A statement on the U.S. executive order on immigration and travel
by Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor
Globally and here at home, universities are strengthened by the exchange of talent, ideas and experience from students, faculty, researchers and staff. The original principle of academic freedom encompassed thought, expression and geography.
Diversity is a strength of this university and of our country. Together, with universities across Canada, we will continue to welcome students, faculty and staff from around the world including those seeking refuge from violence and injustice.
All of our students, faculty and staff, no matter where they come from, help to strengthen our community, bring new knowledge, talent and skills to higher education, research and innovation – to the benefit of all Canadians. At the University of Waterloo, we stand proudly for these values.
We are actively reviewing the recent executive order from the President of the United States to understand more completely the impact for our community. The Order suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days; bans Syrian refugees indefinitely; and for 90 days blocks citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from entering the U.S.
We are reaching out to government, institutions and others as we develop a response and guidance for our campus community. We are grateful for the efforts of federal officials and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for speaking to and clarifying some of these matters. We are also supporting efforts of Universities Canada and tech sector leaders who are highlighting Canada’s strength in diversity and working to repatriate and attract talent to Canada through a variety of actions and proposals. It is important to also note the actions of our colleagues in the United States who are expressing their views through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
We expect that there will be questions and potential issues raised for visiting academics, researchers and students who may be impacted. For these, please contact: Jeff Casello, Graduate Studies; Yanick Charbonneau, Office of General Counsel; Ray Darling, Registrar.
For students on a co-op term or contemplating one or those on an exchange, and potentially impacted, please contact: Peggy Jarvie, Co-operative Education and Career Action; Ian Rowlands, Waterloo International.
As this situation evolves we will keep our campus community updated.
Waterloo Pharmacy gives back to community by serving meal to the homeless
A message from the School of Pharmacy
How do you feed 200 people? How about starting with 200 bread bowls, 23 pounds of beef, 40 bunches of lettuces and 9 pounds of potatoes?
Those were just some of the many ingredients that School of Pharmacy faculty and staff purchased for Jan 27’s Community Centre Meal. Working with the Ray of Hope Community Centre, the School fundraised and coordinated the preparation and serving of meals for the needful in Kitchener.
Ray of Hope’s Community Centre offers a place of safety and support to those struggling through poverty and homelessness. With their community partners, they provide hot meals, groceries, blankets, towels, hygiene products and shower and laundry facilities. Waterloo Pharmacy is a long-time partner of Ray of Hope: the School has served as a rest stop for the organization’s Coldest Night of the Year awareness event and fundraiser for several years.
The School of Pharmacy is part of the University of Waterloo Health Sciences satellite campus in downtown Kitchener and students, staff, and faculty have benefited from our location and partnerships with local organizations. We’re always looking for opportunities to engage with the community that has been so welcoming to us.
“The Ray of Hope dinner enabled us to come together as a School and to give back to the community at the same time,” says Lisa Walsh, Pharmacy’s community service learning coordinator (currently on maternity leave). “We have been a warm up station for Ray of Hope’s annual Coldest Night of the Year and will do so again this year, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to serve our community in another way.”
The volunteers prepped beef and veggie stew served in bread bowls, Caesar salad, and desserts for the approximately 200 people who visited the shelter that night. The recipe was a simple but tasty one: ingredients were delivered, peeled, and diced by one team of volunteers in the morning and then finished and served by another team of volunteers in the evening.
For more info on Ray of Hope, see the Community Centre website.
Study hints at holographic model of the universe
The first observational evidence that the universe could be a hologram has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The international study may lead to a new understanding of the Big Bang Theory and quantum gravity, one of theoretical physics’ most profound problems.
Researchers from the University of Waterloo, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the University of Southampton (UK), INFN, Lecce (Italy) and the University of Salento (Italy), believe the study further explains how space and time emerged.
“We are proposing using this holographic universe, which is a very different model of the Big Bang than the popularly accepted one that relies on gravity and inflation,” said Niayesh Afshordi, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute and lead author in the study. “Each of these models makes distinct predictions that we can test as we refine our data and improve our theoretical understanding – all within the next five years.”
Theoretical physicists and astrophysicists first identified the concept of a holographic universe in the 1990s. Today, researchers have published observational evidence to support a 2D holographic explanation of the universe. This work could lead to a functioning theory of quantum gravity, a theory that harmonizes quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of gravity.
“The key to understanding quantum gravity is understanding field theory in one lower dimension,” said Afshordi. “Holography is like a Rosetta Stone, translating between known theories of quantum fields without gravity and the uncharted territory of quantum gravity itself.”
Holography, with its more simplified approach, allows the researchers to study the dense conditions of quantum gravity during the Big Bang at its boundary, which provides as much information as studying the Big Bang itself.
A rally on campus today is being planned in support of those who were killed in the Quebec City mosque attack on Sunday, January 29 and those affected by the U.S. travel and immigration restrictions that went into effect over the weekend. Organized by professors in the Faculty of Arts, the event will take place in the arts quad today starting at 12:00 p.m. Follow along on social media with the hashtag #WeAreAllUWaterloo.
The University of Waterloo Muslim Student Association will be holding a vigil at 7:15 p.m. tonight in the Student Life Centre.
The Faculty of Science will be hosting its Science Alumni Recognition Awards Reception on Thursday, February 2 at 3:30 p.m. in the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (CEIT).
The Faculty of Science has been honouring its alumni in this way since 2007, recognizing those who have "distinguished themselves as outstanding professional and personal achievers in their chosen fields and who have loyally dedicated their time and service to their alma mater."
Check out the full list of 2016 Science Alumni Award recipients.
The reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. with remarks at 4:15 from Dean Bob Lemieux and President Feridun Hamdullahpur. The awards will be presented at 4:30 p.m. RSVP to Alumni Officer Bonnie Fretz if you would like to attend.