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Improving Public Health Messaging on Masking

Improving Public Health Messaging on Masking

In response to a thread on May 24, 2022, between Mr. Tom Jackman and Dr. Michael Schwandt, I decided to delve into the literature to point out the problematic messaging that has been coming from many governmental / public health bodies, including that in British Columbia. The two-sentence summary: public health officials in much of […]

Serial Communications & Java

Serial Communications & Java

In my EECS 1021 class, in which we connect Java programs on a Mac or Windows machine with programs running on an Arduino-compatible board, we generally use Firmata. When combined with a library like Firmata4j (Java) or pyFirmata (Python), or Arduino-Octave (Matlab), Firmata provides an easy-to-use pathway for this to happen. It is, however, a […]

Leaky pipeline

Leaky pipeline

When we talk about the "leaky pipeline" in STEM we're talking about women leaving or being forced to leave their chosen profession. Here are three versions of an animation that I made up that I hope helps illustrate the concept. Feel free to reuse. Images are free to re-use without attribution in both commercial and […]

Easy Java + Arduino with Firmata (updated)

Easy Java + Arduino with Firmata (updated)

Arduino devices are commonplace in Engineering programs. Even if the profs don't use them, the students do. In Engineering programs, we often need to set up sensor monitoring or motor control systems. If students haven't worked with these in the first through third years of their programs, they are likely to encounter them in the […]

VPL, Vectors and Java

VPL, Vectors and Java

This is an example exercise in VPL. Grade is out of 1. All the students have to do is uncomment the creation of the MathVector object. Want to reproduce this example? PreLabC.java (the template for the student to work on) solution.txt (what the student's solution _could_ look like) MathVector.java (the class with all the methods […]

VPL & Java 17

VPL & Java 17

In our first year programming class for engineering students, EECS 1021, we're using modern features like jShell and var. Unfortunately, the OS that our VPL instance sits on came with an older version of Java, so we've had to modify our scripts to point to the Java 17 JDK. If you get an error like […]

Update to the Four Motions to Protect Staff, Students and Faculty

Update to the Four Motions to Protect Staff, Students and Faculty

[March 20, 2022 update] A version of the N95 motion was brought before YorkU Senate in January 2022 by Senator Patrick Phillips. It appears to have passed but has not led to subsidized distribution of N95s on campus. [Feb 2, 2022 update] The first motion (Recommendation for N95s) resulted in a recommendation email to all […]

2022: the Year of the N95 respirator

2022: the Year of the N95 respirator

In 2020 and 2021 we wore masks. In 2022 we will be wearing respirators. Whether they're official NIOSH N95s, CAN95, or KN95 , for the purpose of general public use we can just call them "N95s". The need for N95s has been clear from the beginning of the pandemic, but for two years most of […]

Firmata & Java

Firmata & Java

Firmata is a set of Arduino projects that are aimed at helping solve a particular class of problems with embedded devices: having a main computer send and receive data from an Arduino, typically in a simple control or data-logging application. This is similar to how people use the Arduino support for Matlab. In Java we […]

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

[Updates: Dec 23, 2021; Jan 31, 2022 ; Feb 16, 2022 ; March 17; 2022; April 28, 2022] This page is for general information on tools to help us fight COVID. I'll focus primarily on respirators and air quality here and less on vaccines: Masks and Respirators section Air Quality Measurement (CO2, etc.) section HEPA […]