Tag Archives: biography

SSB Gets Comic Relief

Comics writer Jim Ottaviani will talk about his new graphic novel biography Feynman, on the life of the noted Nobel nuclear physicist Richard Feynman, for a special installment of Science Study Break.

Feynman’s life story was shaped by his connection to historical significance (he was part of the team that developed the atomic bomb and, later, the commission that looked into the Challenger disaster), his contributions to science (he was a pioneering figure in quantum computing and nanotechnology) and his quirky personality.

Ottaviani is the author of several comic books about the history of science, including Two-Fisted Science: Stories About Scientists which features biographical stories about Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Niels Bohr, and several stories about physicist Richard Feynman. He is also a librarian and has worked as a nuclear engineer.

Come hear Ottaviani talk about Feynman at 6pm on Friday, Sept. 30, in Welch Hall, Room 2.224, located at 24th & Speedway. There will be pizza from Austin’s Pizza (while it lasts) and the University Co-op will be selling copies for Ottaviani to sign (while they last).

Pop culture and the academy collide as Science Study Break features relevant faculty and experts from the University of Texas at Austin discussing the reality and fantasy portrayed as fact in science-themed television and movies. Science Study Break is hosted by the University of Texas Libraries and supported by the University Federal Credit Union.

(See this review of Feynman in the Austin Chronicle.)

New Biography on Retired Dean and McKinney Supporter Gloyna

gloyna_book_coverThis biography, Reflections of a Soldier and Scholar, by Davis Ford is packed with Earnest Gloyna’s fascinating recollections of farming, public education and family life in the Texas Panhandle during the Depression as well as his experiences in WWII, in graduate school at Johns Hopkins, and, of course, his professional life as a consultant/businessman, professor and dean. Of particular interest is his early life in the Texas Panhandle picking cotton, cutting milo, going to rural schools, learning to type and meeting his future wife, Agnes. Two of these would be helpful in his later life—typing and Agnes.

The story of how he chose graduate school over working for the U.S. Public Health Service after the war is classic Earnest. He decided to go to graduate school instead of joining the Public Heath Service because they would only pay him as a Captain. This decision changed everything—Earnest went to graduate school and became Dr. Gloyna.

Earnest has had an amazing career as an educator and researcher, as a consultant working on environmental problems all over the world, and as a dean. Under his leadership the College of Engineering grew enormously and improved its graduate programs by hiring highly qualified faculty from all over the United States. This faculty would help make the Cockrell School a research powerhouse.  Another of his great accomplishments was when he helped the Engineering Library grow from a barely competent collection to one of the best in the US. Continue reading