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Thursday, April 26, 2012

  • Kenneth McGillivray named VP Advancement
  • Quitting smoking? There's an app for that
  • Programmers win UChicago Invitational
  • Thursday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Kenneth McGillivray named VP Advancement

with material from a media relations office news release

Dr. Kenneth McGillivray."I am pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth McGillivray has been appointed as the university’s new vice-president, advancement," wrote president Feridun Hamdullahpur in a message sent to faculty and staff this morning.

The position of Vice-President, Advancement is one of two successors to the office of Vice-President, External Relations, with the other being Vice-President, University Relations. Dr. McGillivray's term of office begins August 1, 2012. In the meantime, the portfolio will be handled by Vice-President, University Relations Tim Jackson.

McGillivray’s appointment was unanimously recommended by the Vice-President, Advancement Nominating Committee following an extensive North American search.

“As a national and international university of reputation and consequence, it is a privilege for me to be leading the advancement efforts of this outstanding institution on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff and the communities we serve,” said McGillivray.

McGillivray received his BA in English literature from Carleton University, completed graduate research at Queen’s University, and earned his PhD in English literature from the University of London.

"He comes to the University of Waterloo from his current role of vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Southern California (USC). As vice provost, he plays a major role in increasing USC’s impact and visibility abroad; oversees the Office of Globalization and USC’s eight international offices located in Asia and the Americas; and provides leadership for USC’s global strategic plan, including international advancement and alumni relations. In collaboration with university advancement, he provides leadership for international fundraising strategy as part of USC’s $6 billion USD campaign, and provides advice on the intersection of international and domestic fundraising strategies."

Before joining USC, McGillivray served as secretary general of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, the premier university consortium in the Pacific Rim. He also served as vice-president, academic of Raffles Education Corporation, the largest supplier of private education in Asia. He was director and interim associate vice-president, international at the University of British Columbia from 2003 to 2006, and held a variety of senior roles during his tenure at Carleton University from 1982 – 2002, including university advancement coordinator and director of Carleton International.

"As vice-president, advancement, McGillivray will be a member of the university’s senior leadership team, responsible for advancing the university’s goals through strategic fundraising and alumni relations programs, locally, nationally and internationally," the president wrote. "As an experienced academic, administrator and strategist who has honed his advancement skills internationally, including an American research university with a tremendous reputation for fundraising and alumni development, McGillivray will lead Waterloo’s advancement and alumni affairs efforts as we build on the success of Campaign Waterloo and strive toward our ambitious Sixth Decade goals and beyond."

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Quitting smoking? There's an app for that

a news release from the media relations office

With today’s official launch of the mobile app “Crush the Crave,” University of Waterloo researchers fuse scientific evidence with innovative technology to help young Canadians quit smoking.

“This project is a prime example of the meaningful work taking place at Waterloo to find solutions to everyday challenges facing many Canadians,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “We are pleased that work conducted here may assist young people in leading healthier lives, and appreciate the generous support of government in the pursuit of this important goal.”

Health Canada has provided $350,552 for this project. According to Health Canada’s Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey, 89 per cent of current smokers start smoking by age 19.

“Our government is proud to support the University of Waterloo’s efforts to help young adults quit smoking,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, federal health minister. “By using the strength of social media, “Crush the Crave” is a smartphone application that will help reduce tobacco use among youth.”

Based on scientific findings related to tobacco use among Canadian youth, the app offers a customized quit plan to help young people monitor habits, understand craving triggers, share results and gain support from friends online. It also offers social media tools, such as videos and opportunities to chat with friends online to distract a user until the craving subsides a few minutes later. Crush the Crave drives demand for evidence-based services such as smoking cessation hotlines and nicotine replacement therapy.

“Young Canadians may, for the first time, have a shorter life expectancy than their parents,” said Bruce Baskerville, senior scientist at the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at Waterloo. “This is the first evidence-based mobile app targeted to people between the ages of 19 and 29: the demographic with the highest smoking rates in Canada, and the most users of smartphones.”

With more than 12,000 Facebook fans and 400 Twitter followers already, the pre-launch popularity suggests the app is striking a chord with young people.

“I love this app because it reminds me how much I am actually smoking,” Philipp Beckermann said on the “Crush the Crave” website. Josie Cino, another smoker who used the app, wished the tool was available years ago. “I have been trying to quit smoking for a long time. I love this tool as I get motivation from friends and family.”

“Leave the Pack Behind,” a program to control tobacco consumption among young adults in Ontario’s post-secondary institutions, was a key partner in the development of the app.

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Programmers win UChicago Invitational

a media release from the University of Chicago News Office

The University of Waterloo from Ontario, Canada, took the first-place gold medal and a $4,500 cash prize in the University of Chicago Invitational Programming Contest last weekend. Waterloo solved nine of 10 possible problems in 1,528 minutes.

In a programming contest, the total time is derived from the time used to solve each individual problem, rewarding teams that solve problems faster than others. Harvard University finished second, earning the second-place gold medal and a $3,000 cash prize. Harvard solved eight questions in 1,156 minutes.

Stanford and Princeton came in third and fourth, respectively. Each received a silver medal and $1,500. Stanford solved eight problems in 1,185 minutes, followed by Princeton’s seven problems in 826 minutes.

The University of Central Florida and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, stood fifth and sixth at the end of the contest. Central Florida solved seven problems in 918 minutes. MIT solved seven problems in 1,039 minutes. Both teams received a bronze medal and three $150 Amazon gift certificates.

The contest was sponsored by Palantir Technologies.

Twenty-four teams, each consisting of three members, competed in the invitational. Click here for the final standings.

Twenty-two of the teams, including UChicago, next will compete in the World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2012 International Collegiate Programming Contest May 17 in Warsaw, Poland.

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Thursday's notes

The Graduate Student Research Conference has been taking place this week, and wraps up today with the AHS Graduate Student Research Conference event. The Faculty of Engineering's conference event took place on Monday, April 23. Pictured above are (l-r) Rick Haldenby, Director, School of Architecture, Masoomeh Rudafshani, Electrical and Computer Engineering doctoral student, Parinaz Akhlaghi, Chemical Engineering doctoral student, Suad Al-Adwani, Chemical Engineering doctoral student (next to her poster on “Effects of sulfur on various precious metal distribution along a monolith-supported catalyst”), and Ray Legge, Professor, Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and International Agreements and the host of the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Student Research Conference.

And a corrective note to a piece I ran yesterday about the Waterloo UAE Campus "Hottest Winter in Waterloo History" event. Referring to the pink tie as "the iconic symbol of the Waterloo math department" isn't entirely accurate. Or accurate at all, as the case may be — Waterloo hasn't had a mathematics department for more than 45 years, when it split from the Faculty of Arts to become a standalone Faculty of Mathematics in January 1967. The tie was established as the faculty's mascot in honour of the loud neckwear favoured by professor Ralph Stanton. And here I thought the complaints would come from the depiction of mathies as "zombie-like."

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Countdown to Congress: 29 days remaining

Congress 2012 takes place May 26-June 2, 2012, and is co-hosted by University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and organized by the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World, the theme of Congress 2012, explores the real-world impact of the humanities and social sciences. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest annual multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada.

Factoid: About 8,000 scholars, students, practitioners and policymakers from more than 70 associations are expected to attend Congress 2012.

Link of the day

75th anniversary of Guernica bombing

When and where

Grades due April 16 to May 1.

Graduate Student Research Conference, Monday, April 23 to Thursday, April 26. Details.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest April 23, standings and official grades available May 22.

Opportunities and New Directions Conference, Thursday, April 26, 8:00 a.m., M3 Atrium. Opening keynote at 8:45 a.m., open to all. Details.

AHS Graduate Student Research Conference keynote address, featuring Dr. Charles Tator, "Prevention of Sports-Related Spinal Cord Injuries and Concussions," Thursday, April 26, 11:00 a.m., OPT 347. Details.

Co-operative work term ends April 27.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference, April 27 to 29, University of Calgary and University of Toronto. Details.

Retail Services locations closed for inventory, Friday, April 27.

Spring term classes begin May 1.

WatRISQ presents Eike Brechmann, Department of Mathematics, Technische Universitat, Munchen, Germany, "Financial Risk Management with High-Dimensional Vine Copulas," Tuesday, May 1, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

Microsoft Imagine Cup, Monday, April 30. Register today.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series, featuring Prof. Peter Stathopulos, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, "Structural Insights into the Mechanisms of Stromal Interaction Molecule Function Associated with Store Operated Calcium Entry," Tuesday, May 1, 3:30 p.m., C2-361.

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science distinguished lecture series, featuring Jeannette Wing, Carnegie Mellon University, "Computational Thinking," Tuesday, May 1, 4:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

Co-op return to campus interviews begin Wednesday, May 2 to Friday, May 4 (except Architecture).

Centre for Career Action workshop (staff only) "Discovering Your Skills," Wednesday, May 2, 3:30 p.m., TC 2218.

OCUFA Status of Women workshop, "Navigating the Academy: Lessons and Strategies for More Equitable Universities," featuring a keynote address by University of Waterloo Professor Carla Fehr, Friday, May 4, 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., OBA Conference Centre, Toronto. Details.

Warrior Football Spring Camp, May 4-6 for kids ages 10-15, and Coaches Clinic, May 4-5. Details.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Celebrating Home” concert May 5 (8 p.m.) and 6 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

UW Retirees Association Spring Luncheon, Tuesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), tickets $27; presentation by retired French professor Ray Dugan, Bayeux Tapestry. Information 519-888-0334. Details.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Keith Hipel, "Tackling Climate Change: A System of Systems Engineering Perspective," Wednesday, May 9, 11:30 a.m., E5 6004.

Centre for Career Action webinar (staff only), "Writing an A+ Résumé," Wednesday, May 9, 12:00 p.m. Details.

Spring Town Hall, Wednesday, May 9, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Engineering Alumni and Friends reception, Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m., Daly's, Westin Ottawa, Ottawa ON. Register online.

Co-op Job Posting for main group and Pharmacy opens Saturday, May 12, 7:00 a.m. Closes 11:59 p.m. on May 15.

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science distinguished lecture series, featuring Cynthia Dwork, Microsoft Research, "Lipschitz Mappings, Differential Privacy, and Fairness Through Awareness," Wednesday, May 16, 4:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.

PhD Oral Defences

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Xiaohui Jin, "Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships (QSPR) Modeling of Rate Constants of Selected Micropollutants in Drinking Water Treatment Using Ozonation and UV/H2O2." Supervisors, Peter M. Huck, Sigrid Peldszus. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, April 30, 9:00 a.m., E2 1307G.

Computer Science. John Champaign, "Peer-Based Intelligent Tutoring Systems: A Corpus-Orient Approach." Supervisor, Robin Cohen. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, April 30, 1:30 p.m., DC 2306C.

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Liam Butler, "Evaluation of Recycled Concrete Aggregate in Structural Concrete." Supervisors, Jeffrey S. West, Susan L. Tighe. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, May 2, 9:30 a.m., E2 3324.

Pure Math. Ryan Hamilton, "Pick Interpolation and the Distance Formula." Supervisor, Kenneth R. Davidson. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, May 2, 9:30 a.m., MC 5136B.

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