SEW long, farewell - Skills for the Electronic Workplace turns 20, gets new name
by Sandra Laughlin.
The Skills for the Electronic Workplace program, now called the IT Professional Development (ITPD) program, is celebrating 20 years in 2019.
Started by Information Systems & Technology’s (IST) Client Services group and supported by staff from other departments across campus, the aim of the program was to provide University employees with hands-on training for computer application skills. Course attendees completed a small project at the end of each class and received a certificate to mark their achievements.
Initially, courses were developed for Level 1 Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), and Level 2 and 3 courses were added over time. Dreamweaver, used to create and edit web pages before the arrival of the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS), was another popular course.
IT Professional Development today
Today, the ITPD program offers participants a selection of approximately 8-12 courses each period and has broadened its scope to include material related to accessibility, writing for the web, project management, and analytics. The ITPD courses continue to be taught in the training labs (hands-on or lecture style) and some are also now available in the drop-in lab (self-lead instruction) or online via LEARN. While physical certificates are no longer distributed, a record of completion is maintained for each participant in Workday.
On the horizon
The IT landscape is constantly changing, and so then is the need and desire for modern, relevant training content. Additional courses in project management and a new course in API development are planned for the near future. And, if more immediate training is required, the LinkedIn Learning platform offers a wide selection of free, expert-lead courses to supplement and extend training offered through the ITPD program.
By the numbers
Since 2007, the program has offered courses in 138 topics and welcomed over 13,620 course participants. Excel Level 1, one of the very first courses offered, has been taught to over 330 participants alone.
Have an idea for a new course or interested in teaching? We encourage you to review new instructors/courses to see what is required, then contact the ITPD Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
David Sprott Distinguished Lecture explores Wiener Space
The next David Sprott Distinguished Lecture will take place on Thursday, September 26. Professor Hans Föllmer will deliver remarks entitled "Optimal Transport, Entropy, and Risk Measures on Wiener space."
"We discuss the interplay between entropy, large deviations, and optimal couplings on Wiener space," says the lecture's promotional material. "In particular we prove a new rescaled version of Talagrand’s transport inequality. As an application, we consider rescaled versions of the entropic risk measure which are sensitive to risks in the fine structure of Brownian paths."
Föllmer is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Humboldt University in Berlin. He has also been a professor at the Universities of Frankfurt and Bonn and at ETH Zurich, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore, and the Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. He is widely known for his contributions to probability theory and mathematical finance and has received numerous awards, including the Prix Gay-Lussac/Humboldt of the French Government, the Georg-Cantor medal of the German Mathematical Society, and a honorary degree of the University Paris- Dauphine. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences.
The lecture takes place at 4:15 p.m. in STC 0050.
Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute to host annual conference
Our global economy depends on the digital systems that empower our everyday life. While our digital society holds tremendous promise for increased prosperity and innovation, it also exposes us to growing security breaches that put personal privacy and our social agency at risk.
On October 2, join cybersecurity and privacy experts as we examine the current threat landscape of cybersecurity and the future workforce needs for privacy and cybersecurity professionals. You will meet global thought leaders and experts transforming cybersecurity and protecting our privacy.
The event takes place at Federation Hall.
Reminder: HeForShe Writing Contest submissions due October 1
Submissions are open for the fourth and final year of the HeForShe Writing Contest.
In this final year of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 writing contest, the Office of Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion and the Writing and Communication Centre are inviting the University of Waterloo community to share their ideas, expressions and visions on the theme of LEGACY as it relates to intersectional gender equity. Submissions are due October 1.
"In this call for your poems, stories and personal essays, we hope you will consider how the idea of legacy brings us here, to this moment in the present, and also how our choices today impact generations to come," says a note from the contest organizers. "Legacy ties us to one another across time. It extends and traces the choices we make today backwards and forwards, across seasons and across centuries. As we look around us now and lean forward into the future of gender equity, how do you see the legacy we carry today and imagine the legacy we can create for the future?"
In keeping with previous years, a $500 prize will be awarded for the top submission in each category (poetry, creative non-fiction, and fiction). Selected submissions will also be included in a special University of Waterloo anthology on gender equity that will be published on March 6, 2020 at the International Women’s Day Dinner. The contest is open to all Waterloo students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
For more information about the contest and eligibility requirements, check out the HeForShe Writing Contest site.
Applications for the Co-op Problem Award are open until Sunday, October 6 at 11:59 p.m. For more information check out the Co-op Problem Lab Award website.
Employers on campus next week hosting employer information sessions include Qualcomm Canada, BlackBerry Limited, Foresters Financial, Intellijoint Surgical, PartnerRe Life Reinsurance Company of Canada, Loyalty One, BDO Canada, Okta, Milliman, Scotiabank – Skills of the Trade, Splunk, Cockroach Labs, Intuit, Piblicis Sapient, Rippling, Verkada, BRP, DHL Supply Chain, AMD, Electronic Arts Inc., Sentry.io, and Toronto Hydro.