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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

High school science students show their stuff at Sanofi

Advait Maybhate, a grade 11 student from Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School in Waterloo, presents his findings.

Advait Maybhate, a grade 11 student from Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, presents his research at the Sanofi Biogenious Challenge Canada competition in Waterloo.

Ten of Southern Ontario’s elite young high school scientists competed at the regional edition of Sanofi Biogenius Challenge Canada (SBC), the country’s most prestigious national student science research competition last month at the University of Waterloo.

First place went to Tasnia Nabil, a grade 12 student from Vincent Massey Secondary School in Windsor for her project entitled “A Novel Computational Approach to Ferromagnetic Nano Therapy as a Therapeutic Solution for Cancer.” Tasnia won $2,000 and a trip to the national finals in Ottawa in May.

Also among those competing was Advait Maybhate, a grade 11 student from Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School in Waterloo who worked with University of Waterloo Professor Andrew Doxey from the Department of Biology. He built a computer algorithm for identifying motifs, short gene sequences that correspond with simple biological functions. His program not only locates and identifies motifs accurately, but finds them faster than more complex algorithms used today.

He hopes biologists will one day use his approach to identify sources of mutation behind diseases such as Alzheimer’s as well as discover new motifs and the functions they’re mapped to. 

“It was super cool how we were able to predict certain protein–protein interactions without even knowing about them before-hand,” says Maybhate. “It was a great experience and I learned a lot from this.”

His project entitled “A Novel Algorithm for Identifying Sequence Motifs” won first place at the Regional Science Fair earlier in April and fourth prize at the Sanofi Competition.

For more information about how to identify and mentor a promising high school science student through the Sanofi program, contact Professor Brian Dixon. 

Architecture co-op student gets published in Helsinki

By Nikola Skobo.

Justin Ng with copies of his book.Between experiencing a co-op work term abroad and authoring his first book, winter 2016 turned out to be a pretty good term for architecture student Justin Ng.

Ng traveled to Helsinki, Finland when he secured a job with ALA Architects, a global firm that specializes in concert halls, theatres and elaborate public spaces.

At ALA, Ng spent his time producing drawings for design development and renderings for clients. “Most of my time was spent on the design for the Helsinki Central Library, due to be completed in the summer of 2018,” Ng explained.

But Ng didn’t stop working after he left the office each day. A designer by nature, Ng maintained a personal urban sketchbook while in Helsinki. He wandered the streets of the city and sketched when he wasn’t at the firm. At the end of his work term, he had produced a 180-page book that illustrated his journey through Helsinki and nearby locations.

“Finland inspired me to examine my surroundings more carefully and eventually led to my decision to publish a book,” says Ng. It didn’t take long to generate interest in his designs.

In February 2017, Ng’s book was released by a Finnish publisher. Through his sketches and maps, Ng tells about these sights and discusses his experiences of living in Finland. An Urban Sketcher’s Guide: Helsinki, Stockholm, Tallinn, Turku & Porvoo 2017 can be previewed and purchased online.

Now that he is back in the classroom, Ng says that his experience at ALA has provided a strong foundation for his future projects. “Working at an office taught me some of the very practical sides to architecture, from structure to building codes,” he says. “This knowledge can then be reapplied to school work, adding another layer of depth to my projects.”

What does the future look like for Ng? “I aim to get my masters of architecture and get licensed so that I can open my own firm,” says Ng. To find out more about Ng’s work, projects, and sketches, visit his personal website.

Forrest wins Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award

Professor Brian Forrest.The Fields Institute has announced that Professor Brian Forrest of the University of Waterloo's Department of Pure Mathematics was chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award. This honour recognizes innovation and excellence in mathematics education.

"The adjudication committee was impressed by the significant impact his accomplishments have had at all levels of mathematics education: high school, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and teacher education," says a statement from the Fields Institute.

Professor Forrest is the first University of Waterloo recipient of this award. "It is a tribute to him as a talented mathematician, an outstanding teacher and a driving force for curricular development," says an article on the Mathematics website.

“I am surprised and extremely honoured be recognized with this year's Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award,” said Brian. “I am certainly aware of the many significant contributions that past recipients have made to Mathematics education at all levels and I am humbled to be included in their company.”

Professor Forrest is the Faculty of Mathematics Teaching Fellow and a recipient of the 2007 Canadian Mathematical Society Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2000 University of Waterloo Distinguished Teaching Award.

Wednesday's notes

"There are many ways to increase the health of your yard – via rain gardens, pollinator gardens, water efficient plantings, rain harvesting, and more," says a note from the University of Waterloo Recreation Committee (UWRC). "The challenging parts are prioritizing some or all of these options, and knowing when, where and how to incorporate them into your landscape."

That's why the UWRC has organized an event entitled "Increase the Health of Your Yard … For You, Your Community, and Our Near-By Nature" that is set to take place at noon today in MC 5501.

"Rebecca Robinson (from REEP) will look at the environmental, economic, and personal benefits of two sustainable front yard makeover projects underway this spring as part of REEP’s Rain Smart Neighbourhoods Project, and discuss how a quick site analysis of your own space can illuminate the best location for at least one healthy yard feature," says the note from UWRC. "We will discuss the importance of a vision for your outdoor space and how to manage the trade-offs between various landscape features. After all, one of the healthiest things you can do in your landscape is create an outdoor space that you love!"

Resource Recovery Partnership Project banner showing a street with a garbage truck.

As a part of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy's Resource Recovery Partnership Workshop on June 6 in Fed Hall, WISE and the CPIA are providing the opportunity for students to present their research to individuals from the government, industry and academic communities.

Students or group of students working on resource recovery, carbon capture, circular economy or greenhouse gas related research are invited to take one of the 20 first-come-first-serve spots available.

All interested students should contact Jessica Strickler at by May 26 to confirm their participation. Further instructions will be provided to the students after confirmation.

Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include AdRoll Inc., Uber, Genesys, CIBC - Technology Co-op Program, SAP Vancouver, Meraki, Connected Lab, Infusion, Capital One, GroupBy Inc., Loblaw Digital – Technology, Elliot Technologies, Inc., TD Technology Solutions, Bloomberg LP, Loblaw Digital – Trading, INFINITI Canada, and Zynga. Visit the employer information sessions calendar for more details.

Link of the day

Vesak Day

When and where

Feds Welcome Week, Monday, May 8 to Friday, May 12.

NEW - Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Wednesday, May 10, 10:30 a.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

Campus Life Fair, Wednesday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

NEW - UWRC presents "Increase the Health of Your Yard...For You, Your Community, and Our Near-By Nature," Wednesday, May 10, 12:00 p.m., MC 5501.

Seminar - “Open Challenges in Data Science,” Eugene Wen, David Kierstead, Amir Hejazi, and Albert Hoang, Manulife Corporation, Wednesday, May 10, 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., MC 5501. Their talk will be followed by a networking reception in MC 5501.

EQUALS conference, Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12.

Clubs and Societies Day, Thursday, May 11, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Design and deliver II: Creating assertion-evidence presentations, Thursday, May 11, 1:00 p.m.

Farewell party for Annie Bélanger, Thursday, May 11, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Dana Porter Staff Lounge, LIB 130.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Peter Diggle, "A Tale of Two Parasites: how can Gaussian processes contribute to improved public health in Africa," Thursday May 11, 4:00 p.m., STC 0050.

William Tutte Way Naming Celebration, Friday, May 12, 11:00 a.m., Davis Centre quad.

Clubs and Societies Day, Friday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Sex Toy Bingo, Friday, May 12, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub.

Waterloo Datathon, Saturday, May 13, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., MC 1006.

University Club’s Mother’s Day Brunch, Sunday, May 14, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Staff International Experience Fund application deadline, Monday, May 15.

More Feet on the Ground TrainingMonday, May 15, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall. 

Living on the Precipice: Interdisciplinary Conference on Resilience in Complex Natural and Human Systems, Tuesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 17, St. Jerome's University Conference Centre.

Discovering Digital Media Day - Internet of Things (IoT) 101, Tuesday, May 16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Stratford Campus.

Ramadan and Health: a community approach, Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

UWRC Book Club, "The High Mountains of Portugal" by Yann Martel, Wednesday, May 17, 12:00 p.m., HH 357.

Algorithms and Complexity seminar, “Genome matrices and the median problem,” Joao Meidanis, University of Campinas, Wednesday, May 17,  1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

German Language Film Festival, May 17, 24, 31, 7:00 p.m., Princess Cinemas. Waterloo Centre for German Studies for more information.

Occupational Health moving to COM 115, Thursday, May 18.

NEW - Accessibility Awareness Event and BBQ, Thursday, May 18, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Renison Great Hall Extension.

CPA Ontario Networking for Success, Thursday, May 18, 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall.

Victoria Day, Monday, May 22, most University operations closed.

PhD seminar, “Reading garden: a case study of an in-classroom motivational game,” Diane Watson, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, May 24, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., DC 2310.

Understanding our brand, Thursday, May 25, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., EC5 1111.

Menstrual Hygiene Day, Friday, May 26, 11:30 a.m., Science Teaching Complex foyer.

Retirement Celebration for Lynn Hoyles, Biology Greenhouse Manager after 39 years of service, Friday, May 26, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 27.

NEW - SHARCNET Summer School, Monday, May 29 to Friday, June 4, Mathematics & Computer Building (MC) 3003 and 3027.

Special screening of Hidden Figures, Monday, May 29, 6:00 p.m., AHS Expansion Rm. 1689.

Working with our brand guidelines, Tuesday, May 30, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

NEW - Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays: “Mysteries of the Prime Numbers” lunchtime talk, Wednesday, May 31, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Grad House.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2017-1652 - Administrative Assistant - Sociology & Legal Studies, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2017-1648 - Administrative Co-ordinator and Advisor, Undergraduate Studies - French Studies, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2017-1583 - Cleanroom Certification & Inventory Specialist - Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 4
  • Job ID# 2017-1545 -Cook (Regular Recurring) -Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1635 - Development Officer - Dean of Engineering Office, USG 9-11
  • Job ID# 2017-1639 - Employment Relations – Student Advisor - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 8-9
  • Job# 2017-1546 - Food Services Assistant (Regular Ongoing) - Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1553 - Food Services Assistant (Regular Ongoing) - Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1559 - Food Services Assistant (Regular Recurring), Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1551 - General Cafeteria Helper (Regular Ongoing) - Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1550 - General Cafeteria Helper (Regular Recurring) - Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1640 - Information Systems Specialist (Business Systems Analyst) - Information System & Technology, USG 10-13
  • Job ID# 2017-1599 - Kitchen Porter (Regular Ongoing) - Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1560 - Kitchen Porter (Regular Recurring), Food Services
  • Job ID# 2017-1642 - Library Information Technology Specialist/Developer - Library, USG 9-11
  • Job ID# 2017-1631 - Mechanic II Controls - Plant Operations
  • Job ID# 2016-1409 Program Director, Transformative Quantum Technologies - IQC-CFREF, USG 17
  • Job ID# 2017-1596, Space Planning and Classroom Management Specialist - Space Planning & Utilization, USG 8

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2017-1651 - Academic Advisor - Arts Undergraduate Office, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2017-1649 - Global Learning Coordinator - Student Success Office, USG 8
  • Job ID# 2017-1645 - Recruitment Officer, India - Math UG Admissions & Outreach, USG 10