(May 20, 2011)--Miguel Jose Yacaman, UTSA professor of physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has received the John Wheatley Award. The award is presented by the American Physical Society with support from the Forum on International Physics, and recognized Yacaman for his work in the field of physics throughout Latin American countries.
Presented every other year at the general meeting of the American Physical Society, the award recognizes a physicist who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of physics in a developing country by working with local physicists in research or teaching.
For seven years, Yacaman has directed the International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (ICNAM), which promotes partnerships between scientists and engineers in Mexico and the University of Texas System. Yacaman's laboratory has hosted numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Mexico and other Latin American countries, and he believes the experience benefits all parties involved.
"Scientists from abroad can learn a lot about the American entrepreneurial spirit," said Yacaman, who grew up in Mexico. "Also, practicing science abroad strengthens a number of skill sets including language and cultural understanding."
At UTSA, a Hispanic-serving institution at which total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment, interactions with scientists from Latin America provide great value. Students working with international scientists here or abroad can develop a new perspective of how successful Hispanic scientists can be.
Hard work is important, Yacaman said, but higher education opens doors that hard work alone cannot. During the 1950s and 1960s, attaining higher education was a guarantee for a better life for people in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Yacaman believes it is important to students in Texas and hopes to instill that value in his students at UTSA.
UTSA College of Sciences Dean George Perry agrees. "Real examples of successful Hispanic scientists will help our students visualize themselves as succeeding," he said. "Miguel is doing a great job of connecting people and making stronger bonds throughout Latin America."
In addition to receiving the award at the American Physical Society's meeting in Anaheim, Calif., Yacaman gave a talk, "Picometer Resolution Electron Microscopy: A New Tool to Tailor Materials at the Atomic Scale," in which he discussed his research and connections to Latin America.
The American Physical Society was founded in 1899, when 36 physicists gathered at Columbia University with the goal to create a society that would advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics. APS is active in public and governmental affairs, and in the international physics community. The society has 46,000 members within 14 divisions and nine topical groups covering all areas of physics research.
The John Wheatley Award is given to a physicist, generally from a developed country, who at personal or professional cost, goes to a less-developed country and promotes physics, as John Wheatley did in Argentina.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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