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Friday, August 29, 2014



  • A warm welcome as the fall term beckons
  • Orientation begins this weekend
  • Traffic troubles await returning students
  • Lace up your shoes for the Terry Fox Run
  • What's open and closed on Labour Day



A warm welcome as the fall term beckons

by Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor.

Feridun Hamdullahpur.The anticipation is building! There is something so special about September on campus: a fresh injection of bright young minds, and the overwhelming sense of endless possibility.

As preparation continues for Orientation week, let me extend our entire university’s sincere thanks to our hundreds of staff and volunteers. Orientation is a massive effort that requires co-ordination and teamwork across all six faculties and our entire campus community – students, faculty, and staff.

To each and every one of you involved in making Orientation 2014 a great success, thank you and I’ll see you out there!

As we head into a new academic year, we can be proud to welcome our intake of first-year students into Waterloo’s research-intensive environment. Research has been a major focus of my attention this month.

Since my last column ran in the Daily Bulletin, the Globe & Mail published a comment piece I submitted on the topic of university rankings.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please do take a look online if you can find a moment to do so. I’d welcome your feedback to, even if I can’t promise to return every message. It’s always helpful for me to have a sense for your views and opinions on these issues.

Essentially, the articles centers on the need to keep university rankings in perspective: they are extremely helpful, essential even, but they have to be understood in context.

It’s important that Waterloo have a strong voice on the national and international level when it comes to research outcomes, funding, and policy. We are a highly respected institution, and we have what is often a very unique perspective on university education and research policy.

I’m very pleased that we’ll have an opportunity to continue shaping the national and international dialogue through an additional platform going forward.

On August 21, I was officially named the new chair of the U15, Canada’s association of research-intensive universities. You can read the media release, and my first message as chair, online.

As many of you already know, the U15’s role is to serve as Canada’s premier advocacy group on research policy. For my two-year term as chair, I will facilitate meetings and decision-making of our executive heads group, and serve often as spokesperson for the association. I look forward to this expanded opportunity to shape the national dialogue on the critical importance of university research to Canada’s vibrancy and competitiveness.

I’ll have plenty more to say about research policy in the months to come – for the moment, however, let me once again welcome our new first-year students to campus!

I look forward to spending much of the month of September welcoming you to your new home-away-from-home, and putting Waterloo on track for another excellent academic year.

Go Warriors!


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Orientation begins this weekend

A message from Orientation.

We’re only two days away from Orientation and this year the incoming class will be introduced to campus life as well as the best that the city of Waterloo has to offer.

A new event, the World of Waterloo, will be held on Wednesday, September 3 to show off the city’s prime locations. As students hop onto chartered GRT buses with passports to track their activities, they will see the quaint streets in Uptown Waterloo with their Orientation leaders. They will participate in a number of activities designed to help them forge a connection with the city. The activities include a business fair at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, a game of Find the Leader in Waterloo Park, and an obstacle course in Waterloo Square.

Local business owners and politicians are ready to welcome the students. City of Waterloo Councillor for Ward 6, Jeff Henry, expressed his excitement for World of Waterloo. “I am thrilled students will get a chance to see more of what makes Waterloo great as they tour our Uptown core, meet our businesses, visit our recreational facilities, and learn how to stay safe.”

At the end of the day, students will head back to campus for a round of trivia that tests their knowledge of the city. The event is one of the newest additions to the schedule of activities planned for Orientation that kicks off with move-in this Sunday, August 31. 

Several road construction projects are underway this year, which may affect everyone’s route to campus during Orientation. The exit to University Ave. West from Highway 85 will be closed for construction. The City of Waterloo’s website and the Find Out More webpage are helpful resources to help plan your route during this time.

More information about Orientation week, including schedules for all students, is available online. Follow @UWOrientation on Twitter and on Facebook for all of the latest updates throughout the week.


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Traffic troubles await returning students

Two major roadwork projects have combined to create a perfect storm of traffic woes as students and their families travel to Waterloo this weekend.

The University Avenue West exit is closed at the Highway 85 expressway, and will not open again until October. This is part of the Ministry of Transportation's overall Highway 7 and 85 reconstruction that has seen a number of overpass repairs and other closures this past year. Highway signs have been posted warning that the University Avenue West exit is closed and that drivers should detour down Bridgeport Road.

Those drivers who manage to find their way onto University Avenue will quickly notice that the road is at half capacity, with two of its four lanes excavated as a municipal project to replace sewers and surface asphalt continues. This upgrade to University Avenue will see the inclusion of painted bicycle lanes and will wrap up in November.

So, what to do? Alternate routes include Bridgeport Road and King Street. The recommended detour is to access the University by exiting at Bridgeport and using Weber Street to connect to University Avenue.

The Visitors Centre has updated the driving directions on its Find Out More page, and automated tour confirmation messages have been altered to reflect the inconvenient, albeit temporary, traffic disruption.

In addition to publishing its own recommendations about how to avoid the worst of the University Avenue construction, the City of Waterloo has announced the usual temporary traffic redirection measures that will be in force over the long weekend.


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Lace up your shoes for the Terry Fox Run

This is the latest in a series of #UWCommunity weekly features that highlight Waterloo in the community.

Terry Fox was a first-year kinesiology student at Simon Fraser University and only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). As a result he was forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres above the knee.

While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children, that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

He would call his journey the Marathon of Hope. After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. Terry passed away shortly thereafter.

Each September since 1997, Waterloo Region joins thousands of cities and towns across Canada and the world commemorating Terry's journey by hosting an annual Terry Fox Run. Rather than host a separate University focused event, jointly with WLU, Waterloo decided to support the vibrant and thriving community run, on September 14, 2014 at Bechtel Park in Waterloo.

As part of our community interested students, faculty and staff are encouraged to learn more and consider taking part in the annual commemoration. Participants are not charged an entry fee nor are there minimum pledge amounts. Instead, Terry Foxers are asked to contribute what they can, keeping in mind that Terry was all about the effort, about taking himself to the limit for the cause.

To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

Above is pictured Terry Fox running through Waterloo Region during his Marathon of Hope. Photo from the Waterloo Terry Fox Run facebook page via Cathy Smith


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What's open and closed on Labour Day

August is drawing to a close, and Waterloo's campuses are about to see a significant uptick in activity. However, before that happens, there's one last moment of relaxation (for those of us not involved in Orientation Week, for example) as the Labour Day Weekend unfolds.

Most of the university’s offices and services will be closed on Monday, the Labour Day holiday, except for those involved in serving the newly arrived students — and except for a few essential services that never shut down: UW police, 519-888-4911 (ext. 22222 on campus); Student Life Centre, turnkey desk 519-888-4434 (ext. 84434 on campus); maintenance emergencies ext. 33793.

Other openings and closings:

• Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries, open Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m., closed Monday.

• PAC and CIF, open Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., closed Monday.

Most Food Services locations are closed Labour Day weekend, with the following exceptions:

• Brubaker's, open Sunday and Monday from 8:30 to 4:30

• Subway in the SLC, open Sunday and Monday from 10:00 to 4:30

Retail Services:

• The Book Store, Waterloo Store, Write Stuff: Open Saturday, 12:00 to 4:00, Sunday 10:00 to 4:00, and Monday, 10:00 to 4:00

• Campus Tech, WatCard Office: Closed Saturday, open Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 and Monday, 9:00 to 5:00.

Feds Used Books:

• Open Monday 9:00 to 5:00.

Have a wonderful long weekend, and see you Tuesday!


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Bike lockers available

Bike lockers are now available in three new locations: Mathematics 3, Environment 2 and Needles Hall. Each location has four lockers, which can be rented from Parking Services for $10 a month.

Link of the day

International Day Against Nuclear Tests

When and where

Orientation Week, Sunday, August 31 to Saturday, September 6, various locations on campus. Details.

Labour Day holiday, Monday, September 1, most university buildings and services closed.

Feds Used Books hours for September: Open daily starting Monday, September 1 to Sunday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 15 to Friday, September 19, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, September 20, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., regular hours commence on Monday, September 22 (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday).

UpTown Waterloo Orientation event, Wednesday, September 3.

Gustav Bakos Observatory Tour, Wednesday, September 3, 8:00 p.m., meet in PHY 308.

Teaching Workshop for Math and CS Instructors, Friday, September 5, 8:00 a.m., M3 3127. Details.

Black and Gold Day, Saturday, September 6, 1:00 p.m., Warrior Field.

Feds Welcome Week, Monday, September 8 to Friday, September 12. Details.

Fall 2014 Lectures begin, Monday, September 8.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, September 11, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre lower atrium. Details.

President and Senior Leadership Student BBQ, Thursday, September 11. Date and location TBC.

Mini Town Hall - Vibrant Student Experience, Tuesday, September 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.

UWRC Book Club: The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray (One Book One Community selection), Wednesday, September 17, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

One Book One Community KPL Lecture featuring Shannon Dea, "The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray," Wednesday, September 17.

2014 Accelerator Centre Client Showcase, Wednesday, September 17, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Accelerator Centre, R+T Park. Details.

The 10th Annual Hydrocarbon Summit: Transport, Fate and Remediation of Hydrocarbons in the Subsurface, Wednesday, September 17 to Thursday, September 18. Details.

Information Session on Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year Undergraduates, Wednesday, September 17, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., M3 3127. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, September 18, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre lower atrium. Details.

Health Services grand opening event, Thursday, September 18.

Ontario Universities' Fair, Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

Hack The North Hackathon, Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21. Details.

Doors Open Waterloo Region, Saturday, September 20, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., various locations on campus. Details.

The Ceremony of Induction into Professional Planning Education, Saturday, September 20, Registration & Reception (EV3-Atrium) 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. followed by the Induction Ceremony (ML-Theatre of Arts) 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Details.

MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement grand opening, Sunday, September 21, 2:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, September 25, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Lower Atrium. Details.

Public Lecture featuring Lisa Schirch, "Celebrating International Day of Peace: Taking Peace to the Pentagon," Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall. Details.

David Sprott Distinguished Lecture featuring Edwardo Schwartz, UCLA School of Management, "The Real Options Approach to Valuation: Challenges and Opportunities," Thursday, September 25, 4:00 p.m., Location TBA. Details.

Reunion 2014, Saturday, September 27. Details.

29th Annual AHS Fun Run, Saturday, September 27, 9:00 a.m., BMH. Details.

20th Annual East Asian Festival, Saturday, September 27, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Renison University College. Details.

11th Annual Traditional Pow Wow, Saturday, September 27, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., St. Paul's University College. Details.

PhD Oral Defences

Chemical Engineering. Bahram Zargar, "A Synthetic Biology Approach to Bacteria-Mediated Tumour Targeting." Supervisors, Pu Chen, Brian Ingalls. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, September 9, 10:30 a.m., E6 2022.

Biology. Nguyen Vo, "Cell Cultures from Walleye (Sander vitreus) for Use in Cell Biology and Virology." Supervisor, Niels Bols. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Wednesday, September 10, 10:00 a.m., B1 266.

Computer Science. Shahin Kamali, "Alternative Approaches for Analysis of Bin Packing and List Update Problems." Supervisor, Alejandro Lopez Ortiz. On display in the Mathematics graduate office, MC 5112. Oral defence Wednesday, September 10, 1:30 p.m., DC 2585.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Michael Ibrahim, "Using Wireless Communications to Enable Decentralized Analysis and Control of Smart Distribution Systems." Supervisor, Magdy Salama. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, September 11, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.


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