Teen Researchers Will Apply Ingenuity to Solve STEM Problems

A group of students from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas flipped through index cards pre-loaded with conversation icebreakers meant to better acquaint them with teammates and UT Dallas mentors who will be helping them with a science project throughout the fall and spring.

The team was one of 18 enrolled this year in the Young Women in Science and Engineering Investigators(YWISEI) program. Launched in 2012, the program encourages young women from the Dallas area to pursue careers in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. During the fall and spring, the teams will design, develop and implement an innovative solution to a science and engineering problem. (more…)

Joe Burnett and the Next Generation of Materials Science

As theorized by William Strauss and Neil Howe in Generations, each generation embraces its own set of ideologies and plays a distinctive role in shaping the economic and social landscapes of society. Whether those beliefs are ushered in on the wings of civic responsibility such as the G.I. Generation who took part in the first era of industrialization at the World’s Fair, the responsiveness of the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers effort in the Manhattan Project, or emblematic of Gen X and Millennials proclivity to global awareness, fostered in part by the internet, the six generations that currently inhabit the world utilize materials science to revolutionize living standards. Historical events and social trends aren’t the only factors in classifying the generations, however. Materials themselves hold special value in establishing scientific progress throughout the ages. The use of stone, bronze, iron, and steel have all marked critical eras in history, and presently funding agencies promote national programs in advancing the study and discovery of novel magnetic materials. (more…)

Chemistry Doctoral Student Bonds with Nobel Laureates in Germany

On a recent Tuesday, UT Dallas student Iain Oswald ate dinner with the man who discovered quasicrystals. The next day, he listened in while a Nigerian playwright read a short story. In the course of a week, Oswald, a chemistry doctoral student, had the chance to meet 65 Nobel laureates in fields ranging from chemistry to literature and physics at the 65th annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany.

“It was really cool to just pick the laureates’ brains,” said Oswald, who was among the 650 students who attended the meeting. “You never have an opportunity to do that. It was almost to the point that there’s so many around, you’re desensitized to the fact that these people are very important to the scientific community.” (more…)