Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center
The Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center is designed to help students become more independent, self-confident and efficient learners. In addition, it is designed to help students respond effectively to specific academic challenges, to articulate and attain their own educational goals, and to succeed at any level of the undergraduate
Overview of Services
Each year approximately 33 percent of undergraduates take advantage of L.E.C. programs, courses and services. All L.E.C. offerings are available at no cost to full-time undergraduate students. Some services are available by appointment; others are available on a drop-in basis. Students may be referred to the L.E.C. by their advisers, faculty or resident assistant, but most students choose to come on their own.
The L.E.C. offers subject-specific tutoring in most first- and second-year courses. Tutorials are offered in individual, small group and review session formats. The tutor schedule changes regularly, and updates can be found at the L.E.C. website.
English department faculty members assist students at any stage of the writing process – from planning a draft to learning from previously graded papers.
Each term, the L.E.C. offers approximately 20 study strategy workshops.
Among the topics covered are note taking, time management, test-taking strategies and textbook study-reading.
ORACLE (Optimal Reading, Attention, Comprehension and Learning Efficiency).
Each academic year, hundreds of SMU students take this one-credit course to develop advanced reading and learning techniques. Students can register for ORACLE at the same time they register for their other courses. ORACLE is listed in the catalog as EDU 1110. Every fall, sections are reserved for premed students, international students and students with documented learning differences.
Five full-time staff members are available to work individually
with students on study strategies. Two of these five specialize in working with students with learning differences.
Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies.
Housed within the L.E.C., DASS offers comprehensive disability services for all SMU students with disabilities. Services include classroom accommodations and physical accessibility for all students with a learning disability and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as other conditions such as physical, visual, hearing, medical or psychiatric disorders. For undergraduate students, academic coaching is available in the areas of transitioning, learning strategies instruction, educational planning and self-advocacy. For accommodations, it is the responsibility of the undergraduate and graduate students themselves to establish eligibility through this office. Students must provide 1) appropriate current documentation in keeping with SMU's documentation guidelines, and 2) a request indicating what kind of assistance is being sought, along with contact information. More information is available at www.smu.edu/alec/dass.asp.
Service to Southern Methodist University students, faculty and staff is the primary
goal of all libraries at SMU. The libraries of the University contain more than three million volumes. The fully interactive Web- and Windows-based library catalog system features access to bibliographic records of materials housed in all SMU libraries and hypertext links to other databases, digitized collections and relevant websites.
SMU libraries rank first in total volumes held among non-ARL (Association of Research Libraries) universities in the United States. The SMU libraries comprise the largest private research library in the Southwest and rank third within the region in total volumes, after the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. SMU libraries are one of the greatest assets of the University.
The University’s library system is divided into a number of different units:
The Business Information Center
- Central University Libraries (reporting to the Office of the Provost).
- Underwood Law Library (reporting to the Dedman School of Law).
- Bridwell Library (reporting to the Perkins School of Theology).
- Business Information Center (reporting to the Cox School of Business).
The Business Information Center is located in room 150 of the Maguire Building. The mission of the BIC is to provide the SMU community with business information, regardless of format; support the integration of information and technology into the curriculum; and act as a center for research and development for state-of-the-art information technology applications in the business education field. In support of this mission, the BIC offers the SMU community both quiet and group study areas; individual and group computer areas consisting of 70 computer workstations; a multimedia studio; a group presentation practice room; a periodicals area; facility-wide wireless access; more than 150 electronic resources; and a variety of print resources, including the Hillcrest Foundation International Resource Library, the Edwin L. Cox Business Leadership Center Resource Collection, the Cary M. Maguire Energy Institute Resource Collection and the Career Management Center Library. Librarians are available all hours that the BIC is open, offering reference assistance both in-person and virtually via e-mail and telephone. Librarians provide course-specific, in-class instruction at the request of instructors and lead workshops on performing business research.
Bridwell Library of the Perkins School of Theology is the University’s principal research resource for the fields of theology and religious studies. It offers a collection
of more than 350,000 volumes and 1,200 current periodical titles, and it provides access to a wide array of online full-text journals and databases. Among the library’s special collections are significant holdings in early printing, English and American Methodism, theology, religion, and the book arts. The interpretation of these collections is accomplished variously through lectures, publications and exhibitions. Reference librarians are available to help students discover and use the many resources of Bridwell Library.
Underwood Law Library
Underwood Law Library, one of the 30 largest law libraries in the country and the largest private law library in the Southwest, houses more than 640,000 volumes and primarily serves the faculty and students of the Dedman School of Law. The collection includes state and federal legislative, judicial and administrative materials;
law periodicals; law treatises; U.S., international and foreign documents; and U.S. government documents relating to the legal profession. Strengths of the collection
are in taxation, securities, corporate law, labor law, air and space law, commercial and banking law, constitutional law, and law and medicine. The Kay and Ray Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center in the Underwood Law Library is a computer learning lab located on the third floor.
Central University Libraries
The largest of the SMU library units is Central University Libraries with holdings
of more than 2.1 million volumes. CUL comprises Fondren Library, the Hamon Arts Library, the DeGolyer Library and the University Archives, the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man Reading Room, and the Emily C. Norwick Center for Digital Services. CUL also supports SMU programs at the Plano campus and SMU-in-Taos.
Fondren Library Center,
with nearly two million volumes of books, government publications and bound journals, serves students and faculty in the areas of humanities,
social sciences, business, education, science, and engineering. Its Information Commons provides a single location within the library where students can use library books and online resources, as well as the latest computer software and technology, to prepare their assignments. Fondren Library is a selective depository for government information resources and has large electronic collections of retrospective
periodicals and special collections in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. It houses the University’s map collection which includes more than 230,000 topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs, as well as the DeGolyer Earth Sciences collection of more than 15,000 geological volumes.
Strengths of the Fondren Library include, but are not limited to, classical studies, late 18th- and early 19th-century English literature, American history, Texas history,
contemporary biography and literature, anthropology, political science, economics, and other social sciences. Fondren Library also provides reading materials placed on reserve by classroom faculty and access to holdings from other libraries nationwide via interlibrary loan.
The Hamon Arts Library,
located in the Owen Arts Center of the Meadows School of the Arts, serves students and faculty in the areas of visual art, art history, cinema, communications, dance, music and theatre. With more than 180,000 volumes of books, sound recordings and video recordings, the library’s collections support the Meadows curriculum and are particularly strong in European and American arts. The library also provides conference room facilities; group audio-visual study and presentation rooms; and public computers for research, study and arts-specific software projects. The following two special collections units are administered by Hamon Arts Library.
The focus of Jerry Bywaters Special Collections
is on the cultural history of the American Southwest. Visual arts holdings include archival materials and works of art on paper documenting the careers of artists such as Jerry Bywaters, Otis and Velma Davis Dozier, E.G. Eisenlohr, Octavio Medellin, Olin Travis, and Janet Turner as well as correspondence of nineteenth-century French painter Rosa Bonheur. Performing arts holdings include two Japanese gigaku
masks dating from the seventh to the 10th centuries, the papers of Oscar-winning actress Greer Garson, and materials documenting the careers of longtime SMU music faculty members Paul van Katwijk and Lloyd Pfautsch.
The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection,
founded in 1970, holds more than 10,000 films and videos on a wide array of subjects and in all formats. The Jones Collection is best known for its Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection and for the Sulphur Springs Collection of pre-nickelodeon films.
is a non-circulating special collections branch of CUL that contains more than 120,000 volumes. In addition to rare books, it holds more than 2 million manuscripts, 750,000 photographs and negatives, 2,500 newspaper and periodical titles, 2,000 maps, and an extensive collection of ephemera that includes the largest collection of Texas bank notes in the country. The DeGolyer Library is open to all students and faculty. Great strengths of the DeGolyer Library include early voyages and travels, especially those accounts bearing on the European discovery
and exploration of the New World. The collection of Western Americana is numbered among the finest in the country. For example, the Lawrence T. Jones III
Texas Photography Collection is an unrivalled source of over 5,000 early images of the land and people of the state, from the 1840s to the 1920s. The library also has exceptionally well-developed collections in the fields of business history, such as the JCPenney archives and the Belo archives (parent company of the Dallas Morning News
and other media outlets). Transportation history, in particular the history of railroads, is another great strength of the library. DeGolyer’s holdings in the history of science and technology, which include the Texas Instruments archives, also have much to offer the researcher. Literary collections cover a respectable range of English and American authors and literary genres, from a 16th-century edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
to dime novels and comic books. Literary manuscripts include the papers of playwright Horton Foote and the archives of the Southwest Review,
SMU’s literary quarterly. DeGolyer collections
also afford numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary research in such fields as American studies, Southwestern studies, women’s studies, popular culture, the history of photography, and the history of the book.
The University Archives,
part of the DeGolyer Library, is the official repository for SMU administrative and historical records of the University. The archives contain manuscripts, photographs, publications, records, and artifacts documenting the establishment and growth of the University. SMU administrators, faculty, local historians and media representatives are its principal users, but students and visiting scholars often use its materials for a variety of research projects.
The ISEM Reading Room,
with over 10,000 volumes, serves students and faculty of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man. It contains a wealth of information relating to anthropology and geological and geophysical sciences.
The Norwick Center for Digital Services
in CUL encompasses student multimedia and collaborative technology areas, digitization/production services, and a screening
room. The Student Multimedia Center provides students with access to high-end computers, software, collaborative spaces and staff assistance to develop a variety of digital projects such as DVDs and Web video, digital portfolios, and other media-intensive projects. The Library Digital Projects Office focuses on digitizing library collections for preservation and increased access. The screening room allows for video screenings and computer projection for instruction and training.
Laboratories and Research Facilities
The University provides many laboratories and much equipment for courses in accounting; anthropology; art; biology; chemistry; languages; earth sciences; communication arts; psychology; physics; health and physical education; dance; music; theatre; statistics; and civil, computer, electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering. (Other University facilities not listed below are described in sections for the individual schools.)
The Lyle School of Engineering
is home to several state-of-art laboratories and research facilities. For more information, see the Lyle School of Engineering Departmental Facilities and Computer Facilities sections in this catalog.
The teaching laboratories of the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics are housed in the Fondren Science Building
and in the Dedman Life Sciences Building.
Virtually all teaching laboratories and support facilities in the buildings have been remodeled and updated.
Students have access to a wide array of specialized instrumentation and laboratory
equipment fundamental to studies in the natural sciences, including spectrophotometers,
high-performance liquid chromatographs, scintillation counter, fluorescence-activated cell sorter, scanning laser confocal microscope, electron
resonance spectrometer, X-ray diffractometers, mass spectrometers and an atomic absorption spectrometer. Advanced undergraduate research is also supported by tissue culture and animal care facilities, as well as through several departmental computer laboratories.
SMU-in-Taos, Fort Burgwin,
is located 10 miles south of Taos, New Mexico, at an elevation of 7,500 feet. The facility includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, a computer center and a library, as well as living accommodations for students and faculty. The Fort Burgwin archaeology curation facility houses more than one million archaeological specimens from research projects conducted by SMU faculty and students. Northern New Mexico offers a multiplicity of research opportunities for both natural and social scientists. Pot Creek Pueblo, located on the fort’s property,
is one of the largest prehistoric archaeological sites in the Taos region.
The N.L. Heroy Science Hall
houses the departments of Anthropology, Earth Sciences, Sociology and Statistical Sciences, as well as the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man.
The Institute for the Study of Earth and Man
was created in 1966 by a gift from W.B. Heroy, Sr. Its purpose is to support research at the interface of humans, Earth and the environment.
The Department of Earth Sciences
operates several unique laboratories, including the following:
- The Dallas Seismological Observatory, established by the Dallas Geophysical Society, is maintained and operated by the University and now monitors remote seismic and infrasound stations in Southwest Texas near Lajitas, seismically one of the world’s quietest regions. The Lajitas array is used to test technology designed to detect small earthquakes from great distances. In addition to the Lajitas seismic array, SMU operates seismic and infrasound arrays at Mina, Nevada; Grenada, Mississippi; and overseas locations. Data collected by the observatory are available to the faculty and advanced students who wish to undertake basic research in seismology, tectonics or infrasound.
- The Ellis W. Shuler Museum of Paleontology is a research museum affording opportunities for advanced study of fossil faunas and floras and their climatic and paleoecologic significance. The collection, which specializes in vertebrate paleontology, includes more than 150,000 fossils from the United States, Central America and northeastern Africa.
- The Pollen Analysis Laboratory is operated in conjunction with the Shuler Museum of Paleontology. The laboratory serves SMU research projects focused on the reconstruction of past vegetation, past climate and paleoecology at localities around the world. The facility includes two fume hoods, glassware, centrifuges, scales, a convection oven, and storage space necessary for the dry and wet processing of sediment samples for their pollen content. Microscopic analysis of the resulting pollen-sample residues takes place in a separate laboratory housing transmitted light microscopes, a comparative collection of modern pollen, and a small paleobotany
and palynology research library. Work in this laboratory is often supplemented
by facilities in the SEM laboratory (described below).
- The Geothermal Laboratory is the focus of an extensive program of research in the thermal field of the earth. Characterization and location of geothermal energy resources and research in the thermal fields of sedimentary basins are special topics of concentration. Mapping of the temperatures and heat flow of the crust have been completed for North America and are part of the google.org/egs website. The research is worldwide in scope. Specialized equipment for the measurement
of thermal conductivity of rocks and for the measurement of accurate, precise temperature logs in deep wells is available for research purposes. Services are provided to other institutions and research centers on a contractual basis.
- The Hydrothermal Laboratory contains equipment to reproduce the pressures and temperatures existing to mid-crustal depths. It contains two extraction-quench sampling bombs that permit withdrawal of solution during the progress of a run to pressures of 3 kbar and temperatures of 750 degrees Celsius. There are also 10 cold-seal reaction vessels. In addition, 1-atm furnaces are available that can be used to temperatures of 1400 degrees Celsius.
- The Electron Microprobe Laboratory contains a fully automated JEOLOL 733 electron microprobe with four wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometers, a Link eXL energy dispersive X-ray and associated sample preparation equipment. It is available on a regular basis for various research projects at the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, the University, and other research institutions.
- The Stable Isotope Laboratory is a general research facility available to support both academic and student research at the University and in other research centers. The laboratory contains three automated gas-source, magnetic-sector isotope ratio mass spectrometers as well as vacuum extraction lines for converting
natural materials (solids, liquids) into gases suitable for measuring the isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen at natural abundance.
- The Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope Laboratory contains a Zeiss SMT 1450 VPSE SEM used for generating electron photomicrographs with 5 nanometer resolution. The SEM is open to researchers and students from the departments of Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Chemistry. The facility is also equipped with an Edax energy dispersive X-ray system for quantitative determination of chemical compositions of the imaged materials.
- The X-ray Diffraction Laboratory houses a Rigaku Ultima III diffractometer for the X-ray identification of materials with a crystalline structure and is open to researchers and students from the departments of Anthropology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering.
The Meadows Museum,
founded by the late philanthropist Algur H. Meadows and located at 5900 Bishop Boulevard, houses one of the finest and most comprehensive
collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, as well as selected masterpieces of modern European sculpture, from Rodin and Maillol to David Smith and Claes Oldenburg. The permanent collection of 670 objects includes paintings, sculpture, decorative arts and works on paper from the Middle Ages to the present. Artists represented include El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Zurbarán, Murillo, Goya, Picasso and Miró. The Meadows Museum hosts a regular program of loan exhibitions each year in its temporary exhibition galleries and sponsors an active program of public lectures, tours, films, concerts and symposia, as well as children’s art programs and family days throughout the year. Museum collections are often used by SMU faculty in their courses. The museum membership program includes exhibition previews, tours of private collections and opportunities for travel. Docent tours of the collection are available to school, University and adult groups. The Meadows Museum, in addition to its collection, houses a museum store and special event rooms.