College of Arts and Sciences News

Two Honored with Regional Advising Awards

Bill Hardwig in the Department of English and Sidi Kazunga in the Haslam College of Business Office of Undergraduate Programs have been honored for their advising work.

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.

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.

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.

Four UT Researchers Named 2016 AAAS Fellows

Four professors with UT ties have been named to the American Association for the Advancement of Science class of fellows for 2016: Brian Wirth, Karen Hughes, George Ostrouchov and Baohua Gu. The fellows will be inducted in February 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

UT Geography Expert: Gatlinburg Tragic Fire Was ‘A Safe Prediction’

When Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, a UT professor of geography, heard about the forest fires threatening Gatlinburg, he was not surprised. For years, Grissino-Mayer has been giving talks throughout Tennessee and the Southeast on the subject “Will Our Great Smoky Mountains One Day Go Up in Flames?”

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.

Grad Student to Help Organize International Symposium on Green Chemistry

A UT doctoral candidate will have a hand in organizing an international event on sustainable science. Roberto Federico-Perez was chosen to help coordinate the 2017 International Symposium on Green Chemistry, which aims to change deeply held practices in the field of chemistry.

Emery Co-Authors Study on Detection of Water on Asteroid Named Psyche

Professor Josh Emery has helped detect water on Psyche, the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. The asteroid is the target of a proposed NASA mission. The study, published in the Astronomical Journal under the auspices of the US Geological Survey and NASA, provides evidence for water-rich minerals on Psyche, an asteroid that is 186 miles across and is made of almost pure nickel-iron metal.