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Dean's Message - March 2018

Yesterday, 13 graduate students presented their research in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Math Faculty Heat. The 3MT is a great opportunity for students to explain their research with one slide in three minutes to a non-specialist audience. The ability to speak in front of a non-specialist audience is an important skill, when seeking jobs, promoting ones work, or reaching an interested public. Last night’s Bridges Lecture, Beyond the Imitation Game - From Dieppe & James Bond to Blackberry & Quantum Encryption, was a perfect example. Tickets sold out two weeks before, and we expect to see next month’s lecture, Recursion: the loops that make the world go round, sell out as well.

On March 23, Kate Larson and Joseph Emerson will talk about their work in artificial intelligence and quantum information on panels at the launch of the Waterloo Innovation Summit series in Toronto in front of a large audience of interested members of industry. This new series is held in partnership with the Globe & Mail.

The work we do in the Faculty of Mathematics continues to make the news. This past month:

Thank you to our alumni who joined us for the Family and Friends Day at the Ontario Science Centre on February 25. Not only did they get free parking, they also had the chance to enjoy Inventorium, a hands-on learning space where art and design meld with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

On February 27, a few of our alumni returned to campus to speak as part of a Math Career panel. We would like to thank Sina Sadeghian, Shawn Brunsting, Paulina Chin, and Laura Ramsahai for helping our current students learn about their options and network with people who have gone on to successful careers after studying math and computer science at Waterloo.

Some congratulations are in order in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science. First, we congratulate Mark Giesbrecht on his reappointment as Director. Secondly, congratulations to Don Cowan and Ric Holt who will receive the CS-Can/Info-Can Lifetime Achievement Award at the AGM in Toronto on May 7.

We have only a couple of new people to introduce this month. The Department of Applied Math was pleased to welcome Professor Sri Namachchivaya who joined the department this term from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Sri’s area of expertise is stochastic analysis and dynamical systems. In the Dean of Mathematics office, we welcome Chérisse Mike, as an Administrative Coordinator in the Dean of Math Office, and welcome back to Christina McDougall.

We look forward to three events this weekend. First, many of us are attending Waterloo’s International Women’s Dinner on Friday, March 2, with alumni and friends of the faculty. Secondly, the Faculty is sponsoring StarterHacks on Saturday. This hackathon was co-founded by a math student, William Nippard, to help people who have never hacked before, learn, collaborate and create ideas. About 10% of the attendees are high school students, and according to William, the high school students are strong competitors for the awards. We wish them all luck and learning. Finally, on Saturday evening our graduating students will celebrate their Math Grad Ball. Enjoy your night – you have all worked hard to get to this point.

Stephen M. Watt

Dean, Faculty of Mathematics - University of Waterloo

Stephen Watt