Professors receive tenure, promotions effective in 2015-16

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Congratulations to the Dedman College faculty members who are newly tenured as associate professors or have been promoted to full professorships to begin the 2015-16 academic year.

The following individuals received tenure or promotion effective Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

Recommended for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor:

Angela Ards, English
Greg Brownderville, English
Justin Fisher, Philosophy
Matthew Keller, Sociology
Matthew Lockard, Philosophy
Daniel Moss, English
Nia Parson, Anthropology
Christopher Roos, Anthropology
Stephen Sekula, Physics
Alicia Zuese, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)

Recommended for promotion to Full Professor:

Thomas Coan, Physics
Darryl Dickson-Carr, English
Robert Kehoe, Physics
Francisco Morán, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish)
Tony Ng, Statistical Science
Sherry Wang, Statistical Science

Steve Sekula, Physics, high-tech cancer treatment comes to North Texas

ABC DFW

Originally Posted: May 14, 2015

It’s one of the most high-tech advancements in the fight against cancer, but if you want to get the treatment in Texas, your only option is driving to Houston.

That’s all about to change.

Inside a new three-story facility in Irving, a team of physicists, engineers and medical doctors is working on a new tool to fight cancer, all directed by one of the leading radiation oncologists in the country.

“I found the proton therapy to be not only very effective, but our published reports on the toxicity profile, and patient satisfaction rates have been quite good,” medical director Dr. Andrew Lee explained.

Dr. Lee is leading the Texas Center for Proton Therapy — the first of its kind in North Texas. READ MORE

1st proton collisions at the world’s largest science experiment expected to start the first or second week of June

Originally Posted: April 28, 2015

“No significant signs of new physics with the present data yet but it takes only one significant deviation in the data to change everything.” — Albert De Roeck, CERN
First collisions of protons at the world’s largest science experiment are expected to start the first or second week of June, according to a senior research scientist with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.

“It will be about another six weeks to commission the machine, and many things can still happen on the way,” said physicist Albert De Roeck, a staff member at CERN and a professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and UC Davis, California. De Roeck is a leading scientist on CMS, one of the Large Hadron Collider’s key experiments.

The LHC in early April was restarted for its second three-year run after a two-year pause to upgrade the machine to operate at higher energies. At higher energy, physicists worldwide expect to see new discoveries about the laws that govern our natural universe. READ MORE

Physics Department hosts more than 300 of the world’s leading experts on particle physics

Originally Posted: April 24, 2014

Global physics talks at SMU star the tiny proton: a key to unlocking cosmic mysteries & cancer’s enemy

Why does physics matter? World’s scientists convene for ‘State of the Proton’

Starting Monday, the SMU Physics Department hosts more than 300 of the world’s leading experts on particle physics. The scientists will hold nuts and bolts sessions on questions that drive the world’s leading-edge physics experiments.

The “2015 International Workshop on Deep-Inelastic Scattering and Related Subjects,” is held annually in a world-class city, and this year is hosted by SMU at the Hughes Trigg Student Center.

Workshop sessions start Monday, April 27, and run through Friday, May 1, with physicists rolling up their sleeves to hash out equations, debate and refine algorithms, discuss and develop methodologies, explore spin physics and heavy flavors, and analyze and critique software and hardware developments to ensure the accuracy of the world’s frontline particle experiments.

SMU physicists and others at the workshop include members of the international collaboration that in 2012 made worldwide headlines for observing the Higgs Boson. The Higgs is science’s newest fundamental particle. Its presence was observed after high-energy collisions in the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, which straddles France and Switzerland. READ MORE

More on the Department of Physics

Brian Stump, Earth Sciences, key speaker at the 18th Honors Convocation

Outstanding achievement honored at SMU’s 2014-15 Awards Extravaganza, Honors Convocation.

Dedman College faculty, staff and students were recognized with teaching awards, service honors and the University’s highest commendation, the “M” Award, at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza Monday, April 13.

> Read the list of award winners from Honors Convocation 2015

On the same day, the University honored its best students at the 18th Honors Convocation. The address was delivered by Brian Stump, Claude C. Albritton Jr. Chair in Geological Sciences in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

An expert in seismic wave propagation and earthquake source theory, Stump has become well known in North Texas for his continuing research on the increasing occurrences of small earthquakes that have shaken the area since 2008. In November 2014, he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions to his field, particularly in the area of seismic monitoring in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. READ MORE

Congratulations to Dedman College faculty, staff and students who were recognized at the 2015 Awards Extravaganza on Monday, April 13.

Receiving the “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious honor. Recipients include:

• Jill DeTemple, associate professor of religious studies
• Elizabeth Wheaton, senior lecturer in economics

The Willis M. Tate Award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been involved in student life. Recipients include:

• Jodi Cooley, associate professor of physics
• Stephen Sekula, assistant professor of physics
• Willard Spiegelman, Dwaine E. Hughes Jr. Distinguished Chair in English
• Brian Zoltowski, assistant professor of chemistry

Receiving the Extra Mile Awards, presented by Students for New Learning for graciousness and sensitivity to students with learning differences:

• Ian Harris, associate professor of statistical science

Read the full list of award winners.

Physicists tune Large Hadron Collider to find ‘sweet spot’ in high-energy proton smasher

Phys.org

Posted: April 15, 2015

Start up of the world’s largest science experiment is underway—with protons traveling in opposite directions at almost the speed of light in the deep underground tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva.

As protons collide, physicists will peer into the resulting particle showers for new discoveries about the universe, said Ryszard Stroynowski, a collaborator on one of the collider’s key experiments and a professor in the Department of Physics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

“The hoopla and enthusiastic articles generated by discovery of the Higgs boson two years ago left an impression among many people that we have succeeded, we are done, we understand everything,” said Stroynowski, who is the senior member of SMU’s Large Hadron Collider team. “The reality is far from this. The only thing that we have found is that Higgs exist and therefore the Higgs mechanism of generating the mass of fundamental particles is possible.”

Read more: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-physicists-tune-large-hadron-collider.html#jCp

Jodi Cooley, Physics, Understanding Dark Matter

Science Friday®

Originally Posted: March 31, 2015

Associate Physics Professor Jodi Cooley, an award-winning scientist who studies the nature of dark matter, was interviewed March 27, 2015, on Public Radio International’s Science Friday® by host Ira Flatow. LISTEN

Also on the segment — titled “Understanding the Dark Side of Physics” — were Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg, a theoretical physicist at the University of Texas at Austin, and Dan Hooper, an associate scientist in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and an assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. READ MORE

Congratulations to the 2015 Research Day Award Winners

Congratulations to all the Dedman College students who received 2015 Research Day awards.

The goal of Research Day  is to foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community.

See the full list of Research Day Winners, 2015

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Bryson Dechambeau highlighted as an outstanding student on SMU’s Year of the Student website

Congratulations to Physics major and golfer Bryson Dechambeau. He is being highlighted on SMU’s Year of the Student website. READ MORE

READ MORE about SMU’s Year of the Student

Fermilab Symmetry: From the Standard Model to space

A group of scientists who started at particle physics experiments move their careers to the final frontier.

Symmetry Magazine, the monthly publication of the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, featured SMU physics alum Ryan Rios in an article about physicists working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Rios was a graduate student in the SMU Department of Physics and as part of a team led by SMU Physics Professor Ryszard Stroynowski spent from 2007 to 2012 as a member of the ATLAS experiment at Switzerland-based CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the largest high-energy physics experiment in the world. Rios and the SMU team were part of the successful search for the Higgs boson fundamental particle.

Rios is now a senior research engineer for Lockheed Martin at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. READ MORE