Bundle up for our United Way campaign
A message from the United Way Campaign.
A few weeks ago, we launched our first virtual United Way campaign. Thank you to everyone who has donated thus far. Your generosity is making an impact in our community.
If you are still looking for ways to give to the campaign this year, we have an amazing collaboration with the W Store. Through their online store, you can 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. 100 per cent of proceeds goes towards the campaign.
- Soup meal kits, which are available for pickup on Wednesday October 28 and Thursday October 29 at Fed Hall. You may also wish to join our live virtual cooking class led by Chef Mark Meinzinger on Thursday October 29 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. 35 per cent of the proceeds of each kit will be donated to United Way.
You can also donate up to $20 to the campaign hassle-free through the W Store.
Every little bit counts. Together we can build a stronger Waterloo Region.
Waterloo awards posthumous and honorary degrees to three students
This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
The University of Waterloo will award posthumous degrees as part of its fall convocation in celebration of the academic accomplishments of Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani and Marizeh (Mari) Foroutan, two students killed in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020. An honorary degree has also been awarded to Jaya Gupta, an undergraduate Engineering student who lost her fight with cancer earlier this fall.
“The sadness at the loss of Mansour, Mari and Jaya has been profound both personally and across our University community,“ says Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor. “As we recognize our graduating students, we felt it important to celebrate the academic and personal contributions of each of these wonderful individuals to honour their memories. The University of Waterloo is most certainly a better place having had them as part of our community.”
Waterloo awarded Gupta an honorary Bachelor of Applied Science degree in September 2020 before she lost her battle with a rare form of cancer. Her degree was granted at a special virtual ceremony attended by President Hamdullahpur and Mary Wells, dean of engineering. The Nanotechnology Engineering student also received her iron ring, a significant milestone for every engineer.
“Everyone in the Faculty of Engineering was deeply saddened by Jaya’s passing,” said Wells. “It was an honour to have the opportunity to come together and celebrate her Waterloo Engineering and many other accomplishments. Our hearts are with her family and friends.”
Esfahani will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering. He was conducting his doctoral research in the area of construction automation and management, focusing on adaptive reuse projects in the circular economy.
“Mansour was a bright, well-respected young researcher who is greatly missed in our research community,” said Wells. “We are proud to honour his work and his memory with this degree.”
Foroutan’s graduate work in the department of Geography and Environmental Management focused on the application of new algorithms and technologies in remote sensing to study climate change as well as researching planetary extremes from hyper-arid hot deserts to freezing worlds. She will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Geography.
“The entire Environment community was devastated at the loss of Mari. Her dedication to improving our world was an inspiration to so many,” said Jean Andrey, dean of the Faculty of Environment. “While we are heartbroken to be without her today, we are grateful for the opportunity to recognize her contributions, both personal and academic.”
Both Foroutan and Esfahani will be honoured on October 23 as part of the fall 2020 virtual PhD graduate celebration.
Concept partners with Rogers, NHL, Intel, and Sportsnet for hackathon
A message from Concept.
Students have a unique opportunity to spend a week in November hacking hockey and innovating with 5G technology. Concept is partnering with Sportsnet, Rogers, The NHL, Intel, GEDI, and Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business to offer an incredible experience exclusively for UWaterloo students to be on the forefront of sports tech innovation.
Sportsnet Hockey Hack: Powered by Rogers 5G is a collaborative, week-long hackathon offering the unique opportunity for participants to work with Rogers’ groundbreaking, low latency 5G technology. Students will have access to real on-ice tracking data from 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs games and use it to test and implement their innovative solutions. The overall goal of the week is to take the problem statement and will devise innovative ways to increase audience engagement and enhance the fan experience for Sportsnet viewers.
Participants will spend the week hacking with an interdisciplinary team to create an innovative solution to following problem statement:
How might we provide Sportsnet and NHL fans (existing and new) an unmatched viewing experience that delivers immersive, social-safe, and fun engagements both inside and outside the physical arena, by leveraging 5G?
Each team will have an assigned mentor helping guide them through the week, access to experts supplied by The NHL, Sportsnet, Rogers, and Intel to assist in technical aspects, design, and solution delivery. The hackathon will culminate with a live pitch event featuring Q&A sessions for the teams to showcase their innovative prototypes and impress a panel of judges.
Winning teams from the week will take home some incredible prizes provided by the partners and have the potential to create a partnered venture. Rogers will be offering job placement opportunities to winning teams as well as providing additional resources and post event support to continue developing their ideas.
Beyond the opportunities to work with cutting edge technology and develop the future of sports tech innovation, involved partners have provided some amazing prizes for participants and winners of the hackathon. Rogers and Intel will be providing tech device prizes, job placement opportunities for winning teams, as well as the potential to continue working on your innovative solution with continued guidance and support. Winning teams will see increased resources and the potential to commercialize their idea through a partnered venture. Sportsnet will be providing participants with some great swag from their partners at Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment and the Blue Jays.
Applications close November 9. Apply today for your chance to change the way millions of NHL fans watch and get engaged with the sport of hockey.
Protecting your data
By Meghana Anthannagari. This article was originally featured on Waterloo Stories.
“Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” is a philosophy many hackers have exploited during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In recognizing October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) at Waterloo is hosting a series of panel discussions with industry leaders exploring issues of cybercrimes and threats to Canadians’ privacy.
In a recent discussion, panelist Chris Lynam, director of the Cybercrime Coordination Unit with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), shared that his department has received 5,000 COVID-related cyber scam reports in six months, generating more than six million in losses for Canadians. These higher-than-usual numbers are prompting departments like his to remind everyone to question all content and read beyond the headline.
“I don’t think you can ever have too much awareness prevention, education, training in cybersecurity as prevention is very important,” Lyman said. “If we can get businesses and individuals to increase their cyber awareness, that could go a long way.”
Best practices for remote work
As more individuals are switching from their usual office networks to their personal laptops, opportunities to breach sensitive data have increased. Home networks and electronics are less secure than the usual office online spaces, leaving users — specifically cyber-security employees — more susceptible to cyber-attacks. Use of anomaly detection software (which can indicate critical incidents like technical glitches or breaches) and setting up virtual private networks (VPN) are important steps to protecting users’ and businesses’ data.
“The attacks often require an action from the user to be successful. It becomes really important [for the hacker to] target the user, for example, by making the email look like it’s from a friend,” Urs Hengartner said, an associate professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “Be vigilant, watch out for attacks on your computer or your data as these could be attacks on yourself.”
Hengartner added that connecting with cybersecurity professionals for assessments of office online spaces and remaining updated on upcoming cyber security features are beneficial to protect businesses’ and users’ data.
Staying cyber-safe at home
On the personal front, rising anxieties related to COVID-19 also leaves users more vulnerable to cyber-attacks at home. Whether it’s learning more about the symptoms of coronavirus or accepting an email from someone without analyzing the contents of the information first, it’s important to seek information from trusted sources.
“Scammers are taking advantages of anxieties people are feeling as well as those experiencing the isolation related to physical distancing,” Cassandra Cross said, professor at Queensland University of Technology. “No one wakes up in the morning thinking they’re going to a victim of cybercrimes. The vulnerabilities and potential for exposure leave them for risk. The anxieties have contributed to people behaving in ways they wouldn’t have normally outside of the COVID crisis.”
Interested audiences can learn more and register for the final two, free, online events in through CPI’s website.