April 2013

Image of lily on campus pond
Economic impact report
economic impact report graphic

U of T Mississauga contributes more than $1.3 billion annually to the economy of the Region of Peel and Province of Ontario, says the campus’ recently released Economic Impact Report. The report examined U of T Mississauga’s value to its municipal, regional and provincial jurisdictions through a quantitative analysis of operating and capital expenditures, and non-local student and visitor expenditures.

Fingerprints and Ferrotrace
crime scene tape

Tiffany Tse prepared her presentation meticulously. She decided she would talk about the three different fingerprinting techniques she studied, and the clarity of the fingerprint ridges each showed. What she would not mention was feeling nervous as she cut into the first of the 144 $50 banknotes she used during her experiment.

World's oldest dinosaur embryo
dinosaur embryo

A 190-million-year-old dinosaur bonebed near the city of Lufeng, in Yunnan, China has revealed for the first time how dinosaur embryos grew and developed in their eggs. The great age of the embryos is unusual because almost all known dinosaur embryos are from the Cretaceous Period. The Cretaceous ended some 125 million years after the bones at the Lufeng site were buried and fossilized.

Where did bling begin?
Blue Picasso diamond

Geology professor Dan Schulze calls this singular gem from the remote Guaniamo region of Venezuela the "Picasso" diamond. The blue luminescent, high-resolution image of a diamond formed over a billion years ago reminds him of some paintings from Picasso’s Blue Period. Like a cubist masterpiece, its striking irregular and anomalous features carry timeless secrets and yield new perspectives on life and the Earth’s early history.

The end of ECC
The final gavel comes down on ECC

On Thursday, April 4, the Erindale College Council met for the last time, ending a tradition which began in 1965. Professor Emeritus Ian Still, of the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, was the only person present who had also attended the very first meeting of ECC, and he spoke briefly about the history of the council at U of T Mississauga. Following Still, and comments from Professor Deep Saini, Vice-President, U of T and Principal, U of T Mississauga, Acting Chair Anthony Wensley brought the gavel down for the last time. Effective July 1, 2013, a UTM Campus Council will replace ECC, reporting to U of T Governing Council. 



Ignite Youth logo
Ignite Youth Mississauga - Wed, 05/01/2013

Ignite is a geek event that has taken place in over 100 cities around the world. At Ignite events, presenters share their personal and professional passions in short 5 minute presentations. Our tagline is simple: Enlighten us, but make it quick! 

DATE:   Wednesday, May. 1, 2013

TIME:   3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

PLACE:  CCT room 1080

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Canadian Perspectives logo
Canadian Perspectives Lectures - Thu, 05/02/2013 - Thu, 05/23/2013

The Canadian Perspectives public lectures, organized by the Associates of University of Toronto Mississauga  and University of Toronto Mississauga, are designed to inform and educate, offer a historical perspective on current issues, and introduce new ideas and technologies that shape lives. Funds generated through this lecture series support scholarships for University of Toronto Mississauga students.  

TIME:   10 a.m.

PLACE:  Erindale United Church, 1444 Dundas Crescent

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Rochelle MazarPutting words to video

Lots of instructors are interested in recording their lectures. Existing tools, like ePresence, Camstasia, and Echo360 are making it easier and easier to do so. Either as a back-up you give students as review, or as a full-on flipped classroom (where students watch the lecture on their own time and you use class time to do other kinds of collaborative work), recorded lectures are an increasing part of academic life.

Great, right? It is, but there’s a key piece that’s missing: What happens if a student can’t hear your recording?

Making sure materials are accessible is not only a reasonable and thoughtful thing to do, it’s also soon to be a legal requirement. We need a transcript of every bit of video we put online.

Seems like an impasse. Who has time to transcribe every single lecture they give? Transcribing takes hours, and machines don’t parse spoken words with 100 per cent accuracy. You’d think the these obstacles would kybosh the whole trend. But Brian Sutherland (who teaches at U of T Mississauga and works at U of T Scarborough) came up with a simple, brilliant solution: get a machine to transcribe as much as it can, then have the students in your class help fix it.

Brian’s idea is especially brilliant because it doesn’t just help students with an impairment. If you add the captioning as a bonus points assignment, it gives all students a good reason to go back over your lecture, pay close attention and clean the transcript until it sparkles. With Brian’s software, students log in with their UTORid, so all their contributions are tracked and attributed.  Having a combination of a machine and students compose the transcripts helps everyone; instructors who want to use video as part of their teaching, students who require a transcript, students who want to do a keyword search of your lecture, students who need to watch the recording in a noisy place, and students keen to do everything they can to boost their grade. It’s sustainable, thoughtful and a great bonus assignment.

So don’t be afraid to use video. It might just be the greatest new innovation you can bring to your class. If you see Brian around campus, give him a pat on the back.

Questions? Contact Rochelle Mazar.

Faculty and Staff Announcements: 

Staff Photo Contest Winners Announced

formulas written on chemistry fume hoodThe winners of the 2012-13 Staff Photo Contest awards were announced, and the results were breathtaking. Winners were selected in four categories: Flora & Fauna, Greenspace, Identifiable Places & Objects, and Architecture. The winning photos will be printed and framed for display in the Council Chamber.  In the meantime, all the photos and the winning entries can be found at the link above. (The banner on this month's Express is "Serenity", by Melissa Berger; the adjacent photo is "Formula", by Ryan Cerrudo.)




Cover of journal ItalicaProfessor named editor of prestigious journal

Professor Michael Lettieri, of the Department of Language Studies, has been named the editor of Italica, the premiere journal of Italian studies in North America and worldwide. It is the first time that the 90-year-old journal has chosen a Canadian editor. Lettieri takes up the five-year-long role on Jan. 1, 2014.


Image of Claude EvansNew book sheds light on 15th century abbey

Senior Lecturer Claude Evans, of the Department of Language Studies, has written a new book, L’abbaye cistercienne de Bégard des origines à 1476 : histoire et chartes, published by Brepols. It sheds light on what has traditionally been considered as the first Cistercian house in Medieval Brittany.

Training & Development: 

Organizational Development and Learning Centre

Call UTM HR at (905) 828-3935 for additional information about:

  • Scholarship Information
  • Application for Reimbursement Educational Assistance / Professional Development
  • Tuition Waiver Information

General Information on Tuition Support:  TuitionSupport.pdf  pdf icon


Media Clippings: 

Professor Robert Reisz’s new research on embryonic dinosaurs was covered by hundreds of media outlets worldwide, including the BBC, National Geographic, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, CTV.com, the National Post, CBC News, 
CNN, the Guardian (UK), Discovery News (U.S.) and the Toronto Star.

Post-doctoral student Amy Muise’s study on how meeting the sexual needs of your partner helps keep the spark alive was covered in the Washington Examiner.

Professor Philip Oreopoulos, from the Department of Economics, was quoted in Macleans about his research which found that changing the name on a resumé from anglophone to Indian or Chinese reduced responses from employers by 50 per cent, with most employers saying they assume a foreign name meant the worker had poor English.

Professor Peter Loewen of the Department of Political Science was quoted in the Regina Leader Post and on CBCNews on the difficulty of engaging a generation in politics.

The Mississauga News reported on National Youth Arts Week and National Youth Week, which starts May 1 with the Ignite Youth event held at UTM.

Books World reported on the publication of The Alzheimer’s Epidemic – Searching for Causes and a Cure, a new book by Professor Emeritus Danton O’Day of the Department of Biology.

Pierre Desrochers, an associate professor in the Department of Geography, wrote in the American about how the search for increased profits provides both economic and environmental improvements by promoting the increasingly efficient use of material resources.

New research about whether some diamonds were formed on the ancient ocean floor, by Dan Schultze, professor in the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, was covered by Science Newsline.

Bonnie Le, a PhD student in the Department of Psychology, and her new research on whether being a helpful and caring person can actually be beneficial to the giver, was covered in Medical Xpress.

Peel Environmental Youth Alliance is hosting its 8th annual Region-Wide Stewardship Day on April 30, and the Mississauga News noted that one of the five locations students can visit to participate on April 30 is at UTM.

TD Ameritrade reported that a new paper by Philip Oreopoulos in the American Economic Journal of Applied Economics found that graduating in a recession leads to earnings losses that can last for 10 years after graduation, and that the lowest skilled graduates appear to suffer permanent effects. The study found that earnings losses are greater for new entrants to the labor force than for existing workers, who might see smaller raises, but who have jobs.

Treehugger gave the Instructional Centre a green rating.