On the face of it, academic research and mountain climbing don’t appear to have much in common. One is cerebral, the other physical. One unfolds on a piece of paper or a computer screen, the other on a frozen mountainside. But in fact, the two endeavours are remarkably similar. Both involve venturing beyond the known and the familiar into uncharted territory. Both carry the risk of failure along with the chance of success. Both take perseverance and stamina, with just the occasional inspired moment. But it is precisely because research and climbing are hard that they are worth doing.
All computer science graduate students, faculty and staff members are invited to attend this seminar.
Raphael Slawinski is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, where he teaches physics and astronomy. While his doctorate was in geophysics, on the “Finite-Difference Modeling of Seismic Wave Propagation in Fractured Media”, these days his primary research interest is bringing experiments on the foundations of quantum mechanics to the undergraduate laboratory.
He is also a keen climber, and has been rock, ice and alpine climbing for a quarter of a century. In addition to many adventures in his home Rocky Mountains, he has also made seven expeditions to Alaska and five to the Himalaya. His 2013 first ascent of the 7040-metre K6 West in Pakistan was recognized with a Piolet d’Or, alpinism’s highest accolade.