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McMaster University will continue to host undergraduate academic activities remotely for the Spring/Summer/Intersession term with only a few exceptions for courses that need student access to specialized equipment.

Faculty congratulates Chad Harvey, winner of OUSA teaching award

Chad Harvey, Biology and the School of Interdisciplinary Science, has won a Teaching Excellence Award from the Ontario University Student Alliance (OUSA). Harvey, a popular professor in Integrated Science Program, was recognized for his eccentricity, passion and dedication to easing the transition into first-year university. The award recognizes educators who excel at unlocking the potential of Ontario’s young people.

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Theoretical physicist now a 2016 Simons Fellow

Catherine Kallin, Physics & Astronomy, has been awarded a 2016 Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics. She was the only Canadian to be named a Fellow in that category. The Fellowship will allow her to spend four months at the University of California, Santa Barbara, conducting research in superconductors at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Her work in high-temperature superconductors, as well as what she calls an “exotic” low-temperature superconductor, has applications in the field of quantum computing.

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Faculty members receive Strategic Partnership Grants

Two faculty members from Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Michael Brook and Gillian Goward, have been awarded Strategic Partnership Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Michael Brook and his academic and industry partners received $549,500 to develop rapidly curing silicone inks that can be printed directly from current 4-colour inkjet printers. The inks have applications in existing devices, ranging from contact lenses to computer keyboard springs. Gillian Goward and her academic and industry partners were awarded $567,780 to better understand the chemical processes in lithium ion battery under real-world driving conditions. The work has direct application to increasing the reliability of electric vehicles.

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A better way to look for other life in the Universe?

Ralph Pudritz, Physics & Astronomy, and René Heller, a former post-doctoral fellow in the Department, have proposed a way to narrow down the search for extraterrestrial life. They suggest we should assume that extraterrestrial observers are using the same methods to search for us that we are using to search for them. Currently, scientists track the shadows of distant planets and moons as those shadows pass in front of their own host stars to learn more about these distant places. By concentrating efforts on observing exoplanets that can see our shadow on our sun, researchers could reduce the number of stars studied from billions to tens of thousands.

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