York University – Faculty of Science and Engineering
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York University – Faculty of Science and Engineering

In the heart of the greater Toronto, York University stands at the centre of Canada’s most multicultural and dynamic region. It’s known for its friendly and diverse student body, dedicated faculty and upstart attitude. A quick scan of the campus reveals innovation popping up everywhere – from the brand-new Life Sciences building (open to students in autumn of 2012) to the newly-minted Lassonde School of Engineering. The latter was created through a transformative CA$25 million donation by Pierre Lassonde and is recruiting for its first distinguished faculty for the 2013-2014 academic year.

As part of the third-largest University in Canada, students benefit from studying science or engineering in a diverse academic environment, in one of the country’s fastest-growing centres for learning and research. A truly supportive approach to learning enables students to achieve their goals, whether academic or professional. For Asian students pursuing a career in science, York is an ideal place to launch a dynamic career.

Academic offerings

York University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering is home to a broad range of pure and applied sciences, including life, physical, earth and space sciences; computing; mathematics; and engineering. MSc and PhD degrees are offered in all areas. The wide selection of programs allows students to satisfy their scientific curiosity while maintaining focus on an in-depth area of study.

According to Professor Robert Tsushima, associate dean, research and partnerships, “What really sets us apart is the diversity of the learning environment here. We have faculty doing research in many different fields who interact closely; they encourage our students to think creatively and find cross-discipline solutions to problems.”

“We’re not going to put you in an academic box,” he adds. “We’re diverse, we’re creative, and we’re very good at what we do.”


Pic: York University lecture hall.

Scientific breakthroughs that are changing the world

Faculty of Science and Engineering researchers and students at graduate and undergraduate levels are solving real-world challenges in some truly cutting-edge and innovative ways. These are a few of the science and technology projects that York University students have been involved in:

Finding snow on Mars

Researchers from the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering led the Canadian team of scientists that discovered snow on Mars. Research in the department ranges from atmospheric modelling to remote sensing and geodynamics. Both graduate and undergraduate students work with space test equipment in the faculty’s Space Instrumentation Lab, including a thermal vacuum chamber and test modules capable of simulating the take-off vibration of a rocket.

Undergraduate course offerings include Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Atmospheric, Earth Science or Space Science streams), Geomatics Engineering and Space Engineering.


Pic: York University Life Sciences.

Field work for the 21st century

Students in the Department of Biology receive unparalleled opportunities for lab and field work, including courses in molecular and cellular biology, physiology, and ecology and evolution. Projects are supported by advanced laboratories and on-campus woodlots, a greenhouse and apiary. Faculty are members of York’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), the Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions, the Centre for Vision Research, or the Muscle Health Research Centre, with research spanning these areas.

Undergraduate programmes include BSc or iBSc degrees in Biology, Conservation Ecology and Environmental Biology, and BSc degrees in Biomedical Science, Biotechnology or Biophysics.

Discovering the Higgs Boson

Some of Canada’s leading experimental particle physicists teach and conduct research in the faculty’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Researchers and students recently played key roles in physics milestones, including the trapping of antihydrogen and the discovery of the Higgs Boson. The Faculty’s graduate students were at the heart of the action, with work placements at CERN in Geneva. From optical physics to planetary and astrophysics, this Department is at the forefront of modern physics exploration.

Undergraduate degrees include the BSc in Physics and Astronomy (Applied Physics, Physics, Astronomy streams) and Biophysics.


Pic: York University.

Solving the SARS riddle

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is home to some of the world’s pre-eminent researchers in the mathematical modelling of disease, helping to solve the riddle behind pandemics such as SARS, and prevent future outbreaks. Spanning research areas such as modern algebra, topology, analysis, geometry, set theory, category theory, and stochastic processes, the department pursues both creativity and utility, offering degree options in pure and applied math and statistics (including Actuarial Mathematics, Operations Research, and Financial Mathematics streams). Students and faculty collaborate with York’s Institute for Social Research, which houses the largest university-based survey research centre in Canada, as well as the Fields Institute.

Undergraduate offerings include BA and BSc degrees in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, as well as BA degrees in Mathematics for Commerce and BSc degrees in Computational Mathematics.

Remotely inspecting shipwrecks

Leading researchers in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering are tackling complex problems such as the disorientation experienced by astronauts (conducted in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency) to the design of autonomous underwater robots that can remotely inspect shipwrecks. Expertise in interactive systems, databases and data mining, communications and sensor networks, parallel algorithms and complexity and computability are some of the areas that make this Department a Canadian leader in the field.

Undergraduate options include Computer Engineering; Software Engineering; and International Computer Science (iBA, iBSc) degrees.


Pic: York University campus.

Modelling changes in air quality

The Department of Chemistry is home to the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, where researchers are using complex 3D chemistry-climate models to study past and future changes in air quality and the impact of this exposure on humans, crops and forests. Internationally recognized faculty are investigating the impact of increased shipping in the Arctic on the region’s air quality. Areas such as biochemistry and biological chemistry as well as organic synthesis and mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy and materials chemistry make this a full-spectrum department.

Undergraduate options include BSc degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry, including the Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry stream.


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