Wednesday, November 30, 2016

    Brandon Sweet
    University Communications

    Teaching and Learning Spaces Committee launches survey

    The Teaching and Learning Spaces Committee is seeking your input on classrooms around campus.

    "We are a committee of students, instructors, and administrators who have been brought together as part of the university’s strategic plan," says a statement from the committee. "Our mission is to improve the design and management of classrooms on campus. Over the next few months we will be soliciting feedback from the UW community on the classrooms in which we learn and teach."

    First up is a survey on the best and worst classrooms.

    "We think we can learn a lot by hearing what you really like about your favourite classrooms, but also by hearing about those classrooms you’d rather avoid," the committee says.

    It’s a short survey, and there are prizes

    The Survey Period ends December 9, 2016.

    "We encourage all instructors and students to provide feedback – we want our classrooms to be productive spaces for everyone, and with your help we can achieve that goal," says the statement from the committee. "If you have any questions about the survey or the work of the committee, please contact Beth Jewkes, Associate Provost (Resources), by sending an email to"

    Teaching and Learning Spaces Committee members include:

    • Andrea Chappell  (IST)
    • Annie Bélanger (Library)
    • Beth Jewkes (Associate Provost, Resources)
    • Carey Bissonnette (Science) 
    • Charlene Schumm  (Registrar’s Office)
    • David Wang (ECE)
    • Donna Ellis (CTE)
    • Jacob Terry (GSA)
    • James Skidmore (Arts)
    • Judi Jewinski  (Renison)
    • Rick S Zalagenas (Plant Operations)
    • Rob Hartung  (Plant Operations)
    • Sarah Louise Rose Wiley (FEDS)
    • Scott Nicoll  (Space Planning Office)

    Velocity Fund Finals take place Thursday

    Velocity Finals animated gif.

    The 17th Velocity Fund Finals will take place this Thursday, December 1st from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. University of Waterloo students and recent alumni will pitch their innovative startups for the chance to win funding to grow their businesses, and to receive workspace in the Velocity Garage, the largest free startup incubator in the world.

    Ten companies will compete for four prizes of $25,000 and the judges will present one winning company with an additional $10,000 for the top hardware startup. Another 10 startups will compete for one of three awards of $5,000.

    The judging panel for the Velocity Fund $25K competition consists of:

    • Andy Jenks; Partner, Drive Capital
    • Ted Livingston; Founder & CEO, Kik
    • Mike Shaver; Partner, Real Ventures
    • Shirley Speakman; Partner, Cycle Capital

    The judging panel for the Velocity Fund $5K competition consists of:

    • Jessica Chalk; Founder & CEO, TrafficSoda
    • Jacqui Murphy; VP Marketing, Auvik Networks Inc.
    • Dan Silivestru; Co-founder & CEO, bitHound

    The pitch competition will take place in the Student Life Centre, Great Hall. The $5K competition starts at 11:00 a.m., and the $25K competition starts at 1:00 p.m., with the event wrapping up at 3:00 p.m. Register to attend. Can’t make it in person? There is also a Livestream.

    Learn more about the companies that will be competing.

    Waterloo scores top marks in graduate employability

    The University of Waterloo ranked 22nd in the world for graduate employability and first for employer partnerships as part of an international ranking that evaluates employability in universities from UK firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

    The ranking scores universities in five categories: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employers’ presence on campus and graduate employment rate.

    Waterloo rates first overall in the world in the partnerships with employers category. The success of this category is a result of Waterloo’s largest and most successful co-operative education program of its kind, and from the established research partnerships within the industry. 

    “The University of Waterloo delivers an unmatched experiential education program that enrolls two-thirds of our students,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “Waterloo’s co-op students graduate with up to two years of degree-relevant, paid work experience, a network of contacts and hands-on understanding of how businesses work. Simply put, our students are not only employable at graduation but are sought after by organizations worldwide.”

    Waterloo co-op students work with some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world including AECOM, Barclays, General Motors, Google, Morgan Stanley and The Walt Disney Corporation. More than 6,700 employers hire Waterloo co-op students in more than 60 countries and in 2015/2016, students at Waterloo reported more than $253 million in co-op earnings.

    QS first published the pilot version of the Graduate Employability Rankings in 2015.  QS worked over three years to identify a suitable methodology to provide the world’s students with a unique tool to compare university performance in this area.

    JobMine will be out of work at 4:00 p.m. on Friday

    A note from Co-operative Education & Career Action

    On Friday, December 2, JobMine will go offline as part of the transition to WaterlooWorks, the University of Waterloo’s new employment administration system.

    “WaterlooWorks is on schedule to roll out in January 2017,” says Dianne Bader, Director, Operations for Co-operative Education & Career Action (CECA). “Students should be focused on acing their exams, so the disruption to them during this time period will be minimized.” 

    Students are advised to monitor their UWaterloo email account for information from CECA and are asked to keep CECA up to date on any changes to their employment status by emailing their CECA advisor. Advisors will continue to be available to support you during this time. 

    Architecture students and employers have been using a pilot version of WaterlooWorks since 2014 and have played an important role in the development of the project. 

    “It was crucial to have students and employers involved throughout the process,” explains Bader. “Their input has helped guide the direction of WaterlooWorks in regards to features and enhancements.”

    Based on the feedback from Architecture students and others, students will benefit from many of the new features.

    For more information on WaterlooWorks, please visit the co-operative education website.

    Wednesday's notes

    Systems Design Engineering is mourning the loss of recent PhD graduate Fan Li, who died in a vehicle accident last week on Highway 401 near Guelph.

    Li earned his PhD at the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Professor Alex Wong and Professor David Clausi. His research interests included the fields of machine learning, computer vision, and image processing, with particular applications in remote sensing. Li defended his thesis in July 2015.

    After graduating from Waterloo, Fan Li went to the University of Guelph as a postdoctoral research fellow. Flags at the University of Guelph will be lowered today in his memory. 

    A scene from the movie "Hackers" where a character yells "Hack the Planet!"The latest entry in the CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy takes place tomorrow, with David Murakami Wood of Queen's University giving a talk entitled "Hack the Planet! From phone phreaking to subverting planetary infrastructures." The lecture takes place at 2:30 p.m. in MC 5501.

    Link of the day

    Barbados celebrates 50 years of independence

    When and where

    Retail Services Book Store pop-up sale, Monday, November 28 and Tuesday, November 29, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Wednesday, November 30 to Friday, December 2, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., South Campus Hall. Save 25 percent on new titles and gift items.

    Waterloo Store Monster EventMonday, November 28 to Wednesday, November 30, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., South Campus Hall concourse.

    University Club Christmas Lunch Buffet, Monday, November 28 to Friday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

    Retirement reception for Professor John Medley, Wednesday, November 30, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. RSVP to

    Becoming a better man - Working to end gender-based violence, Thursday, November 30, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

    Velocity Fund Finals, Thursday, December 1, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

    WaterTalks lecture series featuring Richard Luthy, Stanford University, “Urban Water Supply Re-invention for Dry Cities,” Thursday, December 1, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304. Note: this event has been cancelled.

    CrySP Speaker Series featuring David Murakami Wood, Queen’s University, “Hack the Planet! From phone phreaking to subverting planetary infrastructures,” Thursday, December 1, 2:30 p.m., MC 5501.

    Orchestra@uwaterloo presents "Farewell, Maestro," Thursday, December 1, 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

    PhysiXX: Girls Matter, Saturday, December 3, 9:00 a.m., Science Teaching Complex.

    UW A Cappella Club End of Term Concerts, Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

    University Choir concert,“Classical Roots,” Saturday, December 3, 7:30 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo.

    Jazz Ensemble concert, Sunday, December 4, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

    Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, December 4 and Monday, December 5, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

    Lectures end, Monday, December 5.

    Animal Studies and the Voice of the Other, Monday, December 5, 5:30 p.m., HH 1108.

    Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, December 6 and Wednesday, December 7.

    National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women ceremony, Tuesday, December 6, 10:30 a.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

    Faculty Association Fall General Meeting, Tuesday, December 6, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., MC 4020. Lunch provided.

    GreenHouse Social Impact Showcase, Tuesday, December 6, 4:00 p.m., St. Paul’s Alumni Hall.

    Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Program Webinar, Tuesday, December 6, 5:30 p.m.

    Women in Math present "Responding to Disrespectful Communications," Wednesday, December 7, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501. 

    The Library presents Copyright & Licensing for Teaching, Wednesday, December 7, 12:00 p.m., DC 1568.

    Faculty Association Town Hall Meeting for Lecturers, Wednesday, December 7, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., STC 0010.

    Cognitive Science Confessions: My biggest research mistakes, Wednesday, December 7, 3:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m., HH 1102.

    Retirement reception for May Yan, Wednesday, December 7, 4:00 p.m., Book Store.

    Examination period, Thursday, December 8 to Thursday, December 22.

    Becoming a better man - Working to end gender-based violence, Thursday, December 8, 9:30 a.m., Renison University College.

    Online examination days, Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.

    Retirement celebration for Janet Metz of CECA, Friday, December 9, 2016, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.

    Workshop: Strategies and Stories of Resilience and Transformation, Sunday, December 11, 2:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

    German Studies Forum 2016, hosted by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. Monday, December 12, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Registration required.

    Deadline for students to be "Fees Arranged," Tuesday, December 13.

    WISE Lecture Series featuring Daniela Roeper, Borealis Wind, “Experimental and Computational Optimization of a Wind Turbine Blade De-Icing System,” Tuesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

    Gender and Equity Scholarship Series featuring Madhur Anand, “A Sample Size of None: Creating Your Own Career Path,” Tuesday, December 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5501.

    University Club Christmas Dinner Buffet, Wednesday, December 14, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

    Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Program Webinar, Tuesday, December 20, 10:30 a.m.

    Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Holiday Luncheon, Tuesday, December 20, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

    Holiday season closure, Saturday, December 24 to Monday, January 2. Most university buildings and services closed.

    Positions available

    On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

    • Job ID# 2016-1357 – Admissions Officer – Registrar, USG 8/9
    • Job ID# 2016-1353  - Apprentice Cook – Food Services (2 positions)
    • Job ID# 2016-1321 – Assistant Supervisor – Food Services, USG 5/6
    • Job ID # 2016 – 1355 – Baker – Food Services
    • Job ID# 2016 – 1346 – Executive Officer, Administration – VP Advancement, USG 9
    • Job ID# 2016 – 1348 – Financial Coordinator –  Statistics & Actuarial Science, USG 5-7
    • Job ID# 2016 – 1351 – Financial Officer – School of Computer Science, USG 10
    • Job ID# 2016 – 1338 - Graduate Admissions and Scholarship Assistant – School of Computer Science, USG 5
    • Job ID# 2016 – 1343 – Writing & Multimodal Communications Specialist (Grad, Postdoc, Faculty Resource) – Writing Centre, USG 8

    Internal secondments:

    • Job ID# 2016 – 1356 – Research Data Analyst – Office of Research, USG 9