Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Won won the national Three Minute Thesis title

University of Waterloo PhD candidate Gah-Jone Won.

For the first time, a doctoral student from the University of Waterloo has won the national Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which sees graduate students from across the country explain the breadth and significance of their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less.

Gah-Jone Won’s winning presentation features his research as a PhD student in both the School of Optometry and Vision Science and the Department of Biology in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science. His presentation, “The Development of an Antibody-Drug Conjugate to Specifically Target and Soften the Crystalline Lens,” won first among more than 200 master’s and PhD students at the University of Waterloo 3MT competition. He won the provincial (Ontario) 3MT competition before taking the top spot as the national 3MT champion. 

“The 3MT competition requires skill and an ability to boil down complicated data, which serves researchers well as they try to engage the public’s interest in their work,” said Jim Frank, associate provost, graduate studies at Waterloo. “Winning the national 3MT is a tremendous achievement, and we congratulate Gah-Jone Won for his compelling presentation and outstanding success.”

Won’s research focuses on drug treatments for presbyopia, a condition that eventually affects everyone. With time, our eyes lose the ability to focus on nearby objects, leading to a need for bifocals, or reading glasses. Won’s research proposes a pharmaceutical eye drop that softens the eyes’ crystalline lens in order to restore near vision that would otherwise worsen as we age.

“Three Minute Thesis is a friendly contest between graduate students, but above all else, it challenges young researchers to be clear, concise, and captivating about their work,” said Won. “I strongly encourage all graduate students to compete, regardless of the stage they’re at in their thesis.”

Won acknowledges his supervisor in Optometry and Vision Science, Dr. Vivan Choh, for her encouragement and mentorship.

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) organizes the annual 3MT competition. As national champion, Won receives a cash prize of $1,500 and an all-expense-paid trip to the annual CAGS conference in November.

Celebrating 15 years of Keystone

A picture of the Keystone Picnic in full swing.

This is an excerpt of an article originally posted to President Feridun Hamdullahpur's blog.

On this beautiful first Friday in June, our Keystone campaign family had our annual picnic.

What makes Keystone really special is that it’s a community of nearly 1,000 people who work at Waterloo — people who already give of their time and talent — who also choose freely and generously to give of their treasure.

That says something to me: it says our staff and faculty believe in this place.  UWaterloo isn’t just an employer — it’s a community that we’re all proud of on a personal level.

And I want to emphasize how vital Keystone is to our overall fundraising efforts as a university.  On top of the more than $1M (!) dollars keystone raises annually, it brings enormous value by inspiring our community and industry partners to give as well.

When our alumni, friends, parents, and partners in the business community see our people going above and beyond the call of duty simply because they love this university, that inspires them to give. It builds confidence in what we’re doing here.

Read the rest of the post on the President's blog.

Waterloo to host innovation roundtable in Ottawa

Foreign diplomats will gather with policy, business, and academic leaders in Ottawa on Wednesday to compare various national approaches to using innovation policies in order to achieve high growth in a low-growth world.

The University of Waterloo will host the event, which features an interactive panel of Ambassadors from Germany, Israel and South Korea. Kelly Gillis, Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, will moderate the panel.

The International Innovation Roundtable is a precursor to the Waterloo Innovation Summit, hosted by the University of Waterloo and Communitech, taking place in Waterloo Region in September 2016.

The event takes place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Ottawa's Fairmont Chateau Laurier.

Library display showcases occupation innovation

There is a new display installation in the Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries as well as the Centre for Career Action (CCA).

Occupation Innovation: Create a Unique Career Path is encouraging students to "think entrepreneurially" about their career paths, whether they plan to start their own venture or want to make change happen in an established business. The displays are interactive, featuring thought-provoking questions provided by Larry Smith, such as: "What’s on your resume that isn't on anyone else's?"

Students can grab citations to library articles and books for further reading, or check out the resume-building resources provided by CCA. Occupation Innovation will be on display until Friday June 17, with questions changing each week, so stop by and take a look at what Waterloo students are saying.

Bike Month gets rolling and other notes

A close-up of a bicycle handlebar with a thank-you note attached.

An update from the Sustainability Office.

Bike Month officially launched in Waterloo Region last week.  The Sustainability Office and TravelWise kicked it off at Waterloo with a little “thank-you” note to more than 750 bikes across campus!

Don’t miss this week’s Bike Breakfast on Thursday June 9 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Dana Porter Quad. Bring your bike by for a free snack, coffee, and tune-up from King Street Cycles!

While you’re at it, track your trips for a chance to win some awesome prizes. In just a few days, we’ve already seen some enthusiastic cyclists start tracking their trips in the race to rule the Bike Challenge leaderboard.

An update infographic.

Procurement and Contract Services is hosting its annual trade show to showcase to the University community the resources available to them.

This year, P&CS is hosting the show on Tuesday June 7 through to Thursday June 9 in the Davis Center “fishbowl“, DC 1301, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. all three days.

Staples Advantage will be back by popular demand on Tuesday, June 7, supported by a number of their select suppliers. Wednesday, June 8 will be Technology Day with Dell Canada, Onward Computers, and many more suppliers. On Thursday, June 9, P&CS invites you to come out to see what Waterloo has to offer with Internal Services Day.

P&CS will also be raffling off prizes to some lucky winners. 

Human Resources is reporting that retiree Amelia (Millie) Bleizeffer died on May 5. Millie worked in Food Services as a Food Services Assistant from September 1965 to her retirement in September 1988. 

Link of the day

He must have been the Greatest: Muhammad Ali dies at 74

When and where

Bike Challenge,  Wednesday, June 1 to Thursday, June 30. Log your trips to win awesome prizes!

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

Writing Centre presents Grammar workshop series, every Wednesday in June, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Procurement and Contract Services Annual Trade Show, Tuesday, June 7 to Thursday, June 9, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Effective cover letters for UW employees, Tuesday, June 7, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., TC 1208. 

The Student Success Office presents Conflict Management, Tuesday, June 7, 12:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, June 7, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407.

WatRISQ seminar featuring Harry Zheng, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, London, UK, “Convex Quality Method for Constrained Quadratic Risk Minimization via FBSDEs,” Tuesday, June 7, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Student Success Office presents New to a Team, Tuesday, June 7, 5:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Public Address by UN Under-Secretary-General Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Wednesday, June 8, 9:00 a.m., NH 3407.

Workshop - finding conference proceedings, Wednesday, June 8, 2:00 p.m., DC 1568.

Book Launch - After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America, Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Room 2202.

UW Gamelan Ensemble Concert, Wednesday, June 8, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages. Free admission.

Velocity Start presents Setup Your Business Like A Boss, Wednesday, June 8, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor. 

Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference, Thursday, June 9 to Sunday, June 12, Conrad Grebel University College.

Bike Breakfast, Thursday, June 9, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Dana Porter Quad.

The Library presents International Archives Day celebration, Thursday, June 9, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., LIB 131.

Student Success Office presents Global Intelligence, Thursday, June 9, 5:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Voices for Peace concert, Thursday, June 9, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages. 

Say it in your own words: paraphrase and summary, Friday, June 10, 12:00 p.m.

Public Education event, “Living With Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD),” Saturday, June 11, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., School of Optometry & Vision Science, Room 347.

Student Success Office presents Personality Dimensions, Saturday, June 11, 11:00 a.m., SCH 108A.

Student Success Office presents Effective Meetings, Saturday, June 11, 2:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Yellow Bellies, Saturday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 12, 2:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

Student Success Office presents Presentation Skills, Monday, June 13, 11:00 a.m., SCH 108A.

Bike Breakfast, Tuesday, June 14, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Dana Porter Quad.

Spring Convocation ceremonies, Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18.

Research Seminar: Gerald McKinley, Western University, “Sydemics of Substance Use, Violence and Suicide: Public Health partnerships with First Nations Communities in Northern Ontario”, Tuesday, June 14, 10:30 a.m., Pharmacy 1008.

UWRC Book Club featuring Ariel Lawhon, "The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress," Wednesday, June 15, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Recreation and Leisure Studies presents “Legacies of Flow” featuring Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Wednesday, June 15, 2:30 p.m., STC 1012.

Velocity Start presents Do People Want Your Sh*t?, Wednesday, June 15, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor. 

Founders Forum on Health and Wellbeing, Thursday, June 16, 9:30 a.m., Velocity Start. Organized by St. Paul’s GreenHouse. Please register in advance.

2016 J.W. Graham Medal Seminar featuring Tas Tsonis, “How I used Math and Software to get into every Fashion House in the world...”, Thursday, June 16, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Shankar Sastry, "Societal Scale Cyber Physical Systems," Friday, June 17, 2:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Senate meeting, Monday, June 20, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

IQC Public Lecture featuring Bill Unruh, University of British Columbia, "The detection of gravitational waves on Earth," Wednesday, June 22, 7:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

MOTUS: Collaborative Performance Art, Thursday, June 23, 6:30 p.m., The Theatre, Kitchener Public Library.

Farewell reception for Principal Graham Brown: Monday, June 27, 4:00 p.m., Alumni Hall, St. Paul’s University College.

Canada Day holiday, Friday, July 1, most University buildings and services closed.

Canada Day celebration, Friday, July 1, 4:00 p.m., Columbia Lake field.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifier – Night 1, Wednesday, July 6, 7:00 p.m., Quantum-Nano Centre Room 0101.

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

PhD Oral Defences

Physics & Astronomy. Xian Ma, "Exploration of the foundation of quantum information in quantum optics." Supervisor, Raymond Laflamme. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Thursday, June 9, 10:00 a.m., QNC 2101.

Computer Science. Mazen Melibari, "Directly Learning Tractable Models for Sequential Inference and Decision Making." Supervisors, Pascal Poupart, Edward Lank. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Monday, June 13, 3:00 p.m., DC 2310.

Systems Design Engineering. Jennifer Howcroft, "Evaluation of Wearable Sensors as an Older Adult Fall Risk Assessment Tool." Supervisors, Jonathan Kofman, Edward Lemaire. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3003. Oral defence Wednesday, June 15, 8:30 a.m., E5 6111.