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Friday, October 20, 2017


115th Convocation takes place today and tomorrow

Students celebrate at the Spring 2017 convocation ceremony

The University of Waterloo's 115th Convocation will take place today and tomorrow, with more than 2,373 graduands receiving their undergraduate and graduate degrees at four ceremonies.

Today: AHS, Science, Environment and Mathematics

At 10:00 a.m. this morning, graduands from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science will cross the stage. Bearing the mace will be Professor Emeritus James Frank of the Department of Kinesiology. Julie-Anne Desrochers will sing the national anthem.

74 undergraduate, 171 master's, and 10 PhD students in Applied Health Sciences will receive degrees, as well as 314 undergraduate, 62 master's, and 22 PhD students in Science.

Dwayne Miller.Professor R.J. Dwayne Miller will receive an honorary Doctor of Science and address Convocation. Miller is Max Planck Director at the Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and University Professor at the University of Toronto. One of the world’s most prominent physical chemists, his accomplishments include creating the first “bright” electron camera to observe atoms in motion as well as an ultrafast scalpel which is revolutionizing laser surgery. He played a key role in creating the Banff Meeting on Structural Dynamics, the first biennial international conference in the field, and also founded Science Rendezvous, a celebration of science with more than 300 events at 34 institutions across Canada to raise awareness of the importance of science to society.

Paul Eagles.Professor Paul Eagles of Recreation and Leisure Studies will be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Paul Eagles’ distinguished career evolved from a BSc in biology (Waterloo), through a MSc in zoology (Guelph), and a PhD in urban and regional planning (Waterloo). He is recognized as Canada’s foremost expert on parks and protected area management, his work has been feted by all three levels of government in Canada and he has provided leadership on the world stage. Through his distinguished research and long-standing commitment to the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies he has profoundly influenced park and tourism management research, professional practice, and positively impacted quality of life and well-being of flora, fauna, and citizens worldwide.

Professor Anita Myers.Professor Anita Myers of the School of Public Health and Health Systems will be named a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Myers has a PhD in psychology from York University and joined the University of Waterloo in 1981. She was instrumental in developing both gerontology and evaluation programs in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. She was awarded the Contribution to Gerontology award by the Canadian Association for Gerontology for her research on promoting safe mobility in older adults, and for her scholarship, mentoring and service in health program evaluation she received the Canadian Evaluation Society’s award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada. She has led 15 teams of Waterloo students to the National Evaluation Case Competition finals, and led her teams to victory six times.

Ashley Anne Ross will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level and Taylor Maavara will receive it at the Doctoral level.

At 2:30 p.m., graduates from the Faculty of Environment and the Faculty of Mathematics will receive their degrees. Professor Ian Goulden of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization will bear the mace. Birgit Moscinski will sing the national anthem.

62 Environment undergraduates, 74 master's, and 2 PhD students will cross the stage along with 411 undergraduate, 101 master's, and 24 PhD students in Mathematics.

Geoff McBoyleProfessor Geoffrey McBoyle will be made an Honorary Member of the University. McBoyle spent 45 years as a professor at the University of Waterloo. Born in Scotland, he obtained his Honours BSc and PhD from the University of Aberdeen. After three years as a lecturer at University of Waikato, New Zealand, he joined Waterloo in 1969. He is an award-winning teacher, an accomplished scholar of applied climatology, and a respected and prolific administrator who served as department chair, associate dean, Faculty dean, associate vice-president (academic), and as vice-president academic and provost.

Fan Chung Graham.Fan Chung Graham will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics and will address Convocation. Graham is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at San Diego. She earned her BA from the National Taiwan University in 1970 and her MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and 1974. She has made enormous contribution in her areas of research interests including graph theory, combinatorics and algorithmic design, for which she has received many awards and honours. Before joining University of California at San Diego in 1998, she worked in Bell Laboratories and Bell Corporation and held appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Pennsylvania.

The K.D. Fryer Gold Medal will be presented to Abby Jia-Hua Hu. The K.D. Fryer medal is given in recognition of high academic standing in mathematics together with good citizenship. Hu graduated at the Spring 2017 convocation.

Jeffrey Alan Henry and Edward Eaton will receive the award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies, and Sara Ahmadian and Marisa Beck will receive it at the Doctoral level. Eaton, Ahmadian and Beck graduated at the Spring 2017 convocation.

Tomorrow: Arts, Engineering

On Saturday, October 21, there will be two ceremonies. The first, at 10:00 a.m., will see students from the Faculty of Arts receive degrees. Bearing the mace will be Professor Sheila Ager of the Department of Classical Studies. Michael Klein will sing the national anthem.

378 undergraduate, 272 master's, and 27 PhD students in Arts will receive degrees. 

Prem Watsa.Waterloo's Chancellor Emeritus V. Prem Watsa will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws. Watsa is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, a global insurance and investment management public company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India and a MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. Mr. Watsa served as Chancellor of the University of Waterloo from 2009-2015 and, for his achievements as a business leader and as a volunteer and generous philanthropist, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.

Hyder Hassan will receive the Arts Young Alumni Award.

Jacqueline Alexandra Armstrong-Gates will receive the Arts Alumni Achievement Award.

Franca Gucciardi will receive the Arts Alumni Achievement Award.

Madison Stange will receive the Alumni Gold Medal. Stange graduated at the Spring 2017 convocation.

Erin Firmani will receive the James D. Leslie Prize for outstanding performance in studies by distance education. Firmani graduated at the Spring 2017 convocation.

Sophia Chen will receive the Accounting Alumni Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Accounting, which recognizes outstanding academic performance in the Master of Accounting program.

Jeffrey David Wammes will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Doctoral level.

At 2:30 p.m. the final ceremony for the Faculty of Engineering will take place. Bearing the mace will be Associate Professor Carolyn MacGregor of the Department of Systems Design Engineering. Reinhold Schuster will sing the national anthem.

115 undergraduate, 207 master's, and 47 PhDs will receive Engineering degrees.

Sujeet Chaudhuri.Professor Sujeet Chaudhuri will be named Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Chaudhuri first joined the University of Waterloo in 1977, where he has since served as both Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. He received his MSc and PhD from the University of Manitoba, has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the National University of Singapore, and an Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. As a renowned scholar in integrated photonics and numerical electromagnetic theory, Professor Chaudhuri has held the Val O’Donovan Chair in RF/Microwaves and Photonics since 2004.

Yacov Haimes.Yacov Haimes will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering and address Convocation. Haimes is the Lawrence R. Quarles Professor of Systems and Information Engineering and Founding Director of the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems at the University of Virginia. He is globally renowned for his research in systems engineering, and leads the field in applying interdisciplinary, systems, and multiobjective decision making perspectives to risk assessment. His techniques have helped address complex challenges in several domains, including water resource management and environmental engineering. He is the recipient of many prestigious international honors, including the Norbert Weiner Award which is the top prize in systems engineering from the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society.

Robert Amelard will receive the Alumni Gold Medal For Outstanding Academic Performance in a Doctoral Program.

The Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student will go to Mohammed Nassar.

Fred Fu will receive the Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies award at the Master's level.

All ceremonies take place in the Physical Activities Complex. More information on Waterloo's 115th Convocation is available on the Registrar's Office website. 

Open Access Week runs October 23 to 29

Open Access Week logo - an open padlock.

Open Access Week runs from Monday, October to 23 Sunday, October 29. This year's theme, "Open in order to..." prompts us to think about the practical benefits of making scholarship openly available, to consider how and why open scholarship should be pursued at all levels of higher education, and to encourage discussion on how to achieve these objectives.

From October 23 to 27, the Library's Open Access working group—in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching Excellence, the Centre for Extended Learning, and Retail Services—will be hosting a series of events to highlight the challenges and opportunities that Open Access presents to researchers.

Check the Open Access Week event listings, and register for Open Access Day on October 25. If you have any questions about Open Access, contact Lauren Byl.

Waterloo in demand for eCampusOntario on-demand printing

In a time of ever-increasing costs to students, textbooks and other traditional course materials represent a significant barrier to learning. Open educational resources and open textbooks aim to reduce these costs by providing access to customizable learning resources that instructors can adopt for their classes. The online material is free to anyone with a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. However, an overwhelming majority of students still prefer to learn using printed copies, as evidenced by annual surveys conducted by the Book Store over the past several years.

Now, with a partnership between the University of Waterloo, Retail Services and eCampusOntario, people across Ontario and beyond can obtain printed copies at low costs. In April 2017, Retail Services’ printing service (New Media Services) submitted a successful proposal to become the provincial consortium’s print-on-demand partner, allowing people to purchase printed copies of open educational resource textbooks and have them shipped.

The New Media Services team within Retail Services, with its modern onsite production equipment, can print more than 600 pages per minute and is capable of binding more than 300 books per hour.

“We already do the printing on campus. It’s what we do and what we do really well,” says Madelaine Paterson, custom publishing coordinator.

The affordable print-on-demand service fits in nicely with one of Retail Services’ primary mandates: to run as a cost-recovery ancillary operation, meaning it can focus on providing services to students, staff and professors at lower costs with a strong commitment to quality. Karen Ertel, production manager for New Media Services, says she believes that commitment to students gave Waterloo the edge over off-site outsource services.

“You want to be sure you can support the student base, whereas outside companies aren’t thinking that way,” Ertel says.

Since it took over printing for eCampusOntario a few months ago, a handful of orders has already come in. New Media Services not only printed the items, but also provided tracking, shipping and back-end support so parcels landed in the buyer’s mailbox within days — not weeks or months.

Customers expect fast turnaround times once they determine they need a print resource for study purposes. That isn’t a problem for staff who have years of experience working with tight deadlines for last-minute printed material that must be on time for university courses, exams and on-campus events. Being late with important and time-sensitive documents isn’t an option.

It’s still early days for the Open Education movement, and with Open Access Week coming October 23-30, 2017, Paterson expects more people around the world will discover why making resources free online — with inexpensive print options — will be the way of the future.

“Open is a growing movement, so depending on how it takes off in the province, country and globally in the next few years, we’re already going to be ahead of the game,” she says. “Working with eCampusOntario allows us to be a leader in this area.”

Faculty and students interested in discovering open textbooks can search the open textbook library found through the eCampusOntario website.

Friday's notes

A pile of trash bags outside the Davis Centre.

"As Zero Waste Week comes to an end, remember that we can each do our part to shrink waste mountain," writes Mat Thijssen. "Properly sorting items between garbage, paper, containers, and organics where available is critical. See if you can score over 70 percent on the Sustainability Office’s Waste Week Quiz of common sorting mistakes on campus and at home!"

Next Tuesday, October 24, is Mental Health Wellness Day on campus. Check out the website to learn more about how you can help end the stigma of mental health and sign up for the Walk for Mental Health around Ring Road.

Dr. Rino Rappuoli.Dr. Rino Rappuoli, a Chief Scientist and Head External R&D at GSK Vaccines, Siena, Italy will be on campus Tuesday, October 24 to deliver the 2017 Gairdner Lecture on his pioneering genomic approach, reverse vaccinology. Dr. Rappuoli also worked on several molecules which became part of licensed vaccines. He characterized a molecule, CRM197, that today is the most widely used carrier for vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae, meningococcus and pneumococcus.

The lecture will take place in B1 271 at 4:30 p.m.

Final Independent Studies degree to be granted tomorrow

Just over a year since the formal inactivation of the Independent Studies program, the last student to receive a Bachelor of Independent Studies will cross the stage Saturday.

Charmian Zoll will receive her Bachelor of Independent Studies degree during the Faculty of Arts convocation ceremony on October 21.

Described as "a unique program for unique students," Independent Studies pioneered the notion of interdisciplinarity at the University years before the idea took root. The program emphasized individualized programs of study, giving students the opportunity to determine the goals and methods of their studies, from lab research to field work to group projects. After four terms of self-directed study, the student would write a thesis during their final year. Thesis and academic advisors were drawn from all corners of the University to support BIS students. Originally known as "integrated studies," when it was established in 1969, the program made part of the Faculty of Arts in 1986.

A group of former BIS staff will be on hand at Saturday morning's Convocation ceremony to celebrate Zoll's graduation and give a last hurrah to the program. 

Link of the day

World Statistics Day

When and where

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

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.

Convocation lunch for the Fall 2017 Convocation ceremonies, Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

50th Anniversary Earth Sciences Museum Tour, Friday, October 20, 1:00 p.m., Peter Russell Rock Garden.

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.

Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, “Building secure systems from memory enclaves,” Sergey Gorbunov, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, October 20, 2:00 p.m., DC 1304.

2017 Farvolden Lecture featuring Cathryn Ryan, Professor, Geoscience and BSc Environmental Science Program, University of Calgary, "Groundwater, Bubbles, and Energy," Friday, October 20, 2:30 p.m., Hagey Hall.

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

Chemistry Seminar Series featuring Bill Poirier, "Sulfur Mass Independent Fractionation (S-MIF): How quantum dynamics will answer fundamental questions about the origins of life," Friday, October 20, 3:00 p.m., C2-361.

Project Management as a Career Option, October 23, 2:30 p.m., TC room 2218.

Public lecture, Rudrick Visiting Scholar in Philosophy Dr. Eva Kittay, “The Desire for Normalcy,”, Monday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Federation Hall, Columbia Rooms A & B.  Refreshments and food will be served after the lecture.

Mental Health Wellness Day, Tuesday, October 24.

Employee - Helping students understand international careers – employees only, Tuesday, October 24, 9:30 a.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Tri-Agency Open Access policy workshop, Tuesday, October 24, 10:00 a.m., LIB 329.

Federation of Students Annual General Meeting, Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Employee - Interviews: Preparing for Questions – employees only, Tuesday, October 24, 12:00 p.m., TC 2218.

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

Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers—Briggs Type Indicator) Part II, Tuesday, October 24, 1:30 p.m., TC 1112.

President's Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health panel discussion, Tuesday, October 24, 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

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.

Law School Applications (OLSAS) Q&A, Tuesday, October 24, 4:00 p.m., online.

Gairdner Lecture 2017 featuring Dr. Rino Rappuoli, “For pioneering the genomic approach, known as reverse vaccinology, used to develop a vaccine against meningococcus B which has saved many lives worldwide.", Tuesday, October 24, 4:30 p.m., B1 271.

NEW - Open Access Day, Wednesday, October 25.

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

Going Abroad 101: Everything you need to know about going abroad to study, volunteer, intern, teach, travel or work!, Wednesday, October 25, 1:30 p.m., TC 2218.

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 - Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) presents "Demystifying ergonomics in the modern office," Thursday, October 26, 1:00 p.m., Sun Life Financial Auditorium (Room 1621), LHI.

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. 

NEW - Predatory publishing workshop, Thursday, October 26, 12:00 p.m., LIB 329.

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

NEW - 2017 Eby Lecture, “When Good Intentions are Not Enough: Confronting Ethical Challenges in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation,” Thursday, October 26, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

University of Waterloo 2017 Gem and Mineral Show, Friday, October 27, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EIT 1st and 2ndfloor. 

Halloween Luncheon Buffet, Friday, October 27, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

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.

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 - Knowledge Integration seminar featuring Patricia Melville, Senior Manager, Leadership Development, Bell, “Building Effective Mentoring Relationships”, Friday, October 27, 2:30 p.m., EV3-1408.

Science Open House, Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., STC.

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, 10:30 a.m., QNC 0101.

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

PhD oral defences

English Language and Literature. Ryan Clement, "Playing the Story: The Emergence of Narrative through the Interaction between Players, Game Mechanics, and Participatory Fan Communities." Supervisors, Karen Collins, Neil Randall. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Monday, October 30, 11:00 a.m., MC 2009.

Kinesiology. Daniel Gamu, "Deletion of Sarco(endo)plasmic Reticulum Ca2+ -ATPase Regulatory Proteins: Impacts on Energy Metabolism and Obesity." Supervisor, Russel Tupling. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Wednesday, November 1, 10:00 a.m., AHS 1686.

Psychology. Greta James, "The Differential Influence of Strategy Selection and Implementation on Probability Matching Behaviour in a Binary Prediction Task." Supervisors, Derek Koehler, Daniel Smilek. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Monday, November 6, 1:00 p.m., PAS 3026.

Applied Mathematics. Monjur Morshed, "Efficient Finite-difference Methods for Sensitivity Analysis of Stiff Stochastic Discrete Models of Biochemical Systems." Supervisors, Brian Ingalls, Silvana Ilie. Thesis available from MGO - mgo@uwaterloo.ca. Oral defence Thursday, November 9, 10:00 a.m., MC 5479.