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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to get involved in new student transition

A new student is welcomed to campus by a volunteer.

A message from Chris Read.

As the fall term approaches, the Waterloo community is invited to get involved in welcoming our incoming class of fall 2017 and their families.

Airport Bus Pick Up – On September 1, help welcome international students and their families at Toronto Pearson Airport by checking in students and answering questions, or welcome shuttles as they arrive on campus. Sign up online to volunteer for the Airport Bus Pick Up.

Family Welcome – On September 3 and 4, join Housing and Residences to welcome incoming students to their new homes (no heavy lifting required!) and celebrate the start of their UWaterloo career. Volunteers will greet new residents and their families in residences across campus (including the brand new residence in UWP) and welcome students to the UWaterloo family. Volunteers will receive lunch. Sign up online to volunteer for the Family Welcome event.

Orientation’s Family Send-Off – On September 3 and 4, join University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur as he formally addresses our newest students and their family members. Volunteers will socialize with students and their family members to help them feel welcome on campus. Sign up online to volunteer for Family Send-off.

If you’re unable to participate in the above events during Labour Day weekend, you can still play a role in welcoming new students:

Warrior Wayfinding – On September 7 and 8, join fellow staff, faculty, and upper-year students to welcome new and returning students on the first two days of classes, answer questions, and provide directions. Participants will receive a “Here to Help” button and a t-shirt. Sign up online to volunteer for Warrior Wayfinding.

Here to Help Buttons – From September 1 to 15, all staff and faculty are invited to wear Here to Help buttons to indicate your knowledge of campus amenities, awareness of student resources, and your willingness to help a new student if they need assistance. If you do not have a button and would like to participate, please fill out the request form and the Orientation team will send you a button.

Creating a strong connection with our students from day one is an important part of building a vibrant and integrated community on campus. Your participation in these events allows our students and their families to meet the faculty and staff members that will help shape their fantastic experience at Waterloo.

Sign up to volunteer and be a part of the excitement this fall!

Urban imagineering brings public spaces to life

A park bench "yarn bombed" to look like a pair of creatures.

This article was originally posted on Waterloo Stories.

When vacant public spaces across the region turn into vibrant hubs of activity this summer thanks to $60,000 in placemaking grants from the city of Kitchener, a new website built at Waterloo is ready to track all the action.

The brain child of Troy Glover, a professor in Recreation and Leisure Studies, the website is the first step in a project to better understand the rise of urban imagineering— the act of transforming ordinary spaces into animated places of belonging.

“Urban imagineering or transformative placemaking, as it’s also called, is interesting because it’s fairly low cost and driven from the ground up,” said Glover, who coincidentally started the project several months before the grant announcement. “It has the capacity to not only change how people view a space and how they use it on a daily basis.”

From yarn bombing and street art to food trucks and festivals, transformative placemaking is not a new phenomenon —  but its recognition as an important element to fostering strong communities is.

“Placemaking allows communities or neighbourhoods that would otherwise go unnoticed to build an identity by animating that space,” said Glover. “Increasingly, city officials are coming to realize the most effective and immediate solutions to make a public space thrive are best defined by the people who use it.”

Tagging animated spaces

Built in partnership with the Geospatial Centre at the Dana Porter Library, Glover’s smartphone-friendly website lets users upload pictures of animated spaces in the community and it automatically geo-tags the location for other users to see. Users have the option of adding textual descriptions and providing insight into their interpretation of the location.

“The hope is that in addition to assisting with research, the website will act as a community resource for those looking for interesting places to check out around town this summer,” said Glover.

Those interested in taking it one step further, can opt in for an interview with Glover to further discuss the space they tagged.

Come the fall, he will use data from the website and interviews to answer a slew of questions including: How do animation initiatives represent urban life? Whose aesthetics really count? Who does the reimagining and cultural packaging? On whose terms?

Ultimately, he hopes that a better understanding of urban imagineering will lead to more resources for transformative placemaking activities across communities.

“By nature transformative placemaking is an organic activity,” said Glover. “But if we can support these initiatives with resources to reclaim and enhance public spaces, everyone benefits.”

Link of the day

75 years ago: The Battle of Guadalcanal

When and where

PhD Defense, "Free Space Quantum Key Distribution to Moving Platforms," Christopher Pugh, Tuesday, August 8, 9:30 a.m., QNC 0101.

New Faculty Teaching DaysWednesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 10.

PhD seminar, “Secure asymmetry and deployment for decoy routing systems,” Cecylia Bocovich, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, August 10, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 2568.

Ontario Mennonite Music CampWednesday, August 9 Sunday, August 13 to Friday, August 25, Conrad Grebel University College. Please note the correct date.

Biomedical Discussion Group featuring Professor Patricia Trbovich, Academic Research Lead, UHN and Assistant Professor, U of T at University Health Network and University of Toronto, "Application of Human Factors to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety," Wednesday, August 9, 10:30 a.m., EC4-2101a. Register online.

Retirement celebration for Kevin Oberle and Marg Stephenson, Wednesday, August 9, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Federation Hall. RSVP to Liz Doede -

Stargazing Party and Black Holes Lecture, Wednesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m. (lecture) to 10:30 p.m., OPT 347 and Columbia Fields 3 and 4. Register online.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Friday, August 11 to Friday, August 18.

PhD Defense, "Cosmological bean plasma instabilities," Mohamad Shalaby, Friday, August 11, 1:00 p.m., PHY 352.

PhD Defense, "Exploration of Higher-Order Quantum Interference Landscapes," Sascha Agne, Monday, August 14, 2:00 p.m., QNC 1201.

UWRC Book Club presents The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy, Wednesday, August 16, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing, Monday August 21, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Village 1 Green. Registration required to get eclipse glasses.

Deadline for students to get “Fees Arranged,” Wednesday, August 23.

10th Annual St. Paul's Golf Tournament, Friday, August 25, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Glen Eagle Golf Club.

Fall Orientation, Sunday, September 3 to Saturday, September 9.

Fall Move-in begins, Sunday, September 3.

Labour Day, most University services and buildings closed, Monday, September 4.

Co-operative work term begins, Tuesday, September 5.

Lectures begin, Thursday, September 7.

Feds Welcome Week, Monday, September 11 to Friday, September 15.

President and Senior Staff Luncheon, Monday, September 11, 12:00 p.m., Davis Centre Quad.

The Water Institute RBC Distinguished Lecture 2017 featuring Quentin Grafton, “Innovation, Incentives and Infrastructure in the Blue Economy,” Monday, September 11, 3:40 p.m., Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom, Kitchener.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., SLC lower atrium.

Deadline to submit nominations for the President's Community Impact Awards, Friday, September 15.

WaterTalk: Emerging Outcomes From a Cross-Disciplinary Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems, Friday, September 15, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

PhD oral defences

Computer Science. Mustafa Elsheikh, "Smith Normal Form over Local Rings and Related Problems." Supervisor, Mark Giesbrecht. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 9:30 a.m., DC 2310.

School of Public Health and Health Systems. Stephanie Lu, "Evaluating NGOs in International Water Development: A Case Study of H2O 4 ALL." Supervisor, Susan Elliott. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 9:30 a.m., BMH 3119.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Abhishek Raj, "Analysis of Iron Precursor Assisted Emission Reduction in Counterflow Methane Diffusion Flame." Supervisors, John Wren, Eric Croiset. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 9:30 a.m., E5 3006.

Applied Mathematics. Kexue Zhang, "Impulsive Control of Dynamical Networks." Supervisors, Xinzhi Liu, Wei-Chau Xie. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 10:00 a.m., MC 6460.

Psychology. Candice Grayson, "The Player and the Machine." Supervisor, Michael Dixon. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 10:00 a.m., MC 2009.