MAY 19, 2020 —The Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise and Academic Affairs have awarded the FY 2021 Transdisciplinary Teams research awards. Two teams, representing four colleges and five departments collectively, were selected and will be awarded $50,000 each.
UTSA launched the Transdisciplinary Teams Program last year in response to the growing complexity of research and faculty needs. T2 supports faculty to engage in scholarly research activities that foster transdisciplinary collaboration by assembling teams of researchers from different disciplines. The program also establishes a foundation for faculty to seek extramural funding, ultimately advancing UTSA’s research strengths and growing new areas of opportunity.
With San Antonio forecast to have significant population growth by 2040, this year’s research concentration was smart and connected cities, with a call for proposals that intersected technology and policy in topic areas that merge social mobility, affordable housing, water, utility and waste management, population health and community wellness, digital connectivity, transportation, e-governance and sustainability.
Earlier this year UTSA became a key collaborative partner in the R&D League, a new research and development program with the City of San Antonio, the Southwest Research Institute and USAA to address local civic challenges to enhance our neighborhoods and communities.
“The idea of ‘smart cities’ is not new, but it’s gathering momentum, particularly with the advent of COVID-19,” explained Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for research, economic development, and knowledge enterprise at UTSA. “The need for interconnected civic infrastructure with thoughtful engagement is critical to the well-being of the community.”
The first team—led by principal investigator Wenbo Wu (management science and statistics) in collaboration with Ying Huang (demography), Thankam Sunil (public health) and Eric Shattuck (public health)—is working on “Integration of Mobile Positioning, Sociodemographic factors, and Household Health for Urban Scale Energy Consumption Simulation and Planning,” integrating expertise from statistics, engineering, public health, and demography.
The team is developing a novel approach to understand how diverse occupant behaviors impact energy consumption, including tracking time use, mobility and health status—elements often overlooked in previous energy-use models.
Over 400 households in the San Antonio neighborhoods of Elm Creek and Jefferson Heights will be surveyed. The communities were chosen for their socioeconomic diversity. Data will be aggregated and combined with mobility data derived from cell phone GPS log files to understand how neighborhood population densities vary over time. The team will then be able to model neighborhood-level occupant behavior to better predict energy use and refine sustainable smart community/city models.
The second project is led by Dakai Zhu (computer science) working with Jeff Prevost (electrical and computer engineering), Keying Ye (management science), Amanda Fernandez (computer science) and Wei Wang (computer science).
The project, “Toward Statistical and Adaptive Learning in Edges for Smart Health Applications in Connected Communities with Security and Privacy Enforcement,” is focused on designing and developing a micro-service-based intelligent Edge computing framework.
The team will use digitized sensing data from IoT-enabled devices (such as smart thermometers and motion sensors) and smart applications (such as assisted living and pandemic flu status) from a large number of mixed-communities to better serve their health needs. The team is also considering the added requirements of ensuring the security and privacy of the data and the devices while providing operational flexibility and usage efficiency.
The team is leveraging statistical and learning models, scheduling algorithms and management schemes in Edge devices to support connected communities. These devices can provide effective protection for the privacy of the sensitive health data collected as well as enabling advanced security features for smart health applications.
The project will also provide education and research opportunities for underrepresented minority students.
Both of these projects align with UTSA’s vision of growing data intelligence across a wide spectrum of fields to address societal challenges and to improve our communities.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.Virtual Event
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).John Peace Library GroupSpot B, Main Campus
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!H-E-B Student Union Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.Recreation Wellness Center Demo Kitchen
Future Roadrunners will see what Roadrunner life is all about at UTSA Day. All of Main Campus transforms into our UTSA Day open house for Future Roadrunners and their families to explore the university experience.Main Campus
Learn about the LGBTQIA+ community and being an Ally and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, communities, and the issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice Lounge, Main Campus
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.