A message about Fall Reading Week 2020
By Dave Devidi, associate vice-president, academic.
Fall Reading Week will provide Waterloo undergraduate and graduate students a nine-day break in their course schedules from Saturday, October 10 through Sunday, October 18. Classes, labs, exams, assignment due dates, and other course components will not be scheduled during Fall Reading Week.
Amid this global pandemic, it is more important than ever to encourage our students to take care of themselves and to use this time off from scheduled academic activities however they need to, in preparation for the rest of term. Students might choose to spend time focusing on rest and personal wellness, studying for midterms, or catching up on readings and assignments.
We must also remind our students to enjoy their break safely and responsibly, particularly if they plan to travel outside the region. Students are being encouraged to avoid travelling outside of the country during Fall Reading Week and to abide by all public health and government regulations if they are visiting family and friends. Any students travelling outside of the country will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Canada and should visit the Travel and Quarantine Checklist for guidance on creating a quarantine plan.
Faculty are encouraged to reduce student workloads as much as possible in the days immediately before and following the break to help alleviate student stress. Fall Reading Week resources are available to help faculty, staff, and student leaders advise students on expectations, available resources and services, and ideas on how they might choose to spend their time off.
As part of the Fall Reading Week Pilot Project consultation and feedback is still being solicited and evaluated to help measure the value of a pause in the fall term and to make an informed recommendation for beyond 2021.
New IQC scholarship for women awarded
By Kayleigh Platz. This article was originally featured on Waterloo Stories.
Cindy Yang is the winner of the inaugural Raymond Laflamme and Janice Gregson Graduate Scholarship for Women in Quantum Information Science.
Yang, a new Master of Applied Science student in Electrical and Computer Engineering (quantum information) has a passion for acoustic and superconducting waves who discovered quantum information science while learning how to make photonic devices. She was instantly intrigued by the possibilities that quantum research offered her.
“Quantum research is challenging,” Yang said. “A lot of time research work can feel trivial, but in quantum, any little step is big. It’s a lot of firsts. I’m so thankful for this scholarship because it will allow me to focus on my research. I have a lot of learning to do.”
The new award honours Raymond Laflamme, Officer of the Order of Canada, and his partner Janice Gregson, for their leadership at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) through Ray’s 15-year tenure as Executive Director (2002-2017). Their commitment to IQC has helped it become one of the top quantum information research institutes in the world. The award is given to a self-identified female IQC graduate student who has achieved academic excellence and shows a strong potential for research excellence.
Yang is thankful to the Laflamme family for their support. “I feel delighted, honoured and grateful to be the first recipient of this scholarship,” said Yang. “I hope my work can contribute to the field of quantum information non-trivially.”
For Laflamme, Yang is the type of curious researcher that he believes will shape the future of the quantum information field. Scientific discoveries, he notes, are made when a wide variety of ideas and perspectives come together to think critically and investigate.
“We need to encourage all researchers to be curious, and to follow that curiosity,” Laflamme and Gregson said. “This scholarship is to attract to IQC outstanding women studying quantum information, and it is our hope that through this support they can use their curiosity to explore, develop and advance our understanding of the quantum world.”
2020 United Way campaign off to a great start
A message from the University of Waterloo United Way campaign team.
Last Thursday our annual United Way campaign launched, and although this year was unusual, given our new virtual reality, we had people all across campus support the campaign by ‘Going Red’ in fun and unique ways!
From red-decked out pets , to virtual groups celebrating by wearing red, we continued our tradition of enthusiasm and dedication towards our local United Way!
To everyone who participated, thank you! Your inspiration will carry our campaign to a strong finish.
How you can stay involved during this year’s campaign
- Make an impact in the community by donating via payroll deduction or credit card through United Way’s online donation portal!
- Purchase a United Way bundle box, containing one United Way tote bag, one United Way mask, one United Way water bottle, and two United Way hand sanitizers.
- Join our virtual cooking class on October 29 by purchasing a soup meal kit in partnership with UW Food Services.
- Looking for ways to donate your special event revenue that you usually carry around for United Way bake sales? You can now donate up to $20 to the campaign hassle-free through the W Store.
Getting ready for our annual campaign event: the March of the Deans
Every year, around October, you will see our six Deans dressed in costumes, parading around campus to raise awareness for the United Way and celebrate the participation of Waterloo’s Executive Council.
This year we have a few clues to keep you guessing what the Dean’s have planned this year…
- Captain, oh my Captain… but which one?
- When linguistics meets sociology meets quantum physics meets warfare meets philosophy...
- Logic can lead to errors.
Since we cannot congregate to march alongside out Dean’s in person this year, you’re invited to register for an online viewing of the march on October 19 at 3:30 p.m. as the Dean’s take on senate! Registration will be open this week.
If you have any guesses about this year’s costumes, or questions about the campaign, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public lecture to provide takes on the upcoming US election
Members of the University community are invited to join the University of Waterloo in partnership with the Kitchener Public Library for an online community lecture entitled “America Votes: What should we expect?”
With all eyes on the upcoming election in the United States, University of Waterloo researchers discuss potential social, political and economic impacts for Canada and the world. This event will be moderated by former broadcaster and MPP, Kitchener Centre, Daiene Vernile.
Delivering welcoming and introductory remarks will be:
- Sheila Ager, Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo
- Mary Chevreau, Chief Executive Officer, Kitchener Public Library
- Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo
Gerry Boychuck, Professor, Department of Political Science
Professor Boychuck served as co-editor of the Georgetown University Press series American Governance and Public Policy from 2004-2015. He is the author of National Health Insurance in the United States and Canada: Race, Territory and the Roots of Difference. This fall term, Professor Boychuck is teaching two undergraduate courses focused on American government and politics: Populism, Pandemic, Protest: The 2020 US Election from the Bottom Up and America Divided? The 2020 US Election from the Top Down.
Robert Danisch, Professor, Department of Communication Arts
Professor Danisch’s research concerns rhetorical theory and public communication within democratic societies, and he has written extensively about the relationship between American Pragmatism and rhetoric. Professor Danisch hosts the podcast Now We’re Talking that focuses on communication practice, and he is co-author of the 2020 book Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship.
The event takes place on Tuesday, October 27 online from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. To learn more about the event, visit the Community Relations and Events website.
Virtual Further Education Fair, gifts for grads, and other fare-thee-wells
The Centre for Career Action (CCA) is hosting a virtual Further Education Fair on Wednesday, October 7. "Get the information you need to start program research or support your application for further study," says a note from the CCA. "Talk to representatives from teaching, law, MBA, engineering, health, pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine, social work, college post-degree/certificate programs in Canada and abroad." Check out the Further Education Fair website for more information and a list of participating institutions.
Looking for the perfect keepsake to celebrate the important milestone of convocation? Check out W Store’s exclusive collection of official UWaterloo grad gifts and mementos. You can also shop our collection by visiting our W Store | Gifts + Apparel location inside South Campus Hall.