Past Lectures

Dr. Stan Manu
Roles of Language(s) in Bilingual Students' Understanding of Mathematics

   
   Dr. Stan Manu

Every teacher is a language teacher. In other words, the lifeblood of learning in many content areas. The K-12 mathematics curriculum has a language for describing “mathematical practices” that focuses primarily on mathematical understanding and reasoning. In classroom situations where English-language learners are involved, the tasks can be immensely complex. Addressing issues of language in content learning and teaching these is crucial. This lecture will attempt to share and contribute to the above discussion by looking at a particular bilingual situation where young mathematics students switch or alternate frequently between two languages during problem-solving discussions. In this type of bilingual situation, students learn mathematics in a dominant second language that has no direct or precise translation to their own native language. If teachers have a thorough understanding of how language and content interact within a specific content area, they are better equipped to make well-informed decisions about learning and teaching. As found with the Tongan bilingual students, if these students are allowed the flexibility of language switching, and thus access to appropriate terms and images in either language, they can be declared in no way mathematically disadvantaged from their monolingual counterparts.

Dr. Stan Manu has been with the UFV Mathematics and Statistics department January 2011. He is originally from the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, where he did his undergrad in maths and physics. He did his master’s at the University of Idaho, and his PhD in mathematics education at UBC. His research interests are in the areas of curriculum development, assessment, and teaching and learning of mathematics, and the use of language(s) in mathematics particularly within a bilingual context.

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Dr. Noham Weinberg
Molecular Modeling and Bizarre Chemistry of High Pressures

 
  Dr. Noham Weinberg

It is well established and generally recognized that temperature has a profound effect on chemical reactions. Every Grade 12 chemistry student reaction rates double, triple, or even quadruple with every 10 degrees increase in temperature; it does not require high school chemistry to know that food is safer if kept in coolers or refrigerators. Chemical effects of high pressures are far less known, even to professional chemists. However, although more subtle, these effects are no less profound than the effects of temperature. To people not familiar with them, some of these effects may appear quite weird and unusual. For example, exposed to very high pressures, typical non-metals, such as hydrogen or nitrogen, become metals, like iron or mercury. In the UFV Molecular Modeling Lab, we use methods of computational chemistry to predict chemical effects of high pressures and gauge them quantitatively.

Dr. Noham Weinberg received an MSc in physical chemistry from Moscow State University in 1976 and a PhD in theoretical chemistry from Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, in 1981. He joined the Chemistry department of the then University College of the Fraser Valley in 1994. The UFV Molecular Modeling Lab was established on his initiative in 2001. More than 50 UFV students received research training in this lab.

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Dr. Hugh Brody
Found in Translation: How Many Words are there for Show? Reflections on the place of language in the destiny of culture.

 
  Dr. Hugh Brody

This year, Hugh Brody has begun to explore some of the experience and ideas that have come with his work on language — both loss and recovery.

In this lecture, he will look at what it means to have a language that comes from hunting rather than farming; and how the impacts of cultural change and loss can be accompanied by extraordinary strengths and creativity.His lecture will begin with words for snow, but move into the power of shamanic dreaming and the way so many aboriginal peoples use the new to give fresh meaning to the old.

Born in the north of England, where he spent much of his childhood exploring landscape and fishing, Hugh Brody was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and subsequently taught at Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Cambridge. He came to Canada for the first time in 1969, when, as a government researcher, he lived on Edmonton’s skid. Before coming to UFV, he was a freelance anthropologist, writer, and film maker. He has been involved in land rights and aboriginal research in the USA, India, Australia, and Southern Africa, as well as across Canada. His books include Maps and Dreams, Living Arctic, and The Other Side of Eden. His films include Nineteen Nineteen, Time Immemorial, The Washing of Tears, Hunters and Bombers, Inside Australia, and The Meaning of Life.

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Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch
Competing Performances, Competing Histories: Survival Cannibalism and the Franklin Expedition

 
  Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch

When Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition in search of a Northwest Passage disappeared in the central Arctic, it left few hysical traces but a remarkable archive of performative remains. These performances generate critical insights into how hose affected by the expedition’s disappearance understood the losses they experienced, and show how performance unctions as a repository of cultural knowledge.This lecture will trace how allegations that survival cannibalism occurred among the expedition’s final survivors were vehemently denied by Charles Dickens in a series of rhetorically compelling editorials, preserved in Inuit oral histories of finding human remains at macabre campsites, and overwritten by Dickens’s electrifying performance in Wilkie Collins’s 1857 play The Frozen Deep. These three examples testify to the remarkable power of performance to preserve cultural memory, but also reveal that this power can be dangerous: today Dickens’s performances serve as an ethical injunction against the misuse of performance as a tool of historical revision.Heather Davis-Fisch is cross-appointed faculty member in the UFV Theatre and English departments. She received her PhD in Theatre from the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph and was, in 2010-11, a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Theatre and Film department at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Loss and Cultural Remains in Performance: The Ghosts of the Franklin Expedition (Palgrave Macmillan).

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Gregory Schmaltz

Competition and maternal effects in group-living birds.Although most bird species exhibit a mating system similar to humans (social monogamy), there are exceptions to the rule. Smooth-billed anis are communally breeding birds that live in groups of up to 17 adults. What is unusual is that all female group members lay their eggs in the same nest. This nest-sharing habit has important consequences for these birds. For instance, females compete for access to the incubated clutch of eggs by burying each other’s eggs under leaves and nesting material. Males or females may also decide to toss eggs out of the joint nest.

Nonetheless, group members co-operate after the egg tossing/burial stage and share incubation, territory defence, and care of young, though not evenly. During his talk, Greg Schmaltz will examine some of the potential reasons as to why these birds decide to live in groups. He will also highlight various types of conflicts that are part of this unusual mating system.

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