Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

UNT briefs

Engineering professor receives grant

Engineering professor Yong Tao has received a National Science Foundation grant for $652,846 to identify gaps in sustainability knowledge and to better understand human behavior related to sustainability.

The project will bring together about a dozen researchers who focus on sustainability from different backgrounds such as business, engineering and computer science to work together to identify and fill in knowledge gaps.

“Uncertainty in human behavior — or why people use energy the way they do — can affect energy consumption by 40 to 60 percent,” Tao said. “We can design energy-efficient buildings and create new technologies, but without a strong understanding of these issues in human behavior, as well as government policy and business, those technologies won’t be put to their best use.”

Students earn awards at LeadingAge HackFest

Five UNT students won awards at the first-ever LeadingAge HackFest held Oct. 25-27 in Dallas, a competition for designing technological tools to help improve the lives of older adults.

David Adamo Jr., a computer science doctoral student, and his four teammates from other universities won first place for Global EngAge, a videoconferencing application that simplifies video chatting. With first place, they won $5,000.

Students Ann Wilder and Bret Sebastian were on a four-person team that won second place after creating Aperture CONNECT, a multimodal device to connect seniors and caregivers. Aperture CONNECT consists of a tablet with a control panel that links to a waterproof smartwatch that has a fall sensor, medication reminder and check-in device. They won $2,000.

Two UNT students, Quentin Mayo and Mahsa Kia, were also on a team that won the People’s Choice Award for creating a tool that sends a text message when a senior takes his or her medication to encourage seniors to take medications on time.

Submissions being accepted for event

Entries to the eighth Artists’ Books Competition and Biennial Exhibition are now being accepted by the Friends of UNT Libraries.

The competition is open to Denton residents and UNT faculty, staff and students.

The purposes of the competition and exhibition are to encourage the development of work by students and others in the medium of artists’ books, to reward excellence and creativity in the medium and to build the collection of artists’ books in the UNT Rare Book and Texana Collections.

Student entries may be awarded with purchase prizes of up to $400, at the discretion of the jurors. The $400 goes to buying the work to become a part of the library’s artist book collection.

Denton residents and UNT faculty and staff are not eligible for the cash prizes, but their entries may be chosen for an exhibit in the Forum on the first floor of UNT’s Willis Library, 506 W. Highland St. The exhibit will run from January through June.

Entry forms are available at and can be delivered in person to Kristin Boyett from Dec. 2-11 in Room 252 of Willis Library. Entries can also be mailed in by Dec. 11.

For more information, contact Boyett at 940-565-2486 or

Series to present ‘West of Memphis’

A documentary film about the “West Memphis Three” — three men who were wrongly convicted of murdering three children until they were cleared by DNA evidence — will be shown at UNT at 6 p.m. Thursday followed by a panel discussion including one of the accused.

West of Memphis, directed by Amy Berg, will be shown in Room 108 of the Business Leadership Building, 1307 W. Highland St.

After the screening, Damien Echols, who was one of the “West Memphis Three” and was one of the producers on the documentary, will join another producer, Lorri Davis, in a panel discussion.

The documentary follows the Paradise Lost movies about the three men, who were later released. The film focuses on efforts to free Echols and offers a theory about the real killer.

The presentation is part of the UNT Fine Arts Series, and will be free to students, $5 for faculty, staff and alumni and $10 for the general public.

International Games Day set for Saturday

In observance of the American Library Association’s International Games Day on Saturday, a celebration including a documentary screening, video and board games will be offered at the UNT Media Library.

Classic and new games on PlayStation3, Xbox and Wii will be available for open gaming between 1 and 7 p.m. A screening of Indie Game, a documentary that looks at independent game developers and the making of games like Super Meat Boy and Fez, will begin at 1 p.m.

The free event will be in Room 111C of Chilton Hall, 410 S. Avenue C. For more information, e-mail Diane Robson at