As if the swamped residents of the Texas Gulf Coast don't have enough reasons to curse Hurricane Harvey, here's one more: clumps of stinging fire ants bobbing in the floodwaters. The New York Times story and this one in the Washington Post cite a 2011 study by School of Biological Sciences Associate Professor David Hu that explained the fire ant's raft-building superpower. Hu is also an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics.
The New York Times, Aug 30, 2017
Those scenes of floating fire ant "rafts" plaguing flooding victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston? David Hu, associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, first examined that nightmare scenario in 2011. That was when Hu and his research team published a study on how ants lock legs to form the rafts. You also may recall his research from earlier this summer on how the ants don't just spread out when threatened; they can also "perpetually rebuild" towers made of their own bodies. Hu is also an adjunct associate professor in the School of Physics.
Smithsonian , Aug 29, 2017
School of Physics Assistant Professor Elisabetta Matsumoto's research in hyperbolic virtual reality recently captured the attention of The New York Times. This video shows off Matsumoto and her research team's work from earlier this year as it highlights the difference between Euclidean space, where the normal rules of geometry apply, and hyperbolic space, where those rules are warped and curved like the "cell" boundaries in this video. The hope is that these depictions of non-Euclidean geometry will assist in mathematics and geometry research. Matsumoto is also a researcher for the Soft Matter Incubator at the Center for the Science and Technology of Applied Materials and Interfaces (STAMI).
The New York Times, Aug 27, 2017
The Atlanta Business Journal lists another example of businesses wanting to get closer to Georgia Tech's research. Graphenano, a Spanish company hoping to make a lot of graphene – a thin yet ultra-strong carbon-based substance that could lead to better batteries and composite materials – may move its North American headquarters to Atlanta. Georgia Tech is a leader in graphene research, and the story cites a May study on a potentially more efficient way to make graphene from School of Physics Professor Uzi Landman and Bokwon Yoon, a research scientist with the school. Both are with the Center for Computational Materials Science; Landman is its director.
Atlanta Business Journal (subscription req.), Aug 25, 2017
The Georgia Tech Sonification Lab, a joint effort of the School of Psychology and the School of Interactive Computing, is having its moment in the spotlight thanks to the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Lab Director Bruce Walker is a professor in both schools; he and his team are using sound to help the visually impaired share experiences like eclipses. In addition to this GPB story, the Georgia Tech Sonification Lab was also featured in Digital Trends and in Hypepotamus.
Georgia Public Broadcasting , Aug 21, 2017
Atlanta NPR affiliate WABE 90.1 devoted its entire Closer Look broadcast to Monday's solar eclipse. The radio station's coverage included an interview with James Sowell, School of Physics senior academic professional. director of the Georgia Tech Observatory, and Tech's resident astronomer.
WABE 90.1 FM, Aug 21, 2017
New research from Mostafa El-Sayed, Regents Professor and Julius Brown Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is gaining interest in the science community. The research highlights the potential of using gold nanorods and lasers to halt the spread of cancer cell metastasis in laboratory conditions. El-Sayed will present his findings during the Eminent Scientist Lecture at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Aug. 20-24. In the meantime, read this profile in the ACS's student member magazine to learn more about the very personal reasons that help drive El-Sayed's research.
inChemistry Magazine, Aug 17, 2017
By now, you should be aware that of the coast-to-coast total solar eclipse happening next Monday, and Atlanta will experience 97 percent totality. If you aren't aware, then you're obviously Captain America and you've just been thawed out of that ice you were trapped in for the past 70 years. Georgia Tech is certainly aware, and this story by reporter Carl Willis of WSB-TV does a good job of covering what we have planned. Included in the interviews are College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair Paul Goldbart, and Tech astronomer James Sowell, School of Physics senior academic professional and director of the Georgia Tech Observatory.
WSB-TV, Aug 17, 2017
More media outlets are interested in the new research on rush hour pollution from Georgia Tech, Emory University and Duke University. The Weather Channel takes a look at the study, which found that in-car pollution during a typical Atlanta morning commute is much worse than previously thought, and twice as high as the pollution measured by roadside monitors. Here's the Raleigh News & Observer's story on the study. School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Rodney Weber co-authored the study.
The Weather Channel , Aug 15, 2017
If you suspected that 2016's climate was off-the-charts extreme, you were right. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's new State of the Climate report confirms that last year was the hottest ever. The last time it was that hot? 2015. Sea levels, greenhouse gas concentrations, and ocean temperatures also broke previous records. Kim Cobb, professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, is quoted as saying that 2016 was "the year we crossed a new threshold of climate change." Cobb did not work on the NOAA report.
Associated Press , Aug 11, 2017