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Science Foundation grant to support undergraduate research

LSAMP GrantThe University of Texas at Arlington has received a $222,320 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue supporting undergraduate research activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The UT Arlington share is part of a $1.66 million two-year award to the University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, which was established in 1995. The overall grant is worth $4 million and covers five years.

Dr. Philip Cohen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School, is a co-principal investigator for the grant. The 20 UT Arlington students in the program this year makes the program here, directed by Professor Tuncay Aktosun, the largest in the alliance.

"We believe that this grant helps make attaining an undergraduate degree here very special because of the opportunity for research at that level," Cohen said. "Mentored undergraduate research is one aspect of the educational experience that distinguishes the best universities. And our LSAMP program is one of many such opportunities available to our students."

Dr. Benjamin Flores, Dean of the University of Texas at El Paso Graduate School, is the principal investigator and project director of the alliance. His team of co-principal investigators includes Cohen, Cristina Villalobos, associate professor of mathematics and director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education at UT Pan American, and Helmut Knaust, UTEP associate professor of mathematics.

Tarrant County College also will participate in the program this year and will receive about $100,000, Cohen said.

Cohen said the grant also may help entice undergraduate students to pursue graduate degrees here.

"Getting involved in research at the undergraduate level helps fuel a student's desire to continue in that research at the graduate level," Cohen said.

Undergraduate students who want to participate in the LSAMP program should contact Mathematics Professor Tuncay Aktosun at