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Study: Impoverished students and black students suffer greater impact from closure of Houston schools

School closures disproportionately displace poor and black students, according to a new study from researchers at Southern Methodist University and Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium.

In a look at the Houston Independent School District’s school closures between 2003 and 2010, researchers found that schools with a higher proportion of black students were particularly likely to be targeted by closures, said education policy researcher Meredith Richards, co-author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at SMU, Dallas. Continue reading

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

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

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

The goal is to improve understanding of fundamental physics, driving future innovation and inventions. Continue reading

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Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled brightness of 100 million suns

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, say astrophysicists at SMU.

The massive explosion, Supernova 2013j, was one of the closest to Earth in recent years. Analysis of the exploding star’s light curve and color spectrum found its sudden blast hurled material from it at 10,000 kilometers a second. Continue reading

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New look at Pizarro’s conquest of Inca reveals foot soldiers were awed by empire’s grandeur

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro’s 1532 attack on the Inca empire during a two-day conflict in Cajamarca, Peru is an infamous episode in history.

But efforts by the pre-contact Inca to display their power and authority to the Spanish through architecture, landscape, geoglyphs, textiles, ceramics, feather work and metalwork failed to stop Pizarro, says SMU pre-Columbian expert Adam Herring. Continue reading

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SMU Lyle School cyber defender Fred Chang named to National Academy of Engineering

Chang, SMU, cyber security, Lyle SchoolFred Chang, director of SMU’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and former director of research for the National Security Agency, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering.

Chang and other new members will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9, 2016. The U.S. National Academy of Engineering is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that supports engineering leadership. Continue reading

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National Center for Arts Research white paper counters findings of the Devos Institute Study on Culturally Specific Arts Organizations

The National Center for Arts Research at SMU today released a white paper that examines the distinguishing characteristics of arts organizations that primarily serve Asian American, African American, and Hispanic/Latino communities. Insights based on measurable data discuss the operating contexts and unique challenges these organizations face.
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SMU 2015 research efforts broadly noted in a variety of ways for world-changing impact

SMU scientists and their research have a global reach that is frequently noted, beyond peer publications and media mentions.

It was a good year for SMU faculty and student research efforts. Here’s a small sampling of public and published acknowledgements during 2015, ranging from research modeling that made the cover of a scientific journal to research findings presented as evidence at government hearings. Continue reading

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North America’s newest pterosaur is a Texan — and flying reptile’s closest cousin is English

A new species of toothy pterosaur is a native of Texas whose closest relative is from England. The new 94-million-year-old species, named Cimoliopterus dunni, is strikingly similar to England’s Cimoliopterus cuvieri.

Identification of the new flying reptile links prehistoric Texas to England, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, who identified the fossil as a new species.
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Capital Public Radio: California Sixth-Grade Textbooks Frame Climate Change As Uncertain

California, study, climate change, sixth grade, textbooks, SMU, Stanford, Public radio, sacramentoCapital Public Radio in Sacramento, Calif., covered new research co-authored by SMU teaching expert Diego Román.

The new study measured how four sixth-grade science textbooks adopted for use in California frame the subject of global warming. Sixth grade is the first time California state standards indicate students will encounter climate change in their formal science curriculum. Continue reading

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