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Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Math to launch its 50th anniversary celebrations

Students form the word "Math" on a field for an aerial photo.

The Faculty of Mathematics is launching its 50th anniversary celebrations with a panel event that goes right back to the source - those faculty members who were there from the very beginning.

These distinguished guests will share stories of the faculty's early days during a special event this Wednesday as Mathematics hosts a first-decade panel at 12:00 p.m. at Federation Hall.

Registration is available online, and the program will be available via live stream.

The panel will be chaired by Steve Brown.

Research funding helps bridge the digital divide

Research at the University of Waterloo that has the potential to affordably connect billions of new users to the Internet via intelligent antennas will receive $6.1 million in joint funding from C-COM Satellite Systems Inc. (C-COM) and the federal government.

C-COM and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will each provide funding of $3,055,000 over five years. C-COM will also provide $751,000 of in-kind support to the project, which Professor Safieddin Safavi-Naeini, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will lead. Safavi-Naeini is the head of the Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS).

Work at CIARS involves the development of low-cost, flat, modular antennas capable of establishing and maintaining links to satellites, even while on the move. That capability would be a breakthrough for C-COM, which presently manufactures and sells robotic antennas for fixed Internet connectivity in 103 countries around the world. The new technology would enable widespread broadband internet service in cars, trains, ships, planes and other vehicles.

“If you imagine there are billions of people out there with no connectivity, and hundreds of millions of cars, trucks, planes, boats, anything that moves, the market potential is exciting,” said Leslie Klein, an alumnus of Waterloo Engineering and co-founder of C-COM.

Existing antennas can connect to satellites in areas as remote as the middle of the Sahara Desert, but they are relatively large and expensive. The next-generation antennas will lie flat, conforming to the contours of a car’s roof, for example, or be attached to buildings and maintain fast, reliable connections by electronically directing their beams to satellites overhead. Once in mass production, the antennas could affordably service huge areas of the world that lack conventional cellular networks on the ground.

“The University of Waterloo has built a global reputation in antenna and wireless communications research,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research. “The establishment of this industrial research chair will support the innovative work taking place at CIARS that will connect people in all corners of the world in the near future.”

Waterloo Engineering has five industrial research chairs who collaborate with industry in a variety of areas, including energy infrastructure, information theory of optical networks, and risk-based life cycle management of engineering systems.

“Digital technologies are playing a major role in what many have referred to as the fourth industrial revolution,” said B. Mario Pinto, president of NSERC. “NSERC is proud to further drive innovation in wireless communications by supporting this research partnership in advanced satellite antenna systems. Dynamic collaborations between industry and academia are vital to transformative advances and breakthroughs in this field.”

An initial product may be on the market within two to three years. Other possible applications for the antennas include use with high-speed, 5G communications networks using millimetre wavelength radio frequencies, which are expected to become reality within about five years, and sophisticated radar imaging for sensor systems in self-driving cars.

Workshop on Global Branding in the Digital Era

David Brebner writes on a transparent display.Interested in expanding your research partnerships or exploring other collaborations? Join David Brebner, CEO of Umajin, from New Zealand on campus next week as he presents "Global Branding in the Digital Era."

Learn about the technology and partnerships behind Umajin as David showcases his perspectives on digital innovation and his partnerships with global firms to create a platform for discussion of areas for potential collaboration. Umajin is open to collaborations of any type, including research, that allow for new business models, relationships, and solutions.

New products, services, and experiences require new approaches and new technologies for maximum customer engagement and best customer experience. David’s technologies and approaches include user interaction, software design, gamification, 3D machine vision, AR, IoT, AI, and solutions architecture. The Umajin engine has shipped over 25 million apps through partners including Dell, Acer, ASUS, Sony, Intel and HP. Partnerships and projects with IBM and Microsoft have pushed the boundaries of what is possible.

Registration and coffee networking will begin at 3:30 p.m. before the one hour presentation at 4:00 p.m. More details and registration instructions.

Tuesday's notes

Save the date: The 2017 Senior Women's Academic Administrators of Canada SWAAC Conference will be held from April 27 to 29 in Edmonton, Alberta. The "Leaping Forward" event promises a "lively mix of keynote speakers, panel discussions, concurrent sessions, and networking social events."

SWAAC was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities, colleges and technical institutes and exists primarily to promote female leadership in the Canadian post-secondary sector. Participants can register online.

A golf simulator in use.As winter makes its icy return this week, there's no better time to escape reality, climb into the University's golf simulator, and learn to play golf.

For $100, participants receive 4 one-hour sessions (if you have a partner it's only $70 a head) in the Physical Activities Complex (Squash Court 6). Staff, students, and children ten and up have the opportunity to learn from members of the 2016 OUA Champion Warriors golf team.

All proceeds will be used to help pay the team's expenses at the national championships in May 2017. Golf clubs will be supplied.

The first round of sessions begin on Sunday, January 22 and continue on January 29, February 5 and 12. The second round runs on Sunday, March 5, 12, 19 and 26.

There are time slots available at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to register early as there are only 16 time slots available. Contact Coach Dave Hollinger for more details and to reserve your session and time.

The 18th Annual Fantastic Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Retiree Day is set for Saturday, February 11. Bring your family and friends to cheer on the Waterloo Warriors men’s and women’s basketball teams to victory as they compete against the Windsor Lancers. The annual Airplane Toss will take place at half time during the men's basketball game. The best paper airplane pilots will take home prizes that include:

  • Daniel Christian Tang Bracelet
  • a Gibson Sound & Vision Package
  • $500 Enterprise Voucher and a Pebble Watch
  • $500 Merit Travel Voucher and Warrior Swag
  • Wonderland Season Pass Family Package

All registered guests will receive one free airplane on admission, with additional airplanes available for purchase at $2 each. All proceeds raised will go towards KidsAbilityRegister yourself and your family today.

Link of the day

Last man to walk on the moon dies

When and where

The Writing Centre presents "clarity in scientific writing," Tuesday, January 17, 10:30 a.m.

The Student Success Office presents Test Preparation and Test Anxiety, Tuesday, January 17, 3:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Retail Services Leather Jacket Day, Wednesday, January 18, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Waterloo Store, South Campus Hall.

Research Seminar: Eric Fillion, University of Waterloo, Exploring and Exploiting New Reactivity of Alkyl-Tricarbastannatranes in Lewis Acid and Transition Metal Catalysis”, Wednesday, January 18, 11:00 a.m., Pharmacy 1008.

Philosophy Department Public Lecture featuring Professor Heidi Grasswick, George Nye and Ann Walker Boardman Professor of Mental of and Moral Science, Middlebury College, “Epistemic Autonomy and Trust in a Social World of Knowing,” Wednesday, January 18, 3:00 p.m., Hagey Hall 334.

Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem? Wednesday, January 18, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Health City Panel Discussion, Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch.

Knowledge Integration seminar: “A brief tour of science comedy”, featuring Robert Gooding-Townsend and Nathaniel Barr, Friday, January 20, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Priscilla Solomon, CSJ, "Integration, Transformation, and Reconciliation: TRC Calls to Action and Laudato Si’," Friday, January 20, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University: Vanstone Lecture Theatre, Academic Centre - SJ2 1004.

Games Institute presents "Waterloo Game Jam/Global Game Jam 2017," Friday, January 20, 4:30 p.m. to Sunday, January 22, 6:00 p.m., QNC 1502/2502.

Grammar Studio Series, "Nuts and bolts: Basic grammar and sentence structure," Tuesday, January 24, 1:00 p.m.

MAREP presents "Paving the Way: Excellent Dementia Care and Support: A three-part learning series," Part 1, Tuesday, January 24, 11:30 a.m., DC 1302.

WICI Talk: Blake LeBaron presents "Self-Generating Economic Forecast Heterogeneity", Tuesday, January 24, 2:30 p.m., QNC 1501.

Welcoming A Year with the Saint John’s Bible, Ecumenical Service in honour of Christian Unity Week, Tuesday, January 24, 4:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University: Vanstone Lecture Theatre, Academic Centre - SJ2 1004.

St. Paul’s GreenHouse presents Environment Founders Forum, Tuesday, January 24, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Please register in advance.

KWCSSA 2017 Chinese New Year Festival Gala: Year of the Rooster, Tuesday, January 24, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Global Branding in the Digital Era, Wednesday, January 25, 3:30 p.m., EC5 1111.

Velocity Start: Find Your Kick A** Idea, Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Grammar Studio Series, "Putting it together: Advanced grammar and sentence structure," Thursday, January 26, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Medieval Studies Lecture Series featuring Professor Flora Cassen, “Phillip II of Spain and his Italian Jewish Spy,” Thursday, January 26, 4:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s Academic Centre Room 1002.

Research Talks featuring Professor Joanne Atlee, “Detecting and resolving software errors,” Friday, January 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register – seating is limited.

Noon-Hour Concert: From Vienna With Love, Friday, January 27, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel.

Waterloo Women: Ideas, Makers and Innovators, Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 

Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, January 28, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 220 Yonge St, Unit 115, Toronto.

Weight Watchers at Waterloo sign-up deadline and meet-up, Tuesday, January 31, 12:00 p.m., EV2 1001. Contact mmfloyd@uwaterloo.ca for more information.

Grammar Studio Series, "Connecting the dots: Structure and organization," Tuesday, January 31, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Noon Hour Concert: Russian Songs & Sonatas, Wednesday, February 1, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Velocity Start: Ain’t No Model Like A Business Model, Wednesday, February 1, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Grammar Studio Series, "Making it shine: Conciseness and revision strategies," Thursday, February 2, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

World Wetlands Day public lecture featuring Ania Grobicki, Deputy Secretary General, RAMSAR, “From the age of carbon to the age of water- the role of wetlands” Thursday, February 2, 7:00 p.m., DC 1351.

Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies featuring Dr. Kenneth Nafziger, “Melting the Boundaries of Our Being: Explorations in Singing Together,” Friday, February 3, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

Bridges Lecture: Making Math VisibleFriday, February 3, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University. Registration link.

2017 Grimm Lecture: The Holocaust as History and Warning,” Monday, February 6, 7:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

Hagey Hub Grand Opening, Friday, February 10, 2:30 p.m., Hagey Hub.