Schedule of Events

Research Days 2021 will consist of synchronous panel discussions and asynchronous student presentations.

All live events are on Zoom. Please Register for each event to receive the respective Zoom links.

Monday, March 15 at 6pm CT

Keynote address by Ian Bogost

We are excited to welcome Ian Bogost to be the keynote speaker for Research Days 2021. Dr. Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds appointments in the School of Architecture and the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic.

The Enduring Victory of Lo-Fi Technology 

High-technology is all about more: faster, bigger, better. Televisions get bigger and cheaper and higher resolution. Computers become more powerful and smaller scale. Drones, VR, AR: These and other new technologies promise advances meant to revolutionize human life through advancement and change.

But here’s the weird thing: Technological progress also seems to make people tolerate and even enjoy lower fidelity experiences. For example, smartphones made computers portable, but we use them to read and compose short text messages, or to watch movies six inches from our faces. In this talk, I’ll offer a brief survey of how technological progress has facilitated and popularized lower-fidelity experiences—rather the opposite of what we tend to think it does.

Tuesday, March 16 at 12pm CT

Panel: Research in Difficult Times


  • Prof. Anna Lovatt, Art History
  • Prof. Maria Beatrice Magnani, Earth Sciences
  • Prof. Dinesh Rajan, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Panelists will each speak briefly about challenges they’ve encountered in their research during the pandemic (and at other difficult times), and how they and their students and colleagues have dealt with these challenges. Questions will be taken after the panelists’ presentations.

Wednesday, March 17 at 12pm CT

Panel: Research Beyond SMU: Student Opportunities

Current students and recent alumni share their experiences with research projects outside SMU, in the US and abroad.

With Megan Brown, Kim Ho, Lamisa Mustafa, Barrett Stout, and Avery Wacker

Wednesday, March 17 at 4pm CT

Incubator@SMU Roundtable: Sustainable Energy, Challenges and Opportunities

A discussion about challenges and opportunities for sustainable energy, from both research and entrepreneurial perspectives.


  • Dr. Anna (Ebers) Broughel, Tetra Tech
  • Dr. Babu Chalamala, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Mohammed Njie, Janta Energy Project

Thursday, March 18 at 12pm CT

Panel: The Grand Challenges

Hear from current Grand Challenge Scholars (Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, Lyle School of Engineering). In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. To address these issues facing humanity, the NAE created the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) to inspire college students to explore problems and opportunities that support the “continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, secure, healthy and joyful.”

Friday, March 19 at 12pm CT

Student Awards and Prizes

Announcements of prizes for best student presentations! Come celebrate student achievements to conclude Research Days.

Follow these links to watch the winning presentations: