The McGill Tribune TUESDAY, FEBRURARY 13, 2017 | VOL. 37 | ISSUE 18
Published by the SPT, a student society of McGill University
McGILLTRIBUNE.COM | @McGILLTRIBUNE
Textbook costs need more than a textbook solution
Dispelling contemporary myths of AI’s threat
Whose side is AI on?
Find out what to do on your lonesome this Feb. 14
PULL OUT FEATURE
McGill professor investigated for theft of U.S. military technology Following an FBI investigation, Ishiang Shih may face extradition to the U.S. Andras Nemeth Staff Writer McGill Associate Professor Ishiang Shih’s home in Brossard was raided on Jan. 19 in connection with an investiga-
tion of his possible role in the theft of military technology from the United States. I. Shih was suspected of conspiring with his brother, Yi-Chi Shih—an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles—and an associate, Kiet Ahn Mai,
Little corporal, big world The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts explores the public and private life of Napoleon Katia Innes Contributor Much like the First Empire itself, Napoleon: Art and Court Life in the Imperial Palace at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, is a spectacle that demands your attention. The second floor of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion is transformed into a replica of Tulieries Palace under the direction of Sylvain Cordier, curator of Early Decorative Arts. A project nearly five years in
the making, this exhibition was no small undertaking: Guests can peruse roughly 400 artworks and objects derived from the Ben Weider Napoleon Collection, the largest of its kind in North America. The sheer volume and splendor of the assembled works is impressive enough on its own, yet Cordier and Nathalie Bondil, chief curator of the MMFA, have managed to construct a clear chronology to this exhibit, elevating patrons from mere viewers to active participants.
to illegally obtain monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), devices used in U.S. military radars and warfare systems. The three men are accused of trying to export them to Y. Shih’s company in China: Chengdu GaStone Technology
Company (CGTC). According to a press release on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Jan. 19, the U.S. has required individuals to get a special license to trade with CGTC since 2014 on account of the company’s illicit activities. PG. 2
Science outreach club gives back to Montreal’s youth Let’s Talk Science Outreach McGill puts on STEM and workshops and activities for youth Jade Prévost-Manuel Science & Technology Editor Close your eyes, and remember the moment that first ignited your fiery interest in science. Maybe it was an episode of Bill Nye, a baking soda-vinegar volcano eruption in your sixth grade classroom, or, perhaps, it was a visit from a guest speaker inspiring the next generation about science. In an effort to motivate
the scientists and STEM professionals of tomorrow, Let’s Talk Science Outreach at McGill (LTSOM) has made it their mission to give back to the local community, by using their experience and knowledge as science students in master’s and PhD programs to organize hands-on activities with a fun twist for elementary and secondary students in the greater Montreal area. Established in 1998,
LTSOM aims to educate youth in STEM activities and engage them in various workshops, competitions, and learning opportunities. Functioning as a chapter of the Let’s Talk Science organization, a national charitable initiative that boasts a network of 40 post-secondary campuses and outreach sites across Canada, McGill’s branch has provided meaningful onand off-campus educational activities for the last 20 years.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
McGill professor investigated for theft of U.S. military tech Following an FBI investigation, Ishiang Shih may face extradition to the U.S. Andras Nemeth Staff Writer Continued from page 1.
“[Yi-Chi] Shih was the president of CGTC, which in 2014 was placed on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, according to the affidavit, ‘due to its involvement in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interest of the United States,’” the press release reads. “Specifically, that it had been involved in the illicit procurement of commodities and technologies for unauthorized military end use in China.” The same press release quotes U.S. prosecutor Nicola T. Hanna condemning smuggling MMICs, calling it a threat to the country’s national security and business interests. “The very sensitive information would also benefit foreign adversaries who could use the technology to further or develop military applications that would
by I. Shih and his wife. After the transfer and shortly before his arrest, Y. Shih sent a UPS package to I. Shih at McGill’s McConnell Engineering Building. That package is now being investigated. I. Shih, who taught engineering courses in electrical machinery and transistor devices at McGill, denied all allegations of criminal activity in a statement to La Presse on Jan. 25, claiming the chips had been purchased for research purposes only. “It’s a misunderstanding,” I. Shih said. “We are only researchers, we do research [....] I was in the process of writing an application for a research grant.” I. Shih is currently being held by the Royal Canadian The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested McGill Associate Professor Ishiang Shih last month in connection to a case by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Taja De Silva / The McGill Tribune) Mounted Police (RCMP) and is searching for a lawyer. According to Jacques Courbe detrimental to our national se- and China over a 10-year period. teau, retired director of the According to an affidavit filed RCMP and international crimicurity,” Hanna said. In the inquiry, the Federal by U.S. authorities, I. Shih paid nal law specialist, the process Bureau of Investigation has been Mai $800,000 to purchase the of prosecuting the Shih brothers monitoring the brothers’ emails MMICs. The payment was trans- will be complicated because the and tracking Y. Shih’s frequent ferred from JYS Technologies, a crime transcends national borflights between Canada, the U.S., Brossard-based company owned ders. He explained the compli-
cations of sending I. Shih to the U.S. for trial, or extraditing him, in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “It’s not obvious that just because there’s been a violation of national security laws in the U.S. that Canada will deem it a breach of justice in Canada,” Courteau said. “And for a crime to be extraditable, it must be a crime in both countries [....] So it will be mandatory for the U.S. to demonstrate to the Canadian court that not only was the crime a crime against national security in the U.S., but also in Canada.” Corteau noted that the respectable academic backgrounds of the accused may further influence judicial action. “There are many offenses like this that the extradition treaties between countries do not recognize,” Corteau said. “For example, it is very rare to have white-collar crime recognized as an extraditable offense.” McGill’s administration declined to comment on the events surrounding the investigation.
McGill report disputes allegations of anti-Semitism at Fall GA Conclusion of investigation provokes debate from student groups of campus Alexandra Harvey Opinion Editor McGill released a report on Feb. 6 summarizing its investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism at the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Fall General Assembly (GA). The report, written by former ombudsperson and professor Spencer Boudreau following his research and stakeholder interviews, concluded that the failure to ratify Noah Lew, a Jewish nominee to the Board of Directors (BoD), at the Oct. 23 GA was motivated by Lew’s affiliation with pro-Israel organizations rather than anti-Semitism. Principal Suzanne Fortier commissioned an investigation by Boudreau after many students alleged that anti-Semitism motivated GA attendees’ decision not to ratify Lew’s second consecutive appointment to the BoD. The failed ratification sparked outrage from some attendees at the GA, including SSMU President Muna Tojiboeva, who said during the GA’s question period that the sole reason students did not ratify Lew was because he is Jewish. Lew also expressed this sentiment the next day in a viral Facebook post. “I can honestly say that my conclusion about this allegation […] does not substantiate the notion that the vote was motivated by anti-Semitism,” Boudreau wrote in the report. “I can state however that Noah Lew’s affiliation with Jewish organizations that are clearly supportive of the State of Israel, in addition to his approval [as a Director] of the SSMU Judicial Board [ruling against] the BDS Movement [...] was the reason for his
vote of non-approval.” Jewish student groups at McGill have since voiced opposition to the report’s conclusion in a joint statement signed by Am McGill, Chabad at McGill, Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, McGill Jewish Studies Students’ Association, and Hillel McGill. “The report, in our opinion, did not represent all Jewish voices, contained detrimental factual inaccuracies, and denied many students’ lived experiences of anti-Semitism at the General Assembly,” Mikaela Rath, president of Hillel McGill, wrote in a statement to The McGill Tribune. The joint statement also asserts that rejecting Lew’s appointment because of his involvement with pro-Israel organizations is anti-Semitic. “[Chabad at McGill] firmly believe[s] that the targeting of a student on account of his cultural and religious affiliations is antiSemitic in consequence,” Shira Mattuck, president of Chabad at McGill, wrote to the Tribune. However, members of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) McGill, a Jewish student organization that supports Canadians’ right to criticize the politics of Israel, wrote that they see a clearer line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in an emailed statement to the Tribune. “I am glad to see that Boudreau was able to distinguish Zionism, or support for the state of Israel, from Jewishness and Judaism,” Hani Abramson, organizer at IJV McGill, wrote. “Anti-Semitism is legitimate and frightening, and we cannot tolerate it in our spaces. But standing against apartheid
McGill’s report on anti-Semitism at the Fall General Assembly sparked controversy on campus. (Taja De Silva / The McGill Tribune) and ethnic cleansing, as well as those who support those measures at our university, is not anti-Semitic.” Following mixed response from students, Fortier re-affirmed her confidence in Boudreau’s report, attributing its mixed reception to a misunderstanding within the study body about the mandate of the investigation. “I believe Prof. Boudreau’s report to be thorough and thoughtful,” Fortier wrote in a statement to the Tribune. “I am aware that some individuals and/or groups within McGill and outside the University had hoped
that the report would address situations that were beyond the investigation’s specific mandate. As well, there are different opinions on the framing of the fundamental issue that led to the allegation of anti-Semitism and the investigation.” In the report’s conclusion, Boudreau referenced the divisiveness of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and asked students to move beyond inflammatory dialogue. “I remain hopeful for the possibility of at least a respectful conversation among such a passionate, and also intelligent and articulate student community,” Boudreau wrote.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
SSMU executives accused of mismanaging funds
Michelle Obama emphasizes the power of education in Montreal
Gendered language and racism addressed in motions
Former first lady discusses intersectional feminist issues Ellie Solloway Contributor
VP Finance Esteban Herpin questioned $4,000 spent without being approved or budgeted for. (Catherine Morrison / The McGill Tribune)
Catherine Morrison Student Living Editor At the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Legislative Council meeting on Feb. 8, councillors discussed funding issues and a potential conflict of interest between SSMU executive members and the Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec (AVEQ). In addition, Council passed motions to renew the ECOLE project fee, de-gender SSMU’s language, and pressure the city of Montreal to hold consultations on systemic racism. Accusations of improperly spent funds for AVEQ During the announcements period, Vice-President (VP) Finance Esteban Herpin accused VP External Connor Spencer and VP University Affairs Isabelle Oke of mismanaging SSMU funding for AVEQ. In addition to imposing additional costs on SSMU members, Herpin believes these expenses could influence how students vote on motions involving AVEQ or the Union étudiante du Québec (EUQ) at the next SSMU referendum. “In January, SSMU hosted a conference for AVEQ with the purpose of promoting AVEQ to other observing members,” Herpin said. “SSMU VP External and the VP University Affairs paid for it using their SSMU credit cards for over $4,000 of expenses, which consisted mostly of hotel rooms and food [.…] Nowhere in the SSMU operating budget were these funds approved or budgeted for. I believe that this is a severe transgression of the financial responsibility of these execs to owe the society and further this presents a serious financial conflict of interest between the society and AVEQ.” In response to Herpin’s concerns, Oke admitted that the topic should have been brought up earlier. However, she also assured Council that she plans to include the transaction in her report on AVEQ and that the union informally agreed to reimburse SSMU. “In terms of labelling it as a [conflict of interest], I’m not sure what personal gain I could get from it,” Oke said. “I think it was more an issue of checks and balances [....] In terms of potentially not getting paid back, that’s obviously going to be a potential issue whether we have a contract with AVEQ or not [...] but AVEQ only hosts conferences at different school locations, so if they weren’t to pay us back it wouldn’t look good for their work moving forward.” Nonetheless, Herpin noted that, in the meantime, AVEQ being informally indebted to SSMU gives it bargaining power. “I think that this represents a conflict of interest as we are going to charge AVEQ for this and AVEQ now owes us $4,000,” Herpin said. “This sort of monetary liability to the society could be a point of pressure that AVEQ could push.” Motion on Consultation on Systemic Racism in Montreal passes Motions to renew the ECOLE project fee and pressure the city to conduct consultations on systemic racism passed unanimously, with the exception of one abstention from Councillor Danny Dinh on the degendering motion and after one amendment to the consultations on racism. Originally, the motion on Consultations on Systemic Racism in Montreal called for SSMU to put $1,000 toward publicizing a petition on the issue. Arts Senator Isabella Anderson’s proposed amendment changed the language of the funding clause from “of $1,000” to “up to $1,000.” Although Oke admitted she was not certain as of yet where the funding for this motion would come from, Herpin stated that he would look into the issue. In response to Engineering Councillor Vivian Campbell’s questions, VP Student Life Jemark Earle discussed the relocation of McGill clubs and services currently situated in SSMU. He intends to seek additional funds for the move in a motion at the next Legislative Council on Feb. 22. “We are looking at bringing a motion next council in regards to amending the use of the club fund and the campus life fund,” Earle said. “Hopefully we can find space for clubs and services should they need to meet from the date the building closes until they’re able to enter the building and use the spaces again, because they are able to book it for free right now, and we don’t want to take that away from them.”
On Feb. 5, a crowd of 10,000 welcomed the 2018 Bell International Speaker Series (BISS) guest Michelle Obama to the Chambre de commerce du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM). Obama presented a talk on womanhood and the power of collective organization, drawing upon her background as an activist, Princeton and Harvard graduate, lawyer, and former first lady of the United States. Before that, however, she began with a humble anecdote about her eldest daughter, a first year student at Harvard, whom she visited at school earlier this year. “I got some mommy-time [...when my daughter Malia] came to my hotel and we cuddled in bed,” Obama said. “And she said something really sweet. She said, ‘Mom, you showed me how to be a strong woman.’” Obama hoped that the experience would resonate with audience members, many of whom were university-aged women like Malia. The anecdote also introduced what would be a central theme of Obama’s discussion: The intersection between education and women’s empowerment. “Education is the foundation for any and everything I’ve been able to accomplish in my life,” Obama said. “It is the only thing that creates equality across society.” Obama related topics like the current U.S. political climate to her central idea of education and its value for society. “We need an educated electorate,” Obama said. “We need young people, we need citizens who are able to analyze and break down arguments and to figure out what’s right and wrong.” The former first lady also used her platform to discuss a variety of intersectional feminist issues including the challenges black women encounter in higher education. “There were people that told me that I shouldn’t apply to the universities I applied
to, that I shouldn’t reach too high,” Obama said. “They had set a bar for me only based on the colour of my skin.” Obama went on to share some of her accomplishments to this end during her tenure as first lady, including an initiative she developed called Reach Higher, which equips young people with tools to continue their education beyond high school. She also called on the wealthy male contingent in attendance to re-evaluate their hiring practices to include more women. This same respectful-yet-determined attitude, albeit more tongue-in-cheek, shone through in her response to interviewer Sévrine Labelle, who asked to which time period Obama would travel back if she could. “This is a tough one, because look, I’m black, so I don’t really want to go back,” Obama said. According to CCMM President Michel Leblanc and organizer of (BISS), attendees of the 2017 series eagerly awaited the former first lady’s appearance as she continues her pursuit of social change, following her departure from the White House. “When we hosted [former U.S. president Barack Obama] a few months ago, it was an immense success,” Leblanc said. “However, I must say, right after the event, many women and community leaders said, ‘You know, Michel, we want you to invite Michelle Obama. She’s the one that inspires us.” Given the talk’s theme of equality, some attendees noted the irony of its inaccessibility. Namely, the event’s cheapest tickets exceeded $60 and most of Obama’s introductory speakers—including the Prime Minister of Canada’s spouse Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, who delivered the opening remarks—were wealthy and white. “[Before Obama, there] was a lot of white feminist rhetoric,” attendee Tori Ford, U2 Arts, said. “I was like, ‘why are these the people introducing her and not, like, local black community activists?’”
Michelle Obama talked school, motherhood, and time travel at the 2018 Bell International Speaker Series. (Summer Liu / The McGill Tribune)
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
AUS Council announces reduced beer prices at Bar des Arts Improvements to the laptop lending program pending
Laura Oprescu Staff Writer At its Feb. 7 meeting, the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Legislative Council discussed efforts to have the oneCard student payment system accepted at more restaurants and services in the Montreal area. Council also announced an increase in payment options and reduction in beer prices at Bar-des-Arts (BdA), and deliberated extending loan periods for the faculty’s laptop lending program. Reduced prices for Sapporo and Glutenberg at BdA BdA, a bar operated by the AUS from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday in the Arts Lounge, has introduced Sapporo to its drink menu for $1 per cup. The bar has also lowered the price of Glutenberg from $2 to $1 per cup. Cups of Honey Brown, Silver Creek, Cream Ale, Blanche de Chambly, and Smirnoff Ice will remain priced at $2 each, while Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sleeman will remain priced at $1 per cup. Students will now also have the option of paying their for beer at BdA using credit or debit cards. Previously, the bar has only accepted cash payment. Sarah MacRae-Korobkov, Art History and Communication Studies Students’ Society co-president, questioned whether BdA attendees would make large enough transactions to justify implementing debit and credit payment. “It’s actually a lot of beer, around $40,000 to $50,000 worth per year,” AUS President Erik Partridge responded. “This provides a different option for people who might not have change, and we anticipate that the line will move faster if we don’t have to make change [for larger bills].”
Increasing the number of options for oneCard purchases Arts Senator Michael Nwabufo is currently working on increasing the variety of restaurants and services partnered with oneCard, and is in contact with Basha, Téo taxi, and Freshii Parc. Nwabufo delivered an update to Council about his progress thus far, in which he noted that of the local businesses he consulted, Freshii Parc expressed the greatest interest in a partnership with oneCard. “This would really open up the diversity of oneCard,” Nwabufo said. “Basha has been hard because they already give discounts to McGill students, but I’m looking into Boustan.” In addition to restaurants, vending machines, and laundry services on campus, oneCard is currently accepted at St-Hubert Express Parc, Double Pizza, and the Mac Market, a student grocery store located on McGill’s MacDonald campus. AUS expands the laptop lending program The AUS will be purchasing 10 additional laptops for its laptop lending program in the coming weeks, bringing the total number of available laptops to 50. In order to minimize the risk of thefts and damages, AUS currently loans laptops for a maximum of four days before they must be returned. However, according to Partridge, this limit can be inconvenient for patrons of the program, many of whom are forced to acquire multiple laptop loans in a row to complete their assignments. “The average [total] check-out time for a laptop is three to four weeks,” Partridge said. “We’re looking into semester-long rentals with cheaper computers so that we don’t have to
AUS is increasing payment options and reducing beer prices at the faculty student bar. (Bar des Arts) check in and make sure the computers are working as often. The current laptops run at $1,800 each. Cheaper laptops mean that it’s not as bad if we lose one. We also hope to have an online sign-out system worked out soon.” Increasing spending for the laptop lending program will divert funding from AUS’ desktop computers, however there is money to spare with AUS intending to remove desktops from the Ferrier computer lab and turn it into a group study space. Some computers will remain available in Ferrier with software such as InDesign and STATA installed. This software is currently available on some of the laptops, but may not be able to run on cheaper ones. Amendments made to financial bylaws Council passed a motion to amend the AUS’ financial bylaws, stipulating that all de-
cisions made by the Financial Management Committee (FMC) must now be ratified by a simple majority vote of over 50 per cent in Council. “Last year, the VP Finance did not bring any FMC decisions to Council, as there was an agreement made that no notification would be required,” Partridge said. “This motion undoes that agreement for the sake of financial accountability.” Both a motion to amend all AUS bylaws, which will update all pronouns in AUS policies to be gender-neutral, and a motion to approve the social work Indigenous field course fee increase, which raises the fee from $390.20 to $421.56 from Summer 2018 onward, also passed. AUS Legislative Council will next meet on Feb. 21.
New SSMU position to investigate the impact of 2014 austerity Researcher will reassess McGill student programs’ funding Arvaa Balsara Contributor The Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) has begun the hiring process for a new staff position: the Austerity Measures Researcher (AMR). The AMR will examine how measures imposed by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s Liberal provincial government to reduce public expenditures have impacted McGill students and employees. The AMR will work under Vice-President (VP) External Affairs Connor Spencer for up to five hours per week for 12 weeks. In order to achieve a balanced budget, the Liberal provincial government decided in 2014 to reduce spending in public sectors like health and education. These measures were very poorly-received by students, who took to the streets in 2015 to protest the Couillard government’s decisions. According to Spencer, the AMR will determine which segments of the McGill student body have been most affected by these cuts and make recommendations regarding which programs need additional financial support. “We are hoping that with this research we will be able to see exactly the effects of the Couillard government’s austerity mentality on our campus and what must be done in order to restore it to where it was before
The Austerity Measures Researcher position will look into optimizing student program funding in light of provincial budgets cuts. (L-A Benoit / The McGill Tribune) the cuts,” Spencer wrote in an email to The previous levels,” Dyens wrote in an email to the Tribune. “In addition, we received $7.8 McGill Tribune. Although the position has only just million as part of the Plan d’action pour la been established this year, there have been réussite en enseignement supérieur, money repeated motions from the SSMU Legisla- we’ve put to increase students’ mobility.” Dyens also noted that the Fonds de Retive Council for solidarity against austerity measures as well as motions for policies that cherche du Québec (FRQ), the province’s support accessible education. However, ac- primary research funding organization, procording to Deputy Provost (Student Life and vided an average of $29.6 million of funding Learning) Ollivier Dyens, the administration to McGill between the 2014 and 2016 fiscal continues to devote significant sums to stu- years. Although the amount of money the dent aid, bursary, and scholarship programs. “Those efforts have not stopped as Quebec government has granted to the Unigovernment funding has begun to return to versity for research each year has remained
consistent since 2014, austerity measures have had dire effects on the university’s employees. Aside from massive layoffs, many full-time staff positions at McGill were reduced to part-time in response to austerity, and the University began to hire new staff on 3 month contracts, significantly reducing job security. These employees are unionized under the Association of McGill University Support Employees (AMUSE), which has been strongly critical of austerity. In 2015, the union issued a newsletter demanding more responsible hiring processes in response to the $45 million in budget cuts between 2014 and 2016. Understanding the effects of austerity on casual employees at McGill is one of the many topics the AMR will explore. They will also have to ensure that this information is made accessible to the McGill community, which according to Saeesh Mangwani, U1 Arts and casual employee at the university, previous anti-austerity campaigns have failed to do. “The little information that I have about austerity measures has been because I have actively sought it out,” Mangwani said. “As a student having some sort of research of what the exact impacts of austerity have been would be helpful in terms of knowing the issues that need to be addressed. I think having that knowledge would be a good starting point to then be able to find solutions.”
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Textbook costs need more than a textbook solution Post-secondary textbooks are expensive. Any McGill student can attest to this: For many, spending hundreds of dollars at the bookstore is an unfortunate reality of every semester. Others turn to scouring the internet for alternatives and older editions of required texts, or pawning off last year’s gargantuan, intro-level books on the McGill Textbook Exchange Facebook group. Some students simply forgo a required text altogether. As with any hurdle that comes with being a McGill student, students across faculties and demographics have innovated their way around outrageously-priced books, which range from $50 to $450 for books for a single course. Yet, the fact remains that the price of textbooks is an enduring financial barrier preventing students from making the most of their degrees. At best, the steep price of textbooks discourages students from the extra reading and work that contribute to and sometimes, are necessary for success in a class. At worst, it is a serious barrier that may prevent students from taking a given course or pursuing a degree at all. This is not a new problem on campuses, but with the rising costs of overall tuition at Canadian universities, it has only become
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Holly Cabrera News Editor “U r bombed me,” read the notification. My immediate reaction was, “What?” Several text bubbles later, I found myself engrossed in arduous digital warfare with this person, who believed I had ignored their earlier messages. I later learned that R-bombing means reading a message intended for you but not responding. The Rice University Neologisms Database explains that the term “[insinuates] the disappointment one feels when he does not receive any response from whom he texted to.” From my own experience with escalated misunderstandings over text messages, I am convinced that read receipts do more harm than good. These
more urgent. As a result, Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) University Affairs Isabelle Oke is raising awareness about Open Educational Resources (OERs)— free, online educational resources developed by professors and faculty internationally—and encouraging McGill to contribute to these resources and consider them as a cheaper alternative to print textbooks. Professors, faculty departments, and administrators should follow students’ lead. It is time to innovate solutions to the problem of textbook costs to relieve some of the burden from students. Part of the problem lies beyond the University; textbooks are expensive because the very small number of academic publishers that dominate the market can make them expensive and incorporate cost-raising extra features to edge out their few competitors. Still, this should not preclude McGill from making changes that are within its scope to alleviate some of the financial burden for students. McGill does have some resources in place to address the problem already, such as alternatives to buying new textbooks: Students can take some course books out from the library, and the McGill
library’s online database provides a range of online material. However, these solutions are far from surefire. As they do not carry enough copies for an entire class, course reserves rely on the majority of students buying their textbooks. The helpfulness of these alternatives also varies significantly across courses and departments. A political science undergraduate student may be able to find most of their required readings on WorldCat, but for a physical science major with latestedition textbooks required each semester, it is a different story. Some professors are aware of this bind for students, and tailor their syllabi accordingly; however, others do not, or cannot, because their courses demand the use of textbook problem sets, for example. McGill can do better for its students at the level of individual instructor and departmental choices as well as in broader administrative reform. Faculties and departments should consider OERs and other options available to improve access to course resources. The McGill administration should also look at facilitating solutions. Even in the absence of decisive reform, simply consulting with faculties, departments, and students about
EDITORIAL areas of greatest need, and the feasibility and effectiveness of solutions, could go a long way. Change need not come exclusively from the administration, though. As the key decision-makers on required course materials, individual professors and departments stand to have the most immediate impact on student textbook costs. Professors should certainly assign the reading materials that they see fit for a course. However, they should be flexible about the version of a textbook students can use. Moreover, as part of the selection process of these materials, instructors must keep students’ finances in mind. If a professor chooses to require the latest edition of a very expensive textbook, then that decision should be based not only on the material’s merits, but its merits relative to costs to students. Departmental oversight of textbook choices should enforce this principle across course sections. The cost of textbooks is a real and enduring burden that acts as a barrier to learning for postsecondary students, at McGill and elsewhere. It is high time that the University take more concerted, consistent steps to alleviate it.
Don’t show me the (read) receipts signals that supposedly confirm our awareness of a delivered message have distorted our perception of what is and isn’t an offence. If we receive a delayed reply, or no reply at all, after a certain amount of time has elapsed, we tend to interpret the other’s reaction—or lack thereof—as a direct assault on our ego. Timestamps that don’t accurately reflect when a person opens our message often result in unnecessary quarrels. Instead, we should consider a person’s words as confirmation of their awareness, rather our their read receipts. Certainly, an advantage to activating read receipts is that they hold us accountable to not only responding, but doing so in a timely fashion. While Apple has made activating them optional, platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat don’t offer smartphone users the luxury of choosing blissful ignorance. Rather, we must confront the fact that our presumably busy texting partner did indeed “R-bomb” us. Yet, equating read receipts with a recipient’s written acknowledgement of a message is a mistake. An opened message does not guarantee that the person with whom you are conversing has read your text in the true sense of the word. Their lack of response should not be viewed as them actively avoiding you, because the “R” may not be accurate or genuine. Keeping multiple browser tabs open may easily lead you to unintentionally open a new message without actually having read it. Granted,
it is difficult to entertain the possibility of someone inadvertently clicking your text while the obnoxious “seen” beside your last unanswered message is gaslighting you.
We have come to expect that everyone we contact is constantly on their phones, anxiously awaiting yet another one of our oddly specific memes or clever comebacks.
Lack of response, however, shouldn’t be viewed as active avoidance, or necessarily a bad thing. We communicate via text out of convenience, or when face-to-face interactions are simply impossible. In the middle of a heated argument, for example, instant messaging may even provide us with time to collect ourselves and carefully communicate our thoughts instead of exchanging words that we will surely regret. Beyond making us question whether the person we’re texting
really forgot to respond, read receipts contribute to larger problems with non-stop digital communication. We have come to expect that everyone we contact is constantly on their phones, anxiously awaiting yet another one of our oddly specific memes or clever comebacks. In truth, humans aren’t so devoted to online conversations—and frankly, they shouldn’t be. Our level of attachment to confirming read receipts and checking our smartphones betrays our insatiable need for validation. With our phones, as with any fickle relationship, we should consider that life may be more enjoyable when they are off. I am in no way urging that we part ways with technology—but we should accept that the deceptive read receipt is not our friend. In the brief history of text messaging, timestamps have shown to be reassuring to some, but their use as provocation is also an irritant to many. Given that they aren’t a reliable form of acknowledgement, perhaps deactivating read receipts when possible is wise. Maybe getting away from your phone for a bit is an even better decision. Going forward, I’ve resolved to acknowledge messages that I have in fact read by responding with some sign of life, curt as it might be. At the very minimum, anticipate the passive aggressive text staple “k.” At the very most, look forward to an attempt at the next great Canadian novel followed by an unhealthy number of heart emojis. Texters, you’ve been warned.
Grace Gunning Columnist In October 2017, the Social Work Students’ Association (SWSA) launched a campaign to designate the bathrooms in the School of Social Work’s Wilson Hall as gender-neutral, meaning that students of any gender would be able to use any bathroom they please. On Jan. 9, the campaign succeeded, and most of the building’s bathrooms have been degendered. The impact of deconstructing gendered bathrooms at McGill goes deeper than just making students more comfortable in the moment. It creates a public space where compulsive gender
Abeer Almahdi Contributor On Jan. 31, 2018, Geneviève Garon, a radio-Canada journalist, reported the trial of a McGill student named Ezra Cohen. In 2016, Cohen nonconsensually filmed his sexual relations with three minors, and distributed the footage to nine of his friends. He pleaded guilty to sharing intimate images without consent (Section 162.1(1) from the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act). As per the Crown and defence council’s suggestions, Cohen was granted absolute discharge, meaning he was found guilty but given no conviction. According to Garon, the Court believes that Cohen has shown adequate remorse, as he reported going to therapy and
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Gender-neutral bathrooms have impact beyond the stall performance—that is, alignment with a binary gender—is less necessary, altering the gendered architecture of the school. In the context of the gendered bathroom’s history, this is especially notable. Most humans living before the Victorian era, when the private bathroom first entered the scene, would be baffled by the SWSA’s victory. Until 1739, public facilities in the Western world were not only, in some circumstances, communal, but also reserved for men. Men in ancient Rome sat alongside each other in communal public toilets, and public women’s toilets were unheard of. In the United States, bathrooms were not legally segregated by gender until the early 1900s, as a manifestation of the idea that men and women belonged in separate spheres, intellectually and spatially. The short history of gendered toilets teaches us, first, that washrooms are a place where public notions of gender are expressed, and second, that these notions of gender are dependent on social context beyond the stall. If the public washroom
is a place where acceptable gender performances are reinforced, as Sheila Cavanagh argues in her book, Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and the Hygienic Imagination, then the SWSA’s grassroots initiative challenges the social control of gender on campus. In degendering its bathrooms, the SWSA deconstructs gender roles instead of reinforcing them, and opposes a history in which gender politics and taboos play out in the washroom. This has positive implications not just for individual students, but for McGill’s campus culture as a whole. By affirming trans and gender non-conforming individuals— thereby making them feel safer at school—the change in physical space created by the SWSA contributes to creating a larger academic environment that does not rely on notions of binary gender. Degendered washrooms tacitly encourage people of all genders to contribute in an academic context, by creating an inclusionary physical environment that allows trans and gender non-conforming students to feel more comfortable. As the history of washrooms shows, a
shift in washroom culture can be indicative of a shift in wider cultural factors—factors that also influence academia and student
Although a small detail such as degendered bathrooms may not seem revolutionary to unaffected students, it is a signpost of larger social change on campus.
life. Although a small detail such as degendered bathrooms may not seem revolutionary to unaffected students, it is a signpost of larger social change on campus. For example, the breakdown of the bathroom binary could occur alongside the breakdown of homogenous academic norms
that prioritize the perspectives of straight, white, cisgender men. The creation of physical learning spaces that allow for a multiplicity of student identities might encourage such diversity in academic research. As laudable as the achievement of the SWSA is, it was an entirely student-driven initiative. Similar grassroots movements at schools such as Brown University and Wesleyan University have also been student-run. Tellingly, the only floor in Wilson Hall that has retained its gendered bathrooms is reserved for administrative offices. Administrators at McGill should support their students in reworking their spaces to fit their needs and provide resources to enact lasting institutional change, rather than acting apathetic or hostile. Degendering bathrooms stands to positively impact all members of the McGill community, not just students. Gendered bathrooms are neither natural nor necessary, and they are bastions of a gender ideology that hurts McGill students. The SWSA has it right: It is time to reach the next phase in the history of bathrooms.
When justice favours perpetrators: McGill must address the Ezra Cohen case volunteering since his arrest. Amid movements like #MeToo and TimesUp’s continued dedication to exposing perpetrators, Cohen’s case is an example of the Canadian legal system’s complete lack of justice when it comes to perpetrators of sexual violence. Instead of protecting the survivor, the system prioritizes the testimony of the perpetrator. Our legal system has failed these survivors. McGill must take steps within its capacity to protect survivors of all forms of sexual violence as best as it can. These include McGill launching an investigation into Cohen’s case and taking disciplinary action, such as expulsion. Expelling Cohen would communicate to our community that McGill does not tolerate any form of sexual violence. Cohen has inflicted intense trauma on his survivors. According to an article in Le Journal de Montréal, one survivor wrote, “You will never understand the pain, the anger, the anxiety, the humiliation and the disrespect we feel, and that we still feel,” (translation from French). Cohen’s case is no isolated incident, but rather, part of the legal system’s
existing pattern of doubting the credibility of survivors of sexual violence. In 2017, a Canadian man was found not guilty of raping his wife because “he believed he could have sex with his wife whenever he wanted;” therefore, according to the judge, he did not have the criminal intent required for a conviction. During Jian Ghomeshi’s trial in 2016, the defence and judge rigorously questioned the credibility and reliability of the victims, ultimately resulting in Ghomeshi’s acquittal. Cases like these send a message that the Canadian legal system does not believe survivors. This deters individuals from reporting instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Cohen is able to walk free, but his survivors are not. His survivors are forced to confront their trauma for the rest of their lives. The pattern of doubting and discrediting survivors, to the benefit of perpetrators, goes beyond this incident, and beyond the courts. Although many cases are not tried in court, McGill’s 2015 Sexual Assault Climate Survey of 298 students found that 10 per cent of McGill students reported
having experienced a form of sexual violence, and 30 per cent have been touched sexually without their consent. These numbers suggest that McGill as a campus is far from safe to all members of its community. In Cohen’s case, the verdict’s impact is felt on campus. Cohen remains a fulltime student, so he is still required to follow McGill’s policies. The McGill Policy against Sexual Violence says that “acts of sexual violence can happen in person, by phone or online.” Filming and distributing sexual acts without consent, although not a physical activity, qualifies as sexual violence, since it is a complete and utter violation of an individual’s right to privacy and bodily autonomy. Cohen is obligated to abide by this policy, and McGill must acknowledge his offence and punish him appropriately.
McGill needs to fulfill its responsibilities to protect survivors outlined in its policy, like, “creating and sustaining a safe environment through proactive, visible, accessible and effective approaches that seek to prevent and respond to Sexual Violence.” If McGill does not take action, such as expelling Cohen, it will fail to maintain a safe environment for its students. When perpetrators like Cohen are discharged because they attend therapy, or do volunteer work, but survivors are left with no advocacy, it creates a culture that trivializes sexual violence. Examples like these tell students that their privacy and bodily autonomy are not protected. McGill has the power to foster a safe environment for its students, and the first step to that is prioritizing survivors, not perpetrators.
ERRATUM An article published in the Feb. 6 issue titled “VP Univeristy Affairs advocates for open educational resources at McGill“ incorrectly stated that the BC Open Textbook Project has saved students over $1.8 million in textbook fees. In fact, it has saved students over $5.7 million. The Tribune regrets this error.
Tuesday, February 13 , 2018 7
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Players’ Theatre Drama Festival showcases McGill Brunch, pinot noir, and contraception share the stage For 30 years, Players’ Theatre has played host to the annual McGill Drama Festival. The 2018 edition featured six student-written, -directed, -produced, and -performed plays, with three running each night. Tackling themes ranging from religious fanaticism to quarter-life crises, these plays exhibited an energetic, bold diversity representative of Montreal student theatre as a whole.
Directed by Steven Greenwood, 2nd Year English PhD Sophie Panzer, Contributor
Set in an evangelical church bathroom plastered with posters bearing slogans like “Resist the urgin’, stay a virgin,” Immaculate Contraception mocks the hypocrisy of religious fanaticism. Written by Concordia first year creative writing student Faith Pare, the play centers around a young churchgoer, Evelyn (Emma Broderick, U1 Political Science), played by U1 Political Science student Emma Broderick, who discovers she might be pregnant just before she is supposed to take a pledge of chastity. She calls in David (Jacob Hutnyk, U2 Computer Science), an excommunicated choir boy, to help her find a pregnancy test. Mary Looney, U0 Arts, steals the show as the “Angel Piss”-swigging Pastor Murphy, an elderly church authority with a salacious secret. The play’s rapidfire sex jokes and biblical allusions blur the boundaries between the spiritual and the profane: “You should have thought of daddy before you did the nasty in the confession booth!” David chastises Evelyn. And yet, this comedy offers more than just well-timed dick jokes—David’s rather secular attempts at prayer (“Dear God, and Associates”) and Evelyn’s fears of excommunication are genuinely moving. The Immaculate Contraception is sure to leave audience members reflecting on the meaning of spirituality in between bouts of laughter.
Directed by Saeesh Mangwani (U1 Environment and Urban Systems) Leo Stillinger, Contributor Animated by Lucas Amato’s (Concordia, 3rd year Playwriting) thought-provoking script, My Children is a fascinating dark comedy, that probes questions of heroism and ethics in the modern world. Three different actors play Pinnacle, a retired superhero with a dark past. At the beginning of the play, members of the audience were invited to walk onto the living-room set and examine the strange pile of books amassed in the centre. They were suddenly interrupted by a shout: “Get out of my house!” The audience members were chased back to their seats by a wild-eyed actor, Nick Vecchione (U0 Arts), who, as Pinnacle, proceeded to address the audience with unsettling directness: “How did you get in here?” This startling set piece marked the beginning of a memorable, 15-minute monologue by Vecchione, who ranted, raved, and conferred directly with bemused audience members. Driven by Vecchione’s unstable magnetism, it was an effective beginning, roping the audience in immediately. At a certain point, Vecchione departed to be replaced by a new actress (Clara Saliba, U0 Arts) in the same role, turning his character’s multi-sided personality into a literal facet of the play. Saliba was later replaced by Luke Horton (U2 Political Science). In contrast to Vecchione’s charisma, Saliba brought a sensitivity, and Horton carried his role with a manic humour. It is the performances of these three actors that elevate My Children to something truly enjoyable.
Ground Control Directed by Huxley Anjilvel (U1 Economics) Avleen Mokha, Staff Writer Ground Control is your run-of-the-mill space comedy about a doomed spaceship. While it does contain romance, betrayal, and space pirates, there are too many elements present to pull off a satisfying ending in such a short amount of time. Ground Control follows a crew of astronauts in denial about the fact that they are heading straight into a black hole, instead choosing to focus on mundanities like routine inspections and first dates. While some jokes fall flat, the script (Otman Benchekroun, U3 Electrical Engineering) does have many funny, well-delivered moments. Anastasia Krutchinsky is charming as Elena Hershey, leader of the team of astronauts. Captain Kinder Bueno 2 (Ian Kaye, U0 Arts), the space alien antagonist, has a very memorable stage presence. While Ground Control is well-paced, the final resolution is a bit too sudden and jarring. There’s not enough character development to make the story stick with viewers, but the slapstick comedy is sure to make them laugh.
Directed by Samantha Szabo Leo Stillinger, Contributor
Pinot Noir begins as so many detective stories do: A witty male detective receives a visit from one of his attractive informants with information about a new case. Quickly, however, a twist emerges to distinguish the play from its 1950s counterparts—the detective is openly gay. This wonderful ensemble comedy, an ode to the film noir genre, tells a believable and absorbing story of murder while keeping the audience laughing at every turn. Samantha Szabo, a first time director, has mastered the comic timing necessary for performing in a small theatre, and Steven Greenwood’s script does an artful job of balancing suspense and entertainment with serious reflections on homosexuality in pre-Stonewall North America. The play is truly a team effort, and each character contributes memorable moments. The star of the show, however, is Alex Czegledy (U2 Management), in the role of the detective Jason Sharp. His deadpan deliveries and tongue-in-cheek bravado provide belly laughs at each line. He at once embodies the hypermasculine detective of film noir and takes the piss out of it. Pinot Noir, a play which lovingly plays tribute to the genre while poking fun at it.
Directed by Thomas Fix (U3 Computer Science) Avleen Mokha, Staff Writer
Using a three-person cast and an unpolished living room as its setting, Suzanne has a very straightforward premise: One rainy evening, Emma (Francesca Scotti-Goetz, U2 Sociology and Communications) has an expected guest show up at her doorstep. Sophie, her guest, (Elan Schwartz, U3 Philosophy) is an organ recipient of Emma’s husband, Alex (Nick Fontaine), who died in car crash. The conversation between the two women taps into the complexity and stubbornness of mourning. The writing (Jonathan Dick, University of Toronto - Literature), with its overlapping dialogue and sustained pauses, allows you to engage with the characters very quickly. Thomas Fix’s directing is outstanding, especially for a debut. Fix connects flashbacks and the present time by having them play out in the space, allowing viewers to see Emma as a grieving woman stuck between past and present. Suzanne is one of the more heartfelt works of theatre shown in a while. Do not miss this one.
Brunch: The Musical
Directed by Harry Skinner, U2 Music Jazz Performance Sophie Panzer If the word brunch typically conjures an image of a group of middle-aged soccer moms getting tipsy off mimosas, prepare to look at the topical culinary craze in a whole new light after viewing this hilarious musical. Written by Vitta Morales, U2 Music, Brunch tells the story of a kooky kitchen staff as they attempt to navigate dreams, desire, and heartbreak, all while keeping on top of the weekend rush. The characters, based on real co-workers Morales has worked with over the years, are as vibrant as the musical numbers. “Oh, Brunch!” playfully bemoans the popularity of a meal that is “too late to be breakfast and too early to be lunch, the bane of the culinary world!” Rob Dow, U0 Cognitive Science, is hilarious as womanizing sous-chef Mike in “Call Me Big Papa In The Sack.” Victoria Stevens, U0 Music Education, shines as the cook Robin in numbers like “It’s Easier As Friends,” which celebrates the power of friendships among people who have zero interest in getting to know each other outside of work. Fans of song, dance, eggs benedict, kitchen utensil-sword fights, and navigating Players’ Theatre Drama Festival continues on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. in Players’ Theatre, 3rd floor of SSMU, 3600 Rue McTavish. Tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $10 general admission. Tickets are available online at playerstheatre.ca/buy-tickets or at the door.
WHOSE SIDE IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON? Disspelling contemporary myths of AI development
In a rapidly evolving world, technology is at the forefront of innovation, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the centre of attention of global tech pioneers. AI refers to a computer’s ability to exhibit signs of intelligence. This intelligence manifests itself in part in a machine’s capacity to make decisions as if it were human, using what data it has collected before, to provide the most optimal solution to a command—a process known as machine learning. Given that the practical applications of AI technologies are not widely understood yet, some media outlets project an exaggeratedly negative representation of the uncertainty that comes with a rapidly-developing technological future. Shows like Black Mirror (2011) and films like Ex-Machina (2014) make it is even easier to imagine a world where humanity’s well-being is threatened by the existence of sentient machines. In reality, however, AI has many practical applications that are a lot less scary. In today’s digital age, leading tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all investing in AI in an effort to enhance machine learning technologies. Currently, these technologies focus on data collection. In 2014, Google acquired the company DeepMind—a world leader in AI research and its applications. DeepMind’s team of researchers and engineers focus on the development of neural networks—a computational model that partially imitates the structure and functions of biological neural networks. DeepMind uses these artificial neural networks (ANNs) to expand a machine learning method based on learning data representations known as deep learning.
Arshaaq Jiffry Design Editor
An ANN is built around a collection of nodes or “artificial neurons,” which transmit signals among one another, in the same way that neurons in a human brain do. When an ANN receives an input of information, the network also takes into consideration the many other inputs it has received in the past. Using this catalogued information, the software formulates a solution and forms a pattern so that if a similar situation arises again, the program can work out an answer faster. If the AI program were to play a game of Space Invaders for example, it would play round after round learning through trial and error until it found the optimal strategy to go about blasting all of that space scum. This kind of learning is not just useful for winning at video games; DeepMind’s main goal is to implement these technological advancements in the real world to help solve tangible issues. One of DeepMind’s primary focus points is health care. An AI machine could help doctors diagnose illnesses faster. A program would be able to formulate a diagnosis, drawing conclusions based off of evidence such as medical images. AI’s appeal stems from its potential for improving tasks and decisions: Making a doctor’s work more accurate and efficient is a win for all parties involved. Antony Phalen, a strategic partner development manager at DeepMind, gave his insight about the company’s projects on health care at an open talk entitled “Into the Future: Progress Towards AI-enabled Healthcare,” organized as part of SUS Academia Week at McGill on Feb. 9. “We want to help doctors and hospitals get patients from test to treatment as efficiently as possible,” Phalen said during his talk. However, this technology is not yet ready for implementation
CREATIVE SUPPLEMENT Winter 2018
The McGill Tribune is proud to present the Winter 2018 Creative Supplement, highlighting excellent creative work by McGill students, including poetry, photography, illustrations, music, and mixed-media.
For more work not featured here, visit: mcgilltribune.com/creative-w18/
For more work not featured here, visit: mcgilltribune.com/creative-f17/
Cover Page: Sarah Bentivegna
158 AND 160 Avleen Mokha
WINTER BREAK Katia Innes
In my dream, a bus will save us from the end of the world. The fare is a glimmer of hope, an infestation of it
deep in the mind. My friend says 158 and 160
When I was home,
go the same way. All of the paths
I drove my car (that is not my car) to the McDonalds parking lot.
may lead down to the same destination, yet
It is not
the temptation to go down a path is
my favourite place,
undeniable. At the precipice of the horizon
or a special space,
unraveling, we rattle our empty minds
or somewhere even remotely important to me.
Hoping to hear the jingle of some hope.
The engine off, and the lights above,
The bus, already gone.
spare change and old receipts stuffed into the glove compartment.
Elli Slavitch It’s funny, you know, how much time I spent in cars.
How many hours I drove to nothing, or sat shotgun -
foot resting on the armrest, my knees pressed against my chest. Funny how my summer nights were mosquito bites,
I swallowed a few moths this morning. They were swimming in my cereal bowl. I thought they were pieces of paper but they tasted like walnuts I walked outside and the snow fell all over me like pollen but I couldn’t find the flowers pregnant with snow and the moths fluttered inside me thinking they were bees choking on things like smells so white they were swallowing paint. I coughed one moth out when I said hello to my friend Jay. It landed in his hair and became a paper clip. I felt dancing inside me tap dance shoes and twists I sneezed and a voice hushed small noises like balloons floating quiet sounds and I ate a bowl of cereal and realized the moths were really butterflies.
peeling sunburns and melting soft serve. I think I drive because I can, because it is better to be in transit, and because solitude can sometimes only be found at night in the dark away from four walls and your mother’s footsteps. Now I hide in tunnels, my toes edging the yellow line. I walk until my legs are sore, and my feet numb, and I am lost in this city that glows and sings, even when no one wants to listen.
Julia Spicer Hiroshi Mamiya Emma Avery
UNTITLED Anna Sixsmith Splintery redwood rafters raving a colorful totem of undue burdens the catnip of your dentist’s office, the sweaty knot of humid day. Or the spit-shined daffodils of goddamn bitches who peel at unripe produce and who tic the tacs of the toes Of every man you’ve ever loved. the heartbeat bang-bang-bang Of curly blonde hair that picked angel-eyes over you taunts the fickle fragility of nature’s own. The backlit stare of that boy you jumped ship with, The overhead window screen That you laid under after god beat the shit out of you. The countless Calvary-cut crosses That line the chopping block took flight the grass ripped out, the words unspoken.
REBIRTH Alicia Barry
as I walk through my mothers garden a rosebush comes to me pricks me in my slumber blood spills from my thighs as nature whispers to me the truths of night to cry only in rain to die in my sleep to bloom in the spring to live only in sunlight and spend the rest rebirthing
in the real world because of the complexity of the information the program would have to deal with. AI needs access to a collection of data that is being constantly updated, while its interface must be tailored to its user—for instance, doctors acquiring and relaying information in a medical setting. It also requires a strong feedback loop so that the AI is continuously learning how to improve its approach based on what it has experienced thus far. This means that the AI itself has to organize a lot of information in a very specific context as fast as it can, while simultaneously relaying the data to the user so that they can understand what’s going on. “It’s a 20 to 30 year journey to have a fully digitized environment […but] interoperating streams in which patients and doctors can interact [more efficiently are] imminent,” Phalen said. As AI already becomes more present in society, many individuals are expressing skepticism about applications of the technology in our day-to-day life. Phalen reassured his audience that with the appropriate regulations in place, AI can be a useful mechanism. “AI is not good or evil,” Phalen said. “It’s a tool. The way that you make sure it is used for good is [educated] government regulation […that is] heavily focused on [countering] algorithmic bias.” Algorithmic bias refers to the AI making its own decisions based on the data sets it has accumulated regardless of what is morally or factually correct. We can let AI do all the heavy lifting when it comes to mundane tasks but when it comes to complex situations such as health care, it is imperative that we monitor the decisions it makes. Element AI, a Montreal-based AI company, aims to shed light on the benefits AI has to offer society. As Canada’s largest privately-owned AI research and development lab, the company helps other businesses to better understand the implications of modern technology and conducts extensive research on future AI models. Jacob Shriar, a marketing manager for Element AI, believes that an AI-centric world is one to look forward to, not to cower away from. “The everyday person [...overestimates] how intelligent AI actually is,” Shriar said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “[They] think it is going to take over jobs [and] go rogue, but that is not the case. [AI] will actually help people with their jobs, making them more efficient.” Current innovations in AI allow for optimizing processes like banking transactions on smart phones, and self-governing entities like autonomous vehicles. These applications represent the obvious perks of integrating AI into our everyday lives. Nonetheless, the fear of unregulated, or “rogue” AI dominates debates surrounding the progress of AI technologies. Most of the public’s qualms stem from the technology's power to automatically and independently execute tasks, as well as uncertainties surrounding the implications of that power. Authority figures like Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, encourage such thinking in their public declarations of anxiety at a future where robotics turn the world upside down.
“The everyday person [...overestimates] how intelligent AI actually is,” Shriar said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “[They] think it is going to take over jobs [and] go rogue, but that is not the case. [AI] will actually help people with their jobs, making them more efficient.” John Giannandrea, senior vice-president of engineering at Google, wants to dispel sweeping doomsaying statements like Musk’s, who has declared on the record that “robots will be able to do everything better than us.” He believes that the fear-mongering rhetoric perpetuated by the media and some tech figureheads falsely influences the public’s perception of the technology, when there is still too much uncertainty about the future of AI to be able to make such predictions. One thing we do know is that the efficiency of AI is contextual: AI programs run best in the situation they were specifically designed for. One AI machine couldn’t possibly replace the entirety of the workforce in an industry. “There is general AI and narrow AI,” Shriar said. “General AI is […] where they have a general sense of human intelligence, whereas narrow AI is what we realistically have right now. It can do a lot of things in one narrow path extremely well.” Shriar suggested that traditional labour-intensive jobs will be the first ones to get the AI makeover. He used the banking world as an example of an industry
where menial tasks such as filing paperwork could easily be performed by machines. Working alongside AI is still a ways away; there are substantial obstacles that stand in the way of AI developing at as fast a pace as it could. One of the stumbling blocks in the growth of AI is the quality of the data currently available. AI cannot learn without a quality set of data. A computer can’t account for every single parameter in a given situation. The more high-quality data sets the program has access to, the more situations the machine can understand, making it that much more likely to take the correct course of action. “Data quality is […] not as organized as it could be, not as clean as it could be,” Shriar said. “[Some AI programs] are narrowly focused, [so] if there’s even one problem that the program hasn’t come across, it’s just going to break.” As AI develops, executives are realizing that it can be used for more than just automation purposes. Decision makers within IT companies are starting to use AI to complement their current technological tools to provide virtual customer assistance on their websites or even make personalized shopping recommendations on online stores. Shriar emphasized that students and future job seekers should invest more time into understanding how AI works in order to gain a competitive edge in an employment market increasingly preoccupied with the growth of AI. “The whole education system needs to change [because] the whole game is changing,” Shriar said. “Employees will be doing much less data entry, so there’s going to be [a need] for more knowledge workers.” Knowledge workers manage and use information, identifying the important parts to disseminate to the public and contributing on various levels to the transformation and trade of information. The field of knowledge management can include both programmers and marketers of data. The education system needs an overhaul that acknowledges the use of AI as it becomes more mainstream. Because, whether we like it or not, AI technologies will become an important part of every sector of society. According to Shriar, educating future members of the workforce about AI’s potential as well as its current limitations can help make the transition into a world more reliant on technology a little smoother. “We should have discussions on campus and in [different] classes,” Shriar said. “Every program should be putting an emphasis on how AI [might] affect that industry and [construct] their curriculum with that in mind.” Mathieu Rundström, U2 Science, is majoring in Mathematics and is fascinated by AI and machine learning. He agreed that a better understanding of AI benefits us all. “There should be more exposure to AI,” Rundström said. “Not everyone knows a lot about technology, and it’s becoming more a part of our everyday culture. Our generation is undergoing a revolution because of how technology with AI is rapidly changing, especially in Montreal.” Indeed, Montreal is at the forefront of AI learning with four major universities (Concordia, McGill, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Montréal) hosting more than 150 deep-learning researchers. Companies including Google, Microsoft, and Samsung are investing in Montreal’s artificial intelligence sector by setting up research labs in the city. On Sept. 15, 2017, Facebook announced at McGill that it plans to invest $7 million into Montreal’s AI scene. As these big tech companies invest more capital and manpower into developing AI, the technology is only gaining momentum. AI has the potential to help propel the human race to new heights. Machines that overcome the physical limitations of the human body can facilitate the exploration of dangerous areas such as space and the ocean floor. But AI can also facilitate more mundane, everyday applications of the technology in mobile assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, or even in a typical GPS, which becomes more efficient at selecting route options. AI can assist users with filing tax returns, adjusting the temperature of their home, or simply organizing their day-to-day schedule. There are already a myriad of different technologies in existence that incorporate AI and that we all take for granted. AI is an augmentation tool that humans have the ability to control. A careful understanding of AI is indispensable when dealing with the future automation of data collection and use. It’s important to pursue future endeavours with clear guidelines and goals in mind. Nonetheless, when envisioning the future of AI we shouldn’t forget that it is here to help—not hinder—our efforts. “The idea that AI has to take over and massively displace everyone is a myth,” Shriar said. “It has unbelievable benefits from a societal point of view [and will help make] the world a better place.”
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
10 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Rostam brings new songs, and a string quartet, to La Sala Rossa Former Vampire Weekend maestro charms in Canadian debut Leo Stillinger Contributor Former member of Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij—performing under his stage name, Rostam—headlined at La Sala Rossa on Feb. 5, touring behind his first solo album Half-Light, released last September. It was, as he proudly noted, the first-ever Rostam show in Canada. The night opened with a performance by Joy Again, a rambunctious five-piece band hailing from Philadelphia. True to their name, the music was happy and consistent. Not only was the band pumped that their Philadelphia Eagles had won the previous night’s Super Bowl, but they were even more excited to have escaped the tyranny of American liquor laws and be able to legally drink on stage. The lead guitarist celebrated by sipping a beer on stage between riffs. Between the two acts, the venue filled with an eager, chattering crowd. When Rostam walked onstage, he was joined by a drummer and, remarkably, a full string quartet. It is rare to see two violins, a viola, and a cello gracing the stage of La Sala Rossa, but the arrangement was a master stroke. Half-Light’s sound is a mix of graceful strings, a hallmark of early Vampire Weekend songs like “M79,” as well as their more heavilyproduced rhythms. These styles are held together in a restless, productive tension on each song of the album. Behind the string quartet and a MacBook, Rostam was able to effortlessly reproduce this unique style in person. Opening with “Don’t Let It Get To You,” Rostam rolled off tune after tune from his album,
Rostam charters new Canadian territory in his solo career. (Emmett McCleary / The McGill Tribune) clearly showcasing his skill at writing pop songs. Early highlights were the rhythmic “Never Going to Catch Me” and the infectious “Bike Dream,” with lyrics detailing the many sides of a romance: “Two boys, one to kiss your neck / And one to make you breakfast.” Even the string quartet danced in their seats. La Sala Rossa’s intimate gave Rostam a chance to banter with the audience, and revealed the talented musician to be an equally charming guy. At one point he announced, “If you’re here, it’s because you know how good my frittata is.” If only, Rostam. In working with Vampire Weekend, Rostam
has typically been credited as an instrumentalist and producer, but in his solo work, he steps fully into the vocal limelight. Rostam’s voice is a broad, sensitive instrument, sliding almost lazily between notes and moods; on slower songs such as “Sumer” and “Don’t Let It Get To You,” his vocals expanded to fill the intimate space with warmth and brightness. Before performing “Wood,” Rostam asked if there were any Persians in the audience. Rostam himself was raised by Iranian-immigrant parents in Washington D.C., and though all his vocals exhibit this influence, on “Wood” he embraces the rhythms and sounds of his Middle Eastern heritage
more fully. In comparison with his more concise pop songs, “Wood” takes its time, building up string riffs only to strip them away again. The highlight of the show came after the encore, when Rostam performed a new, unreleased song, a cover of Nick Drake’s classic “Pink Moon,” before closing with a final reprise of “Don’t Let It Get To You.” It was the audience’s clearest glimpse into his restless and brilliant musical mind. Between the final songs, Rostam shrugged and said: “We just love making music.” The tightly-packed audience nodded appreciatively; they loved hearing it.
Little corporal, big world The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts explores the public and private life of Napoleon Katia Innes Contributor Continued from page 1. Within Napoleon, two narratives run parallel to one another: Daily life at the Imperial Palace, and the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. The exhibition invites viewers to draw comparisons between the progression of a day’s labour to the gradual decline of the First Empire. The layout of the exhibition mimics
the apartments of the Tuileries, with each room dedicated to one of the six Grand Officers of the household, each of whom helped to construct Bonaparte’s image of power. Beginning in the Imperial Household, the first room examines how Bonaparte’s public image was disseminated with the help of the Household staff through visual propaganda, marking the start of the Empire. The exhibition then transitions into a room dedicated to the Grand Master of the Imperial Hunt, a not-sosubtle nod to the Napoleonic Wars that plagued
‘Napoleon’ explores the infamous corporal’s private life. (Zoe Yalden / The McGill Tribune)
Europe during the Empire. This room examines the country life of the French imperial family and its supporting nobles, and how the upper class distracted themselves as young men died en masse across the continent. Through the Grand Chaplaincy, the Grand Marshal, and, ultimately, to Bonaparte’s exile on the island of Elba, the exhibition demonstrates the impressive group effort that went into presenting one man to the world. In every painting, every crucifix, there is a hidden meaning imbued—that of control and subjugation. As a ruler, Napoleon expertly crafted a royal image that dreww from his predecessors of the Ancien Regime and from the Roman Emperors to reinforce his mythic rule. This image, cultivated with the help of a team of advisors, was evident even in Napoleon’s dress and household decor, like the tableware and furniture. These were exclusively created by the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. A simple tea service is elevated with gilded gold, imperial eagles, and patriotic French symbolism of the revolution, such as the fleur de lys. This abject display of wealth enforced Bonaparte’s status as the reigning power in the empire. Bonaparte’s authority is seen in larger works as well; the Portrait of Napoleon in Ceremonial Robes (1805) by FrançoisPascal-Simon Gèrard immediately draws the attention of visitors. With its tight composition and Greco-Roman influences, this painting epitomizes the ethos of Napoleon’s cult of
personality. The son of a minor noble who quickly rose to military power during the Terror of the French Revolution, Bonaparte established a new dynasty, and quickly expanded his reach to create the largest land empire in 19th century Europe. Propaganda often showed Bonaparte’s military might, and paintings such as that by Gerand were meant to enforce absolutist presence. Napoleon’s ornate and opulent rooms of deep mahoganies and mauves are filled floor to ceiling with imposing, austere portraits. It’s not difficult to imagine daily life at the Tuileries: A life of hunting, excess, and boredom. The exhibition succeeds at bringing this narrative to life through its inclusion of decorative arts. I found myself in complete awe as I stood beneath “The Altar Fixtures for Wedding of Napoleon and Marie-Louise, later for the Chapel at Tuileries” (1809). Underneath the silver cross and candle holders, which Georges Rouget detailed in a painting, I realized that the narrative that was presented was no longer a figment of a history textbook. The graphic emotion evoked by such banal objects allows modern viewers to engage in a discourse with the recent past that remains rooted in our contemporary values. Napoleon: Art and Court Life in the Imperial Palace runs from Feb. 3 to May 6. Tickets are available at https://www.mbam. qc.ca/en/exhibitions/on-view/napoleon/
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
STUDENT LIVING 11
Five best places to make out on campus this Valentine’s Day There are better places to show your affection than the Quesada line Miguel Principe Staff Writer Unfortunately for McGill students, Valentine’s Day always falls in the middle of midterm season, leaving many couples without the time to go on a romantic date to display their affection. Luckily, there’s no place on Earth more romantic than McGill. The rolling hills and stressful ambience on campus will get anyone’s heart pumping. To help you show off your bae to the entire student population, The McGill Tribune has compiled a list of the best places for you and your uni cutie to lock lips on campus this Feb. 14. Leacock 132 Situated in the heart of campus, Leacock 132 is the ultimate make out spot. With 600 seats, this lecture hall offers lovebirds plenty of locations for making out—from the far back corner in view of tour groups passing by, or the awkwardly-placed table beside the professor’s podium. If you can, plan your make-out session for the 8:30 to 9:30 rush, as this will give you the opportunity to start off your classmates’ days by showing them an old-fashioned public display of affection. Bishop Mountain Hall cafeteria Just a sweaty 15-minute uphill climb from campus, Bishop Mountain Hall (BMH) offers a beautiful panoramic view of the
city, similar to the one that can be observed from the romantic Chalet du Mont-Royal. However, unlike the chalet, Upper Rez offers an undeniably heart-throbbing ambience. While you’re smooching with your special someone, look out onto Forbes field to watch your favourite sport. Grab some tortellini from the pasta bar, a few cookies for dessert, and take a seat at one of the window-side tables to take some cute couple pics. Also, make sure to say hi to Darren the shawarma guy while you’re there—he’s really nice. ThetunnelbetweenMcIntyreandStewartBio A great way to bond with a romantic interest is to go through a terrifying experience together. As university students, no one has time or money to go skydiving or bungee jumping. Fortunately, McGill’s architecture provides students with many ways to get that adrenaline rush they’re longing for. Head to the shady tunnel between the McIntyre Medical Building and the Stewart Biology Building for some intense lip-locking that will reverberate smooching sounds across the walls. This amorous noise will leave you both wondering: Is what you’re hearing the sound of making out, a passerby, or the ghost of a medical student from the early 20th century? You’ll never know—and that’s the beauty of it. Redpath Library’s Cyberthèque pods Cyberthèque is where love and learning
Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, please don’t make out in front of students studying in McLennan. (Catherine Morrison / The McGill Tribune) collide. In addition to being on the isolated basement floor, Cyberthèque pods are the perfect make for perfect kissing spots, as everyone who uses them knows they are extremely soundproof. From the windows, couples can take in the breathtaking views of people skating on the ice rink on Lower Field on one side, and students frantically studying for their midterms on the other. However, what truly sets Cyberthèque above the rest is its proximity to Première Moisson. Take advantage of this convenient location and show your significant other that you are willing to splurge for them by buying them chocolates with your OneCard dollars.
Burnside Basement You know what they say about Montreal: It’s the Paris of Canada. And if that is true, then Burnside is the Eiffel Tower. Burnside is the most iconic building on the McGill campus; this brutalist block of concrete is the pinnacle of architecture. Its basement is also open 24 hours for science students, so any time is the right time to make out—as long as you wait for the right person to open the doors for you at night. Plus, during the day, Burnside is a hot spot for samosa sales, so you can (literally) spice up your relationship by eating one of these golden triangles of goodness Lady and the Tramp style.
Ask Ainsley: How do I manage a long-distance Valentine’s Day? Ainskey gives advice on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner regardless of distance Ainsley Columnist Dear Ainsley, Last year, my significant other of three years graduated and moved to Vancouver while I remained at McGill. We have always gone out and celebrated Valentine’s Day together by doing something special. This is our first year apart on this holiday, and I don’t know what I can do to show them I miss and love them when we’re so far away. Any ideas? Sincerely, Long Distance Valentine (LDV) Dear LDV, Your question is very near and dear to me, as I’m also spending Valentine’s Day far apart from my significant other. While it can be difficult to show someone you care when you’re far away, there are many creative ways to make sure you and your partner have a romance-filled Valentine’s Day, regardless of distance. If you’re looking to give your partner a gift, consider going the traditional route, and send them a care package in the mail. Fill it with corny classics like heart confetti and chocolate, or personalized items like reminders of your best inside jokes or your favourite sweater. Throw in a letter explaining how you feel without them by your side, and you’ve got yourself a heartfelt valentine’s gift. Alternatively, delivering some flowers or Edible Arrangements to
With love letters, FaceTime, and learning to take nude photos, all couples can make the most of Valentine’s Day, regardless of distance. (Athletes Abroad) your partner’s house is an easy go-to way to make sure they know you are thinking about them. Taking the time to send a loved one some of their favourite things is a surefire way to put a smile on their face and make them feel loved. Many couples tend to have V-Day traditions, such as watching the new Fifty Shades of Grey movie on the day of its release, or binge-eating take-out food. If you have traditions like this, consider adapting them to keep them alive despite the distance. Instead of going to the movies or binge-eating sweets on the couch,
combine these activities and arrange a FaceTime dinner-movie date. Whether you decide to cook together on FaceTime or get your favourite meals delivered, this will be a fun and unique way to share the special evening. To end the night, watch a movie together and have a FaceTime sleepover. If you’re looking for some spicier ways to show your love this Valentine’s Day, consider asking a friend to take nude polaroids of you to send to your partner in the mail. Or, if your significant other is into it, go the digital route: Take a bunch of nude photos in advance, and Snapchat them
to your valentine throughout the day. Since you’re three hours ahead of Vancouver, send some as soon as you wake up, so that your partner gets them first thing in the morning. Once you and your significant other have some time alone, use technology to your advantage and share some intimacy through FaceTime sex. Although it may seem daunting, by learning to dirty talk and get comfortable on camera, sex with your Valentine will be just as satisfying as the real thing. Understandably, being away from your valentine on a holiday created for public displays of affection may feel sad. Try not to get too down on yourself; think about all of the long-distance couples that are going through the same thing and try to remember that you are not alone! If you have friends who are also in long-distance relationships this Valentine’s Day, consider planning an activity to do together to fight off feelings of loneliness. Nothing beats a Palentine’s Day with your best friends. Albeit cliché, it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As long as you and your significant other are both invested in your relationship, know that no distance can come between you two. Instead of dwelling on how far away you are from your valentine, focus on the fact that you have someone to share it with, and make this day as special as you can. Sending lots of love this V-Day, Ainsley
Tuesday, February 12, 2018
12 STUDENT LIVING
Quiz: How to spend Valentine's Day as a strong, independent person Find out what to do on your lonesome this Feb. 14
Yara Abuelreish / Contributor
You’re single on Valentine’s Day. So what? Montreal is the perfect city for singles to thrive, with its bustling social scene and endless list of things to do. In order to help you make the most of your Valentine’s Day, The McGill Tribune has made a quiz to help you find your perfect independent Feb. 14 activity.
The best Disney Channel Original movie is:
a) The most beautiful thing in the world b) Absolutely overrated and gross
a) High School Musical b) Camp Rock
One of the greatest love songs ever is...…
The ultimate hang out with friends is…
a) “My Heart Will Go On” by Céline Dion b) “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston
a) Gossip, existentialism, and sweatpants b) Going out on the town in your best matching outfits
Your favorite outdoor environment is...… a) A vast evergreen forest b) A smooth, sandy beach
Your BFF’s embarrassing childhood photos are lying on her coffee table at her annual Galentine’s Day party. You… a) Photograph them and post them all over social media b) Protect your BFF’s dignity and hide them from your other friends
You’re given a million dollars. After you give part of it to charity because you’re great, you...: a) Spend it on fast food, fidget spinners, and Sephora makeup b) Take a trip around the world and stay exclusively in five-star hotels
True or False: Flowers are a cute gift.
The best romantic comedy of all time is:
a) T: They’re so beautiful and they smell so nice! b) F: Flowers die way too quickly, I’d prefer a succulent.
a) Love, Actually b) 500 Days of Summer
You should...… Treat yourself. Can I get an amen? You’re the most important person in your life right now. Treat yourself to a hydrating mask, a bubble bath, and a box of your favourite chocolates. While you’re indulging in the finer things in life, make sure to splurge with some online shopping and binge-watch this season of The Bachelor.
Participate in the AntiValentine movement!
Have a chill Galentine’s Day!
Love is a lot to handle! Instead of spending the day surrounded by couples, consider spending it with other single people who hate Valentine’s Day as much as you do. Allow your frustration and woes to slip away as you angstily dance to The Smiths at an Anti-Valentines Day party you’ll be hosting with your friends.
You’re brimming with love and affection, and what better way to express it than with your closest friends? Plan a fun night in watching movies and eating heart-shaped pizza. If your group of pals are more in the mood for a day on the town, head out for a relaxing manicure, then finish the night off with dinner at a local restaurant.
Can we switch positions? Six horrible sex positions to avoid this Valentine’s Day Cass Morton Contributor It’s Valentine’s eve! That means you’re probably preparing for a night of romance and doing the dirty with that special someone tomorrow. If you’re feeling especially confident, trying to impress your partner with some new moves, or are simply feeling tired of missionary, this day is the perfect occasion to try out some wacky sex positions—assuming your partner is consenting to switching things up. In order for you to have the best sex possible, The McGill Tribune has compiled a few positions to avoid this year, as they will no longer be fun after about 20 seconds.
“The London Bridge” This one’s for bendy babes only. First of all, I have literally never met someone with both the flexibility and strength to be the base for this nifty position. Honestly, if your partner is talented enough to support you in this way, I say marry them. After this experience, I would trust them with anything.
The “head spinner” I have no idea what is going on here. This position looks like one person really wanted a hug but the other was pushing them away, prompting the first to latch on to them in tears. Also, once you finally find the correct way to align your bodies to be in this position, you will probably be too tired to do it.
“Bumper Cars” This position is just an absolute mess. The imagery resembles two people who are tied together in a pool, trying to break free from each other by doing the front crawl. Not only will your arms get extremely tired from being in what seems to be a very long plank, but I have no idea how this position could feel good for either person.
“Lusty Leg Lift” Ok, unless you are some sort of gymnast, there is no way you’ll be able to perform this position without pulling a muscle. Also, this only really works for people of very specific heights; if either of you are just a bit too tall or too short, things will definitely get ugly. Be careful not to fall down or accidentally kick your partner in the face.
Shower Sex I am 100 per cent convinced that people who say they’ve had good shower sex are lying. Although the water will be hot and steamy, the sex probably won’t be. However, if you’ve been eyeing your partner’s fancy shampoo collection, this is a great way to get your hands on that.
Down Stroke If you’re in the mood to risk your life, try this one out. I could see this position going really well if you were in space and didn’t have to deal with gravity, but here on Earth, your legs will slowly slip off of your partner’s shoulders until you’re laying on the ground, questioning why you thought this would ever work in the first place.
Bent Spoon Position You know when you’ve been having really bad sex for 45 minutes and you’re not really into it anymore so you eventually just roll over and go to sleep? This position looks like that. Also, whoever’s on top in this position will absolutely feel too self-conscious about putting too much weight on the bottom partner for this to be pleasant for either person.
science & technology 13
Tuesday, February 13 , 2018
Inspiring the aspiring: AsapSCIENCE at SUS Academia Week YouTubers Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown present the 2018 keynote address Ronny Litvack-Katzman Contributor The dynamic and informative SUS Academia Week, which ran this year from Feb. 5 to 9, came to an enlightening conclusion on Friday night. Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, self-proclaimed ‘science communicators’ and creators of the popular science YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, presented this year’s keynote lecture, “Into the Future with AsapSCIENCE.” With over seven million subscribers and almost one billion video views, AsapSCIENCE has become one of the most-followed producers of science content across any platform. Moffit and Brown, who created the channel in 2012, release weekly episodes on a variety of scientific topics that range from how the brain responds to drugs, to the physiological and social ramifications of human colonization of Mars. Upward of 150 students, as well as numerous members of the Montreal community, attended the presentation, which focused on how Moffit and Brown started their YouTube careers and the future of online science education. Brown was first introduced to YouTube while working as a high school teacher in Folkestone, England. “It got me thinking that I could take my interest in science, art, and teaching
With over 7 million subscribers on YoutTube, AsapSCIENCE’s creative and informative videos are on their way to reaching an even broader audience. (Linqiao Zhou / McGill Tribune) education and make something out of it,” Brown said. Brown realized the effectiveness of this interdisciplinary approach after noticing that his students were interested in watching educational content that was presented creatively on YouTube. “Videos like that are an opportunity for somebody who thinks science is too boring or too hard to say ‘hey this is actually really relatable,’” Moffit said. “We take these [types of] concepts and put them into oneminute videos.” Brown and Moffit both received their
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from the University of Guelph in 2011 and 2010, respectively. While students, they developed a passion for teaching science to their peers, employing collaborative learning strategies to enhance their own education as well as others. According to Brown, AsapSCIENCE has evolved in tandem with their personal growth, reflected in the content they put out. As Brown describes it, their original videos have matured to include increasingly political subject matter. “Using a scientific angle allows us to
educate our audience on what is happening in the world,” Moffit said. Moffit has worked alongside famed scientist and television personality Neil deGrasse Tyson as well as actress Emma Thompson to create documentaries on a variety of social issues. The AsapSCIENCE team has addressed everything from Indigenous rights issues in northern Canada to the inner workings of Greek refugee camps. Looking to the future, Moffit believes that the Internet is key to opening the floodgates that will reach worldwide audiences. “The Internet provides people from all over the world with access to content that would otherwise be inaccessible,” Moffit said. Science’s popularity and relevance feeds their channel’s growth. “Science is becoming increasingly prevalent in pop culture [and it’s] something that people are wanting to make more content about,” Brown added. The creators view YouTube, alongside other multimedia platforms, as essential to the future of learning in all fields of study, non-exclusive to subjects in science. “Even if you’re not one to teach science, but you’re keen to teach something you are passionate about, the Internet is [your] opportunity to share that with the world,” Brown said. “There is so much room for more channels like this.”
Closing the gender gap with ‘Women & Science’ STEM companies gathered at the Montreal Science Centre for the event Emma Gillies Staff Writer Feb. 11 marked the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to celebrate the occasion, the Montreal Science Centre hosted Women & Science, an event designed to encourage young women and girls to pursue careers in science and technology. Even in 2018, there is a prevalent gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. According to UNESCO, only 35 per cent of STEM students in higher education internationally are female, and only 28 per cent of the world’s researchers are women. Women & Science is a part of the mission to close this gap. Girls under the age of 18 were granted free admission to the Indigenous Ingenuity exhibit—a showcase of Indigenous science and technology—as well as permanent exhibitions that allowed them to explore everything from the human body to novel inventions and machines. The Montreal Science Centre, with its colourful floors and informative, interactive activities, was bustling with children of all ages. An activity room with interactive scientific presentations and workshops allowed children to practice their coding skills with Kids Code Jeunesse, a non-profit organization with a mandate to teach Canadian children how to code. Falcon Ed, a company specializing in training birds of prey for conservation or ecological purposes, educated a fascinated
audience on the biodiversity of these birds, with species such as the American kestrel and great horned owl present. Numerous organizations were in attendance, including video game publisher Ubisoft, artificial intelligence solutions provider Element AI, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and science communications group L’Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec. Marie-Pierre Carbonneau from CGI, an IT services provider, highlighted Ma Carrière Techno and Ma Vie Techno, two websites that aim to educate and assist women in finding technology-related careers. “[The goal of Ma Carrière Techno] is to know more about different careers in technology so that people can go on the website and see, ‘OK, if I want to be a webmaster, what does that mean?’” Carbonneau said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. Essentially, the website serves as a tool for exploring careers and the skills they require. Ma Vie Techno is a resource for finding opportunities with organizations and activities related to technology. “We are here because we know that we need lots of girls in science and technology, and sometimes girls say ‘Oh, technology, it’s not for me!’” Carbonneau said. “But yes, it’s for you, and we need you.” Amira Bencherif, from Université de Montréal’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, works in a multidisciplinary lab with a team of students of varying educational backgrounds, including physics, engineering, and biology. The lab’s goal is to detect cancers
The Montreal Science Center hosted numerous companies to talk to young women and girls about careers in STEM. (Radio Canada) “I would say if it’s a passion, […] just at early stages and at a faster rate than would be go for it, and keep working hard,” Potvin said. possible in a large laboratory. “We make electronics to […] detect “Everyone’s starting at the same level. No one’s mutations in DNA,” Bencherif said. “The idea born knowing science. You learn about it.” She added that any field of science has an is that […] to detect cancers, to detect illnesses, we’re trying to make [the technologies] smaller.” impact on humanity, and that women should not The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), be discouraged from participating: They just which works with Earth-observation satellites, have to be ready to work hard. “You’re helping people adapt to this planet space robotics, space exploration, and satellite technologies, was also present. The CSA and live better, so this is very important work,” operates satellites for the Canadian government Potvin said. Women & Science served as an opportunity that have multiple applications, from predicting natural disasters to tracking environmental for women and girls to gain exposure to a diversity of careers available in STEM. As damage like oil spills. Marie-Josée Potvin, a structural engineer more women get involved in fields that have with the CSA, stressed the importance of been historically dominated by men, the overall teamwork, passion, and hard work in science, knowledge of that field expands. Breakthroughs but said that she often sees a lack of self- cannot continue to occur if we refuse to break barriers. confidence in young girls.
14 science & technology
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Planetariums: Where science meets entertainment A review of shows that can be seen at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal Julia Kossakowski & Zoe Doran
For space lovers, a trip to the fringes of the galaxy is only a few metro stops away from McGill’s downtown campus at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. One of the facilities operating under Montreal’s Espace pour la vie at the Parc Olympique, the planetarium currently offers six films exploring topics ranging from intergalactic travel to the possibility of extraterrestrial life, with a single ticket purchase allowing admission for two films. Viewers can lean back and relax on the bean bag chairs in the Chaos Theatre and be transported through space and time in the traditional planetarium-style Milky Way Theatre, far beyond the stresses of rapidly approaching midterms. Space Next Space Next is a 25-minute film that explores why the allure of space’s great unknown has called to humans through our history on earth. From the Wright brothers first flight, to the Cold War Space Race, to modern day deep
space explorations, Space Next challenges viewers to consider humanity’s potential future among the stars, allowing them to ponder what life on other planets could be like. Images of human life on Mars, leisurely trips to the moon for the wealthy, and even extractive economies on the Moon will leave viewers both amazed and hopeful for humankind’s interstellar future. EXO EXO tackles the big questions about our universe: Are we alone? Could Einstein’s theory of relativity have a loophole? A clear, 360-degree view of Montreal’s night sky leaves the audience awe-struck and curious. EXO begins by exploring the early origins of astronomy, followed by the attempts of modern scientists to discover life beyond Earth. Viewers will leave the Milky Way Theatre refreshed and excited to look more closely at Montreal’s night sky. Edge of Darkness Edge of Darkness is a 25-minute film describing
meteorites, comets, asteroids, and dwarf planets, like Pluto, found in the Kuiper Belt, a large debris field at the edge of our solar system. Spectators learn about the birth of our solar system, the anatomy of comets, and close-call comet collisions. As humanity’s expansion into space is becoming a possibility, the film discusses how scientists and corporations are looking to comets, asteroids, and Earth’s other cosmic neighbours to serve as future docking stations and sites of resource extraction. To witness these rogue bodies in action, mark the Lyrid meteor shower on your calendar—April 22, just before dawn. KYMA, Power of Waves KYMA, Power of Wavesis Montreal filmmaker Phillip Baylaucq’s wordless artistic representation of space and earth, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. KYMA, meaning ‘waves’ in Greek, portrays an introspective journey from the outer reaches of space down to subatomic particles and everything in between. Baylaucq’s film depicts the acoustic,
A view of the Rio Tinto Alcan’s domed theater in one of their past shows, ‘Aurorae’. (Newsreel) electromagnetic, gravitational, and quantum mechanic waves of the cosmos through musical and visual stimuli. Unusual camera shots and oscillating visuals are accompanied by Robert Marcel Lepage’s modern score, allowing the mind to become immersed in the waves of space. KYMA is not your typical planetarium show—those who seek a unique and thoughtprovoking depiction of space made specifically for the domed screen at the Milky Way Theatre should definitely plan a trip. Whatever you decide to see, stick around after the show
to explore interactive exhibits outside the theatre. Learn how space technology can improve agriculture, synthesize chemical compounds on touchscreens, and see one of the oldest rocks on earth. Visitors will leave the planetarium feeling inspired by the grandeur and mystery of our common home, the universe. With a student card, McGill students can receive discounts of 25 per cent for any planetarium show. Space Next/EXO and Edge of Darkness/KYMA will run until April 15 at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.
Science outreach club gives back to Montreal’s youth Let’s Talk Science Outreach McGill puts on STEM and workshops and activities for youth Jade Prévost-Manuel Science & Technology Editor Continued from page 1. These activities promote positive attitudes toward careers in STEM, and provide a platform for motivated science students or enthusiasts to volunteer and connect with youth. Jasmin Chahal, a third-year PhD student in Microbiology and Immunology and LTSOM coordinator, described her first memories with the club as a rewarding experience. Chahal communicates the needs of surrounding communities and schools between the national organization and the McGill chapter. The incredible community response the chapter has received is her favourite part of the job yet. “It would have to be the appreciation that you get,” Chahal said. “Not just from the students or the parents you encounter at a public event, but also when you’re talking about what you do [with] your colleagues. They think it’s so great what we’re doing.” While the club hosts a number of events throughout the year, their largest is the annual Let’s
Let’s Talk Science Outreach McGill, established in 1998, is one of over 40 post-secondary Outreach sites under the national chapter of Let’s Talk Science. (LTSOM) Talk Science Challenge. Students aims to expand STEM beyond initiatives has been to establish from grades six to eight spend a the curriculum, organizers aim to Indigenous outreach programs for communities in the farther few months preparing for either make it a fun experience as well. “[At these competitions], we reaches of the province. Last a STEM-based trivia challenge, or a design competition. Ethan give out prizes for team spirit, year, volunteers travelled to Yang, a second-year PhD student and most of the kids will either the rural Quebec townships of in Analytical Chemistry and dress up or come up with team Kawawachikamach and Odanak. one of the Let’s Talk Science chants [to make it more engaging They performed in-class, handson STEM activities for students, coordinators, told The McGill for participants,]” Yang said. One of the club’s newest and participated in the Quebec Tribune that while the event
Aboriginal Science Fair. Relying on volunteers, LTSOM is always looking to recruit passionate individuals to join their ranks, including undergraduates. “We’ve started to actively reach out to undergrads,” Yang explained. “[We’re] hoping to have a greater undergraduate presence in the club.” Volunteers can expect to attend training sessions on how to create cool experiments and engaging STEM activities for the students they work with. Past workshops the club has put on have incorporated fingerprinting kits for crime lab activities, or marshmallow towers in engineering workshops. “Right now, we’re trying to make an effort to do more events, go to more classrooms, get more funding, and raise more awareness,” Chahal said. All Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteers attend a training session that focuses on how to create and deliver impactful, engaging hands-on STEM activities. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, contact Susie Taylor, Program Support Coordinator, Outreach.
Tuesday, February 13h, 2018
NHL midseason report
Superlatives and predictions before the trade deadline Owen Gibbs Contributor The halfway point in the 2017-18 National Hockey League (NHL) season has come and gone, marking a perfect time to reflect on the season so far, and consider how the intriguing postseason will shape up. Biggest Surprise: Vegas Golden Knights No expansion team—in any of the four major North American leagues—has ever finished their inaugural season with a winning record. No one thought an inexperienced squad like the Vegas Golden Knights would be any different. Then, after the Knights won their first three games, people started to take notice. Despite losing each of their top three goaltenders, their record is currently 36-15-4, tied for the league’s second-best mark as of Feb. 13. No one could have possibly predicted it, but this rag-tag band of outcasts looks to be contenders. Biggest Disappointment: Edmonton Oilers This season was supposed to be the one for the Edmonton Oilers. After last spring’s push to the Western semi-finals and their first playoff appearance in nine years, the Oilers seemed primed to make a run for the Stanley Cup. Then-20-year-old superstar Connor McDavid had just won the scoring race, Cam Talbot had established himself as a top goaltender, and several rookies were looking to make an impact. However, the Oilers got off to a poor start, and haven’t had a sniff of the playoff picture ever since. With two months remaining in the regular season and at 23-28-4, most analysts are counting them out. Whether they will be able to recover is anyone’s guess. Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player): Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche The Avalanche have made an impressive leap this year— moving from the worst record in the last 15 years to playoff contention—and MacKinnon is the reason why. He leads the team
in scoring with 24 goals and is near the top of the entire league. MacKinnon carries the team, and while he likely won’t be winning the scoring race this season, he is still extremely valuable. Without MacKinnon, the Avalanche would likely be doing worse than they did last year, making him more impactful than any other player in the league this year. Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning The Tampa Bay Lightning have been absolutely dominant this year, thanks in part to their high-octane offence. But, even with their success up front, no team can be powerful without a good goalie. Vasilevskiy has most definitely played the part: Among starting goalies, he’s first in wins, first in save percentage, second in goals against average, and has backstopped his team to first overall. These are the makings of a Vezina winner. Calder Trophy (Best Rookie): Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders Barzal and Vancouver Canuck Brock Boeser, two 2015 firstround picks, have both had impressive first seasons. They are one and two on the rookie points board and have dominated the Calder conversation. Boeser leads in goal-scoring by a wide margin despite playing for the struggling Vancouver Canucks, but Barzal has been better all-around, particularly as a playmaker. Ultimately, that versatility gives Barzal the edge—at this point—for a race that will come down to the wire. Stanley Cup Final: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators With stellar scoring, defence, and goaltending, the Lightning have been dominant this season, on top of the league for all but two days. Tampa Bay will be playoff favourites all the way through the
Star goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy stops a shot. (NHL.com) Eastern Conference, but the West is a tighter battle. Vegas should be a playoff favourite, and the Winnipeg Jets could make a deep run should their players stay healthy; however, the most likely Western Conference champions are the Nashville Predators. Nashville went on an improbable run to the finals last season, and have only improved since—particularly after captain Mike Fisher returned from retirement. They’ve held steady near the top of the Western Conference and will look to ride that to the final. This matchup would be a very tough series for either team, but the Lightning’s supremacy in almost every department prevails over seven games. 2018 Stanley Cup champion: Tampa Bay Lightning
Rocking the walk into the 2018 Olympics Highlights from the PyeongChang opening ceremony Miya Keilin Staff Writer Every two years, the world is treated to the Olympic Games, and with each iteration comes an opportunity for host countries to artfully showcase their history and culture in the opening ceremony. Feb. 9’s show in PyeongChang combined unbelievable choreography and technology to deliver a memorable performance for all to enjoy. Silhouettes of the Olympic rings at the bottom of a ski slope, lights shooting up high into the sky, beautiful interplay between drummers and dancers, and a powerful image of yin and yang formed at centre stage drove home the ceremony’s theme of “Peace in Motion.” But, no matter how excellent the performance portion of the ceremony is, the Parade of Nations is always one of the Olympics’ best moments. For viewers, watching the world’s athletes walk into the arena elicits a broad spectrum of emotions— joy and excitement because the Games are back, pride and awe for the athletes and the hard work that they’ve put in to get there, and the beauty of seeing the world come together. On a much more superficial level, the Parade of Nations provides fans with great entertainment from trying to guess an athlete’s sport from just their face or physique, to searching up where in the world a country is. Above all, some stand-out outfits stole the show.
South Korea and North Korea paraded under a united flag at the opening ceremony. (wsj.com) Pita Taufatofua, the Tongan taekwondoin who carried his country’s flag into the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Games, surely deserves a mention. He qualified for PyeongChang as a crosscountry skier and recreated his look from Rio for this year’s ceremony: A traditional Tongan mat wrapped around his waist and nothing but oil on his chest. Other flag bearers took the opportunity to flaunt a one-of-a-kind wardrobe for their country. Mexico’s 43 year-old cross-country skier, German Madrazo, came fitted in a
Mariachi band uniform—sadly, with no instrument—and Niklas Edin of Sweden sported a shiny gold jacket as he led his country. Neon green was a popular colour: Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Bolivia all featured it prominently in their outfits. Slovenia wore the brightest green, and Bolivia contrasted it with red pants, but Bulgaria put together the cleanest look. Athletes from Jamaica, with its sixth appearance in the bobsleigh competition since a glorious debut in 1988 (see Cool
Runnings), showed how happy they were to be there by dancing their way into the games in PyeongChang. The arrival of the host country was, as it often is, the biggest moment of the ceremony, but this delegation was different than those of host countries from past years. North Korea and South Korea walked in together as one, under the Korean Unification flag. There were other displays of Korean unity throughout the ceremony, including a joint effort between female hockey players from North and South Korea to carry the torch up one of the longest flights of stairs in the world to the final torch bearer, Yuna Kim. Ultimately, the opening ceremony was as magical as it is at every Olympic Games. That will always be true, regardless of what anyone wears or does. The message of peace echoed throughout the performance, from a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” to a masterfully edited video of children travelling to a unified future world. Every effort was made to symbolize a unified Korea. PyeongChang’s opening ceremony gave the world a reason to believe that the politics dividing us all now can and will be changed, and the world will become a truly peaceful place. The excitement and the pride radiating from every athlete’s face served as a reminder of what the Olympics are all about: Bringing the world together, even if it’s just for two weeks.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Champions League round of 16 preview The 2018 Champions League knockout rounds promise to be some of the best in recent memory. In Manchester City, the Premier League offers at least one threatening title contender. Barcelona remain strong as ever, while slumping Real Madrid are out to prove their worth. With Jupp Heynckes back from retirement and at the reins, Bayern Munich have gained steam in the Bundesliga and look to reach the same level his last squad attained. Finally, clubs like Basel and Besiktas bring an underdog element to the highest level. With that in mind, The McGill Tribune previews each matchup for the upcoming round of 16. Emma Avery & Victoria Sturgess / Managing Editor & Contributor
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The face-off RealReal Madrid and Paris (PSG) promises be the best in the Theround Spanishofside in poorside formhave thisbeen year, increasing The face-offbetween between Madrid and Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) topromises to draw be the bestround drawof in16.the 16.have Thebeen Spanish in poor form this year, increasing pressure on Manager Zinedine Zidane, who has already admitted that the outcomes against PSG should decide his future at the club. However, Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the Madrid side should not be underestimated. Ronaldo, current holder of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, helped lead this same team to their second straight Champions League trophy last year. On the opposite side, the French club has dominated with an attacking front led by Edinson Cavani, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe. PSG’s number 9 leads the team with 28 goals across each competition, their 222 million-Euro Brazilian has 27 goals, and their promising 19-year-old striker has 15 goals this season. This draw has the potential for many spectacular goals. Prediction: Paris Saint-Germain
Fans of Roma and Shakhtar should be relieved that their sides managed to escape draws against stronger European sides. In past years, neither team has been very successful at this stage in the Champions League. Despite Chelsea’s interest in Roma’s Edin Dzeko, the club managed to keep their star player over the winter transfer period. Shakhtar, on the other hand, sold their star midfielder Fred. Though Roma finished first in their group in the fall, they currently sit in fourth place in the Italian Serie A. On the other hand, Shakhtar remains first in the Ukrainian Premier league, three points ahead of Dynamo Kiev. Both of these clubs are known for their passionate fans, and the support they receive during each leg may well be an influential factor in this draw. Prediction: ROMA
Sevilla are currently struggling in sixth place in La Liga. The Spanish side scraped through the group stage—winning only two games and twice tying Liverpool. While they haven’t been convincing this season, they did win twice against Atletico Madrid to reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals. Still, Sevilla face a big challenge in Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United squad, who are currently second in the Premier League and have the potential to thrive in this tournament. Mourinho coached his side to a Europa League title last season, and many United fans will be hoping for another strong European performance this season. Their new signing, Alexis Sanchez, may provide the slight advantage necessary to push United through to the next round. Prediction: manchester united
Chelsea are probably kicking themselves for conceding three goals at home to Roma in the group stage, condemning them to finish second. As a result, they now face the monumental task of dismantling La Liga leaders Barcelona. One of the toughest round of 16 draws, this fixture won’t be an easy match for either team. Luckily, Chelsea have two former Barca players of their own—Pedro and Cesc Fàbregas—who know the Spanish side’s strengths and weaknesses well. But, although the Blues have had a decent season, Barca have more star power in almost all areas of the pitch, emerging from the group stage unbeaten with only one goal against. What’s more, their domestic goal differential is twice as large as Chelsea’s, and with new Manager Ernesto Valverde under pressure to continue the club’s recent history of success, it will take quite a stroke of brilliance for Chelsea to make it past Barcelona. Prediction: BARCELONA
After losing their star number 10 to Barcelona during the winter transfer window, Liverpool are out to prove that their now fab-three—Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mané—can still keep the goals flowing. In the group stage, they scored 23 goals—a feat surpassed only by PSG’s 25. Liverpool’s recent achilles heel, however, has been their inability to hold things together at the back end. One potential defensive solution for the Reds lies in newly-signed centre back Virgil van Dijk. Porto, on the other hand, have a similar penchant for scoring goals, but a significantly better domestic track-record in terms of goals against. Currently Portuguese league-leaders, Porto should be taken seriously; however, competition is admittedly less tough in the Primeira Liga than in the Premier League. When these two attack-minded teams go head to head, the question won’t be if goals are scored, but how many. Prediction: LIVERPOOL
Manchester City have been nearly unstoppable this season. Although they haven’t yet faced particularly tough Champions League competition, they’ve lost only once in Premier League play, scoring 79 goals in the process. So far, Manager Pep Guardiola has been successful in replicating the dominance he achieved at Barcelona; however, Manchester City are relatively new to the European football top tier, and have never actually won a Champions League title. That all might change this year, as City have received yet another favourable draw for the round of 16. This is undoubtedly a game of contrasts—the market value of City’s squad is estimated at 529.26 million pounds—which is over 12 times that of FC Basel. For their part, Basel are not the highest-scoring team by any stretch, but they did manage a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the group stage, showing their potential to compete against big opponents. The key for their defence will be to figure out how to contain an attack headed by Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, neither of whom are easily contained. Prediction: MANCHESTER CITY
Like Barcelona, Bayern have a well-established core in the likes of Arjen Robben, Jérôme Boateng, and Thomas Müller, all of whom were a part of the side’s 2013 Champions League-winning squad. After narrowly missing out on first place in the group stage to PSG, Bayern have nonetheless secured a relatively favourable draw. Besiktas’ first place finish ahead of both Porto and Monaco in the group stage is impressive in its own right, and summer acquisition Pepe from Real Madrid brings valuable Champions League experience to the team. Yet, while Bayern sit 18 points clear atop the Bundesliga, Besiktas are languishing in fourth in the Turkish Süper Lig, suggesting that Besiktas’ odds are slim. Although Manuel Neuer’s prolonged recovery from foot surgery is a blow for Bayern, their comfortable position in the Bundesliga leaves them the option of resting key players during league games in order to save their star power for the European stage. Prediction: BAYERN MUNICH