You are here

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Eric Mazur to deliver Presidential Lecture on June 8

Harvard Professor Eric Mazur.Harvard professor and teaching innovator Eric Mazur will visit campus on Friday, June 8 and deliver a Presidential Lecture on innovation in teaching and learning.

Professor Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Dean of Applied Physics at Harvard University. Mazur is a prominent physicist known for his contributions in nanophotonics.

In education he is widely known for his work on Peer Instruction, an interactive teaching method aimed at engaging students in the classroom and beyond.

President Feridun Hamdullahpur will provide opening remarks, and Professor Mazur's lecture will be followed by a Q+A session.

The event takes place at Federation Hall on Friday, June 8 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:45 p.m. Register to secure your seat at the event today.

The event will also be livestreamed.

Mazur previously visited campus in 2010.

Photograph by Eliza Grinnell, Harvard University, 2012.

Campus emergency notification system test coming

A message from Information Systems & Technology

A test of the University’s emergency communication system is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29 between 7:45 and 8:15 a.m. Test activation and deactivation messages will be sent using the below channels:

  • Tweets to @UWaterloo and @WatSAFEapp
  • WatSAFE mobile app
  • The ‘UW Emerge’ on-screen pop-up for desktops and laptops
  • Skype for Business Instant Messages
  • Portal alerts and push notifications

Your feedback on how these channels operated, specifically the newly added Portal alerts and push notifications option, is appreciated ( or ext. 44357)

In the event of a real emergency during this test, please contact Police Services at 519-888-4911, or ext. 22222.

Be sure to install the WatSAFE app on your device to receive this test message, and more importantly, to stay informed of campus emergency situations. Visit the WatSAFE website for more details.

Wood-boring beetle infestation a pain in the ash

A tree bearing the track-like marks of ash borer beetle infestations.

More Canadian cities will experience damage from the emerald ash borer than previously thought. As a result of climate change and fewer days of extreme cold, the beetle may eat its way further north than originally estimated.

Kim Cuddington, a professor of biology at the University of Waterloo, led the team that produced a probability map for North America showing where the emerald ash borer is likely to kill trees.

“We ran specific predictions to help Canadian cities decide if they need to make plans before they’re affected,” said Cuddington. “Calgary is likely to experience damage, as are Thunder Bay, Prince George and Winnipeg. Edmonton and Saskatoon are less likely, but they should remain vigilant.”

So far, the wood-boring beetle has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees and will likely cost municipalities $2 billion. Still, people expected Canada’s extremely cold temperatures to stop the species’ rapid migration.

“This should be a wake-up call for how we think about invasive species,” said Cuddington. “We need to develop preemptive measures as well as mitigate potential impacts. By the time we see the damage, it’s almost too late.”

According to previous studies, prepupae can survive in temperatures as low as -34ºC. Cuddington and her group confirmed the temperature found under the bark where the insect overwinters is warmer than the outside.

“We took a different approach from traditional range maps and charted the statistical probability of under-bark temperatures being above this lethal limit for at least six years,” said Cuddington. “That’s just long enough for the insect to kill its host tree.”

This is one of the first studies to couple an extensive empirical data set with measures of climate variability using a mechanistic modelling approach. Cuddington says researchers need to think more carefully about how a changing and unpredictable climate relates to the biology of an invasive species and their risk of doing damage, both economically and ecologically.

The research appears in the journal Biological Invasions.

Senate meets today and other notes

The University's Senate meets for a rare Tuesday meeting today (thanks a lot Queen Victoria). Among the agenda items at this afternoon's meeting:

  • Motions to approve a number of academic plan changes in the Faculty of Mathematics, including changes to extended withdrawals and absences;
  • A motion to edit the undergraduate calendar's sections relating to drop/add deadlines effective 1 September 2019;
  • A motion to approve Marios Ioannidis (chemical engineering) as the COU Academic Colleague for a one-year term beginning June 30;
  • A motion to create an Admissions Pathway agreement between the University of Waterloo Department of Economics and the School of Economics at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE);
  • A motion to change some academic plans within the Faculty of Arts;
  •  A motion to delegate Senate's authority in approving the roster of graduands for June Convocation to the Executive Committee, which will approve them on June 4;
  • A motion to change the name of the Drama and Speech Communication program to the “Department of Communication Arts,” effective September 2018; and
  • A motion to change the name of the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre to the "Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business" within the Faculty of Engineering and grant it formal status as an academic unit.

A reminder that Waterloo International is hosting three information sessions on international travel safety and security, beginning Tuesday, May 22. These info sessions are hosted by the Working Group on International Travel Issues (WGIT).

Anyone wishing to attend an information session should complete a registration form. For those not able to attend, a short survey will also be available until Wednesday, June 6. Please email to receive it.

Link of the day

50 years of Hot Wheels

When and where 

Get a Job Using LinkedIn, Tuesday, May 22, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

University Senate meeting, Tuesday, May 22, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, May 22, 4:00 p.m.

Politics at The Pub: Student Meet & Greet with PC Candidate, Tuesday, May 22, 4:00 p.m., The Bombshelter Pub.

Mindfulness Meditation: A Stress Reduction Program, Tuesday, May 22, 5:00 p.m., Needles Hall North, NH 2447.

Games Institute Spring 2018 Game Jam LEARN event, Tuesday, May 22 and Thursday, May 24, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Games Institute, EC1.

Technical Interview Workshop Presented by Scotiabank, "Cracking the Technical Interview", Tuesday, May 22, 5:30 p.m., E5 6004.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Wednesday, May 23, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

NEW - Distinguished Lecture Series, “Fun with geometric optimization: Visitation, visibility, and variations,” featuring Dr. Joe Mitchell, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Wednesday, May 23, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Velocity Start: What’s Your Problem?, Wednesday, May 23, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Clarity in scientific writing, Thursday, May 24, 10:00 a.m., online webinar.

Network for Aging Research Lunch and Learn featuring Dr. Jenna Gibb, “Optimizing body composition and bone strength during aging: An interdisciplinary approach,” Thursday, May 24, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., MC 5479. RSVP:

WaterTalk featuring Ryan Walter, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, California Polytechnic State University, "What lies beneath: Internal waves in the nearshore coastal environment," Thursday, May 24, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

"India, Canada and Shastri India-Canadian Institute - A Canada-India Bridge for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: New Funding Opportunities for Collaborative Educational and Research Activities with India," Friday, May 25, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. DC 1302.

Games Institute Spring 2018 Game Jam MAKE event, Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27, QNC 1502, QNC 2502.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 26.

Electric Vehicle Challenge, Saturday, May 26, East Campus.

Velocity Fund $25K and $5K applications open, Monday, May 28.

Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP), Monday, May 28 to Friday, June 8, Institute for Quantum Computing.

Politics at The Pub: Student Meet & Greet with Green Party Candidate, Monday, May 28, 3:00 p.m., The Bombshelter Pub.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions (for employees only), Tuesday, May 29, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

Retirement celebration for Ralph Smith, Tuesday, May 29, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. RSVP to Margaret Berton -

NEW - Waterloo Women's Wednesdays research talk with Arshi Shaikh, "What is Animal Hoarding?" Wednesday, May 30, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., NH 3308.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Wednesday, May 30, 5:00 p.m., Counselling Services, NH 2447.

Velocity Start: Building a Kick A** Team, Wednesday, May 30, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Keystone Picnic, Friday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the DC Quad. Or for those on campus in the evening, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the SLC.

Discovery: A Comic Lament, Friday, June 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College.

Transforming Space: Immerse, interact and imagine in Philip Beesley, School of Architecture, Saturday, June 2 to Monday, October 8, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Royal Ontario Museum.

QPR Training, Monday, June 4, 1:30 p.m.

Gustav Bakos Observatory public tour, Wednesday, June 6, lecture 9:00 p.m. in PHY 313, telescope viewing 9:30 p.m.

Velocity Start: Ain’t No Model Like a Business Model, “Learn how to create a lean business model canvas”, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.