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UNCON 2018

Saturday, November 3rd, 2017
9:30am - 3:30pm

Bahen Centre for Information Technology (BA)

Room 1170

40 St. George St

Toronto, ON, M5S 2E4

Our speakers


Gladys Tong is a BMC alumnus from the class of '94. She now lives in Vancouver, BC and is the founder of G Creative Productions Inc., a motion graphics and visual effects company in the movie and film industry. Check out the fascinating work that G Creative does at their website.


Talk: BMC and Beyond: From Science Fact to Science Fiction


Life for a BMC student can be intense. Life after BMC can turn into an adventure. For this BMC grad her journey started in academia and ended up in Hollywood. It's a Canadian story that began in Toronto and carries on to Vancouver. Hear about some of the highlights, challenges, and lessons learned along the way.


Brendan, Class of 1T4, currently works at AXS Studio as Head of Interactive Development.


Talk: Taking control of your visuals in Unity


Achieving visual fidelity in Unity can feel like an exercise in futility. Unity’s built-in rendering pipeline is largely a black box, prioritizing cross-platform accessibility over quality. Standard assets can result in aesthetics that feel "gamey"; however, gaining control over visuals often requires writing complex shader code and custom tools. Unity 2018.2 introduces a suite of new artist-friendly tools, opening the door for Unity to be used for not only games but high quality cinematic experiences. This talk will include an overview and demonstration of the High Definition Render Pipeline, Shader Graph tool, and updated Post Processing Stack.


Stuart Jantzen is currently a 3D biomedical technical artist at AXS Studio. In addition to producing science illustrations and animations for clients of AXS Studio, he acts as a rigging and pipeline Technical Director, develops in-house tools, and maintains the render farm at the studio. After graduating from the MScBMC program at the University of Toronto, he worked as a Research Associate investigating how molecular visualization can be used to promote learning. Stuart has taught Master's level courses in Maya and has given several workshops and presentations on molecular visualization.



Talk: Demystifying scripting in 3D apps


Scripting is the single most powerful tool in any 3D application, such as Maya or Cinema 4D. Even a rudimentary understanding of a scripting language like Python can improve any workflow, from rigging and effects to simply creating and selecting objects. We will explore different ways scripting can be useful, look at some basic concepts in Python to get started with scripting, learn to read and understand some examples, and find free resources to develop our scripting skills.


Shiz Aoki is co-founder and CEO of BioRender, a cloud-based software that allows scientists to visually communicate their research via DIY illustrations. Prior to starting BioRender, she studied at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in medical illustration, was lead science illustrator at National Geographic for 8 years, and founded Anatomize Studios - a medical illustration studio specializing in complex, high impact illustration and animation. Her passion lies in accelerating science via the intersection of science, art, and communication.

Talk: Democratizing Visual Science Communication

Science is accelerating at a rate that is far outpacing the the tools available to communicate it. As a result, scientists waste nearly a billion hours per year trying to create graphics using subpar tools like Powerpoint or Illustrator. In addition to the wasted time, the lack of standardization of biological entities has made it very difficult for learning and communicating these concepts across labs, teams, and especially countries. In this talk, we’ll explore the possibility of building out a standard visual language of biology, democratizing science illustration via better software tools, as well as a brief look into the product (software) development cycle.


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Dr. Joseph Ferenbok is the director of the Translational Research Program at University of Toronto. His interests centre on the translation and mobilization of knowledge across disciplinary contexts using design-thinking strategies among multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams. His teaching has spanned media design, legal issues in developing technologies, innovation and commercialization strategies and interdisciplinary collaboration for knowledge translation and mobilization. He also explores a range of possibilities for training and applied research involving simulations, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 3D interaction, scanning and printing. 


Talk: TBD


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Christine P'ng (1T7) is an information designer at CCO - an agency that advises the provincial government on the healthcare system. She works with analytics teams to create reports, dashboards, scorecards, and other products focused on communicating data to inform decisions. Along the way, she's also involved in teaching others about data visualization and design.


Talk: Designing for Decisions in the Healthcare System


When we think about design in healthcare, we might think of examples such as health-tracking apps, drug packaging design, or other opportunities that cater to us, the public. However, there’s another side to healthcare that isn’t focused on the users of the system, but rather the administrators. How do healthcare planners decide what diseases should get more funding? Or measure which hospitals are performing well? These people need data to be available and presented in a way that enables informed decision-making. In this talk, I’ll discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of designing for this aspect of the healthcare system. 

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Mathieu currently works at the service design firm Bridgeable, helping healthcare clients develop patient-centric experiences. Previously, Mathieu worked at the Ontario Science Centre where he gained expertise in academic and free-choice learning, developing and delivering public and school programs. Mathieu holds an MSc degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto and an MSc degree in Science Communication from the University of the West of England.


Talk: The fine line between simplification and dumbing down


When communicating science to a non-expert audience, there's a fine line between creating content that simplifies complex science versus creating content that dumbs down science. We'll take a look at how to differentiate both types of content and understand why understanding the difference is so important.

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Gwun is a BMC alumnus from the class of 1T0 and now supports others as a life and leadership coach, motivational speaker, and transformational workshop facilitator. His mission is to inspire and empower hardworking professionals across the world to live from a place of confidence and personal freedom so they can experience the life of their dreams.​


Talk: The Anatomy of Confidence


What could your work and personal life look like if you had more confidence? Most individuals want to be more confident, but many struggle with actually developing it. In this talk, we'll look at what confidence really is and explore a powerful framework for cultivating it.

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Dave Mazierski graduated from U of T in Art as Applied to Medicine (BScAAM) in 1982, and an MSc in vertebrate paleontology in 2008. His first professional assignment was to illustrate the world’s first, last, and only atlas of camel anatomy, and he has contributed to many other anatomical, medical and scientific publications, including Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. He (still!!) currently teaches foundation courses in digital media production and illustration, as well as undergraduate courses in scientific visualization. His research interests include the evolution of early terrestrial vertebrates and the history of scientific and medical illustration. Dave is also a Departmental Associate in Paleobiology at the Royal Ontario Museum.


Talk: Grant and Pernkopf: Simultaneous invention, or an enigmatic connection?


J.C.B. Grant and Eduard Pernkopf revolutionized the format of the anatomical atlas with the publication of their respective regional, topographic atlases in the mid 20th century. While it is likely that they came up with their key innovation independently, research has uncovered the career of a Canadian anatomist who worked with Grant, but also was a member of a German anatomical association in the 1930s and gave a talk at a conference in Milan where Pernkopf was also a presenter. Dave lays out the evidence that an intermediary could have connected the genesis of these two books.

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Felix is currently a student at BMC in the class of 1T9. He did his undergrad studies in microbial engineering in South Korea. After 3 years of working in pharmaceutical field, he came to Canada to join BMC. And he wants to pursue a career as a medical animator and illustrator in North America.

Talk: 3D model creation from the Carnegie human embryo collection

In the summer of 2019, I did an internship at the NIH (Nation Institute of Health). I worked on 3D model creation from the Carnegie human embryo collection using scanned pathological sections of the embryo collection. This project is to develop an open-source library of 3D medical models which is called NLM3D. Through this presentation, I would like to introduce NLM3D and the workflow for 3D model creation from pathological sections that I've learn from the NIH. The general principles of model creation remain similar as much as other medical image driving 3D model creation. But, distortion of anatomy in the sections, ununified tissue processing techniques, and lower section resolution make unique challenges in the downstream reconstruction and optimization of 3D models.

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