Janusz Pawliszyn receives the Chemical Institute of Canada's highest honour
This article was originally published on the Faculty of Science website.
Dr. Janusz Pawliszyn received the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal for his outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry in Canada. Sponsored by the Chemical Institute of Chemistry, the CIC Medal is their top award.
Pawliszyn is a professor in the Department of Chemistry. His research focuses on the development and application of state-of-the-art, integrated and automated analytical methods and instrumentation, for on-site analysis and monitoring.
He invented the Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) technology in 1990, a game-changer in the field of analytical chemistry. The results of his research lead to the elimination of organic solvents from the sample preparation step and the miniaturization of the sampling devices to facilitate on-site monitoring and in-vivo analysis. SPME is a green analytical tool and initiated scientific interest in microextractions. The flexible format of SPME technology allows the design of devices exceeding the performance of traditional analytical tools while meeting the objectives of global sustainable development.
SPME-based technologies are used worldwide for the detection of chemicals both in the lab and various on-site and field applications. When paired with other techniques, SPME technology is also used as a health and safety tool, enabling rapid risk assessment. Pawliszyn has used SPME to detect pesticides in honey, life in the ocean, doping in sport. SPME can analyze samples on-site, cost-effectively, and without the use of polluting solvents or expensive labs. SPME is also versatile, with human health applications in cancer detection and drug screening.
"Janusz Pawliszyn’s impact on modern analytical chemistry can be described as truly foundational, with central contributions to detection technologies used around the globe in the chemical, environmental and medical arenas," said John Corrigan, Chemistry Chair.
He is a Canada Research Chair and NSERC Industrial Research Chair New Analytical Methods and Technologies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, University Professor and Editor-in-Chief of Trends in Analytical Chemistry and Green Analytical Chemistry. Earlier this year, he was ranked the second chemist in Canada among the top 100 worldwide in Research.com's Rankings of Highly-Cited Chemists.
He will give a plenary lecture at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CSC 2023) in June.
Pawliszyn is the second Waterloo chemist to receive this award. Canada Research Chair and Waterloo chemist Linda Nazar won the award in 2019.
OneButtonPIN increases security for blind and low-vision tech users
Working closely with blind and low-vision (BLV) users, researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed a new authentication method that could help BLV technology users more securely access their devices. The new method, OneButtonPIN, allows users to input PIN codes using a single large button and a series of haptic vibrations.
People with BLV frequently express frustrations with existing authentication methods such as drawing patterns, fingerprint and face scans, and PIN codes. Some methods are difficult to use effectively without visual data. Others are vulnerable to privacy attacks.
OneButtonPIN addresses these security issues by using haptic vibrations imperceptible to outsiders. When prompted to enter a PIN code, the user presses and holds a large button on their smartphone screen. This activates a series of vibrations separated by pauses; the user counts the number of vibrations corresponding to the number they desire to enter, then releases the button and repeats the process until the desired numbers are entered.
While biometrics such as fingerprints and face scans are unique and easy to use, a person’s biometrics cannot be changed or reset, explains Stacey Watson, a lecturer in computer science and one of the researchers on the study.
“More traditional forms of entry are vulnerable due to many BLV people’s use of screen reader technology,” said Watson. “PIN users are vulnerable both to eavesdropping and shoulder surfing attacks, which is where someone nearby can observe a user’s device without their knowledge.”
In a research study, nine BLV participants installed OneButtonPIN apps on their phones. They were first tasked with entering randomly generated PINs using the OneButtonPIN method several times, then instructed to use the app at least once a day for a week as part of a diary study. The study revealed that OneButtonPIN allowed users to input codes with an average of 83.6 per cent accuracy or above, as opposed to 78.1 per cent accuracy using traditional methods.
The method also proved to be incredibly secure. In the second stage of the study, 10 sighted participants watched videos of people using both traditional PIN entry methods and OneButtonPIN, then attempted to guess their PIN codes. Every participant was able to successfully guess users’ PINs using traditional methods, but no one could successfully guess code input using OneButtonPIN.
“While OneButtonPIN was designed for BLV people, many users will appreciate the added security,” Watson said. “When we make things more accessible, we make things more usable for the average user as well.”
The study was published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction.
Personalize your Program Hoodie at W Store
A message from Print + Retail Solutions.
Create your unique program hoodie based on your personal UWaterloo experience. This custom program hoodie allows you to personalize it with your choice of program embroidered on the front chest and the option to customize the left sleeve with your name.
You can find the hoodie at wstore.ca. Select your program from the scroll-down menu of options by faculty. If you do not see your program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a request, which is subject to approval based on the University’s brand guidelines.
All custom orders are final sale. No refunds or exchanges are permitted due to the customized nature of the product. Orders can not be altered after the order window has closed on February 3, and turnaround time is approximately eight weeks after the ordering window has ended.
Centre for Teaching Excellence to host instructional skills workshop
A message from the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE).
The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is an intensive, collaborative learning model that uses video-recorded micro-teaching and peer feedback sessions to support participants' teaching reflection and growth. The ISW encourages examination of teaching practices with feedback focused on the learning process rather than on the specific content of the lesson. At the same time, participants are able to work on discipline-specific teaching.
- Wednesday, February 22, 2023. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday, February 23, 2023. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, February 24, 2023. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Each participant will receive a widely-recognized certificate of achievement. The ISW requires 24 contact hours, over three or four days.
The workshop will be hosted in-person in MC 2036.
Get ready to sweat it out at UWAG this week
The University of Waterloo Art Gallery (UWAG) is inviting members of the community to show up and sweat in the name of art and culture.
"Mobile Sweat is a customized utility trailer that has been converted into a fully-functioning sauna heated by a wood burning stove, and can comfortably seat 6 to 8 people," says a note from UWAG. "It is a hybrid sauna inspired by diverse sweat practices found around the world with the goal of promoting social connection and wellness."
The sauna is equipped with a video monitor and will screen a series of short performance videos by Norwegian artist Stein Henningsen including Habitat, Timeline II, and The Boat, as well as You can tell me more a new video by Waterloo-based UWaterloo MFA alumni Lauren Prousky.
Sauna and screenings are free and open to the public Thursday, February 2 and Friday, February 3 from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Participants are invited to check-in at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery between 12 noon and 4:30 p.m. Bathing suits are recommended, but participants can also experience the sauna wearing light clothing. Shoes cannot be worn inside the sauna so consider bringing a pair of flip-flops and a towel. A limited number of towels will be available. Coats, clothing, footwear, and other personal items can safely be stored at the gallery. Accessible public bathrooms in East Campus Hall are available for use as impromptu change rooms.
Mobile Sweat is presented at UWAG as a lead up to Art Spin’s Public Sweat festival, taking place in March and April 2023.
Art Spin is led by the collaborative curatorial duo of Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta. Since 2009, Art Spin has produced a number of unique festivals, group exhibitions, and bicycle-led art tours with the objective of exploring art in public spaces. Notable projects include in/future, an 11-day multidisciplinary arts festival on the West Island of Ontario Place in 2016, and Creation:Destruction part of the City of Toronto’s 2019 Nuit Blanche all-night art event. Art Spin has been featured in the New York Times, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, VICE, and CBC.
"Please join us for an inspirational sweat!" says UWAG.