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Thursday, August 10, 2017


Hamdullahpur: "smart is increasingly replacing cheap as the new competitive advantage"

President Feridun Hamdullahpur has contributed to the ongoing discussion on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the future of Canada's economy with an op-ed in the Globe and Mail Report on Business.

The editorial, entitled "With NAFTA, we need to advance our thinking about manufacturing," outlines how Canadians must work together, embrace a strategy of collaboration, strengthen non-US trade relationships and adopt new advanced manufacturing technology.

The editorial was published on Sunday, August 6.

Direct deposit self-service functionality for employees

The HR Team is pleased to share details of the re-launch of functionality that allows employees to add or update their direct deposit bank account information on-line through myHRinfo self-service. 

A summary of the new functionality is outlined below:

  • Employees can complete their direct deposit bank account information on-line through self-service in myHRinfo.
  • In order to update bank account information, users must access myHRinfo from a University network connection (wired or wireless).  If this is not possible, a Personal Information Form can be completed and submitted to HR for processing. 

Navigation to the tool in myHRinfo is as follows: Self-Service> Payroll and Compensation> Direct Deposit. 

Links to myHRinfo and user instructions are available on the HR website. Paper forms will still be accepted from those without access to a computer. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact hrhelp@uwaterloo.ca or call HR at 519-888-4567 ext. 35935.

Changing the world through persuasive games

Rita Orji in the Davis Centre.

This is an excerpt of an article originally posted on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.

For Rita Orji, a computer scientist and Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, her desire to help others crystallized when she saw firsthand how the HIV/AIDS pandemic was devastating communities in Africa.

“I grew up in Nigeria, and during that time many people believed that HIV/AIDS was a fallacy, that the disease didn’t exist,” she recounted. “Against this backdrop was the belief that contraceptive use was prohibited by faith. It was a battle between culture and religion colliding with the reality of many people dying from a preventable disease. It was then I realized I wanted to combine my training in computer science with my passion for helping people to change things for the better.”

Orji is leveraging the appeal and popularity of persuasive computer games to do just that.

Persuasive games, also called behavioural change systems, are interactive computer applications that are designed to motivate people to change their behaviour in ways that benefit them, their community or both. The innovative twist is that Orji and her colleagues at The Games Institute — Professors Chrysanne Di Marco at the School of Computer Science and Lennart Nacke in the Department of Drama and Speech Communication — have drawn from the literature on personality types to investigate how to design interactive systems that best motivate users.

“Personalizing behaviour change systems is key to sustaining motivation and behaviour change. A person’s personality type plays a major role in the persuasiveness of an interactive system and hence an important dimension for personalization,” she explained. “For example, a persuasive approach that works well for someone who’s extroverted and outgoing may demotivate a person who’s introverted and naturally more reserved.”

Orji and her colleagues consider such personality differences and couple them to the principal of social influence — using the persuasive power of other people — to tailor games that have the best chance of influencing behaviours in a desirable manner.

Read the rest of the article on the School of Computer Science website.

Link of the day

Can techno tourism save Detroit?

When and where

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

Stress Away – Stress Relief event, Thursday, August 10, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC quad.

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 2310.

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

Ontario Mennonite Music CampSunday, August 13 to Friday, August 25, Conrad Grebel University College. 

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.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Tuesday, September 5, 12:30 p.m., NH 3318. Please register- Seating is limited.

WaterTalk: Data instead of concrete? Exploring the potential of digitalization in urban drainage, featuring Professor Max Maurer, Tuesday, September 5, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

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.

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

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Bonghun Shin, "Elastography for Portable Ultrasound." Supervisors Kyock Ju Kwon, Soo Jeon. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Thursday, August 10, 3:00 p.m., E5 3006.

Chemical Engineering. Gaopeng Jiang, "Advanced Non-Precious Metal Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Electrochemical Energy System." Supervisor, Zhongwei Chen. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, August 11, 9:00 a.m., E6 2022.

Physics & Astronomy. Mohamad Shalaby, "Cosmological bean plasma instabilities." Supervisors, Avery Broderick, Niayesh Afshordi. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Friday, August 11, 1:00 p.m., PHY 352.

Applied Mathematics. Zhen Wang, "Clustering Behaviour in Networks with Time Delayed, Global, Circulant Coupling." Supervisor, Sue Ann Campbell. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Monday, August 14, 10:30 a.m., MC 6460.