Associate Professor Experimental (APX)

APX 2023 Group Portrait

Associate Professor Experimental (APX) is a design thinking and flash funding faculty retreat that gives newly tenured associate professors dedicated funds and focused time to envision new research directions with colleagues in diverse academic disciplines. APX was created by The Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors and the School for Design and Creative Technologies, and is funded by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Participation in APX is by invitation only. Each APX cohort consists of newly promoted (tenured) associate professors. The Office of the Vice President for Research extends APX invitations to all assistant professors who have been approved for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure each spring, as soon as tenure decisions have been finalized at the University level. The APX retreat takes place during the following fall semester.

Design, Meet Research (UT News, 2/28/2019)

Bridging Borders: Sustaining Borderlands as Ecosystems

CJ Alvarez, Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Brent Crosson, Religious Studies
Alex Karner, Community and Regional Planning (Architecture)

This project uses story mapping, Native and GIS cartography and ecological data to redefine the U.S.-Mexico and Venezuela-Trinidad borders as ecological, rather than political borders.

Underwater Microplastics Sensing Using Machine Vision and Raman Spectroscopy

Carlos Baiz, Chemistry
Christian Claudel, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Etienne Vouga, Computer Science

This project will design a robot-mounted sensor to detect and classify the chemical composition of microplastics in water.

Vacuna Contigo

Sarah Kate Bearman, Educational Psychology
Lauren Gutterman, American Studies
Julie Zuniga, Nursing

This project leverages close-knit families as a healthcare strength for encouraging vaccinations, while training future health professionals to collect and preserve oral histories.

Many-Worlds Intervention

Julie Zuniga, Nursing
David Soloveichik, Electrical and Computer Engineering

This project proposes an intervention for rumination – a core characteristic of both anxiety and depression – that involves exposure to the many-worlds interpretation from quantum computing as a means to relieve the pressures associated with making a decision.

3D Printed Biodegradable Implants for Single-Inoculation of Multiple-Dose Vaccines

Michael Cullinan, Mechanical Engineering
Feng Zhang, Pharmacy

This project will develop a 3D printed, biodegradable implant that provides both prime and booster vaccine doses with a single inoculation.

Pulling and Pushing on Molecules: A Mechanical Platform for Discovery of Fundamental Material Properties and Design of Molecular Electronics

Michael Cullinan, Mechanical Engineering
Sean Roberts, Chemistry

This project uses a microelectromechanical system to induce molecules to adopt unique structures amenable for quantum information and light harvesting technologies.

The Impact of Games on Learning, Engagement, and Equity in Geosciences

North Cooc, Special Education
Rowan Martindale, Geological Sciences

This project explores the use of culturally responsive, collaborative game-based activities to combat stereotypes and improve learning outcomes in geosciences.

GoKAR! Educational Program: Teaching Anti-Racism to Preschoolers at Home

Huriya Jabbar, Educational Leadership and Policy
Kathrynn (Kate) Pounders, Advertising & Public Relations
Jessica Toste, Special Education

This project will create an educational program that addresses structural racism in ways that are accessible and developmentally appropriate for preschool-age children.

The Cultural Impact of 'The Eyes of Texas': Antiracist Activism, Participatory Singing, and Fan Identity

Hannah Lewis, Musicology
Suzanne Scott, Radio-Television-Film

Through a case study of UT’s alma mater, this project will offer insights on the cultural phenomena of college football fandom, college fight songs, and their intersections with issues of identity.

Elucidating the Mechanism of Progeria Accelerated Aging Syndrome at the Single-Molecule Level

Blerta Xhemalce, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences
Yuebing Zheng, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

This project proposes to use single-molecule Raman spectroscopy to reveal new targets responsible for premature aging observed in Hutchinson Gilford progeria syndrome.

Sonic Spaces of Non-Hierarchy

Xavier Livermon, Associate Professor, African and African Diaspora Studies
Clay Odom, Associate Professor, School of Architecture

This project proposes to explore equitable, temporal environments within cities using both ethnographies and computational design, with the goal of exposing unseen spatial conditions as synthetic networks of cultural landscapes.

Health Information Search Behavior as a Manifestation of Cognitive Impairment: An Eye-Tracking Study

Jacek Gwizdka, Associate Professor, School of Information
Maya Henry, Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders
Kavita Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor, School of Nursing

This project proposes to examine the feasibility and utility of eye-tracking measurements of internet search behavior as a metric for cognitive changes associated with aging and disease.

Racing to Empathy: Using Immersive Digital Environments to Foster Empathetic Classrooms

Casey Boyle, Associate Professor, Department of Rhetoric and Writing
Terrance Green, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

This project proposes to create an immersive digital experience to dislodge teachers' implicit biases, affordances and agencies, to encourage empathy for students who are not welcomed by the traditional classroom.

Probabilistic Deep Learning-Based Enhancement of CO2 Sequestration and Water Condensation

Vaibhav Bahadur, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Mingyuan Zhou, Associate Professor, Information, Risk, and Operations Management

This project proposes to employ deep learning algorithms to enable a machine-learning-based understanding of two thermal phenomena: hydrate-based carbon capture/sequestration and water harvesting via condensation.

Insuring Heritage: Earthquakes, Preservation, and the Valuation of Historic Buildings in Mexico

Daniel Fridman, Associate Professor, Sociology
Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla, Associate Professor, School of Architecture

This project proposes to examine the process that led Mexico to insure its historic buildings, giving insight to the socio-technical processes that determine the valuation of heritage.

3D-Printed Observatories for Visualizing and Accelerating Evolution

Jeff Barrick, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences
Kory Bieg, Associate Professor, Architecture

This project is 3D-printing various structured environments (using either standard inert 3D printing materials, or 3D printing with lab-made nutrients and/or toxins) to direct microbial evolution.

Police Stories: The Narrative Construction of Justifiable Homicide in Police Reports

Mary Bock, Associate Professor, Journalism
Danny Law, Associate Professor, Linguistics
Harel Shapira, Associate Professor, Sociology

This project examines how police officers linguistically frame and represent incidences of justifiable homicide (i.e., either a police officer or civilian kills another person and faces no punishment) through their police reports.

A 360 Analysis of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Use among Adolescents

Yessenia Castro, Associate Professor, Social Work
Karen Johnson, Associate Professor, Nursing
Delida Sanchez, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology

This project identifies factors that account for the elevated rates of ENDS use among Latinx adolescents.

Sensitive Detection of Anxiety States Using Guided Ultrasonic Waves

Michael Drew, Associate Professor, Neuroscience
Salvatore Salamone, Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

This project uses guided ultrasonic waves to observe anxiety behavior in freely moving mice.

The Plasticity of Metabolic Phenotypes Following Hypoxia Exposure in Marine Fish

Andrew Esbaugh, Associate Professor, Marine Science
Stefano Tiziani, Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences

This project proposes an in-depth metabolomic analysis of fish subjected to hypoxia, to provide insight into their cellular metabolism adaptations in response to hypoxia-inducing environmental stressors.

STEM Majors Reading STEM with Preschoolers: Improving Outcomes for All

Sarah Powell, Associate Professor, Special Education
Vernita Gordon, Associate Professor, Physics

This project fosters community among STEM major undergrads by having them work in pairs to lead STEM-focused activities in preschool settings, building foundational knowledge in mathematics and science.

Studying Solid-Fluid Interfacial Interactions and Water Composition in Soils and Aquifers using Novel Multi-Disciplinary Techniques

Zoya Heidari, Associate Professor, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
Tim Yeh, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

This project quantifies grain-water interfacial interactions by integrating multi-frequency electromagnetic measurements with 3D single-particle tracking, with the intent of enhancing plant adsorption of water and fluid flow in soils/rocks.

Building a Tribe in a Finance Desert: Can government step in where banks do not?

Rachel Wellhausen, Associate Professor, Government
Ken-Hou Lin, Associate Professor, Sociology

This project documents how Native American tribal governments facilitate substitutes for traditional banking, and to evaluate the effectiveness of those substitutes in improving tribal welfare.

Twitter Politics: The Use and Consequences of Social Media Messages by Candidates in British Parliamentary Elections

Zeynep Somer-Topcu, Associate Professor, Government
Jeffrey Treem, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

This project examines political candidates' social media campaigns, particularly their tendencies to emphasize or de-emphasize individualistic identity vs. political party identity, in the 2015 and 2017 British Parliamentary Elections.

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