Chronicle of Higher Education Originally Posted: November 13, 2018 A report being released today says higher education is not keeping pace with the ever-changing job market. The report examines the “translation chasm” between the skills graduates of liberal arts programs have and the skills employers say they’re looking for in an applicant. Turns out, they’re not all that different, but “liberal arts graduates are too often left to stumble upon the valuable mixture of layered skills” required for any specific career, according to the report. While many reports suggest that students should focus on studying marketable skills, the new report identifies career value in liberal arts education, albeit with some tweaks. Put together by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm, and the Strada Institute for [...]
Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: November 14, 2018 Three weeks before his team's fossil finds go on display at one of the world's most famous natural history museums, Louis Jacobs stands in a basement lab at Southern Methodist University sanding the lower jaw of a 72-million-year-old sea monster. His colleague Michael Polcyn sits nearby, dabbing sealant on a model of the animal's upper jaw and skull. White dust hovers in the air. Plaster tailbones, skulls and teeth top every counter. This is the sort of work — preparing models and fossils — that Jacobs had done early in his career, before he became a professor, before he hunted for fossils in Alaska, Antarctica, Malawi, Cameroon and Texas; before he dug up the bones of dinosaurs [...]
National Geographic Originally Posted: November 8, 2018 Ancient DNA reveals complex migrations of the first Americans Newly sequenced Native genomes showcase a wealth of surprises, from previously unknown populations to unique high-altitude adaptations. “Where do I come from?” That's perhaps one of the most fundamental questions for humanity. Now, three studies of ancient and modern human DNA are offering some intriguing answers by providing a detailed new look at the complex peopling of the Americas. Once modern humans left Africa about 60,000 years ago, they swiftly expanded across six continents. Researchers can chart this epic migration in the DNA of people both alive and long-dead, but they were missing genetic data from South America, the last major stop on this human journey. The trio [...]
American Anthropological Association Originally Posted: November 13, 2018 Katherine E. Browne earned her master’s and Ph.D. from SMU Katherine E. Browne's academic research and engaged anthropology have energized the fields of economic anthropology, disaster studies, and visual ethnography. She is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado State University. In her first book, Creole Economics: Caribbean Cunning under the French Flag (2004), Browne investigated the informal economy among Afro-Creole people in Martinique. Continuing her interest in the relationship between community and economic values, Browne shifted her research focus to New Orleans to address the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. Her NSF-funded documentary film on this work, Still Waiting: Life after Katrina, was broadcast on more than 300 PBS stations and was followed [...]
SMU Tower Center Blog Originally Posted: November 9, 2018 Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar Noelle Kendall ’19 is majoring in biological sciences and earning minors in chemistry and french in addition to her Tower Scholars Program minor in public policy and international affairs. We asked her about her experience as a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar and about why science and public policy matter to her. READ MORE
Dedman College News Originally Posted: November 9, 2018 By: Ryan Garrett In the 2017-18 academic year, SMU Human Rights Fellow Benjamin Chi fought to change the Texas Family Code, advocating for underage youth without guardians to give consent to their own medical care, which would allow them to attend school and improve public health. “Working as an SMU Human Rights Fellow has been the most formative experience of my undergraduate experience,” said Ben. Inspired to study human rights through his parents’ experiences of living in poverty until their thirties, Ben has been collaborating with homelessness advocates, state government officials, healthcare specialists, and youth experiencing homelessness. In the 2014-2015 school year, 113,000 students were identified as homeless, according to the Texas Homeless Education Office, an organization [...]
NPR Originally Posted: November 8, 2018 When the South Atlantic Ocean was young, sea monsters ruled it. Some of their bones have turned up along the coast of West Africa and are going on exhibit Friday at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They tell a story of the bloody birth of an ocean. The fossils of giant swimming reptiles called mosasaurs have been found in the rocky cliffs of Angola, overlooking the Atlantic. It's not a country known for fossils. Few scientists have looked there — half a century of civil war made it too dangerous. But geologically, Angola is special. About 200 million years ago, Africa was part of the supercontinent Gondwana. Then, about 135 million years ago, that continent started unzipping down [...]
The Atlantic Originally Posted: November 6, 2018 The good news about spanking is that parents today are less likely to do it to their children than parents in the past. The bad news is that parents today still spank their kids—a lot. “Some estimates are that by the time a child reaches the fifth grade [in the United States], 80 percent of children have been spanked,” says George Holden, a professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University who studies parenting and corporal punishment. Spanking is also widespreadworldwide. Perhaps parents are quick to spank their children because it can bring about immediate acquiescence, but the benefits, a consensus of scholars and doctors agree, end there. On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 67,000 doctors, came out strongly [...]
Dallas News Originally Posted: November 7, 2018 Did Democrats enjoy a blue wave? The answer depends on how you characterize victory. The party mounted a respectable effort at the top of the ticket — which is an accomplishment of sorts. Democrats picked up some urban and suburban seats in Congress and the Legislature. Still, they failed to break through statewide. “I would call it a good night, not a great night” for Democrats, said Matthew Wilson, associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “A great night would’ve been Beto O’Rourke winning” in the U.S. Senate race, he said. “That was the fondest dream of Democrats in Texas. But O’Rourke’s candidacy and the mobilization that he generated is going to carry a couple of new [...]
Event: November 14, Math Colloquium: Difference-of-convex Learning: optimization with nonconvex sparsity functions.
Event Date: November 14 Location: 126 Clements Hall Time: 3:30 PM Miju Ahn Department of Engineering Management, Information, and Systems (EMIS), Lyle School of Engineering, SMU Sparse learning involves building a robust and efficient model by incorporating sprasity functions in the optimization formulation to select significant variables to serve in the model. The first part of this talk emphasizes on a bi-criteria Lagrangian formulation. In the second part, we introduce a new system of constraints called affine sparsity constraints (ASCs) defined by a discrete sparsity function.