CS grads support CSGS Space Initiative

CSGS is working on an initiative aimed at providing an exclusive space for CS grads (master, PhD and postdoc students) to meet up, socialize relax and maybe some a bit of reading too! There is shortage of space McGill-wide, but CSGS is trying to work with the department to secure this exclusive space and do everything possible to make that happen.

A majority of CS grads want this space to be used for both entertainment and academic use, which highlights the need for both. Below is a summary of stats of responses:

69% want the space to be utilized for both academic and entertainment purposes
25% want to be exclusively entertainment space (foosball, table tennis, dart board, comfy couches etc)
2% want it to a quite study space only.

56% of respondents were master student,
44% were PhD.

CSGS will continue to work with the department to secure this space, we hope that will happen soon, we’ll keep you posted!

Here is a scan of the responses:

signatures-combined

Seminar on Quantum annealing: from D-wave to optimization Hamiltonians

We were excited to host  Alessandro Ricottone, PhD Candidate at McGill Physics working on theoretical condensed matter, to deliver a seminar at SOCS.
IMG-20161124-WA0009

Talk abstract: Quantum annealers are a class of (non-universal) quantum computers devised to quickly find the minimum of a function by exploiting the quantum tunneling and entanglement. Recently D-wave started commercialize their quantum annealers. Describing the D-wave machine and showing how we can use it to find the solution to some famous mathematical optimization problems.

Thanks Alessandro!

Seminar : In silico molecular evolution and Boltzmann sampling: implications in origin of life and molecular design

Thanks to all CSGS grads for great support at our first seminar of this fall.

Seminar by Carlos Oliver

Seminar by Carlos Oliver

 

Speaker: Carlos G. Oliver
Title: In silico molecular evolution and Boltzmann sampling: implications in origin of life and molecular design.

Abstract: RNA is a class of molecules present in all living organisms that counts on two important properties: information storage and catalytic activity. This duality makes RNA an interesting molecule to study as potentially the first molecule to support life, as well as a key component of many cellular processes. One of the most important factors in determining RNA function is the shape, or structure that the molecule adopts. This shape is determined by a specific set of interactions encoded in the RNA sequence that give rise to a 2D and 3D shape.  To this end, RNA structure prediction algorithms have made substantial progress, and serve as a notable example of computer science being applied to answer fundamental biological questions. While the algorithmics of mapping a sequence to a structure are well established, there still remain many questions about how the composition and exploration of sequence space affects this mapping. In this work, we use structure prediction algorithms, combined with Boltzmann sampling, and evolutionary algorithms to study the energy landscapes of RNA populations under various sequence-space constraints. We show that restricting sequence space has a strong influence on the stability of structure-sequence pairs, the emergence of structural complexity, and the evolutionary dynamics of populations. All of these insights can be used to further our understanding of how sequence-structure space affects the diversity of molecules we observe today, as well as provides useful tools for controlling molecular function.

Approved Changes to Constitution

  • Amendment 1: Add the following point to the constitution. CSGS execs have to appoint one executive the task of supervision and guardianship of CSGS-owned equipments which must be listed on the CSGS webpage. This list shall be kept up-to-date and all the documents/receipts must be with the current CSGS accountant. (Suggested exec for the job – VP social, but a new exec for this job can also be hired).

 In particular, this exec has to take care of the maintenance of the espresso machine of the graduate lounge. The responsibilities include to check the performance of the machine 

weekly
, to make sure it is kept in order as recommended in the specifications of the machine and the instructions how to use the machine are in proper order, attached next to the machine. Once a year the exec would need to call the corresponding shop (Espresso Mali) and make an appointment  for technical checkup which would include also changing the water filter. The latter is supposed to cost 300$ starting second year (150$ for the filter and 150$ for the checkup). The first year is included in the warranty.The failure to do so will cause the expiration of the guarantee on the machine.
 
  •  Amendment 2: Change 5b  to “The Executive shall hold office from October 1st of each year until the following September 31st”
This is suggested to ensure that the new incoming students get the chance of getting involved in CSGS elections and the old execs to transfer their knowledge to the new ones.

Proposed Changes to Constitution

CSGS is proposing the following changes to constitution. The voting period will be March 28th – April 4th.

  • Amendment 1: Add the following point to the constitution. CSGS execs have to appoint one executive the task of supervision and guardianship of CSGS-owned equipments which must be listed on the CSGS webpage. This list shall be kept up-to-date and all the documents/receipts must be with the current CSGS accountant. (Suggested exec for the job – VP social, but a new exec for this job can also be hired).
 In particular, this exec has to take care of the maintenance of the espresso machine of the graduate lounge. The responsibilities include to check the performance of the machine 

weekly, to make sure it is kept in order as recommended in the specifications of the machine and the instructions how to use the machine are in proper order, attached next to the machine. Once a year the exec would need to call the corresponding shop (Espresso Mali) and make an appointment  for technical checkup which would include also changing the water filter. The latter is supposed to cost 300$ starting second year (150$ for the filter and 150$ for the checkup). The first year is included in the warranty.The failure to do so will cause the expiration of the guarantee on the machine.
 
  •  Amendment 2: Change 5b  to “The Executive shall hold office from October 1st of each year until the following September 31st”
This is suggested to ensure that the new incoming students get the chance of getting involved in CSGS elections and the old execs to transfer their knowledge to the new ones.

Afternoon Tea Every Wednesday

We are starting “Afternoon tea” events for graduate students and faculty members.  Every Wednesday from 3-4 pm the lounge will be reserved for us.  CSGS will provide the tea and cookies! We will also buy a new tea boiler for the lounge. (yaaaay!).  Please come with your own mug.  We hope this will be a good way for all of us to connect and to share our research and non-research interests! There will be plenty of chalks available as well (maybe colourful ones too)!

We start this week!