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October 2018

BizSkule Career Series: Forging a New Path: Making Your Degree Work for You

October 23 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 55 St. George Street + Google Map

Discover how your U of T education can take you in directions you never expected. BizSkule and You’re Next Career Network are proud to present “Forge a New Path,” featuring an expert panel of Engineering alumni whose degrees opened the door to careers considered unconventional for an engineer. Learn from alumni who have found success in consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, law and medicine. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to make important connections, network with fellow U of T alumni, and to…

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MIE: The Potential for Personalization in Web Search

October 26 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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SUSAN DUMAIS, Microsoft Traditionally web search engines returned the same results to everyone who asks the same question.  However, using a single ranking for everyone in every context at every point in time limits how well a search engine can do in providing relevant information.  In this talk I present a framework to quantify the “potential for personalization” which is used to characterize the extent to which different people have different intents for the same query.  I describe several examples of…

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November 2018

MIE: Data-Driven Appointment Book Design via Mathematical Programming

November 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Lassonde Mining Building, 170 College St
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E3 Canada
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YOSSI LUZON, University of Toronto Appointment Booking (AB) processes are commonly employed for managing service systems such as law court rooms and hospital surgical units that have limited resources and high rates of demand. Since various service types are typically involved, as well as demand and service duration variability, these processes are highly complex to efficiently control. In practice, the platform through which the AB process is applied is the system ’appointment book’. Relying on modern data technologies, which offer a vast amount of data of past demand and system performance statistics, the objective of this research is to establish an effective Preplanned-Appointment-Book (PAB) design via mathematical programming methods. The PAB design must adhere to some…

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ECE: Building Startups in Canada – Tales from the Trenches

November 1 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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RICHARD REINER Richard will talk about the experience of building a high-growth startup in Canada, drawing on the stories of half a dozen high-tech startups he has led, including companies now owned by Intel, Dell, and Trend.  Richard will talk about the (many) mistakes he made along the way, surviving the resulting near-death experiences, navigating through exits and life post-acquisition, and a few lessons learned. Dr. Richard Reiner is a serial entrepreneur and company builder, active as an executive, investor,…

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CHEME: 2018-19 AEESP Distinguished Lecture: Can Engineering Controls Shape the Drinking Water Microbiome and Reduce the Risk of Opportunistic Infections?

November 12 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2AE Canada
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LUTGARDE RASKIN, University of Michigan Can engineering controls shape the drinking water microbiome and reduce the risk of opportunistic infections?  Biological treatment processes and particularly biofiltration have gained tremendous popularity in the drinking water field over the past decade. However, we do not yet understand how biofiltration, disinfection, and transport of treated water through distribution systems and building plumbing influence tap water and human microbiomes. Most microbes in biofilters mediate positive impacts through removal of contaminants, but others have the potential…

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Skule Lunch & Learn: Computer Simulations: From Designing Integrated Circuits to Understanding the Human Heart

November 14 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3 Canada
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$25

Join us this month as Prof. Piero Triverio discusses about his mathematical models to understand and design complex electrical systems. The methods developed by his group have been applied to integrated circuits, meta surface antennas and power cables. In the final part of the talk, Prof. Triverio and his collaborator, Dr. Laura Jimenez Juan, will speak about their joint effort to develop mathematical models for blood flow in the human body, which can help physicians understand the root causes of cardiovascular diseases. Prof.…

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ECE: Combining EEG and fMRI: a powerful tool to study epilepsy

November 15 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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JEAN GOTMAN, McGill University The EEG is commonly used to help diagnose epilepsy and to localize the region of the brain from which seizures are likely to originate. The spatial resolution of EEG is however not very high and the EEG cannot see deep in the brain because of the attenuation of the electrical field with distance. If the EEG is recorded during functional MRI scanning (fMRI), it is possible to study the metabolic changes caused by these epileptic discharges (increases…

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MIE: A Unified Framework for Sequential Decision Analytics

November 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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WARREN POWELL, Princeton University The problem of making sequential decisions under uncertainty spans a wide range of applications that arise in science, engineering, business, transportation, energy, health and finance.  In contrast with deterministic optimization that enjoys a widely used canonical framework, the academic study of decisions under uncertainty is a fragmented field.  Communities working on these problems (broadly known as stochastic optimization) include operations research (stochastic programming, Markov decision processes, simulation optimization, decision analysis, bandit problems), computer science (reinforcement learning, bandit…

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CHEME: Closed-loop Discovery of Materials: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Methods for the Design of Active Organic Materials

November 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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ALÁN ASPURU-GUZIK , University of Toronto Hosted by the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Lectures at the Leading Edge enhance our culture of excellence by providing a rich view of the broad landscape and far-reaching horizons of chemical engineering and applied chemistry education and research. Alán Aspuru-Guzik is professor of Chemistry and Computer Science at the University of Toronto and Canada 150 Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry. Alán was hired by Harvard University in 2006 and was promoted to…

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ECE: Energy-Efficient Edge Computing for AI-driven Applications 

November 22 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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VIVIENNE SZE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Edge computing near the sensor is preferred over the cloud due to privacy and/or latency concerns for a wide range of applications including robotics/drones, self-driving cars, smart Internet of Things, and portable/wearable electronics.  However, at the sensor there are often stringent constraints on energy consumption and cost in addition to throughput and accuracy requirements. In this talk, we will describe how joint algorithm and hardware design can be used to reduce energy consumption while…

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MIE: Small-Scale Soft Robotics

November 30 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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METIN SITTI, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Soft functional active materials could enable physical intelligence for small-scale (from a few millimeters down to a few micrometers overall size) devices and robots by providing them unique capabilities, such as shape changing and programming, physical adaptation, safe interaction with their environment, and multi-functional and drastically diverse dynamics. In this talk, our recent activities on design, manufacturing, and control of new shape-programmable active soft matter and untethered soft robots at the milli/microscale are…

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December 2018

CHEME: Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Foundation and Therapeutic Applications

December 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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RON WEISS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Synthetic biology is revolutionizing how we conceptualize and approach the engineering of biological systems. Recent advances in the field are allowing us to expand beyond the construction and analysis of small gene networks towards the implementation of complex multicellular systems with a variety of applications. In this talk I will describe our integrated computational / experimental approach to engineering complex behavior in a variety of cells, with a focus on mammalian cells. In our research,…

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January 2019

CHEME: Reaction Mechanisms and Structure Sensitivity for Heterogeneous Catalyst Discovery from First-Principles

January 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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MANOS MAVRIKAKIS, University of Wisconsin – Madison Reaction Mechanisms and Structure Sensitivity for Heterogeneous Catalyst Discovery from First-Principles First-principles calculations have emerged as a key contributor towards the fundamental understanding of heterogeneous catalysis and the educated discovery of improved catalytic materials. By choosing the example of formic acid (HCOOH) decomposition on transition metals and alloys, we demonstrate how a deep mechanistic understanding of selective versus unselective routes can help with designing more selective catalysts. HCOOH is a simple molecule that is…

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CHEME: Thermodynamics and Transport in Desalination Systems Engineering

January 23, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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JOHN LIENHARD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thermodynamics and transport in desalination systems engineering  The world’s renewable fresh water supply may be considered to be the difference between precipitation over land and evaporation; and this supply is essentially fixed while world population has risen sharply and the water demands of growing economies continue to rise. As a result, water scarcity is an increasing problem throughout the world, with water shortages impacting both rural and urban populations and with substantial environmental damage as…

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February 2019

ECE: Distributed protocols for cooperative multi-robot systems

February 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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JEFF SHAMMA, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) In cooperative multi-robot systems, there is a group of robots that seek to achieve a collective task as a team. Each individual robot makes decisions based on available local information as well as limited communications with neighboring robots. The challenge is to design local protocols that result in desired global outcomes. In contrast to a traditional centralized control paradigm, both measurements and decisions are distributed among multiple actors. This talk…

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March 2019

CHEME: Going Beyond the Fads and Jargon: What Does Research Tell Us about Teaching for High Quality Learning in Science and Engineering?

March 6, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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JENNIFER CASE, Virginia Tech Going beyond the fads and jargon: What does research tell us about teaching for high quality learning in science and engineering?  There is much contemporary talk on how university teaching is outdated, and how radical change is needed to accommodate the needs of current students and the expectations of the workplace. Many of these calls, whether for active or problem-based learning fall into a longer and broader tradition of progressivism in education. To interrogate their applicability, a…

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ECE: Decentralization in Energy Systems: Absorbing Solar and Storage into Grids

March 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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DUNCAN CALLAWAY, University of California, Berkeley As prices for solar photovoltaics and battery energy storage plummet, grids around the globe are undergoing tremendous changes.  How should we design and operate grids in the future in the presence of these technologies? This talk will cover some of my group’s recent efforts to answer this question.  First, I will focus on a new approach to decentralized network optimization – a variant of the primal-dual subgradient method – that can be used to…

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MIE: Bone Bioengineering: Microstructure, Mechanics, Mechanobiology, and Beyond

March 15, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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EDWARD GUO, Columbia University Bone Bioengineering Laboratory is developing innovative technology in microstructural assessments, biomechanical modeling, multiscale and mechanobiological approaches in skeletal research.  Bone Bioengineering has both basic science and clinical significances in many medical fields, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or intervertebral disc degenerations.  I will highlight our development of a three-dimensional imaging analysis and modeling technique for trabecular bone microstructure, its applications in basic science research of bone mechanics, and clinical applications in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.  In parallel to…

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CHEME: Metabolic Imaging at the Single-Cell Scale: Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Mass Spectrometry Imaging

March 20, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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IAN GILMORE, National Physical Laboratory, UK Metabolic Imaging at the Single-Cell Scale: Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Mass Spectrometry Imaging Super-resolution optical microscopy using fluorescent labels has been transformational in allowing the machinery of life, e.g. proteins, to be seen at the nanoscale. There is a great desire in the life-sciences to achieve this level of insight for metabolites. This will allow unprecedented ability to understand rewiring of metabolic networks involved in disease, understanding of the uptake of drugs in…

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ECE: Wireless Bioelectronics

March 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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ADA S. Y. POON, Stanford University Miniaturized electronics, when placed inside the body, can wirelessly monitor and modulate internal activity and thus hold promise as a new class of treatments for disorders. The development of such bioelectronic medicines requires wireless interfaces that are tiny and operate deep in a complex electromagnetic environment. In this talk, I will describe a new method for electromagnetic energy transfer that exploits near-field interactions with biological tissue to wirelessly power tiny devices anywhere in the…

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CHEME: Microbial Electrosynthesis for a Carbon-Neutral Energy and Chemicals Economy

March 27, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wallberg Memorial Building, 200 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M5T 3A1 Canada
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ALFRED SPORMANN, Stanford University Microbial Electrosynthesis for a Carbon-Neutral Energy and Chemicals Economy

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April 2019

ECE: Nanocarbon Interconnects

April 11, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sandford Fleming, 10 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S3G4 Canada
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CARY YANG, Santa Clara University Continuous downward scaling in silicon integrated circuit technology into the sub-20 nm regime has created critical challenges in chip manufacturing, among them, reliability and performance of on-chip interconnects. Current interconnect materials, Cu and W, face increased reliability challenges in the nanoscale as a result of electromigration failures at high current densities. Materials such as nanocarbons, metal silicides, cobalt, ruthenium, and metallic nanowires are being considered as potential replacements for Cu and W. In particular, due…

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MIE: Making Haptics and its Design Accessible

April 12, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Mechanical Engineering Building, 5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8 Canada
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KARON MACLEAN, University of British Columbia Today’s advances in tactile sensing and wearable, IOT and context-aware computing are spurring new ideas about  how to configure touch-centered interactions in terms of roles and utility, which in turn expose new technical and social design questions. But while haptic actuation, sensing and control are improving, incorporating them into a real-world design process is extremely difficult and poses a major obstacle to adoption into everyday technology. In this talk I’ll overview highlights chosen from of…

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