Why Add Art to STEM? STEAM Advocate Will Explain at ATEC Lecture on Oct. 15

Maeda-john-800-2015-10Designer and computer scientist John Maeda will discuss the role of art in STEM education on Oct. 15 as part of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series.

The talk, “Turning STEM into STEAM,” will make a case for why the STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — could benefit from adding an art component. The lecture, originally set for last March, had to be rescheduled because of inclement weather.

“The current excitement in ways of integrating the arts and humanities with STEM is part of a centuries-old challenge of how to integrate the different ways we make sense of and work in the world,” said Dr. Roger Malina, who holds the Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair at UT Dallas. “We need both deep disciplinary experts but also professionals with the ability to cross disciplines to solve hard problems.”

Currently a design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maeda has been at the forefront of the STEM-to-STEAM movement since 2008, when he became the president of Rhode Island School of Design. During his tenure, he told The Wall Street Journal, “Everyone asks me, ‘Are you bringing technology to RISD?’ I tell them, no, I’m bringing RISD to technology.”

He has been dubbed the “Steve Jobs of academia” by Forbes, andEsquire named him one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. In 2014, President Barack Obama named him a member of theNational Council on the Arts.

He has previously served as associate director of research at the MIT Media Lab and on the boards of wireless hi-fi company Sonos and the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. He is also chairman of eBay’s design advisory board.

He is also a successful author with books such as The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code and Redesigning Leadership. Maeda also received the AIGA Medal in 2010, and his artwork is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

“John Maeda has been a longtime proponent of the STEAM movement, and his insights will only encourage the North Texas community toward a new vision of rethinking both the arts and the sciences,” Malina said.

The lecture will take place in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building lecture hall at 7:30 p.m.

Next in the Lecture Series

P.W. Singer, one of the world’s leading experts on 21st-century security issues, will discuss “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know“ on Thursday, Nov. 12. The lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the ATEC Building’s lecture hall.

Singer, a strategist and senior fellow at the New America Foundation, has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and the FBI, and advised the makers of entertainment programs and the video game series Call of Duty