Lighting a Creative Spark in North Texas
This piece was taken from The President’s Viewpoint, a newsletter from the desk of Dr. David Daniel, president of The University of Texas at Dallas.
The University of Texas at Dallas has a particular and distinguished story to tell about its faculty, students, and staff and the excellence and innovative nature of their work and achievements. The University has recently taken a bold step in the direction of telling that story better with the inaugural Arts and Technology Distinguished Lecture Series, which began — with a sellout crowd! — early this year.
Our first headliner, Robert Edsel, described the exploits of the “monuments men and women” of World War II and how the work of these extraordinary protectors of cultural life goes on even today in war-torn areas of the globe — and why it matters. In February, we heard from one of our own alumni, Christian Belady, a Microsoft expert on datacenters and cloud computing — resources on which we are all increasingly dependent. His illuminating talk prompted so many questions that we had to invite guests with remaining queries to adjourn with us for further discussion.
In the coming months, we’re inviting the community to lectures by Vinton G. Cerf of Google, widely recognized as one of the “fathers of the Internet,” and Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut.
As the inaugural line-up makes clear, this annual lecture series will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds conducting public discussions aimed at exploring the evolving relationships among technology, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, and art. The series is hosted by UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology program from its new home in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, which features a 1,200-seat lecture hall. Each event will also offer audience members a view into the creative environment that serves to advance UT Dallas’ work at the research and educational frontiers of these coalescing disciplines.
The O’Donnell building is visual evidence of the University’s commitment to the innovative Arts and Technology program, which brings the humanities together with science and technology through creative thinking. Beyond offering our students highly relevant and forward-looking courses, degrees and experiences, this campus-wide emphasis is designed to propel UT Dallas forward in our goal to become a hub of cutting-edge education, knowledge and cultural enrichment. We welcome you to be a part of these events and to support this effort to provide a creative spark that ignites the North Texas region to even greater accomplishments.