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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Campus bus service changes effective next week

A map showing the new campus bus routes.Effective Monday, September 7, Grand River Transit (GRT) services on the University of Waterloo Ring Road will change, according to notices placed at bus stops on campus. All routes will now operate one-way on the west side of campus and one-way on the east side of campus.

The specific services are as follows:

  • The stop for the Conestoga Mall-bound 200 iXpress will move to Biology 2.
  • The stop for the Ainslie Terminal-bound 200 iXpress will remain at the Davis Centre
  • Route 13 (Laurelwood) will stop at Needles Hall and on Columbia Street
  • Route 9 (Lakeshore) will stop at the Davis Centre and at South Campus Hall
  • Stops for the Route 7 Mainline will not change

Grand River Transit has more details on its website.

In addition, the two parking spots in front of Needles Hall adjacent to the bus stop have been removed, with the entire laneway now reserved for buses only.

Centre for Career Action hires Employee Career Advisor

"The University of Waterloo is pleased to welcome Ms. Saja Al-Biladi as Employee Career Advisor," says a note from the Centre for Career Action. 

"Saja joined the university in August and has been spending her time building her knowledge of the various employment opportunities on campus, as well as meeting with representatives from Human Resources, the staff and faculty associations, and Organization and Human Development to further her understanding of Waterloo employees’ career development needs. Career development services are currently under consideration for CUPE members."

"To book an appointment with Saja please visit the Centre for Career Action's website and select Appointments/Workshops from the navigation options.  Appointments are also available via telephone and Skype if you are unable to make it in person.

Please note that a workshop schedule will be available in the winter term.

For more information regarding career development for Employees please visit the Centre for Career Action and select Employees from the navigation options.

Waterloo co-hosted Commonwealth conference

Students pose at the Waterloo entrance sign at University Avenue.

By Sanaya Mistry and David VanderWindt. This article was originally featured on the Waterloo International website.

Student delegates from universities around the Commonwealth attended a 6-day conference between August 16, 2015 to August 22, 2015  co-hosted by three Ontario universities. University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Western University co-hosted 17 delegates from more than 14 different countries.

The topic for the 2015 conference was “Big Data and the Digital Divide”. Our world is increasingly interdependent and intertwined, and data presents both challenges and opportunities. Data and its analysis underpins hypothesis testing, forecasting and other kinds of decision-making relevant to everyday life. It helps with our ability to shape and manage our world, ranging from evaluation of new medical therapies, wise financial investments, or being able to meet current and future healthcare demands on a personal and national basis.

This conference brought together future leaders to gain a broader perspective of – and a deeper insight into – the impact of this critical issue on the world economy, social justice, environment and quality of life of individuals.

Delegates had the chance to work with student ambassadors from each institution who provided a Canadian perspective throughout the conference.

During their time in Ontario, delegates attended lectures by renowned professors and professionals and collaborated to develop poster presentations on solutions to “Big Data and the Digital Divide”. Speakers included University of Waterloo professors; Dr. John P. Hirdes of the School of Public Health & Health Systems and Professor Christian Boudreau of the Department of Statistics & Actuarial Science. In addition, UWaterloo alumni Mark Damm, CEO of Fuseforward Group, and Devika Madalli of the Indian Statistical Institute, were amongst the renowned speakers at the conference.

The delegates also worked with Velocity, enjoyed camping in the great Canadian outdoors, visited Niagara Falls and explored the cities of Waterloo, London and Toronto.

The 2015 Association of Commonwealth Universities Summer School was very successful and an example of strong collaboration amongst Canadian universities to represent Canada in the Association of Commonwealth Universities. UWaterloo is privileged to have had the opportunity to co-host the ACU Summer School and we are confident incredible things will come from the collaborations, discussions and research of the ACU Summer School delegates.

Cracking the code to early success

by Julie Funk

Students and their laptops at the Learnathon event.

First work-term Software Engineering students Deon Hua and Yu Chen Hou recently finished their co-op term at Enflick Inc. During their time there, the young software developers planned and organized Tech Retreat 2015, a unique full-day "hackathon", and learning workshop for high school students that has garnered attention nation-wide. The junior students’ event attracted the sponsorship of 16 big names in tech, including Intel, EA, Enflick's "TextNow", Shopify, and Hack the North.

"When Yu Chen and Deon approached us about Tech Retreat, we jumped on board right away,” said Enflick Inc. founder and CEO, Derek Ting. “The event is a great chance for younger students to get a sneak-peek into the world of computer science and hacking, to see if it’s the right fit for them longer-term as a career option."

The event hosted 160 students from grades nine through twelve, and most of the accepted applicants were high school seniors, just a few years younger than the event organizers. Yu Chen and Deon represent the potential for leadership and mentorship brought by junior work-term students, as they work with the next pool of talent to build and refine the skills needed in their industry.

High school students who may not be skilled enough to participate in larger competitions get a taste of the "hackathon" culture at Tech Retreat. One of the popular features was a "Learnathon" coding competition where students practiced coding by collaborating with and competing against each other with TechTanks robot battles.

TechTanks was coded by Yu Chen and a team of five other organizers. Students used the application to write code for virtual robotic tanks that battle each other. After each battle, the competitors were given a chance to fix bugs and adjust their code, learning as they prepared to compete for a final tournament.

Tech Retreat takes a proactive approach to preparing young talent for work in the tech industry. Most students who attended the event have already applied to the University of Waterloo, and many have been accepted into co-op programs such as Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Computer Science.

Wednesday's notes

Several rooms in the PAS building will be without ventilation, heating and air conditioning services on Thursday September 3 and Friday, September 4 as Plant Operations install a new motor. Rooms 1201-1295, 1098A to E and 2201-2277 will be affected by the utility shutdown, which will commence at 7:00 a.m. on September 3 and conclude at 4:00 p.m. on September 4.

The St. Paul's Community Garden Farmer's Market takes place weekly on Wednesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in EV3. Check it out if you're looking for fresh produce on campus. 

As campus turns over a new leaf, the UW Farm Market kicks off its fall term Thursday offerings in the SLC's lower atrium on September 17.

The Bombshelter Pub will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during this week," writes Jacqueline Martinz. "Owned and operated by the Federation of Students, it has a special deal for large parties! Bring your friends and coworkers for breakfast and lunch because a table of eight or more will receive two free appetizers.”



Link of the day

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

When and where

Advisor Coffee Chat: Understanding and Engaging our Students, Wednesday, September 2, 8:45 a.m., MC 4042.

International Orientation event, Friday, September 4 to Sunday, September 6.

Single & Sexy open performance, Friday, September 4, 10:00 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

Family Welcome events, Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7, 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Family Send-Off events, Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7, 2:30 p.m.

Orientation Week, Saturday, September 6 to Saturday, September 12.

Labour Day, Monday, September 7, most University operations closed.

Single & Sexy, Tuesday, September 8 to Thursday, September 10, Humanities Theatre.

Engineering presents ExpecTAtions Teaching Assistant Workshop, Wednesday, September 9 and Thursday, September 10, J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall.

Making Exam Marking Easier, Thursday, September 10, 1:00 p.m., QNC 1502. Register by sending an email to by Wednesday, September 9.

Lean in Higher Education Conference, Thursday, September 10 to Friday, September 11, Federation Hall.

Lectures begin, Monday, September 14.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Mike Stonebraker, MIT and Turing Award winner, "The Land Sharks are on the Squawk Box (How Riding a Bicycle across America and Building Postgres Have a Lot in Common), Monday, September 14, 2:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Centre for Career Action presents Rock the Technical Interview, Monday, September 14, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., TC 2218

Graduate Scholarship Information Session, Monday, September 14, 4:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Weight Watchers At Work registration session, Tuesday, September 15, 12:15 p.m., PAS 2438, info ext. 32218.

Waterloo Innovation Summit, Wednesday, September 16 to Friday, September 18.

UWRC Book Club featuring Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (One Book One Community Selection), Wednesday, September 16, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Noon Hour Concert: Earth Voices, Wednesday, September 16, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

Writing Centre Open House, Wednesday, September 16, 1:00 pm to 4:00 p.m., South Campus Hall second floor.

Gustav Bakos Observatory Tour, Wednesday, September 16, 9:00 p.m., PHY 308.

Translating Academic Experience to Industry, Thursday, September 17, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Mathematics graduate studies information night, Thursday, September 17, 4:30 p.m., MC 5501.

Graduate Scholarship Information Session, Thursday, September 17, 5:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre. (Note: attendees only need to attend one of the two sessions).

Medical School Applications (OMSAS), Thursday, September 17, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Take Back the Night 2015, Thursday, September 17, 6:00 p.m., Kitchener City Hall.

Last day to register for Community and Professional Education (CAPE) courses at Renison, Friday, September 18.

Résumés for Graduate Students, Friday, September 18, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Hack The North, Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20.

Doors Open Waterloo Region, Saturday, September 19, HockeyTech demonstration at the Columbia Icefield Arena, 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Quiet Research, Loud Results! Saturday, September 19, 10:00 a.m., TechTown building.

Conrad Grebel presents Peace Week, Monday, September 21 to Saturday, September 26. 

It’s All About Your Skills, Monday, September 21, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Senate meeting, Monday, September 21, 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall.

Velocity Science: Brainstorming, Tuesday, September 22, 7:30 p.m., QNC room 1506.

WPIRG presents September Slam: Humble the Poet & KWPS, Thursday, September 24, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

The Birth of Homeopathy out of the Spirit of 1800: Medicine as Cultural History, Friday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Location TBA. Presented by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies.

Ontario Universities' Fair, Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

Hack4Health, Saturday, September 26 to Sunday, September 27, Waterloo Accelerator Centre.

Annual Traditional Pow Wow, Saturday, September 26, 12:00 p.m., Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, St. Paul's University College.

The Ceremony of Induction into Professional Planning Education, Saturday, September 26, reception and registration in Environment 3 Atrium, 9:30 a.m., ceremony in Theatre of Arts, 11:00 a.m.

University of Waterloo Research Talks featuring Professor Heather Keller, "Finding solutions to nutritional vulnerability in older adults," Friday, October 2, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302. Register online, seating is limited.

English Faculty Research Series: Mediated Bodies, Friday, October 2, 1:30 p.m., HH 373.

40th Anniversary Mathematics Reunion - Class of 1975, Friday, October 2 to Saturday, October 3.

Reunion 2015, Saturday, October 3.

AHS Annual Fun Run, Saturday, October 3, 8:30 a.m., BC Matthews Hall.

Further Education Boot Camp, Saturday, October 3, all day, RCH.

Fall Teaching Week, Monday, October 5 to Friday, October 8.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

  • Job ID# 2956 - Support Services and Technical Assistant – Drama and Speech Communications, USG 5
  • JoID# 2945 – Custodian I – Plant Operations
  • Job ID# 2943 – Freight and Mail Delivery Assistant – Central Stores, USG 4
  • Job ID# 2950 – Online Technologies Consultant – Centre for Extended Learning, USG 8-10
  • Job ID# 2735 – Manager, Science Outreach – Dean of Science Office, USG 9
  • JoID2946 – Graduate Career Advisor – Centre for Career Action, USG 9
  • JoID# 2958 – Faculty Secretary – Dean of Engineering Office, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2685 – Electrician – Plant Operations

Internal secondment opportunities, viewable on myCareer@uWaterloo:

  • Graduate Financial Aid Data & Systems Analyst – Graduate Studies Office, USG 7