Academic Interactions

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

The Physics and Astronomy Department's colloquium is held every Wednesday in ABB-102 at 15:30. Tea, coffee, cookies, and fruit are served at 15:10 in ABB 273 lounge. Attendance is important, especially for talks outside your field. The schedule can be found here or on the bulletin board outside ABB-241. The speaker typically meets with interested students immediately following the colloquium in ABB-319.

If you would like to meet with the speaker please see or e-mail Tina Stewart ( to add yourself to the speaker's schedule.

Speakers can be requested by emailing the Colloquium organizing committee.

Other Talks

On Mondays at 2:30 the Origins Institute has colloquium from an invited speaker in MDCL-1110. See here or the bulletin board outside the main office (ABB 241) for the title and abstract of the upcoming talk. The speaker typically meets with interested students and faculty in ABB-245 at 10:30. Coffee is provided.

There are occasional Origins Institute public lectures beginning at 8pm (early seating is encouraged). See here for the dates and tites of upcoming public talks. Admission is free.

On Mondays at 15:30 the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Science (BIMR) has talks in ABB-163.

There are weekly e-mails from Tina Stewart ( and Jennifer Anderson ( with the titles and abstracts of the upcoming Origins and BIMR talks. Please contact them if you are not receiving these e-mails and would like to.

Journal Clubs

Astro Journal Club

Journal club meets every Thursday in ABB 304/A. For the Winter 2019 term they will take place on Thursdays from 12-1 in ABB-A304.

We aim for each grad student to give 2 talks per year; one paper talk and one research-related talk. Talks should be around 20-25 minutes long, including time for questions. Research talks can be shorter (a CASCA length talk for example, 12 min).

Paper talks should be on recently published papers, culled from astro-ph, ApJ, MNRAS, A&A etc. Grad students should clear their paper choice with their supervisor first.

Talks should be suitable for a general astronomy audience. This means that you should have some introduction slides for you paper topic. You may have to read some outside sources to do this.

If anything here is unclear there is a more detailed syllabus here

Some JC slots this year will be used for astro-ph sessions. At these, everyone is encouraged to bring an interesting & recent astro-ph article to discuss. The discussions are informal, and you are encouraged to sign up papers ahead of time so the organizers can prepare and everyone can have a look. We will be sending around a google doc that you can use to sign up.

Our website can be found here

Condensed Matter Journal Club

The Condensed Matter Journal Club is intended for condensed matter physicists of all varieties. The club meets once a week on Thursdays between 12:00 & 13:00 hours in ABB-A204. At these meetings a member delivers a talk describing a recent publication or topic of contemporary interest in the field, followed by a lively discussion. Usually these talks are given by graduate students in the department, however occasionally the club may also host talks by speakers visiting from other institutions. These meetings provide a good opportunity for students to practise their speaking skills in a friendly environment and we encourage all graduate students to give at least one talk per year at these meetings.

More information can be found on our website

Theoretical Physics Journal Club

The theoretical physics journal club is intended to be broad in scope, but to focus on issues in theoretical physics. We meet weekly with bi-weekly lectures and bi-weekly informal discussion interspersed; we meet in ABB-319. We typically give a speaker a two-week block. The first week speakers give a lecture on a topic of their choosing to aquaint the other members with the subject matter, and then suggest a relevant paper related to the chosen topic for discussion the following week. Occasionally a speaker will choose to give a second lecture in lieu of a paper. More information can be found on our website.

Summer Graduate Colloquium

During the summers graduate students are tasked with organizing their own colloquium. This is an excellent opportunity to speak about your research, or a related topic you find interesting. There is typically an incentive for attending. In years past this has been some combination of: free cookies, the organizers go to the Phoenix and buy a few pitchers, or a $20 Phoenix gift card given to the speaker.