The Faculty of Arts & Science has over 25,000 undergraduate students and close to 1,000 professors. As such, it is often a challenge for undergraduate students and professors to get to know each other beyond the lecture halls. This Lunch with Your Professors series aim to provide more opportunities for Arts & Science undergraduate students and professors to connect in an informal setting to share academic, research and community interests.

Each lunch will be organized around a topic to give it some focus, but students are welcomed to ask the attending professors questions on any topics. Come to a lunch session to get advice on any concerns you may have, or to simply enjoy lunch with your professors. Lunch will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact Thuy Huynh, Teaching & Learning Project Coordinator at thuy.huynh@utoronto.ca.

Upcoming Sessions

Undergraduate Research

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
12:30pm – 2:00pm
Faculty Club, Upper Dining Room
41 Willcocks Street, Toronto
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Do you want to get involved in research? Come join us for lunch to hear the benefits of conducting research during your undergrad, the qualifications professors look for when taking on undergrad research assistants, and the research opportunities that you can apply to. Attending will be Professor Nicholas Provart (Department of Cell & Systems Biology) and Professor Pamela Klassen (Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International and Professor, Department for the Study of Religion and Anthropology).

Click here to register!

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About Professor Pamela Klassen

Pamela Klassen is Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, cross-appointed to the Department of Anthropology and Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International in the Faculty of Arts & Science. She teaches graduate and undergraduate students in areas of the anthropology and history of Christianity and colonialism in North America, method and theory in the study of religion, and religion, media, and the public sphere. From 2015-17 she is Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Anthropology of Modern Religion at the Ludwig-Uhland-Institut für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft at the University of Tübingen in Germany, where she recently taught a course entitled “Museums and Material Religion”. From 2015-2020, as holder of the Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation, she is collaborating with Monique Scheer of the University of Tübingen on an international project entitled “Religion and Public Memory in Multicultural Societies.” Her most recent book, Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity (University of California Press, 2011) won a 2012 American Academy of Religion Award of Excellence. Her current book project, “The Story of Radio Mind: A Missionary’s Journey on Indian Land” examines the politics and material practices of storytelling in exchanges between Christian missionaries and Indigenous peoples in early-twentieth-century Canada. For more information, please see here.


 
 
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About Professor Nicholas Provart

Nicholas Provart is a full professor of Plant Cyberinfrastructure and Systems Biology in the Department of Cell & Systems Biology at the University of Toronto. Currently his Bio-Analytic Resource (BAR) at bar.utoronto.ca, comprising tools for co-expression analysis of publicly-available gene expression data, cis-element prediction, identifying molecular markers, generating “electronic fluorescent pictographic” (eFP) representations of gene expression patterns, and exploring protein-protein interactions in Arabidopsis and other plants, is used approximately 60,000 times a month by researchers worldwide. He also runs a “wet-lab” for testing in silico-generated hypotheses related to plant abiotic stress response in vivo. Dr. Provart is one of the founding members of the International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium, is past president of the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee, and is teaching two MOOCs on Bioinformatic Methods on Coursera.org.


 
 

Past Sessions

How to Talk to Your Professors

Monday, October 3rd, 2016
12:30pm – 2:00pm
Faculty Club, 41 Wilcocks St.

Attending will be Professor Suzanne Stevenson and Professor David Roberts.


About Professor Suzanne Stevenson and Professor David Roberts

Professor Suzanne Stevenson

I’m a professor of Computer Science, but I do very interdisciplinary research that draws on CS, linguistics, and psychology. My research is in the general field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where one of the grand challenges is to build computer systems and robots that can interact with people using language in a very natural and human-like way. Think of the OS in Her or the robots in Ex Machina – or HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is still held up as the elusive goal in language interaction capabilities. My own research is focused on how children learn their native language, and how people understand and speak their language (and often multiple languages!) so effortlessly. We build computer models that try to mimic this amazing human feat, which is basically exploring how HAL could learn to converse as “he” does, without anyone having to directly program in all that knowledge.

I’ve been the Vice Dean, Teaching & Learning, in Arts & Science for many years, where I’ve gotten to work on lots of interesting projects to support faculty trying out new ideas in their courses, designing new programs of study, and creating more interactive ways of teaching, often drawing on new technologies.

In addition to my busy life as a professor, I love to do different kinds of crafts, and spend a lot of my free time quilting, knitting, and cross-stitching, in addition to taking long walks on the beach and cuddling with my two cats. Best of all, I love to spend time with my family and friends.

Professor David Roberts

David Roberts is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Urban Studies Program at the University of Toronto. He holds BAs in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Washington and an MA and PhD in Geography from the University of Toronto.

After his undergraduate degrees were completed, he worked at a residential shelter for homeless and refugee youth in Seattle for several years before moving to Toronto to pursue his graduate degrees. His doctoral research focused on tensions of urban planning in South Africa. He used the 2010 World Cup as a basis for examining tensions between planning directed at social development of the post-apartheid city in South Africa versus planning designed to support the needs of a visiting tourist class. He continues to be interested in the relationship between hosting mega-events and other contemporary trends in urbanization.

He is cross-appointed to the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and as Adjunct Member to the Graduate Program in Environmental Studies at York University. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor for First in the Family Peer Mentorship Program and is the Faculty Coordinator for the Arts and Science Teaching and Learning Community of Practice.



 

Mid-term Troubleshooting – This session was cancelled

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
12:30pm – 2:00pm

We are at the mid-point in the Fall term. Are you concerned about how you are doing? Do you want to know what your options are if you are not doing well and what you can do to reach your goals? Come join Professor Hilary Cunningham Scharper, Professor Andy Dicks and Donald Boere for lunch on October 19th to get advice on your concerns.


About Professor Hilary Cunningham Scharper, Professor Andy Dicks and Donald Boere

Prof Hilary Cunningham

Hilary Cunningham Scharper is a Fellow of Trinity College, an associate professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Toronto and a novelist. Her academic writing, teaching and fiction focus on cultural approaches to Nature. Her current research is based in northern Ontario on the Bruce Peninsula and explores what she terms “gated ecologies” and the nature-politics of wilderness areas.

She is author of an award-winning ethnography on the US Sanctuary movement titled “God and Caesar at the Rio Grande” (1995) and author of numerous publications on nature and boundary-making including: “Urban Futures as Ecological Futures” (2014); “Bordering on the Environmental: Permeabilities, Ecology and Geopolitical Boundaries” (2012); and “Ecology, Poverty and ‘Possible Urban Worlds’” (2012). Her debut novel, Perdita, was recently published by Simon & Schuster (Canada) and Sourcebooks (USA).

In 2013-2014 Hilary, along with her husband Stephen, worked with Clayton Ruby and Nader Hasan on protection for municipal trees and urban forests. Their “boundary-tree” case went to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2013 and the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2014 and successfully resulted in landmark environmental legislation: http://digital.ontarioreports.ca/ontarioreports/20140307?folio=288#pg123

Faculty page: http://anthropology.utoronto.ca/people/faculty/hilary-cunningham-scharper/
Author website: http://perditanovel.com
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilary_Cunningham_Scharper

 

Prof Andy Dicks

I joined the University of Toronto Chemistry Department in 1997 after undergraduate and graduate study in the United Kingdom, and was hired as part of the university teaching-stream faculty four years later. I have research interests in undergraduate laboratory instruction that involve designing novel and stimulating experiments, particularly those that showcase green chemistry principles. Following promotion in 2006, I became Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies and developed an ongoing interest in improving the student experience in my department.

For a light-hearted insight into my life inside and outside U of T, take a look here: http://quickqueries.innis.utoronto.ca/uoft/get-to-know-me-professor-edition-3-andy-dicks/

 

Donald Boere
Donald Boere, Registrar, Innis College



 

Navigating Your Exams

Monday, November 14th, 2016
12:30pm – 2:00pm
Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks St.

Attending will be Professor Karen Reid (Department of Computer Science) and Professor Christian Caron (Department of Sociology)


About Professor Karen Reid and Professor Christian Caron

Christian Caron

Christian Caron is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, and the current Associate Chair, Undergraduate in Sociology, at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. He researches and teaches in the areas of history and philosophy of the social science, pedagogy, and crime and deviance.

 

Karen Reid

Karen is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. She earned a BSc (Hon) and MSc in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan, but first completed an ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a BChMus from CMBC (now CMU) in Winnipeg. Karen joined the department in 2001, and served as as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies from 2011-2013. She co-founded and sits on the steering committee of UCOSP: Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects, a program that brings together CS students from across Canada to work with industry mentors on open source projects. Karen also supervises students working on MarkUs, a web -based grading tool she led the creation of. MarkUs is used in more than 20 courses each term at the UofT. Karen was honoured to receive a Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 2008, the Joan E. Foley Quality of Student Experience Award in 2011, the President’s Teaching Award in 2012, and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) Teaching Award in 2014.



 

Choosing Your Program(s) of Study

Thursday, January 19th, 2017
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Faculty Club, Upper Dining Room
41 Willcocks Street, Toronto
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Conversations will be focused on choosing your program(s) of study. This session will be helpful for students who are in first year and have to make their program selections soon. It will also be helpful for students who are thinking of switching programs. If you want advice on what factors to consider before making a decision or just to hear from others, come out and have lunch with Professor Andy Dicks (Chemistry), Professor Emily Gilbert (Geography & Planning and Canadian Studies) and registrar’s staff. Invite a friend to come with you!


About Professor Emily Gilbert and Professor Andy Dicks

Emily Gilbert

My current research revolves around issues related to citizenship, borders, security, economy, nation-states and globalization. I am particularly interested in the ways that North American geopolitical relations are being reshaped, and how the idea of risk—both economic and social—has been used to discipline behaviour and promote new forms of citizenship. This work also considers the securitization of the region, with a focus on changing border practices and policies. Another aspect of my research addresses the social, cultural and political dimensions of money, from the cultural values inscribed on national currencies, to the proposals for a North American Monetary Union, to general theories of money and exchange. While much of the above work interrogates the concept of the nation-state, I also continue to be fascinated by visual and literary representations, and have examined urban and wilderness narratives with a special emphasis on Canadian national identity and belonging.

More information is available on my personal webpage: http://individual.utoronto.ca/emilygilbert/.

Prof Andy Dicks

I joined the University of Toronto Chemistry Department in 1997 after undergraduate and graduate study in the United Kingdom, and was hired as part of the university teaching-stream faculty four years later. I have research interests in undergraduate laboratory instruction that involve designing novel and stimulating experiments, particularly those that showcase green chemistry principles. Following promotion in 2006, I became Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies and developed an ongoing interest in improving the student experience in my department.

For a light-hearted insight into my life inside and outside U of T, take a look here: http://quickqueries.innis.utoronto.ca/uoft/get-to-know-me-professor-edition-3-andy-dicks/