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Array THE LITTLE ROBOT THAT COULD
(AND ALMOST DID)
PAGE 10 PAGE 2
YOURGUIDETO UBC EVENTS & PEOPLE
OCTOBER 25, 2016 TUESDAY
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Professor Gregor Kiczales nurtures
thousands of future programmers
1
1
PHOTO KATE COLENBRANDER/THE UBYSSEY
"Do not get the idea that you can learn one specific language... otherwise, your career is going to be extremely short."
Leo Soh
Our Campus Coordinator
Computer Science (CPSC) 110
is one of the largest and most
popular courses at UBC. Without
exception, the thousands of
students who've completed the
course are familiar with Dr.
Gregor Kiczales, professor of
computer science and NSERC
software design chair who has
built a mammoth reputation for
himself since coming to UBC in
2000.
A wide range of programs in
the faculties of science and arts
list CPSC 110 as a pre-requisite.
And for good reason, according
to Kiczales, as the course doesn't
just teach students how to code.
More importantly, the class lays
the foundation for upper-year
level courses to build upon.
"By the time people get to
the end of their second year,
you would like them to be able
to write moderately complex
programs and more importantly,
be thinking about them the way
experts think. Our approach is
to immediately get people to
understand how to think about
programming the way experts do,
and then later expand that out to
complicated languages and more
complex programs," he said.
However, building a solid
foundation in any subject is
difficult and requires lots of
work. Students enrolled in CPSC
110 have often voiced complaints
about the strenuous workload
that the course requires and how
that disproportionately impacts
those who are new to computer
science.
Kiczales believes these
complaints run contrary to
the numbers. "[The grades
distribution] is a perfect bell
curve. The average is higher
than people think — in the high
70s — and the tail is long. By
comparison to other courses in
science, it isn't a brutally hard
course," he said.
Furthermore, he argues
that the approach 110 takes
is equitable to students with
different levels of experience
with computer programming.
Focusing on the design principles
of programming rather than the
mechanics of coding, he believes,
"avoids the people who know how
to program running away from
the rest of the room."
But he did recognize the need
for students to stay up-to-date
with their coursework. As a
course that introduces students to
entirely new concepts, falling just
one step behind could result in
failing the course.
"Every day builds on every
day that comes before it, [so] the
consequences of falling behind
are terrible. Every year, there are
some people that fall behind and
unfortunately end up failing the
course. But we've talked to a lot of
people and looked at a lot of data
— people that put in the hours at
least pass 110, if not better than
that," said Kiczales.
The real problem with 110,
Kiczales contends, is that it
has tried to serve two different
audiences — computer science
majors and non-majors who want
to learn software engineering at
the university level. According to
Kiczales, CPSC 103 is now being
offered to resolve this conflict.
"The solution is finally here
and that's 103. It takes the
systematic design approach we
take in 110, but doesn't include
quite as much upward growth,"
he said. "It's not trying to cover
as much, but it is trying to be a
course that teaches you how to
program right."
Letter grades aside, CPSC
110 is a project that Kiczales
thoroughly enjoys leading. He is
what some would call a natural
educator. Even before coming to
UBC, he worked in education-
related laboratories, first at MIT
and later at the Xerox Palo Alto
Research Centre. Coming to UBC
and teaching the department's
introductory course is an
experience that Kiczales refers to
as a "privilege."
"You teach people who have
never seen a subject matter
before, so it's a great privilege
and it's also a huge responsibility.
Because if you blow it, then they
go, 'Well, that's not interesting,'
and go the rest of their lives
thinking that. One of my greatest
sources of pride in [CPSC 110] is
that I get a lot of students every
year who say at the end, You
know, I didn't think I would like
this, and now I do.' And that's the
greatest privilege you can have,"
he said.
Currently, graduates from the
computer science program are
being hired by the world's largest
tech employers such as Facebook
and Google. Vancouver also has
a growing tech sector, with the
likes of Hootsuite and Microsoft
opening regional offices. And
while Kiczales is happy to see
his students finding success after
graduation, he knows that they
will have to adapt and re-learn
to stay afloat in the computer
science industry.
"Computer science, as a field,
has always favoured people that
can learn new things quickly. That's
always been true, and it's going to
continue to be more true as the
fundamental underlying principles
and tools of programming change.
Machine learning is going to be
huge, and already in software
engineering, data science plays a
huge role," he said.
In CPSC 110, Kiczales is
preparing students for this future.
"I'm basically trying to say
to people, 'Do not get the idea
that you can learn one specific
language.' The language you learn
by yourself overnight. [At UBC,]
you've got to learn the core of
how software works. Otherwise,
your career is going to be
extremely short." Vi  Vi
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V, SCIENCE
EDITOR KOBY MICHAELS
OCTOBER 25,2016 TUESDAY
MEDICINE //
Doctors part of cause and solution of opioid epidemic
Jenny Gu
Contributor
Dr. Ian Scott is the director of
UBC's Centre for Health Education
Scholarship and a practicing family
physician.
Ubyssey Science sat down with
him and discussed his views which
focused on the role of physicians in
the opioid crisis, and where he sees
the future of the management of the
epidemic heading.
WHAT ARE OPIOIDS?
Opioids are a class of drug [that
include prescription drugs like
morphine or Vicodin and illegal
drugs like heroin]. These drugs
have different potencies and slightly
different mechanisms of action, but
they all essentially work on receptors
in the brain and the spinal cord, and
cause the effect of reducing pain.
WHAT IS THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC
AND HOW HAS IT DEVELOPED
OVER THE PAST YEARS?
The opioid epidemic is the increased
use of opioids both in clinical [with
a doctor] and non-clinical [without a
doctor] settings.
In clinical settings, originally,
opioids were used primarily in
patients who had cancer or were in
palliative care. They have recently
been used in settings where the
person does not have a terminal
illness and has a chronic condition.
Illicit use has also increased. The
challenge with the opioid crisis is
that drugs have become much more
available and easier to acquire now.
People can go on the dark web and
buy a kilogram of fentanyl, and get it
delivered to their home.
I'm a practicing family physician,
so my concern about the opioid crisis
is how to address the challenges of
patients coming to see me who are
on long-term opioids, and how to
either reduce or control their use.
WHAT ARE SOME SOCIETAL
IMPLICATIONS OF THIS
EPIDEMIC?
Addiction is a disease and it impairs
people's ability to gain employment,
to have quality relationships and to
be good members of society. Often,
because of the way opioids work,
people require increasing doses to
maintain their addiction. In order
to attain the drug, they engage in
behaviour which may be detrimental
to their well-being and to their
families.
One of the big parts of the opioid
crisis is the fact that people are
accidentally overdosing now. If
opioids are not cut appropriately
by the people who are mixing them
illicitly and there is a little bit more
opioid than expected, the potency
is so great that the implications are
depression of the respiratory system
and your brain dies from a lack of
oxygen.
WHAT ROLE HAVE PHYSICIANS
HAD IN THE CAUSE OF THE
OPIOID CRISIS?
In around 2000, there was a great
deal of activity promoting the
use of opioids for non-cancerous
chronic pains, which up until that
point, might have been treated with
aspirin, Tylenol or a non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory. In the profession,
there was a feeling that we were not
providing appropriate or adequate
care, and we should be using opioids
for these people.
There were a number of
guidelines written, promoting the
use of opioids in that situation, and
many physicians were reluctant to
prescribe them, but felt that there
was evidence there supporting
them doing it. We probably both
appropriately and inappropriately
treated patients with opioids. It
generally made opioids a more
common and accepted treatment
modality in medicine, and people
became more comfortable and less
hesitant about using opioids.
That was not the only cause —
nor the major cause — of the opioid
crisis, but it was a deliberate act in
that physicians were advised that
it was appropriate to use opioids to
treat chronic pain. There's a whole
pile of other societal factors that I
think have led to the opioid crisis
— the availability, poverty, lack of
stable housing. All of those things
have encouraged the opioid crisis, so
the physician's role is one piece of a
multi-factorial piece.
HOW IS THE DECISION TO
PRESCRIBE OPIOIDS MADE?
There are some guidelines from the
College of Physicians and Surgeons
of BC. They've set what they feel are
appropriate levels of opioid use in
patients and our objective is to try to
slowly reduce people's doses.
When we see new patients, we
ask them to consent to us doing a
PharmaNet search, which allows
us to see if other providers are
prescribing opioids to them. We can
then have a conversation with them
and ask them to agree that they will
only come to us to get their opioids,
and not see multiple physicians.
We'll do an intake interview with
the patient to find out what their
opioid history has been, what they
are on now and if they're using any
illicit street drugs. Then we'll happily
agree to work with them to reduce
their opioid use slowly over time so
that they don't suffer any withdrawal
symptoms.
DID THIS CHANGE TO
GUIDELINES IMPACT HOW
OPIOIDS ARE PRESCRIBED?
Yes, it has. Most physicians
would feel uncomfortable about
having patients on high-dose
opioids, and generally, we try
to reduce people's doses. The
College guidelines have, in some
ways, helped in that they've
given us a bit of a target. Again,
one needs to be careful about
recommendations from experts,
evidence and where the evidence
comes from, but people have
become a bit more comfortable
about the fact that there are some
guidelines that we can hold up
to ourselves and hold up to our
patients.
Physiologically, if you stop
high doses right away, the
increased number of opioid
receptors are essentially hungry
for the drug and the patient will
have significant withdrawal
symptoms, so it needs to be done
slowly. There are regimes out
there for tapering people which
we look up and say, "Okay, we can
do it at this level," and we can
talk to the patients about it and
explain it to them, and have them
come back every week, or every
two weeks where they're on a
tapering regime to reduce dose.
ILLUSTRATION MAJA MAJ/THE UBYSSEY
Opioids affect everyone in an addict's life and have far reacting consequences in society, Dr. Scott argues.
WHAT MISCONCEPTIONS
ABOUT OPIOIDS DO PATIENTS
HAVE?
At times, these patients have
missed their opioids before
and have suffered withdrawal
symptoms, so they are nervous
and often don't want to have their
dose reduced. They don't see the
problem because they've been
stable on opioids for a while. We
have to make an alliance with the
patient and explain to them that
we aren't going to abandon them
and we aren't going to fire them if
they don't succeed, but that we're
going to work together to slowly
reduce their opioid use.
The other concern that
patients have is that in our
healthcare system, drugs are
often funded either through the
government or through people's
private plans, but other effective
pain treatment modalities such
as physiotherapy and counselling
aren't as readily funded. So if we
had easier access to those things,
it might also be easier for us to
reduce people's opioid use.
Drugs are also relatively
easy for the patient, whereas
physiotherapy and counselling
would require some work on
the patient, in which they
would have to go see a provider
regularly. Drugs are easier for
the healthcare system, and
easier for patients than it is to
engage in some of those other
things. If we had easier access to
physiotherapy and counselling,
it might also be easier for us to
reduce people's opioid use.
HOW CAN PATIENTS,
PHYSICIANS AND
REGULATORS IN THE
GOVERNMENT TAKE THE
NEXT STEP IN DEALING WITH
THIS?
It would be helpful to have an
integrated approach. It's not for
lack of concern. I think people are
very concerned. It's just a matter
of lining a whole lot of pieces
that deal with a lot of different
parts of the problem, and getting
them to somehow work together
and coordinate the approach to
this. Many people in the system
recognize that. It's a matter of
how to do it and it's a matter of
money as well.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU
WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
As a society, we need to figure out
how we're going to address pain and
suffering that people have, because
many of these people who have
been drawn to opioids — and have
become tolerant or addicted — have
had some level of trauma in their
lives. Opioids have allowed them,
in some ways, the ability to tolerate
their pain and suffering better,
but in the end, those opioids have
probably led to greater pain and
suffering.
I think we need to figure out
a multifactorial approach related
to the events which drive people
towards using illicit substances
to help make their intolerable
lives more tolerable, at least at
the beginning, before the opioid
addiction makes it intolerable.
We need to think about this as
more than just stopping people from
taking opioids. We need to consider
more integrated approaches,
supporting people and families, and
reducing the trauma that people
experience in their lives.
It's going to take some time.
We aren't going to, just by having
some guidelines, fix this in the
next year. It's going to take time for
physicians to feel more comfortable
in reducing people's opioid use, for
patients to understand that there's
some rationale for not putting
them on opioids or reducing their
opioid use, and to figure out how
to integrate treatment across the
province to support people who
want to quit or end their opioid use.
It's going to take some time and we
need to be ready for the long game
on this. Vi
This interview has been edited for
clarity and length.
TOR?
Every year the Faculty of Science awards Killam
Teaching Prizes to acknowledge excellence in
undergraduate teaching and to promote the
importance of science education. This is your chance
to recognize a professor, instructor or lecturer in the
Faculty of Science who has inspired you.
DEADLINE: November 15,2016
Visit science.ubc.ca/killam to learn more and fill out
the nomination form.
Background image: Close-up of dandelion, Flickr dr.rJam.
>   Laureats ,  , n —  —     .
killam*      UBC Science
Laureates	 10 11 12
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EDITOR OLAMIDE OLANIYAN
OCTOBER25,2016TUESDAY  IE
REAL MVP//
Jasmin Dhanda is an essential part of the 'Birds offence
PHOTO PATRICKGILUN/THE UBYSSEY
Dhanda was the most valuable player at2015 National Championship.
Lucy Fox
Staff Writer
At the top of the women's soccer
team's formation, wearing
highlighter-yellow cleats, Jasmin
Dhanda waits for the ball patiently.
She isn't loud or demanding,
but quiet and composed as the
point woman of UBC's offence.
Monitoring along the University of
Victoria Vikes' defensive line, she is
constantly watching — waiting for
her moment.
It's midway through the first
half and UBC is up 1-0 against the
University of Victoria. Dhanda has
yet to strike, but she doesn't doubt
herself. She has a point in all but
three matches so far this season.
As has come to be expected, she
capitalizes in the 30th minute. As
third-year midfielder Reetu Johal
looks up for an open teammate,
Dhanda circles around into position
between the Vikes' defence. Johal
sends the ball into the empty space
behind Victoria's back line and
Dhanda strides into its path, just
ahead of a defender coming to
challenge her.
Inside the box, Dhanda tips the
ball over the sprawling Victoria
keeper — it's a tough shot to make,
but Dhanda sinks it effortlessly.
The ball ripples the back netting
and Dhanda calmly celebrates with
the wave of teammates flooding in
her direction.
She isn't attention seeking. She
doesn't embellish anything. Just
another shot, another goal and
another 60 minutes left to play.
Now in her fourth year with
the women's soccer team, Jasmin
Dhanda is an essential part of the
'Birds offence. With two games left
in regular season, she sits on nine
goals and seven assists, and leads
the team in goals, assists and shots.
Dhanda's success with UBC
doesn't come as a surprise when
you look at her soccer history. Her
career so far includes stints with
the national training centre, the
U-17 national team and time with
the Whitecaps residency program.
But it's her collected, calm
demeanor that puts her in a league
of her own and it doesn't come
unwarranted given her history with
the game.
Her love for soccer started in
her childhood, as it usually does.
Playing soccer with her brother
and sister at a young age, Dhanda
said her parents spotted her talent
early. Though she played other
sports like field hockey, by 14
she had realized soccer was the
sport for her. Since then, she has
continued to gain recognition for
her skill, highlighted most recently
by a Gunn Baldursson Memorial
Award for being the most valuable
player at the 2015 National
Championship.
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With that kind of a history,
Dhanda says she's gained an
unfaltering level of confidence.
"I've been playing soccer for so
long, so I know I have the skills and
the ability to be the best that I can
be every day and help my team," she
said. "I just stay positive and even
if things aren't going my way, I just
forget about it and keep going."
But that confidence doesn't
come without knowing there is
some expectation to perform as
well.
"There's always some pressure
there because I feel like if I'm not
doing my best, I'm letting my team
down," said Dhanda. "I rely on
myself to finish my chances and get
my team on the scoreboard."
Head coach Jesse Symons has
seen this confidence grow first
hand, having coached Dhanda not
only here at UBC, but with the
Whitecaps residency program as
well.
"I think the one thing that all
great players have is that they aren't
cocky or flamboyant... they are just
within themselves and they are
quietly confident," said Symons.
"Jasmin's always been like that —
she's never been a player that has
needed attention or needed that
arm around her to say you're good.
She's just confident.
"I think she is constantly looking
to get on the ball. She's a player that
wants to go forward, [but] sort of
has a calmness about herself too. If
she misses a chance, she's going to
keep going and try to score ...her
confidence never really waivers
too much," he continued. "She's
comfortable with understanding
that if she misses a chance, she will
get another one."
As for what he's seen change
in Dhanda over the years, Symons
honed in on her maturity as a leader
and its parallel with her surety on
the field.
"She doesn't lead like a rah-rah
type player — she's more of a player
that leads by example," he said. "If
you watch her in games, she's sort
of a player that gets on the ball and
makes things happen."
So she can score and she does
that on a consistent basis. But
she also knows when to give that
space to another player, or to set up
someone else up going forward. She
is a game changer, but a playmaker
too — an essential piece of the
puzzle as it stands today for the
Thunderbirds team.
She has the skills, the
determination, the certainty and the
demeanor to lead and succeed, and
she's been doing that.
What's more, UBC gets another
season with her in their uniform.
"You look at all the attention
she's gotten this year, to know that
she's got another year at this school
is really exciting to see what she's
going to be able to bring," said
Symons.
"I think a player that has got a
lot of accolades after winning the
national championships last year and
[being] the MVP of the playoffs, to
come in this year with so much on
her in terms of expectations, I think
she's really hit it... To see this going
into next year is really exciting."
Calm, collected, and confident —
Dhanda is triple threat up front for
the women's soccer team and she
has another season left to impress.
What will she do with it? Vt
FIELD HOCKEY//
T-Birds end
regular season
undefeated
PHOTO SALOMON MICKO BENRIMOH/THE UBYSSEY
The team completely beat out Calgary
overthe weekend.
Salomon Micko Benrimoh
Staff Writer
What's better than sweeping your
rivals in a two-game weekend series?
Shutting them out in both games and
winning by a combined score of 8-0.
This is what the UBC women's field
hockey team was able to accomplish,
beating the University of Calgary
Dinos 5-0 on Saturday and then
again on Sunday with 3-0.
Both games saw the T-Birds
assert total dominance over
the Dinos, keeping play almost
exclusively in the Dinos' defensive
end. Three different T-Birds scored
in Sunday's game and goal-tending
was split down the middle between
Gabriella Switzer and Rowan Harris.
The wins were
a bonusforthe
'Birds, as they've
already clinched
their 26th Canada
West title after
beating the
University of
Victoria Vikes
twice two weeks
UBC midfielder Rachel Donohoe
was also named as the 2016 Canada
West MVP shortly after the match
ended. Donohoe is in her fourth year
at UBC and with the Thunderbirds.
The wins were a bonus for the
'Birds, as they've already clinched
their 26th Canada West title after
beating the University of Victoria
Vikes twice two weeks ago. They
won the first game 1-0, and scored
late in the second to win 2-1 and
clinch the title in dramatic fashion.
Overall, the T-Birds finished
the 2016 season undefeated with
a final record of 6-0-2. The draws
came from the first two games of the
season, both of which were against
the Vikes and had a final score of 1-1.
The 'Birds have also only
conceded a total of three goals over
the course of the entire eight-game
season.
The T-Birds now have two weeks
to prepare for the CIS national
championships that will be held at
the University of Toronto starting
on Thursday, November 3. They'll
be hoping to continue their success
on the East Coast as they try to
capture their sixth straight CIS
national title. Vi 15
V,
V,
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