On Sept. 30, 1887, Elementary Psychology and Education written by Joseph Baldwin was published. At the time, it was considered a landmark publication in the science and psychology of education fields. It was written as a high school text book and a manual for teachers.
Baldwin, considered a pioneering educator and called by some the “father of the normal school system”, joined the university in 1891 as the first professor of pedagogy. The School of Pedagogy was created by the University of Texas System Board of Regents on August 25, 1891, and was a school in the Department of Literature, Science and Arts. The other two departments at the university then were the Department of Law and the Department of Medicine. Baldwin’s mission was to “raise awareness of the need for teacher training specific to the requirements of public school administrators and teachers of specialized subjects in high schools.” The School of Pedagogy later became the College of Education.
Can we use plants for energy instead of oil? That’s the question one group of intrepid students is trying to answer as part of an innovative program that plugs first-year students into real-world research projects with top faculty and research scientists. Watch and read more here.
Google has selected three professors from The University of Texas at Austin for its competitive 2014 Google Research Award. The grants will boost research that spans from driverless vehicles, to health care data crunching, to evaluating the child friendliness of Google’s search engine. The three Google awards total roughly $170,000.
Here’s more about the Google research projects:
Kara Kockelman, transportation engineering professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, is developing new transportation forecasts to reflect the arrival of autonomous vehicles. She plans to take a closer look at the opportunities and challenges that autonomous vehicles will bring, from driverless car-sharing programs and ride-sharing via smarter, self-driving cars to credit-based congestion pricing for moderating increases in car travel. Under credit-based congestion pricing, drivers pay a fluctuating fee for major roadways based on demand.
Lorenzo Alvisi, professor of computer science in the College of Natural Sciences, is developing a new programming framework to tackle a fundamental challenge in scaling up large web applications: to process more and more queries and process more and more data without requiring a massive reprogramming effort. His project aims to apply this work to health care information technology through a partnership with a central Texas non-profit charged with providing technology solutions to local health care infrastructure.
Jacek Gwizdka, assistant professor in the School of Information and co-Director of UT’s Information eXperience Lab, has received a Google research award for a project titled “Child-friendly search engine results pages: Towards better understanding of Google search results readability by children.” Gwizdka, who is a co-principal investigator, will investigate how children read and assess the reading levels of Google’s search results pages.
Here the historic Littlefield Fountain, which began operating March 1933, commemorates UT students and alumni who died in World War I.
Major George W. Littlefield, an early benefactor to the university, funded the fountain which cost $250,000 at the time and was sculpted by Italian-born Pompeo Coppini. The fountain features Army and Navy soldiers on each side, with goddess Columbia in the center with the palm of peace and the torch of light and freedom. The memorial fountain is inscribed in Latin. The translation reads, “Short life hath been given by Nature unto man; but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever.” Beneath this inscription is a memorial bronze plaque that lists all UT students and alumni killed in World War I. [Photos by Marsha Miller/UT Austin. GIF by Marsha Miller & Thomas Humphreys/UT Austin.]
Here Derek Jeter with Longhorn alum Roger Clemens posing for a photo in 2007 with some of the texassports football team. Jeter played his last game at Yankee Stadium Thursday night. [Photo: Texas Athletics]
In the early 1930s the Regents of The University of Texas hired Paul Philippe Cret (1876-1945) as the university’s supervising architect and commissioned him to draw up a general plan for the campus. Of Cret’s multiple proposed designs the Regents chose a large, Mediterranean-influenced Beaux-Arts building topped by a 31-story tower. The great tower, the only structure that competed with the dome of the State Capitol on the Austin skyline, became the centerpiece of the campus and formed, in Cret’s words, “the image carried in our memory when we think of the place.”
On this day in 1999, the university community dedicated a bronze Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. statue on the East Mall. At the time, UT was the second university to have King’s likeness on a campus. His alma mater, Morehouse College, unveiled the first in 1984.
The idea to erect a sculpture of Dr. King on the UT Austin campus originated in the fall of 1987, when students formed the Martin Luther King Jr. Sculpture Foundation.
Student organizers went to then-president, William H. Cunningham, asking that the university erect a statue of Dr. King. President Cunningham and The University of Texas System Board of Regents responded to the students’ request by authorizing $150,000 for the pedestal that the sculpture would be mounted on; however, the burden of raising the funds for the statue itself was entirely on the shoulders of the student body.
In the spring of 1989, the student group had selected a sculptor and planned to rely on private donations to fund the creation of the sculpture. Due to the transient nature of the student population, the student effort started and stopped over the course of the next eight years.
Progress was made in March 1995, when a student referendum was held during the Student Government election. The referendum called for a $1 per-student per-semester fee for four years in an amount not to exceed $500,000, which would go toward funding the sculpture. Any funds remaining after the development of the statue will go into an endowed scholarship fund bearing Dr. King’s name.
Students approved the referendum by a two-thirds majority. The referendum was then voted on and approved by the Texas State Legislature, and the fund for collection of the fee was formally authorized by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. A committee, composed of four UT administrators, four UT students and a community representative, was formed to oversee the completion of the project.