel Kronyak walks around the surface of the planet Mars, examining a rock or getting a closer look at a butte framing the horizon. A doctoral student in geology at UT, Kronyak is among a small set of research scientists worldwide testing the use of an augmented reality headset to see how it can help NASA determine whether Mars could support life.

Recent Grad Miranda Gottlieb Named a Schwarzman Scholar

Miranda Gottlieb, who graduated from UT last spring, has been named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars, a highly competitive program that offers selected students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in China. She is the first UT student to be selected for the program, which launched in 2015.

Joint Prehistoric Rock Art Restoration Project Receives National Award

A partnership between UT, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and other stakeholders to save a set of centuries-old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs, and historic signatures in Alabama has been honored with a prestigious national preservation award. The initiative brought together researchers and local volunteers to camouflage and remove graffiti that had impacted the images at the Painted Bluff site in Marshall County, Alabama.

Professor Develops Algorithm to Improve Online Mapping of Disaster Areas

When an 8-magnitude earthquake struck Yingjie Hu’s home province of Sichuan, China, in 2008, he was more than 1,000 miles away attending college in Shanghai. While Hu wanted to help, there wasn’t much he could do due to the long distance. Since then, web-based mapping platforms have been developed that enable volunteers to participate in remote disaster response. Hu, now an assistant professor of geography at UT, and his colleagues have found a way to make the process more effective by developing an algorithm that indicates which areas need detailed mapping first.