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April 28, 2014 | @utdmercury


Save the Art Barn: Realizing the value of history



The best of the best in 2013-14 Comet sports



Mass email alarms Chinese community Severe charges leveled against TA MERCURY STAFF REPORT

An anonymous person sent out a mass email to UTD’s Chinese network on April 15, accusing a male international graduate TA of severe crimes, including assault, attempted rape and sexual misconduct toward students. The allegations were not reported to the police, and could not be confirmed or denied at the time this edition went to print. The email was seen by thousands of students and alumni from the Yahoo! and Google groups and listserv for UTD’s Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, or FACSS. The contents of the email are now widely known throughout the Chinese international student community, said former vice president for FACSS and

‘Red Herring’ turns tables on hackers ‘Heartbleed’ countermeasure conceived in UTD’s laboratories


Code Red: a timeline of the Heartbleed story » Friday, March 21 or before

Neel Mehta of Google Security discovers Heartbleed vulnerability.

» Friday, March 21 12:23 (CST) Google commits a patch for the flaw. The patch is then progressively applied to Google services/servers across the globe.

» Tuesday, April 1

Google Security notifies “OpenSSL team members” about the flaw it has found in OpenSSL, which later becomes known as “Heartbleed.”

Food, retail center at north campus could arrive by ’16

» Wednesday, April 3 ~01:30 Codenomicon separately discovers the same bug.



Traditional college town living marks shift to residential focus ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS Mercury Staff

Construction on Comet Town, a housing complex that will feature shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and a DART station, is slated to begin sometime in 2015, according to UTD Vice President Calvin Jamison. The DART station, which is part of the longterm plans for Comet Town, will be a part of the Cotton Belt Regional Corridor and connect to DFW airport. Set to go before the Richardson City Council for zoning approval in May, Comet Town has already been approved by the Richardson Planning Commission. Zoning for Comet Town needs to be approved before any work on the project can begin. Headed by Jamison, vice president of the Office of Administration, the project is still early in its development phase. An outside developer has been chosen to work on Comet Town and will be responsible for the construction. This will not cause an increase in tuition for students, Jamison said. “The city council has been very positive to what we’re trying to do,” he said. “This is the initial stage, and we have approximately 11 to 13 acres that have been designated for development.” The land that has been assigned is located north of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Laboratory, across Synergy Parkway. The idea for Comet Town was inspired by other college towns that have more of a traditional campus life, Jamison said. He sees Comet Town as a major step toward Tier One status for the university. A history of commuter culture has made it difficult to develop a traditional campus environment at UTD, but with a growing number of students, that may change. “The concept of Comet Town is to have a college town environment where the entire campus can take advantage of key amenities,” Jamison said. “If you look at what we’re doing with additions to the School of Management, the new parking garage and the development of the North Mall, we’re taking what was a commuter campus and making it into a very lively community.” Student opinions have been taken into consideration, with a series of focus groups taking place

The most serious security problem to ever affect the modern web left about two-thirds of the Internet at risk, including UTD systems and servers. Researchers at UTD have a solution, dubbed ‘Red Herring,’ that not only patches the issue, but can also detect and entrap attackers that might try to exploit the vulnerability to gain sensitive information. The Heartbleed Bug The Heartbleed Bug is a weakness in the popular OpenSSL cryptography software library, which implements the basic cryptographic functions to maintain data security during transmission. “There is a misconception out there that it is a virus, but it is not a virus,” said Kevin Hamlen, team lead of Red Herring project. “It is a weakness in software products, and it mainly affects web servers or web clients, so client browsers.” The vulnerability was present in popular websites like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Dropbox and many more, as they used the exposed implementation of OpenSSL. The bug resulted from incorrect implementation of the Heartbeat feature of OpenSSL. This feature, which was introduced two years ago, passes bogus information over the wire to keep the

connection between server and client browser open. The client browser usually initiates the Heartbeat request and sends mock data along with the size of the data to the server. The server, in return, replies back with the same mock data sent by the client. However, an attacker can send a mock packet of data with the wrong data size. The incorrect implementation resulted in the server failing to verify if the packet size and the data size matched. In the case of a mismatch, the server would send back what was originally transmitted and some additional information drawn from the address space of the application, which could potentially be sensitive information like passwords, social security numbers, or worse, private encryption keys. “The attacker can’t precisely control which information he gets on any particular request,” Hamlen said. “But the attacker can wallpaper you with many, many requests over a long period of time and probably get any information in the address space that is available.”


» Prior to Monday, April 7 or early April 7 Facebook gets a heads up.

» Monday, April 7 12:21:29

A new OpenSSL version is uploaded to OpenSSL's web server with the filename “openssl1.0.1g.tgz.”

» Monday, April 7 12:27

OpenSSL publishes a Heatbleed security advisory on its website (website metadata shows time as 10:27 PDT).

» Monday, April 7 ~15:13

Most of the world finds out about the issue through

» Tuesday, April 8

UTD researchers decide to implement the prototype to counter Heartbleed.

» Wednesday, April 9 02:30

UTD researchers successfully implement Red Herring.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, in collaboration with Ben Grubb of Fairfax Media.



Codenomicon purchases the domain name, where it later publishes information about the security flaw.

Software engineering doctoral student Frederico Araujo worked with professor Kevin Hamlen to develop Red Herring, a counter to a bug that affected two-thirds of the Internet.




Just the facts

THE MERCURY UTDMERCURY.COM Volume XXXIX No. 8 Editor-in-Chief Lauren Featherstone (972) 883-2294

Managing Editor Sheila Dang managingeditor (972) 883-2287

Director of Sales and Promotions Nada Alasmi (972) 883-2210

Web Editor Anwesha Bhattacharjee

Photo Editor Christopher Wang

Graphics Editor Lina Moon

Life & Arts Editor Miguel Perez

Sports Editor Parth Sampat

Asst. Photo Editor Connie Cheng

Media Adviser Chad Thomas (972) 883-2286

Ad Sales Representative Juveria Baig promotions (713) 298-0025

Staff Photographers Parth Parikh Marcelo Yates Staff Writer Pablo Arauz Contributors Zainah Asfoor Esteban Bustillos Demir Candas Andrew Gallegos Emily Grams


Thought-provoking statistics from Christopher Wang ZAINAH ASFOOR Mercury Staff

Senator Janani Sundaresan presented a proposal to create school councils in each of the six UTD schools at the April 15 Student Government meeting. SG has looked at other school councils from other universities, such as UT, as well as the School of Management’s Dean’s Council, to serve as models. The councils would exist to create events for the students in that school, host town hall meetings, foster school pride and listen to students’ problems and concerns. Each council would be made up of students from the respective schools. Council members would then report these issues to SG. The proposal will be voted on by the next senate at the May 6 SG meeting and sent to Dean of Students Gene Fitch for approval. SG Vice President Charlie Hannigan presented constitutional amendments and the honor code resolution at the meeting. The proposed changes that were made to the SG constitution included decreasing the number of committees from seven to five and allocating more senate seats as the student body increases. Senate believes this will better help with SG handlings and matters, Hannigan said. The honor code resolution states that the honor code shall be placed on examinations, be taught at student orientations, be placed in admission materials and be added to all syllabi. However, the senate was not able to vote on the measures because it did not meet quorum. The amendments and resolution were kept on the table to be discussed as old business by the new senate at the May 6 SG meeting. The amendments will then be available on SG’s webpage for the student body to review before senate votes on them in the upcoming fall semester. t 3FTJEFOUJBM "êBJST $PNNJUUFF $IBJS ,BUJF Truesdale said an irrigation system was installed near the former Waterview apartments to water the soil before it causes any foundational problems. University Village is also having engineers inspect balconies to make sure they are still properly and safely connected to the buildings. UV placed braces on the balconies until all inspections and constructions are completed to secure them from falling or getting damaged. Students are advised not to go out on their balconies

and porches. If any problems are detected, they will start reconstruction immediately, Hannigan said. t5SVFTEBMFBMTPTBJEUIBUTUVEFOUTXIPIBWF not received an email confirming their housing should start looking for alternative housing options. Upperclassmen are able to apply for Res Hall housing. t 4UVEFOU "ĂŞBJST $PNNJUUFF $IBJS $BTFZ Sublett said that SG and university officials will walk around campus on May 8 to adESFTT EJĂŞFSFOU MPDBUJPOT PG DPODFSO SFHBSEJOH smoking. According to the smoking policy, all smokers must stay at least 33 feet away from doors. However, many students are not respecting this policy, Sublett said. Areas of big concern include the area behind Berkner Hall and the Science and Learning Center, where many chemical and flammable materials are stored, and outside the Student Union on the Mall and on the wooden steps, where there is a lot of traffic. t -FHJTMBUJWF "ĂŞBJST $PNNJUUFF $IBJS 4JEE Sant said SG will hold a voter registration booth from 2:30-4 p.m. on May 1 in the Comet CafĂŠ. Students from Dallas and Collin counties can register there for state elections. t$PNNVOJDBUJPOT$PNNJUUFF$IBJS.JHVFM Juarez said senate will be printing business cards with general SG contact information as well as each senator’s contact information. Juarez said he hopes this will help students know their representatives in SG and build better relationships between students and senators. Senate allocated $125 for the business cards. t4VCMFUUQSFTFOUFEBQSPQPTBMGPSBUSBEJUJPO tree to be planted on campus. One of the proposed locations was the gazebo next to Lot D. Senate hopes this will be the first step toward enhancing the gazebo area to be used for graduation pictures and other events. This tree would be donated from SG. Senate allocated $1,000 for the tradition tree. t4FOBUFBMMPDBUFE UPCVZUBCMFUT DPN puters and any other necessary accessories and programs for SG to use; $25 was allocated for cookies for the voter registration drive; $300 was allocated for SG T-shirts; $30 was allocated for sweet tea for the “Meet You Senatorsâ€? event. t ɨ  F MBTU 4( NFFUJOH PG UIF TFNFTUFS XJMM be at 5:15 p.m. on May 6 in one of the Galaxy Rooms.

Debt scorecard $1 trillion $27,253 $17,233 58% 37 million 5.4 million $3,000 / second or more in total student loan debt in the U.S.

average student debt burden in 2013

average student debt burden in 2005

increase in average debt burden from 2005-2013

Americans have an oustanding student loan balance

of the above 37 million have at least one past-due account

rate at which total student debt increases in the U.S. Sources: American Student Assistance, Bloomberg Businessweek

Anand Jayanti Ian Lamarsh Madison McCall Yusof Nazari Sid Patel Joey Sankman Jeff Thekkekara Justin Thompson Shyam Vedantam Yang Xi Mailing Address 800 West Campbell Road, SU 24 Richardson, TX 75080-0688 Newsroom Student Union, Student Media Suite SU 1.601 FIRST COPY FREE NEXT COPY 25 CENTS The Mercury is published on Mondays, at two-week intervals during the long term of The University of Texas at Dallas, except holidays and exam periods, and once every four weeks during the summer term. Advertising is accepted by The Mercury on the basis that there is no discrimination by the advertiser in the offering of goods or services to any person, on any basis prohibited by applicable law. The publication of advertising in The Mercury does not constitute an endorsement of products or services by the newspaper, or the UTD administration. Opinions expressed in The Mercury are those of the editor, the editorial board or the writer of the article. They are not necessarily the view of the UTD administration, the Board of Regents or the Student Media Operating Board. The Mercury’s editors retain the right to refuse or edit any submission based on libel, malice, spelling, grammar and style, and violations of Section 54.23 (f ) (1-6) of UTD policy. Copyright Š 2014, The University of Texas at Dallas. All articles, photographs and graphic assets, whether in print or online, may not be reproduced or republished in part or in whole without express written permission.

UTDPD Blotter April 8 t"OVOBĂŻ MJBUFEGFNBMFXBTBSSFTUFEPOUXP outstanding Richardson city warrants for speeding and no insurance on Waterview Parkway around 10:30 a.m. April 9 t " TUVEFOU SFQPSUFE IBWJOH NPOFZ TUPMFO from his apartment while he was at work at Phase 3 around 8 p.m. April 10 t"TUVEFOUTXBMMFUXBTUBLFOGSPNUIF"DUJWJUZ Center around 1:35 p.m. t"TUVEFOUSFQPSUFEUIBUBOVOLOPXOJOEJ vidual took her bike without her consent from the University Village around 3 p.m. April 11 tAn unaffiliated person was issued a citation for minor in possession of alcohol on West Campbell Road at 11:54 p.m. April 13 tAn affiliated male was arrested for possession of drug paraphenilia and marijuana at Residence Hall North at 8:56 p.m. April 14 t" TUVEFOU SFQPSUFE IFS WFIJDMF XBT TUSVDL by another vehicle and the other driver left the scene without giving information at Lot J at 12:58 p.m. April 16 t"65%1PMJDFPĂŻ DFSIBEBNJOPSBDDJEFOU at Parking Structure 1 at approximately 3 p.m. April 17 tAn unaffiliated person was arrested for driving while intoxicated on North Floyd Road at 12:18 a.m. April 18 tA UTD employee reported two laptops were missing from room 1.908 in the EMS building around 1:30 p.m.


The Mercury is a proud member of both the Associated Collegiate Press and the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.


April 15: An unaffiliated person was arrested for DWLI, disregard of a traffic control device, a Dallas warrant for possession of marijuana under 2 ounces and 5 traffic warrants from Garland and Mesquite on Rutford Avenue at about 10 a.m.

April 8: A student stated a classmate made profane/alarming remarks during a study session at the library around 8 a.m.

April 10: An officer was dispatched to the Student Union after a female student reported her ex-boyfriend threatened her and took her property without her consent around 10 p.m.




A roaring mob of students form a wall around the Art Barn just as the wrecking ball is about to swing … OK, perhaps the protests for the Visual Art Building’s preservation have not been quite so cinematic, but here’s why people should pay attention. The 35-year-old structure, most commonly called the Art Barn, is in danger of losing its presence forever on campus. A presence that has fostered creativity and freedom, collaboration and risk-taking, and has formed a culture and heritage at a young university that’s just starting to discover how valuable history can be. Though the university has yet to formally confirm its closure of the Art Barn, word has been going around, and it’s not just rumors. While the decision will ultimately be made by UTD President David Daniel, Dean of Arts and Humanities Dennis Kratz said in an email to The Mercury, “After examining all the evidence, I am

of the opinion that the Art Barn does not have a long range future, and I believe it is the correct decision both to close it now and to take immediate steps to minimize any disruption to our student exhibitions and the fall academic schedule.” Closing the building of course is necessary in any course of action, as an inspection this semester revealed that the Art Barn would need a lot of work to come up to health and safety codes. But the fear among students, alumni and supporters is not that the building will be temporarily shut down, but that once it does, its doors will never again be opened. Kratz said there is no talk about demolishing the building at this time, but what is most important to understand about this subject is that the “now” factor isn’t important. Students can be appeased if they hear that a smoke-free policy will be implemented in five years, because even if they’re voting on the matter, it won’t affect them. Similarly, we’re told there are going to be more great on-campus dining options, but what do I care if I’ve already graduated? The reason this issue has been blow-

ing up since the band Anamanaguchi endorsed “Save the Art Barn” at the jam-packed gallery space on April 17 is because it transcends personal conveniences. The new Arts & Technology Building can take care of most of what UTD artists need to function right now. And if it can’t, the university can always build something else. But it can’t build history. It can’t build those 3 a.m. nights searching for inspiration in what had been a sanctuary to so many students who had come before. It can’t build the old floors that are literally covered in accidents, experiments and the unbound efforts of those priceless projects that were made. It can’t build the walls that hold so many memories. The reason the top universities are so great is because they hold onto their identity. They use monuments to tie them to their roots while they shoot for the stars with remarkable innovation. It’s easy to see prime real estate such as where the Art Barn exists and have visions of ground-up grandeur like a new, shiny toy, but people are always going to want to return to their symbolic torn-up blanky.


UTD must learn value of culture, history to create community, identity found at top universities


The Visual Arts Building, better known as the Art Barn, risks being eliminated as part of the university. The 35-year-old structure has forged an identity that is unique among such a young campus. Its supporters call for rennovation rather than closure.

A tear down and rebuild platform cannot tie together past, present and future Comets. Our young university must realize that its value is in its history. If it wants to go in a new direction, then it must learn how to incorporate the old with the new. Whatever monetary costs

it might take, the payoff of having an alumni and student base who can identify with and share a culture that they know will value their place on campus even after they leave, is worth far more. A decision has not been made, but it should be: Save the Art Barn.

Campus needs larger performing arts venue ANWESHA BHATTACHARJEE COMMENTARY


how much more it would have cost. However, a stand-alone performance center like the Wagner Noel Performance Center in Dallas for UT Permian Basin cost $65 million, according to the university’s website. UTD’s master plan for 2050 shows the plan for an event and conference

of Richardson, however, is not free to students, unlike all facilities on campus. While it is true that we don’t have as many shows to warrant an event center all by itself yet, instead of building multiple lecture halls, the university

100-120 events to justify and offset the cost of building, operating and maintaining the facility, he said. In the meantime, Jamison recommends students use the Eisemann Center a few miles from campus if they need a hall that holds more than 500 people. The venue, owned by the City

could have shown some foresight and invested in some performance capabilities for the newly constructed ATEC hall. Nevertheless, the hall is made, and beyond very small performance acts, the acoustics and infrastructure for the hall don’t support big theater or dance

shows. The hall is rarely ever made available to student organizations, used only for the Distinguished Lecture Series at present. Perhaps administrators at UTD aren’t seeing the numbers when it comes to demand for a space that seats more than 1,000 people. Yet, theater classes need to perform for four days two weeks in a row, often to a full hall, as is the case with dance ensembles to accommodate the demand for the shows. Annual events like the Bangladesh Night and events like the I-Week Talent Show had crowds of more than 1,500 in the gym despite bad infrastructure, with flags of sports teams flying in the backdrop. These are the same annual shows that used the Clark Center even two years ago. The turnout at these shows, few as they are, indicates that the campus population, particularly those that live here, will create a stronger demand for the performing arts as enrollment continues to grow. Performance arts are the foundation for human liberty and free thought, and while UTD started out as a STEM research institute, as we march on aggressively to attain Tier One status, this is one half of the realm of education that we cannot ignore. A stronger performance arts program can only help make UTD stand out for its overall educational experience and academic excellence, and one can only hope that the campus administration will support the program with better infrastructure long before 2050.

“Do you think the Art Barn should be maintained and renovated so it can have a long-term presence on campus?”

m et


center, but at the moment there seem to be no immediate plans for the construction of one, said Calvin Jamison, vice president for the Office of Administration. For the successful operation of an event center, UTD would need to have




For a campus that’s growing by 4 percent a year, it is a matter of embarrassment that we don’t have a performance venue on campus that seats more than 500. Larger student organizations like the Indian Student Association, Bangladesh Student Organization and even the International Student Services Office are having to move their cultural events to the gym, which seats 2,500, but was never meant for performances. The stage is make-shift, the lighting is poor and the men’s and women’s locker rooms substitute for green rooms. It is, perhaps, important to note that no Tier One school has attained its status by ignoring the performing arts. As of fall 2013, there are more than 1,800 arts and humanities students, and students in some of the dance and improvisation classes come from all majors. To say that UTD is still what it was 40 years ago — a school for STEM research — would be a big mistake. When the Arts & Technology Building was in the planning stage, students had hoped the 1,200-seat hall would be able to handle cultural shows and performances. It came as a huge disappointment when the lecture hall, as it is called, was not available to student organizations and the few shows it

hosted were marred by poor acoustics. The university spent $60 million on the building, but how much more would it have cost to make the lecture hall more than just a space for talks? When contacted, university officials were unable to provide an estimate on

n e mm

“I definitely think it needs to be renovated. It’s a unique little piece of UTD no other campus has.” Stanley Joseph Financial accounting freshman

“I think that it should be maintained because it’s a nice, separate facility where students can come and go and work on art. There’s a lot of memories and history there.” Haesong Lee Child learning and development freshman “Not necessarily. I’ve never been there, so I don’t see the value in it.”

David Allen Mechanical engineering senior

“I think it can be so much better. I pass by there and I kind of don’t see what it’s for.” Chanel Ebanks

Marketing freshman

“It’s important that we have the Art Barn on campus in order to grow and flourish the artistic side of UTD. If we don’t have the artistic side, we can’t explore the full effect that math and science have.” Corinne Kelley EMAC senior





New electronics flexible in more ways than one

Researchers study effects of marijuana New long-term studies tackle the neurological, socio-economic impact PABLO ARAUZ Mercury Staff


Research associate Israel Mejia examines equipment in the material sciences research lab in north campus. This NSERL lab represents some of the most advanced technological work being done at the university, including diamond-coated chips that may partially restore sight in those with vision loss.

Cutting-edge circutry has numerous applications in multiple fields including medicine, homeland security JOEY SANKMAN Mercury Staff

Flexible electronics, with applications from consumer to military, have the potential to improve the quality of life and safety for all people. Flexible electronics specifically refer to electronic circuits that are mounted or built on a pliable substrate, or base material. The substrate can be a variety of inorganic or organic materials, like plastic. These innovative electronics are gaining headway due to pioneering research by Bruce Gnade, professor of material science and engineering, and Manuel Quevedo, associate professor of material science and engineering. The ruggedness of flexible electronics is a key advantage over conventional rigid implementations, Gnade said. “I may want (the flexible circuits) to be conformal. I may want to wrap it around a post … or a balloon, so that the fact that I can do that opens up a lot of applications that you can’t do just with rigid glass,” Gnade said. “Our biggest effort (at UTD) right now, in flexible electronics, is for radiation sensors,” Gnade said. “We want

—In brief—

The black crumb-like bits falling from vents in the Jonsson Center are not mold — as some students and professors feared — but dust that has accumulated in the ducts over time, according to Facilities Management Director Kelly Kinnard. Air ducts in buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s were lined with insulation to prevent hissing noises, Kinnard said. Time and humidity allowed dust and debris to build up on the surface of the insulation, and even the slightest movement, like closing a door too hard, would shake the dust and debris off, he said. Dust particles have been falling in other buildings such as Founders Annex and Green Hall, but only in certain areas. Facilities Management was notified of the dust problem about a year ago and had both buildings cleaned. In Jonsson, the problem has become more widespread within the past few months, with many rooms on several floors affected, said Arts and Humanities Dean Dennis Kratz. Blackmon Mooring, a cleaning and restoration company, has begun cleaning the air ducts in Jonsson and is expected to finish by mid-July. Cleaning mainly will be done at night and should not disrupt classes or performances, Kinnard said. The insides of the ducts will be sprayed with dust-resistant paint to prevent dust accumulation in the future. - Zainah Asfoor

to make big radiation sensors … that are going to be used out in the field. If you can roll it into a tube, that’s a lot easier to transport.” In the United States, only a small percentage of cargo is scanned for radioactive materials, Quevedo said. A hand-held Geiger counter is typically used to manually inspect cargo, leading to a time-consuming inspection process that results in most cargo passing into the United States uninspected. This poses a security issue because dirty bombs could reach the United States undetected, killing civilians and rendering affected regions uninhabitable due to radiation. To alleviate this risk, Quevedo and his team are working on large area sensors to efficiently scan cargo. “What we’re developing is a dome — we call it the tunnel of truth — where the cargo can pass through and if there is any radioactivity (emitted neutrons), those neutrons will be sensed,” Quevedo said. “The advantage of flexible electronics is that they are cheap. For us to build this dome, it won’t be a matter of how much it costs.” Quevedo’s team has developed a small scale prototype to validate the

concept. The mockup consists of a radiation source affixed to a toy car and a miniature tunnel of truth that has Quevedo’s radiation sensors embedded within. As the toy car pass through the tunnel, the prototype transmits a count of the radiation detection events to a smartphone. However, the processing and fabrication of flexible electronics have been major research challenges in their work, due to the significant variation in the performance of the devices, Gnade said. Overcoming this issue is a key hurdle in enabling circuits to be implemented. Gnade is investigating new fabrication techniques and circuit topologies that can reduce or tolerate the effects of process variation. Conventional semiconductor processing benefits from high temperature annealing, which enables imperfections in the fabrication to be cleaned up, Gnade said. For example, if the copper contact resistance is too high, the semiconductor can be annealed in hydrogen to correct the resistance. However, a plastic substrate cannot tolerate high temperature annealing

needed for circuits. Conventionally, this has been acceptable for the flat-panel display industry, which does not require tight control over process variations, Gnade said. Nonetheless, flat-panel displays have been a reason for the progress of flexible electronics. “I don’t think flexible electronics would go anywhere if the flat-panel display industry weren’t already there,” Gnade said. “We don’t have to build any of the tools. No one would go out and spend $1 billion to build a factory hoping somebody would buy flexible electronics, but all of those factories are already there.” Gnade and Quevedo also see many other potential areas to which their technology can be applied. A curved X-ray detector for CAT scans – enabled by flexible electronics – would allow for easier image reconstruction, Gnade said. The net result of a curved detector is that radiation dosages can be significantly reduced for patients


UTD professors are making new discoveries on the scientific and socio-economic effects of marijuana. Francesca Filbey, associate professor in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is taking part in a federally funded consortium studying the effects of marijuana on the brain. The consortium is a collaboration between the National Institute on Drug Abuse and four other universities including Harvard and the University of California, San Diego. “There is a growing change in our attitudes towards marijuana and I think before we can make real decisions about marijuana’s impact to society, we really need to see what their real effects are,” Filbey said. Filbey focuses her studies on the marijuana use and addiction. She said previous research has shown that the substance triggers a heightened response in the part of the brain that responds to natural rewards such as food and water. Move this below 2nd paragraph “We’ve also found a number of genes that put some individuals at heightened risk for this response,” she said. For the current study, Filbey is trying to answer the question of what the psychological effects are on people who smoke and people who don’t as well as those same effects on those with addictive personalities. “Paradoxically, marijuana has been around for a long time and it has been used for a variety of purposes, we actually know very little about the long term effects,” said Filbey. On the socio-economic level, criminology professor Robert Morris, recently completed a study on marijuana legalization and its effect on violent crime rates. He said that after hearing many argue against the legalization of marijuana because of its potential effect on the increase of crime, his study showed the opposite. Morris said that in parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes, certain types of crime have been unaffected. Ph.D. student Michael TenEyck, assistant professor J.C. Barnes and Tomislav V. Kovandzic also participated in the study.

Students honored, memorialized ZAINAH ASFOOR Mercury Staff

It was a solemn yet heartfelt ceremony, bringing everyone to tears, remembering 11 students who died during the past year. UTD’s first annual student memorial, “Comets Remember,” which was held on April 16 in the Galaxy Rooms, was short and emotional. Dean of Students Gene Fitch, who felt it was important that UTD remembers and honors Comets who have died, first proposed the idea of an annual student memorial to Student Government, who felt the same way. A bagpipe player began the ceremony, leading President David Daniel, Vice President for Student Affairs Darrelene Rachavong, Fitch, Student Government President Liza Liberman and SG Vice President Charlie Hannigan onto the stage. “In some things, closure is never complete, but we hope that today’s remembrance will alternatively be helpful in that regard,” Daniel said. Daniel, Rachavong and Liberman all gave short speeches offering their condolences to the families and acknowledging the students’ successes, failures and contribution to the university. Hannigan read “We Remember Them,” a poem from a Hebrew prayer book. Fitch then individually recognized each student. Flowers were given to each of the families; for those who couldn’t make it, SG senators accepted those flowers on their behalf. A bell was rung each time, and Fitch declared each student an “Eternal Comet.” The ceremony was followed by a re-


As Dean of Students Gene Fitch individually recognized each student, flowers were given to the family members of the students who have passed away in the last year. SG senators accepted flowers on behalf of families who could not attend.

ception for everyone to meet and share stories. While some cried openly, others, like Associate Dean of Student Kimberly Winkler, escaped to the bathroom several times to wipe the tears away. “These events are really hard for me. I really just hope we did something kind for the people that lost their family members,” said Hannigan. The parents of Janani Jambukesan, who was a business administration major and a member of Phi Beta Lambda, talked with SG members at the reception. Her dad was mostly quiet as tears streamed down his cheeks, listening to his wife tell how their daughter was stressing over an exam the day she had her stroke. Her mother

remembers her being excited to come to UTD, and always striving to do well in her studies. “She was my best friend. But God wanted her back,” said Jambukesan’s mother. Patrick Maruthmmotil’s aunt, uncle and cousin were also present at the ceremony. They shared their nephew’s story proudly, remembering his achievements and kind heart. Maruthmmotil was a graduate student at UTD, and had previously received his bachelor’s and his first master’s degree from UTD. He was a student ambassador, a member of several organizations and graduated magna cum laude. His family said he was always very

positive. He died while on a trip to feed the homeless in Oklahoma. “This is a good thing for UTD to remember students lost. It brings a good feeling to the families and the students,” said Maruthmmotil’s uncle. UTD is notified of student deaths either by their families or by the news. Though many times, Rachavong said, the university is not notified. The Counseling Center on campus offers counseling to the families and friends of students who have passed or were injured. The university plans to hold a student memorial every first Thursday of April, honoring students who have died in the past year.



undergoing scans. In comparison with the conventional approach, which uses a series of flat detectors and continuous radiation, a curved detector would enable a single shot of radiation and easy imaging, Gnade said. Furthermore, this technology also can facilitate more precise and lower dosage radiation treatment for cancer. “I had a friend who had a brain tumor, and he had to go through radiation theory,” Quevedo said. “(The doctors) have a beam of ra-

diation … and they basically direct that beam through the head. The problem is that the doctors don’t know where the beam is going — they kind of guess.” To overcome this challenge, flexible electronics can be used to create a mask for the patient’s head that directs radiation down a pathway to a precise location, with control over the dosage, Quevedo said. The potential applications extend beyond industrial medical devices to consumer products as well. “Wearable electronics will have many applications,” Quevedo said. “Right now, you can

NEWS buy an app that tracks heart rate, but if you can embed (the sensor) in your clothing, that would be great.” Flexible electronics also can be used to achieve large area electronics. For example, a pliable mat of sensors could be used to cover the floors of a house, which could detect if an elderly occupant falls, Quevedo said. Other recent mainstream demonstrations include bendable electronic displays showcased by Samsung at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show and LG’s G Flex smartphone. An example of commercialization of this technology is the


flexible display being used by the UTD startup company, Rollout, Gnade said. Rollout, which is developing a full-size electronic blueprint system, was founded last July by graduate students Alejandro Jacobo and Matthew Hinson, both majoring in innovation and entrepreneurship. For students interested in pursuing research in flexible electronics, there are many disciplines from which to approach the topic. Quevedo’s multidisciplinary team, for example, consists of electrical engineers, chemical engineers and physicists, to name a few.


Material science and engineering professor Manuel Quevedo and his team created a small scale prototype to demonstrate how cargo can be scanned for radioactive materials. As the toy car passes through the tunnel, radiation detection events are transmitted to a smartphone.

We can defeat litter. Drop your used cubes in the nearest open V, for victory.

Recycle The Mercury









decoding religion Followers of Sikhism practice philanthropy, community service, advocate for increased exposure for South Asian religion Editor’s Note In an effort to further understand UTD’s diverse population, what follows is the final part in a four-part series exploring lesser-known religious communities, their traditions and their presence on campus. ANWESHA BATTACHARJEE Web Editor

Every Friday, Prabhmanmeet Singh goes to the Gurdwara Singh Sabha of North Texas in Richardson and meditates quietly to be at peace with himself and connect with God. Singh, a computer science graduate student, has been following the ritual since he was 10. When he first started meditating, he questioned his religious teachers about the meaning of God. The answer to the question, they said, was in the “Mool Man-

tar,” or the main vision, of the Guru Granth Sahib, a scripture better known as The Guru. There is only one God, and he is a singular energy, The Guru states. There is no duality in the world, but when the time dimension enters the mind, one either dwells on the past, which leads to regrets, or on the future, which causes anxiety. The purpose of meditation is to connect to God and feel his presence by focusing on the present. The Guru is the Holy Scripture for Sikhism — one of the top five religions in the world today — that evolved 600 years ago deep in the heart of the state of Punjab in India. Inside the Temple Equality, charity and service to the community form the basis of the religion, Singh said. “Gender equality … (is) the core principle of Sikhism and so being a girl I feel like I had so many more


The “Khanda” represents the Sikh doctrine of “Deg Tegh Fateh,” meaning victory to charity and arms. The symbol has three parts; a double-edged sword, a chakkar and two single-edged swords.

opportunities given to me,” said Gurbani Makkar, neuroscience junior. Gurudwaras, or Sikh temples of worship, have a “langar,” or an open kitchen, where food is cooked throughout the day for anyone who comes to the Gurudwara. Members of the Sikh community volunteer to serve food to anyone who comes to eat. At the time the religion was founded, not only did these kitchens provide free food to the poor and needy, but also symbolized equality where all people, irrespective of gender, caste or race could sit together and eat. The system overthrew the existing institution of untouchability where people from the “untouchable” caste could not eat or drink water at the same place as upper castes. Gurudwaras all over the world still continue the tradition, and remain open all day and night in India. The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the most prominent Gurud-

wara for Sikhs, has more than 80,000 people come and eat each day, according to a report in The Deccan Herald, a leading Indian newspaper. Gurudwaras are open to everyone, and people from all religions and races can attend. The environment is welcoming, and there are volunteers who will help first-time attendees tour the temple, said Suneet Flora, a biology senior. There are projectors that depict the history of the religion and translate the original script written in Gurumukhi to English, but no one will push the religion on nonSikhs, she said. “Sikhism is not a very judging religion; it’s very open,” Flora said. “We go to the Gurudwara and I’ve seen white and black people, and they haven’t converted but they just go there


Golden years User experience org fuses spent learning, tech, design, interactivity volunteering MIGUEL PEREZ Life & Arts Editor

94-year-old alum receives bachelor’s at 87, master’s in psychological science at 90 SHEILA DANG Managing Editor

UTD alum Helen Small had always dreamt of getting a college education. By 2010, she had walked across the stage twice to receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, having finally achieved her goal — 72 years after first setting out on her journey. Small’s college career first began in 1938 at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, where she met her husband Al while standing in line to register for classes. The two ended up in a few of the same classes, studied together, began dating and eventually married. The pair left Akron after one year, when Small looked for a job, and her husband joined the army. World War II and the depression had hit hard after the two had married. Over the years, Small worked as a real estate agent, raised three sons and oversaw a homebuilding company for more than 40 years with her husband. Yet, Small continued to add

onto her education. She received her broker’s license from El Centro College. She eventually left the real estate field to work full time in their homebuilding company. At 84 years old, Small received her associate’s degree in general studies from Brookhaven College. But she never doubted that she would finish her bachelor’s degree one day. “I always had that unfulfilled desire to go back to school,” she said. “However, many things intervened before I could go back.” After 61 years of marriage, Small’s husband died at the age of 84. Small then decided it was it was time to return to school. Small chose to major in psychology because it could be used in everyday life. Plus, having nine grandchildren required a knowledge of psychology, Small said. By 2007, Small had achieved her goal, and


Behind every electronic screen, there’s a team of designers, architects and engineers perfecting a seamless experience for consumers. Students have taken notice and are working to gain traction in the field of user experience. The User Experience Club, or UX Club, became an official organization in February and is working to connect emerging media and communication students, among other majors, to industry professionals in a growing field. Stephanie Brisendine, EMAC senior and vice president of the UX Club, said user experience is anything under the huge umbrella of design involving the interaction between humans and technology. The organization is not entirely composed of EMAC majors, as it’s attracted computer science and neuroscience majors for the field’s focus on human interactivity with technology. “For instance, you walk into a restaurant and they have huge screens that display the menu and they’re interactive,” Brisendine said. “Everything from the atmosphere of the restaurant to

the little motion a button makes is user experience. The ultimate goal is to make user experience so seamless that people don’t notice it.” Something as simple as the color of a button on a website can have major implications for a company, and designers trained in UX are aware of that, she said. The club is the combined effort of several EMAC students, including Brisendine, and clinical assistant professor Cassini Nazir. “We joke that (Nazir’s) kind of like an octopus and he has his tentacles in everything because he really spreads himself over many areas,” Brisendine said. His connections with the local UX community have helped the club bring in industry professionals for guest lectures. “One thing that we as students wanted to start was something outside of school that could give students a direct link to industry,” Brisendine said. “We’ve had a few big shot industry members come and speak to us as guest speakers, and we also connected with the Dallas user experience group on MeetUp.” So far, the UX Club has hosted Brian Sullivan, principal for tech company Sabre; Jeremy


Norm Cox of experience design firm Cox&Hall spoke to the UX Club on April 23. He worked with Xerox to develop early user interfaces.

Johnson, director of user experience for projekt202; and Norm Cox of experience design company Cox&Hall. Cox was the visual and interface designer for the Xerox “Star” project which was “the world’s first graphical user interface,” according to the Cox&Hall website. During his guest lecture on April 23, Cox spoke to the UX Club about the challenge of be-

ing a UX professional who often has a wide variety of computer, design and other skills. “Our clients have no idea what we do, so if you can do any one of these, they’re going to expect you to do all,” Cox said. “My encouragement to (students) is to learn everything you can about this discipline about creating experiences either in an


ATEC alumni developing innovative RPG ANWESHA BATTACHARJEE Web Editor

Two alumni who are creating a new video game, “Popup Dungeon,” launched a Kickstarter campaign April 3 to raise funds to develop their game. The campaign aims to raise $80,000 by May 18. The game is slated for a summer 2016 release and Kickstarter backers will be able to get early access in the first half of 2015, said Enrique Dryere, one of the game developers. “Popup Dungeon” will be an easy, storyline-based roleplaying game, which allows players to create their own heroes, enemies, abilities and storylines. “(We thought), first things first, we need to make a game that anyone can play, so this game’s going to be ‘all you need to do is click,’” said Paul Dryere, Enrique’s brother and fellow devel-

oper on the team. “… It’s not action based but turn based and something our mom and dad could play.” The name for the game originated from an idea of designing the game as a popup book, Enrique said. However, the mathematics and artificial intelligence required for creating a popup book game, where the game board would open up like a book, was complicated. So the team chose to create a dungeon crawl game where the tiles and objects either pop up or go down with every movement. A player who plays the game master, a wizard, who lives in the depths of the dungeons and cannot be reached except through portals, controls the game. Just like in Jumanji, the game master is interested in the abilities of the players and not the physical body of the players themselves. Players must convince the game master to give them the powers they

want by negotiating for them. Based on these negotiations, the game master will decide which characters to reward, punish or help, based on his strategy to acquire abilities. “What we’re trying to do (is that) everything is in game,” Enrique said. “You’re not ever going to come out of the game, write script, import (anything) from outside of the game to create something within the game. It’s all very streamlined; you should be able to create an ability in about five minutes.” Apart from the native characters the trio is developing, they are also trying to contact other indie developers for permission to import their characters from other games such as Banner Saga, Nidhogg and Minecraft, Paul said. Enrique and Paul, both Arts &



Created by ATEC alumni Paul and Enrique Dryere, “Popup Dungeon” requires players to convince game masters why they should be given an ability and how much power that ability should have. The game will have integrated voice over IP to enable these negotiations between players and the game master.





For one last hurrah, the Spring Blowout Bash featuring Anamanaguchi marked a milestone for the university and its students. Hosted by Radio UTD with support from the other Student Media organizations, the April 17 show was the first concert played in the Visual Arts Building in recent memory. Anamanaguchi immediately became one of the most thrilling performances to ever come to the campus. For those not acquainted with the chiptune and electronic band, Anamanaguchi is the composer of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game” soundtrack, numerous albums and EPs, and is the first band to ever send a pizza into space. Due to the rain that evening, the venue was relocated from the Plinth to the more intimate, but equally raucous Art Barn, where hundreds of students packed in to dance, mosh and crowd surf in one of the most unexpectedly high-energy events that has ever taken place on campus. Openers Nite invigorated the audience with the Denton duo’s



lively fusion of synth-laced indie rock and electronic music, warming the crowd up for the main attraction. Anamanaguchi only served to elevate the spirits of the audience, as a projector flashed images of video games and 8-bit action, and the band rocked the crowd with its brand of 8-bit math-rock and furious guitar work. Anamanguchi’s set was satisfying in length, and the band fulfilled its mission of supplying energetic feeling to the crowd and dopamine to the brain during the forty-minute show. Almost all of Anamanaguchi’s songs are high energy, so this was no easy feat, but the crowd was in an ecstatic mood that night and the band’s inimitable style was all they needed. Big fans may have noticed that the band’s most iconic song, “Endless Fantasy,” wasn’t played, nor was the easily recognizable material from the “Scott Pilgrim” soundtrack. With all that said, the Anamanaguchi concert was still an amazing way to end the semester. It created an atmosphere unique to UTD with a stellar music scene, letting loose the inner band fan that we normally wouldn’t know existed.



Interview by Tyler Tornblom

Before the show, Radio UTD sat down with Anamanaguchi to discuss chiptune music, venues and upcoming shows Radio UTD: If you had a secret room in your house, accessible by a bookshelf, which book would be the key to open it? Pete: First of all, definitely want a secret room. As soon as I get a house someday, secret room definitely happening. The book? That’s a good question, dude. I’ll go last. I bet Luke

knows, Luke thought about this. Luke: I don’t know yet, give me a second here. So it can’t be the book you’d least expect, cause obviously that’s going to make it the one you most expect; it can’t just be labeled ‘Secret Door.’ Let’s go with “Our Man in Havana” by Graham Green. Pete: I’ve got my answer! Luke: You picked last, dude. Ary: Let’s go with “The Polar Express.” James: I’d go with “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Pete: I’d go with a DVD, because it

would be a DVD shelf. It would be “Ace Ventura.” The reason being, if you pick that movie out of my DVD collection, you can come in my secret room and we’ll watch it. Radio UTD: If you had a 3-D printer, what’s the first thing you would print? Ary: You’re implying we don’t. Radio UTD: Oh, do you? What was the first thing you printed then? Ary: You haven’t been in my secret room yet. All: [Laugh] Pete: I’d print little action figures of all of us so I can stage conversations

I want to have with the band before I have them you know? Prep myself up for big talks. James: I think we’d all have to agree with that. Luke: We’re all nervous individually; the only way this band functions is if we do a lot of pre-production, individually.

packed and sweaty all over the place but there’s more of them. James: It comes down to the audience having a good time, and as long as they are, we are.

Radio UTD: What size venues do you guys like playing the most?

Pete: Even the very beginning, we’ve never done pure chiptune because of the guitars and drums, but we’ve started blending in a bunch of different sounds. It’s pretty much whatever we like. We have, like I said, no attention span at all so we’ll do what we like and it’ll probably be a little chippy. Luke: Ideally, you’d always be able to tell what an Anamanaguchi song is

Luke: They’re all fun for different reasons. There are some nights where it’s fun to play a tiny room like the size of this classroom and everyone is sweaty and packed all over the place and sometimes it’s fun to play a massive sounding room with everyone

Radio UTD: Do you guys think you’ll ever veer away from the chiptune sound?

whether or not its chip or not because, while it’s an important thing, that’s not what makes us ... us. Radio UTD: What do you guys have coming up this year? Pete: Gmail Fest is coming up. Luke: Hotdog Hootenanny 2014, but the 2015 edition. Pete: We’re playing at the Nestle Crunch Bar Arena with Shaq live DJing as Kazam. We also have that Shark Tank thing that we’re doing. Luke: We’re going to be on an upcoming episode of Shark Tank.

To read the rest of the interview, head over to

‘Under the Skin’ flick Jemison promotes offers art house sci-fi gains in space travel


Scarlett Johansson stars as a disguised alien feeding on human victims while roaming through Scotland.


When a nude Scarlett Johansson starts undressing another woman, it should be titillating and exciting. In the context of “Under the Skin,” the nudity is void of any emotion. Directed by Jonathan Glazer, “Under the Skin” offers none of the guarantees of normal Hollywood films, but it’s still worth experiencing. Experiencing, rather than watching, is the key word here. The film is like a dense novel with erudite diction, unfamiliar phrasing and many ambiguities, but with no SparkNotes to use afterwards. There

are definitely art-house filmmaking techniques at points, but most of the film is made in a classical style that can be easily digested by most viewers. A seven-year project, “Under the Skin” is adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Faber, though the film differs from the novel except for the initial premise. The movie begins in an abstract manner. A tiny light begins to grow. There are lens flares coming off of the light, slowly taking shape and forming concentric circles, which then become an eyeball. Through all this is the screeching, discordant sound of strings. Eventually, a woman’s voice practicing phonetics is audible through the noise. This is the first 15 minutes of the film, which might make some audiences

uncomfortable due to the lack of dialogue. The film then switches to a recognizable locale — Scotland. A man on a motorcycle pulls up to pick up a dead prostitute’s body. An alien, in the form of a wigged Johansson, strips the clothes off the woman to wear, goes to a department store for a different getup and then drives around Scotland in a white minivan. A cycle then begins. Johansson lures desperate and single men into the van and takes them back to her modest house. In the modest house, the film abruptly jumps to a blackened



Mae Jemison was the last speaker of the ATEC Distinguished Lecture Series on April 16 where she spoke about being the first black woman in space, developing the “100 Year Starship” project. PABLO ARAUZ Mercury Staff

In 100 years or so, human beings may be able to reach new frontiers beyond the solar system because of the efforts of astronaut Mae Jemison. Jemison spoke at the ATEC Lecture Hall as the final part of UTD’s Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the Northwood Women’s Club on April 16. She was the first woman of color to travel into outer space,

orbiting the planet on the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Growing up as a child in the 60s, Jemison believed that one day she would become an astronaut. “I remember lying outside on a summer’s night and staring up at the stars with all my young imagination and intensity, and I would always assume that I would go into space,” Jemison said. Jemison graduated from Stanford University in 1977, worked

for the Peace Corps from 1985 to 1987 and then started working for NASA up until 1993. She has since been working in the scientific field as a physician, a professor and an entrepreneur, and she’s currently leads the 100 Year Starship project, intending to make human interstellar travel a possibility. “100 Year Starship really exists to foster the radical leaps in






Japanese culture under the lights




On April 14, the Japanese Student Association took over the Galaxy Rooms for a night of fabulous and awe-inspiring displays of Japanese fashion. Attendees of the J-Fashion Show experienced an eccentric spectrum of styles from Japan, including Lolita, Visual Kei, Uniforms, Traditional and Himekaji, as the models walked the runway. Several students also performed to upbeat Japanese pop songs.

Students shave heads for funds Friends raise money for children’s cancer charity by pledging to go bald MIGUEL PEREZ Life&Arts Editor

Two students are fundraising for children with cancer with the promise that they’ll shave their heads completely bald on May 4. Leora Kurtzer, a business marketing freshman, and Rebecca Jin, a supply chain management sophomore are participating in One Mission’s Kid’s Cancer Buzz-Off. The Buzz-Off is an annual fundraising effort that started in 2010 where individuals and teams raise money for different programs helping children with cancer. Last year, the effort raised more than $1 million. “I heard about (the Buzz-Off) on the radio and I thought it was for a good cause, a fun way to experiment and also get to raise money for a good charity,” Kurzter said. “I’m kind of experimental with my hair. I don’t mind cutting it short or doing an interesting hairstyle, but buzzing it was kind of like my limit.” After seeing a post on Facebook, Jin was interested in joining Kurtzer’s efforts and the two created team DMHP, representing the Davidson Management Honors Program in the Jindal School of Management. Jin said the team has been actively reaching out to its cohort class

→ UX


environment or on computers.” EMAC senior Angie Luu agrees with Cox. UX doesn’t have a large presence in the EMAC program, and there aren’t many forces directing students toward that career path, Luu said. “As a user experience professional, you have to be more of a generalist and understand a lot of different disciplines, and that’s what you get out of EMAC,” she said. Luu, who is also secretary for the UX Club, interns at the digital market agency MEplusYOU, and she’s used the club’s resources and connections to her advantage

and faculty to raise money. “We’ve gotten a lot of support from our classmates as well,” Kurtzer said. “People have been sharing posts and donating.” Both Kurtzer and Jin were met with support save for a brief hesitation from their families. Jin said her parents think the Buzz-Off is a distraction from schoolwork, but she disagrees. “This is the perfect time to do this,” Jin said. “I don’t have a boyfriend, a job or anything tying me down.” Their final goal is $2,000. Currently, they are close to reaching the $600 mark. While Jin doesn’t have any personal experiences with cancer, she remembers vividly a video made by media group SoulPancake. “It was the video that really sparked the idea,” she said. “I was a ball of tears watching it because it was so powerful. It’s the story of a 17-year-old kid who learns he has terminal cancer and he has this song he wrote to convey his goodbye.” Kurtzer and Jin will be at the AT&T Stadium with about 900 other participants to stand in solidarity with children with cancer. Check The Mercury website on May 4 for photos of Leora and Becky’s effort.

to meet people in the Dallas UX group and in the broader UX community. Apart from meeting industry professionals, the UX Club also organizes workshops and studio days where members can get input on class projects and advice from other members. Members often share interview tips because UX-related interviews can be very different from other fields, Brisendine said. “There’s no class right now that teaches us what we’d be doing in the industry day-to-day,” Brisendine said. “Because our major is so versatile, new and ever-changing, it’s hard to define what it is, and so, (UX) is another resource for students to have.”



walked across the stage at the age of 87. She then continued on to her master’s degree in psychological sciences, where her research focused on the elderly. Small interviewed about 65 people, many of whom were widows or widowers, in retirement homes throughout Dallas, Plano and Richardson. She explored each individual’s satisfactions, if they missed having companionship or wanted a platonic or sexual relationship. “We found out that the women were much happier in the retirement homes than the men, because the men missed somebody taking care of them,” Small said. “The women would have enjoyed platonic friendships, but nothing more serious than that.



space where Johansson walks backwards undressing as the men sink step by step into an aqueous floor. After this, Johansson goes out and prowls for her next prey. The purpose of this repeating cycle is unclear. The film is without exposition in the form of dialogue or title cards. But the impressive part is that while it isn’t exactly obvious what is happening, there is a clear logic to her actions. “Under the Skin” is like a normal Hollywood production film, just with 90 percent of the dialogue taken out. Everything that is happening would be understood if there was a scene of exposition at the beginning of the



knowledge in technology design and in human systems that happen as a result of tackling a really difficult problem, and we’re doing that because we believe pursuing an extraordinary tomorrow to create a better world today,” she said. Jemison also spoke about promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, in schools. Alumnus and fellow astronaut James Reilly, who introduced Jemison at the lecture, said that while American students fall behind in STEM fields, Jemison is a role model

The men were a little bit different.” Then in 2010, Small walked across the stage once again to receive her master’s degree at the age of 90. UTD President David Daniel escorted her across the stage, and the pair appeared on national television. While returning to school after many years is hard enough, Small’s biggest challenge was learning how to study again, and using computers and the internet. She was also apprehensive about how younger students would accept her in the classroom. Her concerns turned out unfounded. “I was like their grandmother; they were so happy to have me there and they would help in any way they could,” Small said. “I had explained to them that using a computer was something I was having trouble learning, and so after class we might have study groups or we had tests, we’d get together in the library and they accepted me with open arms.”

After graduating with her master’s degree, Small then worked at the Center for Vital Longevity for two years, where she sat on the advisory board. But after suffering a severe injury at home, Small resigned from the center. Her sons and doctors were afraid that she would never walk again. Small’s resolve, however, was unshakable. After taking a year to recover, Small is able to walk, and still drives to this day. In her effort to give back to UTD, she began volunteering in the Special Collections department of the McDermott Library, where she files and archives important documents and photos regarding UTD. “The most interesting thing I think I saw was the letter that the land (UTD is) situated on was donated to the university by (Cecil) Green and the people that were involved with Texas Instruments,” she said. On April 3, Small received the

Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service at the UT Dallas Alumni Awards Gala for her volunteer work with the Special Collections department. She was met with two standing ovations — one before and after her acceptance speech, though Small said she was so excited she doesn’t remember the crowd on their feet. At the gala, Daniel said he knew of two companies who were willing to back Small for her doctorate degree. Despite her love of learning, Small said she has no current plans to pursue a Ph.D. What she is most proud of, however, is that her three sons and nine grandchildren have the same value of education. Her three sons are doctors, and all of her grandchildren have a college education, including some with post-graduate degrees. “I’ve had a wonderful life, I really have,” she said. “I’ve been very fortunate.”

film. Glazer’s greatness is that he forgoes this, allowing personal interpretation of his art. Whether audiences realize it or not, they are always projecting a part of themselves onto the film. The plot and themes are up for interpretation for each individual. Undoubtedly, each viewer will ascribe a slightly different explanation to this film. To be fair, while most art-house films have the loosest of scene connections, there is a story to “Under the Skin.” It is just a story told more predominantly through a visual medium than one with dialogue. There’s a great scene where Johansson watches idly as a family at a beach drowns one by one, leaving a baby unattended on the seashore. She shines as a blank, mostly dispassionate, slate throughout the film — an

alien experiencing human life for the first time. She does a lot with little dialogue. In a completely different way than expected, she gives a seductive performance. The sound design by Johnnie Burn and music by composer Mica Levi is quite unlike other films. It flows in and out of being hypnotic, off-putting and disconcerting. The sound mirrors the ambiguity of Glazer’s script and Daniel Landin’s cinematography. The experience with this film will depend entirely on how much effort is put into it by the viewer. “Under the Skin” can be a great film about the human experience, male-female relationships, the power of sexuality and the desperate nature of men. On the other hand, this film could be a perplexing 108 minutes with awk-

ward male and female nudity. The level of dramatic, emotional or thematic substance in this film depends on the studious reading into the seemingly disparate elements in the film. However, this film should be seen. Art is meant to be analyzed and discussed with others. Glazer shoots for the moon where other films are satisfied with repeating the same stories in the same manner over and over again. While most art-house films are unintelligible to most filmgoers, this one is more palatable with Johansson carrying it and interrelating events that can be followed. There’s no guarantee of satisfaction. On the other hand, Glazer’s film leaves an unforgettable impression.

in advancing opportunities for all students and reversing the negative trend. “Her efforts will hopefully encourage our successors to stand on our shoulders and carry the next generations into the unimagined future and even farther into space,” he said. And while Jemison stressed the importance of STEM fields, she also said there is a dire need to integrate these fields with the arts. “If you think about it, we use constructive and deconstructive, analytical and intuition in every phase of our arts and sciences,” she said. “They’re not different sides of the same coin, they’re not even different parts of a continuum, but they’re manifestations of the

same thing.” However, the highlight of the presentation was the 100 Year Starship project, of which the goal is to one day send a self-sustaining vessel beyond the reaches of the solar system. She said this may be possible by pooling efforts of the global community. “We’re not trying to launch a mission. We’re just trying to see if the capabilities exist and in doing this we’re really trying to work on building a global network of research, innovation and outreach centers that can partner with industry, partner with academia and social organizations,” she said. Economics junior, Kanwal Ahmed attended the lecture to learn about Jemison’s work and

find inspiration in her speech. “Personally, I’m not sure what I want to do after I graduate, so I thought this lecture would help me kind of figure it out,” Ahmed said. Ahmed, who changed her major from physics to economics, said she’s considering going into space exploration and being part of Jemison’s project. Jemison gave advice to students looking forward to a bright future. “Understand that when you’re in a university, it’s an incredible opportunity to have many experiences. It’s really important to have a depth of knowledge and to be an expert at something,” she said.“Use this time to explore other areas. ”





and listen to the prayers.” Makkar and Singh are regulars at their Gurudwaras, and as a child, Singh went to the Gurudwara every Sunday with his parents. Yet, his parents told him to question the faith and not follow it blindly as an obligation, he said. The birth of Sikhism Guru Nanak, who rejected the caste system and ritualistic existence of established religions early in his life, founded Sikhism, the youngest mainstream religion of the world, in 1499. Guru Nanak showed through his life that contrary to most religious beliefs, one could be a family man and still attain enlightenment, Singh said. The religion developed over the next 200 years as nine other prophets, or Gurus, followed and each wrote down their experiences and teachings into The Guru. The Guru also contains sayings from other religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindus, Singh said. “(The 10 Gurus) were never about themselves, but always about humanity as a whole,” he said. Most of the experiences and sto-



Technology graduates, work alongside Courtney, Enrique’s wife, out of a two-storied town house in Plano under their family-owned company Triple.B.Titles. The company’s first game, “Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages” has already sold 35,000 units on Steam, an online gaming platform, bringing in $150,000. Unlike “Ring Runner” which used synthesizer music, the music for this game was composed by Gabriel Lefkowitz and played by an orchestra, Enrique said. One of the major issues the team faced during “Ring Runner’s” five years of development was how long the development phase stretched


ries written in The Guru speak of a saga of survival of Sikhs despite mass persecution by the Muslim emperors in India at the time. As a result, the 10th prophet, Guru Gobind Singh, created the Khalsa order by baptizing the first five Sikhs. Since then, Sikhs are identified by five symbols, or the 5 Ks. Sikhs keep their hair long and even keep body hair because uncut hair, or “Kesh,” symbolizes embracing and accepting what God gave, Flora said. However, men must tie their hair up in a turban while the women can leave it loose. The comb, or “Kanga,” represents tidiness while the long underwear, or “Kacchera,” stands for modesty. The iron bracelet, or “Kara,” worn on the wrist, symbolizes the infinity loop. Whenever it hits a flat surface, as it will when one places his or her hand on the table, it makes a clanging sound that reminds Sikhs of God before they make any decisions, Makkar said. The “Kripan,” or sword signifies the right to defend oneself, a symbol that represents the valor and chivalry of the Sikhs. Baptism, or taking “Amrit,” is not mandatory. Once a Sikh is baptized, however, he or she cannot drink alcohol or consume meat and must pray at a fixed time every day.

While Sikhs who are not baptized can choose to keep their hair long and wear the bracelet, only baptized Sikhs can carry a sword, Singh said. Sikhs can choose to be baptized whenever they want, however, whether or not they can be baptized is a decision that is weighed against how responsible the person has been in the past to ensure they don’t abuse the power of the sword, he said.

Singh grew up in Punjab, a state in northwest India. The state is home to more than 19 million Sikhs or about 19 percent of the nation’s population according to the Indian Census of 2001, the most recent available census. Makkar and Flora both grew up in the United States, where Sikhs form a very small minority. The American Religion Survey of 2011 from the United States Census Bureau reported 78,000 people that identified themselves as Sikhs in the country. While Makkar grew up practicing the religion and attending Gurudwara every Sunday, Flora grew up relatively detached from Sikhism, because most of the places where she lived did not have a Gurudwara nearby.

When her family moved to Dallas in her late teens, they started attending Sunday Gurudwara, and slowly, she found herself able to relate to the stories in the Guru, she said. While both Makkar and Singh associate themselves and their way of life with Sikhism, Flora chooses to not define who she is by her religion. All religions teach the same values, Flora said, and Sikhism allows her to practice the religion without necessarily overtly identifying herself as one. Flora has her hair cut short, but she wears the iron bracelet. She goes to the Gurudwara often, but not every Sunday, and she enjoys the stories in the Guru. “I think that should be true of every religion — I don’t think it should define (you),” Flora said. “It’s what I believe, but I don’t think people should have to know that I am (a Sikh).” Yet, she questions her faith and prefers scientific explanations to spiritual ones. While the “langar” is a good way to serve the community, Flora said in most of those who eat at the “langar” in the United States are affluent Sikhs. She is a strong advocate of community volunteerism and said she hoped Sikhs in the United States would eventually start serving

beyond the planned two years and the fact that the game took 399 days to be approved on Steam. Steam approved Popup Dungeon in just 11 days, Enrique said. Usually, most game developers seek funding in the early access stage, which is when an unfinished beta version is made available for gamers, but that restricts them from developing a more polished version of the game if enough funding isn’t available, Enrique said. Campaigning two years in advance will allow the team to develop the best possible version of the game without depending on additional funding at a later stage, he said. At present, Enrique, Courtney and Paul are all living in the same

house, working on the game constantly, with Paul working on the Unity development engine and contacting other indie developers, Courtney working on the art and Enrique on the art design and the Kickstarter communications. Courtney, who met Enrique while Ring Runner was in the works, is responsible for all 2-D art for “Popup Dungeon.” Meanwhile, at the time this edition went to print, the Kickstarter campaign had raised 44 percent of the $80,000 goal backed by 1,113 people with 20 days left. If the campaign doesn’t reach its goal by the deadline, all the money raised will be returned. Most of the team’s time is going toward managing the campaign,

creating art to put up on the campaign page and connecting with the gaming community to support them, Enrique said. “I’m going to have to start looking for more people, if the numbers don’t go up,” Paul said. “It’s still very much on edge. The last 15 days have been pretty brutal in terms of everything — it’s just for Kickstarter. We can’t work on the game at all. We work on putting things into the game to show to them but it’s not like I’m actually developing the game any further.” Students can get early access to the game next year by pledging their support on the Kickstarter campaign. The campaign can be found by searching for “Popup Dungeon” on

Sikhism today

UTDMERCURY.COM the community outside of the Gurudwara, too, including feeding the homeless and the hungry. Post 9/11, Sikhs were often confused for Muslims because of their turbans and both Flora and Makkar have experienced the veiled hostility when TSA officials and others would stare at them at airports. It made her and her siblings feel very isolated, despite the fact that they were all Americans, Flora said. “It honestly gives you appreciation to not judge other people,” Makkar said. After the Oak Creek shooting in the Wisconsin Gurudwara in 2012, which killed seven people, the media focus was more on the religion and what it was, but it brought a lot of awareness and police, Makkar said. The TSA have since had more training on how to handle a turban without having to take it off. Makkar herself is part of a national group called the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights organization. The organization works toward human rights for all people, particularly Sikhs so they may practice their faith with freedom and interact with the local community. Part of their outreach involves going to kindergarten and elementary schools and raising awareness about the Sikh religion, Makkar said. Makkar and nine other students

recently created a Facebook group for the UTD Sikh Student Association. The group now has 40 members, including Singh and Flora, and has started the process of becoming a student organization on campus, with neuroscience professor Brenna Hill as their adviser. Starting next fall, they hope to be a student organization on campus and are planning to host events like “Tie a Turban” day and the Baisakhi festival to raise awareness about the religion on campus, Makkar said. Despite the challenges Sikhs face in the United States, what keeps them going are the stories of their Gurus fighting emperors with a band of a few hundred men, the stories of how the ninth Guru was executed and how the Sikhs persisted in resistance as they struggled to keep their faith alive. One of the biggest edicts of Sikhism is “Nirbhau Nirvair,” which means take on everything without fear as God does, Makkar said. The other is to hate no one and have no enemies, and the essential message of peace and tolerance has helped her deal with conflicts on a day-today basis, she said. “My father always taught me to be courageous, that if you want to do something go out there and do it, but also be prepared to face the consequences,” Singh said.


Inspired by popup books, the characters in “Popup Dungeon” are cubical with art wrapped around them. Each run in the game can have five characters with five abilities each, and each ability can have up to five effects. Each run has up to 125 effects, and the game balances the abilities of each character against the experience of the player.




IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN The Mercury picks players, moments that made 2013-14 memorable for UTD Athletics Male Athlete of the Year

Female Athlete of the Year

With a championship-winning senior year and being named an All-American, men’s basketball player Kyle Schleigh is undoubtedly the Male Athlete of the Year. Schleigh had a successful time on the court with an average of 17.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. He recorded the program’s first triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists this year against Louisiana College on Jan. 2. He scored in double figures in 28 out of 31 games, scoring more than 20 points on nine occasions, including a pair of 30-plus games.

Volleyball player Taylour Toso stood out among her peers earning second-team All-American honors after posting one of the best single seasons in program history. She was the ASC’s MVP and first team AllASC after setting single-season records for most kills (477), hitting-percentage (.318) and solo blocks (33). She had double-digit kills in 30 matches with a career-high 22 kills against Hardin-Simmons. Honorable Mention: Women’s basketball forward Morgan Kilgore; volleyball setter Kayla Jordan

Most Improved Player

Best Comeback of the Year Junior softball player Jessie Richardson transferred to UTD last year from Oklahoma Baptist University. She started the season strong, but got sidelined with an arm injury that cost her most of the season. After spending most of last year rehabilitating her arm, Richardson returned to the team this year with a solid performance. She pitched the program’s first no-hitter since 2010 in the Comets’ five-inning 11-0 win against the University of Dallas. She became just the fourth pitcher in UTD history to record a no-hitter. MARCELO YATES | STAFF


Softball offensive player Chelsea Sartor started her freshman year as a pinch runner and had a solid first year, making two starts as a designated player. She ended the season with an average of .417 and scored nine runs and two RBI’s. With tremendous improvement, Sartor has earned a starting spot in the team, plays excellent right field and has a hitting average of .317 with four triples at the top of the lineup. Her remarkable ability in reading opponents’ defenses during her at-bats has helped her score 17 runs with 14 RBIs in 29 games.

Newcomer of the Year Coach of the Year With five seniors on his team and the conference’s best offensive player, men’s basketball head coach Terry Butterfield knew exactly what the team was gunning for this year and capitalized on the players’ determination to win the ASC tourney. With a 27-4 overall record (20-2 ASC), the Comets recorded their most successful season under Butterfield. He trained this team to play with a focus that belied their young age, and it showed when the Comets won their second round NCAA game at the buzzer. Honorable Mention: Head volleyball coach Marci Sanders


Holyn Handley is not like most reserved freshmen. Handley, a middle blocker/outside hitter from Colleyville Heritage stepped into her role on the volleyball team with confidence. She played in 28 out of 40 matches for the Comets, averaging 1.96 kills, 0.88 digs and 0.50 blocks per set. Handley topped double-digit kills five times this season, including two 17-kill showings, and was named honorable mention AllASC for her performance. With three years left to play at UTD, the future looks bright for Handley and the volleyball team. Honorable Mention: Women’s basketball guard Ciara Guilhas; volleyball middle blocker Michelle Toro


Game of the Year Everyone has those few shining moments in time that, once they live them, they know they will never forget. If you were in the Activity Center’s main gym on March 8, you had the privilege to experience one of those moments. After beating Chapman in the first round of the NCAA Division III basketball tournament, UTD faced off against the No. 12 ranked Whitworth Pirates. Whitworth came out hitting on all cylinders, leading the Comets 35-28 at halftime. The Pirates led 5744 in the second half before the Comets came roaring back with a vengeance and took a 58-57 lead with 4:21 left. The two teams traded baskets for the final four minutes before the Pirates tied the game with 19 seconds left to send the contest to over-

time. The extra period looked bleak for UTD, as Whitworth started out with a 5-0 run and owned a six-point lead with 38 seconds left. After a layup by Matthew Medell, a pair of free throws by both teams and a steal by Kyle Schleigh for a bucket, the Comets still trailed 77-75 with nine seconds left on the clock. UTD fouled the Pirates on the subsequent inbounds pass, sending Whitworth to the free throw line one last time. After the Pirates missed both shots, the Comets rebounded and got the ball to point guard Nolan Harvey. With just three seconds left on the clock, Harvey pulled up from the top left of the arc for one last shot and landed the Moment of the Year, a three-pointer by No. 3 with 0.3 seconds on the clock.

Upset of the Year

Team of the Year Winning the most games in the history of the program was just the start for this year’s men’s basketball team. Led by Schleigh, the Comets reached heights that few thought could be achieved. From being crowned the champions of the ASC, to having one of the most dramatic, jaw dropping finishes to a basketball game that many have seen, the basketball team did it all this year. With a .871 winning percentage, a

27-4 overall record and an average margin of victory of 16 points, the Comets simply dominated the competition. This year was one of the most memorable for UTD Athletics, and the basketball team was a large reason for that. One could only hope that a team anywhere near this good would grace this campus in the future. Honorable Mention: Volleyball team

David had Goliath, Rocky had Apollo Creed and UTD Basketball had Concordia. The reigning champions of the ASC came to Richardson on Jan. 18, looking to remind the Comets of their season-ending performance the last time they met. UTD had other plans. Despite Concordia’s fullcourt press, the Comets shined offensively, with six players scoring in double digits and Carter Nash finishing with a double-double. UTD was a brick wall on the other end of the court, holding the Tornadoes back for one of their worst scoring performances of the season, falling 42 points shy of their season average. A 95-49 final score sealed the win for the Comets, who put up their largest margin of victory ever against a Division III opponent. Nobody doubted that UTD was capable of such a performance, but to create a masterpiece such as this one against the defending champions makes this the most shocking win of the year.





Gay athletes left unrecognized in Division III

Media, community must do a better job at showing proper support to pioneering athletes who play for lesser known schools ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS COMMENTARY

Gay athletes coming out are being highlighted at the highest echelons of athletics but are still being ignored at the lower levels of college sports. In the past year, three athletes at the highest levels of American sports have come out to the public: Jason Collins of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Michael Sam from the University of Missouri’s football team and Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts’ men’s basketball team. Collins became the first openly gay player in the history of the NBA, while Sam will be the first gay player to have come out in the NFL when he is drafted this May. Gordon, on the other hand, is now the first openly gay men’s Division I basketball player. Sam, Gordon and Collin’s announcements have all received extended national coverage. They have been applauded for their courage to express who they really are in an environment that is still adjusting to the thought of gay athletes. Unfortunately, as important as these announcements are, they have gained such attention precisely because of the stage that they have taken place on. Professional and Division I sports get major media coverage because

there is more money that teams on those levels generate and take in. That means that a major announcement like a gay athlete coming out on such a high platform will get coverage from news outlets. The same can’t be said for Division III teams and athletes. “I’ve always sarcastically said that you’ll never see us on the front page of the sports section of the Dallas Morning News no matter what we do unless it’s something negative,” said head men’s basketball coach Terry Butterfield. “Most days you can’t even find our scores in the newspaper, and I think that’s a sad thing being a local university.” That lack of attention means that gay athletes at this level are almost unheard of and often overlooked. They do exist, however, whether the media wants to cover them or not. At the beginning of this year, Connor Mertens, a placekicker for Williamette University, came out publicly as bisexual, making him the first openly LGBT player in college football history at any level. Not long after, in March, Mitch Eby, a junior defensive end for the Chapman University football team came out to his teammates and to the public. Neither of these stories received major national coverage compared to their Division I counterparts, despite these players being trailblazers. These athletes face the same forms of fear and prejudice that


players like Gordon and Sam do. The only real difference is they happen to play at Division III schools. The fact that they are not heard of, however, speaks to a larger problem with the gap between big time college athletics and lower divisions. Going to a game at a Division III school often means sitting in empty stands and athletes being unappreciated for their effort. College athletes are leaders and ambassadors for their schools, however, and should be treated as such. To ignore them is unjust. Their example should be a source of inspiration for the community.

To date, it’s unclear if there has been an openly gay athlete at UTD. That is not to say that there aren’t gay athletes on any teams here currently or in the past, just that if there are, they have chosen to keep that information private. If the day arrives when an athlete at UTD comes out to the public, there are serious questions of how the community would react. Would they be treated as pioneers and applauded or would they be shunned as outsiders? If they wanted to make a statement, would they be completely ignored? “It’s not something that I feel fearful of,” Butterfield said. “If the

Golfer more than a great shot MADISON MCCALL Mercury Staff

Freshman golfer Gina Brannon is optimistic about her future in golf after making her first hole-in-one during a practice round at the ASC Championship Tournament. Brannon was 150 yards out from the hole and could not see where the ball landed when everyone around her started cheering. “I had no idea it went in,” she said. “Everyone just started shouting and jumping.” Brannon started golfing after her dad encouraged her to get active at a young age. She started developing her skills in the First Tee program, which offers instruction to young students and makes the reality of golfing on a budget possible. As she got older, her passion for the sport grew. Brannon continued to golf through her local high school golf team. The golf program consisted of Brannon and two male athletes during her first year playing in the high school program. Brannon had a positive transition into the program due to the relationships she had established with the two other athletes who also participated in the First Tee program at a younger age.

After being admitted to UTD, Brannon was recruited by women’s golf coach Ed Bull when she expressed interest in golfing at the collegiate level.

The women’s golf team consists of three freshmen, one sophomore and a junior. The small size of the team has created a great environment for camaraderie, Brannon said, despite the fo-


Freshman golfer Ginna Brannon’s positive demeanor has inspired her fellow golfers and younger girls who want to play golf.

“We went out to watch her play and made sure she was a good fit for the team,” Bull said. “She wanted to play and is a very gifted golfer.”

cus on individual performance in golf. Brannon has become an outgoing member of the team. Her charisma and enthusiasm for the game have left


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an impression on her teammates. “I have to have her next to me,” said freshman golfer Jessica Ritchie. “She helps me get enthusiastic and helps me with my game. She is always my moral support.” Other teammates have also been inspired by Brannon’s optimistic personality on the golf course. She offers support to all of her teammates even if that means she has to run across the course. “That’s the thing that I am the most proud of,” Brannon said. “They told me ‘Every time I see you, I do a lot better.’” Brannon also volunteers at the First Tee program and works closely with young girls who aspire to keep golf in their life just as Brannon has. She said she hopes that she can embolden more young women to get involved in golf and encourages the girls in the program to stick with the sport throughout high school and college. Although Brannon receives the credit of motivator, she gains inspiration in return. “This tournament, I’ve really realized that having them with me really helps,” she said. “They give me motivation.” Although Brannon does not want to go professional, she hopes to keep

day comes when that issue arises, I would like to think that we’re going to deal with it in a way that a college should deal with it. We’re going to be the leader in being nonjudgmental and open-minded towards that individual.” Butterfield said that if the player felt like he wanted to make a statement and publicly come out, then that’s where coaches and players would be involved and have a discussion on how to approach the situation. It’s important to make sure that those who have chosen to come out now when there is still a stigma attached to being an openly

gay athlete are covered and applauded. That principle should be across the board and not just for those who play at higher levels. Athletes are role models and looked up to no matter what level they play at. They wear the colors of their school and represent not only themselves, but also their community as a whole. Media coverage should reflect that, as should the communities that these athletes represent. Sam and Gordon are important, but so are Mertens and Eby, and they should receive just as much praise and support.

—In brief—

UTD coach selected to assist U.S. collegiate national volleyball team for second time For the second year in a row, head volleyball coach Marci Sanders will be an assistant coach to the U.S. Collegiate National Team. USA Volleyball selected 36 athletes to participate in the U.S. Collegiate National team program, and Sanders will train the athletes and help them prepare for the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships from June 22 to July 1 in Minneapolis, Minn. After the training portion of the program, the athletes will be divided into three equal teams, which will compete in a round-robin event that will take place from June 27-30. “It sounds to me that this year they are going to take two of the assistant coaches and combine them, and then we are going to have our own teams,” Sanders said. “So, it sounds to me it’s going to be a co-head coach position, but that has not been solidified

yet.” The round-robin event may add an international team to increase the competition and round the number of teams to four, according to the official release by USA Volleyball. After the round-robin, the teams will then enter a tournament bracket. This program is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Like the players, Sanders said she learned a lot during her previous stint as assistant coach. “I learned a lot more drills, I learned a lot more of dealing with people, in treating the players differently and that’s the biggest change I made going into last season,” Sanders said. “So, I think it does change the way that I am doing things here a little bit with my skill, my strategy and how I am interacting with my players.”

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Heartbleed is a serious concern because attacks leave no trace in server logs, so there is no way of knowing if the bug was exploited. Recovery and Red Herring The Red Herring system, that Hamlen and his research student Frederico Araujo developed, patches the vulnerability and helps trap the attacker. Hamlen and Araujo have been working on Red Herring for the better part of a year and have submitted a research paper on it. “I think it started when we asked ourselves if we could build a sys-



electrical engineering doctoral student Gang Liu. Several students expressed concern to Mercury staff members and FACSS executive members regarding the truth of the allegations and the safety of their community. Attempts by both The Mercury and FACSS to contact the anonymous sender via email resulted in no response. Chinese students and alumni contacted by staff members were apprehensive that au-

tem that could be patched, but in a way that it wouldn’t divulge that it has been patched to the attackers,” Araujo said. OpenSSL released a fix when it released information about the bug. The patch prevents attackers from accessing any information from the servers using the vulnerable OpenSSL product, and responds with a ‘Request Denied’ message when an attacker sends a malicious data packet. Thus, an attacker has a very easy task of identifying which servers are vulnerable and which are not, as the non-vulnerable systems will respond with the error message and the vulnerable systems will respond with information. The Red Herring system uses the

thorities would not take the issue seriously. Sources close to the matter, who wished to remain anonymous, said they are aware of an investigation that was opened by the university’s Human Resources department, indicating that the issue is being treated as an employee-onstudent sexual misconduct. The sources said they had provided relevant information pertaining to the case to HR. Despite multiple email, phone and in-person attempts by several Mercury staff members to contact HR and the


concept of traditional honeypots — a trap set to detect and counterattack hacks on systems — and improves on it by creating a web server on the system that has the sensitive information and sends out false information when a hacker sends a malicious Heartbeat request. “Red Herring is a system in which we patch the vulnerability, except that the patch does not inform the attacker that his request has failed,” Hamlen said. “In fact, it sends back the attacker something that looks quite a bit like a successful exploit of the vulnerability, except all the information that he gets is actually fake.” The beauty of the system is that it does not just create a decoy and give false information, it can also

Office of Communications, officials would not comment on whether the university was aware of this email and if it was following university and federal policies in addressing the allegations. According to Title IX federal mandates, if the university is made aware of any sexual misconduct case, the relevant official — either the dean of students or director for HR — is required to draft a formal complaint and an investigation needs to be launched to verify or dismiss the allegations.

help catch the attacker as an analyst tries to track the attacker and the information the attacker is after. UTD’s weakness to Heartbleed Few systems and servers at UTD were identified for using the vulnerable version of OpenSSL. “The highest risk system that was involved for us was when users connect to our network remotely using VPN (Virtual Private Network) device,” said Chief Information Security Officer Nate Howe. A VPN device enables users to connect to a system’s private resources from an external public network. The VPN device used by UTD implements OpenSSL and the In-

All relevant personnel need to be interviewed and must present any kind of evidence available to them, following which the investigation should be conducted as soon as possible. If the investigation exceeds 60 days, a formal notice must be provided to the complainant and the accused. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the complaint may be dismissed in the light of insufficient or inconclusive evidence. If the complaints are found to be true, appropriate disciplinary action must be taken.

UTDMERCURY.COM formation Security and the Information Resources group monitored the situation after identifying the risk and were able to do an emergency patch. There was a one-day period between the time the Information Security team started considering the risk to the VPN to the time the patch was made available. “For about one to two days, (Heartbleed) was wildly discussed in the news and more people in the world were trying to exploit it,” Howe said. “Theoretically, those vulnerabilities were present for a long time even though people didn’t know about it yet.” The Information Security team alerted the users of the VPN at the university of the possibility of the



with student ambassadors, along with other student groups on campus. Students, faculty and staff surveyed suggested ideas like green space, areas to study and a mix of franchise and independent restaurants, entertainment venues and retail shops, Jamison said. UTD currently lacks this type of community space, he said, which is something that most major campuses have. There has not been any specif-

risk. The Information Security team sent a university-wide email and recommended that users change not only their NetID passwords, but also their banking and personal email passwords to protect themselves from the bug. Howe said they were not going to implement the Red Herring system. “The (Red Herring) approach is especially useful if you have the intention to counterattack an attacker,” Howe said. “There are some organizations where that is very appropriate, but it is not going to be typical of our approach. Our approach is going to be identify risk and to mitigate that risk or eliminate it when possible.”

ic businesses that have been confirmed for Comet Town to date. “The long term vision is for a person to land at DFW airport, catch the rail station to campus, get off at the UTD stop, check into their respective residence and then go to class,” Jamison said. “In between classes, they would be able to take advantage of the amenities at Comet Town.” Cost estimates have not yet been made because it is still early on in the project, Jamison said. Construction on Comet Town is slated to finish sometime in 2016.

The Mercury 04/28  
The Mercury 04/28