Lyle School of Engineering

Fred Chang elected to National Academy of Engineering

Fred Chang, Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber SecurityFred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and former director of research for the National Security Agency, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Chang and other new members will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016.

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that supports engineering leadership. Its mission is to advance the wellbeing of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology.

“I feel incredibly honored to be elected into the National Academy of Engineering,” Chang said. “The level of innovation and accomplishment achieved by its members is inspiring, and I take great pride in joining them. I am grateful to many, many colleagues who have worked with me and helped me over the course of my career, including those at SMU.

“This recognition further motivates me to continue pursuing the challenge of securing cyberspace,” Chang said. “It means continuing the important research we are doing at SMU, to help advance the science of cyber security, and training a workforce of skilled cyber defenders.”

Chang joined SMU in September 2013 as Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security, computer science and engineering professor and Senior Fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College. The Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security was launched in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering in January 2014, with Chang named as its director.

“Being inducted into the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest honors a professor can achieve,” said Lyle School Dean Marc Christensen. “We are so pleased that Professor Chang is being recognized as one of the brightest minds of our generation at a time when his expertise in cyber security is so critical to our nation’s future.”

Chang is the second Lyle School professor to be named to the NAE. Delores Etter, the founding director of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the Lyle School, a Caruth Professor of Engineering Education, a distinguished fellow in the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and a senior fellow in the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies was elected to the NAE in 2000.

In addition to his positions at SMU, Chang is a distinguished scholar in the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Chang has been professor and AT&T Distinguished Chair in Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio and he was at the University of Texas at Austin as an associate dean in the College of Natural Sciences and director of the Center for Information Assurance and Security. Additionally, Chang’s career spans service in the private sector and in government including as the former Director of Research at the National Security Agency.

Chang has been awarded the National Security Agency Director’s Distinguished Service Medal and was the 2014 Information Security Magazine ‘Security 7’ award winner for Education. He has served as a member of the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency and as a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies. He has also served as a member of the National Academies Committee on Responding to Section 5(d) of Presidential Policy Directive 28: The Feasibility of Software to Provide Alternatives to Bulk Signals Intelligence Collection.

He is the lead inventor on two U.S. patents (U.S. patent numbers 7272645 and 7633951), and he appeared in the televised National Geographic documentary, Inside the NSA: America’s Cyber Secrets. He has twice served as a cyber security expert witness at hearings convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Dr. Chang received his B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oregon. He has also completed the Program for Senior Executives at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chang joins the National Academy of Engineering with 79 other new U.S. members and 22 new international members, bringing the group’s total membership to 2,275 U.S. members and 232 foreign members. Membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Engaged Learning, Big iDeas and Clinton Global Initiative University students host an open house and luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Scholars’ Den, G11 Clements Hall. The event is open to the entire University community, and current EL Fellows and Big iDeas teams will discuss their projects and programs with visitors.

SMU Engaged Learning logo

On Research Day, Wednesday, Feb. 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballrooms, undergraduate researchers from the McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows will show their work at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Engaged Learning Fellows in Undergraduate Research will present at 11:45 a.m.

Thursday, Feb. 11 will see presentations from the Lyle School of Engineering’s Senior Design Teams from 1:30-4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Forum.

The week wraps up Friday, Feb. 12 with Undergraduate Research panels at 9 a.m. and from noon-2:30 p.m., with a buffet lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by presentations from Big iDeas teams at 12:45 p.m.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage

Steven C. Currall named SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs

Steven C. CurrallSteven C. Currall, whose record of academic leadership includes achievements at Rice University, University College London and the University of California-Davis, has been named vice president for academic affairs and provost at SMU, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Currall, a psychological scientist, becomes SMU’s chief academic officer as the University begins its second century of operation. He will oversee all aspects of academic life, including admission, faculty development, libraries, the curriculum and study abroad. He will supervise SMU’s seven degree-granting schools and will hold departmental appointments in three of them – Management and Organizations in the Cox School of Business; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems in the Lyle School of Engineering; and Psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Most recently, Currall served as senior advisor for strategic projects and initiatives to the UC Davis chancellor, and previously served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis.

“Steven Currall brings the perfect combination of experience and skills to lead SMU’s rise among the nation’s best universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He brings interdisciplinary perspectives that are central to our academic mission going forward. He possesses expertise in the sciences and technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences, insights that are critical for SMU’s progress and that reflect the challenges and opportunities of a complex society. We are delighted to welcome him to SMU and back to Texas.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the SMU community as the next provost,” Currall said. “SMU has a foundation of academic excellence, its teaching and research are transformational, and its interdisciplinary ethos fosters innovations by faculty and students that are positively impacting Dallas, the state of Texas, the nation, and beyond.  I am grateful to President Turner and the search committee for the opportunity to serve SMU. I look forward to listening, learning, and partnering with my colleagues to propel SMU into an ever higher orbit.”

Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis for more than five years, during which time the school reached the highest ranking in its history, before becoming the chancellor’s advisor. He describes himself as an “organizational architect” and has conducted research in organizational behavior, innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, trust and negotiation, and organizational governance.

He is lead author on Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America’s Prosperity (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a frequently quoted source for national and international media.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Currall received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; a master of science in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a bachelor of arts cum laude in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

As chancellor’s advisor at UC-Davis, Currall has facilitated campus-wide deliberations on the university’s strategic vision for its role in the 21st century, including how UC-Davis will address global challenges relating to food, health, and energy. He developed plans for an additional UC-Davis campus in Sacramento. He co-led development of a blueprint for increasing annual research expenditures to $1billion. He led the development of a new framework for recognizing faculty excellence and a methodology for eliminating faculty salary disparities due to gender or ethnicity.

Currall also has served as the vice chair and member of the executive committee of  the board of directors for the 10-campus University of California system’s Global Health Institute.

He spent 12 years at Rice University, where he was the William and Stephanie Sick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and a Rice faculty member in the departments of management, psychology, and statistics.   He was founding director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. He was formerly vice dean of enterprise and professor of management science and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London and a visiting professor at the London Business School.

At the invitation of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall served as a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. His other honors include:

Currall’s appointment ends a nationwide search through a committee led by SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi.

“Steve Currall will be an outstanding addition to the SMU leadership team,” said Niemi. “In particular, his background in strategy and planning will be a tremendous asset as SMU embarks on a new strategic plan for 2016-2025.”

“I want to thank Steve for his dedication to UC-Davis over the years, and in particular while he served as my senior advisor during this last year,” UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “Steve will bring to Southern Methodist University strong academic leadership and a deep understanding of the needs of students, faculty and staff. We know he will contribute to and help advance the wonderful culture and distinguished reputation of SMU.”

Currall will be joined in Dallas by his wife, Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D. Read Currall’s full curriculum vitae.

Four named 2015 SMU Ford Research Fellows

SMU Ford Research Fellows 2015

Ping (Peggy) Gui, Robert Howell, Lisa Siraganian and Nathan Cortez were named SMU’s 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Four distinguished SMU professors were named 2015 Ford Research Fellows during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7.

This year’s recipients are Nathan Cortez, Dedman School of Law; Ping (Peggy) Gui, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Robert Howell, Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Lisa Siraganian, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from trustee Gerald J. Ford, the fellowships help SMU retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.


Three named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors 2015-17

Jill DeTemple, Darius Miller and Yildirim Hürmüzlü were named SMU’s 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Three of SMU’s best teachers have been named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7, 2015.

The 2015 honorees are Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Yildirim Hürmüzlü, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Darius Miller, Finance, Cox School of Business.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Jaime Clark-Soles, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology; Michael Lattman, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards, named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler, recognize SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning.

“These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.”

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.


31 SMU professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16

Thirty-one SMU faculty members 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:

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

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

Dedman School of Law

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Jessica Dixon Weaver, Law (family law, child protection, professional responsibility)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Anthony Colangelo, Law (conflict of laws, civil procedure, U.S. foreign relations law, private and public international law)
  • Nathan Cortez, Law (health law, administrative law, FDA law)

Lyle School of Engineering

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Joe Camp, Electrical Engineering
  • Jennifer Dworak, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Andrew Quicksall, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Recommended for tenure (associate professorship previously awarded):

  • Edmond Richer, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Christopher Dolder, Dance

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Sean Griffin, Film and Media Arts

Perkins School of Theology

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Ted Campbell, Church History

Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Scott Davis, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

  • Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Education Policy and Leadership
  • Lynn Romejko Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning
  • Peter Weyand, Applied Physiology and Wellness

SMU’s 2015 summer camps are opening for registration

Stock art of 'summer camp' spelled out in chalk surrounded by kids' handsSummer break is coming soon, and SMU has readied its annual slate of camps for kids and teens. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in athletics, learn with LEGO® and explore interests in everything from art to engineering to science. Many programs offer discounts for SMU faculty and staff members.

Camps are held on SMU’s main campus as well as at SMU-in-Plano throughout the summer. Start dates range from early June to early August; many camps fill up fast. Check the camp websites for full information, including availability, requirements and deadlines.

> Find SMU camps for 2015, with schedules, costs, age ranges and links, at the SMU News homepage

SMU Lyle to offer multidisciplinary M.A. degree in design and innovation

SMU Innovation GymBeginning in Fall 2015, SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering will offer a new master’s degree designed to spark creativity in problem solving across multiple disciplines.

The Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI), grounded in an approach known as “design thinking,” will provide a toolkit for people working outside the typical design environment. Coursework and project-based learning experiences will teach participants to combine what people need with the possibilities created by technology and the economic requirements for business success through design research, idea generation, and rapid prototyping.

“Some of the most successful CEOs in the world are crediting the concept of ‘design thinking’ as a breakthrough approach for solving systemic problems,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Our undergraduates have been thriving on a no-barriers approach to problem-solving through competitions and projects organized in our Deason Innovation Gym. Expanding on our undergraduate success, the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation is a great way to introduce our students to a framework and methodology for innovating and designing, which will have impact wherever their career takes them.”

Kate Canales, director of Design and Innovation Programs in the Lyle School, will lead the program. A Stanford University mechanical engineer, Canales spent her early professional years with global design and innovation firm IDEO, where she helped pioneer the use of design thinking as a means of building the capacity for innovation within companies. She arrived at the Lyle School in 2012 after working as a consultant and as creative director at frog design.

“The process and the skills these students learn will make them much different job applicants,” Canales said.  “It’s about confidence and approaching problems in ways that are not typical.  And while many engineering students will see this as a natural progression in their studies – it’s not a degree just for engineers. It’s a great fit for people pursuing careers in fields as different as business, the arts, advertising and the social sciences.”

MADI students will be able to take advantage of an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach that opens up relevant electives across SMU departments and schools on campus for the first time. The curriculum pulls from the Lyle School’s Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering departments, as well as advertising through SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, entrepreneurship through the Cox School of Business, anthropology through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and arts entrepreneurship and creative computing through the Meadows School of the Arts.

Find out more about the MADI program at, or contact the SMU Lyle graduate recruiting office at 214-768-2002.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

Calendar Highlights: March 25, 2015

nuclear-conference-posterNuclear Weapons and National Security: SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies hosts “Nuclear Weapons and National Security: The Once and Future Role of the Bomb” on Thursday, March 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. Featuring the recently retired commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and one of the country’s leading historians of the nuclear age, the program will examine the paradox of nuclear weapons and national security in the “post-nuclear” age. While the event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. 

Exercise and Wellness Colloquium: SMU’s Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness presents Dr. Tim Church as he leads Research on Exercise and Wellness Colloquium Series on Friday, March 27, from 2-3:20 p.m. in R138 Simmons Hall. Pulling from his research on preventative medicine, Dr. Church will explore the hows and whys of an effective exercise plan. For more information, email Dr. Lynn Romejko Jacobs.

Table of Content Award Dinner: Friends of the SMU Libraries hosts Tables of Content featuring the presentation of the 6th Annual Literati Award to Willard Spiegelman on Saturday, March 28, 6 p.m., at the Collins Executive Education Center. Honoring individuals who have used the written word to advance the ideals of creativity, conviction, innovation and scholarship, the event features roundtables of engaging discussion with fascinating table hosts on a variety of topics. For ticket and sponsorship information, call 214.768.3225.

The State of the Data Center Industry: SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering hosts The State of the Data Center Industry featuring Chris Cosby, founder and CEO of Compass Datacenters. As the data center industry is continually evolving, Crosby will provide a detailed overview of the data center business. The seminar will take place on Monday, March 30, 2-3 p.m., in the Palmer Conference Center, Caruth Hall.

Meadows at the Meyerson: SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts hosts its 22nd annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Meyerson 2015,” on Tuesday, March 31, at 8 p.m., at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District. The annual concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader (and SMU trustee) Caren Prothro. Tickets to the concert are $17 for SMU students, faculty and staff.

Mitch Thornton appointed Cecil H. Green Chair in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering

Mitch Thornton, Lyle School of Engineering, SMUSMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering has appointed Mitch Thornton as its Cecil H. Green Chair of Engineering in recognition of his achievements as a researcher, educator, author and leader.

Thornton is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and serves as the technical director in the Lyle School’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security.

“Mitch is unquestionably one of this country’s leaders in modern computer architecture design including forward looking research in cyber security and quantum computing. He is a very highly productive and prized educator, an outstanding academic citizen, and a leader who contributes greatly to the Lyle School,” said Dean Marc Christensen.

Thornton’s honors for his teaching and research include SMU’s Ford Research Fellowship, the HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award, the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award for Computer Science, and Outstanding Professor of the Year Award from the Student Engineering Joint Council. He has also received the Inventor Recognition Award from the Semiconductor Research Consortium and a Citation of Honor from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Thornton joined SMU in 2002 with experience in both academia and industry, previously holding positions at Mississippi State University, the University of Arkansas, Cyrix Corporation and E-Systems, Inc. He has published four books and more than 200 articles, has secured more than $4.1 million in research and grant funding since 1996, holds three U.S. patents, and has two patents pending.

Thornton’s research interests include EDA/CAD methods and algorithms for quantum, classical digital systems; large systems design including synthesis, verification, asynchronous, security, and disaster and fault tolerant circuit techniques; modeling and method development for physical security design/verification; and the mathematical basis of conventional, asynchronous, reversible and quantum logic.

As an interdisciplinary researcher, Thornton collaborates regularly with colleagues across the school, in industry and at other institutions. He has consulted with and performed sponsored research for the National Security Agency, Office of Naval Research, Army Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems, Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics, Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Acxiom Corporation, Silicon Space Technology, Revere Security, PayGo, and Eclipse Electronics.

Thornton earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington, and an M.S in computer science and a Ph.D. in computer engineering from SMU.

Cecil and Ida Green provided endowments for two faculty chairs in what is now the Lyle School of Engineering, both of which multiplied over time to provide funds for an additional professorship. Their gift of approximately $1.5 million in 1979 established the Cecil and Ida Green Chair, currently held by W. Milton Gosney, and grew over time to provide funding for the Cecil and Ida Green Endowed Professor of Engineering, held by Dinesh Rajan. Their gift of $891,558 in 1969 endowed the Cecil H. Green Chair of Engineering, previously held by Stephen Szygenda, and also supports Sila Cetinkaya as the Cecil H. Green Professor of Engineering. The couple’s gift of approximately $500,000 in 1979 also endowed the Cecil and Ida Green Fund for Excellence in Engineering and Applied Science Education to strengthen and enrich programs in the school.

Ida Green ’46 was a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and was honored by the University in 1977 as a distinguished alumna. She died in 1986. Cecil Green, a British-born, naturalized American geophysicist and alumnus of MIT, was one of the four co-founders of Texas Instruments. He was made an honorary alumnus of SMU in 1962 and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University in 1967. Cecil Green died in 2003 at the age of 102.

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