The Ring

Foundation creates fossil-fuel-free fund

2016-03-02 16:29

The University of Victoria Foundation trustees decided at their Feb. 23 meeting to establish a pilot fossil-fuel-free fund that will not invest in companies that have proven and probable thermal coal, oil or natural gas reserves.  In doing so, the foundation also reaffirmed its decision not to divest or sell fossil-fuel investments related to oil, gas and coal in the main investment fund.

Changing the culture of campus drinking

2016-03-02 16:19

A project dedicated to changing the culture of drinking and other substance use among post-secondary students received a funding investment of $400,000 from the province this Feb.

Co-led by the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research (CARBC) and the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division, Changing the Culture of Substance Use (CCSU) is a long-term project that’s helping 11 campuses across BC access evidence about alcohol and substance use, assess the cultures on their campuses, decide on—and test—ways to influence their campus cultures, develop tools, and share those tools and experiences with other campuses.

An algorithm for teamwork

2016-03-02 12:01

Students at the BattleSnake competition. Photo: Dylan Moore.

Game programming contests drive student interest, experience and skill—and are putting UVic on the map in the programming world

On Saturday, Feb. 20, UVic played host to a virtual battle, attended by over 300 students and developers wanting to test their artificial intelligence programming skills. It was the third annual BattleSnake competition.

In the classic arcade game Snake, a player maneuvers a growing “snake” around the computer screen. As the snake grows in size, it becomes more difficult for the player to avoid making the snake run into itself.

BattleSnake builds on this simple game: as the snake eats apples, it grows in size. Run into a wall, your own tail, or another snake’s tail and it’s game over. But there’s a competitive aspect to this version: run head-on into another player’s snake and the longer one consumes the shorter one.

Funding allows ONC to expand earthquake detection network

2016-03-01 13:48

ONC earthquake button

The BC government is investing $5 million in Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) to advance the development and use of earthquake early warning systems in BC.

What raccoons can teach us about the value of fear

2016-02-25 10:45

Raccoon. Photo: Michael Clinchy.

It’s long been known that animals living without fear of predation will thrive and reproduce faster. Think rabbits and deer. What hadn’t been demonstrated is that fear of large carnivores—or lack of it—has ripple effects on the whole web of life.

UVic a top diversity employer, 2016

2016-02-24 16:01

The University of Victoria has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, for the fifth year in a row. The winners of the 2016 competition were announced Feb. 24, recognizing 65 organizations across the country for a range of exceptional initiatives to attract and retain employees from diverse communities.

Social app helps children on the autism spectrum

2016-02-23 12:21

The newly released Let’s Face It 2.0, a scrapbook app developed by the University of Victoria’s Centre for Autism Research Technology Education (CARTE) and now available free on iTunes, is a powerful educational tool for learning faces and recognizing emotions of the important people in the lives of children on the autism spectrum.

“It is a selfie culture and I hope our app will be adopted by anyone who finds it useful,” says CARTE director and UVic psychology professor Jim Tanaka. “Parents and educators can create their own storybook from people and objects in their children’s lives.”

Changing coasts, mapped by kites and balloons

2016-02-23 11:24

Balloon mapping Cadboro Beach. Credit: T. Sharpe

Heavy rain did not deter 25 undergraduate geography students from their hands-on learning course on beach dynamics and coastal erosion this February. Using new digital mapping technologies including terrestrial laser scanning (ground based LiDAR), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), kites and balloons, the students captured high-resolution imagery of Cadboro Beach.

Championing hands-on science education

2016-02-17 15:42

Blades in the classroom. Credit: UVic Photo Services

UVic’s 11th 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient drives tomorrow’s teachers to rethink curriculum and the student experience. 

David Blades believes education is a political act and teachers need to be up front about that. “You’re always educating for something, toward something,” says the professor of science education and curriculum theory.

Carmanah Technologies named 2015 UVic Co-op Employer of the Year

2016-02-17 13:47

It takes a very special co-operative education (co-op) employer to stand out from the 1,130 organizations that provided outstanding dynamic learning opportunities for UVic co-op students in 2015. It is with great excitement that the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services (Co-op and Career) has named Victoria-based LED and solar technology provider Carmanah Technologies Corporation as the 2015 UVic Co-op Employer of the Year for putting students at the forefront of emerging clean energy technologies, and for welcoming and mentoring them in the workplace in exemplary ways.

Carmanah Technologies has provided positions for an impressive 18 co-op students since 2011 and has hired eight of these former students into full-time positions after graduation. The company, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016, is known for welcoming students into Carmanah’s open and inclusive culture as valued team members rather than temporary employees.