SMU physicists: CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is once again smashing protons, taking data

SMU Research

Originally Posted: May 10, 2016

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its experiments are back in action, now taking physics data for 2016 to get an improved understanding of fundamental physics.

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Following its annual winter break, the most powerful collider in the world has been switched back on.

Geneva-based CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) — an accelerator complex and its experiments — has been fine-tuned using low-intensity beams and pilot proton collisions, and now the LHC and the experiments are ready to take an abundance of data.

The goal is to improve our understanding of fundamental physics, which ultimately in decades to come can drive innovation and inventions by researchers in other fields.

Scientists from SMU’s Department of Physics are among the several thousand physicists worldwide who contribute on the LHC research. READ MORE

May Commencement Weekend

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Congratulations to all the Dedman College graduates. Looking for the latest schedule of events? Read More 

SMU’s May 14 Commencement celebrates academic achievement

SMU News

Originally Posted: May 3, 2016

SMU will celebrate the academic accomplishments of more than 2,500 students at its 101st annual Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, in Moody Coliseum.

Guests are urged to arrive early as seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Additional seating will be available for a simulcast of the event at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, Crum Auditorium and McFarlin Auditorium. The ceremony also will be broadcast outside Moody Coliseum on Bolin Plaza, and there will be a live webcast of the ceremony at http://www.smu.edu/live.

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SMU physicist Govinda Dhungana and Dr. Bob Kehoe discuss nearby massive Supernova 2013ej explosion

SMU Research

Originally Posted: April 26, 2016

A giant star that exploded 30 million years ago in a galaxy near Earth had a radius prior to going supernova that was 200 times larger than our sun, according to astrophysicists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

The sudden blast hurled material outward from the star at a speed of 10,000 kilometers a second. That’s equivalent to 36 million kilometers an hour or 22.4 million miles an hour, said SMU physicist Govinda Dhungana, lead author on the new analysis. READ MORE

 

Associate dean for General Education addresses questions about UC-2016

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: April 16, 2016

By: Peter Moore, associate dean, General Education

Let me take a moment to address the issues Noah Bartos raised in his editorial regarding UC-2016.

Noah is rightly concerned about the potential headaches various groups will face regarding two very similar curricula (UC-2012 and UC-2016). We are too. He notes the increase in paperwork. That comes in three forms: 1) course proposals that faculty must write; 2) assessment; and 3) student petitions.

He is right in pointing out that in the near-term faculty will have some additional work to do. A significant portion of that has already been completed this spring and I hope that most of the rest will be finished by December. There is a sense of fatigue, but this is offset to some extent by the improvements he notes in the structure which allow for new opportunities for participation. Regarding assessment, my expectation is that this will actually decrease initially (while eventually returning to the current level).

My biggest concern is with student petitions that will arise through confusion between the two curricula. Noah notes this problem as well regarding the mixture of requirements in the same course. This mixture does not involve Proficiencies and Experiences which are identical in both curricula. We are aware of the problem regarding pillars (UC-2012) and breadth and depth (UC-2016) and will be working to mitigate the headaches that are bound to result.

Noah also raises concerns with the new STEM requirements which he believes have the potential to unduly impact Meadows’ students. With regard to the lab-based portion (PAS under UC-2012) of this requirement the revision in UC-2016 is closer to the original intent of the UC adopted in 2010, that students complete two lab-based courses. The TM requirement, however, should not be an additional burden for most Meadows’ students who will be able to complete it in the major (e.g., Theater Lighting).

Noah notes the advantages from the simplified Second Language requirement which should prove beneficial across all majors. The changes in UC-2016 are designed to lessen the need for double-counting pillar courses by opening up courses in the major.

For example, I expect Cox majors to benefit when ITOM 3306 (a required course for all Cox students) satisfies the TM requirement. In this case the number of UC requirements met in the Cox major will increase from two to three. The modifications introduced in UC-2012 were designed to address high-credit majors and enhance students’ ability to double major. Students should find the same advantages in UC-2016 along with a simplified structure.

Finally he argues that the language of the proposal does not provide an adequate description of content. The descriptions match the information provided in the original UC and are augmented by the Student Learning Outcomes. Together these do provide a good basis for determining what the new breadth and depth requirements are all about.

Nearly two years ago the University Curriculum Council responded to concerns about the original UC and introduced key modifications. Those modifications have helped the class of 2012 to graduate on time. However, the modifications led to some unintended consequences which UC-2016 addresses. We expect that our efforts this time around will be even more beneficial. READ MORE

International ‘dark matter’ expert, physics professor to present at Louisiana Tech

MyArkLaMiss.com

Originally Posted: March 31, 2016

The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University will host Dr. Jodi Cooley, international dark matter expert and associate professor of physics at Southern Methodist University (SMU), as part of the Wallace Herbert Memorial Astronomy Lecture Series.

Cooley’s presentation titled, “Whispers in the Dark” will take place at 7:00 p.m. April 6 in the auditorium of University Hall on the Louisiana Tech campus. She will discuss her research on dark matter with an international group of physicists. The lecture is free to attend and open to the public.

Dark matter is believed to account for 85 percent of the matter in the universe and is, at the moment, unidentified and invisible. Cooley’s work within several collaborations, including the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search detector at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota, the CDMS and Germanium Observatory for Dark Matter, is intended to explore options to identify this matter. READ MORE

Congratulations Dedman College Dean’s Research Council Award Recipients

March 18, 2016

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Congratulations to the the recipients of this year’s Dean’s Research Council grants. The Dean’s Research Council provides competitively awarded seed funding for faculty research and allows them to compete for larger grants and fellowships outside SMU.

Sciences

Peng Tao

Department of Chemistry
Extending the Protein Evolution Paradigm to Combat Antibiotic Drug Resistance

Karen Lupo
Department of Anthropology
Exposing the Myth of the Pristine Rain Forest: Building the Case for the Cultural Landscapes in the Tropical Forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Jingbo Ye
Department of Physics
Developing an Integrated Circuit that Drives Arrays with Ultra Low Power

Humanities

Phillipe Chuard
Department of Philosophy
Time Consciousness: The Lockean View

 

 

Not-So-Mad Man: Bryson DeChambeau Fuses Art and Science

Golf

Originally Posted: February 29, 2016

It’s been easy to turn Bryson DeChambeau into a caricature. Last summer, as he was on his way to becoming just the fifth person to win the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year, the SMU physics major with the funny clubs and the quirky swing was portrayed as Victor Frankenstein with a sharp short game. It’s true that DeChambeau is a disciple of Homer Kelley’s The Golfing Machine, the dense, scholarly tome that scientifically breaks down the swing into 24 components with endless variables. And it took tremendous mechanical know-how and extensive testing to perfect DeChambeau’s one-of a-kind set of Edel irons, each of which is the same weight and length (37.5″, a typical 7-iron). But to call DeChambeau a mad scientist ignores the artist within. On the wall of his bedroom in his family’s home in Fresno, Calif., hangs a stippled drawing depicting Ben Hogan’s famous 1-iron at Merion; it took DeChambeau four months to create it. He brings the same creativity to the links, having shaped a dazzling array of shots last summer en route to the historic double-dip that had previously been achieved only by Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Ryan Moore. READ MORE