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Connect Issue 5, 2013


Hacking the weekend away at UBC

This October, 65 CS students gathered for UBC’s second Hack-a-Thon, building apps for eight non-commercial BC organizations. Each student volunteered to code for 32 hours during a weekend, totaling $52,000 in donated time to community partners. Some of the organizations that benefited from this event include Writer’s Exchange (a volunteer literacy program for inner-city youth) and the Neil Squire Society (specializing in education and workforce empowerment for Canadians with physical disabilities). The coding group, organized by UBC’s Michele Ng and Kurt Eiselt, in collaboration with Kim Voll of the Centre for Digital Media, received support from UBC's Community Learning Initiative and from Facebook.


CS grad, mentor, nabs alumni award

This November 14 Computer Science alumnae Juanita Lohmeyer (BSc, 2000) received one of six 2013 Alumni UBC Achievement Awards in recognition of her volunteer and leadership work. Juanita has been a mentor in the Computer Science Tri-mentoring Program for the past decade and has participated in numerous student development activities as panelist, speaker and facilitator.  She also coaches the UBC Executive MBA Program. 

Currently based with BCAA, she has held senior positions at several large organizations and led results-focused business strategies that have greatly enhanced operations and cut costs. Her innovative practices have been featured in several business journals.



The private lives of mushrooms

Each fall a secret world becomes visible at our feet - a complex fungal network, barely glimpsed when a mushroom pops up. UBC’s Mary Berbee is unravelling the evolutionary history of fungi and trying to develop a modern classification system for mushrooms. Her lab’s work is illuminating the complex and vital ecological connections between the fungal kingdom and plants.

Watch video | View photos | Read more »

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This bird's nest fungus is among many mushrooms sprouting around UBC Point Grey during the fall.

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Mary Berbee recommends that when you taste mushrooms, you take a tiny bite and spit it out. Just like wine tasting.

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Identifying edible mushrooms takes practice, so be careful. See more pictures of mushrooms in our Flickr gallery.




Introduction to Analytics and Big Data
Discover the real-world problems associated with the storage and management of large quantities of data. CS alum Geoff Fawkes presents.

» November 21, 2013


Revealing the Secret World of Microbes

Images of microbial life refashioned as metal sculpture, wood carvings and portraiture by Kevin Carpenter, Erick James and Patrick Keeling.

» Until January 5, 2014


Earth Sciences Round Up 2014
Reconnect and mingle with fellow delegates from the Earth Sciences program during Round Up 2014. 
Don't wait, register today.
» January 28, 2014



CS alumnus Alireza Davoodi's mobile health company, Curatio, is the winner of Novartis' Global Health 2.0 Competition.

UBC Science welcomed new Canada Research Chairs in chemistry, math and physics this week, as well as a renewed chair in computer science.

Shell Canada is renewing the Shell Campus Ambassador Program and nearly $40,000 will go towards supporting students in geosciences and geological engineering.

Douglas Oldenburg, a world-renowned geophysicist, and Mark MacLachlan, a leading Canadian supramolecular materials chemist, have been recognized with honours from the Royal Society of Canada.

Former UBC zoology post-doctoral researcher Jessica Meir has been selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate.


Mars rover podcast

Couldn't attend our sold out event with Mars Curiosity Rover team member Laurie Leshin last month? No worries, now you can check out the podcast. Leshin explains the science and the mission of the Curiosity Rover, and outlines its discoveries and potential areas of exploration for future astronauts.


Help us build better scientists

Hands-on research helps science students make the crucial leap from the lecture hall to the lab, field or industry. Unfortunately, too few undergraduates have access to research placements--three times as many students apply for positions than our labs can place. You can change that with a donation to the Science Undergraduate Research Fund. The Dean of Science will match gifts up to $100,000, and with your help, we can double the number of research opportunities available to our students.


Share your special moments and get a gift card

UBC wants to keep in touch and help celebrate your achievements, such as a new job or a wedding. Tell us about your milestone and request a $10 gift card for the UBC Bookstore by filling out this brief form.

Invasive plants

Plants, bugs and people feel the heat

Three new studies by UBC scientists map out the effects and possible challenges of climate change. New research by UBC evolutionary ecologist Rob Colautti indicates that invasive plants adapt quickly to local climates, with species such as purple loosestrife moving northwards. Zoologist Heather Kharouba’s research indicates that the flight season timing of butterflies is responsive to temperature shifts and may be affected by climate change. Finally, a study by UBC mathematicians reveals that groups cooperate less to mitigate climate change when the rewards of cooperation lay in the future.


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