Newsletter Issue 22, June 2021
From the Founding Director
Now that my “vacation” as interim president is over, I am happy to once again devote my energies to my true leadership passion, the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and our consistent efforts to enhance the excellence of Texas A&M University. I am happy to report that the Institute is beginning a new era. In our tenth year of operation, although we have much to be proud of, we are now poised for the next phase of advancement.

Our current offices are very nice, in the corner of the top floor of the Jack K. Williams Building, the main administration building on campus. President Banks recognizes that it is time for the Institute to upgrade to a larger and even nicer space. The Institute’s conference table, for instance, is located in my office. President Banks also believes the Institute should have a more visible presence on campus that matches its importance to Texas A&M. She has provided the Institute with the entire eighth floor of Rudder Tower, which is in the heart of campus, close to the new A&M Hotel and the faculty-dining club. This location will elevate the Institute’s presence on campus to a new level. The new space is several times larger than the footprint of the area we currently occupy and opens up many new opportunities for the Institute to engage with its Fellows and A&M’s faculty. I joked to Amanda and Clifford that there is one more advantage—when visitors are tired of my pontifications, they are only seconds away from the bar on the 11th floor!

With the pending relocation of our new space’s current residents and some remodeling needed to accommodate the Institute, the move will take some weeks to complete. You will hear more about our new offices in the future. We hope to move by early fall. 

In the meantime, we are finalizing recruitment of our 2021-2022 class of scholars and will announce them in September. We wish all of you a wonderful, restful and both productive and fulfilling summer.  

Best Wishes,
Hagler Fellow Updates
Lena Cowen Orlin
Hagler Fellow 2020-21

“To be or not to be” is not the question when it comes to Shakespeare scholar Lena Cowen Orlin, professor of English at Georgetown University and 2020-2021 Hagler Fellow. Her stature is far more than “to be.” She is already among the world’s foremost Shakespeare scholars. 

In May 2021, Orlin was elected president of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon. Founded in 1824, it is the oldest Shakespeare organization in the world. The presidency is honorific— a scholar and a theater professional rotate each year. In all the years of the Shakespeare Club’s existence, Orlin is the first American to become president. As one of the foremost experts on private domestic life during the Renaissance, as well as specializing in the works of Shakespeare, she is highly deserving of the honor. Orlin is recognized for her remarkable breadth with interdisciplinary scholarship in literature, history, art, and architectural history.

On April 23, 2021, she gave the Shakespeare Birthday Lecture, presented as part of the celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon every year. Orlin will deliver her presidential address to the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK on October 12, their first meeting of 2021-22. 

To add to her past scholarly accomplishments (https://hias.tamu.edu/fellow/lena-cowen-orlin/), she has a book forthcoming in July 2021, The Private Life of William Shakespeare, published by Oxford University Press. This book provides important content and has already been featured in an essay in the Guardian that was picked up by other news outlets in Russia, India, and Brazil, as well as the Apollo Magazine and the Romance Daily News. Orlin’s persuasive argument that the bust sculpture of Shakespeare displayed in the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon is an accurate likeness of William Shakespeare, though long thought not to be, is receiving attention. She provides evidence that the sculpture was prepared by Nicholas Johnson, who was likely commissioned by Shakespeare for the project; see Wikipedia https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/mar/19/shakespeare-grave-effigy-believed-to-be-definitive-likeness.

Orlin’s interest in coming to Texas A&M is, in part, sparked by the fact that Texas A&M is home to the editorial offices of the World Shakespeare Bibliography, and the A&M library contains the second folio of the collected plays of William Shakespeare, a 1632 edition, produced only nine years after the so-called ‘First Folio’. Without these folio collections, one-half of Shakespeare’s plays would not have survived. We would never have known Macbeth and Twelfth Night and As You Like It and fifteen other plays. Texas A&M is also rich in computer expertise focused on the digital humanities. Of key interest to Orlin is the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare (NVS) series project, which, since it was founded in 1860, has provided reference editions of Shakespeare’s works. Reference editions include numerous scholarly opinions and interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays. In 2019, responsibility for updating and producing new editions, as well as digitizing versions of earlier editions, was transferred to Texas A&M’s Center for Digital Humanities Research. Orlin was influential in the choice of Texas A&M for this project. She will assist in the ongoing efforts to expand access to these special editions of Shakespeare’s work. Anyone who is interested in becoming a Shakespeare scholar will be able to efficiently do so, thanks to the resources Texas A&M will share with the world. 

For her first of several visits, she plans to come to College Station during the fall of 2021. She will work with faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts and the University Library, as well as in the Center for Digital Humanities Research.  
Sharon Donovan
Hagler Fellow 2019-20

The pandemic slowed down the economy, but it did not slow down the ongoing work of Sharon Donovan, 2019-2020 Hagler Fellow and renowned nutrition scholar. Professor Donovan is holder of the Melissa N. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a Hagler Fellow, she works with faculty and students in Texas A&M’s Department of Nutrition in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
 
Since March 2020, Donovan has participated in Zoom calls every two weeks with A&M’s Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Robert Chapkin, the head of the Chapkin Lab which studies integrative nutrition and complex diseases. These discussions have helped to keep their research initiatives moving forward, as evidenced by two papers published by Donovan, Chapkin and their colleagues.
 
  • He K, Donovan SM, Ivanov I, Goldsby J, Davidson LA, Chapkin RS. Assessing the multivariate relationship between the human infant intestinal exfoliated cell transcriptome (exfoliome) and microbiome in response to diet. Microorganisms 2020; 8(12):E2032. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8122032. PMID:33353204, PMCID:PMC7766018

  • Yoon G, Davidson LA, Goldsby J, Mullens D, Ivanov I, Donovan SM, Chapkin RS,. Exfoliated epithelial cell transcriptome reflects both small and large intestinal cell signatures in piglets American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2021; May 5. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpgi.00017.2021. Online ahead of print. PMID:33949197
 
Donovan is currently working on other papers with two students on fellowships from the Hagler Institute that supports their research with Donovan. She is also working on two proposals for research funding to the National Institute of Health. Donovan will visit the Texas A&M campus during the summer and fall of 2021.We are fortunate that as the pandemic recedes more in person collaborations can resume, and our faculty and students can enjoy interactions with distinguished scholars such as Sharon Donovan.
Edwin L. “Ned” Thomas
Hagler Fellow 2019-20

Matter is sometimes divided into the categories of “hard,” such as metals or ceramics, and “soft,” such as gels and rubbers. Ice cream is an everyday example of soft matter because it can be easily deformed with pressure.

Edwin L. “Ned” Thomas, a world-renowned engineer and scientist and 2019-2020 Hagler Fellow from Rice University, joined the faculty of Texas A&M in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering once his term in the Institute was complete. In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, https://www.pnas.org/content/118/12/e2018977118, Thomas and his team found defects in the structure of soft matter when studying a specific soft polymer material.

 A polymer is a substance that has a molecular structure consisting of a large number of similar chemical units covalently bonded together into a long chain. Polymers can be soft or hard depending on their molecular packing and on whether their melting points and glass transition temperatures are well above (hard) or well below (soft) room temperature. Polymeric materials are in common usage by virtually everyone, so knowing their underlying structure, and especially manipulating it for betterment, is an important field of study. Defects are local departures from the symmetry of the material and are well studied in hard matter. Thomas and his team, are the first to find a particular type of defect, called a twin boundary defect in a soft polymer having the double gyroid symmetry. They have good reason to think that this defect is common across a large number of similar soft matter systems, such as oils and biological materials. 

To discover this defect Thomas and his team used an interesting new technique, called dual beam slice-and-view scanning electron microscopy. An ion beam makes a very thin slice of the soft material, and then an electron beam captures an image of what is below the slice. This procedure is repeated again and again and the images are stacked to get a 3-D view. 

Thomas’ technique discovered a 2D surface defect such that on either side of the planar surface the molecular networks abruptly transformed their handedness from right (red network) to left (blue network) and left to right. This is the same type of reversal that a mirror performs and is called a twin plane (coincident with the vertical yellow line). Most defects, such as dislocations, locally disrupt and reduce the symmetry. Here the defect actually adds symmetry. Such 2D defects have been shown to act like mirrors for sound waves in hard matter. How such defects interact with light waves as well as with sound waves remains to be seen.

Knowledge of defects in soft matter opens new doors in materials engineering and technology. Further research will discover what is on the other side of those doors.
H. Vincent Poor
Hagler Fellow 2018-19

It is not feasible in a reasonably sized newsletter to include all of the successful collaborations between Fellows of the Hagler Institute and Texas A&M faculty and students, but we try to show a few. A recent collaboration by Vincent Poor, Xi Zhang, and Jingqing Wang serves as representative of recent publications by others.
 
H. Vincent Poor is a 2018-2019 Fellow of the Hagler Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a recipient of more than 65 additional international honors, elected memberships, and research awards and medals. He is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Princeton University. Poor is coming to Texas A&M as a Hagler Fellow over a four year period, the end date of which is extended due to the pandemic. He plans to arrive in College Station again in October 2021. Poor’s research focuses on improving all aspects of our wireless networks and energy systems.
Xi Zhang is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M.
Jingqing Wang is a PhD student working with Zhang in A&M’s Networking and Information Systems Laboratory, and she is a recipient of a Hagler Institute Fellowship, which has enabled her to work with Poor.
 
These scholars recently learned that their paper “Statistical Delay and Error-Rate Bounded QoS Provisioning for SWIPT Over CF-mMIMO 6G Wireless Networks Using FBC,” was accepted for publication in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing – Issue on Signal Processing Advances in Wireless Transmission of Information and Power. This journal is prestigious, as the IEEE
(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

The meanings of the acronyms in the paper title help explain that the paper deals with many aspects related to wireless transmission. QoS is quality of service, which refers to a range of parameters for a given wireless session, specifying things such as delay and data rate. SWIPT refers to simultaneous wireless information and power transfer. This means using wireless signals to not only send information but also to power receiving devices, which is important in new architectures such as Internet of Things and other networks where the end terminals are not cellphones and not easily powered by batteries or connections to the grid. CF refers to cell-free, enabling a given terminal to communicate via multiple cell sites to give better performance. The term mMIMO refers to a very large number of antennas on both transmitter and receivers, giving much higher data rates and reliability. 6G refers to the envisioned sixth generation of wireless networks, which is largely where the research community is focused now. FBC denotes finite block length coding, which is the encoding of short sequences of bits to send messages, rather than long sequences, which is the case for streaming video and for potentially for time-sensitive applications like sensing, autonomous driving, and robotic surgery.

One can sense the cutting-edge nature of this work, as well as its broad applications, without having to be an electrical engineer. And we are glad such minds like Poor, Zhang, and Wang are hard at work to improve of our communication networks. 
V. Kumar
Hagler Fellow 2016-17

One of our objectives in bringing accomplished scholars to Texas A&M is to further the careers of our rising star faculty members. This happens when a Hagler Fellow forms a successful research relationship with an assistant professor or an associate professor. Consider the record of V. Kumar, a marketing expert formerly at Georgia State University who was inducted as a 2016-2017 Fellow of the Hagler Institute. To be of potential assistance to his parents during the pandemic, Kumar relocated to India where he is currently a Distinguished Term Professor and Senior Fellow of Marketing at the Indian School of Business. He is not only an acknowledged expert on customer relations, but also in other fields of marketing. He is the recipient of multiple lifetime achievement awards from the American Marketing Association and several best paper awards from the Marketing Science Institute, and he is recognized as a legend in marketing. For up-to-date information see www.drvkumar.com

Kumar was brought to campus by the Mays Business School every year for three years between 2016-19. Since becoming a Hagler Fellow, he has published nine papers with Amalesh Sharma, assistant professor of marketing at Texas A&M. In addition, he has showcased their work at ten conferences, always giving credit and visibility to the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.

The nine journal articles are all in prestigious peer reviewed journals, such as Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Journal of International Marketing. Kumar and Sharma have written about several topics: retail distribution strategies, new product introduction, buyer-supplier networks, among others. For example, a recently published study in the Journal of International Business Studies illustrates how the portfolio of leadership responsibilities and constraints on his or her power (strategic, operational, and/or financial) given to a firm’s chief marketing officer influences the number of foreign markets that firm can enter and the percent of foreign sales over domestic sales it can generate. This study will also be featured in the 2021 Nov./Dec. issue of Harvard Business Review.

Kumar recently wrote to the Hagler Institute,
“My sincere thanks to Texas A&M and the Hagler Institute for giving me the opportunity to interact with A&M faculty through coauthoring papers and/or inviting them to Thought Leadership Conferences which I chaired in the last few years.”
 
Thank you, Professor Kumar, the pleasure is all ours.
John A. Rogers
Hagler Fellow 2015-16

In 2021, the University of Houston presented John Rogers with a Doctorate of Humane Letters for exemplary service to the University of Houston and society at large. It is the highest honor that a university can bestow.

If anyone deserves highest honors, it is John Rogers. He is one of only 25 people in the history of the congressionally authorized national academies to be elected to all three: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. 

Rogers, a 2015-2016 Hagler Fellow, is Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University. His work integrates mechanical engineering, chemistry, and physical and materials sciences to provide innovation in the fields of biotechnology and medical technology. As the website for the Rogers Research Group conveys, “These efforts are highly multidisciplinary and combine expertise from nearly every traditional field of technical study.”

Rogers has garnered many prestigious awards in the area of materials science. He has 80 patents, 50 of which are licensed or being used in the private sector, and he has founded or co-founded five companies. Several of his inventions are on permanent display, including stretchable silicon, in the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and an electronic eye that is on display in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. 
John Rogers, a native of Houston, is a graduate of the University of Texas and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently engaged in research with Yonggang Huang, 2018-2019 Hagler Fellow, who was featured in our last newsletter. Rogers is a scholar’s scholar. When it comes to science, he respects no disciplinary boundaries and his diverse portfolio of important contributions makes a commanding case for his iconic stature in multidisciplinary research.  
Manfred Schartl
Hagler Fellow 2015-16

Manfred Schartl is a 2015-2016 Fellow of the Hagler Institute, who came to Texas A&M from the University of Wurzburg in Germany. Manfred is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Germany. He is best known for explaining the molecular-genetic basis of cancer formation, and particularly malignant melanoma, by using fish and other non-mammalian models. 

We recently learned that Schartl was elected in 2021 as a member of Academia Europaea, which is the European Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and Letters. We extend our congratulations to Schartl, who plans to return to Texas from Germany when travel restrictions are lifted. Schartl joined the faculty of Texas State University in San Marcos, but he continues to collaborate on research with faculty and students in the Department of Biology in the College of Science at Texas A&M. 
Hagler's Heroes:
Bradley L. "Brad" Worsham '88
Bradley L. “Brad” Worsham '88 is one of those rare finds for any university. Brad graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering before going to Stanford University and earning recognition as a graduate fellow in electrical engineering. Brad went on to become a successful entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in a complex engineering field, supporting the U.S. Signals Intelligence Community. He sold his company and, instead of resting on his laurels and relishing his past successes in leisure, he came to College Station to use his talents to mentor students and give back to his alma mater. 
 
Brad is an enthusiastic supporter of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. He and his wife, Liz, have established a fellowship endowment to support engineering students working with a Hagler Fellow.
Pictured are Brad and his wife, Liz, with Sakina Mota,
the first student to have been supported with the
Bradley L. “Brad” Worsham ’88 endowment.
Brad’s main work at Texas A&M is with undergraduates. His passion for Texas A&M and for helping students to learn has led him to A&M’s Department of Aerospace Engineering as associate professor of practice, and students who take his courses are inspired and fortunate. Brad recently helped students take a winning spot in a prestigious international competition.
 
SAE International, which originated as the Society of Automotive Engineers, develops standards for engineering professionals in a variety of industries, including aerospace. It also provides state of the art information in various publications and provides learning programs for professional development.

Each year, SAE International sponsors an aerospace engineering design-build-fly competition. The competition rules compress a typical aircraft development program into one academic year and challenge teams to design and fly a remotely piloted aircraft. The aircraft must meet stringent requirements and often-conflicting objectives: As described in the Aero Design Competition scope published by SAE International, these objectives are “…short take off, speed, maximum payload carriage, and a time limit on unloading the payloads.” The 2021 competition began in January and ended in May with more than 35 competing teams of up to eight students each working with a faculty advisor from universities in the United States, China, India, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, and other locations.
 
The Texas A&M SAE Aero Design team is a student organization comprised of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering undergraduates. The team followed up their 2020 first place overall win with an unprecedented (for Texas A&M) repeat in 2021. While the number of competitors fielding flight teams was significantly reduced in 2021 due to COVID-19, the Aggies improved upon their 2020 flight scores by an incredible 15 percent in 2021. By the numbers for 2021, the Texas A&M team placed a very close third in the Technical Design Report, second in Technical Presentation, and first in the Mission Performance (flight) category by an impressive 72 percent margin over the second place team, accumulating an overall margin of victory of 68 points. As a testament to Aggie Core Values, event organizers further recognized the A&M students for Outstanding Sportsmanship for proactively reporting a scoring error made by judges that resulted in a lower corrected score for the A&M team.
 
Scott McHarg piloted Texas A&M’s winning design and Brad Worsham ’88 served as faculty advisor. Brad is an experienced pilot himself holding helicopter, fixed wing, and jet aircraft ratings.
Pictured are Scott (far left) and Brad (far right) with student members of the 2021 SAE Aero Design team and their prize-winning aircraft. The students (left to right) are Blake Rogers, Moss Misiaszek, Chris Gloyna, John Blausen, Kyle Curnutt, Chantz Elliot, Braeden Wright, Josue Corleto.
For his inspirational passion to use his knowledge and expertise to help students and contribute to his beloved Texas A&M and for recognition and support of the excellence mission of the Hagler Institute, Brad Worsham is hereby designated a Hagler Hero. Brad—you and Liz are true difference makers and your support of Texas A&M broadly and the Hagler Institute in particular is deeply appreciated.  
If you have news to share, please send articles, suggestions, or other information to:
Dr. Clifford L. Fry, Associate Director
Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University