For greater than a century, SMU has served societal wants and ready college students to make an affect of their chosen professions. To fulfill that very same mission in a data-driven world, the college has developed main new packages in analysis and information science, combining high-speed computing, arithmetic and statistics to extract significant insights from extraordinarily massive portions of information. These packages are serving to the enterprise group in Dallas and past thrive in an more and more data-driven, advanced and interconnected world.
Recently, Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU provost and vice chairman for tutorial affairs, described a number of of the college’s investments in analysis and information science.
- Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies: Made potential by the most important present within the college’s historical past — a $100 million grant from the Moody Foundation — SMU’s eighth degree-granting faculty helps the analysis actions of school, visiting college and graduate college students. “To address increasingly complex challenges and to drive innovation, we need to combine approaches from several disciplines,” Loboa says. “That’s why the Moody School — and SMU overall — are so focused on interdisciplinary work. The grant from the Moody Foundation was essentially a recognition that the research work we are doing at SMU is of the highest caliber.”
- Gerald J. Ford Hall for Research and Innovation: This interdisciplinary analysis hub that opened within the fall of 2020 homes a state-of-the-art visualization lab and the digital actuality and augmented actuality experience of SMU Guildhall, one of many world’s main graduate sport design packages. “Several universities are doing interesting things with machine learning, but SMU is concentrating on where humans and machines interface,” Loboa says. “The combination of our interactive and visualization capabilities with our data science and computing strength really sets us apart.”
- SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization: Also situated in Ford Hall, this distinctive analysis middle explores the affect of gadgets and machines that haven’t any bodily existence however are as an alternative created by way of software program. “Through our collaboration with AT&T and other industry partners, SMU is supporting Dallas’ emergence as a global information technology hub,” Loboa says.
- Center for Research Computing: This group helps and trains your complete SMU analysis group to make the most of the high-performance computing capabilities of the mammoth ManeFrame II system.
- Data Science Institute: Launched within the fall of 2020, the institute facilitates interdisciplinary analysis throughout greater than 10 graduate and undergraduate diploma packages. “We have immense strength in data science, and that strength encompasses every aspect of the university,” Loboa says.
After describing these amenities, Loboa hosted a dialog about analysis and information science with a gaggle of SMU educational leaders. The members had been James E. Quick, dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and affiliate provost for analysis; Stephanie Knight, dean of the Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Suku Nair, director, SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization; and Peter Ok. Moore, affiliate provost for curricular innovation. Highlights from their dialog observe.
Addressing the digital revolution
Moody School Dean James Quick: “During the past decade, expenditures on research at SMU have increased over 400%. During that same time, conferral of Ph.D. degrees has increased over 300%. One of the keys to the increases in both these areas has been the university’s decision to focus on the digital revolution. Our ManeFrame II computing system provides both faculty and students access to advanced computing resources when they need them, without overburdening the system and delaying vital research.
“For a tangible example of how we use advanced digital tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence, look at the strong SMU program in monitoring nuclear weapons testing. The capabilities we have developed for analyzing seismic activity from around the world and distinguishing earthquake activity from nuclear tests can play a crucial role in improving our national capabilities in that vital arena.”
Impacting Ok-12 training in Dallas and past
Simmons School Dean Stephanie Knight: “The Simmons School of Education and Human Development has always been a nontraditional institution. We take great pride in conducting cutting-edge research and then putting the results of that research into action.
“Several years ago, we were approached by Toyota about creating a project to benefit the greater Dallas community. Toyota awarded us a $2 million, three-year planning grant to establish a pre-K through eight school in West Dallas focused on a STEM curriculum. Working with Toyota and Dallas ISD, our objective is to prepare students for jobs and college in STEM-related fields. We expect it to be a center for research and professional development that will not only benefit our students locally but also students throughout the country. Toyota also hopes that the school model can be taken to other communities to promote STEM education.”
Giving corporations entry to interdisciplinary views
AT&T Center for Virtualization Director Suku Nair: “Our partnership with AT&T came about when the company realized they were going to have to make tremendous changes to stay competitive in the telecom industry, which has seen unimaginable growth in recent years. As our research efforts have grown, other companies like Google, Ericsson, HPE and others are now coming to us for assistance. Of course, they could do much of their own research and data analysis, but one advantage we offer is that we can provide perspectives from many disciplines across our campus. To cite one example, we recently helped L3 Harris measure biometric data for student pilots to validate that the company’s flight training systems were as effective as they need to be.
“The SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization and the Data Science Institute are also providing invaluable assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently in discussions with the federal government’s Economic Development Administration to develop analytics tools for effective allocation of resources to deal with the pandemic. At the same time, we also provide data analysis assistance to many smaller medical facilities to help them improve their methods for treating COVID-19 patients.
“Additionally, companies often come to us asking for short courses to train their workforce in some area of data science. To date, we have offered short courses in areas such as data security and advanced cryptography, cloud migration, and data center security and reliability.”
Producing data-literate professionals and lifelong learners
Associate Provost Peter Ok. Moore: “In the last two months of 2020, several data companies moved their headquarters from California to Texas. That situation makes SMU increasingly aware of the need to produce workers who can operate effectively in this big-data environment if we want to attract more of those companies to D-FW and to Texas.
“That’s why several years ago we launched one of the nation’s first online master’s programs in data science. We have also created a number of related professional programs in statistics, economics and business, and this coming fall we will offer a new online artificial intelligence program out of the computer science department.
“Last year, we also established a bachelor’s degree program and a minor in data science. Both the master’s and the undergraduate programs are interdisciplinary in nature and involve faculty from the arts, engineering, humanities, sciences and business.
“If we’re going to be successful in confronting our nation’s most serious challenges in areas like education, public health and climate change, we will need to have expertise in both data science and in working across disciplines. We want to make sure that our students — at all levels — are prepared to live in the world of data. It’s the water in which we all swim.”
For further data on the numerous educational alternatives provided at SMU, go to smu.edu.