Skip to the content of the web site.

Friday, June 1, 2012

  • Wrapping up Congress 2012
  • Mid-cycle Review progress report
  • Waterloo science promoters win awards
  • Friday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Don't mess with Mother Goose: Don Haffner of Plant Operations took this photo of a goose and her goslings Wednesday between EIT and the Physics building.

Back to top

Wrapping up Congress 2012

A number of University of Waterloo professors and graduate students were the recipients of awards handed out during the many proceedings at Congress 2012, which wraps up (or winds down, if you prefer) tomorrow.

Professor David G. John of Germanic and Slavic Studies received the Boeschenstein Medal, the highest honour given by the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG), which recognizes lifelong career achievements. The award, named for one of Canada's most distinguished scholars of German, Professor Hermann Boeschenstein, and inscribed with the words "Teacher - Scholar - Humanitarian."

Rick Helmes-Hayes was honoured by the Canadian Sociology Association for the best book in sociology with the John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award, which commemorates a distinguished contribution to the understanding of Canadian society.

PhD student Allison Cattell also received an award for the best paper presented by a student at the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (CAUTG).

It's a somewhat quieter day on campus with regard to Congress today, with most of the lecture and event action taking place at the Wilfrid Laurier University Campus.

Here's the final "Skid @ Congress" update. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Skid for supplying me with his daily picks.

Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2

"I don’t have much left to do at Congress. All of my “official” duties are over. The Big Thinking lecture series has wrapped up, uWaterloo’s President’s Receptions have come and gone, and uWaterloo’s beer tent has been dismantled. But I still want to take in a couple of events.

Friday there are two panel sessions sponsored by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences on new models of research dissemination. The morning session (9:00 a.m., Bricker 202, Laurier) is about the “new environment for research dissemination, and the afternoon affair is about open access (1:00 p.m., Bricker 202, Laurier). I’m not sure that there’s much more to be said about open access, so I might well give that one a miss in favour of a really interesting event being mounted by the Canadian University Music Society. They’ll be screening the silent film Mantrap, and accompany it with live music. Doing this live is a little bit risky because it can be very difficult to keep the music and film in sync. (4:00 p.m., Aird Building 431, Laurier)

I’ll also go to the final President’s Reception at Laurier. Both Waterloo and Laurier’s food services have done a terrific job with their receptions, and I want to show them my support by going back multiple times to the buffet.

What I’m most looking forward to on Friday, however, is having the first event-free evening in 9 days. I’m not sure if I should watch tv and fall asleep on the chesterfield, or go straight to bed when I get home around 7:00 p.m.

Our last operations meeting is also on Friday, meaning that Saturday will be very slow. I’ll take one last walk over to the registration area in order to say goodbye to the CFHSS staff from Ottawa, and then Congress will be over. On Sunday I’ll attend the event to honour our incredibly wonderful volunteers, and that will be that for Congress 2012!

Back to top

Mid-cycle Review progress report

a message from the President

As we continue through our Mid-cycle Review process, I feel it is appropriate to provide you with a brief update on our progress in assessing our priorities for the next five years.

When I last provided an MCR update in March, we had completed extensive consultations with stakeholders and identified emerging priorities. Since then, and with additional input from our faculties, the President’s Advisory Committee, and the Leadership Forum (a group made up of directors of administrative units), the emerging priorities have informed the development of eight goals.

Three of those goals —our key goals—are strategic in nature and clearly reflect our foundational pillars. The key goals are:

  • Advance research excellence and impact;
  • Advance quality of education; and
  • Enhance student opportunities and experience.

The remaining five are enabling goals, which will improve our collective capacity to pursue those strategic directions.

  • Increase visibility and outreach
  • Improve Waterloo environment
  • Ensure clear and effective leadership
  • Improve resources and funding
  • Advance image and philosophy

Throughout the month of April and in to early May, we met with representatives of each Faculty to review the key and enabling goals and to affirm the objectives that have been identified. During these meetings, the Deans and their academic colleagues were able to discuss their reaction to our goals and objectives, and confirm that their Faculty strategic planning and priorities will align with the mid-cycle review.

Sallie Ann Keller, Waterloo’s new Provost and Vice-President Academic, will now take the lead in the next phase of our mid-cycle review to develop high-level actions plans and measurable indicators for the three key goals. Sallie will also work closely with our Executive Council colleagues to further clarify and create a plan for our five enabling goals.

As I mentioned in my previous update, we will begin our action planning in June with student, faculty, staff and alumni representatives recommended by you. We have scheduled three six-hour action planning sessions, one for each key goal:

Enhancing Student Experience and Success, June 19, 12:00 noon – 6:30 p.m.

Advancing Research Excellence and Impact, June 20, 12:00 noon – 6:30 p.m.

Advancing Quality of Education, June 21, 12:00 noon – 6:30 p.m.

By the end of the summer, we expect to deliver an accountability framework with measurable outcomes for the next five years to the President’s Advisory Committee for review and confirmation.

We are making solid progress and I am truly grateful for all those who have participated and who are continuing to participate in our planning process. I am delighted with the results and with the momentum the review has gathered.

Stay tuned as we will continue to share our progress with our community at regular intervals through our Mid-cycle Review website.

I again invite you to share your feedback. With your input and support this new roadmap to success will lead us forward to achieve our ambitious goals.

Back to top

Waterloo science promoters win awards

with material from an NSERC news release

Boosters of computer science, engineering, and cryptography at the University of Waterloo were among the winners of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) 2011 PromoScience Program Competition, announced on Thursday, May 17.

Ian VanderBurgh of the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing in the Faculty of Mathematics received $60,000 for a project entitled "Face-to-face and web based math and computer science programs."

The Faculty of Engineering's outreach operations manager Martin Scherer received $38,100 for "Engineering Science Quest Satellite Programming."

Martin Laforest, the Manager, Scientific Outreach for the Institute for Quantum Computing, received $36,000 for the "Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students" project.

The awards are paid out over three years.

The PromoScience program offers financial support for organizations working with young Canadians to promote an understanding of science and engineering. Science centres, museums and other organizations across Canada have received funding to engage young Canadians in a number of leading-edge initiatives—including those related to astronomy, mathematics, sustainable energy, chemistry and other science and engineering fields.

Back to top

Friday's notes

The Registrar’s Office and Student Awards & Financial Aid will be closed today (June 1) from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for an office event.

Electrical power to a number of buildings on campus will be cut on Saturday, June 2 as a 48-volt control loop for Doug Wright Engineering's C wing is rerouted in the morning from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Affected buildings include Doug Wright Engineering, the Graduate House, South Campus Hall, Engineering 2, Engineering 3, Carl Pollock Hall, Needles Hall, Tatham Centre, and the Library. Plant Operations is recommending that computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion prior to 7:00 a.m. The Computer Help and Information Place is available for assistance at extension 84357 if there are any questions.

"The arrival of warm weather and barbecue season is a welcome opportunity for everyone to relax, but be sure not to relax your safe food handling practices," writes Health Services dietician Sandra Ace. "Minimize the chance that your summer will be “spoiled” by a preventable case of food poisoning by making sure you:

  • Clean your hands and all surfaces and utensils that touch food thoroughly.
  • Separate raw meat, fish, seafood and poultry from other foods and use separate cutting boards, plates and cooking utensils when preparing these.
  • Cook food thoroughly to a safe internal temperature, and check it with a food thermometer.
  • Chill food immediately after preparing and discard any leftovers that have sat out for 2 hours or more.

For more information on how to keep your food safe, including barbecuing tips, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. Have a happy, healthy and delicious summer!"

Back to top

Congress 2012 Daily Update Videos

uWaterloo's Congress organizers have put together daily update videos:

Video Update - Day One

Video Update - Day Two

Video Update - Day Three

Video Update - Day Four

Video Update - Day Five

Video Update - Day Six

Video Update - Day Seven

Video Update - Day Eight

Link of the day

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band released 45 years ago

When and where

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, May 26 through June 2. Details.

Congress 2012 Big Thinking Lectures, May 26 - May 31. Details.

The University of Waterloo Art Gallery presents An Uncertain World, Saturday, May 26 to Saturday, June 2, open daily 12:00–5:00 p.m., East Campus Hall. Held in conjunction with Congress 2012.

UWRC event, "Italy: A Journey to Italy with a sneak a peek into Medieval Times," Monday, June 4, 12 noon, NH 1116. Presented by Elena Cecchetto, University of Waterloo.

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday June 4, 3:30 p.m., NH 3004.

Board of governors Tuesday, June 5, 2:30 p.m., Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA).

Transit of Venus viewing event, Tuesday, June 5, 5:00 p.m., BMH green. RSVP online or by emailing scienceevents@ Special transit viewing eyewear required (limited supply).

"Observing the Transits of Venus: Why and How Astronomers Risked Their Lives", Professor Gretchen Harris, Department of Physics & Astronomy, MC 2066, Tuesday, June 5, 5:00-5:45 p.m.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy presents Dr. Carlo Adamo, Chair of Theoretical Chemistry
Senior Member of Institute Universitaire de France (IUF), "Computational Chemistry and the Design of Dye Sensitized Solar Cells," Wednesday, June 6, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

Keystone Picnic "Waterloo World," Wednesday, June 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Burt Matthews Hall green, lunch served at 11:45 to 1:00 p.m.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) lecture series featuring Dr. S. Murthy Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 6, 5:00 p.m., CPH 4333. Refreshments served.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation brown bag lunch, Wednesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m., Communitech Hub Kitchener, P2P Meeting Room. Register today.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Laura A. Palomares, Insituto de Biotecnologia, Unversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), “Viral Structural Proteins: From Vaccines to Nanotechnology,” Thursday, June 7, 3:30 p.m., E6-4022.

Keystone picnic event for evening staff, Friday, June 8, 6:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre.

22nd Annual Matthews Golf Classic, Monday, June 11, 2012, Grand Valley Golf Course, Cambridge
Volunteers needed for this sold out event. Contact Sheila Hurley at Ext. 33587 for further information.

Science awards luncheon, Tuesday, June 12, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation student showcase, Tuesday, June 12, 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Register today.

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring Xingcheng Xiao, Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory
General Motors Global R&D Center, Warren, MI, “Advanced Electrode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries,” Thursday, June 14, 3:30 p.m., E6-4022. Coffee and donuts will be served at 3:20 p.m.

The Institute for Computer Research presents Professor Amir Khandani, RIM-NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Canada Research Chair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Waterloo, “Shaping the Future of Wireless: Two-way Connectivity,” Friday, June 15, 2012, 2:00 p.m. DC 1302.

University senate Monday, June 18, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

PhD Oral Defences

Geography and Environmental Management. Katarzyna M. Hano, "The Accessibility of the Jamaican and Arubian All-Inclusive Resorts for Physically Impaired Individuals." Supervisor, Dr. Geoffrey Wall. On display in the Faculty of Environment graduate office, EV1 335. Oral defence Tuesday, June 5, 10:00 a.m., EV2 2006.

Physics and Astronomy. Sean M. A. Stotyn, "Exact Solutions and Black Hole Stability in Higher Dimensional Supergravity Theory." Supervisor, Dr. Robert Mann. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC-254A. Oral defence Wednesday, June 6, 2:00 p.m., PHY 352.

English. Pamela Mansutti, "Trauma and Beyond: Ethical and Cultural Constructions of 9/11 in American Fiction." Supervisor, Dr. Kevin McGuirk. On deposit in the Faculty of Arts graduate office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Thursday, June 7, 9:00 a.m., HH 373.

Chemistry. Shahla Ali Akbari, "Thermal Interface Materials (TIM) for Applications in Microelectronics." Supervisor, Dr. Mario Gauthier. On deposit in the Faculty of Science graduate office, ESC 254-A. Oral defence Thursday, June 7, 9:30 a.m., C2 361.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin