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Dean's Message - July 2019

We were honoured to have three outstanding DMath recipients at Convocation on Friday, June 14. During the morning ceremony, Shafi Goldwasser, director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at Berkeley, received her honorary doctorate, along with David Sankoff, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Mathematical Genomics at the University of Ottawa. During the afternoon ceremony, Barbara Liskov, a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received an honorary Doctor of Mathematics and addressed convocation.

Both Shafi and Barbara are Turing Award Laureates. Shafi is known for her contributions to the foundations of cryptography, privacy, and security and Barbara is best known for her work in software systems design, particularly data abstraction as a key organizational principle in large software systems. David is a leading Canadian scientist for more than five decades who has been called the “father” of bioinformatics, and has been consistently innovating at the highest levels of computational biology. 

Students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to hear Barbara and Shafi speak as part of the Turing Symposium on Thursday, June 13. We also held the Wes Graham Research Symposium on the same day and heard from the two inaugural Graham Research Fellows and the inaugural Graham Postdoctoral Fellow. Following lunch, we heard from the four alumni medallists at the Recognizing Excellence Summit. To finish the day, we enjoyed a lovely banquet honouring our convocation award winners, honorary doctorates, and alumni awardees.

Congratulations to all the honoured guests at convocation, as well as to:

In addition to the many activities surrounding convocation and the end of another academic year, members of the Faculty of Mathematics have enjoyed a lot of news activity. CBC and several other outlets covered a new online work-sharing platform called PledgeWork by Edward Lank, Katie Katsuragawa, and Qi Shu (Cheriton School of Computer Science). It allows employers to post tasks and deposit the cost for the job, and then choose the charities to donate their task cost to or leave this choice to the volunteers.

Ed was also in the news for leading a project that is part of the Collaboration on Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Cybersecurity, at the University of Waterloo with the National Research Council of Canada. The announcement was covered dailies across the US, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Canadian financial publications such as the Canadian Business Journal. Omid Abari (Cheriton School of Computer Science) is also leading one of the initial projects.

Another research project that received a lot of attention from publications including SCIENMAG and Bioengineer.org was work by Chris Bauch (Applied Mathematics) and collaborators at the University of Guelph to build a new mathematical model that, for the first time, accounts for social processes such as social learning in climate predictions.

In the next couple of weeks, CEMC is hosting the annual Exploring Mathematics and Computer Science Workshop (EMACS) July 8 – 13, 2019. The 37 students entering grade 12 in September all achieved high scores on the 2019 Euclid Contest. CEMC is also currently hosting the Canadian International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), as well as the Mexican IMO team for training, and they will be here until the 13th as well. Five days later students who will join us for their first year in the fall will participate in Math 101 Day on Thursday, July 18. Students and their families have the opportunity to learn more about what to expect from the Faculty of Mathematics.

To close, we would like to announce new members of the Office of the Dean. Please join us in welcoming Adam Kolkiewicz as the new Associate Dean, Graduate, Anita Layton as the new Associate Dean, Research and International, and Benoit Charbonneau as the new Associate Dean, Undergraduate. For the next six months, Raouf Boutaba will be the Associate Dean, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Thank you to all the outgoing Associate Deans for their contributions to the Faculty.

We also welcome Jake Riesenkonig, the new Undergraduate Recruitment Co-ordinator and Melissa McNaughton, the new Advancement Co-ordinator. Congratulations to Lauren Hartman, who has accepted a Senior Development Officer role with the Math Advancement team and Peter Wood who is stepping into the role of Interim Director for Math Business and Accounting.

Stephen M. Watt
Dean, Faculty of Mathematics - University of Waterloo

Stephen M. Watt

NOTE: For those interested in global financial intelligence, whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member, you can now take advantage of the S&P Capital IQ platform. The Mathematics Business and Accounting Programs has procured the program and has links to all the training you need.