Monthly Archives: November 2010

They capture antimatter but Nobel is still elusive

Another major research accomplishment by our distinguished colleague in Physics, Walter Hardy and his team of 14 Canadian scientists at CERN. We couldn’t say it better than this commenter to the CBC: “Awesome work, so awesome it astounds. This is … Continue reading

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As if attracting and retaining talent in Canada was not hard enough

Recent changes in the Canadian immigration policies will have severe effects on our abilities to attract and retain graduate students in Canada. Indeed, UBC international students were surprised to learn recently from a Canada immigration officer that PhD students can … Continue reading

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“They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for …

… trying to change the system from within.” Leonard Cohen. After blogging about my own experience on UBC’s Board of Governors, I was reminded that, back in 2004, a colleague of ours, Dennis Danielson (English Department) had also written in … Continue reading

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The big loan?

Colleagues in France are currently busy filling applications to try to get a piece of “Le grand emprunt national” or “The big loan”. Now this is supposed to be a glamorous way (only in french) to describe what is essentially … Continue reading

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Descartes revisited

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UBC Land Use Plan – Part I

  The background: UBC essentially “controls” one of the most valuable pieces of land in North America. The challenge is to try to unlock the multi-billion dollars value of that land in order to support student, faculty and staff housing, … Continue reading

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How could someone as smart as Dyson be so dumb about the environment?

The Danger of Cosmic Genius, By Kenneth Brower In the range of his genius, Freeman Dyson is heir to Einstein—a visionary who has reshaped thinking in fields from math to astrophysics to medicine, and who has conceived nuclear-propelled spaceships designed … Continue reading

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UBC to award Louis Nirenberg an Honorary degree

Louis Nirenberg is one of the mathematical giants of the second half of the twentieth century. A world scientific leader, a prolific problem solver, a committed educator, and an outstanding human being, Louis Nirenberg has contributed enormously to the development … Continue reading

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But stay away from the edge

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Do you want to be a governor?

I am completing a 3-year term as a faculty representative on UBC’s Board of Governors. Here are a few selected personal notes from my experience on that Board. My 33 years of academic service at UBC were surely helpful in … Continue reading

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Bringing smart people to Canada can only make us better

Can we entice India’s brightest young academic stars to do their graduate work at McGill or UBC instead of Stanford or UCLA? Stephen Toope (who is just back from India where he was heading a delegation of Canadian universities) and … Continue reading

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Henry Yu: Why Macleans and racism should no longer define Canada

“Our society no longer looks like the beer drinking all-white camaraderie of a Molson Canadian commercial. Perhaps it never did, and white supremacy always needed to hide away into reservations and ghettos all those who did not fit into the … Continue reading

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Can we convince the US to fund Canadian science?

Yes we can! and even more so with the Obama administration: “We also need to work with our friends around the world. Science, technology, and innovation proceed more rapidly and more cost-effectively when insights, costs, and risks are shared; and … Continue reading

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Running for a second term on the BoG? Yes I should!

I am finishing my 3-year term representing the faculty on the UBC Board of Governors. The elections of new faculty representatives will start on November 25th. The other faculty rep., Andrew Irvine (from Philosophy) is finishing his second term and … Continue reading

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