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Friday, April 13, 2018

Central Stores is here to help with spring cleaning

Central Stores' e-waste sorting area.Central Stores will be offering a one-month, Monday-to-Friday  departmental e-waste and surplus pickup initiative beginning Monday April 16 and ending Friday May 18, 2018. 

"Working with administration, departments with selected university owned e-waste and surplus should email Sean Kimpinski at," says a note from Central Stores. "Sean will add your request to the pickup list.  In the email please list the items being picked up and the locations, so that a pickup date and time can be scheduled."

This one month initiative will allow departments the opportunity to clear out e-waste “for disposal” and other items “for surplus/disposal” without the normal paperwork requirements. Any items deemed to be of high value, will be separated and a request for an “Asset Disposal Form” will be issued.

Items accepted for e-waste pickup include:

CRT/LCD monitors, scanners, computers, VCRs, copiers, TVs, DVD players, laptops, stereos, keyboard, cell phones, computer mice, printers, microwave ovens, speakers, toner cartridges, wire, air conditioners, fans, blenders, power tools, and electric motors.

Items accepted for surplus pickup include:

Desks, chairs, filing cabinets, bookcases, office and storage room items.

As always, faculty, staff and students are invited to drop off personal e-waste items at Central Stores, 263 Phillip Street at any time throughout the year from Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Optimization techniques guide surgeons at SickKids

A section of an infant’s skull cut, cut and reshaped into a natural curve.

A section of an infant’s skull cut, cut and reshaped into a natural curve.

​This article was originally posted on the Combinatorics and Optimization website.

Waterloo graduate student David Qian, under the guidance of the Faculty of Mathematics’ Ricardo Fukasawa and Jochen Koenemann, introduced optimization techniques based on integer and dynamic programming to surgeons at SickKids hospital. By applying mathematical optimization algorithms, Qian and team advised doctors on the best surgical cut points to minimize the volume-difference between the surgically modified skull, and an ideal skull.

Surgeons currently rely on their intuition and experience to repair skull deformities, found at birth, in over 100 infants each year. This surgery requires doctors to remove a section of an infant’s skull, called the bandeau, reshape it into a natural curve and secure it back into the child’s head. There are a limited number of doctors willing to perform this surgery and without it these children may experience further complications to their eyesight and mental development as their skull hardens. 

“Prior to our involvement, surgeons were required to eye ball much of their efforts,” said Fukasawa, a faculty member in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization. “For us, this appeared to be an ideal practical project from an optimization perspective. We used a paradigm known as dynamic programming to design fast methods to assist us in finding a volume minimizing collection of cut points.”

“Using CT scans of patients’ skulls and the bandeau templates, we developed a model to determine where the frontal bone should be cut in order to attain an ideal curvature post-surgery,” said Qian, a Waterloo graduate, with degrees in Combinatorics & Optimization.

The Waterloo team worked hand-and-hand with doctors in September 2014 for the first surgery mapped by optimization. On the walls of the surgical room were pages of algorithm output that determined the exact cut points for the bandeau of an infant’s skull. The surgical team first removed the infant's bandeau, and then installed artificial hinges in the cut locations recommended by the Waterloo team's algorithms. 

“It was a very nerve-wracking experience, but the doctors at SickKids were so amazing,” said Koenemann, also a faculty member in the Department of Combinatorics & Optimization. “They were so open to work with us and there was very little red tape, so we could get access to the information we needed to run our algorithms.”

“It was a real collaboration between teams with two very different sets of expertise,” said Fukasawa. “It was so rewarding to directly impact someone’s life, especially the life of such a small child.” 

Read the rest of the article on the Combinatorics and Optimization website.

#JerseysforHumboldt and other notes

On Thursday, April 12, the University of Waterloo community came together to join a cross-Canada initiative to show solidarity and support to the athletes, staff and families of the Humboldt Broncos, who lost 16 members of their organization in a crash in rural Saskatchewan on Friday, April 6. Here are a few photos submitted by our campus colleagues:

Members of the Registrar's Office wearing sports jerseys on the steps inside Needles Hall.

The Registrar's Office will be donating the money raised from their weekly dress-down Friday collection to the GoFundMe campaign that was set up in the wake of the tragedy to assist the victims and their families.

Members of the Faculty of Arts wearing jerseys stand together in the Hagey Hub.

Members of the Faculty of Arts in the Hagey Hub.

Members of Counselling Services wear sports jerseys outside their office.

Members of Counselling Services.

Members of the Faculty of Science wear jerseys.

Members of the Faculty of Science.

Members of WatPD wear jerseys in East Campus 1.

Members of WatPD in East Campus 1.

Biology Professor Ralph Smith.Friends and colleagues of Biology professor Ralph Smith are inviting members of the campus community to attend his retirement celebration after 31 years as a faculty member at the University. The event will be held on Tuesday, May 29 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the University Club. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Margaret Burton by sending an email to

On Wednesday, April 4, Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS) committee chair Jeff Casello hosted a recognition luncheon at the University Club for the 2018 AETS recipients and committee members.

Jeff Casello (AETS Committee Chair) with teaching award recipients Quinlan Lee (Economics), Amanda Garcia (Systems Design Engineering), and Anton Mosunov (Pure Math).

Jeff Casello (AETS Committee Chair) with teaching award recipients Quinlan Lee (Economics), Amanda Garcia (Systems Design Engineering), and Anton Mosunov (Pure Math).

Saturday Update: Exams cancelled due to ice storm

Due to severe weather, all afternoon and evening exams have been cancelled for Saturday, April 14, including Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) exams. The University will be closed Sunday, April 15.

Today's exams held in the PAC are rescheduled to Sunday, April 22, at the same and location originally scheduled. Please check LEARN for more information.

The University of Waterloo's Stratford Campus is also closed today and tomorrow.

Link of the day


When and where 

Earth Month 2018 challenge, runs to Sunday, April 22.

Strategic Plan Advisory Committee voting period, Wednesday, April 11 to Friday, April 20.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, April 2 to Friday, April 20.

UWAG presents MFA Thesis One, Thursday, April 12 to Saturday, April 28, East Campus Hall.

Dissertation Boot Camp, Thursday, April 12 to Thursday, April 19.

Waterloo Architecture Masters Thesis Reviews, Friday, April 13, 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., School of Architecture, Cambridge.

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research seminar, "CRISPR IP & Patenting Life", Monday, April 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., QNC1506. 

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

Management Sciences Seminar - Waste Minimization: The Contribution of Cutting and Packing Problems for a More Competitive and Environmentally Friendly Industry, Tuesday, April 17, 12:00 p.m., CPH 4335.

Leadership in Social Policy, Tuesday, April 17, 5:00 p.m., Renison atrium, Renison University College.

Registration opens for Matthews Golf Classic, Wednesday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.

20 Minute Makeover, Wednesday, April 18, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV3 foyer.

NEW - UWRC Book Club featuring The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla, Wednesday, April 18, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, April 18, 12:00 p.m., LIB 329 Flex Lab.

More Feet on the Ground - In Person Training, Wednesday, April 18, 1:30 p.m., Counselling Services, Needles Hall 2nd floor room 2447.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy featuring Joel Reardon, University of Calgary, ““Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?” Examining COPPA Compliance at Scale,” Thursday, April 19, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

WatRISQ/Columbia University (IEOR) Quantitative Finance Seminar Series featuring Dr. Arun Verma, Quantitative Research Solutions at Bloomberg, “Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis in Finance for Statistical Arbitrage,” Thursday, April 19, Manhattan Institute of Management, New York.

2017 Science Alumni Achievement Awards, Friday, April 20, 2:30 p.m., EIT Main Level.

Pursuing Peace: Stories from Home and Abroad, Friday, April 20, 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall. 

Spiritus Ensemble presents Mozart’s Requiem, Sunday, April 22, 4:00 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow Street, Waterloo.

NEW - Waterloo Global Science Initiative: Generation SDG, Sunday, April 22 to Wednesday, April 25.

NEW - Generation SDG Opening Keynote featuring Katharine Wilkinson, Sunday, April 22, 4:00 p.m.

Vision Science Graduate Research Conference 2018, Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24, School of Optometry and Vision Science.

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research presents "OMAFRA Information Session", Monday, April 23, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., QNC 1506.

25-50 Year Dinner, Monday, April 23, 6:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Deadline to get Fees Arranged for Spring 2018 term, Tuesday, April 24.

NEW - Generation SDG public lecture featuring Ingrid Waldron, "Environmental Racism and the Politics of Waste," Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m., Perimeter Institute.

WICI Workshop: Leveraging Systems Approaches to Improve Human & Planetary health, Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26.

Staff Appreciation Luncheon, Wednesday, April 25 to Friday, April 27, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

NEW - GRADventure presents a Non-academic career conference, Wednesday, April 25, STC 0020.

NEW - Pharmacy Research Day 2018, School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. Wednesday, April 25, 9:00 3:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) Information Session, Wednesday, April 25 10:30 a.m., Online Webinar.

NEW - 10th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, "Motivating Students and Ourselves", Thursday, April 26, Science Teaching Complex.

25th Graduate Student Recreation Leisure Research Symposium, Thursday, April 26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., LHN 1621.

Hallman Lecture Series featuring Ron Zernicke, PhD, DSc, University of Michigan - Skeletal Adaptation: Synthesis and Beyond, Friday, April 27, 9:00 a.m., AHS 1689.

CBB Seminar: Mobile Keyboard as an example of large scale novel interface based on both classic human factors and modern machine intelligence: Dr. Shumin Zhai, Google Inc., Friday, April 27, 1:30 p.m, E5 3102. 

Research Talks: Driving the future of autonomous vehicles and responsible innovation featuring Heather Douglas, Sebastian Fischmeister, a legal expert in the field of technology, and an innovation expert from General Motors. Tuesday, May 1, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please register as seating is limited.

Education Credit Union Rental Properties Seminar for University of Waterloo Staff Association members, Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302. Register online.

NEW - UWRC presents DIY Beeswax Wraps, Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 noon, Ecology Lab. Space limited; register by emailing

The Role of the Imagination in German Educational Thought, Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, Federation Hall.

ASA DataFest 2018, Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6, Mathematics 3.

Waterloo Datathon, Saturday, May 12, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., M3 1006.