Alumni Week(end): Campus to Couch Edition

Alumni Week(end) Sept. 27 to Oct. 2, 2021


The tradition of Alumni Weekend is returning this fall—in a primarily digital format. Join us online and celebrate with the Faculty of Science and fellow alumni wherever you are!

For the week of September 27 to October 2, 2021, you can access exclusive digital content straight to your device. You’ll find an exciting lineup of virtual tours of our world-class labs and museums, family-friendly content, and a live Science Talks webinar. Join Frederick West, acting dean of the Faculty of Science and graduate student Ahmed Oraby for “Chasing a cure: New tools in the fight against COVID-19” Get your full fix of campus, all from the comfort of your couch.

Learn more the latest research in a series of recent Science Talks presentations, organized by department below, and check out the full content listing for Alumni Week events across the University of Alberta.

Events

Polar bear and grizzly skulls in the Rowan Lab, one of the virtual tours in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Virtual Tours

Alumni Week kicks off in the Faculty of Science with exclusive digital content to help keep our alumni community connected to campus, even while we're apart. Check back right here starting September 27 to view virtual tours of some of the Faculty of Science's world-renowned collections and facilities, including:

  • Dino Lab
  • Electroencephalography (EEG) Lab
  • E.H. Strickland Museum
  • Mineralogy & Petrology Museum
  • Multimedia Research Centre
  • Paleontology Museum
  • Physics Observatory
  • Rowan Lab, Museum of Zoology
  • The Shack: Science Hardware Makerspace
Science Talks: Chasing a cure

Science Talks

Chasing a cure: New tools in the fight against COVID-19

In this talk, hear from Frederick West, acting dean of the Faculty of Science, and graduate student Ahmed Oraby, who share their progress in finding new antiviral drugs for clinical trials against COVID-19—building from their discovery of new compounds that were originally identified as potential leads for treatment of seasonal respiratory infections.

This talk is suitable for general audiences, targeted at ages 16+. The presentation will be recorded and available on demand if you're unable to catch the webinar live.

Date: Friday, October 1, 2021
Time: 12 – 1 p.m. MDT

Register online


From Campus to Couch

Tour several incredible collections and facilities in the Faculty of Science as part of Alumni Week 2020.

Biological Sciences

Get up close with fossils, animal specimens, and more from the Department of Biological Sciences. Join us for virtual tours of some of the stand-out facilities in the department, including:

  • E.H. Strickland Museum virtual tour
  • Dino Lab virtual tour
  • Rowan Lab in the Museum of Zoology virtual tour

Meet Tracy Raivio, acting chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and learn about fostering coexistence over conflict with urban coyotes in a webinar with ‘88 BSc(Spec) professor Colleen Cassady St. Clair.

Jon Veinot (left) and Stacey Hume (’94 BSc[Hons],’03 PhD) are pictured in the Applied Quantum Materials Inc. lab in Edmonton.

Chemistry

University of Alberta spinoff company Applied Quantum Materials Inc. is putting its chemical production expertise to work in a partnership with Alberta Health Services to produce reagents for COVID-19 tests. Jon Veinot, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and alumna Stacey Hume (’94 BSc[Hons], ’03 PhD) share their journey.

Join Frederick West, acting dean of the Faculty of Science, and graduate student Ahmed Oraby, on October 1 at 12 p.m. MDT for a live webinar where they share their progress in finding new antiviral drugs for clinical trials against COVID-19. Register online.

Learn about brain immune cells and the important role they play in Alzeimer’s disease in a webinar with assistant professor Matthew Macauley.


Artificial intelligence technology development stock illustration.

Computing Science

Learn about the evolution of the ethics in AI with Department of Computing Science faculty members Eleni Stroulia and Nidhi Hegde, ‘95 BSc(Spec), and hear from computing science alumna Talwinder Punni (‘16 BSc) on and how she is reimagining the future of healthcare. And take a virtual tour of the Multimedia Research Centre and learn more about the latest exciting projects to come out of this lab.

Big Copper from the Mineralogy & Petrology Collection in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Hear from acting chair and Distinguished University Professor Tom Chacko, and view some of the incredible collections housed in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, including:

  • Mineralogy & Petrology Museum virtual tour
  • Paleontology Museum virtual tour

Learn about the Mars Perseverance Mission in a webinar with planetary geology expert—and Perseverance Mission returned sample scientist—Chris Herd.


Abstract arrangement of abstract sine waves, numbers and design elements.

Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Is there a natural order to the sounds produced by human vocal folds? Did COVID-19 cases progress differently for people of different genders or age groups? These questions can be answered using the same statistical tool: the permutation test. Join Adam Kashlak, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, for a webinar where he explains how complex seemingly unrelated datasets are actually not as dissimilar as one may expect.

What is a mathematical model for COVID-19? How are these models built? How can modeling inform public health decision-making? Join Marie (Betsy) Varughese (‘17 PhD) and professor Michael Li ('93 PhD) to learn about the advantages, challenges, and misconceptions of using mathematical modeling to understand COVID-19 transmission dynamics.

Learn about how Faculty of Science graduate Anil Arora is modernizing Canada’s census for a COVID-19 world in his role as Chief Statistician of Canada.


A planetary model, pictured outside the Department of Physics Observatory in CCIS.

Physics

A former member of the ATLAS Experiment at CERN that discovered the long-sought Higgs boson, meet Roger Moore, who stepped into the role of chair of the Department of Physics on July 1. Did you know that on top of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science sits the Physics Observatory? Visit the Observatory and the student maker space known as The Shack in two virtual tours:

  • Physics Observatory virtual tour
  • The Shack: Science Hardware Makerspace

Join Lindsay LeBlanc, associate professor in the Department of Physics, as she discusses the fundamentals of  quantum information and why it is so powerful. Learn why atoms—in particular, cold atoms—are an excellent platform for exploring the quantum world and developing new technologies.


A machine in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in the Department of the Psychology.

Psychology

Want to learn what’s on the mind of researchers in the Department of Psychology? Take a virtual tour of the department’s Electroencephalography (EEG) Lab, and learn more about the latest projects from this remarkable facility. 

The ever-changing dynamics of brain activity during sleep suggest that rest serves a fundamental purpose for neural function. One hypothesis is that sleep helps us to solidify new and important memories. Join Clayton Dickson, professor in the Department of Psychology, to learn what studying brain rhythms can tell us about making longer-lasting memories.