News in brief

New class explores everyday technology

A newly-devised class conducted jointly by the school of computing and the department of mathematics and statistics is allowing students to explore how everyday tools of technology work.

Looking Behind the Screen: The Mathematics of Information Technology, is being offered in winter 2013 under the codes Math 437/837, CISC 490 and CISC 850, meaning both math and computing students and undergraduates and graduates can enrol. It will be taught by Selim Akl and Ram Murty, the director of computing and head of mathematics and statistics respectively.

The course aims to cover “coding theory and data compression, error correcting codes, public key cryptography, Markov chains and search engines, GPS and spherical geometry, fractals and image compression, and the DNA computer.”

The class’ only prerequisites are 100-level math and computing courses.

­— Holly Tousignant

Student research published

Research by Queen’s PhD student is contributing to the growing knowledge about vegetation change in the Arctic.

Tara Zamin[H1]’s research explores the roots of the changing vegetation, and required her to spend three summers working on the ground in the Arctic. Her work compared how greenhouse-covered plants grew in comparison to non-covered plants.

The research she conducted was published in Environmental Research Letters, a journal of environmental science research and editorials.

— Holly Tousignant

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