Thursday, June 21, 2018

Centre for Extended Learning celebrates 50 years

Mario Coniglio, Cathy Newell Kelly and Aldo Caputo at the 50th anniversary kickoff

Mario Coniglio, Cathy Newell Kelly and Aldo Caputo at the CEL's 50th anniversary kickoff event.

The Centre for Extended Learning is celebrating 50 years of education at a distance in an up-close and personal way in 2018.

The Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) grew out of the innovative Distance Education/Correspondence program that was started in 1968. The program was the brainchild of physics professor James D. Leslie.

The first courses offered were astronomy, analogue electronics, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Instructors were asked to prepare four lectures at a time, with both a set of notes and a recording (on reel-to-reel tape), and deliver them every two weeks.

There were 130 student that first year.

Over the decades, Waterloo's Distance Education efforts moved from paper-based courses, to audio tapes to CDs and DVDs and now most of the courses are fully online.

In January 2010, the department was renamed the Centre for Extended Learning. Today there are more than 44,000 enrolments annually, in more than 525 online courses, in more than 40 subjects. There are also 25 fully online programs, making Waterloo one of the largest providers of online post-secondary education in Canada.

For more information about the Centre for Extended Learning's history, including an interactive timeline of distance education at Waterloo, check out the CEL website.

Info session outlines health funding opportunities

Faculty members conducting research in reproductive, maternal, newborn or child health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, and/or safe water and sanitation are invited to join the Grand Challenges Canada: Bold ideas with big impact® information session on Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m.

Information will be provided for faculty members with ideas and products in global health who are looking to scale their innovation to market.

This one-hour presentation will introduce Grand Challenges Canada, a supporter of innovators in Canada as well as low- and middle-income countries, funding bold ideas that integrate science and technology, and social and business innovation. The session will also provide information on the following funding opportunities:

There is no cost but please register to attend.

If you have questions, please email Tim Weber-Kraljevski, Administrator, International Research & Partnerships.

Waterloo student wins Facebook Emerging Scholar Award

This article originally appeared on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.

 Michael Abebe.PhD student Michael Abebe is one of six recipients worldwide and the only recipient from Canada to receive a prestigious 2018 Facebook Emerging Scholar Award.

Launched in 2017, Facebook’s Emerging Scholar Awards support talented students from under-represented groups in the technology sector to encourage them to continue their PhD studies, pursue innovative research, and engage with the broader research community.

“This year we received over 800 applications from promising and talented PhD students from around the world,” said Sharon Ayalde, Fellowship Program Manager at Facebook. “We are pleased and excited to award 17 Fellows and six Emerging Scholars — a significant increase from last year.”

Supervised by Khuzaima Daudjee, Abebe is a member of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science’s Data Systems Group. His research interests are at the intersection of distributed systems, data systems and machine learning, specifically designing and building large-scale data systems that are elastic, scalable and self-managing.

“I’m delighted to see Facebook recognize Michael’s contributions to distributed data systems and for the organization to support his research and studies through this significant award,” said Khuzaima Daudjee.

In addition to receiving a 2018 Facebook Emerging Scholar Award, Abebe is currently supported by an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship.

National Indigenous Peoples Day and other notes

A traditional round dance celebration.

Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day and to celebrate the Shatitsirótha’ Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) will be hosting a celebration event outside St. Paul's University College at the newly-established ceremonial fire ground area. This free public event takes place from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The ceremonial fire grounds and medicine garden was designed and constructed to support WISC's cultural and educational outreach programs. The fire pit is shaped like a traditional medicine wheel.

Come and learn about the sacred fire, enjoy a free barbecue at noon, and enjoy our line-up of entertainment, featuring a presentation by an Inuk alumnus, Métis jigging lessons, a Haudenosaunee dance demonstration, and a community hand drum circle. A handful of vendors and information booths will be present and children’s activities have been planned.

Friends and colleagues of Peggy Day are inviting you to join them for a retirement party in her honour on Thursday, July 12 at Fed Hall's multipurpose room from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Speeches will begin at 4:15 p.m. The stalwart Manager of IST's service desks, Day is celebrating more than 41 years of service to the University. RSVP to

A group photo celebrating John Varon at his retirement party.

While we're on the subject of retirements: John Vardon celebrated his retirement from the University and the Writing and Communication Centre last week. In 1976, he began working at what was then the newly-created Writing Clinic, and he has spent the last 42 years working side by side with students to support them in their writing.

"John has always had a passion for language, and he has loved working with students and seeing them grow and succeed," writes Writing Centre Director Clare Birmingham. "John has been a valuable member of the University of Waterloo community for many years." 

Two years ago, he retired from Renison University College where he also spent years working as an instructor. 

Link of the day

National Indigenous Peoples Day

When and where 

Bike Month, Friday, June 1 to Saturday, June 30, across campus.

WICI Conference on Modelling Complex Urban Environments, Thursday, June 21 to Friday, June 22, St. Jerome's atrium.

Inaugural Wes Graham Research Symposium & Computer Science Awards, A celebration of Wes Graham’s legacy through the establishment of fellowships, Thursday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Improve Your Interview Skills (graduate students and postdocs only), Thursday, June 21, 10:00 a.m., TC 2218.

NEW - National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, Thursday, June 21, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., St. Paul's University College.

Design and deliver II: Creating assertion-evidence presentations, Thursday, June 21, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

Artemis: Proactive defences against large-scale automated cyber intrusions, featuring Matei Ripeanu, University of British Columbia, Friday, June 22, 1:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Faculty Reading Circle: Indigeneity and the University, Friday, June 22, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Grad House boardroom.

Toronto Pride Parade, Sunday, June 24, 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Compensation information session, Monday, June 25, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 1111.

Literature reviews for grads (Part B): Writing it, Monday, June 25, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, June 25, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Pauline Barrieu, London School of Economics and Political Science, "Assessing Financial Model Risk," Monday, June 25, 4:00 p.m., STC 0060.

Résumé Tips: Thinking Like an Employer, Monday, June 25, 4:30 p.m., TC 1208.

WISE Public Lecture: Health Impacts of Climate Change and Climate Policy, Tuesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Velocity Brainstorming @Math, Tuesday, June 26, 12:00 p.m., DC 1301 fishbowl. Note: this event has sold out.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, June 26, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

EDGE — Skill Identification and Articulation, Tuesday, June 26, 6:00 p.m., TC 2218.

IST Portfolio and Project Management Community of Practice session, “Procurement and Project Management,” Wednesday, June 27, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., networking from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., EC5 1111.

Grand Challenges Canada: Bold ideas with big impact® information session, Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., QNC 1501.

Compensation information session, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 1111.

Experiential Learning Using Riipen – Information Session, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EV1 221. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. RSVP

PhD Seminar, Eduardo Ordonez-Ponce, “Partners for Sustainability: Organizations Engaged in Partnerships for Local Sustainability,” Wednesday, June 27, 1:00 p.m., EV3-4222.

Retirement Celebration for Daniel Parent, Wednesday, June 27, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., DC 1301 fishbowl.

Velocity Start: Pitch to Win, “Perfecting your pitch,” Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Interviews: Preparing for Questions, Thursday, June 28, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Learning the Basics of LinkedIn (for employees only), Thursday, June 28, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

Super-happy censorship-resistant fun pages, featuring PhD candidate Cecylia Bocovich, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 3317.

Canada Day celebration, Sunday, July 1, Columbia Lake fields.

Canada Day holiday, Monday, July 2, most University buildings and offices closed.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 2, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Wednesday, July 4, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 1, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Wednesday, July 4, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Clarity in scientific writing, Thursday, July 5, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.

Velocity Fund $5K Qualifiers – Night 2, “3-minute pitches in front of a panel of judges,” Thursday, July 5, 7:00 p.m., Location TBD.

Engineering 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

Applied Health Sciences 101 Day, Saturday, July 7.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy, “Where theory meets practice for privacy enhancing technologies” featuring Chelsea Komlo, HashiCorp, Monday, July 9, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 9, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 10, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Science 101 Day, Wednesday, July 11.

Getting published for grad students, Thursday, July 12, 1:00 p.m., online webinar.