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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Campus marks National Day of Remembrance and Action

A woman silhouetted by the sun.

Today the University of Waterloo will host a vigil to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, December 6 marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at the engineering school, l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. The women, many of them young engineering students, were killed by a man who claimed feminism was ruining his life.

The campus event is being held today, Wednesday, December 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Sedra Student Design Centre in Engineering 5. Please consider attending.

Speakers at the vigil include:

  • Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor
  • Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering
  • Diana Parry, Professor and Associate Vice-President Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion
  • Catherine Fife, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo

The December 6 National Day of Remembrance also gives Canadians an opportunity to reflect on violence against women in society and to consider ways to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

The University of Waterloo is working to bring more women into the engineering profession through the Faculty’s community outreach programs. The Faculty of Engineering runs an annual event called Go ENG Girl for students in Grade 7 – 10. Another special event is a conference for Grade 11 girls, which puts students in touch with young women who are working in engineering.

December 6 statement from the president

This is the latest post on President Feridun Hamdullahpur's blog.

Twenty-eight years ago the post-secondary education community and all of Canada changed forever. On what was supposed to be a normal day at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 was instead replaced with unimaginable tragedy as 14 young female students were taken from us in an evil attack of gender-based violence.

That day will remain a memory of pure shock and sadness for countless Canadians for so many different reasons.

We must remember the 14 young women who were lost forever that day and the other innocent victims who were wounded physically and mentally. Nearly all of them were students looking to better our society as engineers and nurses.

The senseless violence and anger that motivated these acts cannot be forgotten either.

We must remember, but we must also fight against the injustice and gender-based prejudice of this violence.

Honouring with Remembrance and Action

We can only truly honour the victims by ensuring we take steps to defend women, and those who identify as women, who currently face violence in their everyday lives.

By positively promoting gender equity and inclusivity, I believe we can take the steps needed to stop acts of violence like the one we saw 28 years ago from happening.

I am proud that our university is taking steps to bring long-term gender equity forward through our UN Women’s HeForShe campaign commitments and on campus initiatives. We have made great strides on these commitments in our organization, but it is imperative that we take steps in our everyday lives to create an inclusive community for all. We must educate that equity for one group does not mean a loss of equity for another, but are in fact stronger.

With the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women having taken place on November 25, our day of remembrance for the victims of l'École Polytechnique today, and International Human Rights Day on December 10, the world is taking the time to raise awareness. As we take the time to remember those victims of violence and oppression around the world, it is vital to do more than acknowledge those lost and those still facing fear of persecution today.

We must act.

We must bring light to the darkness of hate and intolerance. We must take actionable steps to end violence against women and girls. And, we must not hesitate to fight prejudice with love, acceptance and community.

Only then will we truly honour the victims of the l'École Polytechnique attack.

From co-op student to engineering company owner

by Jacqueline Gergal.

Less than a decade after completing four co-op work terms with A-D Engineering Group Ltd., Waterloo grad Chris Newman, P.Eng, M.Eng, is now a principal co-owner of the company.

After his 2009 graduation, Newman joined the Newmarket-based organization full-time. It’s a consulting engineering firm that specializes in structural design, ACAD drawings, site investigations and more. Recently, Newman partnered with two other Waterloo co-op graduates to purchase A-D Engineering.

Now, Newman is learning the value of co-op from an owner’s perspective.

“Waterloo’s co-op program saves us significant time and effort in recruitment,” he says. “A number of our former co-op students have developed into full-time staff members.”

Daniel Han, a recent Waterloo Civil Engineering graduate, is one of those full-time hires. He joined the company permanently after completing two co-op terms with A-D Engineering and now works as a structural engineer (EIT), responsible for designing, analyzing and providing structural solutions for clients.

“A-D Engineering is more than just a company I work for; it was a big part of my learning experience throughout my undergraduate degree,” says Han. “Working for A-D Engineering now is not very different from back when I was a co-op, as I am still learning and I’m constantly building on my skills.”

A-D Engineering continues to actively employ Waterloo co-op students. “The caliber of students we have hired from Waterloo has been consistently high,” says Newman. “As a company, we are comfortable giving students a fair amount of responsibility which has been a great help to the rest of the staff.”

For more information on A-D Engineering visit their website.

Together we deliver: IST announces strategic plan for 2017-2020

A message from Information Systems & Technology

In 2016, IST embarked on a strategic planning process that was guided by key questions about who we are as a department, the work that we do, improvements that can be made, and how we measure our success. The process included an important engagement and consultative period that helped to focus our efforts into five themes, and defined the strategy of the plan.

The work of the plan, specific IT projects and initiatives that must happen for us to achieve our strategy, was then organized under five areas for action. Under each area for action is a report outlining the details of this strategic work, which is being pulled dynamically from the Project and Portfolio Management tool, TeamDynamix. It will be the successful completion of this work, as well as our inflight and operational efforts, that will culminate in the achievement of our strategic goal – Together we deliver.

We invite you to review the plan in detail on the IST Strategic Plan website, and welcome any questions or feedback you may have.

HR needs your feedback and other notes

"Do you have feedback around the Human Resources website?" asks HR. "As part of the HR transformation, we are focused on continuous improvement and that includes providing a website that is client-centered and serves employees at the University well."

Take the five minute survey and let HR know how they can make your experience better. The survey will close on Friday, December 22.

Cory Doctorow speaks in the Theatre of the Arts.Blogger, author, and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow visited campus Monday night for a public lecture entitled "Dead canary in the coalmine: We just lost the web in the war on general purpose computing." His remarks covered topics such as the dead metaphors that inform crippled cryptography, disobedient CPUs, and our dystopian future where entertainment companies "Huxley'd us into the full Orwell" thanks to the World Wide Web Consortium's recent decision to give in to Netflix's demand to break every web browser in the world to make it incrementally harder to pirate TV shows. 

The University of Waterloo Healthy Workplace Committee is presenting a lunch and learn session today from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. "5 Reasons to Choose a NON-diet Approach to 2018" promises to be an introduction to the concept of Intuitive Eating, a scientifically-backed non-diet approach to health. The guest speaker is Suzanne Dietrich, RD, registered dietician and owner of Gut Instincts Nutrition Counselling in Waterloo Region.

The Last FREE Food Thursday at the Grad House is a Holiday Feast that will be served by special guest President Feridun Hamdullahpur on Thursday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. will also be on hand to provide free beer samples, and a very special open mic will also be happening in the Green Room. RSVP on the Grad House Facebook page if you plan to attend as the Grad House needs accurate numbers to ensure there's enough holiday feast to go around.

Registrar's Office closure

The Registrar’s Office and Student Awards & Financial Planning will be closed today from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. for an office holiday event. The drop box outside the office will still be available.

Link of the day

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

When and where

University Club Christmas Luncheon Buffet, Monday, November 27 to Friday, December 22, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, December 5 and Wednesday, December 6.

Résumé and Cover Letter Writing for PhDs and Postdocs, Wednesday, December 6, 9:00 a.m., TC room 2218.

Faculty Association Fall General Meeting, Wednesday, December 6, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 2502.

Healthy Workplace Committee lunch and learn session, 5 Reasons to Choose a NON-diet Approach to 2018, Wednesday, December 6, 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302.

Write-In Session for Résumés and Cover Letters (PhDs/Postdocs), Wednesday, December 6, 12:30 p.m., TC room 2218.

Seminar, “Improving memory energy efficiency of database systems,” Alexey Karyakin, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, December 6, 12:30 p.m., DC 2585.

PhD seminar, “The twists and turns of character animation: Modeling the angular speed of trajectories,” Tyler Nowicki, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Wednesday, December 6, 1:00 p.m., DC 2310.

National Day of Remembrance event, Wednesday, December 6, 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Seminar, Realistic 3D Graphics in Real TimeMorgan McGuire, NVIDIA, University of Waterloo, Williams College, Wednesday, December 6, 3:30 p.m., DC 2568. Note: this event has been cancelled.

Examinations begin, Thursday, December 7.

Personal essays on Fiction and Memory: Double Book Launch, Thursday, December 7, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Schlegel Community Education Room.

NEW - Canadian Optometry Schools Research Conference (COSRC 2017), Friday December 8 and Saturday, December 9, School of Optometry and Vision Science.

How to Make Connections and Interview Effectively (PhDs and Postdocs), Friday, December 8, 9:00 a.m., TC room 2218.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Friday, December 8, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library, Room 329. #16DaysUW

PhD seminar, "Surveying the use of MPTCP for video streaming," Sharon Choy, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 8, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304.

President's Holiday Luncheon 2017, Friday, December 8, 12:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Schrödinger's Class, Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10, QNC 0101.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Fr. Eric Hollas, OSB, "The Artist as Preacher: Sacred Art and the Eye of the Beholder," Friday, December 8, 7:30 p.m., St. Jerome’s University, Academic Centre Vanstone Lecture Hall. Register in advance at

NEW - Graduation Recital, Sonia Zettle, violin. Sunday, December 10, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

NEW - Graduation Recital, Tyler Reidy, flute. Sunday, December 10, 6:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged" for Winter 2018 term, Tuesday, December 12.

NEW - Waterloo Women’s Wednesdays Holiday Party, December 12, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., DC 1301.

Seminar, “Exploring the role of conversational cues in guided task support with virtual assistants,” Alexandra Vtyurina, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, December 12, 3:30 p.m., DC 2310.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Information Session, Wednesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m.

University Club Christmas Dinner Buffet, Wednesday, December 13, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

Advent Jazz Vespers, Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Canada 150 Lecture, "Canada's Hidden Histories," Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation.

NEW - Mitacs: Presentation Skills – Graduate students only, Thursday, December 14, 8:30 a.m., TC room 2218.

PhD seminar, “Reliability and consistency in counting tasks for citizen science,” Alex Williams, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 15, 9:30 a.m., DC 3323.

PhD seminar, “Crowd deliberation as a tool for analyzing edge cases,” Mike Schaekermann, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Friday, December 15, 10:30 a.m., DC 3323.

Research Talks, "Societal impacts of 21st Century technology," A panel presentation with researchers from Arts, Math, and Engineering, Friday, December 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., DC 1302. Please register as seating is limited.

Farewell celebration for Tim Kenyon, Friday, December 15, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

PhD seminar, "Measuring the usage patterns of users with multiple devices," Erinn Atwater, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, December 19, 2:00 p.m., DC 2314.

Positions available

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

  • Job ID# 2017-2136 - Counsellor – Counselling Services, USG 10 – 13

  • Job ID# 2017-2143 - Development Officer - Dean of Math Office, USG 9 – 10

  • Job ID# 2017-2129 - Director, Business Operations - Plant Operations, USG 15

  • Job ID# 2017-2148 - Information Systems Specialist (Project Manager) - Information Systems and Technology, USG 11 – 13

  • Job ID# 2017-2106 - Optometric Clinic Receptionist - Optometry Clinic, USG 4

  • Job ID# 2017-2095 - Postdoctoral and Financial Coordinator - Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 6

  • Job ID# 2017-1990 - Strategic Graduate Enrolment Manager - Dean of Engineering Office, USG 10

  • Job ID# 2017-1898 - Sustainability Engagement Coordinator - Dean of Environment Office, USG 7

Internal secondment opportunities:

  • Job ID# 2017-2145 - Digital Engagement Specialist - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 9
  • Job ID# 2017-2023  - Indigenization Strategy Steering Committee Research and Administration Coordinator - AVP Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion, USG 7

  • Job ID# 2017-2133 - Operations Analyst - Coop Education & Career Action, USG 8 - 9