You are here

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ice ice baby: University closed until noon today

A campus window obscured by a coating of ice.

Turns out Old Man Winter still has some spring in his step. Due to some slick, slushy, and soaking conditions, the University of Waterloo is closed today until 12:00 p.m. Morning exams have been rescheduled to later in the month and afternoon examinations will continue as regularly scheduled.

Plant Operations is working (and has been working since 3:00 a.m.) to clear campus walkways, roadways, and parking lots.

The half-day closing includes the University's satellite campuses in Kitchener, Cambridge, and Stratford.

The Early Childhood Education Centre operated by the Psychology department is also closed today. In addition, the Bright Starts Early Learning Centre on the University's north campus is closed, reopening on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 a.m.

The University of Waterloo Optometry Clinic including the Health Sciences Optometry Clinic will be closed Monday and will reopen on Tuesday, April 17.

Food Services locations will open with the University at noon today, though residence eateries remain open this morning.

The Federation of Students' offices and businesses are closed for the day for the most part, including the Bomber and Feds Used Books. International News is closed for the morning and part of the afternoon, but should be open by 4:00 p.m. and will resume its 24/7 operating hours.

The Turnkey Desk will be holding down the fort in the Student Life Centre, rain or shine (and there won't be much shine today).

The slow-moving ice storm cast quite a chill over southern Ontario this weekend, causing power outages, disrupting transportation, and generally leaving a mess of mixed precipitation in its wake as it made its way eastward.

While Waterloo appeared to have been spared the worst of the damage—40,000 people were without power across the province on Sunday—administrators took the precaution of cancelling afternoon exams on Saturday, April 14 and closing the University Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday - a rare April campus closing, given that the last time the University had to do this during the cruellest month was 15 years ago.

Even rarer? A back-to-back closing of the University's campus. To my knowledge, that's never happened.

The conditions in the aftermath of the storm as the freezing rain turned to regular rain were such that University administrators made the call to keep campus closed until noon on Monday.

Exams that were supposed to take place on Saturday, April 14 have been rescheduled to Sunday, April 22.

Exams scheduled for the morning of April 16 have been rescheduled until Wednesday, April 25.

In both cases, the rescheduled exams will take place at the time of day and location for which they were originally scheduled - only the date of the exams have changed.

Students are being asked to check LEARN for more information.

Information about weather-related campus closings can be found on the University's weather statement page

Decisions about closing campus are made in accordance with the University's weather closing guidelines.

WatITis conference issues call for papers

WatITis conference banner image.

The 16th annual WatITis (Waterloo Information Technology and Information Systems) conference has issued an initial call for papers.

The conference will take place on Tuesday, December 4 in the Science Teaching Complex.

"We invite you to actively participate as a speaker or panel presenter for one or more of our sessions during our 16th annual WatITis conference," says a note from the conference organizers. "This conference is made for you, by you!"


Topics include, but are not limited to, Teaching, Research, Institutional Support, New Projects, Initiatives, Developments or General Interest for uWaterloo staff, in the area of IT. We also invite you to submit your ideas for session topics of interest to other IT professionals.

20 or 45 Minute Talks Welcome!

Due to the success of the shorter talks last year, both 20 and 45 minutes presentations will be offered and we invite you to submit proposals in either format.

Submission Deadline

Interested participants should submit a brief synopsis of their topic or ideas for presentations and/or panels to the program committee Sharepoint, by May 16, 2018.

"When submitting your proposals, remember to identify which session format you are interested in," say the conference organizers. "You may be asked to attend a brief speakers meeting prior to the conference to discuss presentation materials, expectations and logistics."

If required, a second call for papers will be announced by June 11. 

Who to Contact

For more information, please contact conference co-chairs Dana Mohapl ( or Jennifer Matheson (, or please visit the WatITis website.

Exploring the future of autonomous vehicles and responsible innovation

Research Talks logo.

How will autonomous vehicles affect the future?

Register for the next session of Research Talks to attend Driving the future of autonomous vehicles and responsible innovation.

The panel presentation on Tuesday, May 1 for Waterloo faculty, staff, and students will feature Waterloo researchers and external speakers:

  • Heather Douglas (Arts): Responsible innovation
  • Sebastian Fischmeister (Engineering): Safety and security of real-time software and autonomous driving
  • Ted Graham (General Motors): The future of transportation
  • George Takach (McCarthy Tétrault): Legal aspects of technology

Light refreshments will be provided but feel free to bring your lunch. Research Talks is a regular series hosted by the Office of Research and supported by the Research Support Fund to celebrate and provide an opportunity for the Waterloo community to learn about world-class research at Waterloo.

National Volunteer Week begins and other notes

Sunday, April 15 marked the start of National Volunteer Week, a week to celebrate the acts of all volunteers on and off campus who support the University and the community.

Students, faculty and staff volunteer thousands of hours every year in support of a wide range of initiatives. Whether they are helping create a world-class move-in experience for new students with Housing and Residences, acting as global ambassadors as alumni volunteers with Alumni Relations, to baking cupcakes and delivering cake pops to raise funds as part of the United Way and Keystone Campaigns, the impact of Waterloo volunteers is significant. And these on-campus activities only scratches the surface, as Waterloo community members volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to myriad causes and organizations off campus as well. From food drives to random acts of kindness, from coaching a sports team to fostering pet animals, from getting involved in a community group or at your place of worship, it adds up.

Volunteers are essential for communities to grow, innovate, and enhance creativity. Our students, faculty and staff improve and strengthen our community by dedicating their time and talent, helping to make our community a great place to live.

Looking to get involved in volunteering on campus? Check the University’s LEADS volunteer job board or the Federation of Students’ Volunteer Centre for opportunities to make a difference.

Plant Operations is reporting that there will be a utility shutdown in Carl Pollock Hall on Wednesday, April 18 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on the second floor. Heating, ventilation, and A/C will be offline due to construction.

Vote for your Strategic Plan Advisory Committee representative by April 20

This is YOUR strategic plan! Vote between now and Friday, April 20, 2018 to choose your representative for the Strategic Plan Advisory Committee.

Look for the email with your electronic ballot, or, for unionized staff, your ballot through campus mail. You can read candidates’ statements online. Unionized staff can also find them posted on bulletin boards in common areas.

Questions and concerns can be sent to

Link of the day

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

NEW - 13th annual Conference on Persuasive Technology, Monday, April 16 to Thursday, April 19. Note: the doctoral consortium portion of the event starts at noon on Monday, April 16.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

NEW - Launch of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Monday, May 7, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

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