View to the U: An eye on UTM research

View to the U: An Eye on UTM research is produced by UTM’s Research Office within the Office of the Vice-Principal. The podcast shares the UTM faculty’s research stories from a range of disciplines.

View to the U started in January 2017, and currently has two entries. The first entry features professor Ulrich Krull, UTM’s interim vice-president and principal, as well as a professor within the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences. He discusses how cell phones and paper factor into his bioanalytical chemistry research. The recent episode discusses how Geoffrey Chaucer and gaming fit into humanities professor Alexandra Gillespie’s research. Gillespie is the chair of UTM’s Department of English and Drama, and oversees the Old Books New Science Lab. While the podcast may be new, both entries have been listened to over 300 times each.

Carla DeMarco, the communications and grants manager in the Office of the Vice-Principal, hosts each episode. The episodes begin with DeMarco providing a brief overview of the interviewee’s research area and their role within UTM (in terms of academics and administration). Following the brief introduction, interviewees proceed to elaborate on their research, including the future directions or applications their research poses.

DeMarco guides the conversations along effectively to ensure that podcast listeners truly understand the topic, and are not left confused by jargon and technical terms. For Krull’s episode, the key terms to describe his research included “nanotechnology,” “bioassays,” and “theranostics”—terms DeMarco claimed to be “an entirely different and mysterious language” to her, and understandably, many podcast viewers.

In Gillespie’s case, the discussion turned towards digitization, and the fate of physical books.

The episodes do not focus solely on research. Following a musical interlude halfway through his episode, Krull shared his vision for UTM in 2017. Similarly, Gillespie discussed the physical and global changes that she observed during her time at UTM and what she envisions for her department in the future.

Episodes air every month, and can be found on SoundCloud or reached through the Twitter handle @UTM_Research. A full transcript of each podcast’s episode is also available.