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Dean's Message - December 2015

This month, it was a pleasure for me to meet Math alumni at events in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Korea. These alumni are doing amazing things, making improvements in a variety of sectors. For example, Ivor Chow’s algorithmic expertise helps increase efficiency in port operations and Joe Lee's optimization of car sharing reduces Chinese traffic congestion.

We also celebrated the launch of the READI initiative at an event with the Canadian Ambassador in Jakarta, following a meeting with academic and industry partners who will be working with Waterloo experts to develop actuarial talent in Indonesia.

Closer to home, computer science grad Daniel MacKenzie’s startup HealthIM just won a pitch competition. His company’s software seeks to improve the treatment of people with mental illness in emergency situations. 

The CEMC has recently added computer science material to the suite of freely accessible online courseware for anyone who wants to build their programming skills. The Grade 12 functions and calculus material, launched earlier this year, has already had over 700,000 page views by users from around the world – with an average session time of 15 minutes. As of November 18, users had done 173,333 self-assessment quizzes and received instant feedback to help evaluate their level of understanding.

In this year’s regional ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest, not only did the Waterloo Black team win first place – the Gold, White and Red teams finished second, third and ninth respectively! Congratulations to these competitors and their coaches, who will travel to Phuket, Thailand for the ACM-ICPC world finals in May.

I would also like to congratulate the students who competed in this year’s Big E and Special K contests. Letian Chen and Daniel Spivak tied for first in the Big E contest, while first place in the Special K contest went to Michael Pang.

Lastly, a warm welcome to Lisa Baxter who joins the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science as the new Administrative Coordinator, Graduate Studies today.

Stephen Watt, Dean

Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo

Stephen Watt