I am very happy that you are visiting the Science at Western website. We are proud of the leading edge research from our faculty who continually set new directions for the global research community. In this setting, the high-profile investigators within our eight departments share a dynamic spirit of research which shapes the future. It comes as no surprise that our students flourish in this environment of excitement and creativity. Here, students get first-hand research experience, making the enterprise far more real, as well as providing a vehicle for trying out their own ideas. At Western, faculty and students follow their passions and strive to expand the global knowledge base. At the same time they are receptive to emerging areas so they may responsibly participate in solving the problems of today and tomorrow.
I want to share with you briefly the benefits of Science in the current global context while pointing to the areas essential for the world’s progress.
The first area surrounds the topic of managing resources: becoming wise in how we can remain within the planet’s carrying capacity while dealing with the emerging matters concerning exploration along with economic and social issues. We have students in programs ranging from geosciences and exploration techniques to materials sciences to environment & sustainability who can bring their perspectives to these real world problems.
The second area is life sciences: medicine and related health care areas are experiencing rapid changes in development. Research in these areas has become increasingly broader beyond such traditional areas as pharmacology and physiology and now includes tele-robotics for medicine as well as all of the capacities of genetics, bioinformatics, and biostatistics, for example.
The third area is information science: becoming knowledgeable about how to explore and utilize the massive data that is generated daily. Careful mining from currently available sources ranging from health records to data from satellite imagery may be used for many applications. Analytical techniques can be used in identification of forest fire smoke exposure, for security or for estimating soil moisture in agriculture. Information science covers methods for information storage and retrieval, including both hardware and software issues, data analytics, search algorithm development, human-computer interfaces, and developing ever smaller and more stable components. It is made up of such branches as programming, statistics, analysis, mathematics, material studies, chemistry, and physics.
Further, there are linkages across these areas. For example, disease surveillance on a global scale links the life and information sciences. Indeed, there is a strong focus on interdisciplinary work to solve major challenges in health and societal issues and to realize advances in research.
Alumni, faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students have opportunities to become links in the growing community here. After experiencing Science at Western, the lifelong friendships you develop here can go beyond enriching your career path, they can enhance your life.
Dean of Science