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Friday, July 20, 2018

Victoria Chu named associate university librarian

A message from the Library.

Victoria Chu.Victoria Chu has been appointed to the position of Associate University Librarian, Learning, Research and User Services, effective October 15, 2018. Victoria will provide leadership for the Library's user-focused information programs, policies, and spaces, including research consultations and services, instruction, user experience, accessibility, student engagement and outreach.

Victoria brings to this newly-shaped senior administrative role an impressive and deep combination of professional and academic qualifications. She is currently Director, Research Advisory Services Program at the University of California San Diego Library, where she has held both administrative and subject specialist appointments in Area Studies, International Relations, and Chinese Studies since 2005. Prior to that, Victoria held professional appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library, and the University of Toronto East Asian Library. She holds a master's degree in Information Studies as well as advanced degrees in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto, and bachelor's degrees in Political Science and History and Philosophy with highest honours from McMaster University.

"Victoria's deep experience in leading user services and specialized research programs in several academic libraries brings critically important perspective to the Library as the University of Waterloo shapes its future in a highly innovative, research-intensive environment," says University Librarian Beth Namachchivaya.

At the University of California San Diego Library, she has been instrumental in developing the Library's research advisory services as well as planning for programs and space for data science, GIS and digital scholarship. Through her significant change management expertise, she has facilitated lasting and positive change in Area Studies library programs and collections, including International Relations and Pacific Studies, and East Asian Studies.

Victoria's extensive professional and community service includes membership and leadership roles in the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the California Digital Library (CDL) Resource Liaison Program, and leadership of the University of California system-wide East Asian Bibliographers' Group. She has published and presented internationally at professional society meetings and conferences on the topics of scholarly communication and digital scholarship initiatives in East Asian studies, Chinese and East Asian collection development and licensing in the electronic environment, and library consolidations and closings.

Remembering Chancellor Emeritus Josef Kates

Josef Kates.

The University of Waterloo's fourth Chancellor, Canadian computing pioneer Josef Kates, died on June 6.

Born in Vienna in 1921, Kates fled Austria after the German annexation in 1938 and found refuge first in Italy and then the United Kingdom before being interned by the British government (along with thousands of other German- and Austrian-born UK residents) and sent to Canada in 1940. In 1942 he moved to Toronto and worked for the Imperial Optical Company, designing precision optics for the Royal Canadian Navy. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in mathematics and physics. 

From 1944 to 1948, he was special project engineer from at the Rogers Majestic Company (now part of the Royal Philips Electronics conglomerate).

In 1947 Kates joined the new computation centre at the University of Toronto, the first such centre in Canada. As a graduate student, he became one of the leaders of a research project to build Canada’s first digital, electronic, general-purpose computer, known as UTEC (University of Toronto Electronic Computer). While the project was ultimately unsuccessful (the University of Toronto eventually purchased a Ferranti Mark I, imported from Manchester, UK), it was an important milestone in Canadian computing.

In 1950 Kates developed what many consider to be the first electronic game, Bertie the Brain, a computerized tic-tac-toe machine, nigh-unbeatable, that debuted at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1950. Kates obtained a PhD in physics in 1951, developing an electronic cathode ray tube for use in computer applications, the Additron tube, which he had demonstrated in his Bertie the Brain arcade game. The development of the transistor made such technology obsolete.

In 1954, he set up Canada's first computer consulting service, KCS Data Control Limited, named after its founders, including Len Casciato, who served as Kates' assistant on the UTEC project, and Joe Shapiro. KCS provided computing consulting services to a number of major corporations and government bodies. 

Among KCS's innovations were the first computer-controlled traffic signal system for Metropolitan Toronto (a world first), coordinating some 1,300 traffic lights, and efficiency improvements to the capacity of the Welland Canal. Kates also developed computer models for urban and regional transportation and land use planning.

A Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, Kates was appointed to the Science Council of Canada in 1968 and chaired that body from 1975 to 1978. He also served on the boards of the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute, Canadian Technion Society, and new Mount Sinai Hospital.

Named the fourth chancellor of the University of Waterloo in 1979, Kates succeeded Carl A. Pollock. His reputation as a distinguished scientist, science booster, and computing pioneer brought a definite cachet to the University of Waterloo as it was establishing its global reputation. As Chancellor he was a very dignified presence at Convocation ceremonies. 

He served as Chancellor until 1985, when he was succeeded by J. Page Wadsworth.

Kates was predeceased by two wives, Lillian Kates and Kay Hill, and his son Philip, and is survived by three children including son Louis, a University of Waterloo Systems Engineering graduate.

Kates was 97.

Photo courtesy of the University of Waterloo's Special Collections & Archives. Thanks to Scott Campbell and Ken McLaughlin for additional background information.

Mental health training opportunities available

A message from Campus Wellness.

We are so very fortunate to have people across campus that are passionate about mental health awareness for our students, staff and faculty. Knowing mental health warriors can be found in all types of roles we wanted to reach out to see if anyone in our staff and faculty groups have the certification to facilitate a SafeTALK, Mental Health First Aid or ASIST training.

Campus Wellness is looking to our campus community to add to our facilitator roster. If this is of interest to you and it fits within your current role here on campus please connect with Tanya Andrews in Counselling Services at or at extension 38487. We are very interested in partnering with you. 

Link of the day

20 years later, the music still sounds better with you

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.

Retirement celebration for Glenn Welch, Friday, July 20, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

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

Management Consulting as a Career Option, Monday, July 23, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

safeTALK training, Tuesday, July 24, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447.

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.

NEW - Engineering Seminar: Prof. Katja Mombaur, University of Heidelberg, Tuesday, July 24, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302. Refreshments will be provided.

Food Services Recruitment Fair, Tuesday, July 24, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Fed Hall. 

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.

Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Wednesday, July 25, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

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.

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

#BeInTheMoment Zumba, Friday, July 27, 12:00 p.m., AHS 1686.

Examinations begin, Saturday, July 28.

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

Lobsterlicious at the University Club, Tuesday, July 31 to Friday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

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

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

Waterloo Science Outreach at Discovery Square, Tuesday, July 31, 5:00 p.m., Kitchener City Hall.

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

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

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

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

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

Examinations end, Saturday, August 11.

PhD oral defences

Psychology. Henri Santos, "Advice-giving Helps Advisors Reason More Wisely About Life Challenges and Interpersonal Conflicts." Supervisor, Igor Grossmann. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, July 27, 1:00 p.m., PAS 3026.

Computer Science. Michael Mior, "Physical Design for Non-Relational Data Systems." Supervisor, Kenneth Salem. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Monday, July 30, 9:30 a.m., DC 2310.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Matthew Sjaarda, "The Fatigue Behaviour of Welded and Bolted Shear Connectors in Composite Highway Bridges." Supervisors, Scott Walbridge, Jeff West. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Monday, July 30, 9:30 a.m., E2-2350.

Systems Design Engineering. Majed Alghamdi, "Electrostatic MEMS Bifurcation Sensors." Supervisor, Eihab Abdel-Rahman. On display in the Engineering graduate office, DWE 3520C. Oral defence Monday, July 30, 10:30 a.m., E5-6111.