Creative Computation

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David Gail Smith

OFAC 1190

David Gail Smith

Visiting Professor

David Gail Smith is an active fine arts painter and creative coder. Smith, originally from Erie, Pa., completed a full military career, spanning over two decades as a MEDEVAC helicopter aviator in the U.S. Army and as a search and rescue pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard. He spent much of his time in service stationed overseas and has traveled widely. As a military officer, Smith spent a great deal of time on both sides of the training and education equation, leading and training young adults. Besides completing flight training, Army parachute training and many other military disciplines, one noteworthy achievement was a four-year tour as a fleet standardization instructor pilot at the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Ala. During this time in the Coast Guard, Smith completed a Master of Science in aeronautical science with a concentration in human factors and aviation education from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Smith still maintains his professional helicopter credentials with the Federal Aviation Administration as a certified flight instructor instrument (CFII) and as a helicopter airline transport pilot (ATP). His wide and unique life experience, technical achievements and dedication to lifelong learning bring a fresh perspective to many topics and are matched only by his interests in an eclectic array of subject matter.

Always looking for a challenge and an opportunity to broaden his horizons, Smith completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art and a Bachelor of Arts in creative computing after his military retirement in 2014. He maintains a professional art practice as a painter and creative technician in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. His work explores the space between fine art painting and computer coding, in search of an art that is the hybrid of historical tradition and future technology.


B.F.A. in Studio Art, Southern Methodist University, 2017
B.A. in Creative Computing, Southern Methodist University, 2016
M.S. in Aeronautical Science, with Human Factors & Aviation Education, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2008
B.S. in Aeronautical Studies with Computer Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 1992

Professional Experience

2014Retired Lieutenant Commander, United States Coast Guard
2002-14Active Duty United States Coast Guard, Helicopter Aviator
1992-2000Active Duty United States Army, “Dustoff” Aviator, Aviation Maintenance Officer


Creative Coding I / Art & Code – CRCP 1310 / ASIM 1310
Nand to Tetris: Elements of Computing Systems – CRCP 2330


Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation

Undergraduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)

Center of Creative Computation

Faculty and Staff

Student Internships & Collaborations


Film and Media Arts