Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's Earth Week at Waterloo

The University of Waterloo is committed to having a positive impact on the environment, which is why the University has launched a brand new ‪#‎UWEarthWeek campaign to celebrate our sustainability successes and our plans going forward.

We invite you to join us at various events this week and help make a difference on our campus and in our community!

Toronto alumni event was pitch perfect

by Kaitlin O'Brien.

Alumni pose for a group photo at the Toronto Alumni Event.President and Vice Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur and Alumni Relations hosted an alumni reception on Thursday, April 9 at 99 Sudbury in Toronto. The event included Waterloo alumni, staff, faculty, and co-op students who came to witness the live pitch competition by alumni start-ups. The pitch portion of the event was artfully managed by the experts of pitching, the Velocity team. Alumni participated in an interactive way to help determine the pitch winner who then received the $5,000 prize provided by affinity sponsor TD Insurance Meloche Monnex. 

The evening began with the ten start-up pitches, followed by a reception that focused on innovation and entrepreneurship: something emcee Howard Armitage was very familiar with, considering his role as Special Advisor to the President, Entrepreneurship and Founder of Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre at the University of Waterloo.

The Toronto Alumni Reception featured pitches from the following companies:

  • DraftingSpace takes the pain out of the renovation process by automatically creating construction-ready designs.
  • Eye Check aims to eradicate preventable blindness.
  • Grobo allows users to easily grow food when they want, where they want.
  • Lani provides a 3D printing payment system.
  • Vitameter is a personal handheld device that measures a person’s vitamin levels within minutes.​
  • Medella Health provides contact lenses that continuously and non-invasively monitor patient's glucose levels.
  • Palette allows users to build their own controllers.​
  • Pout provides a social network for fashion and beauty.
  • Suncayr indicates sunscreen effectiveness by changing colour when UV rays are penetrating through to the skin.
  • Voltera enables circuit boards to be prototyped within minutes, eliminating the frustrations with traditional fabrication processes.

The company that managed to deliver the winning pitch and received the $5,000 was EyeCheck. Congratulations to the winning team as well as all of the other teams for their effort and dedication.

Excellence in Science Teaching award winners named

by Science Communications.

Teaching the next generation of scientists is a job our faculty takes to heart. Each year, the Faculty of Science recognizes the teaching quality and impact of our faculty through the Excellence in Science Teaching Awards (ESTA).

The 2015 ESTA were awarded to Dr. Andrea Edginton and Chemistry Department Chair Bill Power for their sustained, high quality teaching in their undergraduate or graduate courses.

Professor Andrea Edginton.Edginton, an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy, has taken a highly innovative approach in teaching pharmacokinetics.

She was a pioneer at the University of Waterloo in using the “flipped classroom” model. This approach places most of the core instructional material online allowing classroom time to be used to address questions and provide supplementary explanations of difficult concepts.

Despite the challenges in teaching such a difficult subject, Edginton has consistently been one of the most highly rated teachers in the School of Pharmacy.

Professor Bill Power.Power has taught at every level of the chemistry curriculum. He’s consistently praised by students for his ability to take complicated concepts and explain them in a way that makes them seem intuitive and almost simple.  

Students cite his love of teaching as one of his most outstanding qualities. Power is well known and admired by students and colleagues for his innovative approaches to engage students and maximize their learning experience.

The annual ESTA award was established to recognize and reward excellence in teaching and outstanding instructors within the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. Winners of the ESTA receive a certificate and a monetary award, which is used to support teaching activities.

Tuesday's notes

A turkey lurks outside a Hagey Hall entrance."Waterloo LEARN will be unavailable from 2:00 a.m. on Monday, April 27 until approximately 12 noon on Wednesday, April 29 while the system is upgraded to version 10.4 (D2L)," says a note from Information Systems and Technology (IST). "Instructors still updating their final marks will find that the gradebook functionality has not changed in 10.4 and will be able to continue processing their grades once LEARN is back online on April 29."

Remember that wild turkey that was spotted lurking outside Hagey Hall last week? Turns out it was casing the joint and gained entry to the third floor of the building by breaking a window.

A broken third floor window at Hagey Hall.According to the English department's blog, the foul fowl has been handed over to the authorities and is now a jailbird. (Update: sadly, the CBC is reporting that the story has a tragic ending.)

Turkey photograph by Colin Wallace of Accounting and Finance, courtesy of the English Department's blog.

Human Resources is reporting that retiree Elaine Sim died February 23. Sim began her employment at the University of Waterloo in May 1987 and worked as Secretary in Independent Studies prior to her retirement in August 1998.

Link of the day

Trust me, this music video is worth the Hassel

When and where

Earth Week: Community Cleanup, Tuesday, April 21, 11:30 a.m., EC3 The Kent Room. Details.

Department of Psychology Annual Ziva Kunda Memorial Lecture featuring Professor Michael Ross, “Are Older Adults More Susceptible to Consumer Fraud?” Tuesday, April 21, 3:00 p.m., PAS 2083.

Arts student space groundbreaking ceremony, Tuesday, April 21, 3:00 p.m., Hagey Hall outdoor courtyard.

(En)gendering Precarity: Maria Speth in attendance, Tuesday, April 21, 4:30 p.m., ECH 1220.

WatRISQ seminar, Amir Memartoluie, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, “On the Rearrangement and Related Algorithms for Computing Worst Value-at-Risk: Computational Improvements and the Adaptive Rearrangement Algorithm,” Tuesday, April 21, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22.

Earth Day Lecture: Climate Change: Why It Matters to You, Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Kitchener Public Library.

The 'S' Word: A Workshop, Lunch and Discussion for Faculty Members and Graduate Students in Arts, Thursday, April 23, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., EV3 4412.


JM Drama presents “Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple,” Thursday, April 23 to Saturday, April 25, 7:30 p.m., The Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick St., Kitchener. All proceeds from opening night will go to Notre Dame Chapel, part of SJU’s Campus Renewal 2015 project.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Professor Ernesto Marceca, School of Science, University of Buenos Aires, “Electric deflection of clusters of H-bonding molecules. Polarity as a means to study: charge transfer reactions (electron and proton) and hydrophobic effect”, Friday, April 24, 2:30 p.m., MC 4040.  

Drama and Speech Communication Presents "She Haunts This Place," Friday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Saturday, April 25, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Sunday, April 26, 7:00 p.m., Button Factory, UpTown Waterloo.

A Church in Dialogue: Pope Francis and the summons to ecumenical, inter-faith and cultural conversations, Friday, April 24, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Examination period ends, Saturday, April 25.

Deadline to become "Fees Arranged", Monday, April 27.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest, Monday, April 27.

Annual Teaching and Learning ConferenceOpportunities and New Directions, Thursday, April 30, Hagey Hall.

Water Institute Research Symposium 2015, Thursday, April 30, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., DC 1350. 

Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture featuring Dr. Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Environment and Science, New Delhi, India, “Challenges for Water Security in the Poor’s World”. Thursday, April 30, 4:00 p.m. M3 1006.

Quantum Frontiers Distinguished Lecture featuring Sajeev John, Thursday, April 30, 4:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Quantum: Music At the Frontiers of Science, Sunday, May 3, 2:00 p.m., The National Arts Centre, Ottawa.

The DaCapo Chamber Choir, conducted by Leonard Enns, Professor Emeritus at Conrad Grebel University College, presents “In the Beginning”, Saturday, May 9 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 p.m., with special guests Jennifer Enns Modolo, mezzo-soprano, and Lorin Shalanko, pianist. 

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 Program, Theme of "Change," Sunday, May 10 to Thursday, May 14.

Teaching Excellence Celebration, Tuesday, May 12, 3:00 p.m., University Club.

TransCanada Corporate Employment Information Session, Tuesday, May 12, 5:00 p.m., TransCanada Live-Link Facility, Engineering 5, Room 3102. Refreshments provided.

Department of English Language and Literature presents “Mediated Bodies,” Wednesday, May 13, 4:00 p.m., HH 373. Details.

The Similarities between Maori and Chinese Cultures and Deeper Meaning of Maori Tattoo & Marae, Wednesday, May 13, 6:00 p.m., Renison University College, REN 1303. 

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring William H. Woodall, Professor of Statistics, Virginia Tech, “Monitoring and improving surgical quality,” Thursday, May 14, 4:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Cultivating Learning Cultures (CTE744), Wednesday, May 20, 9:15 a.m., DC 1302. 

Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP), Monday, May 25 to Friday, June 5.

Standing and official grades available in Quest, Friday, May 22.

Public lecture by Dr. Krysta Svore, Microsoft Research, "Quantum Computing: Transforming the Digital Age," Tuesday, June 9, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.