Maggie Cummings

Math Instructor Honored by LDS Institute Students

Students at the Salt Lake University Institute of Religion honored a University of Utah instructor Friday for her "superior teaching skill, dedication to students, enthusiasm for one's academic discipline and the love of learning in general." 
Read More.

U Biologist Working to Help Trees Dying from Drought

U Biologist Working to Help Trees Dying from Drought

Two hundred-twenty-five million trees dead in the southwest in a 2002 drought. Three hundred million trees in Texas in 2011. Twelve million this past year in California.  Throughout the world, large numbers of trees are dying in extreme heat and drought events. Because mass die-offs can have critical consequences for the future of forests and the future of Earth’s climate, scientists are trying to understand how a warming climate could affect how often tree mortality events occur – and how severe they could become. Read More.

University of Utah physicists Z. Valy Vardeny and Christoph Boehme

A New Way To Get Electricity From Magnetism

By showing that a phenomenon dubbed the “inverse spin Hall effect” works in several organic semiconductors – including carbon-60 buckyballs – University of Utah physicists changed magnetic “spin current” into electric current. The efficiency of this new power conversion method isn’t yet known, but it might find use in future electronic devices including batteries, solar cells and computers. Read More.

College of Science Celebrates Two Goldwater Scholars

College of Science Celebrates Two Goldwater Scholars

Only two students at the U – Ethan Lake and Michael Zhao – received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship this year, and they’re both College of Science majors. Read More.

Do Sperm Whales Use Their Heads as Battering Rams?

Do Sperm Whales Use Their Heads as Battering Rams?

Could a 56-ton Moby Dick ram and sink Ahab’s Pequod that would have weighed nearly 240 tons? Using computer simulations, a study says sperm whales have the ability to ram ships without suffering serious harm. Nineteenth century whalers claimed sperm whales deliberately collided with whaling ships and sank them. The first such recorded incident occurred in 1820. A large 26-metre sperm whale sank the 238-ton whaling ship Essex in the South Pacific. The hull of the ship was made of white oak, one of the strongest woods available then.  Read More.

Recent Publication Draws from Extensive Bird Database

Recent Publication Draws from Extensive Bird Database

In 2000, biology professor Çağan Şekercioğlu began building a global database of bird traits that now contains 1.4 million entries covering all known bird species. The database is a rich and versatile resource for biologists. The latest study to draw on Şekercioğlu’s database, “Omnivory in birds is a macroevolutionary sink”, was published Thursday in Nature Communications and examines the role of how birds’ diets affect how new species arise and how others fall to extinction.  Read More.