Noteworthy & New
Celebrating And Investing In Research At SMU
Ford Research Fellowships Recognize Innovation
Five 2008 Ford Research Fellowships were awarded to the following
Rhonda Blair, professor of theatre, focuses on the application
of cognitive neuroscience to acting processes. She is the author of
The Actor, Image and Action: Acting and Cognitive Neuroscience (Routledge, 2008), which describes how she integrates new strategies
derived from the sciences into acting. She has received programmatic
grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and
the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.
Marc Christensen, department chair and associate professor
of electrical engineering, has built a nationally recognized research
group in photonics and computational imaging. His work
with imaging sensors and micro-mirror arrays has been funded
by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA), among others. In 2007 he
received the DARPA Young Faculty Award. He also leads a project
with researchers from the University of Delaware, UT-Dallas and
Sandia National Laboratory.
Rajani Sudan, associate professor of English, is a specialist in
early modern British literature whose research interests include
literature and science, cultural representations of imperial identity
and cyberculture. Her first book, Fair Exotics: Xenophobic Subjects
in English Literature, 1720-1850 (University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2002), received a 2002-03 Godbey Authors’ Award for outstanding
research by an SMU faculty member. Her upcoming book,
Mud, Mortar and Other Technologies of Empire, focuses on non-
European contributions to the Age of Enlightenment.
Kumar Venkataraman, associate professor of finance, specializes
in market microstructure dynamics and market efficiency. His
research has influenced policy debates on the structure of financial
markets and has been cited by the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission. His work has been featured in industry publications and in several books, including The Handbook of World Stock,
Derivatives and Commodities Exchanges. In addition, he is an invited
member of the National Bureau of Economic Research
Working Group on Market Microstructure.
Steven Vik, professor of biological sciences, examines key
mechanisms of bioenergetics – the study of how living systems
get and use the energy sources required to sustain life. He has
made significant contributions to the understanding of the vital
enzyme in these processes, the ATP synthase, including its role in
the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential
for nerve functioning, muscular and molecular movement
and other vital cellular processes. He is a member of the editorial
board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Established in 2002 with a $1 million gift from SMU Trustee
Gerald J. Ford, the fellowships help the University retain and reward
outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a financial
award for research support.