The Ring

Undergrad creates chaos machine

Mon, 2013-03-11 10:40

Davis with his triple pendulum setup. Photo: Mitch Wright
Davis with his triple pendulum setup. Photo: Mitch Wright

Chaos intrigues Austin Davis—so much so that he’s structuring his remaining undergraduate courses around studying it. Davis was already interested in chaos theory when he was handed the assignment of mathematically modeling a complicated differential system. He chose a triple pendulum to demonstrate the chaotic system and astonished his professor, Dr. Anthony Quas (math and statistics), by going far beyond the assignment parameters and actually building the pendulum at home.

Science honours students exhibit their research

Fri, 2013-03-08 07:21

Anyone needing proof that students love learning through research had only to attend the second annual Faculty of Science Honours Fest March 1, where students vied for thousands of dollars in prize money. The Bob Wright Centre lobby buzzed with action as the 48 competitors—almost triple the number from last year—presented their research to judges, fellow students and community members.

New uses for worldwide submarine cable system?

Fri, 2013-03-08 07:18

In December, Dr. Chris Barnes (SEOS, emeritus) was appointed chair of a new Joint Task Force (JTF) established by three United Nations agencies that is investigating the potential of using submarine telecommunications cables for ocean and climate monitoring and disaster warning.

President’s distinguished service awards 2012

Thu, 2013-03-07 07:43

Scientists and Innovators in the Schools Team (L-R): Fawkes, Berry, Browning.
Scientists and Innovators in the Schools Team (L-R): Fawkes, Berry, Browning.

The celebration of this year’s President’s Distinguished Service Awards, hosted by President David Turpin, took place on Feb. 21 at the Cadboro Commons Dining Room, as the closing event for the Connect U all-staff conference.

Trustworthy information on energy issues

Fri, 2013-03-01 11:14

Whiticar with UVic students Charlotte Helston (left), Colin Etienne, and Andrew
Whiticar with UVic students Charlotte Helston (left), Colin Etienne, and Andrew Farris (right). Photo: Maria Lironi

From fuel cells to fracking, tailpipes to pipelines, debates both public and political are raging across the province over energy issues. Recognizing a need for an easily accessible, independent source of information on energy, Dr. Michael Whiticar (earth and ocean sciences) set out to create an extensive, comprehensive assemblage of unbiased information on BC energy sources, types and issues. He believes he’s accomplished that with the new website:

The genetic goodness of blueberries

Wed, 2013-02-06 10:55

UVic plant biologist Dr. Peter Constabel, with a winter crop of blueberries. Pho
UVic plant biologist Dr. Peter Constabel, with a winter crop of blueberries. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Blueberries are one of our favourite fruits and no wonder—they’re tasty and they’re very good for us. They’re rich in antioxidants, substances that can help reduce the natural cell damage in our aging bodies that can lead to cancer, heart disease and other ailments. A research team led by UVic plant biologist Dr. Peter Constabel became the first in the world to reveal—at a molecular genetic level—how blueberries ripen and produce antioxidants known as flavonoids.

Ukrainian teen discovers unusual hagfish-slurping seal via NEPTUNE video stream

Mon, 2013-01-28 15:22

Kirill Dudko thought he was looking at some kind of sea monster when he first watched the NEPTUNE Canada live video stream that allowed him to view the ocean floor in Barkley Canyon from his home in Donetsk, Ukraine.

CFI funds earth sciences, nanotech research

Fri, 2013-01-25 13:16

Brolo. Photo: UVic Photo Services
Brolo. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Two teams of University of Victoria scientists are ready to delve into separate research frontiers—one on the leading edge of earth sciences to better understand fundamental aspects of how our planet works, the other pursuing how new nanomaterials can help create useful technological devices—thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Ring around Andromeda challenges galactic ideas

Fri, 2013-01-04 11:14


A surprising discovery about dwarf galaxies orbiting the much larger Andromeda galaxy suggests that conventional ideas regarding the formation of galaxies like our own Milky Way are missing something fundamental. In a paper published Jan. 3 in the prestigious journal Nature, an international team of astronomers including two University of Victoria professors describes the discovery that almost half of the 30 dwarf galaxies orbiting Andromeda do so in an enormous plane more than a million light years in diameter, but only 30,000 light years thick.

High-energy physics gets big jolt from supercomputing

Wed, 2012-12-05 12:06

An international team led by UVic, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan sent another mega jolt of data down the supercomputing highway in November. The researchers broke a high-energy physics record at the world’s premier supercomputing conference, the SC2012 in Salt Lake City, by transferring the equivalent of one million full-length movies per day.