Volume 17 - 2008
UNT - University of North Texas - Discover the Power of Ideas

Science, Scholarship &
the Arts at the University of North Texas

UNT Research Home | New Faculty

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New Faculty

Carol Ann Frost

Bernard A. Coda Professor of Accounting

Carol Ann Frost

Photo by: Angilee Wilkerson

"All of my research is in the capital markets area, with a strong emphasis on international issues and financial reporting and disclosure," says Carol Ann Frost, who was an associate professor of accounting and law with the University at Buffalo — State University of New York before joining UNT last fall.

The nationally recognized scholar is the first Bernard A. Coda Professor of Accounting at UNT and also serves as the doctoral coordinator for the Department of Accounting.

Frost — who has done extensive consulting work for clients such as Coopers and Lybrand International and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and was the founder and CEO of the independent research and consulting firm Global Capital Markets Access LLC — says her consulting experiences have provided important background for her research projects.

"For example, my paper in the Journal of Accounting Research (analyzing international stock exchanges) uses a data set developed from evidence gathered during my work for the World Federation of Stock Exchanges," she says.

Frost earned her M.B.A. and Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia. She also served on the faculty at Dartmouth College and Washington University in St. Louis.

In addition to her consulting background, her research reflects her interest in regulatory issues. In some of her most recent work, she and her co-authors are analyzing credit rating agency practices concerning the issuance of credit watches, and she plans to investigate international dimensions of credit rating agency practices.

Another current project examines Nasdaq's enforcement of its listing rules. Since 2004, Frost has been a member of the Nasdaq Listings Qualifications Panel, which hears appeals made by companies facing delisting from Nasdaq.

Frost also is one of the co-authors of a leading international accounting textbook.

The newly created Bernard "Barney" A. Coda Endowed Chair at UNT was made possible with a $1 million gift from the estate of alumnus Thomas W. Richardson, an accountant, insurance executive and investor. It is named in honor of Coda, Professor Emeritus of business who was Richardson's professor at UNT.

Paho Mann

Assistant professor of photography

Paho Mann

Photo by: Angilee Wilkerson

The works of Paho Mann have been exhibited in numerous places across the nation, including the Arizona State University Art Museum and the Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona, Walker Art Center in Minnesota and the York Arts Center in Pennsylvania.

Mann joined the photography faculty in the College of Visual Arts and Design last fall. He brings experience in web art, digital art and new media.

"My work investigates the physical manifestation of individuality, ways photography represents this manifestation and the effect of new technology on that representation," Mann says. "In this research, I combine contemporary media with traditional photographic practices, allowing each to extend the meaning of the other."

Mann earned a master's degree from Arizona State University and his bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico.

He currently is working on a public art commission for the city of Phoenix at a large recycling transfer station, where tons of the city's recycling is sorted and shipped for reuse. For the project, he photographed 5,600 recycled objects that included beverage bottles and junk mail. He is building a database of the images and will assign them key words relating to the environmental impact of consumption, the benefit of recycling, and the type and visual appearance of the objects.

"I will use these images and database to create large prints and an interactive web site to sort the recycling, and the project will serve both as an aesthetic investigation and educational tool for the city," he says. "Creating connections between objects and identity, the importance of thoughtful choice in what we do with these objects, and an interest in how art functions in a diverse range of public spaces were all ideas that attracted me to the project."

Jyoti Shah

Associate professor of biological sciences

Jyoti Shah

Photo by: Angilee Wilkerson

Jyoti Shah says, in the case of plants threatened by insects or disease, protection is better than a cure.

"We're trying to understand the mechanisms by which plants defend themselves," says Shah, who came to UNT last fall from Kansas State University, where he received the Faculty Scholar Award for excellence in research, teaching and service to the university. "If you understand the basic defense, you can develop plants with enhanced resistance."

Shah earned bachelor's and master's degrees in microbiology from the University of Bombay and a doctorate in biology from the University of Notre Dame. Wanting to use his expertise in a practical way, he became interested in studying "how plants do what they do."

He is working on four major research projects — two funded by the National Science Foundation and two by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The NSF grants support Shah's work with lipids, which play a part in long-distance signaling in plant defense. "When one part of a plant gets infected by a pathogen, it tells another part to be better prepared to ward it off," he explains.

Understanding that process in plants' immune response is the aim of one NSF project. The other involves Shah's collaborative research with the Kansas Lipidomics Research Center, which he says is the nation's only center for the metabolic profiling of plant lipids. The center includes researchers at Kansas State, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and now UNT.

"Lipids play a major role in the response of organisms to environmental stress," Shah says. "In general, by looking at signature changes in plant lipids, researchers can detect stress before it occurs."

Shah's USDA-supported work targets specific pathogens and insects that serve as stressors to plants. In one project, he took a gene from the Arabidopsis plant, which serves as a genetic model, and engineered it in wheat to make it resistant to Fusarium head blight disease. The goal of the project, now in field trials on wheat, is to reduce disease, thereby increasing production and decreasing the need for fungicides.

Another USDA project targets the green peach aphid, which can feed on more than 100 plant species.

"It's an important insect in that it 'drinks' from the plant," Shah says. "When it feeds, it takes away nutrient-containing phloem sap and also transmits viruses from one plant to another."

Shah says plants' defenses against the insect include deterring feeding and preventing reproduction.

"We're looking at the basic science to see how plants control this insect," he says. "We can then target some of these defense genes for enhancing resistance."

Matthew J. Traum

Assistant professor of mechanical and energy engineering

Matthew J. Traum

Photo by: Angilee Wilkerson

Today's sports apparel carries heat away as sweat evaporates through its pores without wetting the fabric. Understanding that process at the nano level — for pores a few billionths of a meter in diameter — is among the goals of Matthew J. Traum. He joined UNT's new mechanical and energy engineering department last fall after earning master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"My research takes evaporative cooling to the next level," Traum says. "Really small pores induce strange behaviors in fluids moving through them — that's the hallmark of nanotechnology."

At the nano level, for example, water vapor interaction with the pore walls slows diffusion more than it should, he says. Traum is working to understand why and discover ways to increase diffusion. He is examining how the arrangement of the pores, surface roughness and other parameters affect diffusion, and he is quantifying the increased transport path water vapor must traverse as it diffuses through several layers of material.

Traum says his research is unique because it probes water vapor's emergent nano properties at atmospheric pressure rather than under a vacuum as other research does.

"Designers of commercial micro- and nano-systems must contend with real atmospheric conditions, and I show them how to make devices that work under normal atmospheric pressure, complete with humidity," Traum says.

At MIT, where he majored in thermal-fluid sciences and minored in micro/nano fabrication and manufacturing, Traum held a research assistantship at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. The ultimate goal of Traum's work was to develop self-cooling body armor made of material that could repel bullets or blasts yet still allow diffusion to transport sweat away and cool the wearer's skin.

The technology has non-military applications, too. One day, Traum says, nano-porous materials will enable simultaneous air quality control and energy conservation in buildings by containing conditioned air inside while allowing oxygen molecules to diffuse in from outside to prevent "sick building syndrome."

micro-porous membrane

A micro-porous membrane as seen through a scanning electron microscope

Traum earned bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of California at Irvine. He says his interests moved from airplanes to generators, thermal-fluid sciences and, eventually, to nanotechnology.

"The intersection of nanotechnology and thermal-fluid sciences is a natural marriage," he says. "Thermal-fluidic processes are governed by nano-scale phenomena, and nanotechnology can be used to tune and control these processes to your advantage."

As part of UNT's mechanical and energy engineering program, Traum developed and now directs the "Researcher Incubator" to engage undergraduates in real engineering research projects from the time they are freshmen.

"The goals of the incubator are to intervene very early to enable undergraduate students to take ownership of an engineering problem and to teach them how to perform real experimental research to address their problem," Traum says. "Usually this level of research engagement is reserved for graduate students, and we are confident that this early research experience will entice our undergraduates to seek graduate degrees."


President's Note

Exploration of ideas provides the foundation for a bold research agenda.

News Briefs

New leaders set a new course, and awards and grants help develop materials, save endangered languages, protect the environment.

New Faculty

Researchers bring work in accounting, photography, plant pathology and thermal-fluid sciences to UNT.

Student Researchers

Student research covers medical physics, human rights, computational chemistry, music education, ethics.

Faculty Books

UNT authors write about higher education, cost control, police patrol, copyright law.

End Note

Interdisciplinary collaborations advance the greater good.

Web page last updated or revised: April 25, 2008
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