Letter from the Dean

Mathematics for a green future

Our climate is changing rapidly. And the impacts can be seen all around us, from uncontrollable wildfires to devastating floods to severe heat waves.

In the fight against climate change, mathematics, statistics, actuarial science and computer science are key. They are enabling us to reduce energy use, model climate impacts, anticipate extreme weather, effectively plan insurance and disaster relief, optimize food production and so much more.

Waterloo’s Math community is a leader in the use of mathematics to solve environmental problems. Through research, education and entrepreneurialism, we are forging new paths to a sustainable future.

In this issue of E-Ties, we share the stories of Waterloo mathies who are using their knowledge and skills to create a greener world. Included are stories about:

  • Roland Sing (BMath ’85) and his startup SkyWatch, which is unlocking the potential of satellite imagery to solve environmental problems;
  • Waterloo Professor Michael Waite, who is enhancing weather and climate models to enable more accurate, localized predictions;
  • Waterloo Professor Chris Bauch, who is developing artificial intelligence that could identify climate change tipping points; and
  • Mike Bloxam (BMath ’06), who journeyed from co-op student with a solar thermal equipment manufacturer to launching his own company, SunTap Technologies, which installs solar equipment for residential and commercial use.

Every year in April, we celebrate World Earth Day. To mark the occasion this year, the Faculty of Mathematics is hosting “Data + Climate,” a panel discussion, on April 26. The discussion will feature Waterloo professors and alumni and will explore how data is being used to address the climate emergency. Please stay tuned for more information. We hope you can join us.

National Volunteer Week is also in April (24-30). Please stay tuned for further updates on how we are celebrating our incredible volunteers this year.

Warmest regards,

Mark Giesbrecht
Dean, Faculty of Mathematics