Friday, August 9, 2019

Library revitalization promises improved experience for students

Two students in the library looking at a textbook

Last year students visited Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries over 2 million times. Now, with generous donations and the University’s matched support, new study and collaboration spaces have been created, revitalizing both libraries.

By gathering feedback, the Library discovered that students wanted more study spaces, reduced noise and an enhanced atmosphere. Guided by this feedback, the Library revitalization team worked with an advisory committee and architects at WalterFedy on a plan to transform library spaces. In Dana Porter there are now more bookable study rooms, a lounge area and a quiet reflection room. On the third floor, there is a new flexible learning lab, which facilitates innovative teaching and learning activities. In Davis Centre, new study furniture has been added, along with a quiet reading lounge and a fully-accessible and gender-neutral washroom.

 “On behalf of everyone in the Library I’m thrilled to share with the University community these updated spaces for learning and scholarship,” said Beth Sandore Namachchivaya, University Librarian. “Year after year, Waterloo students and scholars make the Library the true ‘heart’ of the campus through heavy use of Library spaces, expertise, and information resources. These renovations are possible through generous donor support, creative and thoughtful planning, and contributions from the Office of the Provost.”

The campus community is invited to explore the new, transformative spaces at the Library revitalization grand opening on Thursday, September 12 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. The grand opening will be held at the Davis Centre Library where there will be refreshments, remarks and a celebration of the opening of the new Art in the Library exhibit. 

Extending the reach of classical AI into the quantum realm

Graphic of binary going into the quantum realm

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Applied Mathematics news site.

The Physics of Information lab, led by Professor Achim Kempf, was awarded one of the 2018 Google Faculty Research Awards. Kempf’s lab focuses on the physics of information, a wide research field that ranges from general relativity and quantum theory to information theory and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Kempf lab received the Google award for a project in quantum machine learning. Kempf’s PhD student Guillaume Verdon and his Master’s student Evan Peters, with help from undergraduate student Michael Broughton pioneered this project which sits at the interface of quantum theory and deep learning. The research focuses on how artificial intelligence-like algorithms on a quantum computer can be paired, or hybridized, with artificial intelligence on a classical computer. The team caught Google’s attention with substantial papers, such as  A Universal Training Algorithm for Quantum Deep Learning in 2018, which details how quantum dynamics can be used to optimize classical and quantum neural networks.

“I took a risk two years ago jumping into this new field of quantum machine learning when nobody had any clue of what it was going to be,” said Verdon. Adding: “I thought that machine learning and quantum machine learning was an area of application that could propel near-term quantum computers forward. Ultimately, I believe that, someday, quantum computers could even help us test our various models of theoretical physics and quantum gravity, thus extending our computational reach and our capabilities for modelling and understanding how the universe works.”

Richard Feynman first proposed quantum computers for the purpose of simulating the world at the quantum level to better understand quantum mechanics. A quantum computer could, for example, simulate chemical reactions which produce new molecules with potentially valuable uses from materials design to drug design. Since chemistry is fundamentally quantum, quantum simulation and the new quantum AI developed in this project should eventually significantly help explore, understand, and refine simulated chemical reactions for materials and drug design.

Read the full article.

Beyond the Bulletin episode 10

Beyond the Bulletin graphic with two microphones

Episode 10 of the Beyond the Bulletin Podcast is now live. Victor Arora, of Waterloo’s on-campus observatory, talks about sharing astronomy with the public and gives tips for viewing the Perseid meteor shower. Better Bail for America goes to the Hult Prize startup accelerator. And we take a look at the history of our outdoor art, including the triumphant return of the Pickle Forks.

Link of the day

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

When and Where

On-campus examination period, Friday, August 2 to Friday, August 16.

New Faculty Teaching Days, Wednesday, August 7 to Friday, August 9.

Lobsterlicious at the University Club, Wednesday, August 7 to Friday, August 16, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students, Friday, August 9 to Friday, August 16.

Renison Night Market, Friday, August 9, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Renison Upper Parking Lot.

Online examinations, Saturday, August 10.

Ontario Mennonite Music Camp, Sunday, August 11 to Friday, August 23, Conrad Grebel University College.

UW Food Services Recruitment Fair, Monday, August 12, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Perseids Sky-watching Party and Cosmic Mirages Lecture, Monday, August 12, 7:30 p.m., OPT 347.

Department seminar by Dr. Pavel Krupskiy, University of Melbourne, "Spatial Cauchy processes with local tail dependence," Tuesday, August 13, M3 3127.

Eating Disorder Support Group, Tuesday, August 13, 4:00 p.m., NH 3308.

Instructional Skills Workshop, Tuesday, August 13 to Friday, August 16.

New Faculty Welcome Social, Tuesday, August 13, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., The Grad House (second floor).

Workday Drop-in Support, Tuesday, August 13,  9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021.

Webinar: Authors' Rights, Wednesday, August 14, 10:00 a.m.

In-person Part-time MBET Information, Wednesday, August 14, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., E7 second floor.

Grades begin to appear in Quest, Saturday, August 17.

Quantum Key Distribution Summer School, Monday, August 19 to Friday, August 23.

More Feet on the Ground - Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Monday, August 19, 9:30 a.m., NH 2447.

Deadline to get “Fees Arranged,” Tuesday, August 20.

Workday Drop-in Support, Tuesday, August 20,  9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021.

Pension Lunch and Learn session, Thursday, August 22, 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m., STC 1012.

Co-operative work term ends, Friday, August 23.

Workday Drop-in Support, Tuesday, August 27,  9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., EC1 1021.

Getting Started in LEARN, Wednesday, August 28.

Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, August 28, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., LIB 329.

Waterloo Women's Wednesdays: How to Set and Crush Your Goals, Wednesday, August 28, 12:00 p.m., MC 5479.

International Orientation, Thursday, August 29 to Saturday, August 31.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, August 29, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., NH 2447.

Residence Move-In Day, Saturday, August 31.