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Thursday, April 6, 2017


Waterloo kicks AutoDrive competition into high gear

The University of Waterloo has been named one of two Canadian universities competing in the upcoming AutoDrive Challenge.

Waterloo joins the University of Toronto and six U.S. institutions in the autonomous vehicle design competition, organized by SAE International and General Motors. The competition is a three-year challenge to develop and demonstrate a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle that will navigate an urban driving course in an automated driving mode.

SAE International is also known as the Society of Automotive and Aerospace Engineers.

The other finalists are Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech.

“SAE International is excited to expand our partnership with GM to build the future STEM workforce through the AutoDrive Challenge,” said Chris Ciuca, director of Pre-Professional Programs at SAE International. “Building on our success through programs like Formula SAE, the AutoDrive Challenge launches a new platform to engage industry and academia in working towards a common goal of preparing young minds for the future of autonomous technologies.”

Throughout the three-year competition, students will focus on autonomous technologies and allow for modification and testing. They will work with real-world applications of sensing technologies, computing platforms, software design implementation and advanced computation methods such as: computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, artificial intelligence, sensor fusion and autonomous vehicle controls.

“Congratulations to the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo on this wonderful achievement, we are very excited to work closely with them over the next three years,” said Brain Tossan, director, Canadian Technical Centre, GM Canada. “We are proud to support SAE International and initiatives such as the AutoDrive Challenge; as we look to grow our Canadian engineering base over the next few years, these student competitions are a great source of talent for us.”

“It is an honour to be chosen as a finalist and a great opportunity for our students,” said Derek Rayside, an electrical and computer engineering professor and AutoDrive Challenge faculty advisor at Waterloo. “Student competitions such as the AutoDrive Challenge allow our undergraduates to gain first-hand experience while learning from industry leaders like GM Canada.”

GM will provide each team a Chevrolet Bolt EV as the vehicle platform. Strategic partners and suppliers will aid the students in their technology development by providing vehicle parts and software. Throughout the competition cycle, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding.

For more information, check out the GM Canada newsroom site.

PowerShift lecture looks at transforming energy

Power Shift Lecture logo showing a line of wind turbines.

Energy permeates everything we do. From our purchases to our mobility to our homes and workplaces, it is the foundation of a modern economy. But our relationship to energy is changing, caught between technological development, urgent need for climate action, and concern over economic competitiveness.

Join the University of Waterloo and the Kitchener Public Library for a conversation on the big shifts we can expect to see in the over the coming decades to address these challenges, and what those will mean for people in Waterloo Region.

Moderated by Mike Farwell, speakers for the event will include:

  • Dr. Jatin Nathwani - Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Executive Director of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy;
  • Dr. Heather Douglas - Professor, Philosophy and Waterloo Chair in Science and Society;
  • Dr. Sarah Burch - Professor, Geography and Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation

The event has been organized as part of the broader#PowerShiftWRcampaign. The event takes place on Tuesday, April 18, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Kitchener Public Library.

Andrew McAlorum named Director, Client Services

"I am pleased to announce that Andrew McAlorum has accepted the position of Director, Client Services, succeeding Bob Hicks who retires May 1," writes Chief Information Officer Bruce Campbell. "Andrew is currently our Manager, Web Development and Support, and provides leadership and direction of the University’s Web Content Management System (WCMS), Portal, open data initiatives, and related projects."  

McAlorum joined IST in 2014, after having previously held roles as Head Digital Initiatives, University of Waterloo Library, Project Manager/Technical Lead at the University of Toronto Library, and Web Developer at York University Library.

"Please join me in congratulating Andrew, and welcoming him to his new role," writes Campbell.

Student multimedia projects - technically, it's art

Technically Art poster.On Friday, April 7, the Departments of English and Fine Arts and the Faculty of Engineering will present an exciting double bill of digital art and technology at 44 Gaukel Street in Downtown Kitchener.

The first is "Technically Art": An interactive exhibition where technology and art converge. The exhibition features student work from the University of Waterloo Tech Art Course, FINE 392 / GENE 499.

The second is "=SUM(Things)", which features a large number of media and data-based projects and installations from XDM students, staff, community members, and various universities.

The Sum Things poster."The evening of April 7 will be a fun, lively, and thought-provoking event, which serves as a closing party for the Tech Art show and as an opening for the XDM exhibition," says a note from the event organizers. "Everyone is welcome at this catered and licensed event, which will be open from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The "Technically Art" exhibition is also offering public walk-in hours, hosted by students from the Tech Art course, from Tuesday April 5 to Saturday April 8 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday, April 8, the Critical Media Lab will follow up their XDM exhibition with a symposium entitled “Data Publics/Data Paradigms” from 1:00 p.m. to  3:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., which will feature presentations from students from English 794 this past term.

Thursday's notes

The cover of Equity In/Action.Copies of the HeForShe Writing Contest anthology, Equity In/Action, are available at the Book Store for free.

The Book Store has set up two displays for the free hard copies of the book.

The writing contest had a successful turnout with 65 entries from Waterloo students, faculty, staff, and alumni. A panel of judges reviewed each entry to select 22 pieces for the anthology presented by the Book Store and the Writing Centre.

Ontario's colleges are celebrating 50 years since Bill Davis led the push to develop the province's college system in 1967. 16 of the 24 public colleges in Ontario were established in 1967, including Conestoga College in Kitchener.

“Ontario’s universities congratulate the Ontario college system on their 50th anniversary," says a statement from the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). "Together, colleges and universities advance postsecondary education in Ontario for the benefit of our students, our communities and the province."

Over the past 50 years, the role and function of post-secondary education in Ontario has grown and evolved. Ontario colleges and universities have a long history of academic collaboration, as outlined on a COU website that commemorates the anniversary.

Arts Undergraduate Office closed today

The Arts Undergraduate Office will be closed from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today

Link of the day

100 years ago: U.S. joins the fight in WWI

When and where

IGNITE, the 43rd Annual Senior Undergraduate Exhibition, Thursday, March 16 to Saturday, April 8, University of Waterloo Art Gallery.

Sustainable Campus Photo Contest, Monday, March 20 – Friday, April 21, across campus.

Green Office Energy Challenge, Thursday, March 30 to Friday, April 21, across campus.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, April 4 to Thursday, April 6.

Waterloo 2017 Staff Conference, Wednesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 6.

Paths to Success, Thursday, April 6, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Quantum Nano Centre (Room 2502). Please register.

Faculty Association Spring General Meeting, Thursday, April 6, 12:00 p.m., QNC 1502.

The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Women: Public lecture by Dr. Jean Kilbourne, hosted by the SMF Department and St. Jerome’s HeForShe, Thursday, April 6, 1:30 p.m., Vanstone Lecture Hall SJ2 1004.

Professional School Interviews – MMI, Thursday, April 6, 1:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 2218.

UWaterloo Pharmacy Admissions Interviews, Thursday, April 6, 3:00 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 2218

SMF Research Symposium, Multidisciplinary presentations on sexuality, relationships, and family, hosted by the SMF Department, Thursday, April 6, 8:30 a.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre (SJ2), registration required.

MBET Information Session, Thursday, April 6, 5:30 p.m., Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre.

Examinations begin, Friday, April 7.

Online course examination days, Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8.

Fundamentals for writing your thesis, Friday, April 7, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Analytics Day 2017: From Data to Decisions, Friday, April 7, 9:00 a.m., QNC 0101.

Challenge/Coding Day for AquaHacking 2017, Saturday, April 8, 10:00 a.m., Engineering 5

Supporting Nurses with Health Information Technology: Cognitive Functions of the Kardex and 'Brains' Artifacts, Monday, April 10, 2:30 p.m., East Campus 4 2101a. Register for this FREE event. Coffee and snacks will be available.

CBB Bioinnovations seminar featuring Zhanfeng Cui, PhD, Donald Pollock Professor of Chemical Engineering, Director, Oxford Centre for Tissue Engineering and Bioprocessing, Director, CRMI Technology Centre, University of Oxford, "From Fundamental Research to Commercial Bio-Manufacture," Tuesday, April 11 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., EC5 1111. Networking reception with light refreshments immediately following the talk. Registration is required for this FREE event. Please RSVP via EventBrite.

University Club Easter Buffet, Wednesday, April 12 and Thursday, April 13, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Pizza with the Profs, "Zero-effort Ambient Vitals Monitoring" with Jennifer Boger, Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering, Wednesday, April 12, 12:00 p.m., Grand River Hospital Freeport Campus. Register.

Staff International Experience Fund Lunch & Learn, Wednesday, April 12, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC1-1227 (Philanthropy Room). Feel free to bring your lunch. Some light refreshments (coffee and cookies) will be provided.

WaterTalks Lecture, Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity, Wednesday, April 12, 2:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Good Friday holiday, Friday, April 14, most university buildings closed.

NEW - WISE Public Lecture featuring Professor S. Eswar Prasad, "Piezoelectric Materials and their Applications," Tuesday, April 18, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

Retirement celebration for Sandra Hayes, Tuesday, April 18, 3:30 p.m., East Campus 1. RSVP online.

#PowerShiftWR: Transforming Energy in Waterloo Region, Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Kitchener Public Library Main Branch.

WISE Lecture Series: Energy-Secure, Adaptable Housing and Infrastructure for Remote and Northern Communities, Wednesday, April 19, 10:30 a.m., CPH 4333.

UWRC Book Club, The Piano Teacher by Janice YK Lee, Wednesday, April 19, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Vision Science Graduate Research Conference 2017, Monday, April 24, all day, Optometry Room 1129.

Pharmacy Research Day, showcasing graduate student research, Wednesday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

Staff Appreciation Lunch, Wednesday, April 26 to Friday, April 28, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, "Cultivating Curiosity in Teaching and Learning," Thursday, April 27, Science Teaching Complex.