Social Connectedness Among Marginalized Older Adults and Caregivers: Building Capacity within COSCO

The MITACS grant will provide initial steps in the identification of organizations in BC that either currently provide, or could potentially provide, services to older adults to foster social connectedness to reduce social isolation and loneliness. The student researcher will collaborate with the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO) to review and update their current list of member organizations (74) for the purpose of obtaining information about their mandates using website or paper-based information that is publicly available.

Investigating Southern Resident and Bigg’s Killer Whale Clicks to Explore Ecotype-Specific Detectors

The Salish Sea contains many shipping routes frequently used by the endangered Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW). To protect the declining population of SRKW, current efforts are focused on limiting encounters between SRKW and vessels. To acoustically locate SRKW in the Salish Sea, detectors must be capable of distinguishing SRKW and Bigg’s killer whale vocalizations. This project will investigate whether SRKW and Bigg’s have distinctive echolocation clicks.

Microbial Dyes

Lite-1 utilizes innovative technologies like synthetic biology and biofabrication in pursuit of a novel solution. Many bacteria naturally produce colourful, non-toxic pigments (Ahmad, et. Al, 2013). Through the lens of design, we identify and study organisms that produce the market’s desired colours. Lite-1 dyes reduce water pollution, are safe for workers as well as the ecosystem, and eliminate our dependence on non-renewable resources.

New/Mode Electoral Representative Data Aggregation

New/Mode is a Canada-based social enterprise that facilitates communication between elected representatives and their constituents on the behalf of progressive NGOs. This project will bring novel machine learning technologies to bear in an effort to improve accuracy and efficiency in the maintenance and evolution of a repository of contact information for these elected representatives.

Virtual Humans for Visual Effects: Machine Learning Methods for Face, Head and Body Performances

Today's TV shows and films are supported by a large industry of visual effects studios for post-processing. To enhance actor performances, virtual humans are created and used to provide hyper-realistic 3D renderings of actors' performances. The artists working on these high-quality virtual humans currently perform a heavy workflow of scanning actors in 4D to obtain hi-fidelity textures, rigging body models and capturing motion capture performances to apply adjustments to virtual humans and creatures.

Amplifying Indigenous Voices: A Comparative Analysis of Indigenous Publishing Initiatives in Canada and Australia

The research hopes to improve the ways that institutions and organizations in Canada can support Indigenous literature, through a comparison of initiatives in Canada and Australia designed for Indigenous creatives in the publishing industry. The project involves two phases. First, initiatives on websites of publishing institutions/organizations in Canada and Australia will be recorded to create an inventory. Second, interviews with key informants from the institutions/organizations will be conducted to provide a richer picture of the data.

Exploring Alternatives with Design Analytics Interfaces: A Human-Centered Approach for Integrating Generative Design and Performance Assessment with Machine Learning-Based Surrogate Modelling

Designing built environments is a complex process that involves generating and evaluating alternative solutions using computational tools. In the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, designers use generative design methods to explore a larger number of alternatives and ML-driven rapid performance prediction to identify potential issues early on. However, separating these tasks hampers creative flow in decision-making.

Advancing iPSC Cell Culture Robotics: Machine Learning for Cell Culture Diagnostics and User Experience Improvement

This proposal focuses on enhancing the automation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture by integrating Machine Learning (ML) models which will lead to more consistent and higher quality cultures. Recently, STEMCELL Technologies has introduced an automated system customized to assist scientists at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute in culturing high-quality iPSCs. The current method of diagnosing the quality of iPSC culture is based on expert judgment, which presents limitations in terms of scalability and consistency.

Accessibility and the Vancouver's Writers Fest

Reducing barriers of access is critical for events that aim to serve their community, as is consulting with groups affected by these barriers in doing so. This research with the Vancouver Writers Fest will focus on the development and implementation of accessibility recommendations at a literary festival, and will highlight the importance of consulting and compensating disabled stakeholders in developing accessibility practices at literary events.

Evaluating self-efficacy and performance outcomes in an elementary school mentoring program

This project will evaluate an elementary school mentoring program, the Learning Buddies Network (LBN), which targets challenged students in reading and math, in terms of its outcomes in respect to the mentee’s self-efficacy beliefs and performance. The intern will consult with senior staff members of the LBN organization to identify improvements and extensions to the existing program evaluation tools and he will develop additional instruments to perform the evaluation.