From what I understand, there is not much magic involved. You want the wort to cool quickly, to minimize the opportunity for infection, and 80 degrees is a good temperature for pitching the yeast... not too hot, not too cold.
I would steer away from adding ice directly to your wort (although some here will tell you differently). I dont think that temps in the higher 80s to low 90s will kill the yeast.
Are you at the UT in Texas (or Tennessee?) If your in Austin, we should grab a beer sometime.