Three UT Austin professors win prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships

AUSTIN, Texas—Three professors at The University of Texas at Austin have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for 2001 in the fields of music, chemistry and math. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. They include writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, choreographers, physical and biological scientists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities.

Dr. Alan Campion, Dow Chemical Company Professor of Chemistry; Dr. Kevin Matthew Puts, an assistant professor of composition in the School of Music; and Dr. Karen K. Uhlenbeck, Sid Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in Mathematics, are among 183 Guggenheim Fellows who will share awards totalling $6.6 million. The average Guggenheim Fellowship is about $36,000.

Uhlenbeck is a UT Austin professor in mathematics who recently won the National Medal of Science, the American equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She conducts research in geometry and partial differential equations and is one of a very few mathematicians in the world who is an expert in the geometry of theoretical physics. Uhlenbeck works on complex differential equations used to look at the shapes in space and has solved equations that predict the existence of new particles in the universe that have not yet been observed by physicists.

Uhlenbeck is especially interested in helping minority and women students pursue studies and careers in mathematics and science. Uhlenbeck was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1983. She was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and an Albert Einstein Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Campion is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and a member of the Texas Materials Institute. He was given his award for spectroscopic studies of molecules adsorbed on solid surfaces. Campion also is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and winner of the Coblentz Memorial Prize in Molecular Spectroscopy. He is a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar and winner of the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Campion is interested in a wide variety of physical and chemical phenomena that occur at solid surfaces or at interfaces. His work is relevant to a number of important technologies including microelectronics and heterogeneous catalysis. His work can be divided into two general areas: the surface chemistry of the polymer/metal interface and mechanistic studies of chemical vapor deposition and atomic layer epitaxy.

Puts, also an accomplished pianist, composes a wide variety of music, not just music for orchestras or chamber music. He has received commissions from the National Symphony Orchestra, which has premiered three of his works at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He also has received commissions and performances of his work from the Boston Pops, the Dayton Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Ensemble Kobe (Japan), the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players and the New York Youth Symphony.

Puts has won the BMI Student Composer Award, one of the ASCAP Grants to Young Composers, the Charles Ives Scholarship and the Fellowship in Composition from the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted more than $198 million in fellowships to nearly 15,000 individuals. Scores of Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and eminent scientists appear on the roll of Fellows. There are 89 institutions of higher learning represented by one or more Fellows this year. Previous Fellows include Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Henry Kissinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Linus Pauling, Martha Graham and Eudora Welty.

For more information, contact Caroline Ladhani in the UT Austin College of Natural Sciences at (512) 232-1075 or Dr. Alan Campion at (512) 471-3012; Dr. Kevin Puts at (512) 471-3478 or Dr. Karen Uhlenbeck at (512) 471-6237 or see the Guggenheim Foundation Website at <www.gf.org>