He can’t wait to get your hands on it

York student Darius Dadgari, in the second year of a master of science program in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, is researching human-computer interaction (HCI), wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 27 in its Deep Thoughts column. He creates computer systems that are designed to be more intuitive and user-friendly than current systems. Dadgari is working on two different projects to make life a little easier for computer users.

One system lets people create entire 3D environments by drawing shapes in three dimensions. The second project aims to make it easier for people to create versions of text documents, pictures and diagrams. "In recent years, through the success of Apple’s approach, many companies are hiring people who are skilled in HCI." That means Microsoft, IBM and others may be changing the way they design products, welcome news for the technically unsavvy. But Dadgari and his colleagues aren’t necessarily planning to get rich off their projects. "The idea is to share it with as many people as possible and not so much to make money off it."

Speed up funding for GTA transit

No money has yet been delivered for several major projects essential to ease gridlock in Peel, York, Durham and Toronto, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 27, in an editorial criticizing delay due to “red tape”. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in March that Ottawa would spend more than $960 million on major transit expansions in the area. Included would be almost $700 million to push Toronto’s subway system to York University and beyond; $95 million for new bus-based rapid transit in Brampton; and $83 million for a bus transit way in Mississauga.

To speed the flow of that money, steps should be taken now toward a more streamlined process so the people who actually build the roads and transit lines can start work, wrote the Star. Ending gridlock on our roads would be easier without financial gridlock in the corridors of government.

NDP promises transit fare freeze

Provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton said an NDP government would freeze the cost of subway tokens, bus tickets and other public transit fares for at least two years across Ontario, wrote the National Post Sept. 27. The province would assume a 50-per-cent share of operating costs for municipalities, whether it’s Ottawa, Windsor, or smaller communities – as long as they agree to hold the line on charging riders. The NDP focused the announcement on Toronto, which would see additional funding for a York University subway line, light rail along high-traffic corridors and additional investments in GO transit services.

Regina gig thrills York music instructor

Kelly Jefferson, an instructor in York’s Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts, is hitting the road to come home, wrote The Leader-Post (Regina) Sept. 27. The Regina-born Jefferson – a member of the Toronto-based William Carn Quintet – anxiously awaits Friday’s Regina Jazz Society concert at that city’s Le Bistro.

"It’s great to be a part of this band,” says the son of esteemed Regina jazz pianist Ken Jefferson. Carn was one of the first people Jefferson met when he moved to Toronto seven years ago. "He has become a great friend, as have the other guys in the band, which can also have an effect on the music,” says Jefferson. “Touring with these guys is a blast as well.”

Silver talks with artist about her new Japanese exhibit

In a special interview, Portraits: Capturing the Heart of Japan, York University’s dean of fine arts, Phillip Silver, will talk with Toronto-based artist Vivian Reiss about her three-month stay in remote Japan that spawned her latest exhibition, The Satoyama Story, Thursday at 7pm, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 27. The free exhibit runs to Oct. 25 at the Japan Foundation, 131 Bloor St. W.