NSM Momentum Newsletter
Winter 2005 Issue
Letter from the Dean
  Susan Hammons, Editor
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Dean John Bear
It’s always gratifying to learn of successful alumni. One could say that Roger Berry, an NSM graduate profiled in this issue, has enjoyed a magical career. Berry parlayed his math major and computer science minor into several prominent positions in corporate America. Today he serves as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chief information officer.


Alumnus Leads Magic Kingdom’s Worldwide IT Operations
As a mathematics student at the University of Houston, Roger Berry always knew he wanted to go into information technology. What he did not know is that he would eventually run all IT for the Happiest Place on Earth.
Program Targets Shortage of Math, Science Teachers
On a recent Friday, University of Houston freshman Michelle Martinez employed packets of M&Ms to demonstrate the concept of probability to fourth-graders at Buffalo Creek Elementary School in the Spring Branch Independent School District.
Researchers Help Analyze Sea Urchin, Honeybee Genomes
University of Houston genome composition specialists recently participated in sequencing genomes of the honeybee and sea urchin — projects that found the two species, particularly the sea urchin, share a number of genetic characteristics with humans.
Econophysicists Meld Science, Economics
Predicting financial markets is more of a gamble than traditional economists will admit, and making sense of such numbers is more like trying to decipher noise blasting from a loudspeaker, says a UH econophysicist, who leads one of the world’s most preeminent groups of its kind.
Physicist Co-develops Probe to Detect Spread of Cancer
High-temperature superconductors hold the key to a handheld surgical tool that promises to be more accurate, cost-effective, and safer than existing methods for staging and treating various cancers, including breast cancer.
Father Looks to Sky, Son Targets Petroleum Underground
One is a well-known astronomer specializing in the evolution and dynamics of our solar system. The other is making a mark for enhancing ways to detect petroleum targets beneath the ground. But both father and son share an interest in science from a young age.
Mathematics Conference Honors Prominent Professor
Eminent computational scientists from Europe and the United States gathered in Houston in March for a two-day conference and banquet honoring a world-renowned UH mathematician on his 70th birthday.
arrowhead Rigoberto Advincula, who holds dual appointments of associate professor of chemistry and associate professor of chemical engineering, attended a Washington, D.C., awards ceremony in March with a protégé who was a finalist in a prestigious science competition for high school students.
arrowhead Kurt Marfurt, professor of geophysics and director of the Center for Applied Geosciences and Energy, was chosen by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists to teach its 2006 Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC).
arrowhead Enhancing ways to detect petroleum targets recently earned Kristopher Innanen, assistant professor of physics, the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
arrowhead Kingwood Medical Center, an HCA-affiliated hospital, recently named NSM alumnus Chik-Fong Wei, M.D., (’71, Ph.D. ’92) chief of medical staff.
© University of Houston 2007