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SMU News: 2012 Research Day at Southern Methodist University

SMU News covered the annual 2012 Research Day on Feb. 10 where SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented results of their research studies.

Sponsored by SMU’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the event sought to foster communication between students in different programs, give students the opportunity to present their work in formats they will use as professionals, and to share with the SMU community and others the outstanding research being done at the University.

The students presented their studies on posters, and were available to discuss their findings and the significance of the research.

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Among the projects at the event were:

  • Psychology student Vanessa Rae Stevens (under Professor Alicia Meuret) is studying whether people with tattoos and body piercings are also prone to intentional self injury by cutting, scratching, burning, etc.
  • Psychology student Grant Holland (under Professor George Holden) is studying recordings of interactions between mothers and their children with an eye toward better understanding the effects of tone-of-voice on behavior at bedtime.
  • Statistics student Holly Stovall (under Professor Lynne Stokes) is examining how to more precisely measure success in teaching programs for No Child Left Behind.
  • Earth sciences student Mary Milleson (under Professor Neil Tabor) is using core samples taken from Dallas’s White Rock Lake to gain a better understanding of how the growing urbanization of the area over the last 100 years is affecting the lake.
  • Computer science student Ruili Geng (under Professors Jeff Tian and Liguo Huang) is researching how to make the performance of the web and cloud computing more dependable.
  • Physics students Bedile Karabuga and Mayisha Zeb Nakib (under Professor Jodi Cooley-Sekula) are examining a specific technique for identifying dark matter.
    For more information, contact the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at 214-768-4345 or

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Icons of industry align with Texas universities to supercharge technology

SMU is a partner in a newly designated National Science Foundation research consortium aimed at building both military and commercial superiority by making technology faster, better and smarter.

The Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, which also includes two other universities and 11 companies, will focus on improving how complicated information is gathered, shared and used, from the battlefield to the boardroom.


For example, FedEx’s package tracking system, which links employees, customers, suppliers and partners, is an example of a commercial application of net-centric technology. And on the battlefield, where information superiority already translates to combat power, future net-centric systems will connect ground and air combat, linking shooters, decision makers and sensors toward a common goal.

“This opens a lot of doors,” said Jeff Tian, associate professor of computer science in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. “We envision this consortium becoming a leading research alliance in the United States. Because we can cooperate with the expertise of academic institutions and high-tech companies, we have much greater research capabilities than any one institution working alone.”

Academic partners in the consortium are Southern Methodist University, the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas. The center’s industry partners are Boeing, Cisco, Codekko Software, EDS/HP, Fujitsu, GlobeRanger, Hall Financial Group, Lockheed-Martin Aero, Raytheon, Texas Instruments and T-System.

“Net-centric” describes a continuously evolving, complex community of people, devices, information and services interconnected by a communications network that can instantaneously measure and apply all available resources to a particular challenge. It is becoming increasingly important for the realization of important defense, commercial, healthcare, education, communication, social networking and entertainment applications.

The consortium is one of approximately 40 such centers nationwide that develop long-term partnerships between industry, academia and government. The National Science Foundation makes an initial investment in these centers, but each one is primarily supported by center members. Their focus is on research recommended by industrial advisory boards. — Kim Cobb

Related links:
Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center
Jeff Tian
Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering