What makes us Boundless?

Boundless describes the University of Toronto’s limitless potential for global leadership and impact.

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Who profits in political chaos?

Follow the money and you’ll find the root of the matter. UTSC political scientist Aisha Ahmad is doing just that by exploring how local business elites are financing ideologically motivated Islamist groups in the ongoing civil wars in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

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How does playing music heal stroke victims?

Playing a musical instrument with rhythm and style requires mastering subtle bodily movements. U of T neuroscientist Berhard Ross is investigating how playing music helps patients recover the use of their limbs in the aftermath of a stroke.

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What if your heartbeat was your password?

U of T startup Nymi Inc. has created a wristband that uses a person’s unique cardiac rhythm to unlock devices and open applications without resorting to passwords.

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How does an “inverted” classroom train future leaders?

International relations student Shreya Nayak is gaining crucial real-life experience in an innovative U of T classroom experiment.

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Can solar paint power our world?

Professor Ted Sargent and his students have developed a material that could soon lead to spray-on solar paint—a cheap and easy way to bring solar power to millions worldwide.

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How do we address the transit challenges ahead?

Debates about public transit are empty without empirical evidence. By researching urban redevelopment, Professor André Sorensen and his students at the Cities Lab at UTSC are informing the discussion of transit options for Scarborough, the Greater Toronto Area and cities across North America.

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How does Arctic sea ice affect marine life?

Climate change threatens to drastically affect plant, animal, and human life in Canada’s north. Professor Kent Moore’s research on the Beaufort Sea’s Arctic marine ecosystem will help reveal how things will change.

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Is a cure for Alzheimer’s within reach?

Professor Peter St George-Hyslop and his team have discovered the genes responsible for Alzheimer’s, an important step toward treatments or even a cure for this devastating disease.

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Can stem cells cure blindness?

Professor Derek van der Kooy and his team are using stem cells to restore sight to blind mice, an important step towards restoring sight and curing blindness in humans.

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Where does empathy come from?

Professor Tina Malti researches emotions in children and youth to help educators, parents and policymakers promote empathy and prevent and treat aggression.

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How do the first 2,000 days shape your life?

Science traditionally divides child development among numerous disciplines, leaving a fractured view of how children develop physically and psychologically. The Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development is pursuing a cohesive, transdisciplinary understanding of how the first 2,000 days of life shape our health and wellbeing.

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What’s the DNA of the English language?

Having assembled the entire corpus of Anglo-Saxon texts, U of T’s Dictionary of Old English is mapping and redefining the origins of our language.

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Can public memory lead nations to reconciliation?

Professor Pamela Klassen investigates how nations are not only politically imagined, but also spiritually invented. Focused on interactions between Christian missionaries and Indigenous peoples in early 20th-century Canada, her research also considers what remembering this history means for efforts of reconciliation in the present.

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Who will support the next generation of engineering leaders?

Inspired by an award he received as a student, Bill and Kathleen Troost have donated $1 million for engineering scholarships.

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Can machines think like humans?

U of T Professor Geoffrey Hinton’s “deep learning’’ neural networks have made him one of the world’s most celebrated artificial intelligence researchers. His algorithms already power technology like voice recognition and image search and may soon understand the meanings of sentences.

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What does speech reveal about dementia?

Professor Frank Rudzicz and his team are developing computer software to diagnose neurodegenerative disease rapidly and accurately. The program analyzes an individual’s speech and compares it to known patterns that reveal the presence or absence of dementia as well as diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

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How does community engagement make better dentists?

By devoting her time to extra-curricular activities, Dentistry’s Alicia Clancy is broadening her worldview and opening up to new learning opportunities.

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Who will lead the innovation economy?

To remain competitive, Canada needs highly specialized leaders trained in specific sectors as well as in management and business. The new Institute for Management and Innovation at the University of Toronto Mississauga is developing this specialized talent.

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How can massive online learning live up to its promise?

As the world of online education grows, so do questions about its effectiveness. By bringing technological innovations to large and online courses, Professor Steve Joordens is demonstrating that students can get a deep and engaging learning experience remotely, online or in the biggest classrooms.

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How can technology help us age gracefully?

U of T’s Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab (TAGLab) focuses on creating technology that can help people to adapt to the aging process and continue to live healthy, happy, productive lives in their own homes.

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How can we make online shopping easier?

U of T Mississauga undergraduate Syed Fakrul Arefin is tapping into a wealth of good advice to launch a digital startup that could change the way you buy clothes.

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Can we compute at the speed of light?

Professor Joyce Poon is developing optical devices that could make computers vastly more powerful and a whole lot faster.

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How can nanoparticles and crocodiles help conquer disease?

Thanks to the Dean Catharine Whiteside Scholarship for Clinician-Scientists, MD/PhD student Hannah Kozlowski is pursuing intriguing research on blood-borne diseases.

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A cooking oil that fights malaria?

Undergraduate UTSC student Jessie MacAlpine is investigating the potential of mustard oil—a staple of kitchens throughout the developing world—to kill the parasite that causes malaria.

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What will the darkest galaxies bring to light?

A telescope co-invented by U of T Professor Roberto Abraham captures light from the darkest galaxies and will help explain how galaxies form and evolve.

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How can talking showerheads save water?

Engineering student Kramay Patel’s invention not only helps conserve resources but also underscores how U of T enables innovation.

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Is privacy a thing of the past?

Professor Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, is exposing cyber espionage, information warfare and Internet censorship to help protect the rights of citizens worldwide.

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How can we regenerate a damaged heart?

U of T researchers at the new Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research are exploring the extraordinary promise of stem cell therapies and tissue engineering to offer new hope to millions who suffer from heart disease.

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Can academic research empower indigenous communities to protect their land and food supply?

Through U of T’s Caribbean Studies program, Mark Chatarpal is finding the resources he needs to help his homeland.

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How can we improve health care for new Canadians?

Nursing PhD student Somayeh Faghanipour is exploring how to deliver better health care to immigrant communities in Canada and around the world.

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How does remembering the past grow a bright future?

Multi-talented student Eliott Jarmain is succeeding in physics, mathematics and music, thanks to a scholarship bequest from University College alumnus William Beverly.

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How do you keep massive amounts of data safe?

Ubiquitous computing enabled by massive data centres already influences our daily lives in ways we take for granted. But these systems sometimes fail with serious consequences. Professor Bianca Schroeder is exploring how to make these data centres more reliable and efficient.

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Invisibility: science fact or science fiction?

U of T engineers have designed and tested a new approach to cloaking objects so that they are not visible or detectable. The research holds great promise for advances in military, surveillance and cell phone transmission.

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Who will lead the big data revolution?

The new B.Sc. in Statistical Machine Learning and Data Mining at U of T Scarborough promises to put our graduates at the centre of the big data revolution.

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What can 3D technology tell us about ancient civilizations?

CRANE Project Director and U of T archaeologist Professor Timothy Harrison leads an international, multi-disciplinary team of researchers in a groundbreaking effort to digitize, visualize, and simulate the birthplace of human civilization.

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How does mentoring transform communities?

The IMANI program connects UTSC student mentors to Scarborough middle and high school students who need help improving their grades, and has inspired a community through its success.

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Can we improve the art of start?

A good start can make a race. MSc student Lindsay Musalem analyzes the forces elite runners produce as they burst out of the starting blocks. Her findings could help give Canadian athletes a leg up in future competitions.

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Can a virtual brain repair a real one?

We can already collect voluminous data about the functions and structure of a patient’s brain. Professor Randy McIntosh is developing a platform to create virtual models of human brains that integrate the data to help physicians treat brain diseases.

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How do we uphold our constitutional rights?

Protecting the rights of all Canadians is a vital task if we are to maintain a free society. U of T’s David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights ensures that the higher courts uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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How does a science scholarship grow a leader?

Students Emma Hansen and Daniel McInnis are channelling their passion for science into world-changing ideas and inventions, with the support of Schulich Leader Scholarships.

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How do we give a voice to kids who cannot speak?

Dr. Tom Chau and researchers in the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have designed a suite of technologies to break down communication barriers for children and youth with severe and complex disabilities.

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If we can print a room, what’s next?

U of T architecture professor Benjamin Dillenburger has created the first entirely 3D printed room to demonstrate the disruptive potential of the new technology for architecture.

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Can stem cells reverse brain damage?

Professor Molly Shoichet is designing a revolutionary system to deliver stem cells and drugs to damaged or diseased parts of the human body, including the brain and spinal cord.

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How do we defeat cyberbullying?

Professor Faye Mishna aims to reduce the exploitation of children and youth in the cyber world, and promote safer use of technology among young people.

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How will detecting autism earlier change lives?

Early treatment can make all the difference for a child with autism. Often, however, diagnosis comes too late for effective treatment. Now, a breakthrough by U of T’s Professor Stephen Scherer makes early diagnosis and treatment possible.

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How do we switch off cancer?

Professor Patrick Gunning has figured out how to stop cancer cells from spreading, a discovery that could treat some of the deadliest cancers.

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Should your DNA determine what’s for dinner?

The emerging field of nutrigenomics investigates the interaction between our genes and the food we eat. Researchers have discovered that our individual genetic makeup may determine our ideal diet.

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How can we improve global literacy?

The Hult Prize helps launch entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pernicious social problems. U of T’s Team Attollo made the finals with a plan to teach young children in urban slums the vocabulary they need for a better life.

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How does mindfulness combat depression?

Professor Zindel Segal has shown that mindfulness meditation can change how the brain functions and help patients struggling with depression. As his method gains international recognition, Segal aims to make it affordable and available to anyone by delivering therapy online.

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Detecting disease in 20 minutes?

U of T startup Xagenic, founded by Professor Shana Kelley, will bring to market a medical device that can detect major illnesses in 20 minutes.

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Can we make our cities accessible for everyone?

Professor Ron Buliung’s research explores how removing financial, social and physical barriers to mobility for disabled children could lead to easier mobility for everyone.

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What can hidden tweets reveal about our world?

Master of Information student My Anh Truong and colleagues created a guideline to help librarians document social media from around the world.

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What does debating teach students about global leadership?

A U of T Rhodes scholar, Kaleem Hawa hopes to parlay his skill at dissecting arguments into helping set health and environmental policy.

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Affordable structures that withstand earthquakes?

Cast Connex, a U of T startup, has developed an inexpensive way to construct earthquake-resistant buildings with the potential to save lives around the world.

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What does it take to thrive in the digital economy?

The digital economy is critical to Canada’s future growth and prosperity. However, without a plan to exploit the tremendous opportunities of advanced information technology, we risk being left behind. A new project led by Professor David Wolfe aims to put Canada on track.

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Is counting deaths saving lives?

Professor Prabhat Jha leads the Million Death Study, the largest epidemiological research study in global health. By following the lives and deaths of two million households throughout India, Jha is finding new ways to reduce premature mortality worldwide.

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How do we restore reason to politics?

Over the past two decades, we have seen growing irrationality in politics, influencing policy decisions and our quality of life. Professor Joseph Heath is sparking a public conversation about what rationality is and how to restore its place in public discourse.

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How do we prepare students for an open world?

Today, cross-cultural skills and a global outlook are critical for students to succeed in global development and international business. Two flagship programs at the University of Toronto Scarborough meet that need by empowering students with experience abroad.

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How will communities get the health care they need?

As Canada’s fastest growing city, Mississauga requires more physicians to ensure access to health care for all members of the community. Thanks to visionary philanthropists Terrence Donnelly and Carlo Fidani and other key partners, the Mississauga Academy of Medicine is meeting this critical need by training the next generation of health leaders in Ontario.

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Can we reimagine AI?

University Professor Emeritus Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer of the AI field, keeps making breakthroughs. The latest is a novel way to teach computers to identify something they’ve never seen before.

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What will control health-care costs?

Assistant Professor Laura Rosella uses big data to explain the links between health-care costs and social factors such as food, housing and workplace.

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