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View a list of departments in natural sciences & mathematics.


Scientists discover how to predict learning using brain analysis

An international team of scientists has developed a way to predict how much a person can learn, based on studies at UC Santa Barbara’s Brain Imaging Center. A study published in the April 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) details the findings. Study co-author Peter Mucha is professor and chair in the department of mathematics in UNC’s … Continued

Graduate student Pamela Reynolds: Protecting North Carolina’s oyster reefs

Oyster reefs in North Carolina estuaries have collapsed over the last century, leading to the loss of important ecosystem goods and services they provide to the people in this state. Oysters provide critical nursery habitat for fisheries, biofiltration and shoreline stabilization. Their value as ecosystem engineers greatly outweighs their value as a fisheries commodity. However, efforts to restore and manage … Continued

Two win Goldwater Scholarships

Timothy Palpant and Varvara Zemskova, juniors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have won 2011 Goldwater Scholarships, among the nation’s most prestigious for undergraduate study. The awards go to outstanding college sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program of … Continued

2011 Burch Fellows take on world challenges with innovative projects

Six Carolina undergraduates will head off on exciting journeys in the United States and abroad to pursue independent study projects of their own design, thanks to the Burch Fellows Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The program, supported by Lucius E. Burch III, a 1963 Carolina graduate, recognizes undergraduates at the University who possess extraordinary ability, promise and … Continued

Creative Collaborations: Making Waves

The road from fish tank to wave tank started with a stick of dynamite. In constructing Chapman Hall, contractors miscalculated either the density of the bedrock or the strength of the blasting material and ended up with a foundation hole deeper than they expected. No one recalls who made the decision to retain the underground space rather than backfill it … Continued

Creative Collaborations: Globe-Trotting for Tardigrades

Junior physics major Susan Clark traveled halfway around the world last summer hunting tiny super-heroes who can withstand extreme conditions. These microscopic animals can survive boiling, freezing, radiation, exposure to the vacuum of space and very long periods of dehydration. Clark is a Morehead-Cain Scholar-turned-microorganism detective who is interested in astrobiology research. She teamed up with her friend Kristin Rhodes … Continued

Creative Collaborations: Breathing Relief

When a child is born with an obstructed airway, physicians can intervene with different types of surgery. But to decide whether to operate and when, and which procedures to offer, doctors must make educated guesses, relying heavily on their own experience. “Typically it’s very young children with these problems, so the challenge in deciding the best therapy is: do we … Continued