The Applied Sciences specialty area provides an integrated environment between the Faculties of Science, Arts, and Social Science within which students will develop the scientific business and communications skills necessary to succeed as applied scientists in today's competitive job market. The Applied Sciences specialty is open to all students with a science related undergraduate degree including the core science fields (e.g., biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and the mathematical sciences) and scientifically related technical fields (e.g., public health, kinesiology, psychology, and geoscience). Graduates from this specialty will gain a competitive edge in the job marked and be positioned to develop as future leaders in their careers in the applied sciences, to work productively in interdisciplinary teams of scientists and business professionals, and to start their path toward management roles within any field of science.
|Data Analytics for Applied Scientists (0.5 FCE)||This course will provide a foundation in the use of statistics to design experiments and analyse scientific data and will help students to develop new skills to interpret the results of these analyses and to think critically about the data and analyses presented by others. Specific topics covered will include the application of basic parametric and non-parametric statistical tools including exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, the analysis of variance, and generalized linear modelling. Students will also gain experience programming and analyzing data in the R statistical software package.|
|Professional Computing for Applied Scientists (0.5 FCE)||Modern professionals in all areas are expected to have a good understanding of the basic computing software used in business environments. This course will provide students with fundamental programming skills needed to automate common tasks in a business environment. The content will focus on the logic of programming, workflow, and best practices using a common language like Python or Microsoft Visual Basic. Students will also learn the basics of database systems including the fundamentals of database structures, querying with SQL, and generating reports. Additional topics may include data analytics in Microsoft Excel and essential skills in the most common business software (e.g., the Microsoft Office suite).|
|MMASc Consulting Project (0.5 FCE)||Groups of students will be partnered with external organizations who require consulting in the applied sciences. Over the course of the project students will work to develop a solution to the organization’s problem under the guidance of the project coordinator with consultation from the program instructors and a mentor within the organization. Students will complete the project by providing the organization with a written report and by presenting their solution directly to the organization’s management team. Projects might range from very applied work, such as developing a data management plan for a local business, to more managerial tasks, such as creating a marketing plan for a new product or conducting a review of a business’s organizational structur.|
|MMASc Colloquium Series (0.5 FCE)||The MMASc Colloquium Series will synthesize a broad range of topics in the management of applied science. Material will be presented by local leaders in business and the management of applied science and technology, providing students with the opportunity to build their professional networks. Potential topics include: entrepreneurship, design thinking, science and the law (copyright, patent law, and intellectual property), basics of the manufacturing process, taking risks within a business environment, and working with non-scientists within a business setting. Speakers will also discuss their own experiences in business and each colloquium will include a question and answer session allowing students to interact with the speaker directly.|
Graduates of this field will be well prepared to take on upper administrative, management, and supervisory roles in a number of industries, and will be equipped with data analytics expertise to effectively turn raw data into valuable and actionable information.
The Biological Sciences Specialty Field focuses on the applications of biology and biotechnology in agriculture, medicine, and the environment. Graduates will be well positioned to enter and fast-track toward, leadership positions in organizations built around science. These range from start-up companies with niche products to multi-nationals, from non-government organizations working in communities around the globe to major government agencies engaged in science policy development, and from small entrepreneurial organizations to large corporations.
|Applied Biostatistics||This course will provide a foundation in the use of statistics to interpret biological data. Topics will include the application of parametric and non-parametric statistical tools to the interpretation and critical evaluation of research data (e.g., medical, environmental, basic research).|
|Bioethical Perspectives||The objectives of this course are to provide students with a foundation in bioethics, with emphasis on the application and impact of biological research and discoveries. Using a combination of workshops, critical appraisals, debates and guest lectures, students will learn to recognize and evaluate ethical concerns and stakeholder perspectives in a wide range of biological applications. Current examples will be drawn from a variety of sources including the popular press, public documents and the primary scientific literature.|
|Cancer Biology (0.25 FCE)||In this course students will analyze the cellular processes and mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that when dysfunctional can give rise to cellular transformation and cancer.|
|Cell Signalling and Gene Expression (0.25 FCE)||This course will focus on how cells sense and transmit environmental signals to regulate gene expression. Select examples of signal transduction events will be introduced and discussed to illustrate important principles. Students will be expected to present and critically evaluate assigned papers, and write a short review article.|
|Chemical Biology (0.25 FCE)||A broad overview of chemical biology with emphasis on protein synthesis with non-canonical amino acids, chemical biology approaches to probing cellular function, small molecule probes of protein-protein function, and chemical genetic approaches to drug discovery. The course will consist of lectures followed by journal club-style discussions led by the students. The students will also be expected to write and critique a short "news-and-views" style article.|
|Synthetic and Systems Biology (0.25 FCE)||Students will be introduced to synthetic biology (the design and construction of biological devices for useful applications) and systems biology (interactions between molecular components of biological systems). Students will be introduced to recent technical advances, to model organisms, and large-scale screening methodologies used in synthetic and systems biology.|
Global Health encompasses the inextricable health links between human activities, ecological systems, environmental concentrations and sustainable resources. The objective of the specialty field in Global Health Systems in Africa is to develop an environment for transdisciplinary, holistic approaches and methods for graduate students to become global leaders with experience in one of the most challenging, complex areas of the world.
Transdisciplinary approaches to problem solving combined with translational and transformative activities, provide the foundation for a systems approach to global health, which is critical to address global health issues and concerns in a productive, effective and sustainable manner. The Global Health Systems in Africa specialty field will highlight thematic areas committed to combat poverty, hunger, disease, and environmental degradation while promoting the health and equality of those most vulnerable, such as women and children.
Advocates for a healthier future, graduates will be well positioned to assume or fast track toward leadership positions in major government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the healthcare system both locally and internationally. This curriculum will bridge gaps between disciplines and provide students with organizational, leadership, and communication skills, enabling them to build successful careers.
|Foundations and Case Studies of Global Health in Africa (0.5 FCE)||The objective of this course is to examine Global Health Systems in Africa (GHS-A) through different disciplinary lenses, while gaining insight into the ways in which issues and solutions are approached. The health status of an individual living in poverty is subject to factors that relate to the biology of the individual, their culture, their socio-economic status and the political and geographic context of where they live, among others. Current research with African communities-at-risk will be critically reviewed and discussed through a combination of faculty and student presentations and written assignments. Using case studies of leadership in GHS-A projects at Western and within the region, we will examine the successes, failures and frontiers in GHS-A research and practice. Students will perform strategic assessments and evaluations to analyze projects and measure their impact.|
|Global Health Assessments (0.5 FCE)||This course provides students with an overview of different analytical approaches to assessing global health data, including both quantitative and qualitative data. Students will learn how to design methodologically appropriate research studies. The course will describe some of the policies, procedures and applicability of data analysis in the context of Global Health Systems in Africa.|
|Incubators and Accelerators of Innovation (0.25 FCE)||In this course students will participate in team-based activities, driving the discovery of social, economic, scientific and engineering solutions, while deepening and promoting interactions among aspiring and experienced innovators. To scale innovations to have social impact, we must consider the importance of local contexts, local collaborations and the external environment. Students will investigate practices for accelerating Global Health Systems innovations and developing a foundational business tool kit in finance, marketing, operations, leadership, information technologies and entrepreneurism. Cases and readings will draw on concepts in developmental evaluation to scale social innovations while engaging local adaptations and collaborations.|
|Bridging Research to Policy & Practice to Improve Global Health (0.5 FCE)||This course provides students with the opportunity to explore practical techniques and specific case studies for bridging the research-policy interface to improve global health. The students will focus on the African Great Lakes Region, a highly complex, decentralized, socio-ecological transboundary system that is invaluable for the freshwater, biological diversity and esthetic attributes they provide. Bordered by 10 governing countries, these lakes also play a critical role for sustaining the human populations that surround them. Myriad factors are contributing to the deterioration of the African Great Lakes, demanding a structured, systems approach to understanding both the science and management needs. Working within existing governance structures, students will learn to apply international organization for standardization (ISO) frameworks for scenario analysis and risk management to improve the global health status of the region. For example, scenario analysis uses qualitative and/or quantitative methods to explore different assumptions about how causal relationships work and result in different outcomes, whereas risk management explores the risk associated with gaps between science and management on achieving policy objectives.|
|Cultural, Ethical and Participatory Engagements in Africa (0.25)||This series provides tools in order to work effectively within varied cultural settings and across different social and political environments. Emphasis will be on how to engage in collaborative capacity building with local, national, and international organizations and communities to facilitate and strengthen their ability to address current and future global health needs in an ethical and professional manner.|
|Field School (compulsory attendance)||The field school will focus on solving complex problems by developing leadership skills at the interface of different disciplines through applied system analysis and embedded experiences. This field school will be designed to provide innovative “feet-on-the-ground” learning experiences that embrace the intersection of cultural, social, economic, environmental and health studies on present-day communities-at-risk in Africa.|
|Career Development (compulsory attendance)||This series provides career development tools including networking skills, job search strategies, creating a resume, CV, covers letter and a personal statement and interview skills with opportunities to practice. This series is geared towards developing these essentials skills to ensuring a successful career.|