Toronto school suspension rates highest for black and aboriginal students

“For years we heard black students were suspended more often, but now that we have evidence, what will be meaningful is what the board and teachers and parents and the community do together to address the problem,” said York University Professor Carl James in the Toronto Star March 22. James believes principals and teachers need to become aware of the social and cultural and economic situation the students face. “Are there stereotypes operating here? Does the principal not pay attention to a family situation that might have triggered an incident?” Read full story.

Canada ends its aid to China
Canada’s decision to eliminate foreign aid to China is “understandable”, given that the money is supposed to be used to help eradicate poverty in the poorest developing countries, a professor at Toronto’s York University said in China Daily March 22. But York University political science Professor Gregory Chin, a former Canadian government aid official, said he regretted that Canada has “no apparent transition strategy” for its China aid program and hasn’t come up with a plan to redirect money where it can help the new China. Read full story.

Manufacturer finds closest thing to a crystal ball
Predictive analytics has come a long way since direct mail companies in the 1970s first used numbers to determine whom to send pamphlets to. It’s now used across myriad sectors, such as oil and gas, mining, health care and even sports….It’s likely more companies and sectors will adopt predictive analytic tools going forward, said Murat Kristal, a professor of operations management and information systems at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail March 21….The only barrier to adoption, and this applies across sectors, is that companies need people who understand how to analyze the data. Read full story.

Voyager 1 still hunting for elusive edge of the solar system
And oddly, the sudden attention to the Voyagers comes in the week when an international team of cosmologists is talking about something much bigger: The entire universe. Known as the Planck team, this group announced Thursday that the universe is older than we thought….Not surprising, says Paul Delaney, an astronomer at York University. “I walk into my class on a daily basis, give them the tip of what we know and then start talking about what we don’t know,” he said in the Ottawa Citizen March 21. “That part doesn’t bother me. That’s science; it keeps me in a job.” Read full story.

Video: Government ad compares smoking to farting
Schulich School of Business marketing Professor Alan Middleton said while he had a good chuckle watching the social farting video, he concluded the video misses the mark because it overwhelms the message. “You are going to have a lot of people buzzing about this[…]without actually taking away the message, which is social smoking[…]is bad for you and bad for your friends. I think what you’ve got is a highly memorable ad that doesn’t create memorability of the problem,” he said in Metro March 21. Read full story.