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Thursday, September 14, 2017

WIS talks disruption, reinvention, and revolution

The WIS opening reception at Laurier's Lazaridis Hall.

The opening reception for the Waterloo Innovation Summit took place in the atrium at Lazaridis Hall, which opened in May 2017 at Wilfrid Laurier University. 200 global leaders attended the welcome reception.

The Waterloo Innovation Summit officially kicks off this morning.

WIS Conference Co-Chairs open the Waterloo Innovation Summit.Conference co-chairs Amanda Lang and Michael Serbinis gave opening remarks in the Humanities Theatre, followed by a welcome address by President Feridun Hamdullahpur, who brought greetings on behalf of the University of Waterloo to the summit delegates.

Jared Cohen's keynote address began at 9:00 a.m. Cohen is the founder of Google Ideas and president of Jigsaw. Cohen's address is entitled "The Disruption Imperative." The keynote will be followed by a Q&A session.

Following the morning's keynote will be a panel discussion, "Disruption and Adaptation: The Microsoft Imperative" featuring Mary-Ellen Anderson of Microsoft Canada and Sam Pasulpalak, co-founder and CEO of Maluuba, a Waterloo startup acquired by Microsoft this year.

Mike Lazaridis, founder of BlackBerry and the University of Waterloo's Chancellor Emeritus, will then give a presentation entitled "The Quantum Valley: Canada's Bold Strategy to Capitalize on the Second Quantum Revolution."

Following a Q&A session, electronic music pioneer and entrepreneur Thomas Dolby will deliver an audio-visual presentation, "Adaptation as Reinvention: The Case for Creative Disruption."

In the afternoon, cyborg anthropologist Amber Case will ask the question "Can Society Adapt in the Face of Smart Machines?" Case's presentation will be followed by a Q&A session featuring futurist Nikolas Badminton and Waterloo professor Heather Douglas.

Other afternoon panel discussions include "Corporate Adaptation: How Disruptive Technology Will Influence Society" featuring Philip Poulidis and Cindy Fagen, and "Dyson: Next Generation Innovation?" featuring Jenna Blanton, Joylon Bugg, and Alroy Almeida.

Later in the afternoon, audience members will enjoy a special Velocity Start-Up Pitch Competition emceed by Velocity Director Jay Shah. Student start-ups will pitch to a panel of judges including Leah Carr, director of, Eva Lau, managing partner and co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, and David Stein, manager partner at Leaders Fund.

Delegates will then depart the Humanities Theatre for a networking reception in the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.

Follow along on social media with the hashtag #WINS17 and check the Waterloo Innovation Summit website for real-time updates and recaps of the signature events. You can also download the official WINS17 app from the App StoreGoogle Play, or from CrowdCompass.

The Waterloo Innovation Summit reconvenes tomorrow morning at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Top photograph by Light Imaging.

Photograph of this morning's WIS opening address by Tobi Day-Hamilton via Twitter.

HeForShe Writing Contest back for a second year

The HeForShe Writing Contest logo, featuring a pencil inside an open book.

As part of the commitment to the UN Women’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, the University of Waterloo has has opened submissions for the second annual HeForShe Writing Contest.

Students in a coffee shop."Gender equality calls for all of our voices and all of our stories," says a statement on the contest site. "To achieve lasting change, we must connect experiences of gender to a diverse understanding of equity in the Waterloo community and in our world."

There were 65 entries in the inaugural 2016 writing competition.

"Everyone in the University of Waterloo community—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—are invited to share their stories, real or imagined, about building a better and more equitable world."

The theme for the 2017-2018 contest is Intersections. Participants are asked to consider how gender equity fits into the larger equity story. Where are the overlaps and connections between gender and race, ethnicity, age, ability, class, faith, and/or sexuality? How do the perspectives of gender equity connect to the goal of equality for all people? Can working towards gender equity help to advance equity conversations more broadly?

The contest is open to all Waterloo students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Submissions must not have been previously published. Pieces submitted as part of course work will be accepted.

Submissions should fall into one of three broad categories:

  • Fiction;
  • Creative non-fiction; and
  • Poetry.

Entrants may submit more than one entry, but each entry must be no longer than 5,000 words. Check the submission guidelines page for more details and instructions on how to submit an entry.

There will be prizes awarded for the top submission in the poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction categories. Selected submissions will also be included in a special University of Waterloo anthology on gender equity that will be published on March 8, 2018 - International Women's Day.

HeForShe logoThrough poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, the contest organizers are welcoming reflections on your past, your hopes, dreams, and directions for the future. "When gender equity is connected to the dream of equality for everyone, how is our world made better?"

The contest is presented by the Writing and Communication Centre and the Book Store as part of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 campaign.

Submissions are due by October 27, 2017.

For more information, check out the HeForShe Writing Contest website.

New Registrars Office website supports staff and faculty

The Registrar’s Office (RO) has launched a new website: Registrar Resources for Staff and Faculty. The site is accessible only via login with an employee userid.

The purpose of the new website is to document RO information, processes, and communications relevant to staff and faculty. The content will continue to expand but will initially include:

  • INC grade process and INC Grade Form (new, effective September 2017)
  • Mass email communication schedule (from RO to undergraduate students)
  • List of religious dates that may warrant accommodation
  • Sign-up for our new newsletter to debut in October

Some staff- and faculty-related content has also been moved from existing websites; the RO communications team encourages you to review the site and update any applicable links and bookmarks.

Questions about the site can be directed to Danielle Jeanneault.

Problem Pitch Competition applications open

Problem Pitch logo - a series of P's that look like question marks.

Problem Pitch Competition applications are now open.

The Problem Pitch Competition invites teams of up to four students to choose an important industry problem, and thoroughly research it to understand its history, scope, and impact, before pitching the findings to a panel of judges on October 17, to compete for a share of $7,500 in grant funding.

The 1st place team will demonstrate the best understanding of an important problem, and will win $5,000 to be used to fund R&D for a venture that solves the problem identified. The 2nd place team will win $2,500, and the audience will decide which team wins the 3rd place People’s Choice Award!

Applications are now open and will close on Tuesday, September 26. Apply now!

The Problem Pitch Competition is a collaboration between Velocity, and the Problem Lab. 

Science in the Square and other notes

Some of the University of Waterloo’s brightest minds are bringing their science to the square this weekend as part of Open Streets in Uptown Waterloo. From e-bikes to identity, find out how environmental research impacts your daily life, with an exciting interactive discussion.

Join the Faculty of Environment on Sunday September 17 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Waterloo Public Square (NODE #5). The free event, modeled after the popular SoapboxScience program in the UK, and organized by the School of Planning's Carrie Mitchell, is a partnership with Open Streets and the HeforShe.

“All too often science is only communicated to other scientists, yet the work being done at Waterloo is so relevant to our community," says Carrie Mitchell. "This is an opportunity for everyone to get to know our scientists and interact with them on critical environmental issues that impact our lives. “We see science under attack around the world, including here in Canada. This all-female panel is an inspiring example of what science looks like today.”

Check the Faculty of Environment's news article on Science in the Square for a listing of the female faculty members and PhD candidates participating in the event. Follow #ScienceintheSquare on Twitter and Instagram for information leading up to the event, and to share during the discussion. 

Changing the Historical Narrative sign ceremony.

"In 2005, Conrad Grebel University College created a garden beneath a black walnut tree that marked the 200th anniversary of a land purchase along the Grand River by Mennonite settlers from Pennsylvania," says a statement from Conrad Grebel. "As we continue to educate ourselves about injustice towards Indigenous peoples and recognize their history on this land where Conrad Grebel University College now sits, we acknowledge the need to change the historical narratives of Mennonite settlement in the region. On September 22 at noon, we invite you to join Grebel and the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre for a short ceremony to unveil a new plaque to signal our ongoing journey together to acknowledge shared and unshared histories. The ceremony will be held in Grebel’s south gardens."

Link of the day


When and where

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

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

Understanding our brand, Thursday, September 14, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., EC5 1111.

Information Session for Graduating Students, Thursday, September, 14, 11:30 a.m., STC 0060.

Time to Crush Your Coding and Dominate Your Data, Presented by Facebook, Thursday, September 14, 5:00 p.m., DC 1350.

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

Knowledge Integration seminar: “How does your city make you feel? A transdisciplinary exploration into how the built environment impacts mental health”, featuring Robin Mazumder, PhD candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience, Friday, September 15, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

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

Doors Open Waterloo Region: Science Teaching Complex tours, lectures, and open houseSaturday, September 16, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Résumé Writing Tutorial, Saturday, September 16, 12:00 p.m.,  DWE 3522.

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.

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

Science in the Square, Sunday, September 17, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Public Square.

NEW - Blind Date with a Science Book, Monday, September 18 to Sunday, September 24, Davis Centre Library.

NEW - E-health literacy information session, Monday September 18, 10:00 a.m., DC 1301.

University Senate meeting, Monday, September 18, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

WatRISQ seminar featuring Masaaki Kijima, Professor, Financial Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, “On the Market Price of Liquidity Risk and Illiquidity Index,” Monday, September 18, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Leather Jacket Day at the Waterloo Store, Wednesday, September 20, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Waterloo Store, SCH.

University Club Welcome Back Bar-B-Que, Wednesday, September 20, 11:30 a.m., University Club.

Noon Hour Concerts: A Journey to Romantic Vienna, Wednesday, September 20, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

NEW - Seminar, “Distances between languages: algorithms and descriptional complexity,” Timothy Ng, postdoctoral fellow, September 20, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

NEW - Science Café, Wednesday September 20, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., Grad House. Registration required.

Working with our brand guidelines, Thursday, September 21, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Friday, September 22, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., NH 3318. Please register - seating is limited.

NEW - Changing the Historical Narrative: A sign ceremony, Friday, September 22, 12:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College garden.

New Faculty & Family Welcome Dinner, Friday, September 22, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., University Club. Please register by September 14.

School of Planning Induction Ceremony, Saturday, September 23, reception at 9:30 a.m., EV3 atrium, ceremony at 11:00 a.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

St. Paul’s Pow Wow in the Park, Saturday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Park near the bandshell.

Battle of Waterloo Warriors Football vs. Laurier, Staff and Faculty Appreciation Day, Saturday September 23, 1:00 p.m., Warrior Field.

NEW - Problem Pitch Competition applications close, “Apply to pitch important industry problems for a share of $7,500,” Tuesday, September 26, 11:59 p.m.

Retirement celebration for Lorna Kropf, Tuesday, September 26, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., QNC 2101. RSVP.

2017 Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Service Lecture featuring Patrick Meier, PhD, "Humanitarian Robots in Action," Wednesday, September 27, CIGI auditorium.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Women and Violence in Kashmir, Wednesday, September 27, 4:00 p.m., MC 5479.

NEW - Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem?, Wednesday, September 27, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor

2017/2018 Medieval Lecture Series featuring Karen Beck, Manager Historical and Special Collections, Harvard Law Library, "Digitizing Early Manuscripts at the Harvard Law Library," Thursday, September 28, reception at 4:30 p.m., SJ2, talk to follow, SJ2-2002.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Susan A. Murphy, "Challenges in Developing Learning Algorithms to Personalize Treatment in Real Time", Thursday, September 28, 4:00 p.m., MC 4021.

Waterloo Arts Distinguished Lecture in Economics featuring Debraj Ray, Silver Professor, Faculty of Arts Sciences, and Professor of Economics at New York University, "Uneven growth and social conflict," Thursday, September 28, 4:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Reunion 2017, Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group seminar featuring Dr. Mohammed S. Razzaque, MBBS, PhD, Department of Oral Health Policy & Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Pathology, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA, "Endocrine regulation of phosphate homeostasis,” Friday, September 29, 1:00 p.m., EC4-2101a.

Making the Most of Your Mid-career Years – for recently tenured/continuing faculty, Friday, September 29, 8:45 a.m., EIT 3142. Registration required.

Further Education Boot Camp, Saturday, September 30, 2017, William M. Tatham Centre.

Applied Health Sciences Fun Run, Saturday, September 30, 8:30 a.m., AHS Expansion Building.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Abdul Kadhim Hayawi, "Cost Analysis of Query-Anonymity on the Internet of Things." Supervisor, Pin-Han Ho. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, September 15, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Ahmed Abdel Aziz, "MEMS Switches Implemented in Different Technologies for RF Applications." Supervisor, Raafat Mansour. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Friday, September 15, 2:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Chemistry. Nathaly Reyes-Garces, "Solid Phase Microextraction as a Sample Preparation Tool for Targeted and Untargeted Analysis of Biological Matrices." Supervisor, Janusz Pawliszyn. On deposi in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Tuesday, September 19, 3:00 p.m., C2 361.

Patricija Marjan, "Biological responses in rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) to changes in municipal wastewater quality in the Grand River." Supervisors, Mark Servos, Deborah MacLatchy. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Thursday, September 21, 9:00 a.m., B1 266.