Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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

Waterloo Pharmacy volunteers with Ray of Hope staff.

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.”

Bread bowls, Caesar salad and stew.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.

Tuesday's notes

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.

Link of the day

40 years ago: Roots

When and where

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

The Water Institute and Engineering present "Using Open-Access GIS to Address Issues in Spatial Hydrological Modelling," Tuesday, January 23, 1:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Partnerships 4 Employment Job Fair, Wednesday, February 1, 10:00 a.m., Manulife Sports Park, Waterloo.

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

Hallman Lecture Series featuring Professor Diane Phillips, University of Canberra, “Fostering the Conversation: Creativity and Innovation at the Grassroots for the Promotion of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Waterloo,” Wednesday, February 1, 2:00 p.m., AHS 1686.

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

World Wetlands Day, Thursday, February 2.

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

2016 Science Alumni Recognition Awards, Thursday, February 2, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., EIT.

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.

Knowledge Integration alumni panel, “Life after KI”, Friday, February 3, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

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.

FASS Super Variety Show, Saturday, February 4, Humanities Theatre.

Do you have a solution to a global problem? World’s Challenge Challenge applications due Sunday, February 5, 11:59 p.m.

Velocity Fund $25K applications open, Monday, February 6.

Gender & Equity Scholarship Series featuring Jennifer Clapp, “Bigger is Not Always Better: Implications of Recent Agribusiness Mega-Mergers for Equity and the Environment,” Monday, February 6, 11:30 to 1:00 p.m., MC 5501. Lunch provided. Please register.

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

Order your Treat-a-Gram before Tuesday, February 7.

SCH Winter Warmup event, Tuesday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SCH concourse.

Town Hall with David Lepofsky, "The AODA and the Developing Education Standard," Tuesday February 7, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Waterloo Architecture, 7 Melville St. South, Cambridge, ARC 1001.

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

A Conversation with MP Charlie Angus, presented by the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre. Thursday, February 9, 1:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Curtis Memorial Lecture, "Canadian Counter-Terrorism In the Age of Trump," Thursday, February 9, 5:00 p.m., PAS 2083.

Big Ideas Challenge Info Night, Thursday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Alumni Hall.

Hagey Hub Grand Opening, Friday, February 10, 2:00 p.m., Hagey Hub.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Mary Hynes, "52 Minutes of Silence: Finding Words for the Inexpressible," Friday, February 10, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University: Vanstone Lecture Theatre, Academic Centre - SJ2 1004.

WISE Public Lecture featuring Professor Srinivasan Keshav, "Solar + Storage + ioT +LED = $30 Trillion," Monday, February 13, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Moving Together: Toward a Theory of Crip Spacetime, Monday, February 13, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., Renison Room 2106. Please register.

Creating a Culture of Access for Mental Disability in University Space – A workshop for faculty and staff with disability studies professor Margaret Price, Tuesday, February 14, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC1301. Please register.

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

Retirement celebration for Bob Harrison, Thursday, February 16, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fed Hall. RVSP to edoede@uwaterloo.ca.

Family Day holiday, Monday, February 20, most university operations closed.

Reading Week, Monday, February 20 to Friday, February 24.

Weight Watchers at Waterloo sign-up deadline and meet-up, Tuesday, February 21, 12:00 p.m., EV2 1001.Contact mmfloyd@uwaterloo.ca for more information.

Velocity Fund $25K applications close, Saturday, February 25, 11:59 p.m. Apply.

Velocity Fund $5K pitch signups open, Monday, February 27. Signup.

PhD oral defences

Computer Science. Vincent Russo, "Extended nonlocal games." Supervisors, John Watrous, Michele Mosca. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Wednesday, February 1, 3:00 p.m., QNC B201.

Chemical Engineering. Hamed Shahsavan, "Liquid Crystal Networks for Smart Biomimetic Micro/Nano Structured Adhesives." Supervisor, Boxin Zhao. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, February 9, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Edward Cyr, "A New Crystal Plasticity Formulation to Simulate Large-Strain Plasticity of Polycrystalline Metals at Elevated Temperatures." Supervisor, Kaan Inal. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, February 17, 10:30 a.m., E5 3052.

English Language and Literature. Saeed Sabzian, "A Rhetoric of Fear and Anxiety." Supervisor, Randy Harris. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence February 17, 1:00 p.m., MC 2009.