online agm

October 13 - 16, 2020: Online


The fourth annual NTCO AGM was held online using the Zoom platform.

More information about the meeting, including Zoom links, can be found in the menus below.


Tuesday, October 13th

9 am - 1 pm PDT:
  • Professional Skills Workshop Part One: Equity, Diversity and Allyship - click here to enter (password required)

1 pm PDT:

  • Annual business meeting (closed) - click here to enter (password required)

4 pm PDT:

  • Virtual quiz night - click here to enter (password required)

Wednesday, October 14th

9 am - 1 pm PDT:
  • Professional Skills Workshop Part Two: Leadership and Teamwork - click here to enter (password required)
4 pm PDT:
  • Conference reception - click here to enter (password required)

Thursday, October 15th

Click here to enter (password required)

9 am - 10 am PDT:

  • Talks Session One
    • The NTCO program (Kim Venn & Margaret Gwyn, UVic)
    • Industrial connections to astronomy and news from NRC (Luc Simard, HAA-Victoria)
    • LRP2020 (Pauline Barmby, Western University)

10 am - 11 am PDT:

  • Talks Session Two
    • POEP (Stan Metchev, Western University)
    • WFIRST and CASTOR (Pat Côté, HAA-Victoria)
    • SPICA (David Naylor, University of Lethbridge)
    • Blue Sky Spectroscopy (Sudhakar Gunuganti, Blue Sky Spectroscopy)

11 am - 12 pm PDT:

  • Poster Session #1 - click here to view posters (login required)
    • Fibre laser position metrology techniques for commercial spectrometers (Adam Christiansen, University of Lethbridge)
    • Development of a cryogenic diffraction grating spectrometer (Alicia Anderson, University of Lethbridge)
    • Exploring the history of the Virgo cluster of galaxies through multiwavelength photometry of globular clusters (Robert Gleisinger, UVic)
    • Probing the inner structure of the high-accretion rate active galactic nucleus, Markarian 142 (Viraja Khatu, Western University)
    • Characterization of image slicers (Caleb Bayard, Université de Laval)
    • The high-resolution fibre-fed velocity spectrograph: VROOMM (Farbod Jahandar, Université de Montréal)
    • A Monte-Carlo approach for the ADP (Maxime Royer, Université de Laval)
    • Deep NIR photometry of NGC 5904 with GeMS / GSAOI (Tarun Kumar, UVic)
    • Enabling precision astrometry science in TMT era (Mojtaba Taheri, UVic)

12 pm - 1 pm PDT:

  • Talks Session Three
    • NuVu (Yoann Gosselin, NuVu)
    • Developing mm-wavelength instrumentation for studying cosmology (Abigal Crites, University of Toronto)
    • SPIRou, NIRPS and HIRES (René Doyon, Université de Montréal)
1 pm PDT:
  • Informal networking - click here to enter (password required)

Friday, October 16th

Click here to enter (password required)

9 am - 10 am PDT:

  • Talks Session Four
    • CHORD science and technology (Matt Dobbs, McGill University)
    • Interacting with Indigenous communities at DRAO (Kory Phillips, HAA-Penticton)

10 am - 11 am PDT:

  • Poster Session #2 - click here to view posters (login required)
    • Complex hydrocarbons in high mass star forming regions (Courtney Bashnick, Carleton University)
    • HIRAX: Plans and prototypes (Elizabeth Pieters, McGill University)
    • Young massive star clusters in the Antennae galaxy (Hao He, McMaster University)
    • An ultra-energy-efficient 10GS/s analog-to-digital converter for radio astronomy (Zahra Kabirkhoo, University of Calgary)
    • OPERA vs DRAGraces: Who would win? (Shunyuan Mao, UVic)
    • Deep learning analyses of optical synthetic spectral libraries, with an application to the Gaia-ESO spectroscopic database (Spencer Bialek, UVic)
    • Neural network optimization for machine vision edge devices with model distillation techniques (Robert Bickley, UVic)
    • Optimizing neural networks using transfer learning (Rehan Hafeez, UBC)

11 am - 12 pm PDT:

  • Talks Session Five
    • LSST Science (Renée Hložek, University of Toronto)
    • Astronomical data science, transitioning from images to databases in the LSST era (JJ Kavelaars, HAA-Victoria)
    • MILA (Laurence Perreault Levasseur, Université de Montréal)
    • FLIR - deep learning for machine vision (Stephen Se, FLIR)

12 pm - 1 pm PDT:

  • Virtual Tours
    • Diffraction Limited
    • HAA-Victoria
    • Gemini Observatory
1 pm PDT:
  • Informal networking - click here to enter (password required)


Click here to view the posters (login required)

All NTCO graduate students must present a poster about the work they did on their NTCO internship (or, if they haven't yet done their internship, on another project).

NTCO undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to present a poster.

Other attendees are invited to present a poster - please indicate if you are interested in doing so on the registration form.

Posters must be submitted in PDF format by Monday, October 5th, via email to ntco@uvic.ca

Posters will be made available online approximately 1 week before the AGM, and all participants are asked to review the posters before the meeting starts. 

Poster sessions will happen during the AGM as indicated on the schedule.  Poster presenters will have approximately 3 minutes to summarize their projects; after each group of presenters, a moderator will facilitate a group question and answer session.

Professional Skills Development Workshop

Professional Skills Development Workshops will be held on Tuesday, October 13th and Wednesday, October 14th on the topics of equity, diversity, allyship, leadership and teamwork.

Attendance is mandatory for all NTCO graduate students. Undergrads are encouraged to attend, and other attendees are welcome to join as well, space permitting.  Please indicate if you are interested in doing so on the registration form.

Professional Skills Workshop Part One: Equity, Diversity and Allyship
Tuesday, October 13th, 9 am - 1 pm PDT

Click here to enter (password required)

Presenters: Dr. Moussa Magassa, Dr. Janni Aragon, Dr. Rob Hancock

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Reflect on the colonial context (historical and current) of Indigenous people in Canada
  • Develop their Indigenous cultural acumen through self-reflection on how they as individuals interact and interface with Indigenous cultures
  • Understand societal and systemic attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate racial discrimination and other intersecting social inequities such as classism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and religious bigotry, among others
  • Explore influence of race and culture on one’s own personal and professional life, attitude and behavior
  • Recognize systemic racism and the role of technology in racial targeting and profiling

Professional Skills Workshop Part Two: Leadership and Teamwork
Wednesday, October 14th, 9 am - 1 pm PDT

Click here to enter (password required)

Presenter: Dr. Scot Kleinman

Topics covered in this workshop will include:

  • Understanding the difference between management and leadership
  • Learning the common thread among most leadership models and the best leaders
  • Leading by understanding yourself and others
  • Buildling teams for problem solving
  • Debugging teams that get stuck

Presenter Bios

Dr. Moussa Magassa is the Human Rights Educator at the University of Victoria, where he focuses on enhancing understanding of, and commitment to, the university's human rights and equity goals, increasing diversity and creating a fair and inclusive work and study environment at UVic. Previously, Moussa worked as an integration program officer for immigrants and refugees in Vancouver.

Dr. Janni Aragon is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Victoria. She has taught courses on American Politics, Political Theory, Gender and Politics, Feminist Theory, Gender and International Relations, Model United Nations Simulation, Internship in Political Science, as well as numerous Women's Studies courses at the University of Victoria and San Diego State University.

Dr. Rob Hancock (Cree-Metis) is the Associate Director Academic in the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement at the University of Victoria, where he is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. He has been involved in the development and delivery of the university’s Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training sessions for the past six years, and has also designed and offered training sessions for other public sector groups and institutions.

Dr. Scot Kleinman is the Associate Director of Development at Gemini Observatory, having been involved with instrumentation development there since 2007. Prior to coming to Gemini, Scot served as the Instrument Division Chief for the Subaru telescope and previously lead nighttme operations for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, managed the Whole Earth Telescope as its Associtate Director of Operations at Iowa State University, and spent some time on the daytime side of things at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. He received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, where he built an instrument that now sits in a corner of his office, and completed an MBA from the University of Hawaii Shidler school of business.  He is a board member for the Whole Earth Telescope and his research interests include white dwarf stars and science from large scale surveys.  He has a 10 year-old daughter, a couple of German cars, some surf boards, a water ski, and a unicycle, each of which gets varied amounts of use.

Virtual Quiz Night

All NTCO students are invited to an Virtual Quiz Night on Tuesday, October 13th at 4 pm PDT (7 pm EDT). Our host is IQ2000, Vancouver's premier pub trivia and pub quiz host.  BYOB!

Other attendees are welcome to join as well, space permitting - please email ntco@uvic.ca if you'd like to participate.

Click here to enter (password required)

The quiz will last about 1 hour 45 minutes, and consists of four rounds of 10 questions each, with a 10 minute half-time break in the middle.  You can participate in the quiz as a team or as a solo player.  Teams need to be set up before the event, and have a way to chat within the team (group text, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, etc.)

Please email ntco@uvic.ca by Monday, October 5th to indicate who you would like on your team, or if you'd like to be assigned to a team or to play solo.

Conference Reception

All AGM participants are invited to the conference reception on Wednesday, October 14th at 4 pm PDT (7 pm EDT).  Please BYOB!

The reception will be held using Wonder/YoTribe.  No software download or prior registration is needed, but please take a moment to read the FAQ and/or watch the demo video.

A password is required to enter the reception; please check the email you received after registering for the meeting for your password, or email ntco@uvic.ca if you did not receive one.  Please note that the password will not work before the reception begins.

Click here to enter the reception.


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