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June 2018

Dean’s Message 

May is the month that our offers of admissions go out. On Saturday, May 26 we welcomed hundreds of students with offers to You @ Waterloo Day. Thank you to all of our volunteers who made sure that our guests felt welcome and that the University of Waterloo was the clear choice for the next step in their academic journeys.

One of the things that make Waterloo a great place is the rich set of student-oriented activities always underway. In May, this included two datathons: ASA Datafest (May 4-6) and the Data Open (May 12), and the Equithon hackathon (May 4-6). Congratulations to all the winners of the datathons and Equithon. This month also featured a conference in honour of new faculty member Sri Namachchivaya which brought together world-renowned researchers in the fields of stochastic analysis and dynamical systems (May 15-18).

Congratulations also goes to others this month:

We look forward to the Math Convocation on June 15, when our graduating students become alumni. There, several honours shall be conferred: Dave McKay, Anand Pillay and Rob Tibshirani will be awarded honorary doctorates, Tamer Özsu will receive the designation University Professor, and alumnus Alex Nicolaou will receive the J.W. Graham Medal. The day before, Nicolaou, Pillay and Tibshirani will speak as part of the newly named Recognizing Excellence Series, an event showcasing the J.W. Graham Medal recipient and honorary doctorates.  

In addition to convocation, we have several other upcoming events. Antonio Montalban from the University of California, Berkeley will deliver a Pure Mathematics public lecture entitled “Infinite Games” (June 4), and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science hosts the inaugural Graham Trust Symposium and Awards (June 21). Also, TedXUW nomination forms are due on June 15. This is a great way to share your expertise with the Waterloo community.

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) has been very busy to share mathematics with young students, and they have more planned throughout June. This week we hosted students from across Canada to the University of Waterloo for the Lloyd Auckland Invitational Mathematics Workshop. The CEMC also held their Excellence in Math and CS Recognition Event on May 30 to recognize students from schools in the region that participated and did well in the CEMC contests this year.

In addition, the CEMC continues its work to encourage young women to love math and computer science, including the CEMC Workshop in CS for Young Women (May 12-19) and Think About Math in Vancouver (May 26). This initiative is not just supported by CEMC, but across our faculty. On May 5 the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science hosted GIRLsmarts4tech, an outreach program to inspire girls in grades 7 and 8 to explore technology with the generous support of SAP. A week later, females between the ages of 10-18 made their final pitches to judges at the Technovation Waterloo Regional Pitch Event. (You can view the videos that the participants presented as part of their pitches.) Over the period of a few months Women in Computer Science and the Cheriton School of Computer Science, along with so many volunteers, prepared groups of females to build an app and pitch their idea. This would not have been possible without the support of Google, #IBMSTEM4Girls, Text Now, SAP, and Shopify. Our continued efforts will result in diversified math and technology professionals. In fact, the Canadian Computing Olympiad was just announced, and this year for the first time, the team includes a female. 

Mathematics Outreach, in the broad sense, is one of the most significant ways we can contribute to the future of Canada. Thank you to all for continuing to support our efforts to encourage everyone to study and love math and computing and for your help in working to convince students that Waterloo is the best place to grow that passion.

Stephen M. Watt

Dean, Faculty of Mathematics - University of Waterloo

Stephen Watt

P.S. Welcome back to Laura Frazee who has returned as the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Applied Mathematics after a year-long secondment with Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).