Thursday, December 17, 2020

2020 was a year we will never forget. It was not the year we expected, but in true Warrior spirit, our students and the team at Stratford showed their resiliency, ambition, courage, creativity, and ability to shape the future and overcome many challenges. Here are a few of the highlights we are celebrating from this past year.

Student Highlights

ALOHA From New York, GBDA Student Helps Advance Conversational AI Systems

Julia SpragueJulia Sprague (GBDA) and the Computation Health and Informatics Lab (CHIL) team presented their findings from their published paper "ALOHA: Artificial Learning of Human Attributes for Dialogue Agents" at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in New York.

Stratford Resource Bins Founder Wins Arts Award for Excellence in Service

Kiera McMasterKiera McMaster, Stratford Resource Bins founder, wins  Arts Award for Excellence in Service.

GBDA Students Received Second and Third place: Map the System Challenge 2020

Wasted - map the system demo

  • Second place  ($1000): Wasted: Global Environmental Impacts of Fast Fashion  – Jessica Bloom, Jamie Dardarien, Komal Dhawan, Zinneerah Amir Memon, Allysa Misola 

  • Third Place ($500): Food Waste: Environmental Impact of Supermarkets – Bailee Ziegenhagel, Graeme Robinson, Heidi Soper, Jessie Huang, Kelsey Ng 

GBDA Selected as Valedictorian, Faculty of Arts

Sim PurbaSim Purba, GBDA 2020 was selected by his peers to recognize his social and academic contributions to the Waterloo community. Joining other GBDA alumni Amandreo Cortes 2019, Komal Javed 2018, and Ashna Mankotia 2017.

Rogers Partners with MDEI Students to Help Canadians Experience the Capabilities of 5G

Waterloo Aerial Campus photo with blue lines connecting buildings and smart device iconsMDEI students  partnered with Rogers  to help Canadians experience and understand the capabilities of 5G in their capstone project. The University of Waterloo has become one of the first 5G smart campuses in Canada as part of a partnership with Rogers Communications that leverages the University’s global leadership in computing, engineering, creativity, and industry relationships.

GBDA Students Placed Second in uXperience | Think Privacy Design Jam

uXperience Think Privacy LogoStudents Vedant Patel, Disha Kanekar, Sherry He, Elyssa Smith, and Daniel Hanick, placed second for their app, Bondfire in uXperience | Think Privacy.

Sportsnet Hockey Hack Powered by Rogers 5G

Sportsnet Hockey Hack Powered by Rogers 5G Logo4/5 winning teams contained 1 Stratford student, Braden Hill (MDEI), Elyssa Smith (GBDA), Nathan Miller (MDEI), and Alyssa Pasek (MDEI). Eight Stratford School students were selected from all of the University of Waterloo to participate.

Concept 5K Winner

Justin Wong (4A GBDA) and his team  XP Fantasy Inc  were winners in the fall 2020  Concept 5k.  

GBDA Alumni Pitched at Y Combinator Demo Day

Open Unit Founders in their GarageEntrepreneur Taylor Cooney pitched at Open Storage at  Y Combinator Demo Day 

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Professor Lennart Nacke received $195,000 in Mitacs Grants to improve accessibility and business outcomes using gameful designs and delivered  the keynote speech at Mensch und Computer 2020.

Professors Leah Zhang-Kennedy, Tobias Thielen, and Daniel Harley joined the faculty, and Hazel Palmer and Lauren Kochanowski joined the Stratford School team.

Professor Kevin Harrigan obtained funding from the Alberta Gaming Research Institute for a study titled: Giwii-nisidopanmin odaminowin: Gambling and Videogames in the Lives of Indigenous Youth in Northwestern Ontario.

Happy Holidays from the University of Waterloo

A holiday message from the University of Waterloo and President Feridun Hamdullahpur.