Event: Is Forensic Science an Oxymoron?

Event date: December 7, 2015

Event time: 12:15 p.m.

Location: Heroy Hall 153

An Event with Jonathan Koehler, Professor of Law, Northwestern University

koehler_JJ_PicIn recent years, forensic scientists in some areas have been taken to task for over claiming, failing to test their assumptions, and neglecting to explain to judges and jurors how the risk of error affects the value of reported matches. Jurors also have some misconceptions about forensic science evidence and misunderstand the meaning of the statistics they hear in cases involving DNA evidence. Solutions will be explored.

Lunch Provided. RSVP at lawandstatistics.eventbrite.com

Contact for more information: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/DCII/Events


Meet the SMU professor and students behind the irreverent ‘Moby-Dick’ inspired card game ‘Dick’


Originally Posted: November 24, 2015

Admit it: When reading or discussing the classic novel Moby-Dick in high school or college, your mind went places. Maybe you vocalized the inappropriate jokes you were thinking of, getting an easy chuckle from your nearby friends. Or maybe you kept your thoughts to yourself, thinking that surely such lowbrow humor was not good enough for literature as great as this.

But Tim Cassedy, an English professor at SMU, thinks it’s OK to laugh at Moby-Dick. In fact, he thinks that’s the intent of the name.

“I genuinely believe that on some level there is a dick joke in the title of the book — hidden in plain sight,” Cassedy told me via e-mail. “I think the book frequently plays around with that meaning of ‘dick.’ Sperm whales really are named that because they have a white, waxy substance in their head that early mariners mistook for semen. They called that substance ‘spermaceti’ (which means whale sperm) or just ‘sperm.’ (It turns out to make excellent candles.) The book is full of moments where the whale meaning of sperm starts to blur over into the reproductive meaning — sometimes just to play with words, sometimes for comic effect, and sometimes as part of straining to articulate ideas that are difficult to put into words. Relevant chapters include 81, 94, and 95. The entirety of chapter 95 is about making a smock out of the foreskin removed from a sperm whale’s 6-foot-long penis. So.” READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, comments on article: Hillary Clinton Distances Herself From Obama on ISIS


Originally Posted: November 24, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is taking a different stance than President Obama on issues such as national security and terrorism, even if that means offending members of her own party, The Hill reports.

In an effort to combat ISIS, the Islamic terrorist group, Clinton said in a speech last week that the United States needs to “break the group’s momentum and then its back.”

The former secretary of state added that no-fly zones should be imposed over parts of Syria — a move that the Obama administration has refused to take.

Just one day ahead of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said that ISIS was “contained,” and has since received a vast amount of criticism.

In response, Clinton has not only drawn a sharper wedge in between herself and the president, but declared that ISIS “cannot be contained, it must be defeated.” READ MORE

English professor’s Moby-Dick inspired card game makes classic novel accessible in most unlikely of ways

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 23, 2015

The upcoming movie, The Heart of the Sea, promises to offer a classy, high-brow and potentially Oscar-worthy take on the whale hunt that inspired Henry Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick. For folks who still giggle at the title there’s another way to enjoy Melville’s classic this winter: DICK, the card game, from the mind of SMU English Professor Tim Cassedy.

“Moby Dick is really, really funny,” Cassedy says. “You can downplay the irreverence and read the book as a very earnest story about American ruggedness and Ahab’s will and vengeance, and it is those things. But if you go into it knowing Melville is often kidding, it reads completely differently.”

DICK, the card game, exposes that humor.

In a concept familiar to anyone who’s played Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, DICK is a humorous game of “complete the sentence.” Each turn, one player serves as a judge and asks their fellow players to submit cards that complete the sentence on one of the prompt cards, which contain phrases such as:

“Oh yeah? Well I graduated from the University of _______!” or, “Ted Cruz caused a stir today when he called a press conference to denounce ______.” READ MORE

Event- SMU’s Celebration of Lights, Monday, Nov. 30


Twinkling white lights will illuminate the SMU campus Nov. 30-Jan. 3 for Celebration of Lights, the University’s annual holiday celebration.

Beginning with the annual campus lighting ceremony on SMU’s Main Quad at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, the Dallas community is invited to enjoy SMU’s centennial holiday lighting, beginning at the SMU campus entrance on Bishop Blvd. to the landmark Dallas Hall.

The annual event is sponsored by SMU’s Student Foundation and supported by the SMU Centennial Host Committee and the Michael F. Miller Endowment for the Celebration of Lights. READ MORE

Lucas Kirkpatrick, Sociology, discusses his new book “Reinventing Detroit: The Politics of Possibility”

Michigan Daily

Originally Posted: November 18, 2015

Along with a panel of local professionals and professors, Lucas Kirkpatrick, an assistant sociology professor at Southern Methodist University, discussed the launch of his new book “Reinventing Detroit: The Politics of Possibility” on Tuesday.

Edited by Kirkpatrick and Michael Peter Smith, a professor of community studies at University of California, Davis, the book comprises chapters written by various experts in urban policy, including professors from the University. The compilation aims to discuss the challenges Detroit faces and the methods currently being employed to overcome them.

In July 2013, Detroit declared bankruptcy and was placed under the control of an emergency manager. In December 2014, the city announced its exit from bankruptcy and control of the city was fully returned to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. The city has also struggled to cope with blight, crime, political corruption and a job loss. READ MORE

Renee McDonald, Psychology, How Childhood Domestic Violence Impacts Us… Young and Old

Huffington Post

Originally Posted: November 17, 2015

The following is an excerpt from a Huffington Post article titled How Childhood Domestic Violence Impacts Us… Young and Old. READ MORE

……..”They don’t often connect the dots…”

This young woman is not alone. Dr. Renee McDonald, a leading researcher at Southern Methodist University said, “They often cannot connect the dots between what they experienced in their childhood homes and the challenges they face today.” Dr. McDonald was specifically talking about Childhood Domestic Violence. READ MORE

Beyond The Two Cultures: a lecture on data and unity

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: November 19, 2015

Tucked away in one of the many lecture rooms inside Heroy Hall, full of professors but lacking in students, was a lecture presented by acclaimed scientist Roger Malina. The lecture was hosted by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute on Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. and centered on the connection between art and science.

Malina, a physicist, astronomer and executive editor of the Leonardo publications at MIT Press, focuses on finding connections between the natural sciences and the arts, design, and humanities. He also has dual appointments as a professor of arts and technology and as a professor of physics at UT Dallas.

The lecture began with this question: Why are human beings so badly designed to understand nature and the universe? In other words, how can we work together to understand each other and the world we live in?

Such questions set the tone for the rest of the presentation, which focused on merging the world of the arts with the world of science. READ MORE

Daniel Millimet, Economics, 2015’s Best & Worst Texas Cities for Finding a Job


Originally Posted: November 2015

The following is an excerpt from WalletHub’s article 2015’s Best & Worst Texas Cities for Finding a Job, where Professor Daniel Milliment from the Department of Economics was interviewed as an expert. READ MORE

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