Tech Executive to Discuss Future of the Cloud

UT Dallas alumnus and tech executive Christian Belady MA’90 provides a voice from technology on Feb. 26, as part of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series.

Belady is general manager of Data Center Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a key player in shaping the direction of cloud computing, which is changing the way people, businesses and organizations store and organize mass amounts of digital information.

Specifically, Belady is responsible for driving the strategy and delivery of server and facility development worldwide, including research, engineering, construction and operations for Microsoft’s data center portfolio.

These data centers provide the foundational cloud infrastructure for more than 200 of Microsoft’s online and cloud services for consumers and businesses worldwide.

Before joining Microsoft, Belady worked as a distinguished technologist for Hewlett-Packard, where he was responsible for driving the technological direction of the company’s server products and their environments, as well as industry data center initiatives.  His previous employers include Convex Computers, Texas Instruments and IBM.

Christian Belady MA’90

In 2010, SearchData named Belady as one of “5 People Who Changed the Data Center” industry and helped drive innovative thinking and quantitative benchmarking in the field.

With more than 100 U.S. patents and many international patents, Belady is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society.

Belady holds engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He attended the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, where he received a master’s degree in international management studies in 1990. He served two years on the board of UT Dallas’ former alumni association, including one year as president. In 2010, he received the UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni award.

1st Lecture in ATEC Series Brought Sold-Out Crowd; Campus Readies for Next Speaker

Robert Edsel was living in Florence, Italy, when he took the first steps toward discovering a cause that would drive the next 15 years of his life.

Before a sold-out audience of 1,200 people in the new Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building at UT Dallas, Edsel recently described his journey through time, history and heroism in the rescue of thousands of art treasures.

He explained how his curiosity led him to a previously untold story about American volunteers during World War II who tracked and retrieved artworks stolen by the Nazi war machine. Edsel documented their plight in his book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. During his talk, he showed clips from actor and director George Clooney’s movie, The Monuments Men, which is based on the book and is set to premiere in February.

Edsel was the first speaker in the new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series. The series is designed to illuminate the concepts behind the merger of art and technology and to serve as a creative spark for the North Texas region.

Tickets are still available for the rest of the series, including appearances by tech executive and UT Dallas alumnus Christian Belady on Feb. 26; Vinton G. Cerf, a “father of the Internet,” on March 26; and scientist and astronaut Mae Jemison on April 16. All of the lectures begin at 7 p.m.

During his visit to campus, Edsel also met privately with students and faculty from the School of Arts and Humanities and from the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies. Over doughnuts and coffee, students asked detailed questions about the Monuments Men.

Edsel met privately before his lecture with students and faculty.

“It was remarkable to hear about the noble cause of soldiers, who were art lovers, and were charged with saving cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis rather than destroying it,” said Sarah Valente, a PhD student and Belofsky Graduate Fellow from the Ackerman Center. “Stories like this are very rare, so it is always compelling to hear a story of redemption, of soldiers putting their lives on the line to save art, trying to recover what was lost, and being able to locate objects and saving them for generations to come.”

During a private reception, Edsel said he hoped the film will “shake the snow globe of questions on cultural property, ownership, restitution issues, the museums’ responsibilities and international law” and that it helps to preserve the legacy of the Monuments Men.

Not Seeing Is Believing: Critical Practice as Ideological Ophthalmology

The School of Arts and Humanities announces Jack Stenner, PhD Candidate for Associate Professor in ATEC (EMAC) Dr. Stenner will give a talk entitled “Not seeing is believing: critical practice as ideological ophthalmology” Monday, February 3 at 11 in ATC 2.811.



Jack Stenner utilizes techniques from ubiquitous and physical computing, game technologies, and experimental software to create conceptual work often taking forms such as site-specific installation, network practices, and experimental cinema.

He is an Associate Professor of Art + Technology at the University of Florida. His work addresses issues related to socio-culturally constructed notions of reality.

He is interested in the forms and means with which ideology is embedded, particularly how meaning is manipulated and transcoded in “place.” To this end, his work explores the “grammatization” of human action in places of transition or passage. Using “actionable media,” he encourages us to reconsider what we think we know about our world and imagine an alternative utopia.

His research is an extension of these concerns, using practice-based methods to focus on the impact of mediation in aesthetic experience. For example, using the video game based installation Game-Space he investigates the process of immersion and critical reflection in spaces of public spectatorship. His primary interest is to make a place for the transformative experience of art in an increasingly techno-mediated environment.

He holds a Ph.D in Architecture with emphasis in Computer Visualization, a Masters of Science in Visualization, and a Bachelors of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. He worked with artists in the context of an alternative art space he founded in Houston for almost 10 years and was a registered architect in the State of Texas.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at venues including Siggraph, ACM Multimedia, International Society of Electronic Artists (ISEA), ZeroOne Biennial, Alternative Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Toluca, Mexico, Polk Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art, and others.

Texas Instruments Helps Power ATEC Creative Automata Lab

beagleboard The ATEC-based Creative Automata Laboratory (Directed by Dr. Fishwick, Distinguished Endowed Chair of Arts and Technology and Professor of Computer Science) recently received a donation of equipment from Texas Instruments. This gift is thanks to University Relations at TI, in connection with collaboration of the Lab with Dr. Eakta Jain who is currently at Texas Instruments and will soon join the faculty at the University of Florida. The equipment includes computing hardware (BeagleBones and Launchpads) used to create hands-on physical models of dynamic systems, such as predator vs. prey. These models are used for STEM education in learning how to model dynamic systems of competing species.


creative automotat

The Creative Automata Lab exists to explore how abstract foundation computing artifacts are represented. Representations include functions, equations, dynamic models, and formal automata as well as the control and data involved in them.

View prototypes of the model of predator-prey competition and other projects of the Creative Automata Lab as they are developed on the lab website.

The TI University Program offers educators discounted tools, free products, and lab donations so students can learn TI technology in teaching labs that are smarter and more fun.



ATEC Professor Appointed to ACM Editorial Board

acmPaul Fishwick, Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology and Professor of Computer Science has accepted a three year term on the editorial board of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Computing Surveys.


Dr. Fishwick has been an active member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) since his first job at Newport News Shipbuilding in the late 1970s. In 1990, he was one of four founding area editors of the ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS). Fishwick was elected a senior member of ACM in the 90’s while a professor at the University of Florida. He received a Recognition of Service Award from ACM for serving as General Chair of the 2000 Winter Simulation Conference. He is serving as Chair of ACM SIGSIM (Special Interest Group in Simulation) and has recently been appointed to the editorial board of ACM Computing Surveys.

ACM Computing Surveys is a journal of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which publishes surveys, tutorials, and special reports on all areas of computing research. Volumes are published yearly in four issues appearing in March, June, September, and December.

Paul Fishwick

Distinguished Endowed Chair of Arts and Technology and Professor of Computer Science
Director of the Creative Automata Laboratory

Paul Fishwick joined UT Dallas in January 2013. He is Distinguished Endowed Chair of Arts and Technology (ATEC) and Professor of Computer Science. He has six years of industry experience as a systems analyst working at Newport News Shipbuilding and at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia.

Dr. Johnson Goes to Washington: Tweeting the State of the Union

Dr. Janet Johnson’s research has centered on the relationship between social media and politics. Now, Johnson will have a first-hand opportunity to see her research brought to life.

Dr. Janet Johnson
Dr. Janet Johnson

The White House has selected the clinical assistant professor to attend and “live-tweet” the State of the Union, which will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring practical experience to my research,” said Johnson, who teaches in the Emerging Media and Communication program. “Tweeting from the White House will not only enhance my studies, but my students will gain a better understanding of the power of social media in the political process.”

Johnson’s visit to the Capitol comes in conjunction with a program called White House Socials, which invites White House social media followers to join in-person events, engage with administration officials, and share their experience with their friends. She will watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address live from the White House, and then participate in a panel with senior staff to discuss the vision and policies laid out in the speech. Participants will share their experience on Twitter using the #SOTUSocial hashtag.

Last year, only 100 of 2,000 applicants were chosen to participate in the White House Social event for the State of the Union.

Johnson’s dissertation was titled Blogs and Dialogism in the 2008 United States Presidential Campaign, and she has studied social media and the political process throughout her career. She teaches communication classes specializing in social media that include “Reading Media Critically,” “Introduction to Computer-Mediated Communications” and “Special Topics in Communications and Social Media.”

Follow Johnson’s experience on her blog, Media Rhetoric, or join the discussion using the hashtags #SOTUSocial and #utdSOTU. Johnson’s Twitter handle is @janetnews.

Get Animated with ATEC Students and Faculty at the Perot Museum

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science  Social Science events provide a rare opportunity for guests ages 21 and up to experience everyday exhibits and exclusive programs in an adults-only atmosphere. So get ready to get hands on with an interactive exhibit on Friday, January 17.

From animal physiology to digital animation, there’s more to the science of motion than meets the eye. Join us for Social Science: Animated, where you’ll hear from Dr. Ed Lu, Chairman and CEO, B612 Foundation, and Former NASA Astronaut as he leads the charge to protect Earth from asteroid strikes. You’ll also get to try your hand at newly developed video games, learn a step or two from a hip-hop dance troupe, create your own zoetrope animated film, or speak your mind during a live dubbing session.

Check out the amazing video games created by Tiny Thumbs and UT Dallas Arts and Technology graduate students from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the museum lobby. Two members of the ATEC faculty will also present featured talks in the Hoglund Foundation Theater:,

Sounds of the Animal World
With Dr. Frank DuFour, Assistant Professor of Arts & Technology, University of Texas at Dallas
9:00 p.m.


Animation and Gaming
With Dr. Eric Farrar, Assistant Professor of Arts & Technology, University of Texas at Dallas
9:30 p.m.


View a complete list of activities and buy tickets on the Perot Museum website.

ATEC Distinguished Lectures Start Jan. 22

The University of Texas at Dallas will launch the new ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series on Jan. 22 with a talk by Monuments Menauthor Robert Edsel.

The lecture series, presented by The Dallas Morning News, was first announced during the recent dedication of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The new building houses programs that explore topics at the intersection of arts and technology.

“Beginning in January of 2014, UT Dallas will launch a major lecture series focused on illuminating the concepts behind the merger of art and technology, employing this very handsome facility we’re enjoying today,” President David E. Daniel said at the building’s November dedication.

“We will open our doors to our community for these lectures and bring our University and surrounding communities together to share ideas. Our goal is to be a creative spark that ignites the North Texas region to even greater accomplishments.”


Robert Edsel
Robert Edsel, author Jan. 22, 7 p.m. The Susan and Ron Nash Lecture

Edsel, writer of the acclaimed book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, will kick off the lecture series on Jan. 22.

His book describes the efforts of American volunteers during World War II in tracking and retrieving artworks stolen by the Nazi war machine.

Actor and director George Clooney’s movie, The Monuments Men, is based on Edsel’s book and is slated to premiere in February.


Christian Belady, tech executive Feb. 26, 7 p.m. The Metroplex Technology Business Council Lecture

Christian Belady, general manager of Data Center Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services and a UT Dallas alumnus, will speak at the Feb. 26 lecture. He helps build, manage and breathe life into the entire world of cloud computing at Microsoft.

Before Microsoft and after earning engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Belady enrolled at UT Dallas and earned his master’s degree in 1990. He was named a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus.


Vinton G. Cerf, a “father of the Internet” March 26, 7 p.m. The Ericsson Lecture

Vinton G. Cerf, one the recognized “fathers of the Internet” and vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, will speak on March 26.

Cerf has received such honors as the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the creation of the Internet.

In his role at Google, Cerf identifies and promotes new technologies used to develop Internet-based products and services.


Mae Jemison, scientist and astronaut April 16, 7 p.m. The Northwood Woman’s Club Lecture

Dr. Mae Jemison, a chemical engineer, scientist, physician, entrepreneur, teacher and astronaut, will speak on April 16.

She graduated from Stanford University in 1977 and earned her medical degree from Cornell Medical College (now Weill Medical College of Cornell University) in 1981. Jemison, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, is multilingual and trained in dance and choreography. Jemison serves as an advocate for science education.

Purchasing Tickets

Tickets are on sale now. They are $15 for seats on the lower level of the Edith O’Donnell ATEC Building’s lecture hall and $10 for the upper level.

A limited number of complimentary tickets are available for students, faculty and staff who register.