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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Students make big splash at AquaHacking semis

The AquaHacking logo.

This is an excerpt of an article originally posted on the Water Institute's website.

The AquaHacking 2017 semi-final competition unfolded last week at CIGI. By the end of the evening, five teams were chosen to move on to the final competition at Waterloo on September 13. It was a difficult decision for the five judges, as all 17 teams that competed offered innovative ideas that tackled the challenges and opportunities facing Lake Erie.  

The five winning teams will move on to compete for a shared total of $75,000 in funding and access to local accelerators. Over the next two months, teams will further develop their ideas with the help from the Region of Waterloo which has kindly donated $2000 to each team to help fund their efforts.

Out of the 30 individuals moving on to the finals, 24 are current or former University of Waterloo students and represent all six academic faculties.

Read the rest of the article on the Water Institute's website.

'Your joy becomes my joy' at interfaith dinner

Participants at the iftar dinner.

For Muslim students at the University of Waterloo, long spans of fasting during the longest days of the year are over and may already feel like a distant memory. However, it was just a few weeks ago that students were stretching the limits of their bodies as they refrained from eating or drinking each day while the sun was up. This religious practice during Ramadan becomes even more difficult for university students living away from the support of their families for the first time.

The University of Waterloo Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) is a vital source of encouragement on campus during Ramadan, this year serving over 1,500 meals over the course of eight regular community dinners after sunset. Conrad Grebel University College students were fortunate to be involved in one of those iftars, in the form of an interfaith fastathon that also raised $502 for Somalian famine relief.

Grebel students listened, shared, and ate with Muslim students at this event. Over the course of the evening, speakers were invited to deconstruct the idea of hunger and what it entails. “How does hunger differ in Waterloo versus Somalia? For students versus the homeless? What does being hungry mean?”

Grebel student Matthew Chase was invited to speak about his understanding of fasting from a Christian Orthodox perspective. “If you can’t control what goes into your mouth, how can you control what comes out of it?” he said. Reflecting back on the event, Chase appreciated the acceptance and hospitality of the evening, similar to a family reunion. Watching others break their fast, Chase described the almost euphoric joint experience of salivating, waiting, and then the reward of food. “It excites my faith!” he remarked. “Your joy becomes my joy.”

Chelsea Campbell enjoyed the community meal, noting the mix of Muslim sects represented. Listening to the stories of other students, Campbell felt encouraged to be more intentional in her faith. “I appreciated the idea of feeling closer to God when fasting. I want that!”

“This is the second year we’ve hosted an iftar dinner with the MSA and we want to continue this as a tradition into the future,” said Grebel Chaplain Ed Janzen. “Interfaith dialogue is a learning opportunity for our students and it gives them a comfortable space to share and ask questions openly.” The Grebel dining room was indeed buzzing with conversation, as over a hundred Grebel and UWaterloo students, Wilfrid Laurier and Conestoga College students, and undergrad and grad students shared the meal.

Feeding an iftar dinner to others is a rewarding, charitable act in the Muslim faith, emulating the Prophet Muhammad. Likewise, Christianity teaches followers to love their neighbour. “Therefore it is our responsibility and our opportunity to host people from the university campus,” added Janzen. Iftar dinners are also an important way to help students manage the loneliness of Ramadan, especially when they are not in their family context. “This is one more piece in building a healthy community. It’s a significant investment in the life of Grebel and UWaterloo.”

Echoing the importance of marking Ramadan in community, MSA leader Suleman Azam reflected that the iftar meal at Grebel “felt like a cozy dinner. And as an international student away from family, I can tell you it felt like home.”

According to the MSA, the fastathon is an opportunity for people of different faiths to come together and gain a better understanding of one another. It is also an opportunity to do something to contribute towards the one thing that we all have in common, our humanity, through raising funds to help support those affected by the famine in East Africa.

Tuesday's notes

The UW Finance Association student club will be hosting two two events this week. The first, entitled Pitch Preparation & Summary, takes place on Wednesday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m. in MC 4020.

"This is our final event in our four-part Stock Pitch Tutorials," says a note from the student club. "After learning how to analyze the data and how to build a DCF, this tutorial is created to show the members how to put together a stock pitch. We will provide a general layout, as well as tips regarding their presentations. Finally, we will end the series with a stock pitch illustration from the research analysts."

There will be time for networking at the end of this event, which is free for all UWFA members and a discounted $5 membership for newcomers to the tutorial.

The second event is entitled Quantify: Risk and Insurance Case Competition featuring The Co-operators, set for July 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in EV3. This annual competition event is a collaboration between UWFA and the UW Actuarial Science Club and features a $3,000 prize pool with a $1,500 first prize, a $1,000 second prize, a $500 third prize, and a $200 judge's choice award.

"Teams will consist of 4 members, however registration is open for individuals and teams with less than 4 members," says a note from UWFA. "We will be allocating individual registrants to teams ourselves."

A Food Services cooking show event featuring a chef and assistant.

UW Food Services will be hosting a Recruitment Fair on Thursday, July 13 and on August 15 at Federation Hall. "UW Food Services is looking for customer service oriented individuals to work in a variety of casual part time roles, all over campus!" says a note from Food Services. "We will train suitable candidates and offer competitive wages to those with experience in the following areas:

  • Front Line Customer Service;
  • Food Preparation;
  • Dishwasher;
  • Driver (G Class Licence);
  • Catering Wait Staff;
  • Cashier.

Applicants can bring their résumés and have on-the-spot interviews with hiring managers. Contact or visit the Food Services website for more information.

UW A Cappella Club logo.The UW A Cappella Club's Spring 2017 end-of-term concerts will take place on Friday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts in Modern Languages. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Advanced ticket prices are $9 until after July 12, when they will be selling for $10. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door the day of the concerts.

Link of the day

World Population Day

When and where

WISE Public Lecture Series, "Self Dependency in Remote Communities: Food, Energy, Future." Tuesday, July 11, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., CPH 3681.

Getting a US Work Permit, July 11, 1:00 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 2218.

Grammar Studio Series, Tuesday, July 11, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Science 101, Wednesday, July 12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The University Club presents Christmas in July, Wednesday, July 12, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

PhD seminar, Artificial intelligence and machine learning, “Sample-efficient learning of mixtures,” Hassan Ashtiani, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, July 12, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 3317.

Eco-Summit: Building Foundations, Wednesday, July 12, 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Alumni Hall.

Coping Skills Seminar: Cultivating Resiliency, Wednesday, July 12, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Information Session for Graduating Students -undergraduate and graduate students only, July 12, 4:30 p.m., TBD.

Velocity Start: The Startup Rollercoaster, “Panel of entrepreneurs talking about the mistakes made during the startup journey,” Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 13, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

Information Session for Graduating Students -undergraduate and graduate students only, July 13, 11:30 a.m., TBD

Interviews: Proving Your Skills, July 13, 12:30 p.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208

Grammar Studio Series, Thursday, July 13, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training, Thursday, July 13, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Counselling Services.

Work Search Strategies, Friday, July 14, 10:30 a.m., TC - William M. Tatham Centre room 1208.

Understanding and Overcoming Depression and Anxiety, UW Recreation Committee, Friday, July 14, 2017, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Conrad Grebel Concert – University Choir, “Island Music,” Saturday, July 15, 7:30 p.m., Cedars Worship Centre, Waterloo.

The Hymn Society Annual Conference 2017, Sunday, July 16 to Thursday, July 20, Conrad Grebel University College.

Arts 101, Monday, July 17, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Test Preparation & Test Anxiety, Monday, July 17, 3:00 p.m., SCH 108A.

Conversation Café, Monday, July 17, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., SCH 219.

Weight Watchers at Waterloo Summer Session info and sign-up, Tuesday, July 18, 12:00 p.m., HH 373. Contact for more information.

Coping Skills Seminar – Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 18, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Calming the Panic: Practical Skills to Reduce Anxiety, Wednesday, July 19, 2:30 p.m., Counselling Services.

Organize your time for midterms and exams, Wednesday, July 19, 4:30 p.m., SCH 108A.

Banting postdoctoral fellowship final application deadline at Waterloo, Wednesday, July 19, 8:00 p.m.

Math 101, Thursday, July 20, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium.

Velocity Fund Finals, “20 startups compete for $125,000,” Thursday, July 20, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall.

PhD seminarDeep active learning for dialogue generation,” Nabiha Asghar, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, July 21, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., DC 2306C.

NEW - Waterloop Pod Launch event, Friday, July 21, 3:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

NEW - UW A Cappella Club end of term concerts, Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22, 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Conrad Grebel Concert, Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, July 23, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

The University Club presents Lobsterlicious, Monday, July 24 to Friday, July 28, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Conversation Café, Monday, July 24, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., SCH 219.

Getting Published for Grad Students, Wednesday, July 26, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Exploring Your Personality Type: (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), Wednesday, July 26, 12:00 p.m., TC 1113.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Making security sustainable,” Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge, Wednesday, July 26, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Social Impact Showcase, Thursday, July 27, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., St. Paul's Alumni Hall. All welcome! Register here.

Conrad Grebel Peace Camp, Monday, July 31 to Friday, August 4.

Conversation Café, Monday, July 31, 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., SCH 219.

Employee-Explore your personality type: Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Wednesday, August 2, TC 1113 - Please note, you must sign up for the session on July 26 as this is a follow up session to that one.

PhD oral defences

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Matthew Didomizio, "Experimental Study of Thermal Degradation of Construction Assemblies in Compartment Fires." Supervisor, Elizabeth Weckman. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Monday, July 17, 1:00 p.m., E5 3052.

Pure Mathematics. Adam Dor On, "Techniques in Operator Algebras: Classification, Dilation and Non-Commutative Boundary Theory." Supervisor, Kenneth Davidson. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Monday, July 17, 1:30 p.m., MC 2009.

Physics & Astronomy. Yasaman Yazdi, "Entanglement Entropy of Scalar Fields in Causal Set Theory." Supervisors, Niayesh Afshordi, Rafael Sorkin. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Monday, July 17, 2:00 p.m., PHY 352.

Psychology. Brandon Ralph, "Media multitasking and performance on attentionally-demanding tasks." Supervisor, Daniel Smilek. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Wednesday, July 19, 10:00 a.m., PAS 3026.