Universities are amazingly diverse workplaces. If we soared over campus hot-air-balloon-style we would see beautiful spaces for living, working and playing. Athletic facilities raise our school-pride spirits to high places and keep us closely tied to the “U” for life. Residence halls serve as practical living spaces and as inspirational places for learning patience, negotiation, responsibility and many other life lessons.
Academic buildings enable meaningful learning and analytical growth as class syllabi become real lessons about rocks, bugs, equations, motors, poetry, atoms, art, peoples, sexuality, events, stars, organizations, wellness, architectures, citizenship and on and on….
But what we might not realize during our soaring are the space, energy, and contributions for thinking and creating new knowledge that are part of faculty scholarship at the University. Yet in the long arm of influence the university has over human living, the discoveries of new things may encompass the most important contributions. To some extent, all other academic contributions are enabled by the scholarly endeavors both outside and inside the classroom.
One of the things that drew me to an academic career is the environment to nurture that sense of wonder Socrates invites as we search for wisdom. Research is the process for expanding the boundaries of what is known. How exciting to part of discovering truth, understanding the previously obscure and solving problems that previously have overwhelmed human abilities. And then to share the wonder of research with the next generations of scientists, artists and other seekers who are preparing to discover and solve problems I cannot even imagine today.
Methods and truths we teach today were once ideas in the wondering minds of graduate students and faculty mentors. Richard Feynman, the noted physicist and Nobel prize winner, inspired me and countless others to the “wonder” of research: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
TCU is a researching university. Indeed it is an obligation of the professoriate to apply knowledge in new and creative ways to address the needs of our planet and all living things. These pages describe just a few of the faculty’s current projects. There is much more happening, and many more ideas yet to explore. We face exciting opportunities for the future of TCU with research accomplishments.
TCU professors tackle tough, important research problems every day. As scholars they contribute wisdom and knowledge to our collective understanding of the world, and as teacher-scholars, their research is influenced and shaped by questions that arise in the classroom. They must be excellent scholars and teachers, informed by the latest developments in their discipline, and ready mentors to promising student scholars. Many research projects involve undergraduate and graduate students as apprentice scholars. Endeavors presents a broad representation of the quality of research being conducted at TCU. Learn more about the ideas and inventions being explored by our professors at research.tcu.edu. Endeavors is published twice a year by the office of the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and the division of Marketing & Communication. Stories represent a cross section of the research conducted at TCU. They were chosen to reflect the depth and breadth of inquiry in TCU's eight colleges and schools.