|Why women in tech came to a ‘Halt’|
The number of women in computer science has decreased significantly since the 1980s. A National Science Foundation study shows that 40 per cent of computer science majors in 1984 were female and now it’s 18 per cent.
Now people are trying to understand why the numbers dropped. UBC researchers found that men tend to see computers as a “toy” and women see them as a “tool.”
|This device can zap your brain into s state of zen. Is that a good thing?|
A new device has come onto the market that you stick on your scalp and it delivers electrical pulses to the head to create a sense of calm. Some people are questioning the need for such a device.
“People seek to relax … in different ways,” said Dr. Judy Iles, a UBC neuroethicist. “But why it is better or safer than exercise, meditation or fresh air or other healthy lifestyle behaviors is not evident.”
|Article by SickKids top pediatrician under fire|
A medical journal article co-authored by SickKids hospital’s top pediatrician is under fire after the the former head of the U.S. drug regulator alleges that a drug company manipulated the findings about the risks of a powerful antipsychotic used to treat kids with behavioural problems.
Mahyar Etminan, a drug safety researcher at UBC and lead author of the new study, said misleading journal articles can lead to serious consequences for doctors and patients.
“When you have this busy clinician who sees the paper is authored by one of the leading people in the field, they are more likely to just read the abstract and believe what they read,” said Etminan. “It can lead to inappropriate prescribing.”
|National Pharmacare idea worth a close look|
The Green Party is calling for a national Pharmacare program. Research out of UBC shows that a National Pharmacare program could save Canada billions.
UBC health economist Steven Morgan says governments spend $3 billion a year on employees’ health insurance premiums and businesses pay several times that.
|Quantum matter grant bringing jobs to UBC|
|Business in Vancouver|
The University of British Columbia was awarded a $66.5 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund that will help bridge the gap between quantum matter research and industry.
UBC expects the funding to help create as many as 44 new jobs as they plan to hire four new professors plus 20 scientists and 20 engineering technologists. The grant will also go towards adding more students and postdoctoral fellows in the area of quantum matter research, as well as developing service contracts with outside companies and international partners.
“In the longer term, quantum materials research is expected to translate into practical applications in computing, electronics, medicine and sustainable energy. This has the potential to create spin-off companies, new industries and employment here and abroad,” said UBC President Arvind Gupta.
Similar stories appeared in the Times Colonist and on Radio-Canada.
|UBC video game class teaches storylines, dialogue|
A new UBC writing program was launched this summer to train the next generation of video game writers. Meghan Aubé, program leader, that writing for video games is different from other types of writing in that the game writer is usually part of a team and may not be the person who comes up with the concept. Game writers develop a story along with artists and programmers, and it’s very important that they know how to build out a game world that’s believable and engaging, Aubé said.
“I think the trick is taking that limitless possibility and making something that has a set of rules that are believable and engaging and that the player can feel at home in,” says Aubé.
A similar article appeared on CBC News. To listen to the interview on CBC’s The Early Edition, click here (at 2:22:33 mark).
|Has Pride lost its activist roots?|
Some activists say Pride has become too commercial as banks and liquor companies now sponsor events — and 26 million added a rainbow to their Facebook portraits.
UBC business professor David Hardisty says corporations are flocking to associate their brands with Pride because they see it as a win-win. They believe “it’s the right thing to do” and expect a “bump in profits.”
A study by UBC’s Kirk Kristofferson suggests that “slacktivism” — such as putting a rainbow over your Facebook portrait — can make people less inclined to actively support a cause but Vancouver’s Pride organizers are not concerned by these symbolic gestures.
A similar story appeared in Metro.
|Trophy hunting in B.C.|
Sara Dubois, the head of B.C. SPCA and an adjunct professor in UBC’s animal welfare program, welcomes the international scrutiny of trophy hunting that followed the killing of the lion Cecil in Zimbabwe.
Trophy hunting, particularly grizzlies, is happening right in our backyard, and yet most people in B.C. don’t want grizzly bears to be hunted, Dubois said. “We need to start talking about it as British Columbians,” Dubois said.
Segment starts at the 20 minute mark.
|Malaysian corruption scandal shouldn’t affect LNG deal: expert|
|CBC Early Edition|
Kai Ostwald, co-director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Research at UBC, says the ongoing financial corruption scandal in Malaysia is unlikely to significantly affect Petronas, the Malaysian company that’s involved in B.C.’s LNG project.
Petronas is well recognised as one of Asia’s most profitable companies and is a “very different beast” from 1MDB, the state investment vehicle that’s under so much scrutiny at the moment, Ostwald said.
Segment starts at 00:51:00.
|Actress Jennifer Beals responds to claims she left dog inside hot car in West Vancouver|
Actress Jennifer Beals allegedly left her dog inside a hot car in Vancouver, sparking widespread criticism on social media.
Alfred Hermida, an associate professor in UBC’s graduate school of journalism, said animal cruelty often evokes outrage from people and sparks a torrent of public shaming, especially on the Internet.
“On social media, anger travels particularly well,” he said. “It’s a very contagious emotion and then people then react on an emotional basis rather than stopping to reflect before they react.”
|Munson Pond moving out of the shadows|
A dead-end road will soon provide public access to a 10-hectare wetland in Kelowna that few people know about.
Laura Hooker, an aquatic biologist at UBC’s Okanagan campus, said they’ll be trying to answer questions about how deep the pond is, whether it is connected to other seasonal creeks or replenished solely by groundwater, and how many and what kind of fish live in it.
|Learning medicine in the Kootenays|
Mikaela Forkheim and two other medical students are in Rossland to take part in the UBC Integrated Clinical Clerkship Program. As part of the program, all three will be completing their third year medical internships in the Kootenays, and are currently stationed at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) in Trail and the Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson.