Top Ten

August 2, 2018

U of T, LG establish artificial intelligence partnership

The University of Toronto and LG Electronics Inc have established a five-year, multimillion-dollar research partnership that will also see an artificial intelligence lab built on U of T’s campus. Students, professors and post-doctoral fellows “will get to see that global side of how you build product and how you get to global markets,” said U of T Vice-President of Research and Innovation Vivek Goel. The lab will be an extension of LG’s global AI research-and-development facilities, and Goel added that the lab will give “our faculty an opportunity to find collaborations or partnerships in disciplines or areas that we may not have the capacity for.” Globe and Mail (Subscription Required)

Proposed changes to criminal code could bar law students from legal clinics

Many low-income clients facing minor charges approach law students for legal aid, but proposed changes to the Criminal Code could bar law students from legal clinics across Canada, the Windsor Star has learned. According to the Star, changes to Bill C-75 would extend summary offenses from six months to two years, but law students cannot represent clients who face a sentence of longer than six months. Gemma Smyth, President of the Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education, said that she does not believe the Bill aims to strip any defendants of their right to legal representation. In its attempt to streamline legal processes, however, law students and low-income defendants are “collateral damage,” Smyth said. Windsor Star

Today’s graduates need more than intellect to face society’s challenges: Burish

In contrast to commencement speeches that incorporate “college humour” and upbeat messages about following one’s passions, Thomas G Burish writes that many of this year’s prominent speakers at US universities took a more serious approach. Burish describes how these speakers expressed concerns about the political, economic, and racial divides that have come to dominate the political landscape. As he reflects on the themes of diversity, civility, and public trust that these speakers touched upon, the author notes that intellect alone cannot solve society’s current social woes. “No matter how academically rigorous its education or how high the starting salaries of its graduates, a college or university that fails to stress a student’s continued moral development does a disservice to the individual and society,” Burish states. Inside Higher Ed

UVic, CVSD, Cowichan Tribes partner on use of ancient BC settlement as outdoor history classroom

The Ye’yumnuts village near Duncan, British Columbia will become a living Indigenous history lesson as local school districts plan to use the meadow as a place-based classroom. University of Victoria anthropologist Brian Thom has been working closely with Cowichan Tribes and the Cowichan Valley School District to develop an innovative, place-based curriculum at an ancient ancestral site in the Cowichan Valley within walking distance of three local schools. “Something like this is the natural balance where the Cowichan people are helping the teachers understand what does it look like to come in,” said CVSD Indigenous curriculum co-ordinator Rosanna Jackson. National Post | UVic

UCalgary announces new simulation program in Faculty of Social Work

The University of Calgary has announced that a recent philanthropic gift to its Energize campaign will fund a simulation training program in the Faculty of Social Work. The simulation program is one of only a few such programs in Canada, and will provide realistic, safe training in the area of children’s mental health. “Traditionally, social workers achieve such skill development through years of direct practice, with supervision from skilled clinicians within practicum and employment settings,” says Wood’s Homes Research Chair in Children’s Mental Health Angelique Jenney. “The use of simulation allows in-the-moment coaching and evaluation for students to try new skills and to make mistakes in a safe learning environment.” UCalgary

SFU launches genomic sciences internship for Indigenous students

Simon Fraser University has launched a week-long internship program that introduces Indigenous students to genomic sciences, reports the Vancouver Sun. According to SFU, the program is designed to help Indigenous science students understand how genomics can address issues of health, environment, and politics in their communities. The Sun adds that the internship will cover a wide range of topics, including genomics, bioinformatics, community-driven research, and conservation biology.  Biology professor Felix Breden explained that students of the program will also learn how to extract DNA from a clam garden. Vancouver Sun

A roadmap for successful career exploration

Jennie Dorman and Bill Lindstaedt explore the value of the Career Exploration Roadmap, a multi-stage, question-based assessment tool for graduate students who are open to both academic and non-academic careers. The authors state that the tool is designed to help students orient themselves toward the potentially dizzying array of careers that might match their values and skill sets. “Although career exploration is time-consuming and iterative, it need not be disheartening,” they write. “The Career Exploration Road Map demonstrates that every step, including the branch points, is a step forward.” Inside Higher Ed

UWaterloo pursues improvements of mental health supports, students express frustration with process

The University of Waterloo has hired seven additional mental health staff in response to the student walkout in March, improving the student-to-counsellor ratio to 1-to-1000. CBC interviewed a number of students from the walk-out group, however, who felt that the hiring was not enough and expressed frustration with the institution’s transparency throughout the process. UWaterloo Committee Chair John Hirdes explained that the university was currently prioritizing the 32 recommendations made by the committee, and noted that the institution had already begun to make progress. However, Hirdes cautioned that not all recommendations could be immediately undertaken and resolved, noting that “you can’t change culture overnight.” CBC

YTC moves to former MacEwan campus

Yellowhead Tribal College has announced that it will be an anchor tenant at the Orange Hub, which was formerly MacEwan University’s west campus. A YTC release states that the move will allow the college to accommodate its increased enrolments, expand its programming, and provide easier access for transit users and people with disabilities. The college added that it will be able to benefit from inhabiting a building that is purpose-built for education, and that all programming from Fall 2018 onwards will be offered at the new facility. YTC