Top 6-10 Papers from the Sixth Annual National Student Paper Competition
Top 6-10 Submissions from the Sixth Annual Student Paper Competition
Creating a comprehensive platform for food banks to address poverty-oriented data
By Milad Pirayegar Emrouzeh, University of New Brunswick
Canada is recognized for its high quality of life and outstanding standards of living, but “statistics show that nearly 4.9 million people are living below the poverty line and 1.2 million of these are children under the age of eighteen” (1). While national and provincial poverty-reduction projects have had a considerable effect on decreasing or controlling the poverty rate across the country, they have not significantly addressed the causes of poverty. It is not clear what are the roots and causes of poverty in the marginalized communities. The idea of smart City is a multi-dimensional concept, which includes several disciplines such as social, economic, and technological sciences. By using the indicators provided by the smart cities concept, it enables opportunities for city authorities and stakeholders to overcome social issues and enhance the quality of life, to improve economic conditions, and to provide better services. This paper aims to recommend a practical solution to address the roots and reasons of poverty based on smart city ideology.
An algorithm previously wrote this essay: Lessons for public consultations from Artificial Intelligence
By Gabe Senecal, Carleton University
In the digital age, we are overloaded by incomprehensible volumes of data like the characters of Borges’ 1944 short story La biblioteca de Babel (The Library of Babel).1 Borges’ characters are trapped in their massive library, which contains peculiar books. Every room, of which there are too many to explore in a lifetime, has the same number of shelves and volumes. The 410 pages of each book are filled with one unique permutation of letters and punctuation. Most combinations of characters do not result in words, let alone sentences or paragraphs, but since every combination exists every potential phrase is on the library’s shelves somewhere.2 Some trapped inhabitants search the volumes for the rare coherent fragment or paragraph, or even the meaning of their existence, which must be on the shelves—along with every false explanation. Shakespeare’s plays and the Harry Potter series are in the Library of Babel, but no human can read enough to find many coherent pages, let alone the information they seek. Inhabitants of the library have no alternative to tedious, directionless searching. Today, proactive governments can take advantage of access to more information than ever, but disorganized governments will flounder.
Cannabis: A plant with a potential worth investigating
By Reza Ghovaloo, Simon Fraser University
“Nothing will come of nothing.” This universal truth from Shakespeare’s play, King Lear, is an apt description of the need for cannabis research.
Five Eyes, 5G: Huawei and Telecoms Cybersecurity Procedures in Canada
By David Sparling, University of Saskatchewan
Within the next two years, the Government of Canada will regulate the construction of infrastructure to facilitate the transition to fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications networks. The evolution of Canada’s telecommunications networks will require a substantial increase in the number of cellular sites to realize the promise of faster downloads and an enhanced web of telecoms coverage. 1 This digital infrastructure project would be accelerated through the participation of Chinese megacorporation Huawei, an international telecoms leader that provides equipment at cheaper rates than competitors.2 However, including Huawei in the construction of 5G infrastructure could isolate Canada from allies in the influential Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network and expose Canada to potential cyber threats enabled by Huawei technology. 3 Considering the policy importance of 5G infrastructure integrity, the digital challenges posed by Chinese corporations like Huawei, and the importance of the Five Eyes network to Canadian security interests, the federal government should bar Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks until a revised screening procedure incorporating Five Eyes allies is established.
Meconium Testing to Detect Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: More Harm Than Good?
By Nicky Cairncross, Simon Fraser University
Meconium testing has been suggested as a novel approach to early identification and therefore intervention for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a set of characteristics associated with prenatal alcohol exposure leading to life-long developmental health impacts. Meconium (newborns’ first stool) can been tested for specific biomarkers to establish whether a newborn has been exposed to alcohol in utero. One common biomarker is Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEEs), which are directly formed from metabolism of alcohol. This policy proposal presents a summary of findings to present the current advantages and limitations of meconium screening. Currently, there is a lack of research following up with children who test positive for FAEE to establish predictability of this screening tool. Given the stigma of admitting to prenatal alcohol use and the lack of evidence correlating positive FAEE screens with subsequent FASD diagnoses, meconium screening should be approached with caution. Policy recommendations to consider include 1) prohibiting the use of targeted meconium screening and 2) implementing mandated annual reporting on FASD prevalence to establish population level data.