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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mathematician Cathy O'Neil to deliver 2018 Hagey Lecture

Cathy O'Neil.

The Hagey Lectures committee is excited to announce that Cathy O'Neil will deliver the next Hagey Lecture on February 7, 2018. Cathy O’Neil is the author of the blog and the New York Times best-selling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was a semifinalist for the National Book Award.

O'Neil earned a PhD in math from Harvard, was a postdoctoral fellow in the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quantitative analyst for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks.

The Hagey Lectures are a joint project of the Faculty Association and the Office of the President. Past lecturers include Roberta Bondar, Ursula Franklin, David Suzuki, and Margaret Atwood.

More details about the talk will be available on the Hagey Lectures website in the near future.

Recapping Reunion 2017

Waterloo alumni in an Alumni tent at Reunion 2017.

By Alumni Relations

Reunion 2017 was an amazing success with 4,600 attendees joining in on the festivities.

This year’s Reunion joined the University of Waterloo’s milestone as it celebrates 60 years of innovation and we are thrilled to have seen so many come out and celebrate with us. You are an important part of the University of Waterloo story and help set a course for the next 60 years.

Reunion welcomed a large audience of not only alumni but also students, faculty, staff and community members. Trivia Night at the Bomber kicked off the weekend as a pre-party for the 60th Anniversary Reunion Concert with A Tribe Called Red on Friday night. Saturday featured exciting events including a spirited AHS Fun Run with participants dressed in their most innovative running gear and costumes, faculty events with exhibits and interactive tours, cheering on the Warriors at the Alumni VIP Tent, and The President’s Milestone Luncheon with President and Vice-Chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur, offering attendees the opportunity to relive their greatest university memories and celebrate their milestone years.

A special thank you is extended to our campus partners and volunteers. They were instrumental in making our events another success. Thank you for all that you do.   

We look forward to seeing everyone out next year on Saturday, September 22, 2018 to celebrate our next Reunion. Mark your calendars now and start planning your reunions!

For a full recap of the day, visit the Reunion Storify and check out our photos on Facebook.

Professional School & Post-degree Day coming to SLC

The Centre for Career Action (CCA)’s annual Professional School & Post-degree (PPD) Day will take place on October 26 in the Student Life Centre Great Hall and Multi-Purpose Room. This event takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will focus on education, health, pharmacy, optometry, social work, college post-degree/certificate programs, MBA, law, engineering/technologies, veterinary and graduate programs.

Representatives from more than 90 institutions will interact with students and alumni to answer questions about career options, graduate school admission requirements, program specifics and application procedures and deadlines.

CCA also offers individual appointments to provide information about the grad/professional school application process, review of applications and mock grad/professional school interviews on an ongoing basis. Students, alumni and staff can book their appointments through the CCA website. 

For more information about PPD Day, please contact Gillian McKenzie-Yorke at

Remembering Maria Bandura

Co-operative Education and Career Action is mourning the loss of Maria Bandura, who died on September 21.

Maria Bandura.After working casually for CECA for three years, Bandura joined the department full-time in January 2012 and worked as a Service Representative in CECA, staffing the information desk inside the Tatham Centre. "During that time, Maria proved to be consistently dedicated, hardworking, and helpful to both students/employers and colleagues," says a statement by her colleagues. "She was not only a mother to her family, but a work mother to our team as well – always remembering birthdays, celebrating our small victories, and so thoughtful in little ways every day. Maria’s caring and gentle nature was a blessing to her friends and colleagues. Her quiet sense of humor and her willingness to share her life is missed by all."   

Maria is survived by her spouse Patrick and her four children Tim, Lesia, Zac, and Catherine.

"Maria was one person who genuinely cared about the students she served and the staff that she worked with," writes another colleague. "I was encouraged by her kindness on days when I felt low and Maria would lift my heart and would make me smile with a story she would share about her kids! She had an unbeguiling way of life."

Wednesday's notes

There will be a utility shutdown in the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre on Sunday, October 15 from 6:00 a.m. to 12:01 p.m. affecting the entire building. Cold water, hot water, and the sprinkler system will all be out of commission as maintenance is carried out.

The University Club will be hosting Convocation lunches for the Fall 2017 Convocation ceremonies on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Colleagues of four Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering professors—Grzegorz Glinka, Robert Varin, David Weckman and John Wright—will be celebrating their upcoming retirements at a reception in the Columbia Room at Fed Hall on Thursday, November 2. RSVP to Jen Skinner by sending an email to

Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Redfin, PWC, DRI Capital, 8VC, Spin Master Ltd. , Traderev, Sensibill, PSP Investments, AdeptMind Inc., Axon, Hootsuite, League Inc., McKesson Canada, BlackBerry Limited, Stripe, TJX Canada, Rubikloud Technologies and ArcelorMittal Defasco. Visit the employer information sessions calendar for more details.

Human Resources has announced the following employee retirements, effective September 1, 2017:

  • Janet Walker, who started at Waterloo in September 2002, retired as Food Services Assistant and Cook at Conrad Grebel University College;
  • Nicolette Carlan, who joined the University in March 2010, retired as Project Co-ordinator in the School of Public Health and Health Systems;
  • Phyllis Diebolt, who began working at Waterloo in February 1988, retired as AMS Prep/Tritium Technician/Office Assistant in Earth and Environmental Sciences/Environmental Isotope Lab;

  • Heather Dorken, who started at the University in July 1998, retired as Undergraduate Advisor and Administrative Assistant in Geography and Environmental Management;

  • Shirley Fraser, who joined the University in August 1998, retired as Library Associate, IBIS and Resource Sharing in the University Library;

  • Pam Waechter, who started at Waterloo in August 1980, retired as Career Advisor in the Centre for Career Action;

  • Judi Jewinski, who began working at the University in September 1977, retired as Administrative Dean at Renison University;

  • Marg Stephenson, who joined Waterloo in May 1990, retired as Manager, Enterprise Systems in IST;

  • Joanne Hall, who started at the University in August 1988, retired as Manager, Records in Advancement;

  • Donald Mousseau, who began working at Waterloo in May 2000, retired as Stationary Engineering in Plant Operations;

  • Kelly Boucher, who joined the University in May 2007, retired as Student Advisor in CECA; and

  • Linda Youngblut, who started her career at Waterloo in October 1977 and retired as Undergraduate Advisor and Program Administrator in the School of Planning.

Human Resources also announced the following faculty retirements, effective September 1, 2017:

  • Dr. Elisabeth Daub, who started at Waterloo in July 2005, retired as Continuing Lecturer in Chemistry;
  • Dr. Murray Turnour, who joined the University in February 2012, retired as IOBP Director in the School of Optometry and Vision Science;
  • Professor David Weckman, who started at Waterloo in May 1983 as Assistant Professor and retired as Professor in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering; and
  • Professor Paula Smith, who joined the University in September 2007 and retired as Definite Term Lecturer in the Office of the Dean of Mathematics;

Congratulations to all!

Link of the day

International Day of the Girl

When and where

Fall Break study days, Tuesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 11.

Academic Career Conference, Wednesday, October 11, 8:30 a.m., Science Teaching Complex - STC (bottom floor).

WatCACE Research Seminar, "Sustainable Partnerships and Employer Perspectives in Work-integrated Learning," Wednesday, October 11, 3:00 p.m., TC 2218. Please register.

New Faculty Meet & Greet at the Grad House, October 11, 3:30 p.m, upstairs at the Grad House.

NEW - Naismith Basketball Tournament, Thursday October 12 to Saturday October 14, PAC Main Gym

Fall Makeup Days, Thursday, October 12 - classes will run on a Tuesday schedule; and Friday, October 13 - classes will run on a Wednesday schedule. 

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Thursday, October 12, 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please register - Seating is limited.

Distinguished Lecture Series, “Communication-avoiding algorithms for linear algebra and beyond,” James Demmel, Computer Science Division and Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, Thursday, October 12, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

The Department of Music presents Noon Hour Concerts: The Three Tenors(no, not those three tenors) Friday, October 13, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

PhD seminar in formal methods, “Model slicing,” Sandy Beidu, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, October 13, 1:00 p.m., DC 2310.

Make Networking Count, Friday, October 13, 1:30 p.m., TC 1208.

PhD seminar, “WeBike retrospective: results and lessons learned from a multi-year e-bike study,” Christian Gorenflo, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, October 13, 1:30 p.m., DC 1331.

Lectures in Catholic Experience series featuring Anton Koekemoer, PhD, Astrophysicist, Hubble Space Telescope, “Science and Faith in Harmony: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God,” Friday, October 13, 7:30 p.m., Vanstone Lecture Hall, St. Jerome’s University Academic Centre. Please register.

Velocity Fund $25K and $5K applications open, Monday, October 16.

Data systems seminar, “Universal information extraction,” Heng Ji, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Monday, October 16, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

University Senate meeting, Monday, October 16, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Keeping Well at Work Day, Tuesday, October 17. Please register by Tuesday, October 10.

Earning a Degree with ADHD: A unique event about succeeding at university and life with comedian Rick Green, Tuesday, October 17, 4:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

Pizza and a movie: “The internet’s own boy: The story of Aaron Swartz,” Tuesday, October 17, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

Algorithms and complexity seminar, “The art gallery problem is $\exists \mathbb{R}$-complete,” Tillmann Miltzow, Université libre de Bruxelles, Wednesday, October 18, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Problem Pitch Competition, Tuesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Medieval Lecture Series featuring Professor Genevieve Dumas, Université de Sherbrooke,"Waterworks in Medieval Montpelier," Wednesday, October 18, 4:30 p.m., SJ2-2007, St. Jerome's University.

Velocity Start: Follow the Money,  Wednesday, October 18, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2ndFloor.

Office of Research United Way Bake Sale, Friday, October 20, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or while supplies last, Main Lobby, East Campus 5.

PhD seminar, “Energy system control with deep neural networks,” Fiodar Kazhamiaka, PhD candidate, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, October 20, 1:30 p.m., DC 1331.

Fall 2017 Convocation, Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, Physical Activities Complex.

NEW - Warriors Women's Hockey Home Opener vs. UOIT, Saturday October 21, 2:30 p.m., CIF Arena.

NEW - Mental Health Wellness Day, Tuesday, October 24.

Interviews: preparing for questions, Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC 1208.

NEW - WaterTalk: The importance of ecosystem-based ecotoxicology for advancing environmental policy, with special reference to Canadian Oil Sands development, presented by professor Diane Orihel, Tuesday, October 24, 3:00 p.m., EIT 1015

Department of Music presents Noon Hour Concerts: Songs For My Mother, Wednesday, October 25, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Dr. Vincent Billock, The Ohio State University, “Visual psychophysics and theoretical neuroscience,” Wednesday, October 25, 4:30 p.m., OPT 347.

Velocity Start: Setup Your Business Like A Pro, “Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

NEW - WaterTalk: From the Exxon Valdez oil spill to the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill: A story of economic damages from major environmental contamination events, presented by professor Kevin Boyle, Thursday, October 26, 2:30 p.m., QNC 0101/1103A.

FAUW and the Waterloo Way – 60 Years of Collegial Governance: The Faculty Association’s 60th Anniversary Celebration, Thursday, October 26, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407. 

Retirement celebration for Manfred Grisebach, Thursday, October 26, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Federation Hall. RSVP to Michelle Mank -

Research Talks Series, "Global Assessment of Payments for Watershed Services" featuring Economics Professor Roy Brouwer, Friday, October 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register. Seating is limited.

NEW - Warriors Volleyball Home Opener vs. Windsor, Friday October 27, 6:00 p.m., PAC Main Gym

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Rearranging power through law and code: Deciphering the Canadian encryption debate,” Lex Gill, The Citizen Lab, Friday, October 27,  2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

NEW - Warriors Basketball Home Opener, Staff and Faculty Appreciation, Big Ticket and Donor Appreciation Day vs. Western, Saturday October 28, 12:00 p.m., PAC Main Gym.

Distinguished Lecture Series, “Data science: Is it real?” Jeff Ullman, Stanford University, Monday, October 30, 3:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday, October 31, 1:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable on the UWaterloo Talent Acquisition System (iCIMS):

  • Job ID# 2017-1943 - Catering and Event Services Assistant Supervisor - Food Services, USG 5
  • Job ID# 2016-1142 - Institutional Analyst - Institutional  Analysis & Planning, USG 9-11
  • Job ID# 2017-1827 - Manager, Strategic Communications - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 11
  • Job ID# 2017-1932 - Recruitment and Marketing Coordinator - Centre Contact Lens Research, USG 6
  • Job ID# 2017-1938 - Digital Communications Officer - Dean of Math Office, USG 8

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2017-1939 - Information Technology Specialist - Arts Computing Office, USG 11-12
  • Job ID# 2017-1941 - Marketing Outreach Coordinator - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 7
  • Job ID# 2017-1928 - Student Advisor - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 8-9