Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat, Priyank Chandra and Prianka Roy have received the UofT COVID-19 Student Engagement Award

Rifat, Priyank and Prianka have been awarded one of the UofT COVID-19 Student Engagement awards.  Congratulations!  Their project is titled “Investigating the Spread of Misinformation by Religious Preachers” and described here:

We have two goals in this project: First, analyzing the phenomena of COVID-19 related fake news generation and spread by religious preachers on social media. Many religious preachers around the world generate and spread inappropriate, false, and overly inflated partial truth relating to COVID-19. On the other hand, their followers often lack sufficient knowledge for fact-checking the information. Our exploration will involve an analysis of the diffusion network of misinformation by preachers and a qualitative exploration of the multifaceted roles of technology in spreading misinformation generated by preachers. This particular goal also involves re-assessing existing definitions of fake news through which misinformation-is categorized and analyzed in existing research. Second, using religious institutional forces to mitigate the generation and effect of fake news. Clergies in religious organizations hold strong social capital. We will explore how we could use their social capital to combat the spread of misinformation with the help of technology.

Dina Sabie and Cansu Ekmekcioglu Dedeoglu win the UofT COVID-19 Student Engagement Award

Dina (DGP Lab) and her collaborator Cansu (iSchool) were awarded one of the UofT COVID-19 Student Engagement awards. Congrats Dina and Cansu! The project, titled We’re in this Together: Mapping Resilience, Solidarity, and Hope during a Global Pandemic”, summary is below:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental state of a countless number of people globally due to income loss, inability to visit friends, closures of support service infrastructures (e.g. community centers), and much more. Our initiative will be part of a motion to help people in distress in managing the affective aspect and wellbeing subsistence of being locked down in one space by implementing a webpage with an interactive world map where people around the globe share short audio recordings about positive and negative things that can be contributed directly to the COVID-19 closure. By doing so, 1) people who share their stories will get a form of resilience because they will be talking about things they may not be able to do currently, and 2) people who listen to the narratives of others can find solidarity and hope in being quarantined.

Prof. Jacobson receives Siggraph Significant New Researcher Award

Prof. Alec Jacobson was awarded the 2020 Siggraph Significant New Researcher award for his contributions to computer graphics.  The award cites his work in geometry processing on shape deformations and mesh tetrahedralization along with his role as a collaborator and maintainer of the open source libgl library and technology transfers from his work to commercial software as examples of contributions being recognized by this honour.  Congratulations Alec!