Monday, December 3, 2018

Ceremony to mark National Day of Remembrance on Thursday

A woman's face silhouetted by the sun.

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.

This Thursday, students, faculty, staff and community leaders will come together on campus to reflect on the tragic events in 1989 at École Polytechnique de Montréal, when an armed shooter killed 14 young women. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

The ceremony will take place from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. on the second-floor atrium in Engineering 7. Vice-President, Academic & Provost Jim Rush, Deputy Provost and Associate Vice-President, Integrated Planning and Budgeting Susan Tighe and Associate Vice-President of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion Diana Parry will be attendance and each give remarks.

White ribbons will be distributed to attendees as a symbol of opposition to violence against women. A candle vigil will also be part of the event in remembrance of the 14 women.

The ceremony invites the community to reflect on and commemorate these women, and to continue the pursuit of justice, equity and opportunity for all.

Register for this event online.

A fitting send-off for Waterloo's first Nobel Prize winner

A crowd of well-wishers joins Feridun Hamdullahpur and Donna Strickland for a goup photo on the stairs of the Science Teaching Complex.

by Anne Galang.

There was a lively, celebratory energy in the air as a crowd of hundreds gathered in the Science Teaching Complex foyer this past Thursday. Cheery volunteers handed out bags of trail mix labeled with #UWaterlooProud labels. Students, faculty and staff signed their well wishes on an over-sized banner that lined the wall.

This was not a pep rally, but a send-off celebration for Professor Donna Strickland before she embarked for Sweden to accept the Nobel Prize in Physics. As Waterloo’s first Nobel Prize winner, Strickland has become a campus (even a national) celebrity—and, deservingly, was greeted as one.

Chair of the Physics and Astronomy department Brian McNamara and Dean of Science Bob Lemieux introduced the ceremony and had some words of praise for Strickland.

President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur also spoke, his words capturing the feeling in the room. “Science is proud. Waterloo is proud. Canada is proud.”

He went on to praise Strickland’s dedication to her work, calling her an inspiration to others to “focus on what you love to do and give it everything you have.” The president also acknowledged that this celebration is also for the entire University.

“The campus community deserves to be with her as we send her off to Sweden, and cheer not just for her achievements, but also your future achievements.”

When Professor Strickland took the stage, she joked that she hopes to meet Waterloo’s second Nobel laureate and hopes the University will have the same enthusiasm for that individual. She also had words of advice and inspiration to students.

“Always choose to do what you really want to do,” she said, citing her decision to study at the University of Rochester over other universities because it housed one of only two optics PhD programs. She also noted that awards and recognition may not come immediately, but that the work should be a reward on its own. She told the crowd how her award-winning paper was not cited in the first five years. 33 years later, that paper is cited 200 times a year, “and the Nobel people now think it’s a big deal.”

To close the ceremony, Professor Strickland was presented with a send-off gift: a parking space outside of the Physics building.

If you missed the celebration, you can still join the festivities by attending the Nobel Prize viewing party on campus on December 10. Register online to watch Professor Strickland accept her prize live from Sweden.

Keep track of Donna Strickland's activities with online diary

A series of homepage stories launched over the weekend that will help members of the University community follow along with Professor Donna Strickland as she travels to Sweden to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018.

"Diary of a Nobel Laureate" will be updated periodically over the next two weeks as Professor Strickland completes her journey to the Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10.

Check-in as University Communications update you on where Professor Strickland’s adventure takes her on this exciting ride of winning a Nobel Prize. Here's the initial entry that sets up Strickland's journey, which began with a phone call on October 2:

Watch Donna Strickland explain that early morning call

An early morning phone call on October 2, 2018 altered any plans that Donna Strickland had that day and for most of her days since.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ announcement that Strickland would share the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 made her a household name and guaranteed her place in history.

Feds nomination period opens; other notes

A collage of Feds executives.

"Nominations are now open for Feds Elections!" says a note from the Federation of Students. "Please consider encouraging Waterloo undergrads to nominate themselves or their peers to run for a position on Students’ Council, Senate, or the Executive."

Nominations close January 17 at 4:00 p.m. Interested students can find more information at

University of Waterloo Chancellor Dominic Barton recently penned an editorial in Canadian Business on the issue of university leadership in an age of disruption. Give it a read!

St. Jerome's University's Lectures in Catholic Experience series continues this week with a lecture by Christine Gervais entitled "Beyond the Altar: Canadian Women Religious Confront Patriarchal Power in the Roman Catholic Church." The lecture takes place on Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. in SJU's Vanstone Lecture Hall.

Upcoming office closure

Registrar’s Office will be closed on Monday, December 3 from 12:00 p.m  to 1:30 p.m. for a special holiday event. If students have questions during that time, please email or call ext. 42268.

Link of the day


When and where

Holiday Luncheon Buffet at the University Club, Wednesday, November 28 to Friday, December 21, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Lectures end, Monday, December 3.

CBB Biomedical Discussion Group seminar featuring Dr. Xin Fan, Professor, Dalian University of Technology, and Dean, International School of DUT-RU Information Science & Engineering, "Interpretable and Collaborative Deep Learning for Low-level Computer Vision," Monday, December 3, 11:00 a.m., EC4-2101a.

Launch Your Personal Statement – Step 1, Monday, December 3, 2:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Write an Exceptional Personal Statement, Monday, December 3, 3:00 p.m., TC 2218.

Pre-examination study days, Tuesday, December 4 and Wednesday, December 5.

Salt Use in the Winter, Tuesday, December 4, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 pm, MC 5501.

Strategies for Success: CIHR grant information session for spring 2019 applications, Wednesday, December 5, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., DC 1304.

Research Talks: Pushing back the frontiers of knowledge with supercomputing, Wednesday, December 5, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Math and Computer Building, Room 2017.

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training, Wednesday, December 5, 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., NH 2447.

Retirement party for Vera Korody and Vic DiCiccio, Wednesday, December 5, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., University Club.

Retirement reception for Rohan Jayasundera, Wednesday, December 5, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., IQC main atrium.

Better Birth Experiences: Empowering Partners, Preventing Trauma, Wednesday, December 5, 6:00 p.m., AHS 2677.

Examination period begins, Thursday, December 6.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Thursday, December 6, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., NH 3318.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women vigil, Thursday, December 6, 10:30 a.m., Engineering 7 (E7) - Second Floor Atrium.

Online course examination days, Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8.

Lectures in Catholic Experience featuring Christine Gervais, PhD, Beyond the Altar:
Canadian Women Religious Confront Patriarchal Power in the Roman Catholic Church, December 7, 7:30 p.m., Vanstone Lecture Hall, SJU Academic Centre.

QPR Mental Health Training, Monday, December 10, 9:30 a.m., Counselling Services.

Donna Strickland Nobel Ceremony Viewing Party, Monday, December 10, 10:30 a.m., Science Teaching Complex Main Commons. Livestream.

Holiday Dinner Buffet at the University Club, Wednesday, December 12, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., University Club.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Wednesday, December 12, 5;00 p.m., HS 2302.

Deadline to get "Fees Arranged", Thursday, December 13.

President's Holiday Luncheon, Friday, December 14, 12:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Retirement celebration for Jerry Hutten, Friday, December 14, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., University Club. RSVP by Wednesday, December 5 to Sharon Rumpel -

Holiday Buffet Luncheon in Federation Hall, Tuesday, December 18, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Advent Jazz Vesper Service, Tuesday, December 18, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel.

UWRC Book Club, “The Steady Running of the Hour” by Justin Go, Wednesday, December 19, 12 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., LIB 407.

PhD oral defences

Applied Math. Midhun Kathanaruparambil Sukumaran, "Dimensionality Reduction of the Chemical Master Equation." Supervisor, Brian Ingalls. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Wednesday, December 5, 9:30 a.m., MC 6460.

Global Governance. Irene Spagna, "Dealer Bank Influence and the International Political Economy of Over-the-Counter Derivatives Regulation: The Introduction of Mandatory Margin Requirements for Non-Centrally Cleared Derivatives after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008." Supervisor, Eric Helleiner. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Wednesday, December 5, 9:30 a.m., BSIA 1-23.

Chemistry. Nicholas Lanigan, "Bulk Supramolecular Polymerization via "Weak" Hydrogen Bonds and Aromatic Interactions: Recognizing the Potential of Metal Coordination." Supervisor, Xiaosong Wang. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2013. Oral defence Friday, December 7, 1:00 p.m., EIT 2053.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Ayman Shihata, "Bond Behaviour of Beams Reinforced with Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer Bar Under Fatigue Loading." Supervisors, Timothy Topper, Scott Walbridge. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Monday, December 10, 9:30 a.m., E2 3356.