Renowned Experts Launch First-of-its-Kind Book on COVID-19 Problems and Solutions

The COVID-19 Solutions Guide provides tools for readers that assist them with the pandemic’s personal, financial, and emotional impacts.

 

TORONTO, Canada, July 2, 2020: In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on society, recently we launched the e-book The COVID-19 Solutions Guide.  This innovative publication provides many solutions for current issues. A blog provides regular updates.

COVID-19 has disrupted economic growth, social norms, health and safety. Over 11 million individuals worldwide have been infected; over 525,000 have died, 131,000 of them in the USA.

The authors are well qualified to write this book. Dr. Ronald Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto, as well as co-founder and namer of DGP.. Dr. Gary Feldman is a retired physician who served as the Public Health Officer of Ventura County and Riverside County in California for 14 years.  Professor Judith Langer is a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Education who specializes in language, literacy, and learning. Justin Stein is a financial advisor with a practice focused on helping families and business owners protect and manage risk. 

The COVID-19 Solutions Guide is now available for purchase on the team’s website and at Lulu Books. It will soon also be available on the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

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!

CHI 2020 Honourable Mention Award

Congratulations to Prof. Ahmed, Dina Sabie and Samar Sabie on their CHI 2020 Honourable Mention Award!  Their paper “Memory through Design: Supporting Cultural Identity for Immigrants through a Paper-Based Home Drafting Tool” received an honourable mention from the Best Paper Committee judging it to be in the top 5% of all papers submitted.  Prof. Ahmed also received an Honourable Mention for Others’ Images: Online Social Media, Architectural Improvisations, and Spatial Marginalization in Bangladesh with Nusrat Jahan Mim (Harvard University).

Third Oscar for Jos Stam

Jos Stam, DGP graduate and adjunct professor, has won his third Oscar for his work on subdivision surfaces at the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards. U of T News has a write-up here:

https://www.utoronto.ca/news/and-oscar-goes-u-t-educated-graphics-whiz

Haijun Xia wins 2018 Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship

Since 2008, Microsoft has awarded research fellowships to support talented graduate students. This year, Haijun Xia was selected as one of the 2018 recipients! The fellowship will support his research in HCI and creating tools to enhance creativity.

For more information, you can read the announcement from Microsoft here . Details about applying to the 2019 fellowship are here.