Student Life Centre closed for emergency maintenance
The Student Life Centre is closed until further notice due to an emergency maintenance situation. All businesses and services are closed, and activities within the building have been postponed or otherwise suspended.
The Turnkey Desk, as is their custom, is still staffed and available by phone at (519) 888-4434.
Further details will be posted on the Student Life Centre's Twitter feed.
Additionally, the Federation of Students will be communicating updates through its website and on its social media channels, where re-opening details will be outlined.
Plant Operations is working to perform the necessary maintenance to get the building back open.
Update: As of noon today, the Student Life Centre has reopened, and so have the businesses, save for the Bombshelter, which will open at 2:30 p.m. today.
Donation launches climate change resilience centre
Intact Financial Corporation and the University of Waterloo announced the creation of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) on Monday, November 30. The centre will focus on research and building awareness for innovative adaptation solutions to climate change risks facing Canadian homeowners, communities, industries and governments.
The ICCA, based in the Faculty of Environment, will be an incubator for new adaptation measures to climate change. Under the leadership of Professor Blair Feltmate, university researchers, consultants, industry specialists and NGOs will:
- monitor applied research developments on adaptation solutions and technologies from around the world;
- conduct their own research; and
- mobilize adaptation technologies and practices that are most promising to reducing climate-related extreme weather risk
“Addressing the effects of climate change and extreme weather is a pressing challenge for everyone. This unique national partnership applies Waterloo’s research excellence in a way that serves communities across the country,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Together, we share the vision to understand and tackle the effects of climate change in communities across Canada.”
With funding of $4.25 million provided by Intact, the ICCA’s initiatives include implementation of a green infrastructure program aimed at reducing the impact of severe precipitation in Canadian communities. Another program will identify the extreme weather vulnerabilities of various Canadian industrial sectors and recommend appropriate industry-specific adaptation strategies.
“While political leaders from across the world gather for COP21, we should remind ourselves that climate change is already a reality here in Canada. We must step up our efforts towards building strong, prosperous, resilient and sustainable communities,” said Charles Brindamour, chief executive officer of Intact Financial Corporation. “Our partnership with Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment will foster innovative solutions that will reduce the physical, financial and social impacts of extreme weather.”
The ICCA will also launch its national Home Adaptation Audit Program (HAAP) to assess the vulnerability of homes to flood damage, and make specific recommendations to help homeowners across the country avoid costly damage from extreme weather.
The ICCA represents the next step in a five-year partnership between Intact and the University of Waterloo in tackling the impacts of extreme weather. Previously, the organizations partnered on The Climate Change Adaptation Project which identified the most vulnerable areas of Canadian society to climate change, provided a national roadmap for adaptation and identified numerous solutions to protect Canadians against the growing threat of severe weather events.
Photograph by Stephanie Lake, the Canadian Press.
Quest Mobile - The year in review
In early May 2014, Information Systems & Technology (IST) partnered with the Registrar’s Office (RO), Centre for Extended Learning (CEL), and Graduate Studies Office (GSO) to implement a mobile interface to the Quest student system.
A primary goal of this collaborative project was to increase the usability of Quest on mobile devices while also presenting a branded user interface (UI) aligned with Waterloo’s Student Portal and digital standards. The result was the implementation of Quest Mobile (Nov 2014), a secure interface that supports Android, Apple, and BlackBerry devices.
Now, when students navigate to the Quest website from a mobile device, they are automatically directed to the Quest Mobile interface where they can:
- view grades, class schedules, and appointments,
- add, drop, and swap classes,
- search for classes,
- view and update personal information,
- upload citizenship documentation,
- view program and advisor information,
- register for a GO pass, and more!
Incorporating feedback received from students, updated versions of Quest Mobile were released in August, October, and November 2015 that included further UI and user experience (UX) enhancements (e.g. “pinch-to-zoom”, swiping gestures, menu-based navigation). Popular new features help students and applicants to quickly and easily review and manage their financial information; upload and e-mail important documents; view application statuses and offers; and, accept/decline offers, to name a few.
As this project comes to a close and the Quest Mobile team determines “what’s next” for the mobile interface, one thing is certain -- Quest Mobile is another excellent example of how Waterloo is improving the university experience for our students.
Visit the uWaterloo Connect IT blog for more information on Quest Mobile.
Young women explore software engineering at Waterloo
by Claire Heymans.
On Saturday, November 21, 26 young women in grade 10 joined the Code Squad at the University of Waterloo. This year-long engineering outreach program, sponsored by TD Bank Group, encourages the next generation of women to pursue study software engineering.
Starting with hands-on activities to demonstrate how computers store information, each participant made a nametag, tiny pixel by tiny pixel. Then, the computers were switched on! Using a simple online environment, we dove into the basics of the Ruby programming language. Ruby is a high-level language used to create things like websites. By the end of the morning, the participants were working together to write the code for a tip calculator. Simply type in the cost of a meal, and it returns the tax, tip, and total amount due. How convenient!
After lunch, the participants learned how to use “if-then” statements. They applied this new skill by writing the code for a game of rock, paper, scissors. The game is designed for a single player to play against the computer. Parents served as game testers. Everyone left looking forward to the next event on Saturday, February 6, 2016. Stay tuned!