July 2017 Member News & Updates

2017-08-04T14:54:10+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Members, Rotman News|

We’re very pleased to begin this month’s post with exciting job news from some of our members. First, Samantha Brennan has been appointed the new Dean of Arts at the University of Guelph. She will begin her five-year term in January 2018. She will be deeply missed here at Western, but we wish her the best in this well-deserved appointment. Rotman alumnus Yann Benétreau-Dupin will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University’s Philosophy Department for 2017-18. And Kyoko Wada (current Rotman postdoc) will begin her new position as a Clinical Ethics Fellow at the Centre for Clinical Ethics, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto this September. Please join us in congratulating each of them, and wishing them well in their exciting new positions!

Our K-12 Outreach program volunteers have been very busy this summer, planning and conducting outreach activities for both SHAD and the CPSX Space Camp.

On July 13, Craig Fox and Helen Meskhidze gave demonstrations on Kepler’s Elliptical Planetary Motions and Understanding Einsteinian Gravity for grade 4-5 CPSX Space Camp students. Students got to experiment and simulate planetary motions, dark energy, and black holes. They also conducted these activities with grade 6 – 7 students on July 27.

On July 18, Helen Meskhidze, Matthew Howery, and Yousuf Hasan did demonstrations on how to measure time and gravity for around 70 students from grade 11 – 12 for a SHAD event held here at Western. Students had to make their own pendulums, and experiment with various weights and lengths of the strings to eventually learn what it would mean to measure time and gravity without any other instruments.

On July 19, Helen Meskhidze, Matthew Howery, and Yousuf Hasan mentored 3-4 groups of SHAD students on how Canadians might reduce our individual energy footprints. Each group had their own business proposals for a competition; the best-judged project will be implemented.

On August 8, Craig Fox and Yousuf Hasan will once again conduct the Space Camp activities with grade 4 – 5 students. On August 21, Marie Gueguen and Yousuf Hasan will conduct the Space Camp activities with grade 6 – 7 students.

Our members have kept busy with other activities this past month, listed below, alphabetically.

Yann Benétreau-Dupin presented a talk titled “Achieving Inclusiveness in the Classroom by Dodging Objections to the Virtue of Diversity” at the Inclusion and Exclusion in Philosophy Workshop in Hanover, Germany on June 20-22.

Yann Benétreau-Dupin published a review of Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes, “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos” (2016, Cambridge University Press) in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Yann Benétreau-Dupin and Chris Smeenk co-authored a paper titled “The Cosmos As Involving Local Laws and Inconceivable without Them“, recently published in The Monist.

Rob Corless spent this past year on sabbatical, during which time he was awarded a Visiting Fellowship to support his visit to the University of Alcalá in Spain. He gave six invited talks: 30 March at University of Pisa (Patrizia Gianni conference), 15 May University of Cantabria, 17 May University of Alcala, 23 May Complutense University of Madrid, 2 June University of Alcalá, and 21 June Charles III University of Madrid. He also had two papers accepted: “Gamma and Factorial in the Monthly“, and “A New Kind of Companion Matrix”, in the Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra.

On July 17-21, 2017, Rob Corless attended the 23rd Conference on Applications of Computer Algebra held in Jerusalem, commemorating the heritage of Jonathan Michael Borwein. He gave an invited talk titled “Computer Mediated Thinking“.

During the week of July 24, Michael Cuffaro attended the conference: “Contextuality: Conceptual Issues, Operational Signatures, and Applications” at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.

Michael Cuffaro will attend the 9th European Congress of Analytic Philosophy in Munich, Germany, from August 21-26, and will be giving a talk titled “Information Causality, the Tsirelson Bound, and the ‘Being-Thus’ of Things”.

From August 27 – September 3, Michael Cuffaro will be visiting the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information in Vienna.

Chris Smeenk presented a talk titled, “Underdetermination in the Early Universe” at the Probing the spacetime fabric: from concepts to phenomenology conference in Trieste, Italy on July 10-14.

Catherine Stinson has a new paper, titled “The absent body in psychiatric diagnosis, treatment, and research“, just published in Synthese.

Jessey Wright and Rotman alumna Melissa Jacquart co-authored a paper titled “Teaching Philosophy Graduate Students about Effective Teaching“, recently published in Teaching Philosophy.


Pictured above (clockwise): Craig Fox works with students at the CPSX Space Camp, Helen Meskhidze with students at the CPSX Space Camp, Matthew Howery works with students at the Western SHAD event, Rob Corless on sabbatical in Spain, the dead sea (photo by Rob Corless), commemoration of Jonathan Borwein at the ACA.