Friday, October 18, 2019

Ethical by design

A group of students working on a design

This article was originally published in Waterloo Stories.

We have an intimate relationship with technology. It is infused in our daily life, from our home and car to our finances and health care. As we welcome new technologies into our most personal spaces, there is a growing recognition that design-based thinking needs to consider ethics and the users it serves.

“Technology developers on average want to do the right thing, but often feel like ethics is someone else’s job,” says Jennifer Boger, director of Waterloo’s Intelligent Technologies for Wellness and Independent Living lab. This is a sentiment she is trying to change with her new manifesto, Ethical by Design.

Boger and her collaborators want to empower creators of technologies and systems to better-consider the ethics of what they are building, at every stage of the development process. The manifesto proposes a set of principles acting as signposts for developers to consider, discuss and support in the technology they are designing.

“The potential to help is immense,” says Boger, who also teaches the biomedical engineering ethics course, a core course for all undergraduate biomedical engineers at Waterloo.

Portrait photo of Jennifer Boger“The framework seems to resonate the most with industry right now. This may be because, while there are other initiatives out there, there is a gap for something that is readily available and can guide development day-to-day,” she says.

But it’s not just industry who is paying attention to this ethics framework. The manifesto also sparked interest from academics, government and NGO’s, including the World Health Organization. This past May, Boger was invited to the UN’s AI for Good Summit to participate in a panel and lead a workshop on the ethical by design concept.

“It’s not just for computer scientists, engineers or philosophers, it’s for all people and sectors engaging in creating tech or systems,” Boger explains. “I want anyone working in development to be able to pick up the framework and understand how the principles apply to them.”

Read the full article.

Applications for the Concept $5K Grant close on Monday

Concept $5K banner.

A message from Concept Imagined by Velocity.

Applications for the Concept $5K Grant close on Monday, October 21. Previously known as the Velocity Fund $5K, the Concept $5K Grant provides funding in a way that is impactful to students by incorporating pitch experience into its funding program. Students are eligible to apply to pitch an early-stage startup idea to qualify for a chance to win one of four $5,000 grants.

The top applicants that submit a written application will be invited to make a 3-minute pitch in front of a panel of judges at one of the Concept $5K Semi-Finals on November 5 and 6. All teams will get helpful feedback on their idea, and the top 10 teams from the Concept $5K Semi-Finals will move on to pitch at the Concept $5K Finals on November 20 to compete for a share of $20,000.

 Learn more about the Concept $5K Grant.

Take Our Kids to Work Day coming up on November 6

A message from Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment.

Calling all employees with children in Grade 9: The University of Waterloo is pleased to announce our participation in The Learning Partnership’s national Take Our Kids to Work day on Wednesday, November 6. 

Waterloo is a diverse workplace and a variety of workshops and hands on opportunities are scheduled for grade 9 students. We hope you’ll take part by bringing your Grade 9 student to work with you on November 6th. If you’re planning to participate please register.

Please note this is an event for grade 9 children of University of Waterloo staff, faculty, and students. If you are interested in learning more about the University of Waterloo please join us for the Fall Open House on Saturday, November 2

For additional information please contact Alexis Condotta,

Please register by Tuesday, November 5.

High-risk and community flu vaccination clinics coming soon

A needle being injected into a person's shoulder.

A message from Campus Wellness.

With cold and flu season coming up, you might be wondering whether or not to get a flu vaccination this year. The answer is yes! Campus Wellness is providing a community flu clinic this November to help make it easy and convenient to get your flu vaccine and help stop the spread of influenza.

The community flu clinics are running on the following dates and times:

  • November 12, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the SLC multi-purpose room.
  • November 13, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the SLC multi-purpose room.
  • November 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the SLC multi-purpose room.

Even healthy, young people should get the vaccine, to avoid missing work or school, but also to avoid spreading influenza to people who might not have well developed immune, which could include any babies, older relatives, or people with medical conditions who could develop serious complications from the flu.

People in high-risk categories are strongly encouraged to get the influenza vaccine. Campus Wellness will also be running an earlier clinic at their Health Services location for people in the high-risk categories starting Monday, October 21. For more information about the dates and times, see the event listing.

Getting vaccinated can be an effective way to maintain your health through cold and flu season. By avoiding the flu, you save time and energy for more important things like work, attending class, or visiting family members who might be at a high-risk for flu complications.

All University of Waterloo community members (students, staff, and faculty) can get their influenza vaccination at one of the flu clinics. If you can’t make it to one of the flu clinics, you can make an appointment at Health Services after the clinics, or visit one of the many pharmacies in town that offer flu shots.

For more information visit the Region of Waterloo Public Health website.

Presidential Soap sells out; Convocation lunches and other tasty tidbits

Presidential soap for sale.If you were waiting to pick up a bar of President Hamdul-lather's Natural Handcrafted Soap, the bubble has popped: the Office of the President has announced via Twitter that the cache of bars has sold out, in the process raising $1,375 for the University of Waterloo's United Way Campaign.

The University Club will be hosting Convocation lunches on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. "October has arrived, bringing beautiful bursts of colour, wonderful warm fall flavours and the joy of new beginnings," says a note from the Club. "Whether you are graduating yourself or the graduate is someone you care about the UC will help you celebrate with these special luncheons created by our talented chefs. Please reserve early as space fills quickly." Call ext. 33801 to reserve space.

A child digs for fossil fish.Shine on: The annual University of Waterloo Gem and Mineral Show will be taking place next week on Friday, October 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, October 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free to the show, which will be located in the Earth Sciences Museum and will feature gems, minerals, fossils and jewellery. Visitors to the show on Saturday can also take in the 2019 Science Open House, which features hands-on science discovery activities for kids of all ages. The open house takes place in the Science Teaching Complex (STC) and EIT.


Beyond the Bulletin takes a break this week

Beyond the Bulletin banner featuring two vintage microphones.

Fall Reading Week isn't just for students - the Beyond the Bulletin Podcast is taking a break this week as well. Why not dip into our podcast's ever-growing archive to give an episode you missed (or maybe your favourite episode) a listen? The podcast will return on Friday, October 25.

Link of the day

Balloon Boy, 10 years later

When and Where

Fall Reading Week, Tuesday, October 15 to Friday, October 18.

Akindi: New multiple-choice exam processing service, Friday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., MC 2009.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Amnon Horovitz, Department of Structural Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, “Chaperonin nano-machines: allostery and function,” Friday, October 18, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

Lectures in Catholic Experience series, “Gender: But that is what the church has always taught!” featuring Myroslaw Tataryn, Professor Emeritus, St. Jerome’s University, Friday, October 18, 7:30 p.m., Vanstone Lecture Hall, St. Jerome’s University.

Concept $5K Grant applications close, “Previously known as the Velocity Fund $5K, student teams can apply to win a $5K grant for their startup idea” Monday, October 21.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, October 21, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Conversations on Complex Systems, Monday, October 21, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., DC 1302.

Seminar: Active inference across scales: From the brain to the body and culture, featuring Maxwell Ramstead, McGill University, Monday, October 21, 12:00 p.m., CPH 4335.

Regulating Emotions: Learning Skills from Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy, Monday, October 21, 1:00 p.m., HS 2302. Registration is by referral.

Coping Skills Seminar - Empowering Habit Change, Monday, October 21, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Philosophy Colloquium Series 2019-2020 presents Dr. Kyle Whyte, “Is Indigenous Research Possible Within the Confines of Anglophone Philosophy Departments?” Monday, October 21, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., HH 373.

University Senate Meeting, Monday, October 21, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

NEW - Hallman Lecture: Adverse outcomes associated with occupational exposures to whole body vibration, by Peter Johnson, University of Washington, Monday, October 21, 4:00 p.m. AHS Sun Life Auditorium, LHS 1621.

Canada’s Indochinese Refugee Program: Policy Innovation and Societal Change, “Public talk with speaker Michael Molloy”, Tuesday, October 22, 1:00 p.m. Conrad Grebel University College, rm. 2202.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Tuesday, October 22, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Concept by Velocity - Turn Your Research Into a Startup, “Calling all graduate students, attend a panel discussion with local founders and University of Waterloo professors”, 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 22, Davis Centre, Room 1301, (the ”Fishbowl”) 

Legal & Immigration Services United Way Trivia competition, Wednesday, October 23. Takes place every Wednesday in October. All proceeds to the United Way.

Summit for Responsible Innovation and Technology, Wednesday, October 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Federation Hall. Please register as seating is limited.

Portfolio & Project Management Community of Practice (PPM CoP) session, "Implementing Change: Managing Resistance," Wednesday, October 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., East Campus 5 (EC5), 1111. 

NEW - Master Your Job Search, Tuesday, October 22, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, October 23, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

NEW - Research Statements for Academic Job Application – graduate students and post-docs, Tuesday, October 22, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 1208.

Further Education Fair, Wednesday, October 23, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

Discover your Career Values (for employees only), Wednesday, October 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., TC2218.

NEW - Lunch & Learn: Leaves for Faculty Members, Wednesday, October 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142. Registration required.

NEW - Gairdner award lecture, “Inheritance of your DNA: Passing on Genes and Other Information,”, Wednesday, October 23, 12:30 p.m., AL 116.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert:  Indulgences, Wednesday, October 23, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Chapel. Free admission.

NEW - Exploring Career Pathways, Wednesday, October 23, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., TC 1112.

NEW - Academic Interviews – graduate students and post-docs, Wednesday, October 23, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., TC 2218.

NEW - Mindfulness Meditation: A Stress Reduction Program, Wednesday, October 23, 2:00 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Wednesday, October 23, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Pitch to Win!, “Perfect your 3-minute business pitch at this interactive workshop”, 7:30pm, Wednesday, October 23, South Campus Hall 2nd Floor.

NEW - QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, October 24, 9:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on Workday.

NEW - CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy featuring Stefan Saroiu, Microsoft Research, “Are We Susceptible to Rowhammer? An End-to-End Methodology for Cloud Providers,” Thursday, October 24, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

NEW - Successfully Negotiating Job Offers, Thursday, October 24, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., TC 1208.

NEW - Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, October 24, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register is on LEADS.

NEW - Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Thursday, October 24, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW – 2019 Rudrick Visiting Scholar Public Lecture featuring Professor Kyle Whyte, “Not Done Critiquing Wilderness Areas, National Parks & Public Lands," Thursday, October 24, 7:00 p.m., HH 1102.

PhD oral defences

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Faruk Erkmen, "Scalable Surfaces for Electromagnetic Energy Harvesting and Wireless Power Transfer." Supervisor, Omar Ramahi. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Wednesday October 23, 10:30 a.m., EIT 3145.

Computer Science. Amira Ghenai, "Health Misinformation in Search and Social Media." Supervisors, Charles Clarke and Mark Smucker. Thesis available from MGO - Oral defence Friday November 1, 10:30 a.m., DC 2314.

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Zhidong Zhang, "Coupled Topology and Process Optimization for Laser Powder-Bed Fusion Additive Manufacturing." Supervisor, Ehsan Toyserkani. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Tuesday November 5, 9:00 a.m., E5 3006.

Chemical Engineering. Andrew Finkle, "Cellulosic Nanocomposites for Advanced Manufacturing." Supervisor, Leonardo Simon. On display in the Engineering graduate office, E7 7402. Oral defence Friday November 8, 1:00 p.m., E6 2022.