Office of Engaged Learning Home


News Flash

 

Jamie Hail, Anderson WeyAnyelinn WnTrey Rose and Corinne Gibson are all working in Dr. David Y. Son Chemistry class. 

Jamie Hail, who is an upcoming junior, is researching plastics that will be better for the environment—very easy to make and requiring less resources. She started with six different chemicals that will make six different plastics which will be thermally stable to very high temperature, so they can be used in engines. Jamie has gotten one reaction so far.

Anderson Wey, another upcoming junior, and Anyelinn Wn, a high school student, are working together to create glue that can withstand very high temperatures. Their test broke down at 147 degrees Celsius and they discovered the temperature would not work in mechanical engines, but they are hoping to find something that will stick in harsher environments. Their goal for the research is applications in industry—for example, creating hardeners that can be used in space and withstand various temperatures and conditions.

Trey Rose and Corinne Gibson are both upcoming seniors working together to create polymer particles for bio-imaging. They are using a polymer with dye to create very small particles—as thin as a stand of hair—and injecting that into a body to visualize a cell in the tissue during surgery. They are testing the polymer to see if it is stable in high temperatures, so it won’t break down inside of the body in a short period of time. They are starting to work on making the polymer and other initial materials of the model compound which are not commercially available.

Carson Dudick is an upcoming Junior majoring in History and Human rights. With her research partner India Simmons, she is working on an oral history project called Voices of SMU, which is directed by Dr. Jill Kelly. Carson and India interview minority alumni (mostly graduates from 2014-2019) about their experiences attending SMU. Voices of SMU seeks to both provide a voice for minority students on campus, as well as improve recruitment and retention rates. From these interviews, Carson and India have learned about the practice of oral history. They also learned about SMU’s undocumented history of on-campus racism and how these students overcame it. Carson’s experience as a white student is very different from the alumni stories she has heard, so now she looks at SMU a different way. She feels that SMU has underestimated its issues and needs to keep working to make everyone feel welcome.

Jose Velazquez an upcoming senior and Joshua Lauer is an upcoming junior. Both are majoring in computer science. For their Undergraduate Research Assistantships, they are working with Dr. Tony Cuevas on 3D simulations for use in high school and college classrooms. Jose and Josh are hoping their research will improve teaching through this interactive style of learning, which lets student pick up concepts easier and faster.

 

The simulations are viewed through a headset the teacher will wear, but ideally every student will wear one as well. You can interact with virtual objects by walking around and controlling where in the room you want the object to be. The idea with the simulation is making a “spatial computer.” Instead of being limited to a screen on a desktop computer, the room is the computer! Right now, they are working on a library of simulations for many different topics. They have one for physics which simulates an electric field.

 

Jose and Josh are passionate about augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) and have started a virtual reality club here at SMU. Through this project, they have learned a lot about developing for VR headsets as well as the impact this technology can have on education.

 

Greg Guggenmos will soon launch his non-profit Community Bail Fund of North Texas, a program that will provide money for indigent defendants who may be behind bars for non-violent, misdemeanor crimes.

Neha Husein shares her innovative app, Just Drive, at the SXSW Red Bull Launch Institute and plans to develop and scale her app with the help of veteran entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Contest were awarded $1000 each to pursue their business ideas and grow their entrepreneurial spirit.

Jessica Cole uses her skills in and passion for production design to create the film "Missing Pieces," depicting the reconciliation of the relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother through a series of love letters.

Kovan Barzani not only has exceeded his Kurdish-American parents' expectations, but has worked with the International Rescue Committee to offer literacy and technology skills to those served by the IRC.