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Dean's Message - January 2017

Best wishes, for a happy new year! May 2017 bring you and your families health and happiness. Since 2017 is a prime year following a leap year, it is a good time to brush up on Fermat’s theorem on sums of two squares.

The year 2017 holds particular significance for the Faculty of Mathematics and its constituent units as we shall be celebrating 50 years since our founding in 1967. I look forward to seeing many of you at our 50th anniversary launch celebration on January 18. We’ll hear stories about the Faculty’s first decade from a panel chaired by Steve Brown. Please register to attend, if you have not already done so.

I am very pleased to note the appointment of Charmaine Dean as our new Vice President, University Research. She is a Waterloo MMath and PhD graduate who was awarded the Faculty of Mathematics Alumni Achievement Medal in 2007. 

Congratulations to these Canada Research Chairs, whose funding has recently been renewed:

  • David Landriault (Statistics and Actuarial Science), CRC in Insurance Risk Processes
  • Ming Li (Computer Science), CRC in Bioinformatics
  • Cameron Stewart (Pure Mathematics), CRC in Number Theory

The first WICS/WIM event of the year takes place on January 10th when Prof. Ursula Martin of Oxford University presents “The Scientific Life of Ada Lovelace”.

Computer Science Prof. Jo Atlee will present the next University of Waterloo Research Talk on January 27th: “Detecting and Resolving Software Errors”.

Registration is now open for the Excellence and Quality of Academic Life in STEM (EQUALS) conference, to be held on campus in May. This is a venue for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and young scholars considering an academic career in a STEM field. The purpose of this conference is to explore the spectrum of pathways of academic success in STEM with an explicit focus on gender equity and its intersections with other identify markers.

You may have noticed new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) recently installed in our Faculty buildings. AEDs can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. I’m told these are easy to operate, with voice and text prompts built in. Let’s hope we don’t need to use them very often.


Stephen Watt