Big Design Conference Offers a Weekend of Design and Development

The end of this month marks the 4th annual Big Design Conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Addison, TX.

Big Design is a weekend learning intensive conference for digital creatives May 31-June 2, 2012. With almost 60 speakers from all over the country, the topics vary from design, strategy, user experience, and code development.

Several of the speakers hail from the Dallas area: Hassan Bawab has a BS in Computer Science from UNT, Brett Briley is a character artist for ID Software, and Jim Carlsen-Landy is the Director of User Experience at Sabre Airline Solutions. Keynote speakers include: Sharron Rush, Stephen Anderson, Adam Hansen, and Jared Spool.

With the discounted student tickets and promotional code “UTD”, the cost to attend the conference for UT Dallas students is only $79 instead of the general admission price of over $200. You can register online.

The organizers encourage UTD students who are interested in shooting video or photography to do so. If you would like to check out equipment, please make arrangements with Kyle Kondas through Twitter: @kyle1point0.

Changes to Advanced Electives

The Council of Undergraduate Education recently passed a policy to eliminate advanced electives from all undergraduate degree plans. This change goes into effect immediately.

Here’s how this affects you:

In the Past

By definition an advanced elective had to be at least six hours of advanced electives – 3000 or 4000 level and outside your major field of study.

An upper-level elective is any 3000 or 4000-level course.  This course can be within or outside of your major, and can come from any school at UTD.


Now you may use those six (6) hours to take any 3000 or 4000 level class.  In other words, you are still required to take the same amount of upper level hours (51) and have the same number of upper level electives (12). For ATEC and EMAC majors this means that if you want, you can take two more 3000 or 4000 level ATEC or EMAC courses.

What’s Changed?

You may now:

  • Use those six (6) hours to take any 3000 or 4000 level class. The class need not be an ATEC or EMAC class.

Making Science Intimate: Translating and Integrating the Arts and Humanities with Biology and Medicine

There is an “urgent need to find new ways to connect the arts and design with science and engineering,” Dr. Roger F. Malina’s writes on the official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts in his article Making Science Intimate: Translating and Integrating the Arts and Humanities with Biology and Medicine.

Dr. Roger F. Malina
Dr. Roger Malina

“My body doesn’t care which governmental or private organization funded or provided the source of my body’s health and healing,” writes Malina. “It doesn’t care from which sub-discipline or branch of the tree of knowledge the expertise was derived. My body lives in an inter-connected web of personal and social relations, biological, physical, and ecological systems. Yet to function, we fragment knowledge and the civic space into organizations with boundaries.”

Malina is an advocate of the “STEM to STEAM” movement which seeks to integrate the arts, design, and humanities with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Dr. Roger F. Malina is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Technology and professor of physics in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

A physicist and astronomer by training, Malina is also president of the Association Leonardo in France, which fosters connections among the arts, sciences and technology. He was principal investigator for NASA’s Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer satellite at UC Berkeley. His work is focused on connections among the natural sciences and arts, design and humanities.

Speaking at his recent investiture about why he came to campus, he said, “We face problems today that leave no choice but for the sciences and the arts and humanities to work together. UT Dallas is taking the lead in creating innovative connections.”

Former Dallas Museum of Art Director Bonnie Pittman responds to the post with her perspective. Pittman is currently working with UT Dallas to initiate new ways of connecting the science, art, and health care institutions in Dallas.

“Acoustic Shadows, Transformations” Conference with Cast and Crew at the DMA

Acoustic Shadows

Frank and Kristin Lee Dufour and two Arts and Technology graduate students will discuss how they used choreography and lighting to interpret movement in their experimental interactive sound installation, Acoustic Shadows, an Exploration of the Sense of Space.

Acoustic Shadows is an audiovisual immersive and interactive installation that depicts Orpheus surrounded by shadows of the underworld consumed by the shadow of his wife, Eurydice.

The Dufours and the cast and production team will discuss the immersive qualities in the work and the use of choreography and lighting to interpret movement in space. They are interested in exposing the question of unity and identity of a work of art, as it integrates multiple individual talents into a single expression.

The production team includes graduate student Sherri Balch Segovia, choreographer and Djakhangir Zakhidov, filmmaker.

The discussion will take place Thursday, May 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in The Center for Creative Connections Theater at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Student Work to be Featured at Ro2 Gallery

SolventWorking Title is an interactive art happening which addresses community involvement, a pertinent concern in the Dallas art scene, by encouraging a lineage of artists within the community to actively engage in evolutionary and collaborative art creation process.

Ro2 Art Downtown Projects – 110 N Akard, Dallas
30 Artists, collaborating as part of 3 Generations
Three openings – May 5, May 12, and May 19

First Generation
Reception: May 5, 7-10pm

  • Yaseen Benhalim
  • Spencer Brown-Pearn
  • Mark Lauman
  • Zachary Morriss
  • Jason Parry
  • Adnan Razvi
  • Jack Sheely
  • Janan Siam
  • Frank Tringali
  • Kia Wright

Second Generation
Reception: May 12, 7-10pm

  • Clayton Browning
  • Val Curry
  • Sam England
  • Anthony Gonzales
  • TJ Griffin
  • Clayton Hurt
  • Greg Metz
  • Madison Martin Pechacek
  • Tim Seifert
  • John Alexander Taylor

Third Generation
Reception: May 19, 7-10pm

  • Ashley Bryan
  • Angelo Gonzales
  • Stephanie Hargrove
  • Matthew Long
  • Goran Maric
  • Joshua Poole
  • Eugene Sarmiento
  • Andrew Stalder
  • Benjamin Terry
  • Zachary Young

More info:


Department of Energy Offers Internships in Game Design

The Department of Energy (DoE) is offering summer internship for game design students. The DoE Gaming Project affords students the opportunity to gain hands on experience and development in the fields of science, engineering, technology and more.


Disciplines: Game Development, Computer Science, Software Engineering and Graphic Design
Eligibility: Undergraduate, Graduate students and U.S. Citizens
If you are a Foreign National please contact Rhonda Kennedy to determine eligibility at (202) 586.3544 or at
Locations: Remotely located at your home and campus
Duration: Summer Term of 10 weeks (May – August); terms may be extended
Benefits: College credits, name recognition, practical experience, resume builder and college representation
How to apply: Qualified/interested candidates should email Christopher Morrison at
Deadline: May 10, 201

The game to be developed this summer will be integrated with the website with the intentions of having a mobile counterpart. To learn more, visit the Department of Energy website.

Randy Pausch Scholarship Available

Applications are now being accepted for the Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund. Two $2,500 scholarships are available for the 2012-2013 academic school year. Undergraduate and graduate students may apply.

Randy PauschThe Randy Pausch Scholarship was established by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in 2008 to honor the memory of Computer Science Professor and Co-Founder of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch.

This scholarship has been established to support students who are pursuing careers specializing in the development of interactive entertainment.

Possible career paths for Randy Pausch applicants include (but are not limited to) art, animation, programming, engineering, game direction, game design, sound design, and music composition.

Apply online by June 29, 2012. Winners will be announced August 2012.

Fest to Feature Colors, Sounds of Spring Arts Classes

It’s spring and hence time for students to show off their creative work from more than 40 School of Arts and Humanities courses.

The Spring Dance Show will feature student works developed in the University's dance composition course.

The Student Arts Spring Festival gives audiences the opportunity to take in classical music, jazz, theater, dance, guitar, piano and vocal performances, as well as an art exhibition and reception. The festival, which involves the work of more than 600 students, starts Thursday and stretches over two weeks.

Highlights for the first week include the Spring Dance Show, a visual arts reception and a concert from Musica Nova.

On Thursday, May 3, at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre, The Spring Dance Show will feature student works developed in UT Dallas’ dance composition course. The show runs until Saturday.

A visual arts reception will be held on Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building. Students will exhibit work produced throughout the year and judges will name their favorite pieces.

UT Dallas composer and music professor Robert Xavier Rodríguez will direct visiting violinist Chloe Trevor in a Musica Nova program titled La Bonne Cuisine.

At 8 p.m., Musica Nova will perform in Jonsson Performance Hall. UT Dallas composer and professor of music Robert Xavier Rodríguez will direct the concert. Music faculty members Michael McVay and Winston Stone will play alongside guest violinist Chloé Trevor 

“We’re happy to have violinist Chloé Trevor playing in the concert.  She’s a rising star in the musical world,” said Rodríguez.

The concert is titled La Bonne Cuisine after Leonard Bernstein’s song cycle based on French food recipes.  All of the music is either French or inspired by French models.

“There will be a lot of variety – from Vierne’s monumental Piano Quintet to a can-can by Satie,” added Rodríguez.

Rodríguez said the concert sells out quickly each year and suggested attendees arrive early.

The full Student Arts Spring Festival schedule is available on the Art and Humanities website.

All events are free to UT Dallas students with valid student IDs. For more information, call (972) UTD-ARTS or email

Vote Now for Animation Guild Officers

Voting has begun for Animation Guild Officers. Below is a list of nominees:


Vice President
  • April Pruitt
  • Megan Tan
  • Michael Bonnell
  • Susan Lee


  • Megan Tan
  • Sarah Simes
  • Kathleen Tran
  • April Pruitt
  • Megan Tan

Voting ends May 31, 2012.

The elected president’s first task will be to lead the ATEC Guild in becoming an official UT Dallas student organization by this fall.