Research & Ideas

Illustration of a singer that looks like a robot

Alexa, Compose Me a Song

So far, machines are not very good at creating original art, such as pop tunes and short stories. Could it be they’re missing something uniquely human?

Illustration of a chart with a line graph in the shape of a smiling face and arms, and with a heart in the upper left corner.

Dark Data

The usefulness of “steps per day” and other information our devices help us track

Photo of four cards, the top three facing up showing the Jack, Queen and King of hearts with definitions for

All In on Gutenberg

Students in Prof. Paolo Granata’s book and media studies class learn print culture terms while playing poker

Photo of a green farm field.

Greener Pastures

Can a simple high-tech tool for farmers boost crop yields in developing countries?

Michael Inzlicht, a U of T professor of social psychology, shown here at his UTSC lab

Ghost Effects

Social psychologist Michael Inzlicht launched his academic career on the study of “ego depletion.” His research suggested it was real. Then came doubts

Photo of lost of different kinds of candy, representing a profusion of consumer choice.

Why We Sometimes Make Bad Decisions

Economists have long known that consumers can make confounding choices when presented with too much selection. But they’ve never agreed on why. Enter neuroscience

Prof. J.B. Caron of ecology and evolutionary biology in his lab at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Big Bang

Life on Earth exploded about 540 million years ago. Scientists are now beginning to understand why

Illustrations of astronaut Chris Hadfield and singer Celine Dion.

A Distinctive Look?

English-Canadians are pretty good at identifying French-Canadian faces but the reverse isn’t true

Illustration of a squirrel looking at a mobile device.

Save Your Money

An app from Vicis Labs aims to help millennials and the precariously employed manage their cash

Protesters at an alt-right rally in Berkeley, California

Antifa

An anti-fascist movement that started in 1930s Europe is making headlines again

Outdoor headshot of Maureen Judge

The Struggle Is Real

Filmmaker Maureen Judge’s latest project captures stories of millennials venturing out on their own

The Day the Stars Collided

It was all hands on deck for U of T astronomers during a rare cosmic event that led to the first sighting of a new object

Will Ginsberg and Afifa Saleem sitting at a desk in front of an open laptop, a student out of focus in the foreground

Teaching Kids How to Code

U of T undergrads are bringing the language of computers to youth in Toronto’s low-income neighbourhoods. Will it “future-proof” them?

Photo of Prof. Suzanne Stewart standing indoors beside a railing.

A Refuge from the Streets

Having spent time homeless herself, Prof. Suzanne Stewart envisions a new kind of shelter – one that truly understands and cares for Indigenous women

Close up shot of researcher turning a screw on a quantum computer.

AI’s Quantum Leap

In combining two of computing’s hottest trends, the Creative Destruction Lab sees new opportunities for startups

Illustration of an astroturf.

Astroturfing

The practice of faking a grassroots movement gets an update in the age of social media

Photo of Colin Arrowsmith biking along Huron Street, pulling a device.

How Much Methane?

A U of T study aims to create the most accurate estimate yet of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions

Closeup photo of Ryan DeCaire

Lost Words

Dozens of Indigenous languages in Canada are in danger of disappearing. What will it take to save them?

Outside view of the Institute for Management and Innovation at University of Toronto Mississauga

ICUBE UTM

The name of this U of T Mississauga business accelerator refers to three “i” words central to entrepreneurship

Data Minding

A mathematician offers ideas on how to protect ourselves from hackers without making our digital devices impossibly complex to use