Dean's Message - May 2017

One of the perks of being Dean is the opportunity to boast about the accomplishments of the alumni, faculty, and students of this amazing Faculty. For example, did you know that the most recent three presidents of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries are Waterloo alumni? Dave Dickson is the current president, to be followed by Sharon Giffen in June, then John Dark will take over next year. It’s wonderful to see continued Waterloo leadership in the actuarial profession.

Another alumna of note is Vicki Iverson, winner of the 2017 J. W. Graham Medal in Computing Innovation. Vicki is CTO and Co-Founder of Iversoft, an Ottawa-based technology firm that has effectively positioned itself as one of North America’s premiere mobile development studios.

Brian Forrest, our Faculty Teaching Fellow, has been recognized recently with two external teaching awards: the M.A.A. Clarence Stephens Distinguished Teaching Award and the Fields Institute Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award. These awards are a tribute to Brian’s outstanding teaching – both in the classroom and online – and his innovation and excellence in mathematics education.

Ron Mullin is the first recipient of the Stanton Medal, which was awarded by the Institute for Combinatorics and its Applications (ICA), in honour of his significant lifetime contributions to promoting the discipline of combinatorics through advocacy, outreach, service, teaching and/or mentoring.

Jesse Hoey and Mei Nagappan, with international collaborators, have received a grant for more than $850,000 from the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities for their project “THEMIS.COG: Theoretical and Empirical Modeling of Identity and Sentiments in Collaborative Groups.”

Once again this year, the Waterloo student Putnam competitors made us proud. The team finished in 6th place out of 568 institutions, with 26 students among the top 501 individual competitors (out of 4164 in total). The top five universities were Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Harvard, MIT and Stanford. The next five, alphabetically, were CalTech, Harvey Mudd, UCLA, Washington and Waterloo. Congratulations to Waterloo team members Daniel Spivak, Anzo Zhao Yang Teh, Antonio Molina Lovett, their fellow competitors, and coach Stephen New.

Finally, I would like to wish the best of luck to the Waterloo ACM team competing at the ICPC World Finals in South Dakota later this month.

Stephen M. Watt

Dean, Faculty of Mathematics

University of Waterloo

Stephen Watt