Think Big. SMU & Dallas.

Big on Vision


Olivia Asenime"My internship with a company that’s been an engineering innovator since 1890 allowed me to apply what I had learned in the classroom in the real world and understand the life of an engineer. I was involved in several aspects, from testing and software to systems engineering. At SMU, my one-on-one time with my professors helped me figure out what kind of internship was best for me. They also gave me career advice for workplace interactions."

— Olivia Asenime, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics double major and president of the SMU chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, at New York Air Brake


Dallas is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approaches to the business of living. This is the city of Southwest Airlines, which invented a whole new style of travel. This is where TI engineers developed the idea of an integrated circuit that would become the microchip and change the way humans live, work and play.

The can-do spirit of Dallas helps fuel SMU’s intellectual environment to drive cutting-edge research, with far-reaching benefits for our world. It’s one reason why SMU is classified as a university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


In the midst of heightened local and national concerns over the increasing evidence of earthquakes in the U.S., timely research by the SMU seismology team revealed the location and depth of a geologic fault, an important step in investigating what might have triggered recent earthquakes in North Texas and Central Oklahoma. SMU installed more than 20 monitors, supplied by the U.S. Geological Survey and the academic consortium Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), to provide enhanced mapping that enables Irving and Dallas city officials to assess potential municipal hazards.


Patricia NanceTeaching math with Instagram? Middle school students may soon tap into social networking and video games to understand algebraic ideas. Candace Walkington, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, is testing the idea in a study funded by the National Academy of Education.

SMU provides undergraduates with opportunities to work closely with professors and make a real impact. Patricia Nance is developing through the Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholars Program an antibacterial coating for implants designed to reduce infection rates for post-mastectomy reconstructive breast surgery patients.


SMU is on the leading edge of high-performance computing with ManeFrame, one of the top academic supercomputers in the nation. Capable of more than 120 trillion mathematical operations per second, ManeFrame put SMU ahead of other great universities during one of the largest and most powerful physics experiments in the world – searching for the elusive particles present during the Big Bang.


SMU students make important classroom-to-career connections with key health care and biotechnology companies that are attracted to Dallas by its infrastructure, research climate and market location. In addition, SMU students majoring in the sciences or mathematics gain outstanding preparation for entry into research and health care through the Biomedical Researchers In Training Experience (BRITE) program, a partnership between SMU and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, one of the leading medical education and biomedical research institutions in the United States.


Prehistoric AnimalsSMU vertebrate paleontologist Louis Jacobs is the co-author of a study that identified an extinct animal – an ancient hippo-size mammal that used its long snout as a vacuum cleaner to suction-feed on shoreline vegetation. The study was reported on LiveScience among the 10 strangest animal discoveries of 2015.


SMU students pitched their ideas to the casting team of the ABC reality show Shark Tank. Arthur Work pitched his product called Encase, a medical case that can hold a variety of diabetic medications and can be attached to something by a clip.


The Engineering Entrepreneurial Institute connects students with vital resources – from the Cube, a campus idea incubator, to the SMU Entrepreneurship Club – to help them transform their innovative ideas into sustainable enterprises.


In the summer of 1958, Jack Kilby, a newbie at Texas Instruments, built the first integrated circuit, which became the microchip. Kilby received the Nobel Prize for his invention in 2000. Kilby also led the team that invented the hand-held calculator.

Dallas is a vital link in the Texas Bio Corridor, a 275-mile stretch along Interstate 35 that is home to a variety of startups in health care and biotechnology.

Students and faculty form a community of intrepid problem solvers as they take on real-world challenges at SMU’s Deason Innovation Gym.

The Locomotor Performance Laboratory at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development is one of the premier labs of its kind in the country, conducting cutting-edge research in biomechanics.

Fred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and former director of research for the National Security Agency, was recently elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. The recognition highlights SMU’s important research to help advance the science of cyber security and dedication to training a workforce of skilled cyber defenders.

SMU brings distinguished speakers to the Hilltop through premier programs, including the Tate Lecture Series. Recent speakers on campus have included Condoleezza Rice, Ken Burns, Scott Kelly and Brandon Stanton.

The SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center provides research opportunities to explore the political, cultural and economic relationships between Texas and Mexico and shape important regional and national conversations on topics such as education, trade and energy.