Thursday, November 28, 2019

Project will improve name usage experiences on campus

Members of the University community will soon be able to use a chosen or preferred first name when accessing University online services.

In response to feedback from students, the “Improving Name Usage” project was initiated to allow students the opportunity to use a chosen/preferred first name broadly on campus, while retaining their legal first name on tax receipts and official documents. 

“This project, influencing 26 information systems throughout campus, has required collaboration among a number of key partners, and the participation of number of committees,” said a memo distributed by Catherine Newell Kelly, university registrar and Jeff Casello, associate vice-president, graduate studies and postdoctoral affairs. “Privacy and human rights legislation is informing the process, and student consultations helped drive decision-making.”

With the partnership of Information Systems and Technology, this project will take effect for all undergraduate and graduate students in winter 2020. Students who wish to provide a chosen/preferred first name will be directed to WatIAMThe chosen/preferred name entered will then be propagated to downstream campus systems so this name can be used broadly; for example, in class by instructors, by interviewers during the co-op hiring process, and on their WatCard. To further support students, WatCard replacement fees will be waived for the months of January 2020 and May 2020. Communication to students will start in the next few days. 

Employees who have entered a familiar name in WatIAM in the past will now see this name in systems that access WatIAM, such as the White Pages, DUO, Office 365, and their email account. If the employee has an account in Quest (e.g., as an instructor or student) their chosen/preferred name will now be displayed in Quest and any of the downstream systems the employee uses (e.g., LEARN). If the employee has no chosen/preferred/familiar name entered in WatIAM, the field will continue to display their legal first name. Employees are encouraged to log in to WatIAM prior to January 2020 to verify and update, if necessary, the information in the familiar name field. Note, the name change process currently in place in Workday will not change.

“As part of this project, to comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Quest access to student name information may change for campus stakeholders, specifically faculty and staff,” says the memo. “Quest inquiry access will now only display chosen/preferred first name. If your role requires access to both the legal and chosen/preferred student names, your department head/chair should email and specify rationale for the need.”

“Despite our best efforts to catch every instance of where the first name appears across campus, something may have been missed. After January, help us by reporting any issues to so we can work to get it corrected,” the memo concludes. “A project with this level of complexity is only possible with extensive cooperation by the campus community. We offer our immense appreciation to everyone involved in helping to improve this important aspect of the student experience.”

Professor named 2019 ACM Distinguished Member

This is an excerpt of an article originally published on the Cheriton School of Computer Science website.

Florian Kerschbaum.The Association for Computing Machinery has named Professor Florian Kerschbaum a Distinguished Member. He joins 62 individuals globally who have received this prestigious recognition in 2019 for outstanding scientific contributions. ACM Distinguished Members are responsible for an extraordinary array of achievements, reflecting many areas of research and practice in the field of computing and information technology.

“On behalf of ACM and the Committee, I am delighted that you will be among the inductees honoured with this designation and congratulate you on this well-deserved recognition,” wrote Rao Mannepalli, Chair of the ACM Distinguished Member Committee, in his letter to Professor Kerschbaum. 

Professor Kerschbaum, who is also the Executive Director of Waterloo’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, has developed and helped deploy several application-specific methods for searching and computing on encrypted data. He has developed a comprehensive set of searchable encryption algorithms for database operations. These include property-preserving encryption algorithms that enable efficient search without modification of the database management system and can withstand snapshot attacks much better than other order-preserving algorithms. 

Professor Kerschbaum has also developed methods to compile secure multi-party computation protocols from ideal functionality specifications. He developed the first compiler optimization technique operating at the source language level, transforming an ideal functionality into a protocol that interleaves securely and locally computed steps. 

Professor Kerschbaum is also a pioneer in using multi-party computations for supply chain management. This includes protocols for master planning, lot size planning, and detailed scheduling. These planning methods have enormous economic potential because they overcome hurdles to data sharing in current supply chain management planning. Collaborative methods have enormous savings potential over local planning, but they are not implemented in practice because of concerns over what the necessary data might reveal. Multi-party computations enable implementing the planning methods over encrypted data. As the coordinator of the EU-funded project SECURESCM, Professor Kerschbaum led an efficiency improvement in linear programming over encrypted data by more than five orders of magnitude. These works also include the first multi-party computation of an artificial intelligence optimization algorithm.

Read the rest of the article on the Computer Science website.

Going multimodal at the StoryCamp competition

Students collaborate during the StoryCamp competition.

This article was originally published on the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business website.

More than 135 registrants from Waterloo's main campus, the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and other institutions, descended upon the Stratford School Saturday morning to participate in StoryCamp, a 15-hour design competition on multimodal storytelling.

Participants were challenged to create a story with the theme of community and connectivity that followed an assigned story arc. Under the mentorship of industry experts, in a broad range of disciplines—including visual storytelling, social media, user experience, game design, branding and business—students crafted their stories in 3 different modes. The event culminated in the teams pitching their creations to a panel of judges.

"Experiences like this make our program unique, and the student experience here at the Stratford School invaluable," notes professor Laura Fong, one of the key organizers of the event.

Throughout the hackathon-style event, workshops on cultural storytelling and the importance of storytelling in business, design, and working in teams were delivered.

"I normally avoid group projects because of my fear [I'm] not able to contribute to my teams, but this time, I actually enjoyed [the] team project! My team was very supportive and helped each other in developing the product." wrote Akshar Goyal, Bachelor of Math student on his LinkedIn page.

"We had mentors and workshop leaders join us from many industries and disciplines, and even as far away as Malmo, Sweden to make this happen." said Fong.

One mentor, Jennie Heo, from IBM, posted on LinkedIn, "It was great to see students from different disciplines and skills collaborating together, brainstorming and aligning on their ideas. Learning how to blend diverse perspectives and create a unified story is an invaluable lesson for us all!"

The winning team, CommUNITY (comprised of Aleksandra Raznatovic, Noah Pratt, Francis Boehmer, Noor Mubarak, Jessica Silverberg, Colleen Yu and Layth Fanek), created a social movement to help people have a sense of belonging in their community. It was selected out of 15 teams and over 100 participants.

The interdisciplinary teams in StoryCamp and the universal importance of storytelling were foundational to the event's success. Check out the winning teams, project submissions, and mentors.

The Library and W Print make good buddies

A message from the Library and W Print.

A closeup of the January 2020 Good Buddies Calendar page showing a cat.By popular demand, a set of calendars created in support of the United Way are headed for a second printing. 

Who’s a good buddy? 2020 features the cats and dogs of the University of Waterloo Library, and with W Print donating some of the printing costs, the two departments have already raised over $1,800 for the University’s United Way campaign. Help us increase that number! 

Orders for "Who’s a good buddy? 2020 calendars" are open until December 6, 2019. Calendars cost $15 each, delivery is free across campus and to any Ontario university in time for Christmas!

Take the President's Town Hall Survey

Whether you attended the President's Town Hall meeting on November 12 in person, watched it online, or didn't attend, University Communications and the President's Office is interested in hearing your views on the meeting format and content. 

Provide your feedback on the event by taking the 2019 President’s Town Hall survey. Please take a moment to provide your feedback on the meeting format and content and share your ideas on how to enhance this event. We’d like to hear your thoughts.

Completing the survey will take about 5-10 minutes. Participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential. The survey will remain open until Friday, December 20, 2019.

Link of the day

The miniature crime scenes of Frances Glessner Lee

When and Where

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, Monday, November 25 to Tuesday, December 10.

Chemistry Seminar featuring Thomas E. MarklandDepartment of Chemistry, Stanford University, "Harnessing the quantum mechanics of the hydrogen bond: from atmospheric science to enzyme catalysis," Thursday, November 28, 11:00 a.m., C2-361.

University Club Holiday Lunch Buffet, Thursday, November 28 to Monday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

26th Annual UWSA Craft Show and Sale, Thursday, November 28, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Davis Centre Fishbowl. 

Faculty Lunch & Learn: Unplugging, Thursday, November 28, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in EIT 3142HH 373. Registration required. Please note the new location.

WaterTalk: What happens when fish go on “the Pill”? presented by Dr. Karen Kidd, Thursday, November 28, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, November 28, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106. Register is on LEADS.

Personal Statement write-in – further education, Thursday, November 28, 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Skill Identification and Articulation, Thursday, November 28, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., TC 2218.

safeTALK training for faculty and staff, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m., NH 2447. Register on Workday.

26th Annual UWSA Craft Show and Sale, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Davis Centre Fishbowl.

FAUW Indigenization Reading Circle, Friday, November 29, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in EV1-221. Everyone welcome.

NEW - Wellness Days: Free Massages, Friday, November 29, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Warrior Basketball vs. Algoma Think Pink, Residence Challenge, Rec League Night, Alumni Day Friday, November 29, (W) 6:00 p.m., (M) 8:00 p.m., PAC main gym.

University of Waterloo Department of Music concert, University of Waterloo Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, Saturday, November 30, 7:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - That’s How We Roll: UW Jazz Ensemble, Sunday, December 1, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall.

University of Waterloo Department of Music - Instrumental Chamber Ensembles, Sunday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel.

Free Exam Fitness, Monday, December 2 to Sunday, December 29.

NEW - Student Life Centre Housing Office closed, Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 6, SLC 0134 lower atrium.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 2, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, December 2, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Conrad Connect: Founders Roundtable, Monday, December 2, 6:30 p.m., Engineering 7 Conrad School Hub.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation (WICI)’s Fall 2019 Visioning Session, Tuesday, December 3, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, EV3 4327.

Skill Development Plan for Graduate Students, Tuesday, December 3, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

Retirement celebration for Bill Chesney, Tuesday, December 3, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (speeches at 4:00 p.m.,) Theatre of the Arts.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Tuesday, December 3, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 4, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Wednesday, December 4, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Faculty Association General Meeting, Thursday, December 5, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., QNC 1502.

QPR Mental Health Training for Faculty and Staff, Thursday, December 5, 1:30 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on Workday.

NEW - Seminar: Towards Fair and Accurate Peer Review, featuring Ivan Stelmakh, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, Thursday, December 5, 2:30 p.m., DC 1302.

NEW - Social Impact Showcase, Thursday, December 5, 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., STP 164.

NEW - Ecohydrology Research Symposium, Friday, December 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., DC 1302.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women memorial event, Friday, December 6, 10:30 a.m., Engineering 7 Second Floor Atrium.

NEW - Make-A-Difference Market, Saturday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel atrium.

Preventing Depression Relapse: A Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group, Monday, December 9, 10:30 a.m., NH 2447 – Register on LEADS.

Eating Disorder Support Group, Monday, December 9, 4:30 p.m., NH 3308 – Register on LEADS.

NEW - Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, December 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

NEW - Webinar: Copyright for Teaching, Wednesday, December 11, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

NEW - Brown Bag Lunch: Let's chat about Healthy Relationships, Thursday, December 12, 12:00 p.m., HH 373.

NEW - CBB and the Games Institute present: UWaterloo Intellectual Property Workshop Series, “Trademarks,” Thursday, December 12, 12:30 p.m., DC 1304. Registration required.

NEW - Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Tuesday, December 12, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on LEADS.