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Drones to combat wildfires, a smartwatch for mental health, and more: The Homestretch is at the U of C

The Homestretch team will check in with faculty, researchers and staff members at the University of Calgary this afternoon as they broadcast the program on-location. (Ose Irete/CBC - image credit)
The Homestretch team will check in with faculty, researchers and staff members at the University of Calgary this afternoon as they broadcast the program on-location. (Ose Irete/CBC - image credit)

As students across Alberta grapple with rising tuition costs and housing challenges, professionals in the education sector are frantically searching for effective solutions. That's one of the topics that will be addressed this afternoon as The Homestretch broadcasts live, on-location from the University of Calgary.

Shaziah Jinnah Morsette, the president of the University of Calgary's Students' Union, is interested in finding ways to combat the student housing crisis.

She is also concerned about food insecurity, which she believes is almost as rampant among students as housing uncertainty.

U of C student union president Shaziah Jinnah Morsette says among a high cost of living and tuition increases students are also facing challenges securing a home this semester.
U of C student union president Shaziah Jinnah Morsette says among a high cost of living and tuition increases students are also facing challenges securing a home this semester.

U of C student union president Shaziah Jinnah Morsette says food insecurity is almost as rampant among students as housing uncertainty. (Submitted by the University of Calgary Students' Union)

Meanwhile, Richa Pandey, a biomedical engineer and researcher at the University of Calgary, is interested in exploring the possibility of using wearable technology to track mental health in new mothers, who often silently struggle with the stigma attached to post-natal depression.

Ed McCauley, U of C's president and vice-chancellor, will speak about higher tuition costs, the importance of affordable housing and making higher education more accessible to students across the province.

Gideon Christian, an assistant law professor at the university, will share his insights on a hot topic — artificial intelligence.

Specifically, Christian will focus on the racial bias linked to facial recognition technology, and explain how his research will offer a deep dive into the murky landscape of artificial intelligence.

Dr. Gideon Christian is professor of artificial intelligence and law at the University of Calgary. He is also the president of African Scholars Initiative (ASI-Canada), a Canadian charity that seeks to attract bright future scholars of African descent to pursue graduate education in Canada.
Dr. Gideon Christian is professor of artificial intelligence and law at the University of Calgary. He is also the president of African Scholars Initiative (ASI-Canada), a Canadian charity that seeks to attract bright future scholars of African descent to pursue graduate education in Canada.

Dr. Gideon Christian is professor of artificial intelligence and law at the University of Calgary. His research explores the racial bias linked to facial recognition technology. (Submitted by Gideon Christian)

Wildfires are a pressing issue across the country right now — something that isn't lost on Schuyler Hinman, an assistant professor at the Schulich School of Engineering.

Hinman will talk about how he's exploring the possibility of using large drones to help combat wildfires. Why does this matter? Well, drones could be more cost-effective than relatively larger aircraft, for instance.

They can also get to the site faster, something that can potentially become a powerful tool while fighting wildfires.

The Homestretch team will check in with faculty, researchers and staff members at the University of Calgary this afternoon in a special on-location broadcast that will explore a plethora of topics in the education sector. Tune in, listen, and reflect.

The Homestretchairs at 3 p.m. MT.