News

2022


December

President's Awards a chance to celebrate community

President Vianne Timmons honoured the exceptional and exemplary at the 2022 President’s Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Winners from the Faculty of Science include Dr. Joshua Rash, Psychology, President's Award for Outstanding Research; Dr. Kurt Gamperl, Ocean Sciences and Dr. Duncan McIlroy, Earth Sciences/Bonne Bay Aquarium and Research Station, University Research Professor; Dr. David Churchill, Computer Science, President's Award for Outstanding Teaching (Faculty) and Dr. Rick Goulding, Physics and Physical Oceanography and Yellow Martin, Psychology, President's Award for Exemplary Employees - Champion of Service.

November

Federal grants open doors to discoveries, collaborations and training

Breakthroughs in everything from improvements to prosthetic hands to the identification of emerging environmental pollutants.

Six of the seven Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) through its 2022 Discovery Research Programs Competition to researchers at Memorial were in the Faculty of Science.

October

Students, staff and faculty honoured at Faculty of Science awards

The Faculty of Science held its annual Dean’s Awards Ceremony recently, recognizing the top 10 per cent of its students.

In addition, the awards honour the service, scholarship and teaching of faculty and staff.

September

First-year students awarded $100,000, $80,000 STEM scholarships

Two incoming first-year students at Memorial University have been named 2022 recipients of Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Jason Matthews is the recipient of an $80,000 award and joins Memorial with plans to pursue a bachelor of science degree with joint honours in computer science and statistics.

July

Memorial University earns top grades in global academic ranking

Memorial is the only Canadian university included as one of the world’s best for the study for marine/ocean engineering in an annual publication of world university rankings — and it’s the fifth year in a row to do so.

Memorial places 38 among the top 50 universities as part of the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy’s 2022 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS) in the category.

Thinking critically about past, present and future technological innovations

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ (HSS) new certificate in the history and philosophy of science and technology is of broad interest to students of science, engineering, medicine, humanities and social sciences.

The program will challenge students to think critically and analytically about the consequences of past, present and future technological innovations on human existence, and the world we inhabit.

Memorial University receives federal and provincial funding

Memorial University has received funding for a new Centre for Artificial Intelligence on the St. John’s campus.

The centre will build partnerships with industry and the province’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through collaborative projects, outreach and continuing education, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer related courses. It will also serve as a collaborative space for seminars that bring together AI-related researchers and students across campus for teamwork.

June

Nearly $8 million invested to accelerate diverse research discoveries

Memorial researchers, including those in the Faculty of Science, have secured nearly $8 million in competitive funding for research projects ranging from childhood amnesia to ocean biodiversity to renewable energy systems.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) announced the results of its 2022 Discovery Research Programs competition on June 23.

In total, NSERC is investing $7,900,226 at Memorial.

May

More than $18-million industry and government investment strengthens Memorial's computational infrastructure

On Friday, May 27, Memorial welcomed more than $18 million for two new initiatives – the Centre for Analytics, Informatics and Research (CAIR) and the Accelerated Analytics and Machine Learning (AAML) project.

The initiatives will focus on innovation and research in such diverse fields as data science and astrophysics, genetic analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, image analysis and scientific computing.

April

A day of family fun and education under the blue whale skeleton

On Saturday, May 14, everyone is invited to an open house event that will take place under and around the blue whale skeleton that hangs in Memorial's new Core Science Facility.

Come learn the story of the whale skeleton and take part in interactive learning opportunities, and have lots of fun along the way.

Faculty of Science holds interdisciplinary research conference

The Faculty of Science held its first interdisciplinary research conference April 8-9.

Scientific Endeavours in Academia (SEA) brought together undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty from across the faculty’s nine departments and five interdisciplinary graduate programs.

2020


December

Return to campus update

The initiative to return staff to campus will resume in the new year, based on public health directives and COVID alert levels. 

Delayed winter 2021 semester start

The official start date of winter 2021 classes in most programs at the St. John's campus, Grenfell Campus and Marine Institute will be moved to Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

November

Return to campus postponed

Due to rising cases of COVID-19 throughout Newfoundland and Labrador at this time, Memorial University is postponing the return to campus initiative for non-academic staff scheduled for this week.

This applies to all campuses and locations. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Reminders for employees gradual return to campus

All employees should already have discussed their gradual return to campus plans with their supervisor starting the week of Nov. 23.

Winter fees

Memorial students will not be charged the Distance Education Administration Fee and Recreation Fee for the upcoming semester.

Return to campus

Memorial University is adopting a gradual approach to bringing staff back to campus.

October

Update on international students

Memorial approved to welcome new international students, oversee travel and isolation requirements

Computer science students take first place in Minecraft competition

A team of Memorial students has won first prize in an international artificial intelligence (AI) competition in procedural content generation.

Update to employees on Memorial's COVID response

The following message is being sent on behalf of Dr. Mark Abrahams as chair of Vice-Presidents Council.

Earlier this week, Memorial announced the winter 2021 academic semester will remain primarily remote. Many employees who continue to work from home may wonder what it means for you. As well, units may be considering how this announcement impacts operations.

September

Update on winter 2021 semester

Memorial will continue to operate in a primarily remote teaching and learning environment for the winter 2021 semester. This decision was taken in a special meeting of the university Senate today. Read more in the Gazette.

Help limit the spread: Memorial endorses COVID Alert app

Recently the province of Newfoundland and Labrador adopted the new COVID Alert app to help prevent the spread of the virus. The app is designed to let Canadians know whether they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Memorial is endorsing the app and encourages faculty, staff and students to voluntarily download the app for free to help protect yourself and others.

August

Non-medical face masks mandatory beginning Aug. 24

Since early July, Memorial has strongly encouraged wearing non-medical masks while on campus. Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, 2020 masks must be worn in public indoor spaces in Newfoundland and Labrador as issued in a special measures order by Newfoundland and Labrador’s Chief Medical Officer. Therefore, non-medical masks will be mandatory beginning on Monday for Memorial faculty, staff, students and visitors.

Remote learning technology requirements for fall 2020

Memorial University has developed general technology standards for remote/online learning across Memorial’s campuses in fall 2020.

July

New tools and resources hub for students: MUNUp

Memorial launched MUNUp, a new online tools and resources hub to help students succeed while learning remotely. With transition and orientation programs, services, virtual events and community engagement opportunities, the sky’s the limit.

 

Update on university travel outside of Newfoundland and Labrador during COVID-19

Memorial University continues to actively monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Requests for university travel within and outside of Canada deemed essential for student academic progression, research purposes, and faculty and staff activities, will be supported with certain key elements in place (e.g. proof of health insurance coverage) in advance of the travel, and travel request approval from the dean or director of a unit. Essential university-related travel within the four Atlantic Provinces can proceed without restriction or self-isolation requirements upon entering one province and exiting another.

COVID-19 prevention best practices

The province has been successful at flattening the curve of COVID-19. It’s important to continue to be vigilant and ensure we keep in mind that preventing another outbreak or minimizing impacts will depend on our collective adherence to best practices.

Update on fall semester

On July 14 undergraduate students of Memorial University will begin the course registration process for the fall semester. In preparation for this task, we would like to remind the university community that teaching and learning will take place in a primarily remote and online teaching and learning environment in fall 2020.

Correction: Update on fall semester

Students in designated courses in Engineering will have limited forms of in-person, on-campus lab activities which will be communicated separately from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to students. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier Newsline message.

June

Fall fees

Suspension of two student fees to continue in fall semester

Music and science co-create robot percussionist

Editor’s note: This story was originally slated to run in early March 2020, prior to the pandemic shutdown.

A hand-sized robot sits on the head of a drum and taps along with a human player.

It is mobile, moving around the drum, the sound of its motion contributing to the music.

It can improvise, helping the musician explore new directions. It can also work in co-ordination with multiple robot drummers, each responsible for a certain instrument or part of a composition. It even has applications in music therapy.

Alert Level 2 update: living in our campus communities with COVID-19

As the province moves to alert level 2, Memorial has completed the process to provide faculty access to their individual offices on the St. John’s campus, the libraries are moving to expand services in all six of their branches and the Botanical Garden has opened for the season with health and safety measures in place.

Campus access: remaining buildings on St. John`s Campus

As a follow up regarding building access for faculty on St. John’s campus, beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, June 24, all remaining buildings including Physical Education, St. John’s College, Music, Spencer, Coughlan College and Ocean Sciences Centre will be ready for faculty members to return to their individual offices from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Doors will remain locked and access will be by key or card access, which can be coordinated with your unit's key requester.

Faculty access to additional buildings on St. John’s campus

As a follow up regarding building access for faculty on St. John`s campus, beginning Monday, June 22, buildings for Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Education, Queen’s College, Business, Henrietta Harvey and Biotechnology will be ready for individual faculty members to return from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Doors will remain locked and access will be by key or card access.

Critical funding empowers researchers to take risks and make big discoveries

Memorial researchers have successfully secured more than $8 million in federal funding.

Research ranging from better understanding of how climate change affects fish ecology in Northern Labrador to improving oil spill response in harsh environments are among more than 40 awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

In total, NSERC is investing $8,084,955 at Memorial.

 

Faculty access to Bruneau, Engineering and Earth Sciences buildings starts Thursday

As a follow up to last week’s message regarding building access for faculty on St. John`s campus, beginning Thursday, June 18, Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, Engineering and Earth Sciences buildings will be ready for individual faculty members to return from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Plan for faculty return to campus

As a follow up to last week’s message, we want to provide an update regarding the plan to enable faculty to return to individual offices on a more regular basis.

AUS suspends competition until January 2021

Atlantic University Sport has announced the decision to suspend all conference regular season and postseason competition until January 2021. 

Update: Guiding Principles for Living with COVID-19 in our communities and more

Newfoundland and Labrador continues to operate under Public Health COVID-19 Alert Levels, which outline services, businesses and functions allowed to operate at each alert level. The province is currently scheduled to move to Alert Level 3 on Monday, June 8. Work is ongoing at Memorial to implement a phased resumption of on-campus academic, research and administrative activities, in consideration of government’s five-level approach.

May

Memorial's Pension Plan during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are living in unprecedented socio-economic times. As a result, many pension plan members, both retired and still working, may be concerned about their pension and their own long term financial security.

As you might expect, the Memorial University Pension Plan, like many others across the country, has experienced some financial challenges due to the investment market turmoil brought on by the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and world oil prices.

Memorial to offer remote program delivery for fall 2020

Memorial University will welcome new and returning students to a primarily remote teaching and learning environment for the fall semester. Full in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021.

COVID-19 update to university

As we approach Monday, May 11, and the scheduled move to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 as outlined by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, many of you may wonder what that means for Memorial. At this point, none of the restrictions currently in place at Memorial will change if the Level 4 status is implemented by the province on May 11.

More to success than money, says new graduate and student entrepreneur

Spring graduate Jan Mertlik says Memorial has provided him with a “bulletproof portfolio.”

Now that the undergraduate computer science student has completed his program at Memorial University, he’s confident in the skills and knowledge he’s gained here.

 

April

Update from the Department of Human Resources

Further to previous messaging from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) regarding the ramping up of remote work, managers should now be engaging with all staff to determine work that can be completed remotely.

Mentorship in the digital age

Alumni Engagement and Student Life have partnered with Ten Thousand Coffees, a digital mentorship tool that links mentors with students and early career professionals, thanks in part to the generosity of RBC Future Launch.

Guide to Financial Supports and Programs

Student Life has created a comprehensive Guide to Financial Supports and Employment Programs.

Self-Service Grading Option page extended for 24 hours

As this has been an unprecedented semester and some instructors will not be able to submit Winter 2020 grades until April 25, the Student Self-Service Grading Option page will remain available to students for an additional 24 hours, closing on Sunday, April 26 at 12:00 p.m. (NDT).

Status of fall 2020 semester

Memorial University is actively considering scenarios for innovative program delivery for the fall 2020 semester. We are committed to providing students with full access to our quality academic programs, despite the challenges that may come.

Building update April 16: Further building access controls for all campuses

Message from the President and Provost

Due to the unprecedented emergency situation that has resulted in the declaration of a Public Health Emergency in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University is enacting further measures related to buildings access on all our campuses to enhance social distancing and keep our community safe. By ensuring we are aware of who is on campus, we are better able to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students who must come to campus.

Update on general admissions for 2020-21 academic year

On Tuesday, April 14, Memorial’s Senate waived the undergraduate general admission overall average requirement of 70 per cent for Newfoundland and Labrador high school students in the graduating class of 2020 who apply to attend Memorial University in the 2020-21 academic year (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, or Spring 2021).

Reminder: Personal protective equipment (PPE) collection

As a reminder, Memorial continues to identify and collect personal protective equipment (PPE) which may be held by units throughout the university.

St. John's campus revised building hours

Effective April 9, Memorial is phasing in reduced building access on St. John's campus, beginning with reduced building hours. Buildings will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday and will be locked on weekends and holidays. 

Student emergency funds

Many students are facing a range of stressful disruptions in their lives as a result of the worldwide health pandemic. Cancellation of all in-person classes, a full move to remote learning and having to quickly vacate residences – combined with isolation measures, job loss and travel bans – have created particular hardships for students who lack other supports.

A message from Dr. Vianne Timmons

As we start the week, I wanted to pause for a moment to express a sincere thank you to the hundreds of critical employees who have been working tirelessly and constantly since the start of Memorial’s COVID-19 response.

Update on student fees and PAS/FAL choice

Suspension of two student fees for spring semester and update on PAS/FAL choice

March

Spring registration update

Information on revised start date for Spring registration for graduate and undergraduate students

Bonne Bay Marine Station Public Aquarium postpones opening

To assist with proactively preventing the spread of COVID-19, the seasonal re-opening of the Bonne Bay Marine Station’s Public Aquarium, which was previously scheduled for May 16th, has been postponed until further notice.

Message to the university community from Dr. Gary Kachanoski

This has been a momentous week at Memorial as the first week of remote instruction draws to a close. I want to send a heartfelt thanks to all of our students, faculty and staff for your patience, hard work and perseverance in making this transition happen. It has taken an army of people to get us here, and the job is certainly not over yet. We must continue to work together toward the successful completion of the winter 2020 semester for our students.

Update on Feild Hall residence, research and the Writing Centre

Update on Feild Hall residence; on-campus research and scholarly activities, fieldwork and interaction with research participants; and the Writing Centre

Statement on Feild Hall residence

The health and safety of our students is our primary concern during these unprecedented times. In consultation with Memorial University, The Graduate Students’ Union (GSU) has given notice to Feild Hall residents notice to vacate the building. This decision was made based on health and safety considerations. Memorial has made an offer to relocate students to another residence, MacPherson Hall. The university is providing each of the residents a room at a discounted rate so that they will pay no additional rent. As well, the university will provide the students, at a discounted rate, access to the university meal plan.

Labnet resources available off-campus

Visit www.labnet.mun.ca for information about how to access you labnet home directories and other resources from off campus, as while as information about the labs that are presently open.

Direct deposit forms required by March 27

A reminder to employees and pensioners who are currently paid by cheque, you are required to move to direct deposit to ensure pay cheques continue during this uncertain and evolving situation.

Identification and collection of PPE

Memorial’s emergency operations centre (EOC) is identifying personal protective equipment (PPE) which may be held by units throughout the university.

Student Update

Information on counselling services and computer labs

Faculty and staff update on critical functions, remote work and prioritizing work assignments

Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to work together to transition our operations while maintaining our commitment to support students, faculty and staff. Over the past week you’ve likely had questions about what you should be working on from home. The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and your managers have been working to identity what functions are most critical at this time, and how we continue our work during this uncertain time.

Updates on enrolment verification, remote academic advising, bookstore resources

This update includes information about Registrar's Office and School of Graduate Studies processing times, remote academic advising options at all campuses and resources available for students from the bookstore.

Processing and service times for Registrar's Office and School of Graduate Studies

Most of the Registrar’s Office staff and School of Graduate Studies staff are working remotely. As a result, processing and service times for many of our services have increased, including requests for enrolment verification letters, official transcripts, supporting admission documents, etc. As we continue to practice social distancing, we are discouraging students from coming on campus at this time to drop off or pick up documents. Please do not visit our offices at this time.

Health Research Ethics Authority Research Ethics Office

The Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA) Research Ethics Office (REO) has been closely monitoring the developments related to COVID-19. In light of recent restrictions, the REO of the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) wishes to advise researchers that, effective immediately, their research protocols must be modified or delayed to avoid face-to-face personal interactions with research participants.

UPDATED INFORMATION: Classrooms, teaching labs and study rooms closing on all campuses

Updated opening hours and occupancy limits for computer labs that remain open for students who do not have personal computer access for remote learning.

Update on spring semester, spring convocation and MUNSafe

Memorial’s spring semester, including intersession and summer session, will continue with remote instruction of all courses at all campuses. This means in-person on-campus courses will not resume before September 2020 Additionally, Memorial will will postpone Spring Convocation 2020 ceremonies that were scheduled for May 14 in Corner Brook and May 26-29 in St. John’s.

 

Classrooms, teaching labs and study rooms closing on all campuses

Effective tomorrow, Monday, March 23, instruction at Memorial University officially resumes remotely.

Accessible remote teaching and learning guidelines

The Blundon Centre has developed guidelines to assist faculty and instructors with incorporating accessibility into remote teaching and learning approaches.

Message from the President to the University Community

This has been an unprecedented week for our university and our communities. I hope you are each taking care of yourselves, practicing social distancing and hand washing, and doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Course Evaluation Questionnaires

Memorial will not administer Course Evaluation Questionnaires (CEQs) for the winter 2020 semester. 

Supporting research activities during COVID-19

As Memorial and the world assess the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Memorial is committed to supporting our researchers in continuing their research activities.

Academic updates

Spring semester registration, waived regulations and more information for students

Update for students, employees and instructors

Information for instructors, remote workers, students and employees.

Update on final exams for Winter 2020 semester

Students are advised that there will be no final exams taking place on campus in April. This includes both on campus and online invigilated exams. A proposal regarding final exams has been approved.

Update from the Office of the Vice-President (Research)

Activities for faculty, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) in all research laboratories will be suspended from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, onward.

Update for employees regarding work arrangements

Following the message earlier today regarding suspension of classes, employees should consult with their managers immediately regarding their work arrangement.

Update on suspension of classes and change in library hours - 12:55 p.m.

Based on ongoing consultation with units and a determination of their ability to be responsive, and the evolving public health environment, Memorial University has moved up the timeline for suspension of all classes. As of end of day Tuesday, March 17, all classes (in person and online) on all campuses will be suspended. Unless your individual instructor has advised otherwise, all academic programming, including midterms and evening classes, will go ahead today, March 17. Remote delivery of classes is scheduled to resume on Monday, March 23, as previously announced. Students with questions about their classes should contact their instructor.

Update on COVID-19 response - March 16

This important update includes information for students, faculty and staff. Of particular note: all students who reside on the island of Newfoundland are required to vacate student residences by end of day, Friday, March 20. Childcare Centre is closed immediately until further notice. Memorial is encouraging remote work with the understanding that university priorities are the health and safety of students, faculty and staff; maintaining the academic integrity of the semester; and critical university operations. To allow for social distancing and to help employees manage the current demands, employees are asked to work with their supervisor to facilitate remote work arrangements where operationally feasible. Unless you currently have arrangements with your supervisor, report to work as scheduled.

2019


October

The Bluedrop Innovation 25th Anniversary Award

This award was established by a generous donation from Bluedrop Performance Learning. The award is valued at $1,500 and will be awarded to a female Computer Science student who is beyond first-year. The applicant must meet the minimum academic requirements for an award as defined by Memorial University of Newfoundland. It will be awarded based on a student’s goals and accomplishments. The 2019 deadline for application is Friday, October 25, 2019. Interested students must apply to compsci@mun.ca stating how they meet the requirements for this award.

June

Eastern Edge Robotics seeks fifth international title in Tennessee

Memorial’s Eastern Edge Robotics team is looking for its fifth world championship at the 2019 MATE International ROV Competition this week.

The team consists of 22 post-secondary students enrolled in a variety of programs at the Marine Institute and Memorial, including Computer Science students Nana Abekah and Keith Sutherland.

 

Combining biology and algorithms to solve complex medical challenges

Can powerful machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques be used to understand what genes are responsible for disease?

2018


September

The Bluedrop Innovation 25th Anniversary Award

For 2018 - 2019
Apply to: compsci@mun.ca
Deadline to apply: November 1, 2018

This award was established by a generous donation from Bluedrop Performance Learning. Valued at $1,500, it will be awarded to a woman, pursing studies in Computer Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who is beyond first-year. This award will be based on a student’s goals, accomplishments, and ability to overcome hardship on the road to academic success. Interested students must apply via the Department of Computer Science’s website. The recipient must meet the minimum academic requirements for an award as defined by Memorial University of Newfoundland. This award will be granted by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards on the recommendation of the Department Head, Computer Science.

2017


November

Bluedrop Innovation 25th Anniversary Award

Announcing the Bluedrop Innovation 25th Anniversary Award

This award was established by a generous donation from Bluedrop Performance Learning. Valued at $1,500, it will be awarded to a female student beyond first year who is pursing studies in Computer Science at Memorial University. This award will be based on a student’s goals, accomplishments, and ability to overcome hardship on the road to academic success. Interested students must apply via the Department of Computer Science’s website. Applicants must be in clear standing and meet the minimum academic requirements for an award as defined by Memorial University.

Federal, provincial investments to build artificial intelligence research

Groundbreaking research in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) are helping to create a more robust, innovative Atlantic economy.

Playing games: Artificial intelligence subject of upcoming public lecture

Artificial intelligence is the subject of an upcoming public lecture on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

Dr. Jonathan Schaeffer, dean, Faculty of Science for the University of Alberta, will give a “gentle” introduction to artificial intelligence, or AI, contrasting the abilities of humans and computers to solve problems. He will illustrate these differences using games.

September

Gaming guru Computer science professor sought after AI consultant

What happens when artificial intelligence meets video games?

We get better solutions to real-world challenges.

2016


April

Information For New Computer Science Students, Fall 2016

Good news! A new Computer Science undergraduate curriculum has been approved and we can take the first steps in phasing in the new program in September 2016.

A restructuring of the core curriculum of Computer Science has reduced the required number of credit hours to 27 (equivalent to 9 courses).

2015


October

2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award of the Department of Computer Science

Congratulations to Shadab Romani for winning the 2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award of the Department of Computer Science!

 

2015 Graduate Research Award of the Department of Computer Science

Congratulations to Afasneh Rafighi for winning the 2015 Graduate Research Award of the Department of Computer Science!

2015 Academic Excellence Award of the Department of Computer Science

Congratulations to  Sohel Jiwani for winning the 2015 Academic Excellence Award of the Department of Computer Science!