SMU to host early voting Oct. 31, Nov. 1

SMU News

Originally Posted: October 26, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Early voting for Dallas County residents will be available on the SMU campus Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.  The polling place at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St., will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, and free parking will be available in the Binkley and Moody parking garages to accommodate early voters.

“It can be hard for students living on campus to find the time and transportation to get to off-campus polling places on election day, so we’re very pleased the Dallas County Commissioners chose to locate an early-voting site at SMU,” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs.  “This encourages our students to participate in our democracy, and it’s exciting that many of them will be voting here for the first time. We also welcome our faculty and staff and other Dallas County voters to vote on campus.”

Participants in early voting must be registered in Dallas County and present one of the following forms of identification. Expired versions are acceptable, so long as they’ve expired within the past four years:

  • Texas driver’s license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

If the voter does not possess one of the forms of identification listed above, he or she can present one of the supporting forms of ID listed below and sign at the polling place a Reasonable Impediment Declaration, which note’s the voter’s reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable form of photo identification:

  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Current utility bill, copy or original
  • Current bank statement, copy or original
  • Government check, copy or original
  • Paycheck, copy or original
  • Government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph) READ MORE


Educational Assessments in the Digital Environment—Visualizing Problem-Solving Process

Event Date: 11/4/2016
Location: Heroy Science Hall, Room 153
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Dr. Yue (Helena) Jia of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) will illustrate specific data visualization approaches for student-system interactions that are being evaluated at ETS in the field of education, testing, and measurement. Link for more information:

Contact: Xinlei (Sherry) Wang

Life Challenges Human Resilience

Event Date: 11/1/16
Location: Hughes-Trigg Portico BCD
Time: 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Please join the DCII Life Challenges and Human Resilience Research Cluster in conversation about scholarship and interventions related to challenging life experiences and people’s responses to them. For more information visit,

Analysts Doubt Texas Is A Toss-Up State

CBS News

Originally Posted: October 24, 2016

Despite Donald Trump’s tightening poll numbers in Texas, Republicans like Cathie Adams, say their confidence isn’t shaken.

“I think he’s going to win Texas hands-down. I don’t trust the polls, but I do trust Texans, and I love Texans and I think Texans can think for themselves and we don’t have to look at a poll to know how to vote,” said Adams.

But Democrats like Rhonda Glenn are optimistic about Hillary Clinton’s chances. READ MORE

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Texas no longer solid Republican


Originally Posted: October 20, 2016

A Fox News electoral vote map now lists Texas as ‘leans Republicans,’ not the ‘solid Republican’ that the state has been for decades.

18 states remain ‘solid Republican,’ including much of the Mountain West, the deep south and Indiana and West Virginia.

But the shift of what has been the most Republican state in the union out of the ‘solid Republican’ list is an indication of several trends, most notably the rising Hispanic population in Texas and the inability of Donald Trump to connect with that population.

Cal Jillson, a political analyst at SMU, says this doesn’t mean that Texas is ‘turning Blue,’ meaning leaning Democrat, but he does say it does show cracks in the solid Republican facade.

Read more:

SMU’s Center for Presidential History event this week, author discusses new biography: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: October 23, 2016

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,” wrote William Shakespeare, “which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,” wrote William Shakespeare, “which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

While the quote comes from his play Julius Caesar, it’s an apt description of the life of Ulysses S. Grant, another military hero who became his country’s leader.
In 1860, Grant was a clerk in his brother’s leather shop in Galena, Ill. Five years later, he commanded the nation’s largest army in its victory over the Confederacy. Three years after the Civil War ended, Grant began the first of his two terms as president of the United States.

When he died in 1885 at 63, Grant was grouped with Washington and Lincoln. His funeral in New York City drew 37,000 military marchers, throngs packing the 9½-mile parade route, and was marked by a coordinated bell-ringing across the country and even Mexico. The Grant National Memorial, opened in 1897 in New York’s Riverside Park, is the largest mausoleum in North America. An estimated 1 million attended the ceremonies.

However, U.S. Grant’s reputation has tarnished over the years, darkened by charges of alcoholism, incompetence and corruption. His Personal Memoirs, considered the best-written account by an American leader, gathers dust on library shelves today. READ MORE

‘Why Standing Rock Matters’ is topic for Clements Center panel discussion Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

SMU News

Originally Posted: October 18, 2016

why-standing-rock-mattersThe national protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline have drawn thousands to rallies throughout the country, including Dallas. What is Standing Rock and its history, and what is the basis of the dispute over the pipeline?

An invited panel moderated by Ben Voth, associate professor of corporate communications and public affairs in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, will take on these questions and more at SMU.

“Why Standing Rock Matters: Can Oil and Water Mix?” will take place 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, 2016in Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center.

A reception will precede the panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Both the reception and forum are free and open to the public. Register online at Eventbrite or call the Clements Center at 214-768-3684.

The panelists include the following experts, who will each bring a different perspective to the discussion:

  • Archaeology – Kelly Morgan is president of Lakota Consulting LLC, which provides professional cultural and tribal liaison services in field archaeology. She works to protect cultural and natural resources alongside other archaeologists and environmentalists in North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and on the island of Guam. Currently she is the tribal archaeologist for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Morgan received her PhD. in American Indian studies from the University of Oklahoma.
  • Energy – Craig Stevens is a spokesman for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN), a partnership aimed at supporting the economic development and energy security benefits in the Midwest. MAIN is a project of the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council, with members in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois – the states crossed by the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Previously Stevens served as a spokesman for two cabinet secretaries, a surgeon general, and a member of Congress. He also worked on two presidential campaigns.
  • Environmental – Andrew Quicksall is the J. Lindsay Embrey Trustee Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. His research focuses on aqueous metal enrichment and water contamination in the natural environment by probing both solution and solid chemistry of natural materials. He received his Ph.D. in earth science from Dartmouth College.
  • Tribal history – Cody Two Bears, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Councilman and tribal member who represents the Cannon Ball district of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota.
  • Law – Eric Reed (Choctaw Nation), J.D., is a Dallas lawyer who specializes in American Indian law, tribal law and international indigenous rights. Reed received a B.S in economics and finance and a B.A. in anthropology from SMU and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.
  • Mechanical – Tayeb “Ty” Benchaita is a managing partner of B&G Products and Services LLP, a consulting company in Houston that specializes in products quality control and assurance, products manufacturing and operations for the oil, fuels petrochemical, oil refining, lubricants, re-refining, and environmental industries. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and executive management training from the Harvard Business School.
  • Public policy – Michael Lawson is president of MLL Consulting which provides historical research and analysis for government agencies, Native American tribes, law firms and other private clients. Additionally, he is of counsel to Morgan, Angel & Associates, L.L.C. in Washington, D.C., where he formerly served as a partner. Lawson received his Ph.D. in American history and cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico and is author of Dammed Indians Revisited: The Continuing History of the Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux (South Dakota State Historical Society: 2010). READ MORE

Numerical analysis of the Galerkin and weak Galerkin method for the Helmholtz equation with high wave number

Event date: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Location: Clements Hall 126
Time: 3:30–4:30pm

Featured Speaker: Dr. Zhimin ZhangDepartment of Mathematics, Wayne State University and the Beijing Center for Computational Science

Abstract: We study convergence property of the weak Galerkin method of fixed degree p and supercovergence property of the linear finite element method for the Helmholtz problem with large wave number.

  1. Using a modified duality argument, we improve the existing error estimates of the WG method, in particular, the error estimates with explicit dependence on the wave number k are derived, it is shown that if k(kh)p+1 is sufficiently small, then the pollution error in the energy norm is bounded by O(k(kh)2p), which coincides with the phase error of the finite element method obtained by existent dispersion analyses.
  2. For linear finite element method under certain mesh condition, we obtain the H1-error estimate with explicit dependence on the wave number k and show that the error between the finite element solution and the linear interpolation of the exact solution is superconvergent in the H1-seminorm, although the pollution error still exists. We proved a similar result for the recovered gradient by polynomial preserving recovery (PPR) and found that the PPR can only improve the interpolation error and has no effect on the pollution error. Furthermore, we estimated the error between the finite element gradient and recovered gradient and discovered that the pollution error is canceled between these two quantities. Finally, we apply the Richardson extrapolation to the recovered gradient and demonstrate numerically that PPR combined with the Richardson extrapolation can reduce the interpolation and pollution errors simultaneously, and therefore, leads to an asymptotically exact a posteriori error estimator.

All theoretical findings are verified by numerical tests. READ MORE