Patty Wellborn

Email: patty-wellborn@news.ok.ubc.ca


 

UBC Okanagan's Ben Tippett

UBC Okanagan's Ben Tippett

Mathematical model of a TARDIS takes the 'fiction' out of science fiction

After some serious number crunching, a UBC researcher has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine.

Ben Tippett, a mathematics and physics instructor at UBC’s Okanagan campus, recently published a study about the feasibility of time travel. Tippett, whose field of expertise is Einstein’s theory of general relativity, studies black holes and science fiction when he’s not teaching. Using math and physics, he has created a formula that describes a method for time travel.

“People think of time travel as something fictional,” says Tippett. “And we tend to think it’s not possible because we don’t actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible.”

Ever since H.G. Wells published his book Time Machine in 1885, people have been curious about time travel—and scientists have worked to solve or disprove the theory. In 1915 Albert Einstein announced his theory of general relativity, stating that gravitational fields are caused by distortions in the fabric of space and time. More than 100 years later, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration—an international team of physics institutes and research groups—announced the detection of gravitational waves generated by colliding black holes billions of light years away, confirming Einstein’s theory.

The division of space into three dimensions, with time in a separate dimension by itself, is incorrect, says Tippett. The four dimensions should be imagined simultaneously, where different directions are connected, as a space-time continuum. Using Einstein’s theory, Tippett explains that the curvature of space-time accounts for the curved orbits of the planets.

In “flat” or uncurved space-time, planets and stars would move in straight lines. In the vicinity of a massive star, space-time geometry becomes curved and the straight trajectories of nearby planets will follow the curvature and bend around the star.

“The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower,” says Tippett. “My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time—to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time.”

While it is possible to describe this type of time travel using a mathematical equation, Tippett doubts that anyone will ever build a machine to make it work.

“H.G. Wells popularized the term ‘time machine’ and he left people with the thought that an explorer would need a ‘machine or special box’ to actually accomplish time travel,” Tippett says. “While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials—which we call exotic matter—to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered.”

For his research, Tippett created a mathematical model of a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forward through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.

“Studying space-time is both fascinating and problematic. And it’s also a fun way to use math and physics,” says Tippett. “Experts in my field have been exploring the possibility of mathematical time machines since 1949. And my research presents a new method for doing it.”

Tippett’s research was recently published in the IOPscience Journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

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Celebrate Research 2017 spotllight

From advances in chronic disease interventions to improving wireless communications, innovative research projects at UBC Okanagan are attracting national attention.

This week, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) awarded $1 million to a diverse range of emerging initiatives across the Okanagan campus. Celebrating these and many other accomplishments, UBC Okanagan hosts its annual Celebrate Research Week March 6 to 11.

Philip Barker, UBC Okanagan Vice-Principal of Research

Philip Barker, UBC Okanagan Vice-Principal of Research

“I am delighted that the outstanding research taking place at UBC Okanagan is being recognized by the Canada Foundation for Innovation,” says Philip Barker, UBC Okanagan Vice-Principal of Research.“These awards reflect the hard work, commitment and vision in our research community. Our campus continues to excel and the recent funding announcement is testimony to this. I congratulate everyone involved.”

The CFI awards will support the establishment of five research facilities:

The Centre for Translational Research in Behaviour Change for People with Chronic Conditions

Led by Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, this centre will become the site for community-engaged behaviour change research to promote health and well-being for individuals with chronic disease or physical disabilities. Initiatives include improving behavior-change interventions, developing, testing and evaluating the impact of interventions, and developing products and services for people with chronic conditions.

The Statistical Machine Learning Laboratory

Led by Jeffrey Andrews, assistant professor of statistics, this lab will develop new computational methods and software for discovering hidden information in large data sets. The lab will train students in cutting-edge statistical pattern recognition techniques that can be applied to data from numerous fields, including medicine, marketing, sociology, and biology. Collaborations with local industry and government agencies will provide additional benefits to the Okanagan region.

The Molecular and Materials Simulation Facility

Led by Gino DiLabio, associate professor and head of chemistry, this lab will be a high-performance computing laboratory which will simulate chemical reactions that can lead to, and protect against, human diseases. These findings will have implications for debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The center will promote collaboration with academic and industrial partners, and will train the next generation of simulation scientists.

The Laboratory for Single Molecule Mechanobiology

Led by Isaac Li, assistant professor of chemistry, this lab will determine how the mechanical forces from individual molecules regulate cell movement and chemical signalling, specifically in cancer and immune cells. The findings will lead to the development of new screening methods that will detect rare cancer cells from blood tests.

The Electromagnetics Testing and Characterization Laboratory

Led by Loïc Markley, assistant professor of electrical engineering, this lab will evaluate and develop new metamaterials, microwave circuits, and antennas for advanced wireless technologies. The facility will provide UBC Okanagan with the infrastructure necessary for state-of-the-art experimental research at microwave and mm-wave frequencies. This will lead to developments in telecommunications, wireless power, and imaging.

Celebrate Research 2017 public events

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Final

The Three Minute Thesis is a competition where current graduate students have three minutes to explain the depth, significance and wider impact of their research to the judges and audience for a chance to win top honours and prize money.

Date: Wednesday, March 8
Time: 4 to 5:30 p.m.
Location: University Centre Ballroom, room UNC 200
For more information3mt.ok.ubc.ca

Café Scientifique: Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Pain

Side stepping the effects of stroke

Someone in Canada has a stroke about every nine minutes. Are there new approaches to reduce the disability associated with stroke? Can healthy lifestyles help people reduce their risk of stroke and enhance recovery?

Join experts from UBC’s Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention and Interior Health for refreshments and a discussion about the latest approaches to reduce the effects of stroke.

Date: Thursday, March 9
Time: 5 to 7 p.m.
Location: Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis St., Kelowna
Free registration:  sidestepstroke.eventbrite.ca

School District 23 Science Fair

Young scientists will be at UBC Okanagan for School District 23’s two-day Science Fair. Participating individually and in pairs, students will interpret their science projects for judges and public viewers. On Saturday, students and the public can also explore educational opportunities in UBC Okanagan’s Engineering, Chemistry and Education programs.

Date: Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11
Times: Friday, 4 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1:10 p.m.
Location: UBC Okanagan, Engineering, Management & Education (EME) and Fipke Centre (FIP).

Presentations will be held in UBC Okanagan lecture theatres on March 11

  • 3-D Printing: 11:45 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. l FIPKE 204
  • Engineering with Light: 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. l EME 0050
  • What is Chemistry (and Why should we Care)? 12:30 to 1:10 p.m. l EME 0050

For more information visit:  sd23sciencefair.com

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The Okanagan Research Forum will discuss changes this region is facing due to climate change, population growth, and land use changes.

The Okanagan Research Forum will discuss changes this region is facing due to climate change, population growth, and land use changes.

What: Okanagan Research Forum
Who: UBC Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and UBC Okanagan Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER)
When: Monday, December 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with keynote lecture 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Yacht Club banquet room, 1370 Water St, Kelowna

The Okanagan Research Forum invites the community to listen to experts and take part in an open discussion about the future of the Okanagan landscape.

Hosted by UBC Okanagan’s BRAES Institute and ICER Institute in collaboration with partner organizations, the forum will be about sharing information and encouraging conversation between members of the community, locally engaged organizations, government and academia. Event partners include the Okanagan Basin Water Board, Okanagan Nation Alliance, BC Wildlife Federation, City of Kelowna (Imagine Kelowna), and the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program.

The theme of this year’s event is resilience and will include plenary presentations and discussions by expert panelists to explore how the concept of resilience applies to social, cultural and ecological systems. The afternoon will include a facilitated working session and group discussions.

The evening keynote lecture on community resilience will be presented by Assoc. Prof. Kyle Powys Whyte, indigenous philosopher and activist from Michigan State University.

Both the daytime session and the keynote lecture are open to the public. There is a nominal registration fee for the daytime sessions to cover the cost of food and beverages. The keynote is free.

To register, or get more information visit okresearchforum.geolive.ca or contact Carolina Restrepo at carolina.restrepo@ubc.ca

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A new program at UBC's Okanagan campus may change the way radiation affects cancer patients and how they feel during treatment.

Starting this fall, in collaboration with the BC Cancer Agency's Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior, the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences will offer a master’s and PhD program in Medical Physics (medicalphysics.ok.ubc.ca).

Assoc. Prof. Andrew Jirasek, chair of the newly developed medical physics graduate program, is excited about the opportunities in cancer research the program will bring to the Okanagan. Through innovative research on cancer treatment and prevention, members of the physics program are attacking cancer on several fronts.

“There is a great marriage between physics and medicine,” says Jirasek, explaining that UBC faculty work on a range of research projects in radiation oncology, medical imaging and biomedical spectroscopy.

“The outcome of our research will ultimately transform the way radiation therapy is delivered. This, in turn, will lead to better treatment for patients, improving the efficacy of radiation therapy while at the same time reducing the side effects.”

Jirasek and colleagues from engineering, biology and chemistry are using an optical technique called Raman spectroscopy to see how radiation may affect people at the cellular level. From here, dosage can be adjusted to be more precise and targeted.

“This is a very powerful technique. We can record and analyse information about how cells and tissues change throughout treatment,” says Jirasek. “Previously, the only outcome of treatment was disease status; for example if a tumor had shrunk or grown. Our hope is that this Raman analysis will provide accurate treatment evaluation sooner.”

Timing with cancer treatment is everything, he says, stressing the sooner successful therapy is implemented, the better for the patient.

Under this new Medical Physics graduate program, students will have access to a full graduate course curriculum in radiation oncology medical physics, and will have the opportunity to learn about, and work on, world-class research projects.

“As radiation is such a significant part of cancer therapy, it’s important to make it as effective as possible,” Jirasek says. “Advances in delivery technology have enabled radiation beams to be rotated and adjusted to target the tumour and spare the healthy tissue, which will reduce side effects.”

UBC Assoc. Prof. Andrew Jirasek

UBC Assoc. Prof. Andrew Jirasek

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A multi-faculty team consisting of Assoc. Prof Solomon Tesfamariam, engineering; Assoc. Prof. Warren Hare, mathematics; Prof Yves Lucet, computer science; and statistician Assoc. Prof. Jason Loeppky, are working to design a road construction computing program.

A multi-faculty team consisting of Assoc. Prof Solomon Tesfamariam, engineering; Assoc. Prof. Warren Hare, mathematics; Prof Yves Lucet, computer science; and statistician Assoc. Prof. Jason Loeppky, are working to design a road construction computing program.

Computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and statisticians at UBC’s Okanagan campus are teaming up to create a tool to make highway construction less complicated and cheaper.

“Road construction is an expensive endeavour and can cost as much as $20 million per kilometre for highways and $1 million per kilometre for forestry roads,” says Prof. Yves Lucet, the director of UBC’s Centre for Optimization Convex Analysis and Nonsmooth Analysis. “Reducing road construction costs may play a major role in controlling future budgets and maintaining quality of life, both in Canada and in other developed countries.”

Lucet and an interdisciplinary and inter-faculty UBC team was recently awarded a five-year $480,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grant. The team has a collaborative partnership with a private corporation, Softree Technical System Inc., to design a user-friendly computer program that will reduce road construction costs, save time and maintain safety standards.

The goal is to save engineers time in the initial stages of road planning by removing the manual process of deciding the exact path of the new road, explains Lucet. The project aims to continue improving Softree’s automatic alignment tool, named Softree Optimal, which was developed under a previous grant and handles vertical alignment optimization.

“By using mathematics, we can guarantee that no other road can be cheaper than the solution found without breaking engineering constraints or safety rules,” says Lucet. “Eliminating the current manual process will save design engineers time on computational tasks so they can concentrate on considering as many constraints as possible.”

Lucet in Computer Science is joined by Assoc. Prof. Warren Hare in Mathematics; and Assoc. Prof. Jason Loeppky in Statistics, all of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. The three are joined by School of Engineering Assoc. Prof Solomon Tesfamariam.

The project is unique, says Lucet, because it combines the brainpower of scientists from two completely different faculties and allows training opportunities for a number of students including one post-doc, three doctorate candidates, two masters’ students, and two undergraduates.

Tesfamariam says the initial cost of road design involves the complex planning of horizontal and vertical alignments and engineers must keep in mind the need for environmental impact and mitigation if a natural or man-made disaster takes place, which can be expensive.

“Currently, when a road is planned, engineers first look at a satellite view of the potential road site, then consider the horizontal and vertical alignment, examine corridor alternatives, and at the same time keep in mind safety and regulation constraints,” says Tesfamariam. “This design is often not optimal and increases the cost to the client.”

It’s the science and mathematics from UBC’s team that will replace the early manual stages, and will ensure the best path for the new road has been selected. This process will be quicker and cheaper, and minimize the cost to the owner while meeting often conflicting objectives, minimizing cost and environmental impact.

“The research is a great example of technology transfer that is a win for everyone,” says Lucet. “Researchers generate new results on challenging practical problems, students receive funding to build in-demand skills and tackle real-world problems, and the company gets an advantage by implementing cutting-edge techniques to deliver a product that is in demand and is ahead of the competition.”

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Time with his dying father leads to new book, and profound new quality of life

Award-winning musician, journalist, and writer Wab Kinew will talk about his new book The Reason You Walk when he visits Kelowna September 30. Kinew is the next speaker in UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Photo courtesy of: Katelyn Malo

Award-winning musician, journalist, and writer Wab Kinew will talk about his new book The Reason You Walk when he visits Kelowna September 30. Kinew is the next speaker in UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Photo courtesy of: Katelyn Malo

What: Distinguished Speaker Series: The Reason You Walk
Who: Wab Kinew, Canadian journalist, author, hip-hop musician
When: Wednesday, September 30 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St., Kelowna 

A celebrated journalist, writer, musician, and hip-hop artist Wab Kinew knows what it’s like to be at a major crossroads in life. Growing up, initially on a reserve in northern Ontario and then in the inner city of Winnipeg, Kinew could have become a victim of circumstance and his family’s history. His father was raised in a residential school; stories of abuse, rape, alcoholism, and brutality were the constant shadows of his family’s background.

Kinew’s path could have taken any direction. He made mistakes. But he also asked questions. And he expected changes. When those didn’t come, he made his own changes and began speaking out about why Aboriginal people are treated differently than non-Aboriginals.

Already successful in his career, Kinew decided to spend time reconnecting with his dad shortly after his father was diagnosed with cancer. His book, The Reason You Walk, is the result of that time together and the conversations and healing that took place. This chapter in his life will be the main topic of Kinew’s talk when he visits Kelowna as part of UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series September 30.

Talented, passionate and smart, Kinew — who has a degree in economics — has become an accomplished journalist and a motivational speaker. He helped produce and host the acclaimed CBC series 8th Fire, has hosted Canada Reads, is an Aljazeera America correspondent, and at the same time is the Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Winnipeg. His hip hop music has won an Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Award, his journalism has won accolades, and he’s been nominated for a Gemini. Postmedia News has called him one of “nine Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know.”

Kinew will speak at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water Street on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 p.m. His visit is part of the UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series which is presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences. This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

To register, visit: www.speakers.ok.ubc.ca

The Reason You Walk will be published this fall and UBC’s Bookstore plans to provide the book for sale at the event.

The Distinguished Speaker Series brings to the Okanagan compelling speakers, with unique perspectives on issues that affect our region, our country and our world. The theme of the series is A Civil and Sustainable Society.

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Yasha Pushak, winner of the 2015 $10,000 Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership Prize.

Yasha Pushak, winner of the 2015 $10,000 Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership Prize.

Pushor Mitchell award goes to UBC honours undergrad Yasha Pushak

Few students publish scientific research as undergrads – and fewer yet are tapped as lead authors by their profs. But double-honours computer science and math student Yasha Pushak, winner of the 2015 $10,000 Pushor Mitchell Gold Medal Leadership Prize, found himself in that rarefied air.

Pushak spent two summers working as an undergraduate research assistant, and co-authored four publications during his four years at UBC Okanagan. His first paper, which he worked on with his professors and thesis supervisors, Warren Hare (mathematics) and Yves Lucet (computer science) was submitted to the European Journal of Operations Research, one of the top journals in its field.

“Yasha’s contribution was so high, that Dr. Lucet and I decided to list him as first author,” says Hare. “Mathematics research has a ‘when in doubt, go alphabetical rule,’ and breaking this for an undergraduate student is exceptional.”

It is only the latest accolade for Pushak, graduating Friday at UBC’s 2015 Spring Convocation. He has garnered more than 10 scholarships and awards as a student in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to being a stellar scholar and prolific researcher, Pushak has been instrumental in promoting the work of math and computer science undergraduates, connecting students and building relationships. Pushak participated in the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, and was so enthusiastic about it that when he learned no such event existed in computer science, he decided to organize the very first Canadian Undergraduate Computer Science Conference (CUCSC) at UBC Okanagan.

“My drive to lead CUCSC to success is rooted in the inspiration I found attending the undergraduate math conference,” says Pushak. “My dream is to pioneer a life-changing conference that will be held year-after-year, inspiring students for generations to come.”

Acting Dean Barbara Rutherford calls Pushak a rising star, whose time spent as a teaching assistant, tutor and organizer will have a lasting impact on future students.

Mark Baron, managing partner at Pushor Mitchell LLP, says that Pushak is a worthy recipient of the award, which the firm created to recognize students who excel academically and also demonstrate leadership in community service or volunteerism, cross-cultural relations, promotion of diversity, intellectual pursuits, and artistic or athletic endeavours.

“Academic excellence is a commendable achievement, but to find a student who can excel academically while finding meaningful ways to give back to the community is a rarity,” says Baron. “Through his outstanding research contributions, academic accomplishments and publications and proven dedication to the campus and broader community, we as a firm are proud to recognize Yasha Pushak with this award.”

“I am honoured to receive the Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal in Leadership Prize,” says Pushak. “The most rewarding aspect of leadership and community service is the impact we can have on the lives of others. By recognizing and awarding scholarships to students like me, Pushor Mitchell LLP is helping support us financially in both our academic achievements and our endeavours to give back to our communities, and I want to thank them for this generous award.”

Pushak moves to UBC Vancouver this fall to begin a graduate degree, majoring in computer science with a focus on mathematics. He has received several entrance scholarships and awards.

BACKGROUND:

The Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize is a $10,000 prize offered by Pushor Mitchell LLP to a graduating student in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. In addition to academic achievement in the student’s final fifty-four credits, candidates for the award must demonstrate leadership in one or more of the following areas: community service or volunteerism, cross-cultural relations, promotion of diversity, intellectual pursuits, and artistic or athletic endeavours. The prize is awarded based on the recommendation of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

High demand in community for Alzheimer’s speaker

UBC Okanagan has added a second evening to its Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Jay Ingram.

The iconic Canadian writer and broadcaster will speak about his new book The End of Memory: A Natural history of Alzheimer’s disease on Thursday, February 26 at the Mary Irwin Theatre. The talk, free and open to the public, will be his second presentation on the topic, as his first presentation the previous evening is fully booked.

This is the first time a Distinguished Speaker Series presentation has been extended to a two-night engagement.

"It's not surprising there is a thirst for knowledge about Alzheimer's disease,” says Ingram. “It's now the subject of plays and novels, but it is also important to understand the history of the disease and the science.”

In his latest book, The End of Memory, Ingram explores the mystery of Alzheimer’s and how it attacks the brain. Alzheimer’s is a growing concern as more and more people are being diagnosed with the disease as populations are living longer.

Ingram, the former host of popular science shows such as CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet, will speak about the mystery of Alzheimer’s and the desperate need for more research funding.

The Science of Alzheimer’s Distinguished Speaker event is presented by UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and takes place Thursday, February 26, at the Mary Irwin Theatre, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Registration is required: dss-ingram-night2.eventbrite.ca

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Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Award-winning writer and broadcaster Jay Ingram is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker. He will discuss the science of Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, February 25 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series tackles mystery of the tragic illness

Jay Ingram describes Alzheimer’s as a wicked disease that society has ignored for too long. While much research has been done on memory loss, the cruelty of Alzheimer’s is the tragic effect it has on the life of the patient, and how it devastates those left to care for a person who no longer knows who they are.

In his latest book, The End of Memory, the award-winning science author explores the mystery of Alzheimer’s and how it attacks the brain. And he raises valid questions: where did it come from? Why weren’t we talking about it 50 years ago? Do we understand what is really going on in a patient’s afflicted brain?

German neurologist Alois Alzheimer first diagnosed the disease in 1906. While it’s been recognized for decades, Ingram argues research money set aside for Alzheimer’s still trails far behind funding for other deadly illnesses such as cancer and lung disease. And as society continues to live longer than previous generations, more and more people will be diagnosed and begin the long, lonely demise of Alzheimer’s.

Ingram says it’s time for a rethink on how we deal with Alzheimer’s. Being informed, he says, is a good thing and his goal with his new book is to help people understand the disease. Ingram will unravel some of the mystery of Alzheimer’s at UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series in Kelowna on Wednesday, February 25.

Ingram is an iconic Canadian writer and broadcaster, hosting several shows including CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet. His book The End of Memory: A Natural history of Alzheimer’s disease will be available for sale and signing at the Distinguished Speaker Series event.

The Science of Alzheimer’s is presented by UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, and takes place at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Registration is required: dss-ingram.eventbrite.ca

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Award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky collects images from an oilfield. His October 22 presentation, Landscape of Human Systems, is part of UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series.  (Photo credit: Noah Weinzweig)

Award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky collects images from an oilfield. His October 22 presentation, Landscape of Human Systems, is part of UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
(Photo credit: Noah Weinzweig)

Award-winning artist is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker

World-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky is returning to UBC Okanagan.

Burtynsky, who was presented with an honorary doctoral degree from UBC Okanagan in June 2013, is the first guest of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series. In his Landscape of Human Systems presentation, Burtynsky presents a collection of his work, including large-scale colour photographs and recent film footage. While his large photographs will be displayed behind him, he will discuss the technique behind his image-making as he explores society’s troubling relationship with nature.

Born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, a town dependent on auto assembly plants, he grew up in a heavily industrial yet picturesque part of the country. He started taking pictures at age 11, shortly after his father purchased a used camera and some darkroom equipment. He earned his degree in photography from Ryerson University, and studied graphic art at Niagara College.

Burtynsky’s imagery explores the link between industry and nature, and the damage society has done to the planet through mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, and oil production. His remarkable large-format photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of more than 50 major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In 2006, Burtynsky became an Officer of the Order of Canada. His other distinctions include the TED Prize, the Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, and the Award in Contemporary Art from Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

Burtynsky’s The Landscape of Human Systems takes place at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St, on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. His visit is presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, as part of UBC's Distinguished Speaker Series.

This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit: speakers.ok.ubc.ca/2014/burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky has spent decades photographing modern society's troubling relationship with nature. His Landscape of Human Systems presentation on October 22 is a combination of new photographs and film production that document his findings.

Edward Burtynsky has spent decades photographing modern society's troubling relationship with nature. His Landscape of Human Systems presentation on October 22 is a combination of new photographs and film production that document his findings.

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