University COVID-19 update

The University of Waterloo is constantly updating our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions about buildings and services? Visit the list of Modified Services.

Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

Orientation for new graduate students

Welcome to C&O!

pefect nine squareWe are thrilled and honoured that you've chosen the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization as the next step in your academic journey. You are joining a department that is not only highly invested in its research, but also its community. We are excited to celebrate this achievement with you, but first there are a few things that must be checked off before we roll out the red carpet:

  1. Complete your Workday payroll onboarding with HR; you cannot be paid until this is successfully submitted.
    • For this you will need to have a registered Canadian bank account. You can select any bank of preference (ie: CIBC, TD, RBC, Scotiabank, etc) but it may help to know there's a CIBC bank located on-campus in the basement of the Student Life Centre as well as CIBC ATMs located throughout campus for your convenience.
  2. Complete the Academic Integrity Module (AIM). This module must be successfully completed within the first 8 weeks of your first term.
  3. Print and complete your NSERC consent form for your supervisor. Follow the steps below to fill out the form:
    • Print your name in the box titled “Name of Trainee”
    • Under "Applicant Information", enter your supervisor's name (if you have two supervisors, we will need one form for each)
    • "Department" is Combinatorics and Optimization, "University" is University of Waterloo
    • Sign and date the form then give to Melissa Cambridge (MC 5116)
  4. Review the Health and Safety policies of the university.
  5. Submit your Directory board consent form; this is optional and up to your discretion. 
  6. Download the ​​​​Concur expense claim checklist. Save this information in an accessible location as you must review this document before every purchase that will be covered by your supervisor. These guidelines are applicable to to travel, conference registrations, software, and equipment purchases. The list will ensure you receive the full reimbursement allowed to you. Should you have any questions about reimbursements please contact our Administrative Coordinator.

Community involvement

While times are continually changing with the status of the pandemic, we in C&O are doing our best to ensure that you receive as much of the community experience as possible! Currently, our weekly department events are held on online platforms, but there are plans in the works to move our social times back to in-person when it is safe to do so.

On Tuesday afternoons we have our Grad Cookie Time! A purely social gathering for students and supervisors alike to take a break from our busy schedules and catch up on life. When we're fully back in office, this gathering is held in the Math Faculty lounge (MC 5511) and we do serve actual cookies. But for now we're on Zoom at 3:30pm, contact Karen Yeats for the zoom link.

Another great opportunity for gathering and learning is to attend the Tutte Colloquia held on Friday afternoons starting at 3:15pm on Zoom; please contact Emma Watson for the zoom link. These seminars have a wide range of presenters from our own faculty to special visiting lecturers from across the globe. There is social time before and after each seminar that all are welcome to join!

You can also join the graduate student Discord server and Piazza board for more connecting with your fellow grads! Please contact Evelyne Smith-Roberge, our C&O graduate student representative, to receive the necessary sign-up links.