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Friday, October 9, 2015

Waterloo, HKUST sign dual PhD degree program

The University of Waterloo, Canada’s leading innovation university, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the world’s top engineering schools, will introduce dual doctoral degrees in engineering that will allow select students to simultaneously earn a PhD from each institution.

Feridun Hamdullahpur and Tony Chan, president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the new program at Waterloo on October 7. The partnership, that will begin next year, forges a powerful academic alliance between leading universities in Asia and North America.

“I am extremely proud to combine our innovation power to train the next generation of scholars and innovators,” said Hamdullahpur. “This PhD education partnership will allow doctoral candidates from top notch Engineering Faculties to build a foundation on which to establish further academic and research collaborations.”

Beginning in January 2016, students will have the opportunity to study under the guidance of engineering doctoral supervisors from both universities, spending approximately equal amounts of time at each campus.

“Waterloo Engineering is preparing PhD candidates for the future of research and development careers. Leading research intensive institutions and global industry labs want PhD graduates to have exposure to different cultures, the ability to adapt to global lab environments and practical experience on how research results could be implemented for the benefit of society,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “This is one of Waterloo Engineering’s initiatives for evolving doctoral education to include translational skills that can expand career possibilities for graduates.”

Why I co-chair the United Way campaign

by James Skidmore.

Each Friday in October the Daily Bulletin will feature content from the university’s United Way campaign. Learn more about the campaign, how you can get involved and make a donation.

Professor James Skidmore.People here at the university, and at the United Way of Kitchener-Waterloo and Area, often thank me for the work I do as co-chair of our campus United Way campaign. I certainly appreciate the gratitude, but that’s not why I do it.

The United Way campaign helps educate our campus about needs in the greater community, and as an educator I can really get behind that. Supporting the United Way is part of our mission as a university to influence our society.

Another reason I help out is because I was brought up by wonderful parents who instilled in me the notion that volunteering in the community was part of living in a community. Service to others was instilled in me as a value to cherish and nurture, and so assisting an agency that is all about service to others seems like a no-brainer.

I also benefited from the United Way when I was a student. I come from a privileged background, but I had to work my way through university. Most of my summer jobs—working at the Saskatoon youth hostel; helping to resettle refugees—were funded by United Way grants. These jobs paid minimum wage ($4.25/hour at the time!), but they introduced me to parts of my community that I didn’t know, and showed me how much needed to be done to improve the lives of all residents.

 Finally, co-chairing the campaign allows me to work with an absolutely fantastic bunch of campus volunteers. They have their own reasons for volunteering, but I imagine they all want to do something to make our community better for everyone.

Read more on the United Way blog.

St. Paul’s welcomes refugee student from Congo

by St. Paul’s University College staff

Members of the local WUSC committee with Leonard (bottom row, far right) and Liban (top row, far left).

Members of the local WUSC committee with Leonard Honore (bottom row, far right) and Liban Farah (top row, far left).

Among the many new students who started classes at UWaterloo this fall is Leonard Honore, a refugee student from the Democratic Republic of Congo who is living at St. Paul’s. He is being sponsored by the University of Waterloo’s and World University Services of Canada’s (WUSC) Student Refugee Program. 

All Waterloo students contribute to the program through a dollar-per-term levy administered by the Federation of Students. St. Paul's students also help cover the sponsored students' accommodation and meals through a volunteer student levy. 

The Student Refugee Program was initiated by WUSC in 1978 and is active on over 65 university and college campuses across Canada. The program has sponsored more than 1,500 refugees from 37 countries to complete their studies and become Canadian citizens. It is the only one of its kind to combine resettlement with higher education and student-to-student support. 

Here at UWaterloo, St. Paul’s was the first partner to offer housing and resources when WUSC was forming on campus. Since 2006, the University has sponsored 11 students. Waterloo International and the other Colleges are important sponsors of the program, providing residence, meals, academic and social programs, and community life for the students who live in residence for up to six terms. St. Paul’s also provides a resource staff member to assist the students.

To win sponsorship, students must have official refugee status and be academically eligible for admission to Waterloo. Once they arrive in Canada, the federal government grants them permanent resident status and they are eligible for Canadian citizenship within three years. 

The competition to get sponsorship for the Student Refugee Program is stiff. Leonard was not successful in his first two attempts, but his volunteer work at his refugee camp’s high school and adult education centre – along with his grades – helped him eventually achieve his goal.

For now, he is completing two terms in the Bridge to Academic success program at Renison College and will then proceed to full-time study in Arts. The other new refugee student at UWaterloo this year is Liban Farah, who is staying at Conrad Grebel and is studying Applied Health Sciences. 

For more information about the Student Refugee Program, contact Gráinne Ryder, Student Refugee Program Staff Advisor, St. Paul’s University College,, 519-885-1460, ext. 25201.

Remembering Anne Minas

Professor Emerita Anne Minas died last week at the age of 78.

A graduate of Harvard, Professor Minas joined the University of Waterloo in 1966 as a lecturer, becoming an assistant professor in 1967. She was named an associate professor in 1970. 

Professor Anne Minas in 1995.​A member of the Department of Philosophy, Minas's research specializations included the philosophy of language, metaphysics and social philosophy, including women and ecology. 

"Anne Minas made a lasting mark on the University of Waterloo with her endowment of the Humphrey Professorship in Feminist Philosophy," says a statement posted this week on the Department of Philosophy's website. "This professorship allows the department to bring distinguished feminist philosophers to the University of Waterloo for a term."

The professorship was established in memory of Minas's father and grandfather, Judge Churchill Humphrey (1885-1970) of the circuit court in Louisville, Kentucky, and his son, Judge Alex P. Humphrey (1911-1997), also of Louisville.

"Both personally and by endowing the Professorship, Anne Minas was part of a significant evolution in the Department. She was the first feminist philosopher in a department that now prides itself on having a range of excellent scholars doing specifically feminist work, and many others whose work is informed by and sympathetic to feminist scholarship. Thanks in part to her leadership and generosity in endowing the Humphrey Professorship, Waterloo’s Philosophy Department is now noted internationally for its excellent feminist philosophy. But Minas’s goals were larger. Christine Overall, the inaugural Humphrey Professor, describes the impact of the Humphrey professorship this way: “Dr. Minas had a deep commitment to supporting research and teaching in feminist philosophy. Her generosity in funding the Humphrey Professorship was a concrete expression of her dedication to ensuring that feminist philosophy would both survive and thrive in Canadian academia.”"

Minas retired in 2002 and was later named Professor Emerita. 

Read the full tribute to Professor Minas on the Philosophy department's website.

Holiday openings and closings and other notes

Monday is the Thanksgiving holiday and so University offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held as turkey, or perhaps turkey substitutes, are consumed across the land. This weekend also marks the start of Oktoberfest, and is as good a time as any to remind folks that the annual Oktoberfest parade will try out its new post-LRT route on Monday.

To summarize:

The Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and are closed Sunday and Monday.

The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open normal hours on Saturday and Sunday, and from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Monday.

All Retail Services stores and media.doc locations will be closed on Saturday and holiday Monday.

Most Food services outlets are closed, with the exception of Mudie's in Village 1, which has limited weekend hours. In addition, the Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre will be closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Thanksgiving Monday. Browser's Café in the Dana Porter Library will be closed Saturday and Sunday as well as Monday.

As always, the university police (519-888-4911 or ext. 22222) will be at work, the Student Life Centre (519–888-4434) will be open, and the central plant will monitor campus buildings (for maintenance emergencies call extension 33793). The campus should be back to normal on Tuesday morning. Enjoy the long weekend!

India's National Ice Hockey Team.Did you know that India has a National Ice Hockey Team? Well, now you know. The team trains on one of India's few hockey rinks, which are open only three months a year, and have recently traveled to Canada to play some friendly exhibition games with teams across the country to promote their team.

Where am I going with this? Well, due to budget issues, they were only able to bring 12 members of their roster to Canada, and held a tryout for Indo-Canadians from all over North America, adding 10 new faces, including recent Master of Public Health graduate Sundeep Banwatt, who appears on the far left of the above photo.

Tonight, in Brampton, the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, the Brampton Beast, will be playing an international friendly game against India's team at the Powerade Centre at 7:15 p.m. A portion of the ticket proceeds will go towards supporting India's national team.

Communitech's Code to Win challenge takes place this weekend. "Open to select Canadian universities and colleges, players solve coding problems in their favourite language and ascend the scoreboard for speed and accuracy," says an explanatory note on the Communitech website. "The top ranked 50 are invited to Waterloo Region to solve a final written challenge where cash prizes and the opportunity to meet and interview with participating companies are up for grabs." The University of Waterloo is one of the event's sponsors.

ION construction continues over the long weekend. On or about Monday, October 12, the Ring Road pedestrian access path will be closed to pedestrians for approximately one week. Check the ION-related travel disruptions page for more information.


Quest to be down Wednesday

What is being done?  Quest will unavailable due to scheduled maintenance.

When is it being done?  Quest will be down, and unavailable from 6:00 a.m. EDT until 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.

Link of the day


When and where

Fall Teaching Week, Monday, October 5 to Friday, October 9.

Human Resources United Way Cookie Exchange, Friday, October 9 (all day). Purchase 6 of your favourite treats for $4.

Women in Science: First official general meeting, Friday, October 9, 12:30 p.m., RCH 305.

Editing with ArcGIS (intermediate), Friday, October 9, 1:30 p.m., LIB 329.

WISE Lecture Series featuring Professor Anand Puppala, University of Texas at Arlington, USA, "Sustainability and Geothermal Energy Studies in Geotechnical Engineering," Friday, October 9, 2:00 p.m., CPH 4333.

Thanksgiving Day, Monday, October 12, most University operations closed.

Velocity Science: Brainstorming, Tuesday, October 13, 7:30 p.m., QNC room 1506.

Advancement United Way campaign Dessert Extravaganza, Wednesday, October 14 (all day), EC1 foyer.

24 Hours of Waterloo, Wednesday, October 14.

Noon Hour Concert: Surprising Shostakovich, Epic Tschaikovsky, Wednesday, October 14, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Velocity Alpha: Setup Your Business Like A Boss, Wednesday, October 14, 7:30 p.m., Environment 3 room 4412.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, October 15, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Graduate Studies Information Session, Thursday, October 15, 4:30 p.m., EV3 Atrium.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Professor Jose Almirall, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and International Forensic Research Institute, Florida International University, “From Basic Research to Routine Use in the Courtroom: Elemental Analysis and Comparisons of Materials with LA-ICP-MS and LIBS”, Friday, October 16, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “The Healthy Weights Connection: A systems approach to reducing risk of obesity among First Nations and Métis children”, featuring Dr. Martin Cooke, Sociology & Legal Studies and the School of Public Health & Health Systems, Friday, October 16, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408.

The Computer Science Club presents author Cory Doctorow, "The War on General Purpose Computing," Friday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

Bridges Lecture - Deep Surfaces: Geometrical Challenges in Digital Design, Friday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

Dragon Challenge Quidditch Tournament, Saturday, October 17, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Village 1 Green.

Student Portal Hackathon, Saturday, October 17, 10:00 a.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

The wandering mind: Exploring the cognitive, neural and applied consequences of boredom, Saturday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., QNC 1506.

2015 Federal Election, Monday, October 19.

Mental Health Wellness Day, Tuesday, October 20.

Spin for Mental HealthTuesday, October 20, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Eli Clare: A Dialogue on "Cure", Tuesday, October 20, 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Together: A Workshop on Global Development, Wednesday, October 21, 3:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College. Mobile exhibit on October 21 and 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the St. Paul’s main parking lot.

Mitacs Step Workshop - Time Management, Wednesday, October 21, 9:00 a.m., TC 2218.

Velocity Alpha: Do People Want Your Sh*t?, Wednesday, October 21, 7:30 p.m., Environment 3 room 4412.

WISE Lecture Series - The Impact of "Energiewende" on Renewable Energy in Germany, Thursday, October 22, 10:30 a.m., DC 1302.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, October 22, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

111th Convocation ceremonies, Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24, Physical Activities Complex.

English Language and Literature Series featuring Lisa Hager, University of Wisconsin - Waukesha, "Towards a Queer Literary History of Gender Identity: Steampunk, Gender Nonconformity, and Victorian Studies," Friday, October 23, 1:00 p.m., PAS 2438.

Science Open House and Gem & Mineral Show 2015, Saturday, October 24, 10:00 a.m., Centre for Environmental and Information Technology.

Dogwhistles, Philosophy of Language and Political Manipulation, Monday, October 26, 7:00 p.m., LHI 1621.

“Generics Don’t Essentialise People; People Essentialise People,” public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Wednesday, October 28, 10:00 a.m., HH 373.

Velocity Alpha: How To Find Your Customers Online, Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 p.m., Environment 3 room 4412. 

UWSA Annual General Meeting, Thursday, October 29, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302.

“Misleading and Morality,” public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Thursday, October 29, 10:00 a.m., HH 373.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Alfred C. H. Yu, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, “Ultrasound imaging innovations for live monitoring of complex flow dynamics,” Thursday, October 29, 10:30 a.m., EIT 3142.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, October 29, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

“Stereotype Threat and Women in Academia,”
 public lecture by Jennifer Saul, University of Sheffield, UK, Friday, October 30, 11:00 a.m., HH 373.

Noon Hour Concert: Attacca Quartet plays Haydn, Friday, October 30, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

President's Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, November 3, 10:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

Velocity Alpha: Pitch Like A Pro, Wednesday, November 4, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, November 5, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Post-Conflict Columbia: Writing trauma and the challenges of translating it, Friday, November 6, 11:00 a.m., HH 1108.

CBB Bioinnovations Seminar featuring Charles Cooney, Robert T. Haslam (1911) Professor of Chemical Engineering Emeritus, and Faculty Director, Emeritus Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT, “Accelerating Academic Research into Commercial Impact,” Friday, November 6, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

Remembrance Day, Wednesday, November 11.

Noon Hour Concert: Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, Wednesday, November 11, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier – Night 1, Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre room 0101.

"The Terrible Truth about Canadian Crime: No Justice for Women" featuring visiting lecturer Professor Kim Pate, Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College.

Soup and Bannock Thursdays at Aboriginal Education Centre, Thursday, November 12, 12:00 p.m., STP 228.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier – Night 2, Thursday, November 12, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre room 0101.

TEDxUW 2015, Saturday, November 14, CIGI Campus.

Velocity Science: Brainstorming, Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 p.m., QNC room 1506.

Velocity Alpha: How Not To Run Your Company Into The Ground (From People Who Did), Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Thomas Willett, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Program, “A tissue mechanist found in translation,” Thursday, November 19, 2:30 p.m., E5 2167.

PhD Oral Defences

Accounting. Kun Huo, "The Effects of Performance Incentives and Creativity Training on Creative Problem Solving Performance." Supervisors, Khim Kelly, Theresa Libby. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, October 16, 10:00 a.m., E5 3052.

Chemistry. Saba Asl Hariri, "Development and application of needle trap devices (NTD)." Supervisor, Janusz Pawliszyn. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Friday, October 16, 10:00 a.m., C2 361.

Physics & Astronomy. Joao Silva, "Exact Results in Gauge Theories." Supervisors, Pedro Vieira, Robert Myers. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Monday, October 19, 10:00 a.m., PHY 352.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Jeyran Amirloo Abolfathi, "Interband Cascade Lasers, from Fabry-Pérot Waveguides to Subwavelength Cavities." Supervisor, Simarjeet Saini. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3003. Oral defence Friday, October 23, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.