Top Ten

June 5, 2009

$25 million for uWaterloo Institute of Quantum Computing

The University of Waterloo announced Friday that Research In Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis and his wife Ophelia are contributing another $25-million to the university's Institute for Quantum Computing, bringing their total donation to IQC to $101 million. The couple previously donated $76 million to the facility's development, including a major share for the construction of the Quantum-Nano Centre. In April, the federal government awarded IQC the $50-million it had promised in the last national election. uWaterloo News Release | Canadian Press

NL launches $28-million ocean technology strategy

On Friday, the Newfoundland and Labrador government launched a new initiative called Oceans of Opportunity -- a 5-year, $28-million strategy with the goal of identifying new opportunities in ocean technology and expanding relationships with regional, national, and international partners. The strategy includes a $15-million Ocean Technology Development Fund, part of which will be allocated to OceanTech Intelligence, designed to support post-secondary institutions and industry associations engaged in activities focused on advancing the ocean technology sector. NL News Release | MUN News Release

20,000 skilled trades workers needed in Atlantic provinces

A forthcoming report from the Construction Sector Council finds that Atlantic Canada will need over 4,600 new trades workers to meet demands for new construction, and 15,000 to replace retiring baby boomers between now and 2017. The council asserts that major infrastructure projects planned for the region will help Atlantic Canada's construction industry gain momentum through the economic downturn. The council is calling for a regional approach to ensure the 4 eastern provinces have a highly-skilled construction workforce when the economy improves. CSC News Release

Carleton breaks ground for Waterfront project

Last Thursday, Carleton University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Waterfront project, which recently received $52.5 million in joint infrastructure funding from the federal and Ontario governments. The project entails the construction of 2 buildings -- the Canal and River buildings -- that are part of Carleton's continuous efforts to enhance its capacity to contribute to research and innovation in the areas of nanoscience, engineering, communications, public policy, and international relations. Both facilities are slated for completion in 2011. Carleton News Release | CBC (video)

Survey finds UBC professors care deeply about teaching

According to a new survey, 76% of University of British Columbia faculty members believe that their success lies in their students' success. 97% agree that the instructor carries the responsibility for giving students useful feedback, and 90% feel the teacher is responsible for engaging students in the subject matter. 64% of respondents believe smaller class sizes would significantly improve the effectiveness of teaching. The survey also found that faculty want to apply new pedagogical methods, but feel they don't have the tools or access to the latest techniques. UBC Reports | Read the full report

Changes to PSSSP could seriously affect Aboriginal student participation in PSE

The Ontario Native Education Counselling Association is worried that proposed changes to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program could have a severe effect on the participation of First Nations students in PSE. The organization believes the changes would remove the role of education counselling services designed to help Aboriginal students. If the program ends up being distributed by a third-party provider, there is concern there will be less opportunity for Aboriginal students to succeed. ONECA is pressing the need for additional PSE resources for First Nation students if they want to have graduate rates comparable to the rest of Canada. TB Television

Boréal "Mon Choix Smart" TV spot earns international award

Collège Boréal is a silver winner in the 2009 Summit International Creative Awards for a television commercial produced for its "Mon Choix Smart" recruitment campaign. The TV spot features a Smart Car playing the role of a Boréal student; it attends class, cheers at sporting events, and hangs out with friends on campus. The commercial ends with a call-to-action for the campaign's microsite. Boréal News Release | Boréal TV spot

La Cité student wins Colleges Ontario photo contest

Janie Bériault Therrien, a student at La Cité collégiale, won first place in the Colleges Ontario "You Are Here" photo contest. Her winning photo, along with 11 other selected pictures, will be included in Colleges Ontario's 2010 desktop calendar. Bériault Therrien's submission also earned her a 16 GB iPod Touch and $100 iTunes certificate. The contest yielded 103 entries from students at Ontario's 24 colleges. The 12 photos selected for the calendar are available online. Colleges Ontario News Release | "You Are Here" contest promises students extra time with assignments

Instead of handing in a "garbage" paper on time, buy extra time to polish your assignment by e-mailing your professor an intentionally corrupted file, proclaims From the site, students can purchase corrupted Excel, Word, or PowerPoint files of different sizes. The site, which started out "as a goof," attempts to distinguish its service from outright cheating. The website's proprietor says the best clients are from Ivy League and top-tier institutions. In a bid to keep professors unaware, the owner of does not advertise the site, which reads "Keep this site a Secret!" Inside Higher Ed |

Culture, not biology, responsible for math gender gap

In an analysis of contemporary data, researchers from the University of Wisconsin--Madison document a pattern of performance strongly suggesting that the primary cause of the gender gap in math performance is changeable sociocultural factors, not biology, as has been argued. The researchers suggest US culture instills the belief that math talent is innate, whereas in other countries math performance is linked to effort. Given more education and career opportunities in fields requiring advanced knowledge of math, the researchers say, women will learn and perform math very well. U of Wisconsin--Madison News Release