Science & Tech

Popular course earns hundreds of rave reviews to become the third highest-rated MOOC in the world overall.

14
February
2019

Mountains 101, one of the University of Alberta’s most popular massive open online courses, scaled the global heights of online education earlier this month to become the third highest-rated MOOC in the world.

That’s according to Class Central, an aggregator of more than 11,000 MOOCS from the world’s top universities.

In addition to placing Mountains 101 third on its list of the 50 highest rated MOOCs of all time, Class Central also ranked the course number one among science MOOCs last year, with 91 per cent of more than 300 reviewers giving it five out of five stars, and the rest giving it four.

With nearly 26,000 people registered, the course has reached participants in more than 170 countries since it launched two years ago.

"It's unique and accessible to a lot of users," said Dhawal Shah, founder and CEO of the Californ...

Headlines

13
February
2019

Ancient fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life far older than previously thought

Controversial discovery suggests early complex organisms may have originated 2.1 billion years ago—more than 1.5 billion years sooner than previous evidence indicated.

Newly discovered fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life could be 1.5 billion years older than previously thought, according to a new international study that included scientists at the
11
February
2019

U of A nanotech facility gets funding boost to ramp up to commercial scale

$3.4M investment will allow local company to mass-produce tiny medical devices that can monitor vital signs, help diagnose disease or even restore eyesight.

Microscopically thin films of metal are essential to tiny biomedical devices placed in the human body to monitor vital signs, diagnose disease or even restore eyesight. Every micron of the film
07
February
2019

Black bears more common on private land than Crown land, study shows

First study of black bear population in 30 years identifies need for safer, habitable public land in Alberta.

A new study by University of Alberta biologists shows black bear populations are lowest on Crown land and most dense on national park land, followed by private land, highlighting issues for
30
January
2019

Improved AI-based tool increases accuracy of schizophrenia diagnosis

U of A researchers use machine learning to identify schizophrenia from patient brain scans.

A tool developed by University of Alberta researchers using machine learning diagnoses schizophrenia more accurately than other AI-based systems, according to a new study. The tool, called
30
January
2019

Rare fossil discovery sheds light on evolution of enigmatic hagfish

New study of one of the oldest known hagfish fossils shows the eel-shaped creatures have remained largely unchanged for at least 66 million years.

The discovery of one of the oldest known hagfish fossil with its soft tissue preserved shows the eel-shaped fish have remained largely the same since at least the Late Cretaceous period, 66 to 100
23
January
2019

14 U of A clean energy projects receive funding boost

U of A spinoff that turns windows into solar panels among projects sharing more than $20 million from Alberta Innovates.

Before coming to the University of Alberta from Iran in 2012 to pursue an education in nanotechnology, Morteza Javadi knew he loved chemistry but wasn’t sure how his education would help him beyond
18
January
2019

Four reasons to look to the skies in 2019

A lunar eclipse, a momentous anniversary and great views of four planets in our solar system make this a good year for stargazing, says U of A astrophysicist.

The skies of 2019 will light up with lots for stargazers to enjoy, especially at the beginning and end of the year, says a University of Alberta astrophysicist. “There are a lot of interesting
17
January
2019

New U of A laser technology shows promise to treat leading causes of blindness

Nir Katchinskiy launches startup to bring new treatment technique to market.

A platform that combines cutting-edge diagnostic tools and ultra-fast laser technology developed at the University of Alberta could usher in a new era of non-invasive medical interventions for eye
16
January
2019

Biochar can be tailor-made for range of environmental benefits, research shows

Soil-enriching charcoal can be optimized for agriculture, water treatment or even carbon storage.

A low-cost, versatile type of charcoal known as biochar can be tailored for specific uses including treating water, removing contaminants from soil and even storing carbon, according to new research
14
January
2019

Tiny silicon particles could power lithium ion batteries with 10 times more capacity

U of A chemists confirm importance of nano-sizing silicon to improve lithium ion batteries.

University of Alberta chemists have taken a critical step toward creating a new generation of silicon-based lithium ion batteries with 10 times the charge capacity of current cells. “We wanted to
10
January
2019

Making AI accountable easier said than done, says U of A expert

As artificial intelligence reshapes society, experts discuss how to make it transparent and accountable to the people it’s meant to serve.

If you had to program a self-driving car, which option would you choose if only two were available: hit a pedestrian who suddenly appears in front of the vehicle or veer off into a baby carriage on