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Friday, August 18, 2017

The Workday project is underway

Employees working together on a tablet.

A message from Human Resources and Information Systems & Technology

The University is partnering with Workday to provide campus with a user-friendly and intuitively designed human resources (HR) management system. Among other benefits, the system will facilitate a transition to fewer paper processes and allow employees HR self-service on any device. Improved service and client experience will be at the forefront of the Workday implementation.

The project team has been engaged with Workday training and workshops with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), our implementation partner, to discuss the University’s requirements. The UWaterloo team’s knowledge of current processes and pain points, much of which was learned through the “Voice of Campus” workshops, combined with PwC’s knowledge of best practices for higher education will allow us to uniquely configure Workday so that it best serves Waterloo employees and managers.

In the next few weeks, data conversion and planning for Workday integrations with other systems will continue. The project team will be reaching out to campus partners to plan for interface work and define requirements. A prototype of the system will be tested and validated with campus stakeholders. Collaboration with campus remains a top priority of this project.

A new Workday website has also been launched. The site will be continually updated with Workday information. Please visit to learn more about Workday or to submit questions and feedback. The Workday team looks forward to hearing from you!

Optometry professor has safe eclipse viewing advice

Professor Ralph Chou views an eclipse in 2008 with proper equipment.

by Peter Stirling

On Monday, August 21, the U.S. will see its first full solar eclipse spanning from coast to coast in 99 years, and the Optometric community has been actively working to raise awareness about the potential retinal damage that can happen without using safe techniques to view and photograph the eclipse.

Dr. Ralph Chou, Professor Emeritus at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, has been at the forefront of answering questions about eclipse viewing safety for news outlets across the continent. Beyond his career in Vision Science, Dr. Chou is an astronomer and eclipse chaser. He has also been part of a campaign by the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Ophthalmology to raise awareness about the dangers of viewing or photographing the eclipse without proper glasses or filters.

“It only takes a brief amount of time for the sun to damage the retina if a person views an eclipse directly. The injury is painless and its effects on vision do not become noticeable until several hours after the retina is injured,” said Chou.

Even if the sun is between 80 to 97 per cent covered, viewers still aren’t safe without eye protection designed for this purpose. Those planning on viewing the solar eclipse through a binocular or telescope are also still at risk.

“There is a much higher risk when using binoculars or telescopes (without appropriate filters) because your eye is then not only exposed to visible light, but also concentrated infrared light,” said Chou.

Watch this video to see how he has perfected his technique over the years.

There's still time to volunteer for New Student Transition

Student volunteers at Orientation.

Don’t forget to sign-up to help welcome the new incoming students of fall 2017. There are several ways to get involved:

Anyone with questions is invited to contact the Student Success Office at

Link of the day

75 years ago: The Dieppe Raid

When and where

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. 

IQC special seminar, "Chris Ferrie: Quantum Physics for Babies," Friday, August 18, 1:00 p.m., Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, Room 1502. Free registration.

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.

Computer Science seminar, “Network heartbeat traffic characterization,” Carey Williamson, University of Calgary, Monday, August 21, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1331.

Retirement reception for Sgt. Peter Speek, Tuesday, August 22, 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall. RSVP to Alan Binns at

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

PhD Seminar featuring Kathryn Jastremski, Thursday August 24, 1:30 p.m., EV2-2022.

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

PhD seminar, “Projection free rank-drop steps,” Edward Cheung, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, August 31, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DC 2310.

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.

NEW – UWaterloo Music Ensembles auditions 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.

NEW - Writing Centre presents STEM Lab Reports: improve your lab report writing, Tuesday, September 12, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

NEW - Writing and Communication Centre presents Getting it done: Productive writing strategies for big projects, Wednesday, September 13, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

NEW - GTFO: Film Screening and Discussion, Wednesday, September 13, 4:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Waterloo Innovation Summit - Hacking the Future, Thursday, September 14 and Friday, September 15.

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.

NEW - Doors Open Waterloo Region, Saturday, September 16. 

NEW - Doors Open: Free Talk- 60 Years at Waterloo: Perspectives of a University from a Corn Field to Architectural Traditions, Saturday, September 16, 1:00 p.m., Library Flex Lab.

NEW - Doors Open Waterloo Region Free Talk: Attractors, Saturday, September 16, 2:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.