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Monday, June 25, 2012

  • Singapore students spend a week in Waterloo
  • Giving social media a goose
  • Canada Day Volunteers needed
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Students from the National University of Singapore post with Waterloo workshop organizers.
Singapore students spend a week in Waterloo

by Nan Gao, Associate Director, WatRISQ

For the 14th consecutive year, UW faculty members have been involved in a week of instructing in the art and science of quantitative finance and risk management to students from the National University of Singapore. This year 33 students (enrolled in the NUS Masters Program in Financial Engineering) have made the trip to Waterloo for a very dense week of study from WatRISQ faculty. Pictured above are several student participants posing with workshop organizers Thomas Coleman, George Labahn, Ken Vetzal, Carol Bernard, and Nan Gao.

WatRISQ, the Waterloo Research Institute in Insurance, Securities & Quantitative Finance, is a multi-Faculty organization involving over 40 faculty members at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Its focus is on research in the science and practice of quantitative risk management. Over 100 graduate students are associated with WatRISQ.

Peng Lingzi, a student of NUS who attended the workshop, said: “The workshop offered at UW gave me a chance to meet with the pioneers of financial engineering and risk management field, and to learn the most innovative research in this area. I knew Math at UW is very strong before I came here. After I attended the workshop, I definitely think Math at Waterloo is very strong .The knowledge I’ve learned here will be very beneficial to my job. I enjoyed it very much.”

WatRISQ Director Thomas Coleman has been organizing this Singapore-Waterloo event since its inception: “This annual event is energizing to both sides and helps maintain our strong relationship with the National University of Singapore, a world-class university, and the NUS Risk Management Institute in particular. It is a week that we instructors all enjoy very much”.

Carole Bernard, a member of WatRISQ and associate professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science echoes this view: “The class was very engaged and lively. It is a joy to teach such motivated students”.

Many in this class, as part of the international dimension to their Masters study, visited Princeton last week for an additional week of study abroad.

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Giving social media a goose

David Mallard, we hardly knew ye.

Nicholas Wu, a recent Psychology graduate, revealed that he has been giving a voice to the campus goose community since creating the Twitter account in April 2010.

The creator of the popular Twitter account @uwgeese stepped out from behind the pseudonym at the Ignite Waterloo event held at the Perimeter Institute on June 12 with a 5-minute talk entitled “What a Goose Taught Me About Social Media.”

The account’s notoriety has increased greatly over the past two years, with a large loyal following and feature stories in campus media and beyond.

He chose to out himself at Ignite Waterloo “because it is a welcoming place with a great community that I found when I managed @uwgeese.” His presentation highlights the key lessons he learned during his time as an anserine authority.

The account has been handed off to a successor (David Mallard’s name has been replaced with Sarah Baran). Wu posted on Twitter that the handover “felt like giving away my first born.”

His impending graduation was behind the unmasking and passing on of the @uwgeese account. Wu graduated this spring with a degree in Psychology (Arts and Business). He tweets as himself at @nchlswu.

And as for the @uwgeese account, expect it to keep on #honking.

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Canada Day volunteers needed

"Hey Waterloo Warriors!" writes University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebrations administrative co-ordinator Tessy George. "Want to be a part of the University’s largest event? Then sign up to be a Canada Day volunteer."

"We need volunteers for the morning of June 30 starting at 9:00 a.m., July 1 starting at 9:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m., and July 2 starting around 9:30 a.m. to help step up, run, and take down the celebrations that are held on Columbia Lake Fields."

Students, faculty, and staff who volunteer on July 1 will receive a t-shirt to identify that they are one of the Canada Day volunteers. "For every four hours you volunteer, you will receive a food voucher that allows you free food from our amazing concessions tent!"

There are many areas to get involved in, including parking/event patrol, operations, information tent, glow stick sales, face painting, concessions, the children's stage, arts and crafts, and "activity world," where community groups like Girl Guides, THEMUSEUM, and the Waterloo Region Record are putting on activities.

"This is a fun filled day where volunteers have the opportunity to give back to the community and can then enjoy at the festivities for themselves after their shift is done," writes George.

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Link of the day

Montserrat, 15 years later

When and where

Department of Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Dr. Sandeep Paul, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India, "Robust Computational Intelligence Systems for Generic Engineering
Applications," Tuesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., E5-6111.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 12:45 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 2:15 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 5:45 p.m., RCH 307.

UWRC presents What's Your Hang Up? featuring Annette Trudelle, certified interior decorator, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m., NH 1116. Register by emailing uwrc@

James Ford commemoration event, Wednesday, June 27, 10:00 a.m., E6 2024.

Water Institute Seminar Series featuring Dr. Trevor Dickinson, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, “How rising temperatures have changed winter hydrology across Ontario,” Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m., RCH 309.

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 2, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment open house, Thursday, July 5, 5:00 p.m., 87 Ford Hills Drive, Huntsville. For info contact Robin Brushey, Events Manager, Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, University of Waterloo, at 705-571-0259 or rbrushey

Waterloo Residences presents the 2012 Make Your Mark Student Staff Conference for Housing and Residences’ and the University Colleges’ student staff and volunteers. Saturday, July 7. Details.

Thank You Celebration for David Perrin, president, St. Jerome's University, Thursday, July 12, 3:00 p.m., D.R. Letson Community Centre, St. Jerome's University.

PhD Oral Defences

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Abdelniser Mooman, "Multi-agent Based User Centric Specialization and Collaboration for Information Retrieval." Supervisor, Otman Basir. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, June 29, 2:30 p.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Bahador Khaleghi, "Distributed Random Set Theoretic Soft/Hard Data Fusion." Supervisor, Fakhreddine Karray. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, July 3, 9:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Marwa Nabil Ismail, "Towards Efficient Hardware Implementation of Elliptic and Hyperelliptic Curve Cryptography." Supervisor, Anwarul Hasan. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, July 3, 9:30 a.m., E5 4106-4128.

Systems Design Engineering. So-Ra Chung, "MEMS Demodulator Based on Electrostatic Actuator." Supervisor, John T.W. Yeow. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, July 5, 9:30 a.m., E5 6111.

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