Librarian receives Talman Award
This article was originally posted on the Library's website.
Given by the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO), the award is presented when an individual "has demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contributing to the profession, his/her institution, or the archival community, or who has pioneered any aspect of archival work."
Danielle was chosen largely for her work in implementing Calls to Action (PDF) from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), through increasing Indigenous representation on Wikipedia by: improving existing articles (with more than 4,250 edits to her credit), training archivists on editing Wikipedia, and leading Wikipedia Edit-a-thons. Danielle has helped organize multiple edit-a-thons at Waterloo and local public libraries, giving staff, students and community members the skills and empowerment to improve the representation of Indigenous peoples and women on the popular crowd-sourced site.
In describing why she chose to focus on Wikipedia, Danielle told the AAO:
"By making the decision to move beyond guilt and defensiveness to an action-oriented view of reconciliation, I focused on creating a reliable page to raise awareness about the school system and facilitate the retrieval of resources by others seeking to improve their own understanding of its impact."
After Danielle contributed 434 edits to the Wikipedia page on the Canadian Indian Residential School System, it was designated a Featured Article by Wikipedia's editors, placing it among the best Wikipedia has to offer. Danielle also created a webpage for the AAO, giving archivists the tools they need to help implement the Calls to Action in working Towards Truth and Reconciliation.
In a letter addressed to our University Librarian, Beth Namachchivaya, chair of the awards committee Carolynn Bart-Riedstra described Danielle as "an inspiration to her colleagues for her unending enthusiasm and accomplishments that transfer beyond the University of Waterloo. She is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with colleagues and is a credit to you and the University of Waterloo." Congratulations, Danielle!
Freeing diabetics from finger pricks using radar
This article was originally posted on Waterloo Stories.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing new technology that would free people with diabetes from painful finger pricks to monitor their blood sugar.
A team led by engineering professor George Shaker has combined radar and artificial intelligence (AI) to detect changes in glucose levels without the need to draw blood several times a day.
“We want to sense blood inside the body without actually having to sample any fluid,” says Shaker, who is cross-appointed to mechanical and mechatronics engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. “Our hope is this can be realized as a smartwatch to continuously monitor glucose.”
The research involves collaboration with Google and German hardware company Infineon, which jointly developed a small radar device and sought input from select teams around the world on potential applications.
The system under development uses the radar device to send high-frequency radio waves into liquids containing various levels of glucose and receive radio waves that are reflected back to it.
Information on the reflected waves is then converted into digital data for analysis by machine-learning AI algorithms developed by the researchers.
The software is capable of detecting glucose changes based on more than 500 wave features or characteristics, including how long it takes for them to bounce back to the device.
Initial tests with volunteers at the Research Institute for Aging in Waterloo achieved results that were 85 per cent as accurate as traditional, invasive blood analysis.
“The correlation was actually amazing,” says Shaker. “We have shown it is possible to use radar to look into blood to detect changes.”
Next steps include refining the system to precisely quantify glucose levels and obtain results through the skin, which complicates the process.
The research team is also working with Infineon to shrink the radar device so that it is both low-cost and low-power.
The data analyzed by AI algorithms is now sent wirelessly to computers, but the ultimate aim is self-contained technology similar to the smartwatches that monitor heart rate.
“I’m hoping we’ll see a wearable device on the market within the next five years,” Shaker says. “There are challenges, but the research has been going at a really good rate.”
Collaborators at Waterloo include electrical and computer engineering professor Safieddin (Ali) Safavi-Naeni, kinesiology professor Richard Hughson and numerous students.
A study on the research, Non-invasive monitoring of glucose level changes utilizing a mm-wave radar system, was published in June in the International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction.
SHAD 2018 design theme and other declarations
The design project for the SHAD high school enrichment program at Waterloo, and the other 15 host campuses across Canada, was launched last week.
This year's project theme is: How might we help Canadian communities be more resilient in a natural disaster?
As part of this challenge, teams conduct market research, design and build working prototypes, and write business models. The SHADs have just completed an intensive design thinking workshop, followed by a project launch presentation with Dr. Brent Doberstein, Geography and Environmental Management professor, and an expert panel with Dr. Shawna Peddle, director of the Partners 4 Action research network on flood resiliency, Professor Blair Feltmate head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, and Professor Eric Kennedy, assistant professor, Disaster & Emergency Management, York University.
The SHADs will hold a public open house to share their projects on Thursday, July 26, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College.
The Waterloo Centre for German Studies (WCGS) Reading Group has chosen a book for their summer meeting: Gehen, Ging, Gegangen / Go, Went, Gone, by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. A scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes. More details are available on the WCGS’ website.
The reading group will meet on Thursday, August 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in a location to be determined. To RSVP, email Lori Straus by Friday 27 July.
This is a reminder that you are officially invited to attend Peggy Day’s retirement party, which will be held on Thursday, July 12 in Fed Hall's multipurpose room from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with speeches beginning at 4:15 p.m. "We hope you can join us, Peggy and her loved ones, as we celebrate her contribution to the University for over 41 years," says a note from Peggy's colleagues. RSVP to Liz Doede by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.