Are you ready for it?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation and communication skills. Participants have just three minutes to explain the breadth and significance of their research project to a non-specialist audience. In 2011, over 43 universities from across Australia and New Zealand have participated in this fun, highly informative and very entertaining event. UBC is one of the first Universities in North America to host a 3MT competition.

Registration to participate in 3MT 2012 @ UBC started this week and the 3MT Coaching Sessions are now underway. These sessions cover presentation tips and techniques, demos and small group practice. More details about the3MT coaching sessions and how to participate are available at:

Did you know?

The 2nd Place and People’s Choice Award in last year’s 3MT competition was Guang Yang in the Neuroscience program at UBC. Have a look at his thesis in the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+ collection in cIRcle at:

Above partial excerpt in italics and image is courtesy of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) website at The University of British Columbia.

Image of past Live-in for Literacy campers by Martin Dee

Media advisory, Jan. 17, 2012

Lovers of literacy and libraries are invited to come by and show their support for Live-in for Literacy, which begins this Tuesday on the second-floor foyer of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

From January 17 to 26, students will once again “camp” at the Learning Centre in order to raise funds to build one or more libraries in a developing country.

The organizers also welcome book donations of any kind.

Place: Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall
Date/Time: January 17 – 26
Parking: Rose Garden Parkade, 6278 North West Marine Drive

This year, the goal is to raise up to $3,000 at UBC over the 10-day event through a series of fundraisers. The program is running at 10 Canadian universities, which have set a goal of $27,000 for projects in India that support local language publishing, education equality for girls and a library reading room.

Find out more about this inspiring initiative at UBC on Twitter (aRoomtoReadUBC), on Facebook and at

Past Live-in for Literacy events at UBC have helped raise money to construct libraries in Nepal and India.

The Huffington Post

Posted: 1/17/12 10:57 AM ET

Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

Read full article here.

by Michael Geist

The Vancouver Sun

January 16, 2012. 5:47 pm • Section: Report CardSTAFF

The B.C. government has appointed Dianne Flood as acting commissioner for teacher regulation until a permanent commissioner can be found.

Flood will handle reports about teacher conduct and competence and will decide whether to order investigations.

The Education Ministry announced the appointment Monday, saying Flood has extensive experience in administrative law. She was an executive director in the Attorney General’s Ministry and a former chair of the Property Assessment Appeal Board. She has also served as an assistant deputy minister with the Manitoba government and vice-chairwoman of Manitoba’s Municipal Board.

The commissioner will play a key role in the new teacher regulation branch, which replaced the B.C. College of Teachers this month. It’s responsible for regulating 67,000 B.C. educators who work in public, independent and First Nations schools.

While on the topic of appointments, I need to correct an earlier post that said Theo Vandeweg is B.C.’s  new independent schools inspector. In fact, he has been acting inspector since the unexplained departure of Ed Vanderboom. The competition for the full-time position closed Dec. 20, and the ministry said it’s received applications from a number of very qualified people.

Including one from Vandeweg, my sources say.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

The David Lam Library recently purchased access to the Business Expert Press Digital Libraries e-book collection.

This collection of over 150 practical and concise e-books on diverse business topics, such as supply and operations management, international business, social media, finance, accounting, public relations, and marketing strategy includes introductory textbooks for entry-level students, and numerous sources of primary research materials for doctoral candidates. The books available are published from 2010 to present, with 2012 titles being added throughout the year.

Once connected to the database, you can search for, identify, read and download selected pages or an entire book. While your book is open on screen, go to the InfoTools tab, choose Business Expert Press Options, and choose Download this title. The book is downloaded in Adobe Digital Editions format and accessible on most computers and devices (except the Kindle) for 14 days. This resource also enables you to sign in with your campus-wide login (CWL) to access additional features.

Use DataBC to search data and make informed decisions, inspire change or develop ideas that will improve government policies. DataBC isn’t just data – it’s access to data that drives our province forward. The data is here for you – to answer questions, to improve decision making or to help build government services that matter most to you.

Find data from across the province in DataBC’s data catalogue. Access various types of datasets and tools designed to help you conduct your own research, analyze statistics, develop apps or satisfy your curiosity. You might like to know:

What is the government spending money on?
Have sustainable changes impacted carbon emissions? Find out what’s working and what needs improvement.
Which schools have the highest student scores on tests? Does that impact which schools I consider for my children?
What do municipal tax rates look like across the province?
There are minimal system and licensing requirements so you can easily access what you’re looking for. In fact, we’ve even developed apps to help organize and translate some of the data for you. Check out what DataBC has to offer and get started on your project. As you do, keep in mind that others are interested in hearing about your experience – contact us, blog about your findings, or join an online community.

This type of information sharing is governed by legislation and policy that makes provision for the release of public information.

-from the DataBC website

Data Catalogue on Education here

Citizens @ the Centre: B.C. Government 2.0 Publication here

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