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Monday, July 16, 2018


Provide your feedback on federal research data management policy

A message from the Office of Research.

The three federal research funding agencies have developed a draft Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy outlining proposed institutional data management practices. The agencies are asking institutions to review the policy and provide feedback. Researchers are encouraged to review the draft policy, and provide feedback by:

  • Sending an email to Bruce Muirhead in the Office of Research by July 31. The feedback will be compiled and submitted as an institutional response; OR
  • Sending an email to SSHRCNSERC, or CIHR by August 31.

Once the feedback is compiled, the agencies will develop a final policy that will be implemented incrementally. The policy aims to foster a culture of data management benefitting researchers across the country, and internationally. 

MC to be unplugged in August

Information Systems & Technology is reporting that there will be a significant interruption to service delivery due to a power shutdown from August 21 to 24.

Plant Operations will be turning off the power in the Mathematics & Computer (MC) Building from Tuesday, August 21 to Friday, August 24 for building maintenance. This shutdown will affect the IST data centre and core, wireless, and distribution networking equipment located in MC.

Some information systems and services will not be available during this shutdown. IST is working with application owners to determine the list of impacted services. Some of the services that will be impacted include:

  • The data centres and core network will be operating without redundancy;
  • Wireless will be operating without redundancy; and
  • Internet connectivity on campus will be operating with reduced bandwidth and without redundancy.

The work is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 21 to Friday, August 24. The dates and times of this work have the potential to change.

Plant Ops is also reporting that the following buildings will each have individual, one day power outages (details to be confirmed) during this period (Note: the network will be unavailable within these buildings during the outages):  

  • Mathematics 3 (M3);
  • General Services Complex (GSC) including the Commissary (COM) and Central Services Building (CSB); 
  • Davis Centre (DC); and
  • Chemistry 2 (C2).

Anyone with questions is invited to contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357. 

From Waterloo to Microsoft: An entrepreneur's hustle

Sam Pasupalak and Bill Gates.

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Waterloo Stories.

Sam Pasupalak was studying computer science at the University of Waterloo in 2008 when he found out that Bill Gates was delivering a talk on campus. Pasupalak didn’t have a ticket to the Microsoft chairman’s talk — but that didn’t stop him.

Pasupalak pulled off the first of many hustles that day by carrying T-shirts and bags so that he looked like a volunteer. He got past the event security to sit in the last remaining seat in the house.

Growing up in the small town of Bhubaneswar in eastern India, Pasupalak didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship, he was more interested in learning Sanskrit or playing cricket. After that talk, he was so inspired by Gates’ tremendous impact in the world, that he decided to start his own company as soon as he graduated. 

In 2010, he and his future business partner, Kaheer Suleman, built a piece of software for robots to understand natural human language commands in Chrysanne Di Marco’s class. He loved the freedom the class provided to build whatever students could imagine. The prototype he developed in that class became the basis of his future company. Between his computer science classes and co-op terms, Pasupalak’s excitement about programming and Artificial Intelligence (AI) grew.

At the time, not many people were talking about AI, but Pasupalak was dreaming about the future. With his best friend James Simpson, who was also studying computer science at Waterloo, Pasupalak drove to Carnegie Mellon University to show the prototype to a professor. The professor rejected the idea outright telling Pasupalak if he ever managed to build a real-world product with that technology, he would offer him a PhD in computer science.

In 2011, at the Velocity Garage, Pasupalak and his team continued work on the algorithms he developed in Di Marco’s class. Before Apple's Siri was publicly launched, they developed mobile search algorithms that allowed users to speak naturally into phones and get the information they wanted. Velocity set them up with everything Pasupalak needed to start thinking about building a business, which he named Maluuba. 

“We were razor focused on solving the problem of language understanding and we didn’t care if technology giants like Google or Facebook were pouring billions of dollars into developing this technology,” said Pasupalak. “We just wanted to be the best at any cost.” 

After graduating, Pasupalak had little money but didn’t take a job. While crashing on the couch of Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, another successful Waterloo entrepreneur, Simpson encouraged Pasupalak to take his passion to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and raise funds for his company. Simpson even booked Pasupalak’s flight with $700 he had saved during his last co-op term.

Although hesitant, Pasupalak took the flight and hustled his way into a meeting with his first investor from Samsung Ventures. He also tried to meet with the business team of Yelp without a pre-arranged meeting. It led to security guards escorting Pasupalak out of the building. His persistence eventually paid off and Yelp became Maluuba’s first commercial partner. Then the next big hustle began. 

Read the rest of the article on Waterloo Stories.

Arts Undergraduate Office closure

The Arts Undergraduate office will be closed today from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Link of the day

Yippie Ki Yay: Die Hard is 30

When and where 

Celebrate Canada's Diversity at the University Club, Tuesday, July 3 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) - Part 1, Thursday, July 12, 12:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Book Store Summer Reading Sale, Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SCH concourse.

Arts 101 Day, Monday, July 16.

Writing CVs and Cover Letters for Academic Job Applications (for graduate students and post-docs only), Tuesday, July 17, 10:00 a.m., TC 1208.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, July 16, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Say it in your own words: Paraphrase & summary, Tuesday, July 17, 1:00 p.m., SCH 228F.

Getting a US Work Permit, Tuesday, July 17, 1:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, July 17, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Getting it done: Productive writing strategies for big projects, Wednesday, July 18, 10:00 a.m., SCH 228F.

Math 101 Day, Thursday, July 19.

Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) – Part 2, Thursday, July 19, 12:30 p.m., TC 1112.

5th Annual UWSA Golf Social Tournament, Thursday, July 19, 3:30 p.m., Foxwood Country Club. Deadline to register is Friday, July 6.

Velocity Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to five different billion-dollar problems,” Thursday, July 19, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Beautiful Wanderings: orchestra@uwaterloo, Thursday, July 19, 7:30 p.m., First United Church, Waterloo.

Instrumental Chamber Ensemble Concert, Sunday, July 22, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

WISE Public Lecture: Biogas - Resource Recovery & Clean Tech, Tuesday, July 24, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Waterloo FileMaker Database Workshop presented by CoreSolutions, Tuesday, July 24, 1:00 p.m., DC1304.

Hallman Lecture: Whiteness, Women and Sex Tourism, Tuesday, July 24, 3:30 p.m., AHS 1686.

Lectures and classes end, Wednesday, July 25.

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training, Wednesday, July 25, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447.

Velocity Fund Finals, “20 startups compete for $130,000,” Wednesday, July 25, 11:00 a.m., SLC Great Hall. 

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: Lunchtime Yoga, Wednesday, July 25, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 pm., NH 3407.

Pre-examination study days, Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27.

Environment 101 Day, Thursday, July 26.

NEW - SHAD Waterloo 2018 Open Day Exhibits, Thursday, July 26, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

Examinations begin, Saturday, July 28.

Online examination days, Saturday, July 28 and Friday, August 3.

CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy featuring Vern Paxson, University of California, Berkeley, Tuesday, July 31, 11:00 a.m., DC 1304.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Tuesday, July 31, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Thursday, August 2, 5:00 p.m., NH 2447.

NEW - Civic holiday, Monday, August 6, most University operations closed.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Tuesday, August 7, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

NEW - LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Wednesday, August 8, 12:30 p.m., NH 3318.

NEW - Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS), Friday, August 10 to Friday, August 17, Institute for Quantum Computing.

NEW - Examinations end, Saturday, August 11.