SMU’s 2015 summer camps are opening for registration

Lyle School of Engineering

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

April 8, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

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

April 6, 2015|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.

March 25, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

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.

March 16, 2015|For the Record, News|

Students honor professors’ excellence with 2015 HOPE Awards

SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing honored 45 exceptional University educators at the 2015 HOPE Awards Banquet in February.

HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Eric Larson, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering, was honored as 2015 Professor of the Year.

The complete list of 2015 HOPE Award honorees:

Cox School of Business

  • Judy Foxman, Marketing
  • Hyungshin Park, Accounting
  • Robert Puelz, Real Estate, Insurance and Business Law

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Adriana Aceves, Mathematics
  • Paul Avey, Tower Center for Political Studies
  • Greg Brownderville, English
  • David Michael Crow, Psychology
  • LeeAnn Derdeyn, English/Discernment and Discourse
  • Melissa Dowling, History/Classical Studies
  • John Duca, Economics
  • James K. Hopkins, History
  • Vanessa Hopper, English
  • Matthew Keller, Sociology
  • Michael Lattman, Chemistry
  • David Lee, Anthropology
  • Judy Newell, Mathematics
  • Rachel Ney, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Jennifer O’Brien, Chemistry
  • Wei Qu, World Languages and Literatures/Chinese
  • Stephen Robertson, Statistical Science
  • Bivin Sadler, Statistical Science
  • Martha Satz, English
  • Sam Ross Sloan, English
  • Tom Stone, English
  • Thierry Tirado, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Nick Tsarevsky, Chemistry
  • John Wise, Biological Sciences
  • Patty Wisian-Neilson, Chemistry
  • Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Eric Larson, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Peter Raad, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Hank Hammett, Music/Meadows Opera Theatre
  • Debora Hunter, Art
  • Mark Kerins, Film and Media Arts
  • Suzanne Larkin, Advertising
  • Melissa Murray, Music
  • Tom Tunks, Music
  • Ben Voth, Communication Studies

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Yolette Garcia, Assistant Dean for External Affairs and Outreach
  • Lynn Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Kelyn Rola, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dedman School of Law

  • Martin Camp, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
  • Meghan Ryan, Criminal Law and Procedure, Torts

Perkins School of Theology

  • Abraham Smith, New Testament
March 2, 2015|For the Record, News|
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