Accolades: Art History Scholar, Engineering Professor Earn Distinctions

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of UT Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager.

Art History Institute's Distinguished Scholar Publishes in Leading Medical Journal

portrait of Bonnie Pittman

Bonnie Pitman

Bonnie Pitman, distinguished scholar in residence for the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History and the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC), recently published an Arts and Medicine feature article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Her article, “Pharma Art – Abstract Medication in the Work of Beverly Fishman,” profiles Fishman’s sculptures and paintings throughout her career as a commentary on commercial prescription abuse and the pharmaceutical industry in America.

Fishman’s work is often displayed as large installations of multiple sculptures that evoke pill designs in myriad colors. In her article, Pitman describes Fishman’s aim of deconstructing the form and visual representation of pharmaceuticals in order to “comment on drug over prescription and dependence and the ways medications not only treat but define illness.”

In 2016, JAMA created the Arts and Medicine section to celebrate the ways medicine and fine arts intersect. In addition to original photography and artwork, each issue of JAMA features writers, essayists and authors who explore the “often complex interplay between the arts and medicine.” This is Pitman’s first article to appear within the pages of JAMA.

Since 2012, Pitman has served as the distinguished scholar in residence with the art history institute and ATEC, where she conducts research and classes in art and medicine, and helps develop relationships beyond the campus. She also was appointed director of Art-Brain Innovations at UT Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth last fall.

Jonsson School Engineer to Receive Bode Lecture Prize from IEEE’s Control Systems Society

Mark Spong

Dr. Mark W. Spong

Dr. Mark W. Spong, holder of the Excellence in Education Chair at UT Dallas, is the recipient of the 2018 Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize awarded by the Control Systems Society of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.

The honor recognizes distinguished contributions to control systems science or engineering. Spong, professor of systems engineering and electrical and computer engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, has produced innovative solutions in robotics that have stood the test of time to become now-classic results in robotic control.

As recipient of the award, Spong will deliver a plenary lecture at the 57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, which will be held in December in Miami Beach, Florida.

“The Bode Lecture Prize is one of my most humbling accolades to date,” said Spong, dean of the Jonsson School from 2008 to 2017. “In my talk, if I can provide a fraction of the inspiration and insight as the esteemed recipients who have gone before me, then I will consider the lecture a success.”

Spong’s work has been instrumental in establishing the theoretical foundations of robot control, and the results he produced over the past three decades have been implemented in systems at companies and research development facilities around the world, including Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He is also co-author of several textbooks, including one forthcoming this year and one of the most popular on robot dynamics and control that is still in use after more than 25 years.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].