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 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

Professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16

DedmanCollegeRB

 

Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty members who are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2015-16 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

Angela Ards, English
Greg Brownderville, English
Justin Fisher, Philosophy
Matthew Keller, Sociology
Matthew Lockard, Philosophy
Daniel Moss, English
Nia Parson, Anthropology
Christopher Roos, Anthropology
Stephen Sekula, Physics
Alicia Zuese, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

Thomas Coan, Physics
Darryl Dickson-Carr, English
Robert Kehoe, Physics
Francisco Morán, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
Tony Ng, Statistical Science
Sherry Wang, Statistical Science

New courses help students shape ethical dialogue in variety of fields

DALLAS (SMU) – Nine new courses to be taught at SMU beginning this fall aim to address real-world ethical challenges from the political science realm to the video game industry.

With $128,000 in grants from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, many of the 25 faculty members who developed the courses or have sponsored ethics-focused research grants gathered March 19-22 in Taos for a ethics course development and writing workshop.

“We have long felt that professors are among the most influential people in a student’s college life. If their professors write about, talk about and teach ethics, students will see ethics as important and worthy of attention,” says Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk.

The grants are part of a half-million dollar, five-year incentive award offered by the Maguire Center to professors for course development and research publishing. (For recipients, see below.)

SMU Political Science Professor Matthew Wilson says his course “Ethics of Revolution and Civil Disobedience” will reflect current political issues students see in everyday life.

“Ethical-issues discussions surrounding resistance to the state are especially timely, given the current debates over conscientious objections to vaccination, the Obamacare contraception funding mandate and same-sex marriage,” he says.

“As our society continues to become more and more diverse in its mix of religious and philosophical beliefs, a growing number of Americans will find that they have significant moral objections to some aspect of government policy,” Wilson says. “When are they duty-bound to subordinate their own consciences and obey, and when are they ethically permitted, or even obligated, to resist? That’s the core question this class will explore.”

SMU Religious Studies Professor G. William Barnard will guide students through the complexities of world religions “to more consciously articulate and address difficult moral issues within the matrix of their own lives,” he says. READ MORE

SMU and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Partner to Offer New Ph.D. in Biostatistics

We are pleased to announce a new Ph.D. program in Biostatistics offered in partnership between the Department of Statistical Science at SMU and the Department of Clinical Sciences at UTSW. The Ph.D. program in Biostatistics will be launched in the Fall 2014 semester, and applications are currently being accepted for admission into the program. READ MORE