You are here

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Energy and Equity: putting the WGSI in context

The OpenAccess Summit takes place at Waterloo.

The OpenAccess Energy summit wrapped up its agenda of activities yesterday.

The summit is held every other year by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) — a partnership between the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. It brings together a multidisciplinary, multigenerational and multinational group of about 40 people for four days of intensive working sessions.

The focus of this year's summit was the open access to energy. Many of the keynote addresses from the OpenAccess Energy summit and the #PowerShiftWR conference that precededed it are archived on YouTube.

The participants, including researchers, representatives of energy-poor communities, lawyers and government representatives gathered to identify those high-impact actions that could universalize electricity access.

President Hamdullahpur spoke on the topic of energy and its implications for equity during his opening remarks earlier in the week that helped launch the summit:

"I think it’s important to develop scholarship in the context of real-world challenges and opportunities — there are millions around the world who could benefit from our efforts," wrote President Feridun Hamdullahpur in a post on his blog. "That’s as exciting as the scholarship itself."

The group’s recommendations, based on their discussions and meetings this week, are contained in the OpenAccess Energy Communiqué, released yesterday at the close of the summit.

Scholarship and leadership go hand in hand

Tahnee Prior.

This is the latest in a series of #UWStratPlan stories that profile some of the initiatives that are part of the robust efforts to implement the Strategic Plan. 

Tahnee Prior’s passion for the Arctic is as vast as the land itself. And the conversation the world has about it, she says, should be larger than minerals and oil.

"It's a big goal of mine to shift that narrative more towards the people and the environment, and what it takes to properly govern both of them," says Prior, a University of Waterloo PhD student who earned a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2015.

Her doctoral research at the Balsillie School of International Affairs proposes a better model of care for the Arctic region — one that sets aside the national interests of the eight countries in the Arctic region in favour of a transnational approach to help the people most affected by climate change and resource opportunities.

This isn't top-down governance, where a body of decision-makers writes the script for northern people to follow, she says. It's a process of policy-building that involves Arctic residents, and respects the traditions of the region’s indigenous peoples.

Committed to the connection between strong scholarship and strong communities, Prior stands out as an example of the leaders emerging from the University of Waterloo. In academic programming, the University doesn’t take a top-down approach, either.

It provides an incubative environment, bringing faculty and students together to collaborate on regional, national and global challenges.

Read the rest of the article on the Strategic Plan website.

Teaching and Learning Conference kicks off today

Learning from Challenge and Failure.

The University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference, OND 2016, takes place today in Hagey Hall.

This year’s Conference theme is "Learning from Challenge and Failure," an opportunity to "open up discussions with colleagues, our students, and ourselves around the beliefs we hold about challenges, setbacks, and failure in the context of teaching and learning at the University."

The conference begins with a welcome address by Associate Vice-President, Academic, Mario Coniglio and introductory remarks by Conference Chair Julie Timmermans of the Centre for Teaching Excellence. 

The event features a keynote address by Professor Michael Starbird of the University of Texas at Austin, entitled "Make Mistakes: Fail to Succeed".

"Creative success is often built on the ash heap of failed attempts," says the keynote's abstract. "Mistakes are great teachers—they highlight unforeseen opportunities and gaps in your understanding. They also show you which way to turn next. Instructors can embrace the power of failure by consciously inspiring students to learn the productive potential of making mistakes as important steps toward understanding and creativity. Being willing to make and acknowledge mistakes and to learn from them is a liberating habit of effective thinking."

Over the course of the day, more than 30 sessions will be held throughout Hagey Hall, including an "Igniting Our Practice" panel presentation featuring Waterloo professors Greta Kroeker of History and Troy Vasiga of Computer Science.

The session's closing address will be delivered by Dean of Environment Jean Andrey, with a wine and cheese reception to follow.

Thursday's notes

Human Resources will be relocating to East Campus 1 (EC1) as of FridayApril 29. HR is aiming to keep disruption to services as minimal as possible, but does ask for your patience beginning today through to Tuesday, May 3 as they settle into their new space.

Colleagues of Maureen Nummelin are inviting members of the University community to a celebration of her retirement from the Office of Research Ethics. The celebration takes place on Wednesday, May 11 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the University Club. RSVP by Friday, April 29.

"The last New Faculty Social of the Winter term is taking place this Friday, April 29 between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.," says a note from Monica Vesely of the Centre for Teaching Excellence. "We will gather at the Grad House board room for conversation and noshing/libations (provided by your hosts: Glenda Rutledge, HR Onboarding, and Monica Vesely, CTE). Our hope is to have all new and newish faculty (re)connect with other new and newish faculty colleagues from across campus and celebrate the successful conclusion of the Winter term. No RSVP required – just drop by!"

The Staff Appreciation Buffet at the University Club continues today and tomorrow. Savour the flavours of spring while saying thanks to those colleagues who "make our lives a little easier all year round." Reserve your spot today!

Link of the day

For workers killed or injured on the job, a National Day of Mourning

When and where

Water Institute Research Symposium 2016, Thursday, April 28.

Teaching and Learning Conference: OND 2016, Thursday, April 28, Hagey Hall.

Centre for Career Action staff panel, “You’re In Charge: Excel in Your Career at Waterloo,” Thursday, April 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., DC 1351.

Farewell reception for Dan Anderson, Thursday, April 28, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Police Services office, COM112D.

Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture 2016 by Jay Famiglietti, University of California Irvine, “Water and sustainability: 21st Century realities and the global groundwater crisis,” Thursday, April 28, 4:00 p.m., DC 1350.

Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture 2016 featuring Jay Famiglietti, California Institute of Technology and University of California, Irvine, "Water and sustainability: 21st century realities and the global groundwater crisis," Thursday, April 28, 4:00 p.m., DC 1350.

Biology Graduate Student Research Symposium 2016, Friday, April 29, Science Teaching Complex.

The Inherent Right to Self-government: A New Context for Indigenous Innovation, Monday, May 2, 11:30 a.m., STP 228.

WISE Public Lecture Series: Forensic Energy Management, Tuesday, May 3, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Professor Frieder Jäkle, Department of Chemistry, Rutgers University, “New functional polymeric materials based on organoboron building blocks”, Tuesday, May 3, 10:00 a.m., C2-361.

UWSA Lunch 'n Learn: Fraud and Identity Theft, Tuesday, May 3, 12:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and Research Support Information Session, Wednesday, May 4, 10:30 a.m., QNC 1501.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Professor Ajay K. Ray, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Western University, “Major Challenges in the Development of Photocatalytic Reactor for Water Purification”, Wednesday, May 4, 10:30 a.m., C2-361.

Address by Bruce Heyman, the United States Ambassador to Canada, Wednesday, May 4, 11:00 a.m., CIGI campus auditorium.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop, CTE759: Designing Teaching and Learning Research, Wednesday, May 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., LIB 329.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop, CTE914: Teaching Dossiers and Philosophy Statements, Wednesday, May 5, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV1-241.

The Mathematics of Hedge Fund Fees, Wednesday, May 5, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., M3 3217.

Symposium on Aging Research, Friday, May 6, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC 1301.

Writing Centre workshop, "Clarity in Scientific Writing," Tuesday, May 10, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WatRISQ Seminar by Professor Luis Seco, University of Toronto; and President and CEO, Sigma Analysis & Management, “The Mathematics of Hedge Fund Fees,” Tuesday, May 10, 4:00 p.m., M3 3127.

Writing Centre workshop, "Getting Published," Wednesday, May 11, 12:30 p.m.

Retirement celebration for Maureen Nummelin, Wednesday, May 11, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., University Club. Everyone is welcome – please RSVP by April 29.

Public lecture featuring Dick Peltier, University of Toronto, "Ocean turbulence and global climate variability in the ice-age," Wednesday, May 11, 7:00 p.m., EIT 1015.

Writing Centre workshops, "Creating assertion-evidence presentations," Thursday, May 12, 1:30 p.m.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Martin Wainwright, "Some new phenomena in high-dimensional statistics and optimization," Thursday, May 12, 4:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Waterloo Unlimited Grade 10 - Change, Sunday, May 15 to Thursday, May 19.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop, CTE601: Instructional Skills Workshop (24 hours), Monday, May 16 to Wednesday, May 18, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EV1-241.

Writing Centre workshop, "Literature reviews for grads (Part A): Organizing research," Monday, May 16, 11:30 a.m.

Senate meeting, Monday, May 16, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Writing Centre workshop, "Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary," Tuesday, May 17, 10:30 a.m.

Caregiving for aging parents and other family members - Opportunities and unmet challenges, Thursday, May 19, 11:00 a.m., LHI 1621.

Victoria Day holiday, Monday, May 23.

Waterloo Region MED TECH Bridging the Gap 2016 - Inaugural Meeting, Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Grand River Hospital, Freeport Campus. Co-hosted by the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB).

Belonging: Diversity, Community Capacity & Contribution - An Evening with The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Wednesday, May 25, 6:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 28, various locations on campus.

Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP), Monday, May 30 to Friday, June 10, Quantum-Nano Centre.

One click away