Why big data is attracting big attention

If there’s one pop culture reference for the rise – and value – of data in our culture, it’s Moneyball…. So Murat Kristal – a data researcher and professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business – knew where to turn when making his pitch to launch a master of business analytics program in 2012, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 8. “I took the DVD sleeve of Moneyball, and that was the presentation,” he says…. “See how they changed the game of baseball?” he asked the room of academics. “Our students can change the business environment.” Read full story.

EU trade pact could weaken Ottawa’s power to regulate banks
Canada’s ability to head off a financial crisis by tightening banking regulations may be curtailed under the still secret Canada-European Union trade agreement, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 7…. “It will have an impact if there is a crisis,” said Gus Van Harten, who specializes in international investment law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Van Harten said “fair and equitable treatment” clauses give arbitrators of investor-state dispute cases a very wide scope to award damages to corporations. Read full story.

Politically charged anti-BCTF Facebook comment broke government code of conduct
The posts were made by government staff during working hours under the Ministry of Education moniker and as such violate standards of conduct on political activity, according to Richard Leblanc, professor of law, governance and ethics at Toronto’s York University. “Stating a fact is one thing, but it’s a bit of an outrageous comment the very last one: ‘expanding union ranks – not support that students actually need,’ ” said Leblanc in The Vancouver Sun Sept. 6. Read full story.

Schulich competes for prestigious Hult Prize
A year ago, Luca De Blasis, 22, assumed he would finish his undergraduate studies at Schulich School of Business in Toronto and get an internship in either the consulting or brand management field, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 8. Twelve months later, he and four other business students, Abbas Khambati, Hemanth Soni, Danica Stanojevic and Dhaman Rakhra, were preparing to compete as the only Canadian team in the Clinton Foundation’s prestigious Hult Prize finals in New York City – after beating out dozens of MBA teams from the best schools around the world. Read full story.

The growing field of corporate social responsibility
Postsecondary schools offering MBAs that embed corporate social responsibility into their curriculum include Schulich School of Business at York University and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, among others, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 8. Schulich’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business is a global leader in creating and disseminating new knowledge about the social, ethical, environmental and political responsibilities of business. The Aspen Institute ranked Schulich No. 1 in the world in research within this field in its last two global surveys. Read full story.

Produce grown in Toronto gives organic grocer a leg up
“As part of a trend toward healthy and sustainable living, the local and organic farm-to-table movement has been experiencing significant growth in Canada and the United States,” wrote Jonathan Hera, course director of the microfinance and social impact investing course at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail Sept. 5. Read full story.

Inuit art comes to life with Art Alive iPad game
Pinnguaq and Art Alive is also getting some help from a $3.5 million project called “Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage” at York University in Toronto, reported CBC News Sept. 6. The project’s leader Anna Hudson said it started with digitizing Cape Dorset prints. But Hudson realized one problem was the difficulty accessing the online database using Nunavut’s bandwidth. Read full story.

The price of Buzz: Why TIFF may no longer be the people’s festival
The Toronto International Film Festival has become “too successful, too big, and too expensive,” said York University Professor Janine Marchessault. “Perhaps this is the story of all successful festivals.” Marchessault, along with co-author Dipti Gupta, wrote that in an essay in the book Urban Enigmas: Montreal, Toronto, and the Problem of Comparing Cities. That was in 2007, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 4. Read full story.

Goldie Hawn to be awarded for her children’s charity in Toronto next week
Oscar-winning actress Goldie Hawn’s MindUP program has been praised by teachers, principals and parents in America and now it’s moving into Canada, where Hawn has spent many summers, along with partner Kurt Russell. “There are a hundred schools in Ontario that are going to be starting this program,” said Hawn in the Toronto Star Sept. 5. “We’re partnering with York University. We’re adapting MindUP for the incredible Sick Kids Hospital and the world of first responders.” Read full story.

Heard off the street: Burger King deal will leave Canadians with bad taste
Alan Middleton, who teaches marketing at York University in Toronto, says Canada’s national media has not made much of what Burger King’s owners have done at other companies, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sept. 7. That’s in spite of the fact that one of the plants Heinz’s new owners shut down was in Leamington, Ont., where it was a mainstay of that community’s economy. Read full story.

Haruki Murakami’s first novel to be retranslated and republished in English
In the wake of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami’s recent visit to the U.K. which saw hundreds of fans queue overnight in London to see him,… publisher Harvill Secker has said that the novella Hear the Wind Sing is set to be retranslated, reported The Guardian Sept. 5. The translation will be done by Ted Goossen, a professor of humanities at York University in Toronto, with publication planned for next autumn. Read full story.

Pan Am Games opens doors to state-of-the-art Scarborough aquatics centre
The federal and provincial governments together invested $70 million in legacy funding to maintain three new Pan Am facilities, which also include the Milton cycling velodrome and the York University stadium, reported the Toronto Star Sept. 5. Read full story.

Toronto superstar academic who coined ‘net-neutrality’ could be nominee for N.Y. lieutenant-governor
Tim Wu is a 41-year-old superstar academic best known around the world for coining the phrase “net neutrality,” reported the National Post Sept. 6. Next week, after an underdog campaign endorsed by The New York Times, he could become the Democratic nominee for New York’s lieutenant-governor, the second-highest elected officer in the state…. “Great schools made all the difference,” his mother Gillian Wu, an immunologist at York University, wrote in an email. Read full story.

Red fescue made better with spit
Researchers and ranchers know the problems certain grasses can cause grazing animals. However, researcher Dawn Bazely might have found a solution: moose drool, reported The Western Producer Sept. 5. Bazely, a biology professor at York University, along with colleagues Mark Vicari and Andrew Tanentzap, have found that saliva from moose, reindeer and caribou affect red fescue grass and the fungus epichloë festucae, which produces the toxin ergovaline. Read full story.

Access Copyright’s next chapter
Access Copyright, the country’s largest copyright-holder group, is battling tough challenges in Copyright Board proceedings. It faces the prospect of dwindling revenues from postsecondary institutions, and as it moves ahead with a lawsuit against York University, copyright experts wonder if the organization will have much of a business among the ivory towers in the future, reported Canadian Lawyer Sept. 5. Read full story.