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SPOT on – new science public online talk series launches

May 6, 2020 — 

From Nobel prize winning discoveries, to harnessing life on the smallest scales, the origins and structure of our universe, augmented humans, and complex networks, it’s all part of a diverse and engaging series of free science public online talks offered by the Faculty of Science launching this spring.

Designed to bring our community together and support online learning, SPOT: Science Public Online Talks, will feature UM faculty and notable alumni experts, including a talk by Dr. James Peebles, winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics.

This weekly series will be presented live at 3:30pm CDT, each Friday, from May 8 – August 28. The virtual talks are expected to take approximately 30-40 minutes, with half of the time allotted for questions.

What: SPOT: Science Public Online Talks

When: Fridays, May 8 – Aug. 28, 2020

Time: 3:30PM (CDT)

Attendance is free, please register here. The livestream link will be emailed in advance of the talk.

Faculty organizer, Prof. Samar-Safi Harb, explains,

“The goal of this summer series is to enhance our culture of shared knowledge and experience across our Faculty and with our students and alumni. We wanted to better support our students and bring the community together in these difficult times and in this new environment of virtual learning and communication.”

Whether you are already a member of the Faculty of Science, or just curious there will be something for everyone; career topics are also planned, for example on May 15, David Owasi [BSc/16], Career Consultant with David Aplin, will deliver a talk on emotional intelligence. 

2020 Schedule

  • May 8 – How to employ Artificial Intelligence to fight cancer – Dr. Jörg Stetefeld, (Tier 1) Canada Research Chair in Structural, Biology and Biophysics/Professor
  • May 15 – Emotional Intelligence it’s Essential – David Owasi, [BSc/16], Career Consultant (David Aplin)
  • May 22 – “The Physics of Detectors: Artificial Eyes that help us “see” – Dr. Michael Gericke, Professor, Subatomic Physics 
  • May 29 – Psychological Pitfalls That Have Made the COVID-19 Pandemic Go From Bad to Much Worse, Dr. Hersh Shefrin,[BSc(Hons)/70], Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance, Leavey School of Business – Topic TBA
  • June 5 – The Strength of a Secret – Dr. Susan Cooper, Associate Professor, Mathematics
  • June 12 – Lessons on the Nature of Physical Science from the Study of the Expanding Universe – Nobel Laureate, Dr. James (Jim) Peebles, [BSc(Hons)/58, DSc/89]
  • June 19 – How to see in 100 dimensions: Transforming your data to better understand it Max Turgeon, Assistant Professor, Statistics
  • June 26 – Colliding black holes and neutron stars: latest results from LIGO and VirgoDr. Michael Landry [PhD/00], Head of LIGO Hanford Observatory/Caltech
  • July 10 – Indigenous Science Topic – Dr. Myrle Ballard, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Scholar,  Chemistry
  • July 24 – Augmented Human – Dr. Pourang Irani, (Tier 2), Canada Research Chair in Ubiquitous Analytics, Professor, Computer Science
  • Aug. 7 – Topic: Why talk about antimicrobial resistance during a viral pandemic? Dr. Ayush Kumar, Professor, Department of Microbiology
  • Aug. 21 – Lampreys: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -Dr. Margaret Docker, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

+ more talks are being planned, details will be announced shortly.


If you have any questions, please email: Samar [dot] Safi-Harb [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

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