Computer Animation Visionary Dr. Tom Linehan Joins UTD as Professor, Director of New Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology

Dr. Thomas E. Linehan, a visionary in the field of computer animation, has joined The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a professor of aesthetic studies and director of UTD’s newly formed Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology.

UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities and its Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science collaborated to create the institute, which will provide students an opportunity to learn about interactive advancements in the fields of communication, entertainment, education and training, as well as in scientific and medical applications.

The institute is meant to attract the best and brightest students to study the effects technology can have on such fields as the arts, computer science, physics, filmmaking, literature and communications. As part of their studies, students, along with faculty, will be charged with inventing new pathways for the converging disciplines and fields.

Linehan’s arrival and the creation of the institute will afford the university the opportunity to become known as an innovator in providing degree programs in advanced interactive arts and technology, said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of UTD’s School of Arts and Humanities.

“The creation of the Institute for Interactive Arts and Technology is a pivotal step toward UTD becoming a school dedicated to the study of the mutual impact of art and technology,” Kratz said. “Tom has provided instruction to artists, designers, filmmakers and art educators, and we are excited to have someone with his experience and expertise join UTD at this critical moment in the school’s history.”

Linehan, who also has a background in corporate management and educational administration, has extensive experience in computer game design and animation.

Most recently, he served as creator and director of the Research Partners program at The Ohio State University, where he was responsible for pairing university faculty and graduate students with corporations for research partnerships to study digital communication technologies.

Prior to that, Linehan was president of The Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla., where he helped create an undergraduate curriculum in computer animation.

Before that, Linehan established and directed graduate programs in computer animation at Ohio State’s Advanced Computing Center for Arts and Design. During his tenure, he was responsible for merging a graduate program of 50 master and doctoral students from computer science, physics, electrical engineering, art, film, architecture and education backgrounds.

Linehan also has worked with Texas A&M University to establish the College of Architecture’s Visualization Laboratory. Under his direction, A&M created a program of study leading to master’s and doctoral programs in visualization sciences. He served as a consultant in the development of similar programs in The Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and Canada.

“I look forward to helping UTD create an interactive arts and technology program from the ground up,” Linehan said. “With the help of the Erik Jonsson School and the talented faculty and staff in the School of Arts and Humanities, I am confident UTD will become one of the top educational programs in interactive technologies in the world.”

A native of Wisconsin, Linehan received both his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in art education from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s degree in fine art from Webster University in St. Louis.

For additional information about the institute, its degree programs or Tom Linehan, please call (972) 883-4379 or e-mailĀ