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Dean's Message - July 2017

This month, four colleagues will begin serving as new associate deans in the Faculty of Mathematics: Steve Vavasis (Computing), Lori Case (Cooperative Education), Christiane Lemieux (Graduate Studies) and Francis Poulin (Undergraduate Studies). Please join me in thanking Marek Stastna, Barry Ferguson, Srinivasan Keshav and Steve Furino, who are stepping down from these roles.

Faculty of Mathematics Director of Advancement, Ingrid Town, will be moving to a new position as AVP Advancement Strategy for the University effective September 1.  Congratulations to Ingrid and best wishes for this new role.

It’s definitely a season for changes to the Dean’s Office! With renovations coming soon to the fifth floor of MC, you’ll find that our offices have temporarily moved down the hall to the south-east corner.

Two institutes important to the Faculty of Mathematics were approved at the June 19 meeting of Senate:

  • The Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute will be a university-level institute addressing all aspects of the area. This has been in the works for many months with a steering committee involving members from all faculties and central administrative units. Many faculty members from Math are involved, most being from Computer Science and Combinatorics and Optimization.
  • The Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute has been approved as supported by the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Mathematics. The approval of this institute comes at a moment when there is a lot of talk about AI in Canada in industry and at all levels of government. The discussions that led to the institute began, however, back in 2016.

Thanks to all who contributed to achieving this milestone.

Congratulations to the 1017 new BMath, BCS, MMath, MMT and PhD graduates who were honoured at convocation on June 16th, along with

  • Honorary Doctor of Mathematics recipients Terry Lyons and Efim Zelmanov
  • J. W. Graham Medalist Vicki Iverson
  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus Peter Forsyth
  • Distinguished Teacher Award winner David McKinnon
  • Award of Excellence in Graduate Supervision winner Richard Cook (who was also recently recognized with a Gold Medal from the Statistical Society of Canada)
  • Student award winners Rudi Chen, Kieran Hendrickson-Gracie, Michael Hartz, Joshua Otto, Jason Shao and Geoffrey Song
  • Valedictorians Giancarlo Lahura and Clarisse Schneider.

Matthew Harrison-Trainor will be taking up an NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pure Math this fall. He was an undergraduate student at Waterloo (winner of the first Jessie W. H. Zou Memorial Award For Excellence in Undergraduate Research) and is currently completing his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.

A special invitation has been extended by Open Text to students, faculty and staff to attend Future Forward, a free day-long series of TED Talk style presentations on July 13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Free travel from Waterloo and back are provided for this opportunity to explore careers in enterprise software.

At the end of July, we will host the international Bridges Conference on interdisciplinary connections between mathematics and art. The conference features art exhibitions, a performance by the Grand Philharmonic Choir and an afternoon of community activities, games, workshops, and presentations for children and adults that are free and open to all. For more information, please contact Amy Aldous.

Last, but not least, we welcome three new staff members, who will join us this month:

  • Amanda Guderian, Administrative Co-ordinator in Applied Mathematics
  • Dana Hociung, Assistant to the Chair in Combinatorics and Optimization
  • Diana Timmermans, Administrative Supervisor in Computer Science
Stephen M. Watt

Dean, Faculty of Mathematics

University of Waterloo

Stephen Watt