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2011 Archives

What Is Your Big iDea?

Big iDea Example

Rebecca Quinn and Drew Konow

In fall 2010, two SMU students invited Dallas high school students to “tell us about your life in Dallas” in words and images.

They received more than 130 submissions from 18 public and private schools across Dallas for their new online bilingual literary and arts magazine, “Tale of One City,” which was featured Sunday, March 6, 2011, in The Dallas Morning News.

“We were both moved and humbled by the broad range of experiences represented by the students’ work,” says SMU senior Rebecca Quinn. “These pieces prove that Dallas is not a homogeneous city.”

Quinn launched “Tale of One City” with senior Drew Konow through SMU’s Big iDeas undergraduate research program . . . read more.


Read about other winners.

October 4, 2011

The SMU Provost Office has announced the launch of this year's Big iDeas contest that seeks — and rewards — solutions to the North Texas region's biggest problems.

"We're giving big bucks for big solutions that improve the quality of life in Big D," Provost Paul Ludden told SMU students. "For the fifth consecutive year, we are giving interdisciplinary teams of undergraduates up to $5,000 each to research and address challenges of the Metroplex (and beyond)."

Every major city faces complex problems that require insight from many disciplines, the contest site advises. Big iDeas project proposals should be aimed at addressing topics relating to such problems, with a team of at least two students from different disciplines.

"The Big iDeas program is great because it encourages students to work together in interdisciplinary teams to tackle current problems or deficiencies in our community," said Michelle Engle, Provost Office intern for the Big iDeas program and a President's Scholar who is majoring in biology and Spanish.

"Big iDeas encourages students to be proactive in identifying issues faced by our community and to be able to see the issues from many different perspectives in order to employ solutions," Engle continued. "It also allows students to step out of the academic bubble and forge long-lasting connections with Dallas community members while working hand-in-hand with them."

How to compete:

Key dates:

  • November 4, 2011 - Big iDeas Fall Symposium is at
    10 a.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum
  • January 27, 2012 - The 2012 proposals are due

Read more about the contest at SMU's Big iDeas website.

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