Geo+Social Analytics for Healthy Urban Environments

We will develop new computational tools that will mine and classify social media for statements that represent varying types and degrees of emotional stress. These tools will allow us to apply geospatial analysis methods to define dynamic stress landscapes, or stresscapes, that will help us to understand how stress varies from place-to-place and from time-to-time within urban centres. This will lead to new insights into how emotional stress is related to particular conditions (e.g. traffic congestion), place types and designs (e.g.

Combinatorics and Algorithms for Video-on-Demand

The project involves constructing and evaluating mathematical algorithms for scheduling media content (TV shows, sports games, movies) in video-on-demand systems, typically on virtual machines in the cloud. Although the problem is stated as a real-world problem, it is, at heart, a mathematical one—an understanding of the real-world issues is easy enough to acquire if the student already is keen on and knowledgeable in mathematics.

Cultural Capital and Return Migration to Turkey

This research project studies Turkish university professors who have spent significant periods of time living in the United States or Canada but have decided to move back to Turkey. I want to understand why these professors choose to move back to Turkey after spending so much time in North America, and what factors cause them to leave. This project will take place in Istanbul, Turkey with possible trips to Ankara and other cities to meet my subjects. The research will include interviews with twenty-five professors from various backgrounds.

Economic Analysis to Determine Gaps and Challenges Experienced by Women Owned Businesses in York Region and Simcoe County

This research will investigate needs that women entrepreneurs in York Region and Simcoe County have that, if addressed, could strengthen the success of these businesses, with a particular focus on smaller companies. We will examine cultural, industry, sociological and competency factors that influence the performance of women-owned businesses and self-employed women from an economic standpoint, with a particular focus on productivity and profitability of women-owned businesses.

Transforming Learning Analytics Into Teaching and Learning: A Collaboration BetweenBitmaker Labs and Wilfrid Laurier University

Data-driven decision-making plays an increasingly important role in education (Mandinach & Gummer, 2013) and administrators now require educators to use data to inform practice (Earl & Seashore Louis, 2013). Furthermore, “harnessing big data and predictive analytics has transformed many industries, yet to date, the analytics to supportnext generation learning has been missing from education” (Baker, 2013, para. 3). Therefore, the purpose of this research is to investigate how educators use learning analytics to inform instructional practices in order to ultimately improve student performance.

Safe Cities, Urban Politics and Social Policy in North America

This project will fund Emily Diemert, a Wilfrid Laurier University undergraduate student, to collect research on the intersection between safer cities initiatives and social policies in Mexico City. Emily will be an exchange student at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Mexico City while also gaining experience as a researcher on data collection, coding and analysis of public documents.

A Study of Clients’ and Staff Perspectives of the Guelph Assertive Community Treatment Team’s Use of Community Treatment Orders

This study will give voice to the experiences and opinions of men and women diagnosed with serious mental illness who are clients of the Guelph Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) and at the same time subject to Community Treatment Orders (CTOs). Instituted in 2005, CTOs require that individuals abide by certain conditions in order to live in the community; they are intended to provide comprehensive community support for these individuals such that admission to hospital is decreased. The study will also increase knowledge about how and why CTOs are used by service providers.

Developmental Evaluation of the STAR Recovery Centre

This research project centres on a new recovery centre for vulnerable adults with complex mental health and addictions issues in Toronto. Recovery is an approach to mental health that values person-centred care and self-direction. Recovery centres are educational centres, based in the community, that provide programs that help people live normal, meaningful lives in their communities. This research project will be an evaluation of the early stages of a recovery centre.

Continuing an Evaluation of the Skills for Safer Living Program by Developing and Testing an Outcomes Evaluation Measure

The proposed research project is an evaluation of the outcomes of a suicide prevention program, Skills for Safer Living (SFSL). The program is an intervention that targets individuals with a high risk of suicide as indicated by multiple prior suicide attempts. SFSL has been adapted from a previous program that has shown positive outcomes, but an evaluation of SFSL outcomes has yet to be done.

The Smile Epidemic: Investigating the Impact of a Digital Social Media Gratitude Intervention

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal can enhance well-being. The Smile Epidemic Inc. is a start-up company that has developed a digital, photographic social media update on the traditional (private, written) gratitude journal. The Smile Epidemic invites people to express in a few words what made them happy or grateful that day, and to take a photo of that message. People can them post the photos in an online community (see and share via other social media (e.g., facebook).