Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Oct. 2, 2015

cyrstal-city-199x300The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program: Jan Jarboe Russell will recount the dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families — many of them U.S. citizens — were incarcerated. The event will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. A light reception will precede the event beginning at 5:30 pm, with the lecture starting at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and event registration click here.

Dine and Dance with SMU’s Brown Bag Series: Throughout the week of Oct. 5, 2015, the Meadows School of the Arts Division of Dance will present lunchtime performances of 10-15 original, student-choreographed ballet, modern and jazz works. The performances will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby in SMU’s Owen Arts Center and are free and oBrownBagLive.ashxpen to the public. Click here for a list of daily performance times.

Set your Watch for Go Set a Watchman Discussion: Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero, a renowned To Kill a Mockingbird scholar, will discuss author Harper Lee’s controversial Go Set a Watchman on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, SMU Campus. The 6 p.m. lecture will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. The event is presented by the SMUSA Book Club and Friends of the SMU Libraries. RSVP by Oct. 5, 2015 here.

Read more about Dean DiPiero and Go Set a Watchman

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer to give Sammons Media Ethics Lecture: Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and FOX News commentator Charles Krauthammer will give SMU’s 16th annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free, but tickets are required. RSVP here.

Read more about Charles Krauthammer

Learn how to negotiate anything: Join Kelly Trager, an adjunct professor and lawyer, in a three-part workshop that will change the way you negotiate in your daily liGetFileAttachmentfe. Workshops will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m Thursday Oct. 8, Thursday Oct. 15 and Thursday Oct. 22, 2015. The workshops will be located in the Embrey Engineering Building room 129, SMU and are free and open to the public. Reserve a seat here.

Demanding or Deferring? The Economic Value of Communication with Attitude: Daniel Houser, George Mason University, will present his recent research on the effects of natural language communication versus fixed-structure communication on individual behavior on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 at 2 p.m in Umphrey Lee Center Room 303. This event is apart of the Economics Seminar Series and is presented by Dedman College.

Read more about Daniel Houser

SMU legend Bill Schucany honored with new lecture program; first events to be held Feb. 27-28, 2014

William Schucany, SMU Professor Emeritus of Statistical Science
William Schucany, SMU professor emeritus of statistical science

Professor William Schucany became known as “Mr. Statistics” during his 40-year career with SMU. By the time he retired in 2011, he was called the heart and soul of the department. And even as an emeritus faculty member, he enjoys coming back to the Hilltop for a good seminar presentation.

To honor Schucany, the Department of Statistical Science has created the Bill Schucany Scholar Lecture Series, which will bring elite statisticians from around the world to SMU. Bradley Efron, Max H. Stein Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics at Stanford University and innovator of bootstrap technology, will be the inaugural presenter in two events scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 27-28, 2014.

“When people thought of our department, they thought of Bill Schucany,” says longtime colleague Wayne Woodward, professor and chair of the Department of Statistical Science in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. “Bill loves seminars – I think our Friday seminars were his favorite time of the week. We wanted to honor him, and we chose this as the thing that would mean the most to him.”

Schucany’s former students provided much of the series’ funding, which has been supplemented with departmental funds. Students, alumni and faculty members are all invited to attend the event, which the department plans to make an annual meeting.

The series’ first speaker is widely regarded as one of the most influential statisticians of all time, Woodward says. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Efron received the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the discipline, notably his innovation of the bootstrap technique. The method uses relatively simple yet computationally intensive techniques to produce accurate statistical estimates from very small random samples. Bootstrapping and its related computational techniques have greatly expanded the scope of statistical analyses, especially in the current environment of massive databases and computing capabilities.

“Anyone who would rank the top five statisticians in the world would include Brad Efron,” Woodward says. “He is an elite scholar who graciously accepted our invitation, probably because he holds Bill in such esteem. His Thursday evening talk is intended for a general scientific audience, and we encourage anyone with an interest to attend either or both events.”

Schucany himself is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of nonparametric statistical inference. As a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), he was chosen in 2004 as one of only four ASA members to received its Founder’s Award, the highest honor the association bestows for service to the profession. Among numerous other honors, Schucany has received the national Don Owen Research Award from the San Antonio Chapter of the ASA and the Paul Minton Award from the Southern Regional Council on Statistics. In addition, he was elected to membership in the International Statistical Institute. Schucany has also served as editor of The American Statistician and as associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Journal of Educational Statistics, and Communications in Statistics.

Efron will give two public lectures during his SMU visit:

  • “Learning from the Experience of Others” – 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, location TBA. Familiar statistical estimates such as batting averages, political polls and medical trial results are obtained by direct observation of cases of interest. Sometimes, though, we can learn from the experience of “others” – e.g., there may be information about one player’s batting average in the observed averages of other players. Efron will present several examples showing how this works in practice, indicating some of the surprising theoretical ideas involved. The talk is intended for a general scientific audience.
  • “Frequentist Accuracy of Bayesian Estimates” – 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, location TBA. In the absence of prior information, popular Bayesian estimation techniques usually begin with some form of “uninformative” prior, intended to have minimal inferential influence. Bayes rule will still produce nice-looking estimates and credible intervals, but these lack the logical force attached to genuine priors, and require further justification. This talk concerns computational formulas that produce frequentist accuracy assessments for Bayesian estimates. Both encouraging and cautionary examples will be presented.