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UBC News Digest

The UBC News Digest is a weekly summary of news stories about UBC people, research, learning, community, and internationalization initiatives. News Digest past issues are also available on-line.

Oct. 15, 2004

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UBC to Host October 18 Minds that Matter Symposium

On Monday, October 18, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1 at the Life Sciences Building, UBC will host a symposium featuring two distinguished winners of the Gairdner Foundation Awards. Over the past 45 years, 61 of the 269 Gairdner winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. The Vancouver symposium will feature:

Dr. F. Ulrich Hartl
Director, Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.
Lecture: Molecular chaperones in the cytosol: from nascent chain to folded protein.

Dr. Hartl is the co-recipient of the 2004 Gairdner award for his seminal work in establishing the principles and discovering the key mechanisms and pathways for cellular protein folding. His research has direct relevance to
diseases such as Alzheimers, cystic fibrosis, and many cancers which are believed to result from protein misfolding.

Dr. Randy Schekman
Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley.
Lecture: The mechanism of vesicular traffic and implications in human disease.

A Gairdner Award recipient in 1996, Dr. Schekman is renowned for his work on the mechanisms whereby proteins are manufactured within living cells. By applying genetic analysis to yeast cells, Dr. Schekman helped identify the intricate mechanisms that control the biological assembly line along which proteins move as they are processed. This research has contributed to a new understanding of brain function and disease.

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UBC Economics Head Named to National Monetary Policy Council

Professor Angela Redish, head of the UBC economics department, has been named to the C.D. Howe Institute’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC). The MPC comprises 12 of Canada’s most distinguished financial-market and monetary economists. It provides the Bank of Canada, financial-market participants and economic policy commentators with a regular, independent assessment of the appropriate stance of Canadian monetary policy as the bank seeks to achieve its two-percent inflation target.

Redish has taught at UBC since 1981, becoming a full professor in 1993. She served as special adviser at the Bank of Canada in 2000/2001, and has been head of the economics department at UBC since 2001. She has written extensively on Canadian monetary history, and on the evolution of monetary systems, and has participated frequently in conferences at the Bank of Canada and the U.S. Federal Reserve system.

More information on the MPC's membership and activities is available at: www.cdhowe.org/english/monetary_policy_council/mpc_synopsis.html.

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Action Canada Fellowships Go to High Achieving UBC Med Students

The first female First Nations student to graduate from UBC’s School of Medicine, Nadine Caron, and current medical student Freddy Abnousi, are among nineteen young Canadians awarded 2004/2005 Action Canada Fellowships.

Action Canada is a new, Vancouver-based national organization committed to building leadership for Canada's future, created in 2002 through a pioneering partnership between the private sector and the federal government. Selected Fellows participate in an innovative one-year program, continuing their studies or working in their professions while taking part in intensive working conferences in Vancouver, Ottawa and a third Canadian destination, this year the Yukon.

Caron is currently studying endocrine surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. A graduate of the UBC School of Medicine, she won the Hamber Gold Medal as the top graduating student and was named one of Maclean’s Magazine’s “One Hundred Canadians to Watch.” During her surgical residency she completed her master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.

Abnousi graduated with a BSc from the UBC, then completed an MSc in health policy, planning, & financing from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Oxford University, before returning to UBC to study medicine. He has led numerous consulting and research projects for organizations such as the Kenyan Agency for Rural Development in Nairobi, the British Medical Association in London, the American Enterprise Institute Public Policy Think Tank in Washington D.C., the NESsT Venture Philanthropy Fund in Santiago, and The World Bank in India.

As part of their leadership training, the Fellows design and implement public policy projects of significance to Canada. Last year, a team of Fellows produced two documentary films exploring Canadian foreign policy in relation to Asian-Islamic cultures. Others examined poverty in Canada and developed a call for action highlighted through publication of a poster. One team created an innovative website, Vote-Smart, to provide on-line resources encouraging youth participation in the June election, and another held diversity training conferences for high school students in Nova Scotia.

To learn more about Action Canada, visit www.actioncanada.ca.

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Computer Scientist Wins $100,000 Award for Popular Course Software

Murray Goldberg, UBC computer science adjunct professor and founder of popular course software WebCT, has been named recipient of this year's EnCana Principal Award by the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation. The award, with a cash prize of $100,000, is given each year to a Canadian innovator.

Since its inception from a course experiment in 1995, Goldberg's WebCT -- which stands for World Wide Web Course Tools -- has become an indispensable part of the university learning experience. It is used every day by more than 10 million students at over 2,500 universities and colleges in 80 countries.

Courses created with WebCT contain searchable course notes, review material, a discussion board, quizzes and exams, image databases and chat rooms.

In 1997, with the help of UBC's Industry Liaison Office, Goldberg founded WebCT Educational Technologies Corporation with Sasan Salari, a student who had helped him design the software. In 1999, WebCT merged with Universal Learning Technologies of Massachusetts. It now has more than 300 employees in offices in the U.S., Canada and Australia. For more information visit www.webct.com.

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First Universitas 21 Fellowship Awarded to International Student Coordinator

Susan Peters, international student coordinator in the Faculty of Science, is the first recipient of the UBC Universitas 21 Fellowship. The Fellowship, open to both academic and administrative staff at UBC, is designed to strengthen links between UBC and other Universitas 21 member universities. In this case, the Fellowship supported a visit by Peters to the National University of Singapore (NUS).

In an intensive week of activities at NUS, Peters met with representatives from the International Relations Office, assistant deans in the Faculty of Science, the coordinator of the Faculty of Science Student Exchange Program, administrators in the Registrar’s Office, and officers in the Office of Student Affairs. As a result of these and other meetings, she has become a more knowledgeable resource for science students wishing to go on exchange to NUS.

In addition to NUS, UBC has a number of other partner universities in Universitas 21, a network of international research-intensive universities. Among the goals of U21 are cooperation in the development of new teaching and learning technologies and the promotion of staff and student mobility. A list of the institutions comprising Universitas 21 can be found on the UBC International website at www.ubcinternational.ubc.ca.

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UBC International Honour Society Recognized

Members of the UBC Chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society received the Honourable Mention Key Chapter Award at the recent Golden Key International Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The selection of Honourable Mention Key Chapter Award winners marks a 22-year tradition for the Society. The award honours chapters that have excelled in five major areas: communication, publicity, meeting management, chapter activities and leadership, as well as in participation in regional and international programs.

All chapters may apply for this award; however, only the most outstanding chapter is selected to receive the honour. UBC’s Pul Harrison, Julie Walchli and Andrew Arida serve as the advisors to the local chapter.

This year, the UBC chapter exemplified outstanding teamwork, dedication and collaboration with other student organizations on their campus. In addition, this chapter was engaged in a combination of service, academic, social and fund-raising activities throughout the year. Delegates from the UBC chapter accepted the award at the International Conference awards luncheon in front of more than 800 delegates from around the world.

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Continuing Studies Grad Wins International Web Design Award

Artist Eva Muliawati, a graduate of UBC’s Continuing Studies certificate in multimedia studies program, has won the Standard of Excellence WebAward, given by the Web Marketing Association to recognize outstanding corporate web sites. More than 1,300 sites from 19 countries were adjudicated in 80 industry categories this year.

Muliawati, who lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, can’t believe her luck. When she first enrolled in the UBC certificate program, she had no idea how to create a web site. After three intensive months in the lab, learning Flash, Final Cut Pro and HTML software, “my dream site was up and running,” she said.

The UBC certificate in multimedia studies provides students with the technological tools to integrate all types of media—including graphics, text, sound, animation and video—to create new forms of interactive communication. Learn about the program at www.tech.ubc.ca.

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New Book Tackles Tough Problems in Artificial Intelligence

Assistant Professor Holger Hoos has just co-published the book, Stochastic Local Search: Locations and Applications with Thomas Stuetzle of Germany. Hoos's PhD thesis on stochastic local search algorithms for computationally hard problems in artificial intelligence, completed in 1998 at Darmstadt University of Technology (Germany), received the ‘Best Dissertation Award 1999’ of the German Informatics Society.

Hoos has been working on the design and empirical analysis of stochastic local search algorithms since 1994, and his research in this area has been published in book chapters, journal articles and at major conferences in AI and OR. His research interests are currently focused on topics in artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, empirical algorithmics and computer music. At UBC, he is a founding member of the Bioinformatics, Empirical & Theoretical Algorithmics Laboratory (BETA-Lab), a member of the Laboratory for Computational Intelligence (LCI), and a faculty associate of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.

To read the prologue: http://www.sls-book.net/Sample-Pages/prologue.pdf.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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