We have some fantastic speakers lined up for Logicon 2014, including local professors, researchers, and science writers!
Corporate Analyst, M.Sc Particle Astrophysics
Rhys received his first bachelor of science in Physics and Mathematics from the U of A in 2009, before getting his second BSc in Honors in Astrophysics in 2010. In his undergrad he researched x-ray binary systems and dark matter detection techniques. He then spent a few years getting a Masters in Particle Astrophysics while working on the DEAP-3600 dark matter experiment which is currently being built at North America's deepest underground science laboratory, SNOLAB, near Sudbury, Ontario. His masters project focused on a range of topics including photon detector testing, electronic signal processor testing, and Monte Carlo simulation of particle interactions. During his time as a master's student, he helped teach classes in undergraduate experimental physics at the U of A, and visited various national particle physics labs such as SNOLAB, TRIUMF, and FERMIlab. After working on his favorite dark matter experiment as a Research Assistant in the Department of Physics, Rhys recently made the transition into industry as a Corporate Analyst, where he now uses his problem solving and mathematical powers for the good of the common taxpayer.
John P. Davis is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Alberta. Prof. Davis obtained his Master's and Ph.D from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 2003 and 2008, respectively, working on superfluid helium-3. Before this, he did his undergraduate degree in physics at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After his Ph.D. his post-doctoral research was in nanomagnetism and nanomechanics at the University of Alberta, where he was hired as a faculty member in October of 2010. He was awarded the Sloan Research Fellowship in 2013 and the Provost's Award for Early Achievement of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2014.
Prof. Davis describes his research interests as the following:
The focus of my research program is to combine low-temperature physics with nanomechanics, which is the study of tiny vibrating objects. Low-temperature physics is important because of the variety of interesting and complex phenomena that occur only at low temperatures, primarily because thermal energy tends to destroy or mask quantum states.
Robbin Derry is a professor at the University of Lethbridge, Edmonton Campus, where she teaches Management Strategy, Environmental Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, and supervises graduate students in the U of L MSc., Management program. Robbin studied French at Dartmouth College, and after graduation apprenticed at a cooking school in Paris, under the guidance of Julia Child. Returning to the US, she worked in catering and restaurants on the east coast of the U.S. Extricating herself from the (occasionally corrupt) world of restaurants, Robbin worked to understand ethical decision processes in business organizations while earning an MBA and a PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. University teaching turned out to be as satisfying as feeding people once was, with significantly better hours and working conditions. She has taught and conducted research at several business schools, including the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. Her research takes a critical approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, arguing that popular CSR and green branding for the purpose of increased consumption is counter- productive for society. Robbin is delighted at the advent of spring so she can get back on her bike and commute through the River Valley trails.
Associate Professor, Psychology
Lynne is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at MacEwan University. She earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology from McMaster University where she specialized in social learning, animal behaviour, and evolutionary psychology. She is the co-author of a textbook on animal learning, and currently conducts research that examines the role of social dominance for the interpersonal interactions and evaluation. Lynne is very focused on teaching about psychology but also teaching critical thinking and analysis and received the 2013 Innovation in Teaching Award from the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculty Association.
Dr Krauss is a particle physicist by training and nuclear physicist based on the kind of experiments he performs. He runs a laboratory at the University of Alberta that allows him to detect very rare sources of radioactivity in many ordinary materials. He is always on the lookout for materials that do not emit radioactive radon gas so that better dark matter experiments can be build using these materials. He has been teaching at the University of Alberta since 2007.
PhD Candidate, Condensed Matter Physics
Ross Lockwood hails from Winfield, British Columbia, but has called Edmonton his home for the last 10 years. That is, until this March, when he departed on an expedition to simulated Mars. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Honors Physics at the University of Alberta in 2008, and is currently in the last year of his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics. He enjoys exploration and photography in his role as a simulated astronaut and scuba diving instructor. His background is being put to the test on simulated Mars, where he's playing the role of Systems Engineer and Science Officer. Ross is documenting his experience with HI-SEAS on his personal blog, spincrisis.net, as well as Facebook, and Twitter.
Dr. Marc MacKenzie completed his Ph.D. in Physics with a specialization in Medical Physics at the University of Alberta. He is currently Director of Medical Physics for Community Oncology for the province of Alberta, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Physics, where he teaches and supervises graduate students. He is the author or co-author of numerous peer reviewed papers, and specializes in the application of radiation in the treatment of cancer. Marc will not be speaking on behalf of his employer, but rather is basing his talk on his vast experience.
Marc is also an Advisory Fellow for the Centre For Inquiry Canada, and has appeared Global TV's Alberta Primetime, CHED's Rob Breckenridge and Rutherford shows, and CJSR's Skeptically Speaking to discuss the health research pertaining to such things as WiFi, cell phones and radiation in general.
In his copious spare time, Marc is a writer, broadcaster and martial artist. He is also the undisputed pancake king of his house, and possibly of the entire south side of Edmonton, although that has not been formally proven.
Dr. Christopher Madan has conducted research on a wide variety of topics in psychology, ranging from memory strategies and decision making to emotional processing and brain imaging. In addition to publishing numerous peer-reviewed research papers and a book on data analysis methods, Christopher is a strong advocate for getting undergraduate students involved in research. Chris can be found on twitter (@cMadan) and more about his work is posted on his website cmadan.com.
Sharon Morsink is an associate professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta, where she teaches physics and astronomy courses. She is also involved with astronomy outreach in the Edmonton area and helps run the University of Alberta's observatory on the roof of the CCIS building. She recently returned from a 8-month sabbatical visit to the University of Arizona in Tucson AZ, where she was conducting research on neutron stars, tiny stars that can spin 600 times each second, as well as taking many thousands of photos of the desert.
Virginia Pow is currently the acting Maps Librarian for U of A. In conjunction to working with the maps collection, Virginia is also serving as the Subject Librarian for the Circumpolar Collection and for Earth and Atmospheric Studies. With a background in Geography, she is very excited to be taking on these new roles. Previously, Virginia was the Instruction Librarian for the Humanities and Social Science Library. Virginia enjoys being outside, drinking vast amounts of coffee and working with amazing students at U of A.
Producer & Host, Science for the People
By night (and sometimes very early in the mornings) Rachelle is the Producer and one of the hosts of Edmonton-based science radio show "Science for the People", previously known as "Skeptically Speaking". Syndicated weekly across North America, "Science for the People" explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what's in the news and on the shelves. This provides Rachelle with a purpose for all the pop-science she reads (though she would do it anyway). By day, Rachelle works as a front-end developer and UI/UX designer for local tech company Redman Technologies.
Alan Thompson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in mathematics at the University of Alberta, where he splits his time between research and undergraduate teaching. Before moving to Edmonton he resided in the UK, where he obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Oxford.
Alan’s research focuses on algebraic geometry, a branch of pure mathematics with close ties to theoretical physics and string theory. He is also interested in the promotion of the ideas, methods, and value of pure mathematics to those outside of the mathematics community.