Annual Fellows Seminars

The DCII will be sponsoring two Fellows Seminars during the academic year 2016-2017 - one titled, "Impact of Big Data on Society: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and the other titled, "Languages of Art and the Arts of the Conceptual". 

Annual Fellows Seminars bring faculty and occasionally graduate students together to explore topics that span the humanities, social sciences and the professions.

During the academic year 2015-2016, the DCII is supporting two Fellows Seminars. Participants in these Seminars are appointed as Fellows of the DCII for the full academic year. 

Seminar One

"Law and Statistics"

Co-organizers:  Lynne Stokes (Statistics) and Jenia I. Turner (Dedman School of Law)


Basic concepts of statistics, such as probability, causal inference, and statistical significance are becoming ever more important to understanding key areas of the law, including epidemiological evidence, civil rights and discrimination claims, products liability, environmental litigation, securities fraud, antitrust claims, police profiling of suspects, damages in commercial cases, and DNA evidence. Law professors are increasingly calling on their colleagues in the statistics department for help with creating empirical projects and analyzing the data gathered during such projects. Conversely, statistics professors have drawn on the expertise of law professors to design studies useful to understanding the effects of diverse laws, including most recently voter ID laws.  In recognition of this important connection between the two fields, this seminar will explore potential areas for research collaboration between legal scholars and statistics scientists, as well as with related social science disciplines.

Seminar Participants/Fellows

Michael Braun, Cox School of Business
Jing Cao, Statistics, Dedman College
Tony Ng, Statistics, Dedman College
Keith Robinson, Dedman School of Law
Meghan Ryan, Dedman School of Law
Mary Spector, Dedman School of Law

Seminar Two

"Beyond Two Cultures: Reconciling the Sciences and Humanities

Co-organizers: Zachary Wallmark, Assistant Professor of Music; and Neely Myers, Assistant Professor of Anthropology


The “two cultures” schism separating sciences and humanities remains endemic in much of the modern university, but the division has arguably become intellectually untenable. Never before have the sciences and the humanities shared so much common ground: the sciences have advanced to the point where they can meaningfully contribute to explorations of traditionally humanistic research topics (e.g., culture, ethics, and the arts), while scholars in the humanities can help guide and interpret the empirical study of human behavior and culture. This seminar looks to explore the promises and perils of a post-two-cultures discursive landscape and establish synergistic partnerships between the social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and arts at SMU and beyond.

Seminar Participants/Fellows

Rhonda Blair, Theater, Meadows School of the Arts
Philippe Chuard, Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Science
Michael Corris, Art, Meadows School of the Arts
Justin Fisher, Philosophy, Dedman College of Humanities and Science
John Mears, History, Dedman College of Humanities and Science
Rex Thompson, Finance, Cox School of Business
Ron Wetherington, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Science