It is an honor to address you as the new Dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. I cannot imagine a more exciting time to join Team UTD as this institution is experiencing unprecedented growth in all academic areas. I salute my predecessor, Dr. Myron Salamon, whom returned to Physics in August following five years in this role.
I join UT Dallas from North Carolina State University where I served since 1998 as head of the Chemistry Department and Chaired Chemistry Professor in the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences. Attracted by the ambitious agenda set forth by our upper administration, I stand ready to meet the challenges associated with elevating this institution into the Tier One research university rankings.
Joining me in this quest for excellence is a cadre of new faculty performing research in topical areas ranging in size and diversity from the smallest nano-machines to the great cosmos itself. These new research programs join a host of others that in aggregate provide our students with hands on opportunities in frontier areas of science, math and technology. In our evolving research environment, NS&M students can participate in:
- developing remote sensing and monitoring systems on a global scale to provide real-time comprehensive pictures and measurements of both natural and man-made events;
- studying the fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field over planetary history to better understand the structural evolution of our planet and our futures;
- developing new flexible solar panels that can be incorporated into backpacks or clothing so that you can recharge your computer while walking between classrooms;
- studying the harsh “weather” in space, well above our atmosphere, where today’s satellites, telescopes, communications channels and humans now routinely operate;
- discovering and furthering the mathematical underpinning of today’s physical theories that will guide our future technological advances;
- learning new approaches of delivering science, technology and mathematics education to our Texas youth so that they too are equipped to share in these new adventures;
- un-teasing the intricate molecular dances that make up living organisms and create medical pathways of putting them back in-step when ever they falter.
All of this and much more awaits the 2011 incoming Freshman, whom make up the largest single incoming class of any of the seven UT Dallas Schools. To meet the needs of this growing student body the University is also building infrastructure that includes the Science Learning Center, which just opened last year, provides more than 75,000 square feet of instructional space for our introductory-level courses in the basic sciences. By providing this first-class space to our newest students, UT Dallas is sending a clear message on the importance of great teaching and great teaching facilities.
To both visitors and UTD colleagues I invite you to take a look at the changing face of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.
Bruce Novak, PhD
- Updated: March 5, 2012