Notes on Academic Freedom Dialogue hosted by UBCFA

Robert Lee Auditorium in the Alumni Center, UBCFA Fall General Meeting: My central takeaway from the discussion below and the preceding actions by the Sr. Advisor on Academic Freedom is that faculty at UBC should be concerned. Guppy's Historical Note on academic freedom at UBC references the Smith report but presents no analysis of the issues surrounding the Berdahl Case. Why? When asked about the lack of consequences to senior and honorific administrators who collectively violated academic freedom at UBC, Professor Guppy confirms that the history shows that there are no consequences.
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Canadians Land on Jupyter

The proliferation of mobile devices, social networks and sensor networks, the massive data streams they generate, and increasing computational power generate research challenges and provoke widespread interest in mathematical sciences expertise and insight. Democratizing access to this expertise and insight catalyzes meaningful change. Higher education institutions are launching interdisciplinary programs in digital humanities, data science, scientific computation, mathematical modeling, bioinformatics and epigentics to address these challenges. To achieve success, these programs require easy access to state-of-the-art computing environments to support research, teaching and training activities.
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Budget 2017, Naylor’s review, and the Mathematical Sciences in Canada

James Colliander, Director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) Nassif Ghoussoub, Director of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) Ian Hambleton, Director of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Fields) Luc Vinet, Directeur du Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) The direct funding of research initiatives on artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing via Budget 2017, and the release of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review present an opportunity to reflect on the role of mathematical sciences within Canada’s scientific heritage and future, but also on our country’s ways of funding research.
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Fortier's Attack on Academic Freedom

McGill University’s Mission Statement and Statement on Academic Freedom define the values and parameters for how the University should react when the Premier of Quebec lashes out at an article in Maclean’s authored by a scholar at McGill. Before analyzing the situation at McGill, consider two fictional scenarios involving Institute Directors. The UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd wishes to eliminate end-to-end encryption for WhatsApp and other social messaging platforms following the recent Westminster terrorist attack.
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Toward Global Science Excellence

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ministerial mandate letters for Science and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) outline an agenda to investigate and improve the nation’s innovation ecosystem. Roundtable discussions on various themes are taking place across the nation as part of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, an initiative driven by Minister Navdeep Bains (ISED) and Minister Kirsty Duncan (Science). Minister Duncan has also launched Canada’s Fundamental Science Review and empowered an eminent panel chaired by Dr.
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The Lost Opportunity

I will vote no confidence in the UBC Board of Governors. My main reason is that this Board’s governance failure led to massive losses in opportunity. By forcing President Gupta to resign, John Montalbano, Lindsay Gordon and Greg Peet did great harm to UBC, the Province of British Columbia, Canada and our international partners. The consequences of their actions disqualify Mr. Gordon and Mr. Peet from playing any role in selecting the next President.
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Artificial Intelligence as a Service: Text Analysis

The computing infrastructure as a service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) may have originally been conceived as a resource to support their own electronic commerce business but other striking applications emerged. Netflix toppled Blockbuster and transformed the way we consume video atop the AWS infrastructure. Dropbox changed the way we store and share digital resources by building on AWS. My company Crowdmark leverages AWS to store and serve images of student work for evaluation by graders and further analysis.
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