The Lassonde School of Engineering welcomed 16 female high school students to participate in the Helen Carswell STEAM Program for Women. This year the program ran over a two-week period in a completely virtual format. The program offered participants a paid research opportunity as lab assistants doing meaningful work in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).
Eight Lassonde undergraduate women in STEM joined the K2I Academy Team as mentors to develop leadership, mentorship and project management skills during this unique experience. Mentors were assigned to projects and consulted with Lassonde Faculty to develop the experience for high school student participants.
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A team of five Lassonde School of Engineering students was selected as one of 40 finalists in the global hackathon SpaceApps, run by NASA, and was chosen for its work in developing a COVID-19 Preparedness Index Calculator to limit fatalities and mitigate economic fallout.
Out of the 40 teams, the Lassonde team went on to become one of eight honourable mention winners, placing in the top 14 of the 2,000 participating teams.
The hackathon was organized by various space agencies including the CSA, ESA, JAXA and CNES and saw a total of 2,000 teams and 15,000 participants take part in challenges such as an “Integrated Assessment” which asked teams to understand the impacts of COVID-19 by integrating satellite earth-observation data and socio-economic data.
The Lassonde Team, aptly named The Event Horizon – in keeping with the space theme – used various political, economic and societal factors from 21 selected countries to determine a ‘golden standard’ for handling the pandemic to help limit cases and deaths while also keeping the economy strong. The COVID-19 Preparedness Index Calculator and website they developed evaluated each country’s corresponding dataset (from air pollution, to stock market, to governmental trust and approval ratings) in order to determine this standard.
The team had to consider a variety of factors when developing this proposed standard including carbon monoxide emissions, stock market data, political leadership and approval rating and method of control.
The team members that took part in the hackathon are:
- Sogand Talebi, first-year master’s student, Earth & Atmospheric Science
- Adrian Fagarasanu, third-year undergraduate student, Computer Science
- Dennis Nevelev, second-year undergraduate student, Computer Science
- Megan Gran, third-year undergraduate student, Space Engineering
- Ibrahim Yusuf, third-year undergraduate student, Electrical Engineering
“During this pandemic it is easy to feel powerless at times. This hackathon provided us with the opportunity to spend a couple of days researching and working on a solution to help countries during pandemics,” said Talebi.
When asked how they were able to work together so successfully in this new, socially distant world Nevelev said, “It was important to keep it lighthearted and fun. We made sure to work to the best of our abilities, enjoy the moment and not let any of the stress get to us.”
Second year PhD student, Maryam Jameela, was recently invited by the Marine Technology Society to present her research in partnership with Teledyne CARIS. Her online talk was titled: Leveraging AI Technology on The Cloud for The Future of Ocean Mapping for Marine Technology and took place on August 5th.
Jameela has been working under the supervision of Dr.Gunho Sohn on removing atmospheric points from point cloud for better understanding and perception of a 3D scene for urban infrastructure management, a subpart of a 3D Mobile Mapping AI research project supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Collaborative Research Development (CRD) program and Toronto-based Lidar instrument manufacturer and developer, Teledyne Optech. This project will develop an advanced data processing system using a deep neural network pipeline, allowing for the autonomous recognition of infrastructure assets, to improve urban sustainability.
The webinar, with over 185 registrations, was centred around one key question: “Why use AI and Automation?” Jameela and her co-presenters discussed the motivation behind the use of artificial intelligence in geospatial applications, the contribution of Augmented Urban Space Modeling and GeoICT Lab at York University, the introduction of a noise filtering tool by Teledyne CARIS and potential areas of research in GeoAI.
The webinar also covered areas including GeoAI, computer vision and applications of AI in a broader geospatial scope. It also provided a brief overview of the research activities of Jameela’s group and her research work in noise filtering.
Overall, the webinar motivated the community of researchers and professionals to collaborate and explore different spectrums and potential research areas of GeoAI.
To learn more about Jameela’s research you can visit: https://gunhosohn.me/maryam-jameela/
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After a successful pilot test, an international award-winning capstone course will begin its second year this September at York University.
C4: The Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom, which meets Mondays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. between September and April, is open to all York students at the end of their degrees, and enables students from different faculties to work in multidisciplinary teams focused on solving pressing, real-world challenges posed by organizations operating in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds – and to get credit for their work.
C4’s intertwined personal, professional and academic journey offers students a chance to expand and refine their portfolios and uniquely prepares students to succeed after graduation
Past C4 partners include the Yonge Street Mission, Markham Arts Council, Canobi Tech, L’Arche Daybreak, Foundation for Environmental Stewardship and Panoplo Inc., among many others.
In last year’s course, 74 York University students from eight faculties designed solutions for 11 social impact challenges.
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The Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS) establishes, assesses and certifies the academic qualifications of individuals who apply to become land surveyors and/or geomatics professionals in Canada, except for Quebec.
The undergraduate course, ESSE4650 “Hydrography”, offered in Geomatics Engineering Curriculum has been approved for an exemption from the CBEPS C12 Hydrographic Surveying (syllabus) by the CBEPS Accreditation and Exemptions Committee, meaning that ESSE4650 “Hydrography” is accredited to be academically equivalent to the subject C12 Hydrographic Surveying in the CBEPS Syllabus. York’s undergraduate Geomatics Engineering Program obtained a CBEPS Level-2 accreditation for ten years starting in 2017.
Congratulations to the Geomatics Engineering Program !!.
Lassonde PhD student Athina Peidou is heading off to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California where she will be doing innovative work on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and GRACE Follow-on missions.
NASA’s GRACE launched in March of 2002. The mission studies gravity variations in Earth such as changes to surface and bottom of the ocean and ground water storage on land masses. Peidou’s work will focus on developing strategies and methodologies for new gravitational models for the Earth.
Peidou is positioned well in this research group, having recently worked on a systematic problem present in the gravity field models. Read more about her work in a previously published article here, which details how Peidou and the team discovered that when the orbit of a mission follows an interlaced pattern while sampling the Earth gravitational signal, stripes are created on the gravity field maps.
The gravity field maps derived from satellite measurements are obscured by very disturbing thick lines sweeping from south to north, partially masking useful information. Identifying this pattern was challenging and constitutes a breakthrough, which may eventually lead to removing the stripes altogether, providing more fulsome data for researchers. Peidou will continue working on the uncertainties of the global gravity field models at JPL/NASA.
“This opportunity opens the avenues to collaborate with the top field scientists in my discipline. Now, I get to collaborate with scientists whose work I studied as a PhD student, and develop with them new methodologies for the advancements of the field,” says Peidou.
On behalf of ESSE Department, We Wish you All the Very Best !!.
Congratulations Athina !!.
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Professors at York University have been awarded more than $9.1 million in funding from the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through the Discovery Grants Program and the Discovery Accelerator Supplement Awards.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects. These grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances.
A total of 50 Discovery Grants were awarded in June, totalling $8,904,123. This amount includes the NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) program, which provides the primary avenue for university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering to obtain up to $150,000 in support for research tools and instruments.
Discovery Grants were awarded to: Robert Allison (Lassonde), Constadinos Armenakis (Lassonde), Mark Bayfield (Science), Ellen Bialystock (Health), Nassim Bozorgnia (Science), Satinder Brar (Lassonde), Jennifer Chen (Science), Arthur Cheng (Health), Taylor Cleworth (Health), Claire David (Science), Hany Farag (Lassonde), Marina Freire-Gormaly (Lassonde), Edward Furman (Science), Dasantila Golemi-Kotra (Science), Deborah Harris (Science), Laurence Harris (Centre for Vision Research), Jimmy Huang (Liberal Arts & Professional Studies), Jaclyn Hurley (Health), Cuiying Jian (Lassonde), Zhen Ming Jiang (Lassonde), Shooka Karimpour Ghannadi (Lassonde), Scott Kelly (Science), Peter Kohler (Health), Nikola Kovinich (Science), Anantharaman Kumarakrishnan (Science), Peter Lian (Lassonde), Neal Madras (Science), Ozzy Mermut (Science), Laurence Packer (Science), Jean-Paul Paluzzi (Science), Chun Peng (Science), Rebecca Pillai Riddell (Health), Simone Pisana (Lassonde), Pouya Rezai (Lassonde), Emilie Roudier (Health), Sapna Sharma (Science), Gunho Sohn (Lassonde), Neil Tandon (Lassonde), Sean Tulin (Science), Trevor VandenBoer (Science), Natalija Vlajic (Lassonde), Song Wang (Lassonde), Karl White (Science), Magdalena Wojtowicz (Health) and Amro Zayed (Science).
Recipients of the RTI awards are: Satinder Brar (Lassonde), Gerd Grau (Lassonde), David Hood (Health) and Sergey Krylov (Science).
For a full list of these grant recipients, their projects and their awards, visit this link.
In addition to these grants, the NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement Awards (DAS) were also announced, with $360,000 awarded to York research projects. These supplement awards aim to provide substantial additional resources to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of outstanding research programs and are valued at $120,000 over three years.
Recipients of the DAS grants are: Jennifer Chen (Science), Zehn Ming Jiang (Lassonde) and Amro Zayed (Science).
For a full list of these grant recipients and their projects, visit this link.
For more information on the NSERC Discovery Grants funding announcement, visit the media release here.
Dr. Isaac Smith, Lassonde Professor inducted into the International Astronomical Union.
Dr. Smith joined York University as an Assistant Professor, CRC Tier II in Planetary Science on July 1, 2018. Dr. Smith is a planetary scientist that concentrates on atmospheric, surface, and subsurface processes on Mars, especially related to ice. He is a co-investigator on the SHARAD instrument and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He comes to us from the Planetary Science Institute, where he joined as a post-doctoral researcher in 2016 and was promoted to research scientist in 2017. He completed his PhD at the University of Texas in 2013 and afterward received a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Laboratory de Meterologie Dynamic at Sorbonne University in Paris.
Congratulations Issac !!.
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Three graduate students earn Governor General’s Gold Medal awards for academic excellence
Three York University graduates are this year’s recipients of a Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded for achieving the highest academic standing. The medals are the most prestigious recognition presented to graduate students. This year’s recipients are Siobhan Angus, Athina Peidou and Stephanie Raposo.
Awarded by the Governor General of Canada, the Governor General’s Academic Medals recognize the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from approved university programs – gold medals at the graduate level and silver medals at the undergraduate level.
“The Governor General’s Gold Medals are a recognition not only of academic excellence, but of the many contributions these graduates have made to enriching their respective fields of study and life at York,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. “The entire York community is extremely proud of Stephanie, Siobhan and Athina, and we wish them the very best in their future endeavours.”
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