Waterloo at 100: what we're hearing
As we continue hearing from diverse voices during our Waterloo at 100 consultations, we are humbled by, and grateful for, the passion and insights coming from this community. As the University prepares for its long-term future, we are hearing imaginative solutions to challenges that will enable Waterloo to lead in inclusive and sustainable ways.
One of the questions that has enlivened our discussions about where the University should be on its 100th anniversary in 2057 is: Does Waterloo aspire to be more like traditional, globally recognized universities, or do we want to reaffirm the institution’s founding values, charting an unconventional path forward?
Here’s what we’re hearing:
- Many of the metrics that post-secondary institutions use today are based on a 19th-century model. Waterloo can define its own goals based on our differentiators and the needs emerging all around us. Waterloo can lead on its own terms to enable unique impacts that we can provide to our local community and the world at large.
- Waterloo should aspire to be “the best” in the world in a few select areas while being “among the best” in others
- The University needs to continue to work to find solutions to the systemic barriers faced by Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+ people; those living with disabilities and others who belong to under-represented or excluded groups.
- Waterloo must better articulate and deliver on the value of in-person and residential experiences as virtual institutions and organizations create intense competition for learners.
- Waterloo, a global leader in computing and data science, must find ways to use the University’s own data as a strategic resource to support the full range of activities from teaching to research and to help evolve the institution as a place where students and staff all thrive.
- Waterloo’s strong, historic connection to the local community is its fourth differentiator – perhaps one we should cite more often as its first differentiator. This relatively unique disposition for a university is an enduring one that constantly enriches the three other differentiators that make Waterloo remarkable — experiential education, entrepreneurship, and research with real-world impact.
- Given Waterloo’s capacity to innovate and generate an entrepreneurial spirit, we must foster stronger avenues to bring capital and broader supports to the dynamic and growing ecosystem of entrepreneurship, commercialization and social impact.
As we continue to meet with internal and external stakeholders over the summer, we encourage you to share the Waterloo at 100 webpage with your colleagues and networks where they can engage with the visioning exercise through a feedback form.
You can read other Waterloo at 100 newsletters here.
Please stay tuned as, over the summer, we are preparing a first draft of the Waterloo at 100 vision paper for broad input and feedback. We will be in touch when that paper is ready and look forward to your engagement.
Thank you again for sharing your ideas. Our long-term vision and best hope for the future will be supported through the diverse perspectives and insights of everyone in the Waterloo community.
Listen to Vivek Goel discuss Waterloo at 100 on the Beyond the Bulletin podcast:
Federal grant funding available for accessibility research
The APHR - Accessibility unit is sharing a federal grant opportunity for research and projects related to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Organizations can receive up to $250,000 per year, per project. The maximum amount available is $750,000 over three years.
The Grants and Contributions Program, Advancing Accessibility Standards Research, funds research projects that help identify and remove barriers to accessibility, as well as those aimed at preventing new barriers.
Projects must focus on one or more of the following priority areas:
- Canada’s election process, including voting and running for office
- communication, other than information and communication technologies, including accessible communications through sign language (American Sign Language, Langue des signes québécoise, Indigenous Sign Language)
- design and delivery of programs and services, including inclusive and accessible service delivery
- employment, including accessible employment for youth with disabilities transitioning from school to work
- information and communication technologies
- procurement of goods, services, and facilities
- the built environment
Please consider submitting an expression of interest if you have research projects that try to:
- move accessibility standards research forward to help create a national network of accessibility expertise;
- involve people with disabilities, other experts, and organizations to inform the research; and
- identify and share research, information, best practices, and tools about accessibility barriers and standards.
Expressions of interest are due no later than 3:00 p.m. on August 5, 2022.
Mobilizing support for war-torn Ukraine
By Angie Docking. This article was originally featured on Waterloo News.
A grassroots fundraising and awareness initiative is underway on campus to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
Led by faculty, staff and student volunteers, University for Ukraine (U4U) aims to bring together the University of Waterloo community to show solidarity and provide coordinated relief to war victims.
“I’ve spoken to several students, colleagues and friends who ask how they can help Ukrainians in a meaningful way,” said Professor Serhiy Yarusevych, a Ukrainian-Canadian mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor and U4U co-founder.
“That’s where the idea for U4U began – to provide every person on campus a quick and easy way to make a difference in the lives of Ukrainians shattered by war.”
Volunteers aim to raise close to $50,000 by September through the U4U fundraising platform and awareness events hosted across campus throughout the summer.
An unprecedented need
Now four months since the Russian invasion, the humanitarian need in Ukraine has fast outpaced international support, Yarusevych said.
“In the 21st century, the fact that a war of this scale is happening is truly mind-boggling,” he said. “More than half of Ukrainian families have been separated. Five million Ukrainian refugees have been driven abroad. More than 10 million people have been displaced internally.
“Russian president Vladimir Putin has said publicly he is betting on the world losing interest in helping Ukraine. We’re asking the Waterloo community to join us in proving him wrong.”
How you can help
Tax-deductible charitable donations can be made through the dedicated U4U online platform. Donors are welcome to select their charity of choice.
Join U4U for their upcoming kick-off event: The War in Ukraine: What’s Next? This event will feature an expert outlook on the Russian war in Ukraine provided by political science professors Alexander Lanoszka and John Jaworsky. Their presentation will be followed by a discussion forum.
Cheriton researchers develop new passing models with NHL tracking data, win best research paper award at LINHAC 2022
PhD candidate David Radke, Professor Tim Brecht, and their colleague (and David’s brother) Daniel Radke have received the best research paper award at LINHAC 2022, the Linköping Hockey Analytics Conference held in Sweden.
In their paper, “Identifying completed pass types and improving passing lane models,” the research team developed a mathematical model that uses puck-and-player tracking data to classify different types of completed passes and to determine the availability of potential pass receivers using data from 198 National Hockey League games.
To learn more about the research featured in this article, please see David Radke, Tim Brecht, Daniel Radke. Identifying Completed Pass Types and Improving Passing Lane Models. Linköping Hockey Analytics Conference (LINHAC 2022), June 6–8, 2022, Linköping, Sweden.
Please also see the paper synposis at https://cs.uwaterloo.ca/~dtradke/linhac22_lp.html and David’s conference presentation video below.
This new NHL puck-and-player tracking system, an analysis of the kinds of passes that can be extracted from it, and the model built to determine the size of passing lanes for completed direct and indirect passes have the promise to revolutionize hockey analytics, with implications for scouting, coaching, player development and fan engagement.
University of Waterloo receives funding for dementia search-and-rescue initiative
This article was originally featured on Waterloo News.
Sixty percent of people living with dementia go missing at least once, and among them, some will get lost repeatedly. In Indigenous communities, the rates of dementia are disproportionately higher than in the general Canadian population.
That is why the federal government has announced $2.1 million in funding over three years for a search-and-rescue project led by Lili Liu, Waterloo public health researcher and Dean of the Faculty of Health. Called Managing Risks of Going Missing among Persons Living with Dementia by Building Capacities of SAR Personnel, First Responders and Communities, the project will build capacity within the search-and-rescue community and with care partners to work with this population, build partnerships and increase coordination. It builds on the research Liu’s team has conducted over the past since 2015 through the AGE-WELL National Centre of Excellence program.
“The increasing number of Canadians living with dementia at risk of going missing is a public health concern,” said Liu. “We will build on existing expertise and partnerships to scale up strategies that enhance training, improve data collection, coordinate community resources and prevent repeat missing incidents.”
Liu noted that if a missing person with Alzheimer’s disease is not found within 24 hours, there is a 50 per cent chance that they will be found injured or dead from hypothermia, dehydration or drowning, making any search an emergency.
“Also, there is a myth that persons with dementia go missing only from their homes and that they are safe if secured in a monitored environment like a care facility,” Liu said. “But fewer than half of missing incidents occur at home, with 20 per cent from care facilities, 11 per cent from hospitals, and 22 per cent from the street, open or other spaces. Indigenous populations are under- or not represented in these statistics.”
In fact, much of the available data on missing persons with dementia is from the United States, so the project will involve data collection approaches to monitor the issue in Canada where climate, geography, funding and culture differ.
Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair was on campus to talk about the issue and the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund, which is designed to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, economy and innovation of search and rescue in Canada.
“Our mandate is to keep Canadians safe from a range of risks,” Blair said. “Our population is aging and along with it, the number of people who go missing due to dementia is increasing. Our partnership with the University of Waterloo through the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund is a significant step in helping these vulnerable members of our communities get to safety."
Among other initiatives, the project’s researchers will collaborate with partners to implement and evaluate dementia-friendly resources for first responders in six provinces beyond Ontario, including two Indigenous communities (Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Territory in Quebec), to collect data to assess the issue in Canada, and to create a guideline to help prevent reoccurrence of missing person incidents.