Science Literacy Week Reading

In honour of Science Literacy Week (This week! September 17th-23rd!) the McGill Libraries have put together an amazing array of events and exhibits. Check out events, dates, times, and details here.

If you can’t attend any of the events, swing by the Schulich Library and check out our Science Literacy Reads display. We have a slew of both fiction and non-fiction on science and science literacy that you can check out and read in your own time. It’s not all biology either, we have physics, architecture and engineering, astronomy, artificial intelligence, ornithology, genetics, history of medicine, and more!

Some of the titles on display include:

  

Don’t be afraid to flip a book open! Often we don’t have the original covers (slip covers get removed), so it’s trite but true: Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover!

And after you are done browsing, check out our exhibit Traveling through Space and Time!

Comparative Analysis of Interference-Free Alternatives to Wi-Fi

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Once again I have the pleasure of announcing the next Communication in Engineering (CCOM 206) Excellence in Written Communication Award. Alexandre Tessier is the Fall 2017 winner for ‘Comparative Analysis of Interference-Free Alternatives to Wi-Fi’ (yay!).

Abstract:

Current Wi-Fi technologies occupy oversaturated 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. In areas with high router density, this results in poor Wi-Fi performances, and, especially, slow data transfer rates at a time when demand for high-speed networks is rising. To minimize these effects, new technologies taking advantage of the availability of higher frequencies have been developed.In particular, Li-Fi and WiGig aim to transfer data wirelessly at rates faster than Wi-Fi and, more importantly, without interference. This paper assesses the viability of these two technologies as interference-free alternatives to Wi-Fi based on 3 standard networking attributes: data transmission capabilities, security, and vulnerability to interference. The analysis concludes that Li-Fi can transfer data at higher rates than WiGig, can be used to implement location-based security levels, and, unlike WiGig, is impervious to interference from neighbouring cells. For the aforementioned reasons, Li-Fi is the most promising candidate for an alternative to Wi-Fi, vastly outperforming current implementations of WiGig.

Download the full paper from the University’s open access repository.

Congratulations, Alexandre!

Alternatives to Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles

The Communication in Engineering (CCOM 206) Excellence in Written Communication Award winner has been announced for the combined Winter/Summer 2017 terms (insert drum roll): Albert Kragl!

Alternatives to Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles

With man-made climate change becoming increasingly severe every year, the need for vehicles powered by alternative energy sources is now greater than ever. Although there are electric vehicles commercially available today, their limited driving range and high price makes them unappealing to many consumers. In order to move past these limitations, researchers have begun investigating different types of batteries with the goal of finding a battery that can reliably store more energy than a traditional lithium-ion battery. This paper analyzes the feasibility of two battery types—lithium-sulfur and lithium-air—as potential replacements for lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles. Although both batteries demonstrate high theoretical energy densities, the lithium-air battery has a much higher practical energy density when compared to lithium-sulfur, as well as a lower environmental impact and a greater number of charge cycles. The lithium-air battery also demonstrates a higher energy density and lower environmental impact when compared to lithium-ion. These results make lithium-air technology the best candidate to replace lithium-ion batteries in the near future.

The full article PDF is available from McGill’s open access institutional repository, eScholarship.

Congratulations, Albert!

A little piece of Schulich Library goes to China!

One of the main reasons I love working at McGill is the opportunity to interact with amazing students and staff who are doing exciting projects that could potentially change the world. The 99 McGill and Concordia student, staff, and alumni members of Team Montreal are currently part of one such endeavor. They are building a net zero energy home, a prototype that could revolutionize how we live in the future since the technological design features of this house enable it to create as much energy as the house dwellers consume. They have all kinds of sponsors including their lead presenting sponsor, Hydro Quebec, who sees this project as an opportunity for them to become a main player in technologies related to intelligent and sustainable home design. Hydro Quebec’s vice-president of client services, Eric Filion, sees this project as a way for them to learn more about innovative technologies and actually test them out.

Not only is Team Montreal building a house that could change for the better the way we live, they are also out to win the Solar Decathlon China 2018 competition currently taking place in China, where, as the only team from Canada, they are competing against 21 other teams from around the world. Once the competition is over, most houses will remain on public display either in China or elsewhere. Team members say there are plans to build other houses in Montreal using the same design.

What is particularly cool about the Team Montreal design is the way it takes the traditional row housing style of architecture so predominant in Montreal and creates something new, incorporating Asian-style features such as an open-air courtyard, and innovative technologies that enhance the house’s sustainability. For a sneak peek of how the house will look upon completion, check out the 3-minute video here (part-way down the page on the right-hand side).

I had heard about the project a few months back and was thrilled to be contacted in April by one of the team members who was asking for help. They wanted to have books on architecture and engineering to add to the house’s built-in bookshelves. The books could show signs of use since they wanted to give the house a lived-in feel. I was so happy to be able to support this fantastic project. Right away, I contacted my engineering librarian counterpart at Concordia, Joshua Chalifour to see if he could help out. Joshua had a number of engineering books that were going to be discarding due to them being so well-used and they had purchased replacement copies already. He willingly lugged a bunch of them over by foot from Concordia for me to add to the pile. So along with the books Joshua brought over, we had a combination of items from Schulich Library that were donations we already had in our collection, items that we were going to discard because we had duplicate copies or newer editions, and some old engineering trade magazines from my personal collection.

It was very exciting to correspond and meet with team members Kim Chayer and Thierry Syriani. Their enthusiasm for this project is certainly contagious! When they came to see the books, they were really happy to take everything! The books went out in two shipments, with the pre-fabricated house materials in big crates, the 1st shipment being in April and the 2nd one in June.

How can you help? You can support the team by liking and following them on Facebook or by following their diary where, as I write, they are in the home stretch of needing to assemble the house within the next few days. They are battling hot weather, challenges associated with pre-fabrication construction, heavy rain, and typhoon threats in order to complete the house on time. You can also support them by making a donation.

Go Team Montreal! Who knows, some of the engineering books you may have used in courses taught at McGill and Concordia might be lining the shelves of this year’s prize-winning house of the Solar Decathlon China competition!

Summer Reading Display

Summer arrived this month with quite a bang. Whether you want to sit outside in the sun, or hide inside to stay cool, swing by the Schulich Library and grab a book from our summer reading display.

They are all fun reads for you to use as a summer break! We have collections of short stories, graphic novels, cookbooks, fantasy/sci-fi novels, mysteries, and more! Browse the display til you find something that tickles your fancy, check out the book, and take an hour or two just to enjoy the lovely summer in Montreal.

Some of the titles currently sitting on the summer reads display:

  

Exploring McGill on a rainy day

I’m taking advantage of this rainy day to tune in to the Mini-Science 2018 episodes: Women in Science at McGill (and beyond). This seven-part series was recorded and made available on the McGill YouTube channel.

YouTube is the place to go If you have ever wondered if you could watch lectures and events that have taken place on campus. Videos include public forums, competitions, and conference presentations.

Apart from the main channel, there are additional options on YouTube for webcasts related to science at McGill: AstroMcGill, Separating Sense From Nonsense (McGill Office for Science and Society), Montreal Neuro, and McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

If you have time, I highly recommend the first episode of this year’s Mini-Science – History of Women in Science (below). In it, Principal Suzanne Fortier tells an engaging story about her experience growing up in a small town in Quebec and her unique path to science. There were a total of three books in her home, but to find out which three you will have to watch.

Enjoy the rain!

New Health and Wellness books in the Schulich Library

We are receiving new and interesting books on health and wellness topics every day!

Here are a few examples (click on the image for more information):

   

               

The Wendy Patrick Health Information Collection is located on the main floor of the Schulich Library. We are displaying the new books as they arrive. Take a study break and visit the Schulich Library to browse the titles or visit this reading list to check out the full list of titles (and we’ll be adding more as the new books arrive!)

Welcoming new Librarians

The Schulich Library is excited to welcome not one, not two, but THREE new librarians to our ranks!

our three newest librarians Lucy, Nu Ree, and Andrea

From left: Lucy, Nu Ree, Andrea

First, we have Nu Ree Lee. Nu Ree comes to us from Purdue University in Indiana where she was a research data management librarian. Nu Ree is the new librarian for Bioengineering, Biomedical engineering, Chemical engineering, Mining and Materials engineering, and Earth and Planetary Sciences (whew, so many). If she is your subject librarian, you can reach Nu Ree at nuree.lee@mcgill.ca

In addition to being an awesome librarian, Nu Ree has a King Charles Spaniel/Bichon mix dog named Chopin, is originally from Toronto, and recently took up kickboxing.

Next, we have Lucy Kiester. Lucy has moved here from Dalhousie University in Halifax where she worked in the Health Sciences library with Nursing and Dentistry. She is the new Undergraduate Medical Education Librarian (only 800 students!) and can be reached at lucy.kiester@mcgill.ca.

Lucy hails from a very small town in the Pacific Northwest, loves to salsa dance, and admits to watching a stunning number of videos on Youtube.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Andrea Quaiattini. Andrea comes to us from the University of Alberta where she worked all over their Health and Sciences libraries. She is the new liaison for Graduate Medicine, Medical Education, and many of the Medical Specialties. To reach Andrea email andrea.quaiattini@mcgill.ca.

Andrea is originally from Calgary, loves a good walk in the mountains, and proudly admits to knowing far too much (or exactly the right amount) about Monty Python.

All three of these librarians are very excited to be joining the team of librarians at Schulich and are looking forward to making connections with their students and faculty! Send an email to say hello, ask for a consult, or get other library support.

As ever, if you are unsure of who your subject librarian is, feel free to send an email with your question or topic of research to schulich.library@mcgill.ca, and we will be sure to direct your email to the correct librarian.

Communicating Science: Profile of Sierra Clark by Audrey Carleton

Today we have a guest student post, originally submitted as a class assignment for Communicating Science (CCOM 314). With support from Diane Dechief, Faculty Lecturer at the McGill Writing Centre, we will be sharing more noteworthy student writing right here on The Turret.

Audrey Carleton chose to write a profile on Sierra Clark, a graduate student supervised by Dr. Jill Baumgartner in the Institute for Health and Social Policy.


Sierra Clark

Headline: Sierra Clark on indoor air pollution and academic uncertainty

Subhead: McGill Master’s student tests lifesaving interventions for Tibetan Plateau residents

By: Audrey Carleton

Date: December 1, 2017

Sierra Clark has been reading National Geographic for as long as she can remember. Even before she learned to read, she would eagerly flip through the magazine’s glossy pages to admire its photos. From this young age, she had her sights set on someday working for the publication as an archaeologist.

In the twenty years that followed, Clark had a few changes of heart. When she began her undergraduate degree at McGill University in 2011, she was enrolled with a major in Anthropology. But after sitting through a few convoluted lectures in an introductory anthropology course, she realized the program wasn’t the right fit for her. One meeting with an academic advisor later, she settled on a major in Geography, and swiftly fell in love with it. Upon graduating in 2015, she swiftly enrolled in a Master’s Program in Epidemiology at McGill, which she is completing now. All the while, Clark continued to read National Geographic religiously. Continue reading

What the heck is happening with Schulich Library?!

As those of you who use the library frequently may have noticed, there always seems to be something going on related to facilities in the building these days. In fact, in the next little while, the library will be completely closed from the evening of Fri. Mar. 2 and reopening at 9am on Tues. Mar. 6 to accommodate a complete ventilation shutdown and necessary work for the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) project. Here is the official announcement.

After-hours access will also be disabled. During this time, you are encouraged to use other branches. Please find branch opening hours here.

The HVAC project, which is set to be complete by June 2018, will see Schulich Library obtain updated heating and cooling facilities. You will find more details on the project here. Please bear with us. Once the HVAC project is finished, the library should be more comfortable for everyone.

In the mean time, there is also now a dedicated email you can use to let McGill Facilities staff know that the building (or any other library building) is too hot or too cold.

Unfortunately, the fun won’t stop with the HVAC project! In the future, the library will be going through exterior masonry work, similar to what is currently taking place and/or what will be taking place very soon in the Macdonald-Harrington Building and the Macdonald Engineering Building. You will find more details about those projects here. When it’s Schulich Library’s turn, there will be interior and exterior work being done simultaneously. Further announcements are forthcoming, once there is a projected timeline for the work in Schulich Library.

Our apologies for all the disruption. A comfortable space is the ultimate goal and unfortunately, sometimes you need to break some eggs to make a cake!

Of course, if you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to come to the service desk on the main floor or send an email to: schulich.library@mcgill.ca