The Tail of the Lion: 100 Years of General Relativity, the Scientific Theory of Space and Time

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Listen to Associate Professor of Physics, Stephen Sekula, as he commemorates one of the greatest scientific discoveries of modern times: Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. This lecture is part of the SMU Godbey Lecture Series sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute. For information on future events, visit:

Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English, amid Pulitzer prize-winners in new anthology of poems inspired by Thomas Jefferson

University of Virginia Press:

get-img“In Monticello in Mind, poet Lisa Russ Spaar collects fifty contemporary poems–most original to this anthology–that engage the complex legacy of Thomas Jefferson and his plantation home at Monticello. The anthology features a roster of poets both emerging and established–including Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Claudia Emerson, Terrance Hayes, Robert Hass, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Charles Wright” and Willard Spieglman. His poem “Prairie Rotunda” was written about SMU’s most iconic buiding, Dallas Hall. READ MORE

New Hampshire primary offers chance to reshape race

DALLAS (SMU)SMU experts are available for interview on all things relating to today’s New Hampshire Primary. Full article and expert comments here.

When winning isn’t enough – Managing the expectations game

With Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders polling strongly leading up to the New Hampshire Primary, Wilson says the biggest question might not be, “Who will win?” but rather, “Who will outperform expectations?”

“They really need to win by double digits to be perceived as having had a solid result,” Wilson says. “Unless Trump and Sanders win by 10 points or more, the story will be their underperformance.”

Just below the favorites, Wilson has his eyes on Marco Rubio and whether the senator’s widely panned weekend debate performance will hurt him in the primary.

“If he finishes worse than second, it will be a disappointment,” Wilson says. “If Rubio finishes worse than third, it’s a serious problem for him. It had seemed clear he was emerging as a long-term challenger to Trump after Iowa, but this could be a big stumble for him.”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science who can discuss:

  • religion and politics
  • political psychology
  • voting behavior of religious voters
  • public opinion and politics

Evan McCormick, Center for Presidential History, fluent in Spanish and available to discuss the presidential race with Spanish-speaking media platforms.

The following is an excerpt from an SMU news release. READ MORE

Republican rhetoric on immigration bodes well for Democrats in November

In the grand scheme of the presidential race, McCormick doesn’t think either party has a candidate who has transcended their party’s general acceptance by the Latin-American community in the United States.

“The way immigration has become a security issue for the Republican party has alienated most Latino voters, with the exception of Cubans in Florida, who still vote Republican because of their distaste for the Castro regime,” McCormick says. “The Democrats seem to be most well-positioned to have a productive relationship with Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“Like Republicans, Democrats are also looking for policy solutions to undocumented migrants, but with fewer security measures and more long-term cooperation and planning,” McCormick adds.

Evan McCormick is conversationally fluent in Spanish.

McCormick is a resident fellow of the Center for Presidential History at SMU who can discuss:

  • border security
  • international trade in the Americas
  • U.S.-Latin American relations
  • international diplomacy

Dedman College alumnus Emmanuel Sanders worked hard to reach Super Bowl again

Sealy News

Originally Posted: February 4, 2016

Emmanuel Sanders is rapidly growing to icon status with his second trip to the Super Bowl since entering the National Football League in 2010.

Sanders, who is a 2005 graduate of Bellville High School, knew from a young age what he wanted out of life – to be a professional athlete.

As a young man, growing up to a single mom of three children, the value of hard work was instilled in Emmanuel on many levels. Family first, is the mindset of the Sanders family.

Emmanuel’s sister, Precious Sanders Seymore, described the family as a very close-knit group, who to this day still talk and text daily to support each other. READ MORE

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. READ MORE

Valentine’s Ideas, courtesy of Bumble


Originally Posted: February 3, 2016

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Dedman College alumnus Matt Alexander featuring Valentine’s day gift idea’s from Bumble, a company founded by another Dedman College alumna, Whitney Wolfe.

Over the past year or so, it’s been a pleasure to watch the rapid rise and success of Bumble, an innovative dating app, which seeks to create a better, safer, and more enjoyable experience for men and women alike.

From prominent coverage in the press to creative pop-ups at events around the world, the team at Bumble has got a masterful idea of how to foster a fantastic community of people.

And it’s made all the better by the fact that I knew some members of their team — namely Whitney Wolfe, their founder, and Alex Williamson, their head of marketing — at university.

Given the three of us graduated within a year or two of each other and went onto found companies swirling around the realms of technology and culture, we’ve been in loose touch in recent months, looking for a chance to bring our respective companies together. And, finally, we’ve found an ideal chance to work with them: to help prepare you, unsuspecting men and women, for Valentine’s Day. READ MORE

TechCrunch: Physics grad Liang Lu ’05 developed a competitor for Craigslist called 5miles, which has over 5 million downloads and sold $1 billion worth of goods in 2015


Originally Posted: January 26, 2016

Can a mobile classified app topple the behemoth that is Craigslist? We’ve asked the question before (more than once, in fact), and it looks like it may be in order again: 5miles, an app developed in China but being rolled out in the U.S. first as a quick way for people to list and buy items locally, has raised $30 million in funding to beat the classifieds leader at its own game. It has a couple of ace cards in its hand to help: 5miles was created to be mobile-first; it comes with some AI-based vetting features; and it costs absolutely nothing to use.

This latest round, a Series B, brings the total raised by the company to over $50 million. With this latest funding, 5miles’ valuation is over $300 million, TechCrunch understands.

5miles first launched in the U.S. in January 2015 after being founded by Lucas Lu, a physics PhD who had also worked at Alibaba and was a CTO at Chinese marketplace app Light in the Box. Although the app was built in China, Lu had done graduate work at Southern Methodist University, so when it came to launching the app he went back to Dallas as a starting point. READ MORE

Abbott’s play for national audience draws questions about higher-office plans

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: February 2, 2016

AUSTIN — On the first anniversary of his residence in the Texas Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Greg Abbott was in Israel, more than 7,000 miles from his home state. He was meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and once again railing against President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

The trip, Abbott’s third international voyage in recent months, followed quickly on the heels of his headline-making plan to amend the U.S. Constitution and take back states’ rights, which he revealed earlier this month.

As many Texas governors before him have done, Abbott is placing himself squarely in the middle of national and international politics. The high-profile moves have many in the political sector wondering whether the newly minted governor is angling — as his recent predecessors have — for a run at the White House or another prominent national position.

Washington D.C. news outlet The Hill fueled those gossip flames on Tuesday, when it endorsed the idea of Abbott as GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s vice presidential choice.

“Trump – Abbott, that’s a ticket to make America great again and put the fear of God in America’s enemies, foreign and domestic!” writer Paul Nagy said in the blog post.

Abbott says he’s happy leading the “greatest state in the United States,” and experts say it’s too early to tell whether the governor may be aiming for national office. But Abbott’s moves do burnish his conservative bona fides during a presidential primary where his endorsement could make a difference.

“I think we shouldn’t be surprised that the governor of one of the largest, most populous states is inserting himself in the national conversation,” said Jim Henson, a University of Texas at Austin political scientist.

Even as attorney general, Abbott had a penchant for making a national scene with lawsuits challenging federal regulations that he said went too far and hurt the Texas economy. He sued the Obama administration over issues ranging from the Affordable Care Act to clean air regulations.

“I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home,” Abbott famously said as attorney general.

Abbott’s distrust and disdain for the federal government continued during his first year as governor. He made national headlines last spring for ordering Texas National Guard troops to keep an eye on Jade Helm 15, a U.S. military training operation. READ MORE