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UBC applauds boost in federal research investment, commitment to physics, math

February 11, 2014

The University of British Columbia celebrates the significant increase in federal government support for research announced today in Budget 2014, in particular the creation of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as part of the budget tabled today in Parliament, the $1.5 billion, ten-year commitment to the Canada First Research Excellence Fund marks the beginning of a concerted national effort to propel top performing institutions onto the world stage.

UBC computer scientist wins $250,000 fellowship for research on how markets make decisions

February 3, 2014

UBC computer scientist Kevin Leyton-Brown is one of six Canadian researchers awarded an EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship today, valued at more than $250,000.

UBC, TRIUMF physicists earn national award for antimatter research

February 3, 2014

A Canadian team including UBC physicist Walter Hardy and TRIUMF researchers have won the NSERC John C Polanyi Award for their work in creating, capturing and characterizing the antihydrogen atom. The award "honours an individual or team whose Canadian-based research has led to a recent outstanding advance in the natural sciences or engineering" and recognizes the "seamless collaboration among the multidisciplinary team, their mastery of multiple technologies, and their tight integration with the international collaboration" based at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

How the UBC creators of AutoStitch revolutionized computer vision and sparked a spinoff tsunami

January 31, 2014

When David Lowe first wrote a computer algorithm to identify objects in images, he never envisioned it popping up on nearly half a million iPhones and in supermarket checkout lines. But since its research publication in 1999, the Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) algorithm, developed by Lowe, has been licensed by more than 20 companies, making it the most widely adopted invention in University of British Columbia history.

Climate change-related temperature swings leave insects vulnerable

January 29, 2014

Increasingly extreme swings in temperature may put some insects at higher risk than previously thought, according to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.

Ocean acidification research should increase focus on species’ ability to adapt

January 27, 2014

Not enough current research on marine ecosystems focuses on species' long-term adaptation to ocean acidification, creating a murky picture of our oceans' future, according to an international study led by a UBC zoologist.

How a versatile gut bacterium helps us get our daily dietary fibre

January 19, 2014

UBC researchers have discovered the genetic machinery that turns a common gut bacterium into the swiss army knife of the digestive tract -- helping us to metabolize a main component of dietary fibre from the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. The findings illuminate the specialized roles played by key members of the vast microbial community living in the human gut, and could inform the development of tailored microbiota transplants to improve intestinal health after antibiotic use or illness. The research will be published in the journal Nature on Sunday.

Improved maps, old school pencils, await UBC geology students this summer

January 15, 2014

This May, UBC geology students doing field studies will be able to put theory into practise -- and avoid cliffs -- using new base maps funded through Shell Canada’s Campus Ambassador Program (CAP). Every summer UBC geology students hone their field techniques at the Geological Field School based near Oliver, BC, charting the type and location of rock outcrops onto base maps. However, the program’s old maps don’t show the topography at the same detail the students are expected to map at.

Newly discovered three-star system to challenge Einstein’s theory of General Relativity

January 5, 2014

A newly discovered system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense pulsar–all packed within a space smaller than the Earth’s orbit around the sun–is enabling astronomers to probe a range of cosmic mysteries, including the very nature of gravity itself. The international team, which includes UBC astronomer Ingrid Stairs, reports their findings in the journal Nature today.

Catching the big wave: 'Universal ripple' could hold the secret to high-temperature superconductivity

December 19, 2013

UBC researchers have discovered a universal electronic state that controls the behavior of high-temperature superconducting copper-oxide ceramics. The work, published this week in the journal Science, reveals the universal existence of so-called ‘charge-density-waves’ -- static ripples formed by the self-organization of electrons in the material’s normal state. These ripples carry the seeds out of which superconductivity emerges.

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