UBC This Week

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Find out what else is happening at UBC this week. For sports events, visit the UBC Athletics site at http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/calendar.aspx.

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World ranking puts UBC at 36

The University of British Columbia ranks 36th in the recently released 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), prepared by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UBC has consistently been ranked at 36th since 2006. Of the other Canadian universities in the top 100, the University of Toronto stays at 27th, McGill University moves up from 65 to 61 and McMaster University moves from 91 to 88.
ARWU ranking methodology uses the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, the number of articles published in the journals Nature and Science, and the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.
For details, visit: http://www.arwu.org/ARWU2010.jsp.

UBC also ranked 38th in the July 2010 Webometrics Ranking of World Universities. Visit: http://www.webometrics.info/top12000.asp.

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UBC study on WEIRD societies featured in NY Times

A study on what UBC researchers call Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies was in yesterday’s global edition of the New York Times.  Psychology and Economics Prof. Joe Henrich led the study with co-authors Prof. Steven Heine and Prof.  Ara Norenzayan. 

The study finds that subjects from WEIRD societies are more individualistic, analytic, concerned with fairness, existentially anxious and less conforming and attentive to context compared to those from non-WEIRD societies. 

Other media that have published the study include Nature, Science, Newsweek, National Post, The Globe and Mail, and more.

For more information, visit http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2010/06/30/mr-10-09/ and http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/world/americas/26iht-currents.html

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New Nike soccer ball tested by UBC Aerolab

The new Nike Total 90 Tracer soccer ball was tested in the wind tunnels of UBC’s Aerolab.  The UBC-tested ball, found to be the most aerodynamically efficient ball in the marketplace, made its debut at a Manchester United vs. Newscastle game on Aug. 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Aerolab’s relationship with Nike began in 2003. Other products tested in the lab include more than 100 balls (Nike prototypes, competitor balls), Nike track suits for the Sydney Olympics, baseball bats, Tour de France bikes and wheels and more. 

For more information on UBC Aerolab wind tunnels, visit http://mech.ubc.ca/research/aerolab

For more information on the Nike Total 90 Tracer, visit http://www.manutd.com/default.sps?pagegid={48C41513-A376-4D1F-981D-660FC5BB193E}&newsid=6651371

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UBC prof launches new medical textbook on understanding the heart

Assoc. Prof. Carol-Ann Courneya, UBC Faculty of Medicine, together with Dr. Michael Parker, Harvard University, recently launched a new textbook Cardiovascular Physiology: A Clinical Approach, to be used for the first time in the Cardio Block in the MD Undergraduate Program in February 2011. This book focuses on the clinically relevant information about how the healthy heart normally works.

“I’ve explained things as I might if a first-year student was in my office and asked a question,” say Courneya. “It’s a less dense textbook and more conversational.”  The book also provides access to online interactive animations to offer students a “hands on” way of exploring concepts.

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UBC undergraduate researchers shine at poster competition

Seven UBC students were among the undergraduates recognized for their research at the 2010 Rising Stars of Research (RSR) national undergraduate research poster competition on Aug. 19.  Showcasing their work in engineering, science and social sciences, 120 students from Hong Kong and Canada presented their research at this unique cross-disciplinary conference. 

UBC was well represented with 17 participants competing in all seven theme areas: Health Sciences; Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Life Sciences and Cognitive Sciences; Computational Sciences and Technology; Physical and Earth Sciences; Engineering; and Social Sciences. 

Lazar Milovanovic won the engineering category, and six other UBC participants were given honourable mentions.

UBC winners and honourable mentions include:

  • Lazar Milovanovic, Biological/Biomedical Engineering – Quantitative measurement of friction on single cells in microfluidics devices and the effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) coating.
  • Mo Chen, Electrical Engineering – Guaranteeing safety of systems with discretized control using reachability analysis.
  • Kirby Goldstein, Anatomy/Physiology – Unrecognized brain injury risk in child Taekwondo competitors: methodological considerations and findings.
  • Sharon May, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine – The clogged sink model: The effects of high fat diet on peripheral ?-amyloid metabolism.
  • Eli Heyman, Atmospheric Science – Modeling detailed distribution of urban population for improved estimation of energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Chenchong  Zhu, Physics – Loss and heating of trapped ultracold gases.
  • Genevieve Lorenzo, Psychology – What is beautiful is good…and accurately understood. 

For a full list of winners or information about the Rising Stars of Research conference, visit www.risingstars.ubc.ca .

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UBC Library launches Abacus

UBC Library in partnership with Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the University of Northern British Columbia has launched Abacus, a platform to access research data from a central interface. It allows students, researchers and faculty from British Columbia’s major universities to discover and download numeric data from organizations such as Statistics Canada.  

Researchers can investigate the meteoric growth of Internet usage in Canada, examine the shifting demographics in Vancouver’s downtown core or map the coastal temperate rainforest cover in British Columbia.  

The launch coincides with the opening of the new Geographic Information System (GIS)/Research Data lab in Koerner Library. This new space brings together data gleaned from Abacus and visualization resources that will enhance scholars’ ability to discover, interpret and present research.  

For more information, contact Data Services at 604-822-5587 or visit http://data.library.ubc.ca.

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Institute of Asian Research launches Asia Pacific Memo

The Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at UBC has launched Asia Pacific Memo, a new online publication on contemporary Asia.

The current feature story is an IAR seven-part video interview with Nelson Rand, a Canadian journalist in Bangkok covering insurgencies and political protests in Thailand for six years, who was wounded earlier in the summer. Rand is a graduate of the Master of Arts – Asia Pacific Policy Studies program at UBC. 

In the video, Rand discusses who the Red Shirts are, the difficulties in initiating reconciliation following the conflict, and the assistance he received as he recovered from his wounds.

For more information, visit http://www.asiapacificmemo.ca/ or on Facebook and Twitter (search for “Asia Pacific Memo”).

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UBC profs present in Sept. 23 Public Salon

Prof. Max Cynader, Director of Brain Research Centre and Prof. Bill Rees, Community and Regional Planning and developer of the ecological footprint concept, will participate in the Sept. 23rd Public Salon presented by the Global Civic Policy Society.

The Society was founded by former mayor of Vancouver Sam Sullivan to promote research and reflection on local government and citizenship. 

Date:    Sept. 23
Time:    7:30 – 9 p.m.
Place:   The Vancouver Playhouse (Hamilton and Dunsmuir)
Info: http://calendar.events.ubc.ca:80/cal/event/eventView.do?subid=18309&calPath=/public/Events+Calendar/UBC+Public+Affairs&guid=CAL-09d22401-2a9f6b75-012a-a09144ee-00000080myubc-team@interchange.ubc.ca&recurrenceId=

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