2012-2013 LIFT Award Recipients

The following proposals were selected to receive full funding for FY 2012-2013.

From Corpus to Classroom: Developing a Pedagogical Interface for the SPinTX Corpus

The interface project will create a web resource to search and adapt items from the Spanish in Texas language corpus (SPinTX). The corpus is part of the ongoing Spanish in Texas Project under the auspices of the Title VI Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL). The main goal of the project is to help educators exploit the SPinTX corpus to customize materials for the teaching of Spanish at all educational levels. The aims of the project are: (a) to develop a pedagogically friendly interface for the corpus; b) to involve teachers and learners, via crowd-sourcing, social networking, and workshops, in the development of open educational resources (OER); and (c) to develop a model for using open source tools and a pedagogical interface that can be adapted for any language corpus.

Participants: Carl Blyth, Department of French and Italian, Director of COERLL; Barbara E. Bullock, Department of French and Italian; Rachael Gilg, Web Director COERLL; Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Appsoma – an innovative "cloud-based" approach to promote on-line coding, sharing and learning, jumpstart research activities, and to perform research computations with reproducible results

Appsoma is a novel proof-of-concept for a programming and research ecosystem that promotes collaboration, reproducibility, scalability, and education. The service provides web-based and cloud based tools that allow programmers or researchers to develop in their own programming language of choice and experiment using on-demand, configurable virtual compute servers in the UT Austin private cloud instead of their own hardware. This proof-of-concept will be available to all UT Austin colleges, departments, or units with programming or computational needs.

Participants: Zack Booth Simpson, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology; Scott Hunicke Smith, Genome Sequence and Analysis Facility; Huapei Chen, Information Technology Services

Online Text to Learning Management System: Transforming The Texas Politics Online Text

The online text project will enable instructors using the established Texas Politics online text to create customized teaching materials for state-mandated instruction in Texas government and politics. New customizing functionality will provide instructors with tools enabling them to tailor class content, student activities, and student assessment to their teaching objectives. Specifically, faculty members will gain the ability to pick and choose from menus of chapters, sections within those chapters, videos, interactive graphics, and documents, as well as add text and multimedia of their own, to assemble cohesive, customized sets of teaching material for courses in Texas government and politics. Instructors will gain the ability to build their own unique set of teaching materials based on the content offered by the Texas Politics site. The customized textbooks will be delivered to students by means chosen by their instructors from among choices including the web, electronic text, iBooks and other tablet formats, mobile device, and/or print-on-demand.

Participants: James Henson, Department of Government; Joseph TenBarge, College of Liberal Arts

Partially Funded Proposals

In addition to those proposals that will be funded fully, partial funding was also awarded to the following proposals.

Online Components for Intensive Language Learning

The project "Online Components for Intensive Language Learning" (OCILL) takes advantage of opportunities unique to UT Austin to address a problem that is not just campus-wide, but nationwide: promoting fluency in critical languages—languages identified by the US government as critical for protecting US interests around the world. Of course, the same problem—and solutions—apply to languages not designated as critical; attaining proficiency in a foreign language is a core goal of a liberal arts education as defined by UT and most other top-ranked colleges and universities. This project focuses on several critical and less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), but the technological infrastructure it will develop can and should be used in all language programs. It will help UT increase its language teaching and learning capacity through more effective use of time and effort by teachers and students.

Participants: Kristen Brustad, College of Liberal Arts (COLA), Department of Middle Eastern Studies (DMES); Thomas Garza COLA, Texas Language Center, Department for Slavic and Eurasian Studies (DSES); Adi Raz, COLA, DMES

Electronic Tools for Increasing University-based Innovation, Technology Development and Commercialization

In 2010 The University of Texas at Austin created more new companies than other Texas institutions of higher education, but the number of new start-ups dropped by almost 70% and new license agreements fell by 40% in 2013. While fluctuations in technology transfer activities are normal, these statistics point to a larger issue that looms: our scientists are generating breakthrough technologies, but lack the knowledge on how to successfully advance these innovations from the lab to marketplace. The problem: successful translation of breakthrough technologies. The opportunity: attracting sponsored research dollars to fuel income generating startup/licenses; increasing earning power of university innovations. The technology development and commercialization program will develop an Integrated Development Plan template, along with online eLearning training modules, providing a valuable tool to expedite the development and potential commercialization of computer and physical science innovations. This tool will expand upon the IC2 Institute's Innovation Readiness Online Course, already in use in the US, India, Russia, Korea and Jordan, developed to assist innovators in characterizing and communicating their innovations.

Participants: Janet C. Walkow, Ph.D., Drug Dynamics Institute, College of Pharmacy; Alan B. Watts, Ph.D., Drug Dynamics Institute, College of Pharmacy; Donna Kidwell, MSTC, PhD (2012), IC2 Institute