Research News

New Class of UT-ORNL Joint Directed Research and Development Faculty Named

Developed in collaboration between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Joint Directed Research and Development program nurtures collaborative research from the two institutions. The program recently announced the selection of twelve UT faculty researchers to benefit from its current cycle of funding.

UT-ORNL Breakthrough Aims to Improve Tech Gadgets, TVs

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Phones, tablets, computers, and even televisions use touchscreen technology, which relies on substances that contain rare and costly elements. Now, thanks to a breakthrough led by UT’s College of Engineering and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, that problem could soon be in the past.

NIMBioS: Special Collection Explores Origin and Evolution of Play

An adult Gelada monkey plays with a juvenile. A new special issue of Adaptive Behavior examines the evolution and origin of play via mathematical and computational approaches. Credit: Elisabetta Palagi

Research on the evolution and function of play at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis at UT has culminated in a special issue of the journal Adaptive Behavior. The collection heavily features the research of Gordon Burghardt, who works on many aspects of animal behavior, play behavior, ethical treatment of animals, and zoo animal welfare.

NIMBioS Study Shows Ancestral Relationships of Modern Creationist Legislation

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A new NIMBioS study sheds light on the strategies used by creationists to influence the way biology is taught in the classroom. The study reconstructed the evolutionary history of antievolution efforts in state legislatures to reveal the relationships among lawmaking efforts over the past decade.

Intelligent Conversation: Researcher Developing Smart Sensor Networking

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On April 15, 2013, a pair of homemade bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others. Numerous photographs and videos taken by bystanders and security cameras were analyzed following the attack to find isolated images of the perpetrators. But what if those same cameras could have helped prevent the tragedy? That is the motivation behind Hairong Qi’s research. “Being able to build smart sensors that can not only acquire data but also automatically detect things and predict their intent is one of our goals,” said Qi, professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Zawodzinski Keeps Focus on Research Amid Mounting Honors

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Tom Zawodzinski, joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage, has earned one of the highest honors in his field—being named a fellow of the American Chemical Society’s Polymer Science Division.

Orme is Quest Scholar of the Week

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John Orme, professor of social work, was recently selected to become a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. Orme’s expertise is in the area of foster care, especially foster families.

Astronaut Kelly Honored by Magazine as Scientist of the Year

Scott Kelly featiured

Astronaut Scott Kelly is no stranger to stardom, having rocketed to fame as the first American to spend a year in space. In fact, by the time he returns to Earth in March, he will have spent more than 500 days total in orbit, a record for any American and trailing only a small number of cosmonauts. For that service, R&D Magazine has recognized Kelly, a graduate of the University of Tennessee Space Institute, as its 2015 Scientist of the Year.