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

Politics: 3rd debate quick analysis

SMU News

Originally Posted: October 20, 2016

(This is a section of a larger SMU news release. To read the full analysis CLICK HERE)



On Trump refusing to say he’d accept the election’s outcome…

  • “The biggest moment of this debate will be Trump’s equivocation on whether he’d accept the results of the election. That will dominate media coverage and is probably the final nail in the coffin of his campaign. It does, though, feed the conspiratorial grievance of the supporters who will watch the TV network that he likely plans to launch.”
  • “Refusing to say he’ll accept the results of the election is bad for Trump. He needs to go along with Pence and Ivanka and accept the legitimacy of the electoral system. Trump was doing well in this debate until he refused to concede electoral legitimacy. If you want to claim fraud afterwards, with evidence, fine. But preemptively? That doesn’t play well.”

On the closing arguments…

  • “There was a real contrast in the closing statements. Clinton was positive and encouraging while Trump went on the attack. That’s because she’s winning right now and he’s losing.”

On whether Chris Wallace is playing fair…

  • “I’m surprised Chris Wallace let Clinton off the hook on Bill’s accusers. Why should Trump’s accusers be respected and believed but not Bill’s?”

On whether Trump admires Putin and Assad…

  • “There has been discussion here tonight of Trump ‘praising’ Putin and Assad. He denies it. I think they’re talking past each other. He often says they are strong, effective leaders who have been strategically successful. Is that praising despots, or just respecting your adversary’s strengths and capabilities?”

Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science with specific expertise in politics and religion

SMU alum’s Dallas fashion startup Edition Collective bought by high-end menswear retailer Q Fifty One

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: October 20, 2016

Dallas e-commerce fashion startup Edition Collective has been acquired by Q Fifty One, a Dallas-based clothing company that has stores in the southwest, the companies announced Thursday. They did not disclose the sale price, but said it’s a cash plus equity deal.

Q Fifty One owns and operates Q Clothier, which makes custom suits, and Rye 51, which sells trendy menswear like denim, custom shoes, leather tote bags, custom shoes and designer lapel pins. The two retail concepts are sold side-by-side in stores, with a complimentary whiskey bar in between.

Edition Collective owns and operates two online-only clothing companies — Imprint (formerly called Need), a curated retailer of men’s clothing, and Foremost, a line of American-made clothing for men and women. It was founded by Matt Alexander, a 28-year-old Brit who graduated from SMU. READ MORE

What solutions does religion offer for racial tensions?

SMU News

Originally Posted: October 19, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – As the nation grapples with simmering racial tensions, SMU’s new Center for Faith and Learning is gathering a panel of sociologists and religious scholars for a timely discussion, “Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, or Something Else?” on Thursday, Oct. 27, to explore what role Christianity can play in solving these old challenges.

crowd“We want to demonstrate that the new center will speak to academically and socially relevant questions,” said Center for Faith and Learning director Matthew Wilson. “Race relations in America would be an example of something that is of academic interests to people in a lot of different disciplines and also really important to our society. This panel will look at the Black Lives Matter movement and the responses it has garnered, then evaluate it all through the perspective of Christian faith and sociology.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. in SMU’s McCord Auditorium, following a 5:30 p.m. reception.

The panel’s featured speaker will be University of North Texas sociology professor George Yancey, who specializes in interracial contact and has authored books on multiracial churches.

Respondent panelists will include: SMU professor of church history Ted Campbell; SMU corporate communications professor Maria Dixon Hall, who also serves as Provost’s Senior Advisor for Campus Cultural Intelligence Initiatives; and Texas Women’s University sociology professor Bilal Sert.

“I think people, whatever their faith, may be interested in understanding what the country’s largest religious tradition says about this faith issue,” Wilson says. “This is a question where faith perspectives have a lot to say and contribute.” READ MORE