Qualtrics survey system now available for campus
A message from Information Systems & Technology (IST).
IST is pleased to announce the launch of Qualtrics, a powerful online enterprise-class survey system, to support the needs of our campus community with respect to secure, confidential surveys for all use-cases.
Features of this new service include:
- Create questionnaires from scratch or using pre-made questionnaires;
- Access to a vast library of question types and response options;
- Ability to produce and edit detailed reports and export to multiple formats;
- Data is stored and backed up in a Canadian data centre;
- File upload add-on: additional feature allows respondents to upload files with their survey response(s).
This service is available for all staff, faculty and graduate students. For steps on creating an account or for more information about this service, please visit IST's Qualtrics website.
Video can help you not get mugged by one-armed bandits
Novice gamblers who watched a short video about how slot machines disguise losses as wins have a better chance of avoiding gambling problems, according to new research.
Slot machines present losses disguised as wins (LDWs) with celebratory music and flashing lights, even though players actually won less money than they bet. People can mistakenly believe that they are winning and continue paying to play.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that showing inexperienced gamblers a brief educational video before they play helps make them more aware and curb false perceptions about the number of times they won.
“One of the keys to gambling harm prevention is to curtail misperceptions before they become ingrained in the minds of gamblers,” said Michael Dixon, professor and research director in the Gambling Research Lab at Waterloo. “By exposing these outcomes for what they are, our study shows a way in which we can lead slots gamblers to have a more realistic view of their gambling experiences and possibly prevent problems down the road.”
Earlier research from the University’s Gambling Research Lab found that LDWs can also lead players to gamble for longer even when they are losing money — a symptom of gambling addiction.
As part of this study, one group of participants watched an educational video on slot machines and how they present LDWs, while a second group watched a different, unrelated video. All participants then played two games, one with few LDWs and one with many LDWs. They then had to estimate the number of times they won more than they wagered on each game.
“We found that the video was effective in correcting multiple misperceptions. Players not only remembered their actual number of wins more correctly, but they were also more capable of labelling losses disguised as wins during slot machine play,” said Candice Graydon, lead author and a PhD candidate in Waterloo’s Department of Psychology at the time of this study. “We’d like to assess whether shining the light on LDWs will make gamblers stop playing sooner.”
On the many LDW games, both groups got actual wins on approximately 10 per cent of spins. The group that did not watch the video drastically overestimated their wins – believing won on 23 per cent of spins. The group that watched the educational video, however, gave accurate win estimates. They recalled winning on only 12 per cent of spins. The study suggests that novice players who view the educational video will become more aware of LDWs, which could make them more attentive to other slot features such as the running total counter. Researchers would like to see the animation available to players both online and on casino floors.
The study, co-authored by Waterloo psychology professors Mike J. Dixon and Jonathan A. Fugelsang, in addition to Waterloo’s Kevin A. Harrigan, and Grant MacEwan University’s Michelle Jarick, was published in International Gambling Studies.
The team has plans to study the video’s effectiveness on problem gamblers as well.
Waterloo inventions on Dyson shortlist four years in a row
by Carol Truemner. This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
A patch that delivers allergy medication to children developed by Waterloo students is one of only two Canadian projects to be shortlisted for this year’s international James Dyson Awards competition. It’s the fourth year in a row a University of Waterloo project has reached the final round.
Avro Life Science, co-founded by Shakir Lakhani, a second-year nanotechnology engineering student, and Keean Sarani, a third-year science undergraduate and an incoming doctor of pharmacy student, has created an easy-to-use sticker that provides antihistamines to children through the skin and directly into the bloodstream The patent-pending technology controls the release rate of the drug.
“We're happy to represent the University and Canada on the international stage as some of our mentors have done in the past,” says Sarani. “It's also immensely gratifying to see that the team at the Dyson Foundation identifies with our mission of making drug delivery better and life easier for children everywhere.”
Lakhani and Sarani’s design inspiration comes from having personally struggled with seasonal and food allergies since they were young and wanting to make medicating children easier for both kids and adults.
Avro Life Science, now part of Velocity Science, won $25K in last December’s Velocity Fund Finals for the startup’s solution to provide an alternative form of allergy medication to children without the hassle of pills and syrups.
"It's crazy when I think back on how Avro started,” says Lakhani. “We set out to solve a problem while we were barely halfway through our first year at Waterloo and somehow we ended up where we are today.”
Lakhani says it’s been an exciting process to take the Avro patch from a simple concept to a functioning prototype.
“We'll be continuing our R&D and raising the bar even higher in the future,” he adds. “The award really shows that age and years in school should never be a limiting factor and, more importantly, that hard work and dedication can turn a dream into reality.”
Continuing to lead the way
Since 2014, Waterloo student projects have figured prominently in the contest started by James Dyson, the British inventor of the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner. Last year, Medella Health won first place in the national competition and was shortlisted for the international award.
In 2015, Voltera won first-place overall with its desktop sized circuit board printer that turns design files into prototype boards in minutes. In 2014, Suncayr was an international runner up with its colour changing marker that alerts a user when sunscreen is no longer providing protection.
Open to university students and recent graduates, the James Dyson Award program encourages and rewards innovative products or concepts that do a better job of solving tangible problems.
This year’s shortlist of 20 announced September 27 was whittled down from more than 1000 entries representing 23 countries. The other Canadian team still in the running is from McMaster University. The international winner will be announced on October 26.
Call for posters and other notes
As a part of the second annual Technology Innovation and Policy Forum on November 9 in Fed Hall, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) and the Council for Clean & Reliable Energy (CCRE) are providing the opportunity for students to present their research to policy makers, technology innovators, leading researchers, government experts and entrepreneurs. If you know of a student or group of students whose research relates to any of the following topics, please share this opportunity with them:
- Microgrid technologies for remote (off-grid) & networked operations
- Sensors, devices & 'Big Data'
- Information & Communication Technologies
- Distributed energy resources & distribution networks
- Regulation and policy issues
All interested students should contact Jessica Strickler at Jessica.firstname.lastname@example.org by November 3 to confirm their participation. Further instructions will be provided to the students after confirmation.
The University's East Campus sees its first Food Services operation open up today on the first floor of East Campus 5. The East End Café opens at 8:00 a.m. and today will be giving away free samples of Planet Bean coffee until 12:00 p.m.
"We hope this café will become your new go-to for breakfast, snacks, lunch and hot beverages!" says a note from Food Services. The menu includes breakfast sandwiches, soup, Pizza Pizza, specialty hot beverages, Fresh Xpress salads and sandwiches, Village Bakery goods and more. The hours of this new location are 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.