Wanted: People who understand numbers and business

Last year, York University’s Schulich School of Business introduced a master of science in business analytics program….When Schulich Professor Murat Kristal proposed the program to Schulich’s Dean’s Advisory Council a year ago, he cited the movie Moneyball, in which Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane analyzed what had been disregarded player stats to find undervalued players to rebuild his cash-strapped team, reported The Globe and Mail June 11. “Do you remember how they literally changed the game by using numbers and statistics?” Kristal said he asked the committee. “That’s what we want to do with this program. We want to use numbers and statistics in operations research to change the competitive landscape.” Read full story.

Student Aid: How one school board is defeating bullying, one friendship at a time
Amanda Todd. Rehtaeh Parsons. What kind of intervention would have saved their lives? Ontario’s Upper Canada District School Board is trying to find an answer to that question by turning to the same social networks that can in some cases wreak such havoc on young lives. A program, called Link Crew, pairs incoming 9th graders with Grade 12 mentors, giving young students an outlet to air their concerns and issues….“There is a growing body of research that peer mentoring – setting up peers to help others or to share information with others – is highly effective. Young people find it meaningful to hear from peers, whom they feel might understand,” said York University Professor Debra Pepler in The Globe and Mail June 11. Read full story.

Chilean politicians visit Canada to develop ‘mature’ relationship
The Arab Ambassadors Council has founded the first Arab Ambassadors’ Award gala and dinner where 35 nominees for excellence in seven different categories will be honoured. “Canada has always embraced people from our countries and we are proud to highlight some of their wonderful accomplishments,” said Algerian Ambassador Smail Benamara, dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, in the Ottawa Citizen June 12. The selection committee chose the top candidates in each category to win a bronze sculpture designed by artist Pascal Demonsand….York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri was nominated in the expertise category. Read full story.

For some seniors, retirement doesn’t mean slowing down
David Bell retired at 61 as dean of York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies because “I wanted to cut my work week in half, to 48 hours,” reported The Globe and Mail June 11. Eight years later, it really depends week to week whether he has succeeded. Now a 69-year-old consultant, Bell has served as chairman of federally operated Downsview Park in northwest Toronto, sat on the now-abolished National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and headed (as a volunteer) a national educational organization, Learning for a Sustainable Future, as well as a provincial one, Education Alliance for a Sustainable Ontario. That’s when he’s not consulting to governments, including China and Jamaica, or playing his regular gig as a jazz bass player. Read full story.

Pickering airport gets green light, but is it needed?
After being parked on the tarmac for more than four decades, plans to build an airport in Pickering, Ont., have suddenly been solidified by the federal government….But aviation analysts argue another airport simply isn’t needed at this time. “It’s a dumb idea. There is no demand for that airport,” said Schulich School of Business Professor Fred Lazar in the Toronto Star June 12. “If there was the demand, Hamilton would be a thriving airport.” Even though many cities around the world, such as New York and London, have several airports within their metropolitan areas, Lazar argued the Greater Toronto Area doesn’t have the population base. Plus, airlines would be reluctant to split services and operations between Pearson and Pickering. Read full story.

CSUN professor named one of the top 20 female professors in California
California State University, Northridge, kinesiology Professor Paula Thomson has been named one of the top female professors in California by StateStas.org, reported CSUN Today June 10. Thomson has been at the university for seven years. Prior to joining CSUN she taught and/or choreographed at the Julliard School of Music, Stratford Shakespearean Festival and Canadian Opera Company. Her research, which started when she worked at York University in Toronto, focuses on dissociation, trauma and metabolic disorders and their effects on creativity. Read full story.