(Nov. 7, 2011) -- The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy recently hosted representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and visiting university professors to learn more about the department's participation as a member of the Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM).
The two-day visit included research and poster presentations by physics faculty members and students as well as tours of UTSA physics laboratories.
Miguel Yacaman, professor of astronomy and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, introduced the group to "Helenita," one of the world's most powerful electron microscopes. The microscope was purchased in January 2010 with the support of a $1.2 million gift from the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.
The JEOL transmission electron microscope will assist in development of new cancer therapies and disease treatments by allowing nanotechnology researchers to see samples magnified 20 million times their original size.
Yacaman said the microscope is being used extensively by UTSA faculty and students. Additionally, the microscope is being used for an hourly rate by faculty members outside the university and researchers in the private sector.
While on campus, PREM site visitors also had the opportunity to tour the laboratory of Dhiraj Sardar, Ashbel Smith Professor of Physics, who uses lasers for his nanotechnology research. Sardar was the principal investigator who helped the department acquire a five-year $2.7 million grant in 2009 from the NSF. The grant is designed to help increase the participation of underrepresented minorities and advance the understanding of the fundamental science of nanomaterials. Additionally, the grant enhances the educational outreach programs for high school and junior college students.
The department's investments in sophisticated world-class, high-technology equipment and nanotechnology research have paid dividends as the interest in physics continues to grow. Since the UTSA doctoral degree program was established in 2005, eight students have earned Ph.D.s in physics. Currently, 63 students are enrolled in the program, ranking it the fifth largest in Texas.
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
Aspiring doctor hopes to change medical attitudes toward obesity-related ailments
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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We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.