While football bowl season is still a few weeks off, math bowl season is now under way. Next Tuesday, Oct. 27, more than 600 high school students will descend on UT Knoxville for the UT-Pro2Serve Math Contest, an annual day-long event pitting students from across the state in both individual and team competitions testing their mathematics skills.
The College of Communication and Information at UT Knoxville will receive $3.2 million over five years — the largest grant award the college has ever received — to participate in a National Science Foundation project to help create a data network that will enable earth and environmental scientists worldwide to share and preserve their research. The project is called DataONE, with ONE being short for Observation Network for Earth.
The National Science Foundation has awarded UT Knoxville $10 million to develop a computer system that will interpret the massive amounts of data created by the current generation of high-performance computers in the agency’s national computer grid. Nautilus, a computer system that will have the capability to store vast amounts of data, will be one of the largest shared-memory computers in the world.
Mercury pollution is a persistent problem in the environment. Human activity has led to increasingly large accumulations of the toxic chemical, especially in waterways, where fish and shellfish tend to act as sponges for the heavy metal. It’s that persistent and toxic nature that has flummoxed scientists for years in the quest to find ways to mitigate the dangers posed by the buildup of mercury in its most toxic form, methylmercury. A new discovery by scientists at UT Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, however, has shed new light on one of nature’s best mercury fighters: bacteria.
When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back souvenirs in the form of moon rocks to be used for scientific analysis, and one of the chief questions was whether there was water to be found in the lunar rocks and soils. The problem they faced was complicated by the fact that most of the rock boxes containing the lunar samples had leaked. This led the scientists to assume that the trace amounts of water they found came from Earth air that had entered the containers. Forty years later, a team of scientists including UT Knoxville’s Larry Taylor has found evidence that the old assumption may be wrong.
Carol Tenopir, a professor in the School of Information Sciences at UT Knoxville, has received the 2009 ASIS&T Award of Merit. The award, from the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), is the group’s highest honor.
Thomas Zawodzinski, an expert and innovator in fuel cell and related energy storage science and technology, has been named the fifth UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair. Zawodzinski will serve in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at UT Knoxville and in the physical chemistry of materials group in ORNL’s materials science and technology division.
The University of Tennessee Libraries announces the launch of Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange, a digital repository which will expand access to the university’s intellectual capital and help preserve the creative work of its scholars and researchers.
The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) at UT Knoxville celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, and thus far, more than 400 individuals from 15 countries and 43 states have participated in various research and educational activities. NIMBioS focuses on advancing research and education at the interface of biology and mathematics. Programs for visitors to NIMBioS facilities began in March 2009, including working groups, investigative workshops, tutorials, and educational opportunities.
External research funding at UT Knoxville increased to more than $175 million in fiscal year 2009, more than doubling last year’s total and setting an all-time high for the campus.