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Q&A #20 – Joseph Vybihal (22 May 2023)

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When I was a child, I never knew there was such a thing as computer science. I was interested in astronomy, and I wanted to be an astronaut. In high school, I took a programming course as an elective. Like an artist with a blank canvas creating beautiful drawings out of their imagination, I discovered that programming was the same thing. If I could imagine it, I could build it in real life by simply typing on a keyboard. I created video games and websites. I invented my own programming language. I ‘hacked’ into things to see how they worked. It was—and still is—magical. When I realized that I could use computer programming to explore topics like thinking and reasoning, I was hooked. This led me to artificial intelligence. My general science background also permitted me to work with other great people on projects for hospitals, aerospace, and engineering. I even spent time as a contractor building software for various clients. Teaching university students the art of building software and the joys of discovery through research is what I focus mostly on these days.

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Q&A #19 – Jordan Mallon (15 May 2023)

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I loved dinosaurs as a kid, and I never outgrew them. Their pre-human history, incomplete fossil record, and unfamiliar anatomy make them especially challenging to understand, and yet I find great joy and satisfaction in trying to appreciate them as once-living animals.

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Q&A #18 – E. Janet Warren (8 May 2023)

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Well, I’ve had many and I think I’m still choosing! I studied psychology because human thoughts and behaviours are fascinating, to put it mildly. I studied medicine as I wanted to apply my knowledge and gifts in a practical way. I studied theology because God, his Word, and his Spirit are . . . hard to describe! But I love them. Probably my favourite current discipline is attempting to integrate them all.

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Q&A #17 – Terry Defoe (1 May 2023)

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Since I’m a pastor, my scientific interest is a sideline to my basic profession and vocation. It basically got started when I was a campus chaplain at the University of British Columbia. In the campus bookstore, I found a book by Stephen Jay Gould, titled Wonderful Life. That book sparked my interest in science. That was back in 1989. Ministry duties kept me from studying the subject in detail until about ten years ago. After building a library of science books, I decided to put my thoughts together in a book, Evolving Certainties: Resolving Conflict at the Intersection of Faith & Science.

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Q&A #16 – Judith Toronchuk (24 Apr 2023)

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As a teen, my first job was as assistant to the local veterinarian where I found working with animals fascinating. Animal behaviour became my favourite topic when I majored in biology at Rutgers. At that time I also had the opportunity to work for a prominent ethologist at Princeton training owls for his research program, and with his encouragement, I also published an article on the auditory system of caiman. Moving then to McGill in Canada, I worked in the zoology department on the auditory system of bats, and then in physiological psychology on tree shrews. During my post-doc at Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich, I continued research on neural mechanisms of hearing in monkeys.

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Q&A #14 – Osowoayim Bisong (10 Apr 2023)

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I have been fascinated by science since I was a kid. I remember watching astronauts on television and desiring to become one. In high school, I decided that I would study Physics because of its powerful explanatory scope of the natural world. Unfortunately, my university didn’t have Physics at the time, so I picked Microbiology over Public Health because I felt that a basic science would satisfy my curiosity for understanding the principles by which the natural world operates.

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Q&A #13 – Arnold Sikkema (3 Apr 2023)

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I wanted to be a botanical illustrator when I was in grade 7 because I liked labeling plant parts in neat diagrams. But in grade 10, when my teacher couldn’t answer my question about why a car kept moving on a road when there was no net force exerted upon it, I decided to study physics. This was further confirmed by a grade 11 & 13 physics teacher’s encouragement, and in university, I worked with another CSCA past president, Robert Mann, on gravitation and cosmology in my late undergraduate years. But because of faith-science challenges that I was not willing to engage due to my narrow ecumenical views, I switched to condensed matter theory for graduate school. In that field, I found a PhD advisor who was using the particle physics methods that I found exciting to study materials exhibiting features like superconductivity and magnetism.

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Q&A #12 – Bob Geddes (27 Mar 2023)

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The Lake Huron beach where I spent my summers as a kid had many rocks and wasn’t very sandy. I was fascinated by them. I also discovered that one of the founding professors of geology at the local university was a respected elder at our church. I thought if he has it all worked out, that’s good enough for me.