Joseph F. Kobylka, Political Science, “The Law, the Constitution, and Obergefell v. Hodges.”

7 p.m.
June 4, 2015
Dedman Life Sciences Building
Harold Jeskey Lecture Hall, Room 131
SMU

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Joseph F. Kobylka, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies will discuss the impact of the pending case and imminent decision being made by the Supreme Court for same sex couples in Texas and around the nation. Following his presentation, he will take questions from the audience and lead discussion. Professor Kobylka teaches a course on the Supreme Court titled “Law, Politics, and the Supreme Court.” Over spring break earlier this year he took his students to Washington DC to visit the Supreme Court.

SMU conference to promote technology, economics of geothermal production in oil and gas fields

Phys.org
Originally Posted: May 15, 2015

Southern Methodist University’s renowned Geothermal Laboratory will host its seventh international energy conference and workshop on the SMU campus May 19-20. The conference is designed to promote transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing geothermal systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids from both active and abandoned fields.

More than 200 professionals – ranging from members of the oil and gas service industry, reservoir engineers, to geothermal energy entrepreneurs, to lawyers – are expected to attend “Power Plays: Geothermal Energy in Oil and Gas Fields” Topics of discussion will include:

  • Power generation from flare gas
  • Power generation from waste-heat and geothermal fluids
  • Research updates on induced seismicity, as well as onshore and offshore thermal maturation
  • Play Fairway Analysis – a subsurface mapping technique used to identify prospective geothermal resources
  • Technology updates.

Researchers from SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences will present results from their Fall 2014 Eastern North American Margin Community Seismic Experiment (ENAM CSE) research. In addition, equipment such as one-well systems, desalination and other new technologies will be explored. Registration remains open and walk-up attendees will be accommodated.

SMU has been at the forefront of geothermal energy research for more than 45 years, and the Geothermal Laboratory’s mapping of North American geothermal resources is considered the baseline for U.S. geothermal energy exploration. Geothermal Laboratory Coordinator Maria Richards and Emeritus Professor David Blackwell have seen interest in geothermal energy wax and wane with the price of oil and natural gas.

But Richards believes current low oil prices will drive more interest in geothermal development, encouraging oil and gas producers to use geothermal production from existing oil and gas fields as they try to keep them cost-effective for petroleum production at 2015 prices.

The technology that will be examined at the conference is relatively straight-forward: Sedimentary basins drilled for oil and gas production leave behind reservoir pathways that can later be used for heat extraction. Fluids moving through those hot reservoir pathways capture heat, which at the surface can be turned into electricity, or used downhole to replace pumping needs. In addition, the existing surface equipment used in active oil and gas fields generates heat, which also can be tapped to produce electricity and mitigate the cost of production.

“Oil and gas drilling rig counts are down,” Richards said. “The industry has tightened its work force and honed its expertise. The opportunity to produce a new revenue stream during an economically challenging period, through the addition of relatively simple technology at the wellhead, may be the best chance we’ve had in years to gain operators’ attention.”

Featured speakers include Jim Wicklund, managing director for equity research at Credit Suisse, who will speak on “Volatile Economics in the Oil Field,” and Holly Thomas and Tim Reinhardt from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office. STW Water Process & Technology, a water reclamation and oilfield services company, will have desalination equipment on-site for attendees to understand size and scaling capacity of water purification for oil field operators.

More information:
www.smu.edu/Dedman/Academics/Programs/GeothermalLab/Conference

Grad Ketetha Olengue: A heart-felt mission to help others

Ketetha-OlengueFor SMU graduating senior Ketetha Olengue, wearing a pacemaker isn’t a hindrance. It’s what spurs her desire to help people battling both heart conditions and “the human condition,” she says.

On Saturday, Ketetha will earn two degrees that will send her on her way to becoming a cardiologist: a B.S. in computer science from the Lyle School of Engineering and a B.A. in biology from Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences. After four successful years as a SMU President’s Scholar (a merit-based scholarship paying full-tuition and fees), Ketetha can now celebrate her acceptance into the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, where she’ll receive a full-tuition scholarship.

Ketetha traces her physical and emotional strength to one of her life’s lowest moments, when, at age 9, the first of three pacemaker surgeries left her with a significant scar. Her maternal grandmother, in Burkina Faso, Africa, told her, “Do not cry. It is a souvenir.” From then on Ketetha would see her congenital heart condition “as what makes me different,” she says, “and what will help me make a difference in the lives of others.” READ MORE

SMU Magazine: Dedman College Alumnus Leandre Johns ’02 Talks Uber Career And Detours Along The Way

By: Patricia Ward

Originally Posted: May 4, 2015
Dedman Alumni Leandre Johns ConversationA passion for innovation drives Leandre Johns ’02, general manager of Uber Technologies for North and West Texas. Johns returned to the Hilltop to discuss his trajectory from SMU student to tech executive in a conversation with Thomas DiPiero, dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, April 28.

Johns, a native of Garland, Texas, was a Hunt Leadership Scholar and active in the campus community while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU. He encouraged students in the audience at Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible while they are undergraduates.

“Test yourself. Make the most of it. Get involved,” he said. Learning to deal with so many different personalities in a variety of situations as a student “made me a more dynamic person.”

While at SMU, he thought he had his future mapped out. During an SMU Abroad semester in Copenhagen, he was involved in children’s cancer research, which shaped the next phase of his education. He graduated from SMU determined to help cure cancer and pursued a master’s degree in public health at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student, he interned for UnitedHealthcare, then spent three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago as a healthcare and financial consultant. 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

Uber’s Leandre Johns to Discuss His Drive to Succeed April 28

Originally Posted: April 27, 2015

Dallas Morning News- Park Cities Blog

DALLAS — Learn why SMU alumnus Leandre Johns is driven to succeed as general manager for the ride-sharing service Uber, one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, when he joins SMU Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero in conversation Tuesday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. 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

Driven to Succeed: Uber Leader Leandre Johns to Talk at SMU April 28

Learn why SMU alumnus Leandre Johns is driven to succeed as general manager for the ride-sharing service Uber, one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, when he joins SMU Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero in conversation Tuesday, April 28, at 5:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall.

Leandre Johns 8640 (1)“From SMU to Uber: A Conversation With Leandre Johns ’02” is free and open to the public, with RSVP to mfevans@smu.edu requested by Monday, April 27.

Johns, a Hunt Leadership Scholar who earned a B.A. in psychology from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 2002, will discuss how his educational experiences helped pave the way to his current role as North and West Texas general manager for Uber Technologies. The company connects riders to drivers via a mobile app-based service.

In 2014 D Magazine named the Garland native one of Dallas’ “10 Most Eligible Men,” noting, “Leandre’s responsible for some serious transformation in the Dallas social scene.” The magazine even added insight from Johns’ mother, who said, “He loves being involved with the community, reaching back, giving and encouraging others to succeed.”

Prior to joining Uber, Johns worked in the venture capital and startup field as vice president for a healthcare technology and media portfolio company in Chicago. He also spent more than three years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, consulting in the healthcare and finance sector. He earned his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he majored in finance, entrepreneurship and marketing.

For more details about the event visit: http://www.smu.edu/Dedman/AboutDedmanCollege/Events/Uber.

Nazi death camps survivor & liberator to discuss Holocaust experiences for 70th anniversary commemoration at SMU on April 23

 

Polish Army veteran Bernhard Storch visited Auschwitz in 2012 to commemorate the anniversary of its liberation. Credit: Wall Street Journal
Polish Army veteran Bernhard Storch visited Auschwitz in 2012 to commemorate the anniversary of its liberation. Credit: Wall Street Journal

With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps at the end of World War II, SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program will sponsor “Reflections from Survivors & Liberators of Nazi Death Camps” on Thursday, April 23, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Great Hall, 5901 Bishop Blvd., on the SMU campus.

The free public event, co-sponsored by the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, will feature Holocaust survivor Rosa Blum, 86, of Dallas, and liberator Bernhard Storch, 93, of New York.

“This is an increasingly rare opportunity to hear first-hand about the Holocaust from the last generation of its survivors,” says Embrey Human Rights Director Rick Halperin. “It’s most unusual to get the perspective of a liberator who accompanied Soviet forces through areas never seen by American or British armies.”

During the Holocaust (1933 to 1945), 11 million people, including six million Jews and five million others, were killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators who engaged in ethnic, political and social “cleansing.”

Blum was deported from her native Romania to Auschwitz in Poland when she was 15. She still bears mental and physical scars — the latter delivered by Dr. Josef Mengele. During the “selection” process that sorted prisoners for work or execution, the “Angel of Death” beat Blum for the emotional outburst she showed when he decided her mother should die and she should live. They were torn from each other’s arms. Blum ultimately would be forced to work as an assistant in the same hospital where Mengele conducted his ghastly “research.”

The horrific acts of cruelty she witnessed destroyed her. “I was not the same anymore,” Blum has said.

Blum was later shipped to the Dachau camp in Germany, where she was during its liberation by U.S. Army forces on April 29, 1945. In 1950 she moved to the U.S. and started a family.

Storch was a teen-ager in 1939 when both Germany and the Soviet Union invaded his native Poland. While trying to escape to safety, Storch was captured by Soviet forces and sent to work in a Siberian labor camp, where he remained until the Soviet Union declared war on Germany in 1941 and as part of a treaty with allies U.S. and Great Britain, Polish citizens were freed from Russian slave labor camps. Storch returned home to fight with the resistance and ultimately helped liberate the Nazi death camps Sobibor, Majdanek and Chelmno.

“In Majdanek, we saw a mountain of human ash, with human bones scattered in between. The feeling I had is still with me; it’s just indescribable … complete shock. There were warehouses with hundreds of thousands of shoes sorted out,” Storch recalled. “The irony of the thing was that Polish people were living outside the camp, farming, as if nothing were happening.”

After discovering his entire family had been killed by the Nazis, Storch and his wife, Ruth, also a Holocaust survivor, emigrated to the U.S. in 1947.

“For 25 years I did not discuss the Holocaust; it was just too painful. Eventually I opened up and now lecture at schools, emphasizing Jewish armed resistance in World War II.”

Storch is author of the 2012 book, World War II Warriors: My Own Recollections of World War II. (For a “Voice of Russia” interview with Storch in English, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh314cHTy2Y.)

For more details about SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, which conducts an annual two-week Holocaust study pilgrimage to Poland each December and also hosts Holocaust-focused trips to other countries, contact saikman@smu.edu or 214-768-8347.

Gilbert Lecture Series presents author and game designer Ian Bogost “The Mistrust of Things”

Event Date: Thursday, April 16
Time: 6pm reception, 6:30pm lecture
Location: Dedman Life Science Building, room 131

Ian-Bogost

How can we learn to live with things?

How do we approach a world so replete, so overburdened with stuff that it’s literally falling apart from the wear?

How do we think of ourselves as just another thing among so many others, rather than the masters of the things that are our servants?

How can we respect things for what they are, irrespective of their role in our concerns, and how do we really do so, not just late one weird night but every day, habitually?

And how do we do so without descending into the anguish of nihilism, without concluding that the universe is fundamentally indifferent?

Award-winning author and game designer Ian Bogost will speak on “The Mistrust of Things” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in Room 131 of Dedman Life Science Building. The lecture, sponsored by SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series, will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m. MORE HERE