Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Watch Higgs weep during announcement at CERN

The UK telegraph has this lovely video, showing the announcement of the Higgs Boson particle at CERN in Switzerland early today.

Despite the many attempts of UVIC phsyics grad students, I don't fully understand it. But it is always  moving to see such great leaps in scientific understanding, and the enthusiasm of those involved in world class research.

Congrats to everyone involved! And remember today when you think of the importance of research.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SFU graduate students win designated seat on BOG

University Boards have a lot of clout -- they approve university budgets, major capital projects, and review the president.

Simon Fraser University's Board of Governors voted in their June meeting to allocate the two student seats on the Board of Governors to ensure undergraduates and graduates each have one seat.

The Peak (SFU student paper) has reported on the issue--and the mixed reactions to the change-- here.

BC makes opens data and makes it easier to have your say

The BC Government has launched a new web portal to make it easier to find and participate in public consultation processes.

Govern Together BC provides updates on policy changes, and has a searchable data base to discover any current public consultations. The site also provides a link for those interested in applying for government appointed seats on public bodies.

The list of current consultations includes panels reviewing the carbon tax, fisheries regulations, and transparency in the justice system.

The site also pointed me to Data BC, which provides public access to BC government data.
The site is very useable... for instance, in abut 1 minute, I was able to download the following information about unemployment rates by type of post secondary education attained.

Unemployment Rate of Graduates from Public Post-secondary Institutions by Credential Type
BC Public Post-secondary System, Survey Year 2006 to 2010

Published November 2011

Unemployment Rate (%) Survey Year      
Credential Type 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Bachelor Degree Graduates 3.9% 2.8% 3.6% 5.9% 6.6%
Apprenticeship Graduates n/a n/a n/a n/a 9.6%
Diploma, Associate degree, & Certificate 6.3% 6.1% 6.4% 9.5% 10.9%
high school or less (8 to 29 yrs) 7.6% 6.5% 7.7% 13.4% 14.0%

Graduate students with research interests in areas affected by public policy could find this a practical tool.