Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

Event: Classification of Metagenomic Data Using Quasi-Alignment

Event date: March 14, 2016
Time: 3:30pm
Location: Dedman Life Sciences Building 131

Join Professor Monnie McGee of the Department of Statistical Science as she presents her work on metagenomic classification using quasi-alignment methods. Light Refreshments Provided. Sponsored by the DCII Research Cluster, “Linking Mathematical and Life Sciences.” For more information http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Events.

Congratulations to the Dedman College Research Day Winners

SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented results of ongoing and completed SMU-based research on February 10. Dedman College students received an impressive 20 awards.

Research Day aims to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Research Day winners

 

Children of Henry L. “Buddy” Gray and Rebecca A. Gray announce planned gift in honor of their parents

SMU News

Originally Posted: January 27, 2016

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DALLAS (SMU) – A lifelong passion for family, teaching and research was celebrated Jan. 15 when the children of retired SMU faculty member Henry L. “Buddy” Gray and his wife, Rebecca, surprised their parents with a $1.5 million planned gift in their honor.

The gift, made by the Gray’s son, M. Scott Gray ’90, and his partner, Duane Minix, on behalf of all of the Gray’s children, will establish the Henry L. and Rebecca A. Gray Endowed Chair in Statistical Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

“SMU has been my life,” Buddy Gray said at a ceremony in Heroy Hall.

Scott Gray said love for his work defined his father, who frequently exclaimed: “Can you believe we get paid to do this!”

Scott Gray added that Rebecca Gray was an equal partner with his Dad. “Mom gave as much to this institution as Dad.” Scott Gray, who served as student body president while at SMU, maintains fond memories of the University. “When I think of every organization that’s had an impact on my life, SMU is at the top of the list,” he said.

At the ceremony, Robert Gray ’87 read from a letter written by his father to his family 10 years before, which expressed gratitude and appreciation for the support of his wife, Rebecca, and their children while he pursued his professional passion as a mathematical sciences researcher. “Dad was excited about what he was doing every day,” Robert Gray said.

Kelly Gray Doughty thanked her parents and shared several nuggets of advice imparted by her father over the years. Among them: “Practice gratitude every day, because it’s the single most perfect prayer.”

Chair of SMU’s Department of Statistical Sciences Wayne Woodward, a former student of Buddy Gray, praised Gray for his devotion to research and teaching. “As a mentor and role model, I couldn’t have found a better one.”

Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College, thanked the Gray family for their support and service to SMU and Buddy Gray for his contributions to the field of mathematical science, declaring Gray a “true pioneer.”

Buddy Gray worked at SMU from 1973 to 2004 in the Department of Statistical Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics as the C.F. Frensley Professor of Mathematical Sciences from 1973-2004. During that time he also served in several administrative roles, including as dean of Dedman College from 1989-91.

The commitment to fund the Henry L. and Rebecca A. Gray Endowed Chair in Statistical Sciences counts toward SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31 and raised more than $1 billion to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence, and the campus experience.

“Commitments accomplished through estate and gift planning, such as the bequest intention that will establish this endowment, are vital to our fundraising success,” said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “These planned gifts allow our supporters to plan for their own financial security in a tax effective way, while also providing for their families and the institutions they love.” READ MORE

SMU is closed December 24-January 1. Have a safe and happy holiday!

HappyHolidays

SMU books fulfill your holiday gift giving list

Books published in 2015 by the SMU community, including faculty, staff, alumni, libraries and museum, can complete your holiday gift list.

Need to satisfy a history buff? This list has it covered in genres from art to film to science to the Southwest. Find selections for readers of poetry, as well as personal, political and travel memoir. There’s a cookbook for foodies. A photography collection showcases the American West. Arty crime capers are filled with mystery and intrigue to the end. There’s even a literary riff in the form of a card game based on a classic novel.

This collection has something for all reading preferences, from light to serious. Some selections are available at the SMU bookstore, but all are available via online booksellers unless otherwise noted. Authors are listed alphabetically. READ MORE

Save the Date: 2016 Career Fair, Feb. 18 from 4-7 p.m.

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SMU teams win second place and honorable mention in SAS Analytics Shootout Competition

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: December 4, 2015

National data mining competition features analytical and problem-solving skills

 

A team of eight SMU students has been awarded second place and another team of five students received honorable mention in the annual SAS Analytics Shootout competition. The data mining competition winners were announced at the annual SAS Analytics Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For the ninth straight year, SAS and the Institute for Health and Business Insight partnered to provide student and faculty teams with an opportunity to apply analytical skills and solve a real-world problem during the Analytics Shootout. This year’s problem dealt with predicting both electrical energy production from renewable sources and energy consumption of buildings in a city.

The problem statement for the 2015 SAS Data Mining competition was posted online for all competing teams in January and solutions were due by June 3, 2015.

“This is a brutal competition. For SMU to have two teams that finished this high is a very noteworthy accomplishment,” said Thomas Fomby, economics professor and faculty sponsor to one of the competing SMU teams.

The second place SMU team consisted of eight PhD and Master’s level students from the Department of Statistical Science in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, including Dateng Li, Ryan McShane, Andrew Mitzel, Qian Wang, Lu Wang, team captain Li Xue (Lily), Rui Yang, and Zhengyang Zhou. Faculty members Tony Ng, Alan Elliott, and Jim Hess coached the team.

The honorable mention team consisted of five students, including Igor Zhadan, Hao Li, Kuangli Xie, Taghreed Alghamdi, and Ali Almadan. Economics professor Thomas Fomby coached the team. READ MORE

Meet Dedman College Faculty during Family Weekend

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2015
2:00PM 3:00PM

DALLAS HALL 1ST FLOOR ATRIUM
Dedman College, the heart of SMU houses the vital disciplines the underlie great accomplishment. Denman College offers 85 exciting majors and minors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Their award winning faculty will be available to discuss their teaching and research interests. READ MORE