New Professors Lecture Program - Fall 2015

Photo of Professor Emily Standen

Lecturer: Emily Standen (Biology)

Biography: Emily Standen completed an MSc degree at the University of British Columbia looking at energy use in migrating adult salmon. This led to a PhD at Harvard University to understand how fish fins are used to maintain and control body position during swimming. The functional flexibility of fish fins in water led her to question what fins might be able to do on land and sparked her interest in the adaptability of the vertebrate musculo-skeletal system.  She developed a project to test the extreme ability of fish fins out of water and returned to Canada as an NSERC PDF and Tomlinson PDF at McGill University. Here she raised fish on land and quantified the biomechanical and anatomical changes in terrestrialized fish. She is now a member of the Comparative Physiology Group in the Biology Department here at uOttawa.

Title: Evolutionary and Comparative Biomechanics

Abstract: I am an organismal biologist and I am interested primarily in how animals move.  In particular I am interested in the extreme performance of musculo-skeletal systems. I look at extreme performance in two ways. First, in a comparative context, using animals that have evolved extreme behaviours to estimate the functional limits of the vertebrate musculo-skeletal system. Second, in an evolutionary context, by exposing animals to novel environments and looking at short term behavioural plasticity to assess the flexibility of performance upon which adaptive selection might act. I use muscle physiology techniques in living animals to quantify muscle activation patterns and shortening combined with force plates and hydrodynamic visualization to estimate forces animals are producing when they move.  In addition I use traditional tissue histology technics as well as microCT and MRI to digitally image tissues insitu and better understand how anatomy influences biomechanics. Although my main focus is evolutionary I am also interested in the biomimetic and biorobotic application of my data. 

Photo of Anne Broadbent

Lecturer: Anne Broadbent (Mathematics)

Biography: Anne Broadbent is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Ottawa, where she holds the University Research Chair in Quantum Information. Dr. Broadbent leads a research group that investigates the power and limitations of quantum information in communications, cryptography and information theory. Her many recognitions and awards include the 2010 John Charles Polanyi Prize and the 2009 NSERC Doctoral Prize.  She was previously a CIFAR Global Scholar and NSERC Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Quantum Computing (University of Waterloo). She holds an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal.

Title: The power of Interaction

Abstract: Quantum computers promise to revolutionize the way we process and share data, giving us access to unprecedented levels of security and computational power. Experimental implementations of quantum computers are in their infancy, but already we are faced with the following conundrum: if quantum computers are exponentially more powerful than their classical counterparts, how can we verify the outcome of a quantum computation?

In this context, the scientific method of "predict and verify" appears to fail dramatically: these computations are so complex that they are impossible to predict! For a solution to this problem, we turn to theoretical computer science, where it is well established that interaction dramatically increases the power of a verification process. Thus, we envisage the experimenter as being part of the experiment: this enables access to the setup in new ways (for example, by keeping some local choices private, the experimenter can execute a repeated "blind taste taste").

Inspired by this paradigm, we propose an interactive solution to the verification of quantum computations, and also conjecture interaction as a key component for future scientific discovery and innovation.

Photo of Professor Stephen Newman

Lecturer: Stephen Newman (Chemistry)

Biography: Stephen obtained his B.Sc in Chemistry in 2008 at Dalhousie University. He then moved to Toronto where he completed his doctoral studies in organic synthesis. During this time, he investigated new pathways for palladium catalyzed C-C bond-forming reactions. Upon graduating, he moved to Boston to carry out research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow, he applied his knowledge of synthesis and catalysis to the development of continuous processes for chemical manufacturing in collaboration with industrial partners. In Summer 2014, Stephen joined the Center for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI)  at the University of Ottawa as an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair to apply strategies in flow chemistry and transition metal catalysis to the development of new, industrially relevant chemical reactions.

Title: Continuous chemical synthesis in academia and industry

Abstract: Chemical synthesis has played a critical role in the modernization of society over the past two centuries. However, the benefits of chemistry comes with a cost. Raw materials and energy are needed, large amounts of waste can be generated, and environmental damage can occur. In this seminar, the use of continuous flow chemistry techniques will be discussed as a potential pathway to make synthesis a more safe, efficient, and sustainable practice.

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