Friday, January 29, 2016

Tales of a Teacher: Mat Schulz

Mat Schulze.

by Kelly Stone. This is the third of three Centre for Teaching Excellence Teaching Stories that will be featured in the Daily Bulletin this week.

For many youths, choosing a career path takes time as they consider a variety of options. On the other hand there is Dr. Mat Schulze, who knew as a young teenager that teaching was the path he wanted to pursue. Explaining ideas came easy to Schulze and he was often told by others that teaching would be in his future. Now, after 13 years of teaching in Waterloo’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, ten years prior at universities in England, and an education in Germany before that, you might say that Schulze was destined to be a professor.

Schulze notes that many students undertake his courses in grammar or linguistics with some trepidation, believing that the material will be dry. By the end of the course, however, he finds that those same students report that the material is actually quite interesting. Facilitating this shift in attitude is one of the things that Schulze enjoys about teaching. He also finds it rewarding “when people come back after the fact or you hear or see that they have succeeded with something that is related to what I have taught them.” Like most instructors, Schulze finds the success of past students to be an incentive for striving to teach as effectively as possible and for continually refining his teaching practice.

As an editor and contributor of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal, Schulze often collaborates with other scholars. When asked about what it is like working with other authors, Schulze explains that “collaboration requires a lot of trust but you end up with a better outcome.” This cooperation is also reflected in Schulze’s courses, where he has his students engage in collaborative writing projects. In his most recent graduate course, relating to language islands, students were asked to create wiki pages on course concepts and then encouraged to edit and develop each other’s sites. This editing was tracked directly on the wiki page, allowing Schulze to monitor each student’s level of collaboration.

In relation to applied linguistics, Schulze works in a field known as Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL). Schulze’s work on ICALL, which provides students with preemptive feedback based on their previous submissions, has a strong connection with his teaching. By using ICALL, students can receive the appropriate personalized feedback they need to improve their writing, which is especially beneficial for those who choose to take online language courses.

In the hands of someone like Schulze, technologies like ICALL can transform how students learn new languages. CTE Faculty of Arts Liaison, Kyle Scholz – who is a former student of Schulze – explains that Schulze has “blended research into the pedagogy of second-language development with engaging course design, constructing a motivating and conducive learning space for students.” For Schulze, the ongoing evolution of his teaching practice recalls a piece of advice one of his former professors gave him: “It’s reasonable to change 10% at a time. I don’t believe in wholesale change. But if I do this change every couple of years, those 10% increments add up to something very significant.”

Mixed emotions a sign of depth, says study

Ron Burgundy cries in a phonebooth.from the office of media relations

Experiencing mixed emotions shows emotional complexity, not indecision, and people living in different parts of the world vary in their ability to distinguish between multiple feelings they're having at once, according to new research.

A project from the University of Waterloo examined how people across 16 cultures vary in their tendency to see situations as either all good or all bad, or in a more complex fashion by seeing a little of both. Previous studies have linked lower emotional complexity with a reduced ability to control one’s emotions, and higher incidence of depression.

Read the full release.

Three Minute Thesis: 1 slide, 3 minutes, outstanding ideas

by Tasha Glover and Alyse Martin

For the fourth year in a row, the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition is taking place at University of Waterloo this winter term.

3MT is an academic research communication competition originally developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, in 2008, and has quickly gained momentum in the years following its inception. Here at Waterloo, it's a University-wide competition for research-based masters and doctoral students, giving them just a few short moments to showcase their hours of hard work.
The rules are simple: competitors have one static slide and three minutes to explain the breadth and depth of their research to a non-specialist audience. It is designed to foster the presentation skills of graduate students while simultaneously honing their ability to explain the significance of their work in a simple and effective way.  
If you're eligible and interested, Faculty-based heats are taking place next week from February 18 to 22, click here to see your Faculty's designated slot. Winners of these heats will move forward to represent their Faculties in March at the 3MT University-wide final. Attendance at all Faculty-based heats for competitors is encouraged, but not mandatory.
New this year for 3MT, students registered in a Masters Research Paper (MRP) program are eligible to compete! For more information, visit the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition website or contact Tasha Glover at

"What can YOUth do?"

by community relations and events

Participants at the networking event speakers' panel.On Thursday, January 21, 2016, Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC) partnered with the Waterloo Region Environment Network (WREN) to host a one of the largest local sustainability-themed networking events for youth in our community. What can YOUth do? A Conference by Youth for Youth engaged hundreds of university and high school students throughout Waterloo Region who have a passion for environmental issues and creating sustainable change.

Collaborating with world-changing thinkers and innovators, the conference featured a panel of local community leaders in environmental and ecological sustainability, including three representatives from the University of Waterloo: Mat Thijssen, Sustainability Coordinator in the Faculty of Environment, Tania Del Matto, Program Director at St. Paul’s GreenHouse, and Elle Crevits, fourth year Peace and Conflict Studies student and founder of Food Not Waste.

“At Waterloo, we have developed a range of sustainability expertise in areas such as climate change, sustainable energy, water, transportation, biodiversity, business engagement, and more. Bringing our knowledge to youth engagement events like these, offers the next generation opportunities to self-reflect, connect with peers who care about similar issues, and find ways to be a part of sustainable initiatives happening in their community.” – Mat Thijssen

Read the full article.

Friday's notes

The Daily Bulletin joins in congratulating the following recipients of the 2015 Waterloo Engineering Faculty and Staff awards: Sean Peterson, James Craig, Alexander Wong, Irena Baltaduonis, Richard Morrison, Ray White, Luis Ricardez-Sandoval, Yuning Li and Guang Gong.

Link of the day

160 years ago: The Victoria Cross established

When and where

Knowledge Integration Seminar: KI alumni panel "Life after KI", Friday, January 29, 2:30 p.m., AL 113.

New Faculty Information Social Series: Co-operative Education & Career Action, Friday, January 29, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., TC 2218.

Retirement reception for David Taylor, Friday, January 29, 3:30 p.m., University Club.

FIRST Lego League Ontario West Provincial competition, Saturday, January 30, Physical Activities Complex Main Gym.

Board of Governors Meeting, Tuesday, February 2.

CrySP Speaker Series featuring Alison Macrina, Library Freedom Project, “Grassroots Surveillance Resistance at Your Local Library", Tuesday, February 2, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Advisor Coffee Chat: CECA and Advising at UWaterloo, Wednesday, February 3, 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., DC 1302

Fundraiser for S.O.S. for Syria, Tuesday, February 2, 6:00 p.m., Renison Atrium.

Job Fair, Wednesday, February 3, 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Manulife Sportsplex, RIM Park.

Noon Hour Concert: Music of the Future, Wednesday, February 3, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

Retirement Celebration for Leo Rothenburg, Wednesday, February 3, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. Please RSVP to Elle Clarke at or ext. 33985 by January 25.

Velocity Start presents Ain’t No Model Like A Business ModelWednesday, February 3, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Bechtel Lecture Dinner with Dr. Janneken Smucker, “Abstract Art or Country Craft: The Quilts of the Amish,” Thursday, February 4, 6:30 p.m., Schlegel Community Education Room, Conrad Grebel University College. Contact Alison Enns (519) 885-0220 x 24217 or for ticket information.

FASS 2016, Thursday, February 4, 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m., Saturday, February 6, 6:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Bechtel Lecture featuring Dr. Janneken Smucker, “Unexpected Intersections: Amish, Mennonite, and Hmong Textiles and the Question of Authenticity,” Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m., Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College.

Nominations for the Distinguished Teacher Award (DTA), are due on Friday, February 5, 2016. For more information contact Verna Keller at 519-888-4567 ext. 33857.

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer, Saturday, February 6, 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., ML Theatre.

Faculty Seminar Series, featuring Angela Hildyard, "Leadership in the Post-Secondary Environment", Monday, February 8, 1:00 p.m to 3:30 p.m., Federation Hall, rooms A and B - register here.

Velocity Start presents Science Brainstorming, Tuesday, February 9, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2ndFloor.

Noon Hour Concert: Michael Wood Trio, Wednesday, February 10, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

Velocity Start presents Setup Your Business Like A Boss, Wednesday, February 10, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Treat-a-Gram, Thursday, February 11. Orders are due Thursday, February 4.

WatCACE webinar, “The Co-op Workplace Support System and its Effects on Student Commitment to Work, Team, and Host Organization,” Thursday, February 11, 1:00 p.m., E5 2004. Livestream link. Contact Juden
Pretti at for 
more information.

Communication for the Workplace, Thursday, February 11, 2:30 p.m.

Nominations for the Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS) are due on Friday, February 12, 2016. For more information contact Verna Keller at 519-888-4567 ext. 33857.

Family Day holiday, Monday, February 15, most university operations closed.

Battling Internet censorship and surveillance, "Find out how Ian Goldberg is combating Internet censorship and surveillance with privacy-enhancing technologies," Thursday, February 18, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register here – seating is limited.

Hagey Bonspiel, Saturday, February 20, 9:00 a.m., Ayr Curling Club.

Noon Hour Concert: Timepoints: The Toronto Percussion Ensemble, Wednesday, February 24, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

New Faculty Information Social Series: Copyright and Licensing, Wednesday, February 24, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 241. 

Velocity Start presents Do People Want Your Sh*t?, Wednesday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UWSA Special General MeetingThursday, February 25, 9:00 a.m., DC 1302. Coffee and treats available at 8:45 a.m.

Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, February 27, 10:00 a.m., Downtown Toronto.

PhD Oral Defences

Computer Science. Shehroz Khan, "Classification and Decision-Theoretic Framework For Detecting and Reporting Unseen Falls." Supervisor, Jesse Hoey. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Friday, February 5, 10:00 a.m., DC 2310.

Environment and Resource Studies. Adriane MacDonald, "Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Community Sustainability Plan Implementation: Understanding Structures and Outcomes at the Partner and Partnership-Levels." Supervisor, Amelia Clarke. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Friday, February 5, 10:00 a.m., EV1 221.

English Language and Literature. Kent Aardse, "Sympathetic Imagination: Posthumanist Thought in Electronic Literature." Supervisor, Beth Coleman. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, February 5, 1:00 p.m., MC 2009.

Chemical Engineering. Yazmin Bustami, "Development of a Nanocatalytic-Based Assay for the Detection of an Endocrine Disrupting Compound in Aqueous Solution." Supervisors, William Anderson, Murray Moo-Young. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3003. Oral defence Friday, February 5, 2:00 p.m., E6 2022.