Paul, Patricia and Jeffery Brantingham (Credit: Simon Fraser University)
Is there a reason why certain areas of town have reputations for being “sketchy,” “dangerous,” or full of crime? What impact does an urban area’s design and layout have on promoting criminal activity?
One Simon Fraser University husband and wife research team–Paul and Patricia Brantingham–have been working to analyze urban crime patterns and find solutions and recommendations for how to make things better. Specifically, they study the impact of factors such as the placement of certain buildings, transit systems and roads as well as hours of shopping centres on the frequency and severity of crime in an area.
The criminologists, who founded SFU’s Institute of Canadian Urban Research Studies (ICURS) in the early 1990s, have recently been given a monetary show of support for their work in the form of a RCMP supported $4-million, five-year renewal of their research chairs to . . . → Read More: SFU Researchers Fight Crime with Urban Design
Home is where the heart is, but is it always safe for small children? Simon Fraser University‘s Bruce Lanphear is working to find out—and suggests Canadian policy makers do the same.
“Injuries that occur in the home are the most common and preventable injuries. Cuts, bruises, burns, poisonings or falls are not usually severe or fatal, but falling down stairs or out of an open window can result in serious injuries or death. Ingestions, fires or poisonings occur frequently and can be serious or fatal.”
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Home Injury Hazard Reduction, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in April 2011, is a two-year study out of Cincinnati, OH exploring the use of safety devices in 300 households with young children and their effectiveness in protecting well-being, versus the households that used no safety devices at all.
Bruce Lanphear (Credit: . . . → Read More: Safeguarding Children: SFU Study on the Efficacy of the Baby Gate
The effects of this month’s devastating earthquakes in Japan are being felt along the British Columbian coastline, according to researchers from Simon Fraser University.
After testing seaweed and rainwater samples, the researchers have picked up on higher than usual levels of the radioisotope iodine-131. The increased levels are likely the result of radioactivity stemming from damage to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor in Japan—which has been suffering from cooling system failure since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March.
However, despite the increased radiation levels reaching Canada, SFU nuclear scientist Kris Starosta stresses that the public is not in immediate danger or risk.
“As of now, the levels we’re seeing are not harmful to humans. We’re basing this on Japanese studies following the Chernobyl incident in 1986 where levels of iodine-131 were four times higher than what we’ve detected in our rainwater so far,” Starosta . . . → Read More: SFU Researchers Investigate Radiation on B.C. Shores
In a world where most of us are far more likely be playing Angry Birds in our spare time than reading a good book, it is no wonder than literacy skills are being threatened. With this in mind, Simon Fraser University education professor emerita Selma Wassermann is investigating ways to supplement traditional teaching methods with modern technologies as a way to bolster literacy levels among elementary and secondary school students.
Wassermann developed a new app for the iPad, called the My Word! Reader, as a resource for students struggling with reading to learn and improve their reading skills at their own pace.
“In my dream world, I would hope the high-tech tools can be used as supplementary resources that complement what a teacher does, thus freeing the teacher to do much, much more with individual kids and with the curriculum,” says Wassermann.
The app strives to assist users . . . → Read More: Oh My Word! SFU Professor uses Innovate Apps to Promote Literacy
Rita Levi Montalcini (Photo Credit: McGill University)
Rita Levi Motalcini has received an honorary degree from McGill University in an Italian ceremony–the first McGill honorary doctorate granted on foreign soil. Motalcini received the degree in honour of her contributions to medicine and science. [McGill University]
Adam Sarty (Photo Credit: Saint Mary's University)
Saint Mary’s University Professor of physics Dr. Adam Sarty has been awarded a 3M Teaching Fellowship. [Saint Mary's University]
Kieran Egan (Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University)
Simon Fraser University education professor Kieran Egan’s book The Future of Education: Reimagining Our Schools from the Ground Up has been awarded a 2011 Outstanding Book Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). [Simon Fraser . . . → Read More: Recognizing Research: Honourary Degrees, Teaching Awards and Best Books
Dr. Dongya Yang (SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations)
More than seventy years after her mysterious disappearance while flying over the Pacific Ocean, researchers from Simon Fraser University are using modern DNA and forensic testing technologies to try to put Amelia Earhart to rest.
Amelia Earhart was one of the first and most famous female pilots after rising to fame for her aviation skills in the 1920’s. Earhart and her navigator disappeared in 1937 while attempting to complete a circumnavigational flight around the globe. Since her disappearance, there has been much speculation about her whereabouts.
Led by forensic scientist Dongya Yang, SFU scientists will analyze the saliva Earhart used to seal a series of four letters to collect samples of Earhart’s genetic markers, DNA. If the researchers are able to ascertain a reliable sample of her DNA, they will be able to create a genetic profile for the . . . → Read More: Saliva Solutions: SFU Researchers Attempt to Use DNA to Determine What Happened to Amelia Earhart
David Vocadlo (Credit: Simon Fraser University)
Glycobiology Glee: Simon Fraser University‘s David Vocadlo has received a 2011 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for his research in the field of glycobiology. Vocadlo, a professor of chemistry at the university, focuses his current research on treatment f diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. [Simon Fraser University] Other E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship winners—recognized for their promise in science or engineering while being faculty members at Canadian universities— include Andrea Damascelli, Alexander Litvak, Roberto Morandotti, Ruth Signorell and Boris Worm. [NSERC]
Brian Chen (Credit: McGill University)
Brain Wires: McGill University Neurologist Brian Chen has won a Sloan Research Fellowship for him research in neural circuitry and its effects on mental disorders. The fellowship will provide $50,000 of funding to Chen’s research over two years. [McGill University] Hot Research Rewarded: Carleton . . . → Read More: Recognizing Research: David Vocadlo, Brian Chen, Paul Simms
(Photo creditL Pennington)
While perusing the local British Columbia liquor stores you may have noticed the “B.C. Wine” section gradually growing in size and selection. Although this may seem like a good thing on the surface for wine drinkers and wine growers, Simon Fraser University political science Professor Andy Hira begs to differ.
Wineries in B.C. have been continuously growing since 1992, when the NAFTA trade agreement between Canada, the USA and Mexico was established. This agreement gradually eliminated most trade barriers between the three countries, therefore allowing the wine industry to not only flourish in Canada but other countries as well. Until now, that is.
In a study entitled “The Wine Industry in British Columbia: A Closed Wine but Ready for Harvest,” Hira dives into the complicated workings of the wine industry and whether or not it is fated to succeed in B.C. Much to my dismay, . . . → Read More: SFU Report on The Fate of the Wine Industry in Beautiful British Columbia
Photo Credit: mecredis
Ever hacked a game or unlocked a cell phone? Relax. According to a new, award-winning study from researchers at Simon Fraser University, companies should be thankful rather than angry with you.
The study, entitled “Creative Consumers: Awareness, Attitude & Action – Instrument & Preliminary Results,” investigated the role of so-called “creative consumers”—those inquisitive users who take it upon themselves to modify, alter and hack the propriety products of technology companies like Apple and Microsoft.
The researchers found that these (unapproved) user-initiatives to modify products, such as unlocking an Apple iPhone, are actually helpful to the companies. According to the researchers, those with the will and know-how to tinker with certain technologies often make changes that the company itself may not have realized consumers wanted.
Using the example of podcasting, the researchers show how creative consumers are impacting the business world. According to the study, it . . . → Read More: Creative consumers: SFU study advises companies to embrace techno-tinkerers
Photo Credit: killrbeez
It’s officially late-December and, as a result, it’s difficult to go anywhere without being slapped in the face with the red-and-green sparkling garnishes that come along with the holiday season. Unfortunately, as researchers from Simon Fraser University attest, this public Christmas-décor mania has emotional consequences for those that don’t celebrate the holiday.
Led by Simon Fraser University professors Michael Schmitt and Stephen Wright, researchers conducted a series of experiments involving self-reported data from university students.
In both experiments, participants were asked to complete questionnaires about their moods; the trick was that the students filled out their questionnaires in one of two rooms—one of which had a 12-inch Christmas tree displayed on the desk.
In the first study, those who had previously reported celebrating the Christmas showed more positive moods in the company of the tree, while those that previously reported not celebrating the holiday responded . . . → Read More: Lights, Trees, Santa! — Christmas Displays Not So Merry for Everybody