Conference Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Nergis Mavalvala

Our keynote speaker will be Nergis Mavalvala, the Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT. She is a key member of the team of physicists who first detected gravitational waves with LIGO, and continues to work on the project. She will be speaking through video conference software to all of the CUWiP sites across North America, and students will be able to ask questions live.

Professor Nergis Mavalvala joined the Physics faculty at MIT in January 2002. Before that, she was a postdoctoral associate and then a research scientist at Caltech, working on the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). She has been involved with LIGO since her early years in graduate school at MIT and her primary research has been in instrument development for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors. Professor Mavalvala received a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1997, and a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy from Wellesley College in 1990.

Prof. Renée Hložek

Prof. Renée Hložek will be speaking about the experience of being a woman in physics and academia. Hložek studies a variety of problems in theoretical and observational cosmology through observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background, Type Ia supernovae and Baryon Acoustic Oscillations. She currently works at the University of Toronto's Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Hložek studied at the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town. She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2011, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Before coming to the Dunlap, she was a Lyman Spitzer Jr. Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Astrophysics at Princeton University and the Spitzer-Cotsen Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows. She is also a Senior TED Fellow. You can watch her TED-Ed talk here.

Dr. Shohini Ghose

Dr. Ghose will be speaking about her experiences as a woman in theoretical physics, as well as the importance of women in physics leadership. She is a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University researching quantum information and computation science, as well as the Director of the Centre for Women in Science and a TED fellow. She regularly works with Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Institute for Quantum Computing, and the Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute.

You can watch her TED talk here.

Dr. Carla Fehr

Dr. Fehr will be speaking about the importance of diversity in STEM and feminist philosophy of science. She lectures internationally about improving the representation of women and members of racialized group in Science and Engineering. She is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy in addition to the Chair of the Status of Women and Equity Committee (Faculty Association, University of Waterloo), Director of the Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS), Associate Director of the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women Site Visit Program, and the Editor of the Feminist Philosophy Quarterly.

Dr. Vicki Lowes

Dr. Lowes has a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics, as well as a long background in scientific and medical writing, management, and career consulting. She has lived and worked overseas, managed grass-roots community service organizations and co-founded two businesses. She is the Manager of Science Career and Cooperative Education at McMaster University, and will be speaking about the many opportunities a physics degree offers from her extensive multidisciplinary professional and personal experience.

Lisa Lim-Cole (M.Ed.)

Lisa is the current president of the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers, the Science and Technology Program Facilitator (K-12) on the Durham District School Board, and the Teacher Network Coordinator at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. She will be speaking about physics education, the process of becoming a teacher, and the experience of women in physics and the teaching industry.

Dr. Imogen Coe

Dr. Coe is Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University and a strong advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusivity in STEM. Imogen is on the board of Michael Garron Hospital, Girls in STEM Executive Advisory Council and the Canadian Mining Innovation Council. She also acts in an advisory capacity with hEr VOLUTION, a non-profit organization working on access to innovative education and employment services to girls and young women in STEM. She will be presenting some statistics about women in STEM and discussing the importance of inspiring young women. You can watch her TEDx talk here.

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