Computer science students win inaugural Pasupalak Velocity CS Capstone Award
This article was originally published on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.
A team of three computer science students has won the Pasupalak Velocity CS Capstone Award for its entry in the 2019 Computer Science and Software Engineering Capstone Design Symposium, an exhibition in which final-year students develop new products and practical solutions to problems across a variety of industries and sectors.
Team CircleChek, comprised of fourth-year computer science students Rebecca Brown, Jason Williamson and Bing Xu Hu, created an app that allows operators of large trucks, construction vehicles and other heavy machinery to complete and submit their mandatory daily inspection logs electronically using a smart phone or tablet.
Although electronic devices are widespread, the heavy machinery industry relies largely on paper inspection logs that are completed manually by operators. CircleChek’s app would streamline log entry and allow operators to augment records with photographs and comments. Moreover, if the app were synched to the cloud it would increase the speed, accuracy and coordination of inspection log entries to management while ensuring that heavy machinery meets provincial and federal safety standards.
Valued at $15,000, the Pasupalak Velocity CS Capstone Award for their entry consists of $1,650 to each team member, along with acceptance into the Velocity Garage with $10,050 in seed funds to help the team transform their idea into a start-up.
“After interviewing all applicants and discussion among our judges, I’m very pleased to announce that your team has been awarded the first-ever Pasupalak Velocity CS Capstone Award,” wrote Pat Martinson, Campus Lead Mentor at Waterloo Velocity in his letter to Team CircleChek. “We found a mix of technical execution and market understanding with your product, and we’re excited to see that continue through your involvement in the Velocity Garage.”
The Velocity Fund is a grant program to turn ideas into start-up companies. Velocity was established in 2011 with a $1 million donation from Kik founder and Velocity Residence alumnus Ted Livingston. The Pasupalak Velocity CS Capstone Award, conferred for the first time this year, was made possible through a generous donation from computer science alumnus Sam Pasupalak (BCS 2012), who co-founded Maluuba, an artificial intelligence start-up.
Grants awarded to Waterloo ExL Institute participants
Waterloo ExL is supporting the expansion of experiential learning (EL) on campus by awarding seven grants to Waterloo instructors, all of whom are working on developing EL components in their courses.
Instructors who participated in the Waterloo ExL Institute — an intensive two-day retreat focused on the integration of EL into courses and programs — were encouraged to apply for the grants, which offer up to $5,500 to assist with the implementation of EL. Applications were evaluated on whether or not they created new experiences, the quality of their EL frameworks, and their long-term sustainability. The Institute represented the culmination of a year-long process, in which faculty and academic support staff were engaged through communities of practice and an experiential learning symposium.
Grants were awarded to the following instructors:
- Matthew James Borland (SYDE 361: Engineering Design), for creating a client-focused design project where student teams build accessible musical instrument interfaces for clients with physical disabilities;
- Bryan Grimwood (REC/ENVS 433: Ecotourism and Communities), for creating a blended learning course involving a six-day field experience at the Kandalore Outdoor Centre and online learning activities;
- Andrew Stumpf (PHIL 319J: Ethics of End-of-Life-Care), for partnering with Hospice Waterloo Region involving applied research projects tied to community engagement;
- Zara Rafferty and Kim Lopez (REC 251: Therapeutic Recreation: Developmental and Emotional Disabilities), for developing interactive multimedia simulations that help students engage in real-life practice scenarios;
- Chris Rennick, Ada Hurst, Derek Wright, and Sanjeev Bedi (Engineering Ideas Clinic), for piloting field experiences in four Engineering departments for process improvements in the capstone design project;
- Homeyra Pourmohammadali and Kamyar Ghavam (ME 212: Dynamics and ME 321: Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines), for vertically integrating projects in ME 212 and ME 321 where students build a machine together while each cohort analyzes their own part;
- James Nugent (ENVS 205: Sustainability: The Future We Want), for developing a database of applied research projects related to sustainability.
Weekend work on QNC will see Ring Road closed
The exam-time journey to the Physical Activities Complex might be a bit more arduous for some people this weekend.
According to a notice from Plant Operations, a section of the Ring Road will be closed on Saturday, April 27 from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to facilitate the replacement of several nitrogen tanks at the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre.
On the Ring Road’s west side, the stretch between Biology 2 and the Student Life Centre/PAC entrance will be closed while cranes and trucks change out the nitrogen tanks. There will be no access to the QNC's parking lot.
There will be a staging area for the tank transport trucks.
Drivers entering the University from its south campus entrance are encouraged to turn right at South Campus Hall rather than left on Saturday and pedestrians should use the south campus gateway to make their way to the PAC rather than take the Ring Road.
There will be signs, barricades and flagpersons on hand to ensure the safety of workers, drivers and pedestrians.
There's still time to enter the W Store's Calendar Contest. This is a multi-season photography contest run in partnership with the @uofwaterloo Instagram page. The contest started on February 11 and runs until November 1.
There are two ways to enter. The first way is sending submissions to email@example.com, and the other is entering by using #wstore and #uwsocial on Instagram. All of the information about the contest can be found on the W Store website.
The grand prize winner of the contest will have their picture featured on the front of the 2020 University of Waterloo Calendar, get a copy of the calendar and receive a $100 W Store gift card. The 11 other runners-up will also have their pictures featured in the Calendar and receive a $25 W Store Gift Card.
The Faculty Association’s Equity Committee is looking for new members, particularly faculty members who identify as and/or advocate for underrepresented groups. The committee meets once a month on Fridays at 9:30 a.m., September through June. If you are interested, please read more and apply online by Friday, May 3.