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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

  • IQC postdoc dances around quantum issues
  • Ceremony to honour top co-op students
  • Wednesday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

IQC postdoc dances around quantum issues

By Colin Hunter, Senior Communications Officer, Institute for Quantum Computing

With a dancing quantum physicist and hands-on quantum computing demos, uWaterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) will have a strong presence at TEDxWaterloo which gets underway at 11:30 a.m. this morning at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener.

IQC postdoctoral fellow Krister Shalm is one of a dozen featured speakers at TEDxWaterloo, though the term "speaker" might not quite sum up Shalm's contribution.

A quantum optics researcher by day and a Lindy Hopper by night, Shalm's presentation at TEDxWaterloo is expected to bridge his passions in a truly original blend of science, music and dance.

The third annual TEDxWaterloo, to be held at Kitchener's Centre in the Square, is subtitled "DIS CONNECTED," and will broadly explore questions of how we connect with the world around us.

Among the 11 other speakers at the day-long event are mental health advocate Alicia Raimundo, graphic novelist Scott Chantler, round-the-world walker Jean Béliveau, and teenager Mathew Ho, who sent a Lego man into space.

IQC will also host interactive quantum demos in the foyer of the concert hall, as part of an exhibition that traces the path of innovation from pure research to commercialization — an apt theme in entrepreneurial Waterloo Region.

TEDxWaterloo is a locally organized offshoot of the popular TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks, which draw millions of online viewers.

IQC Executive Director Raymond Laflamme delivered a talk at the inaugural TEDxWaterloo in 2010.

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Ceremony to honour top co-op students

a news release by the media relations office

The University of Waterloo, the world’s leader in co-operative education, will honour six accomplished co-op students during National Co-op Week.

As part of the week’s celebrations, which occur from March 19 to 23, one co-op student from each of Waterloo’s six faculties will receive the 2011 University of Waterloo Co-op Student of the Year Award. The ceremony will take place at the William M. Tatham Centre on Thursday, March 22 at 11:00 a.m. The university is recognizing these students primarily for exemplary workplace performance on a 2011 work term, along with factors such as community involvement, academic excellence, and contribution to co-operative education.

"The winners are among the many exceptional students enrolled in co-op," says Peggy Jarvie, executive director of Co-operative Education & Career Action. "Their successes demonstrate the determination and passion for learning that Waterloo represents. It is with great pleasure that we recognize their accomplishments and thank them for their dedication."

National Co-op Week celebrates the growth of co-op education programs across the country. Waterloo is home to the world's largest co-op program. The co-op system has benefitted students, employers and academic institutions since its launch at the University of Waterloo in 1957.

The winners of Co-op Student of the Year are:

Applied Health Sciences: Christina Marchand - Health Studies

Christina played a key role in several projects during her co-op term at St. Michael’s Hospital. As project manager of the Women in Cancer initiative, she promoted the organization through exhibits, events and publications. Her efforts increased membership in Women in Cancer by more than 30 per cent, while saving her company $15,000. Christina was also instrumental in the launch of the COMET Clinical Trials Consortium, a virtual network that links medical oncologists across the Greater Toronto Area. In addition, she presented two of her research papers at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a gathering of the world’s top professionals in breast cancer research.

Arts: Mei Chen - Accounting and Financial Management

Mei’s interest in tax led her to two productive co-op terms as tax analyst at IBM Canada. In her most recent term, Mei completed 30 per cent of the IBM Canada tax return and 80 per cent of IBM’s alliance companies’ tax returns. As a result of her advanced understanding of tax concepts, Mei’s manager chose her to sit on the due diligence team for an IBM acquisition valued at $387 million. She worked with a team of top professionals to identify potential issues with the transaction, and to provide recommendations. Outside of work, Mei gives her time to numerous student groups and has volunteered with the Board of Directors of the YWCA and Canadian Mental Health Association.

Engineering: Sasanka Nagavalli - Mechatronics Engineering

Sasanka’s passion for space robotics fuelled a successful work term with Neptec Design Group, a company that develops advanced spaceflight sensors and rovers for space agencies around the world. Over the course of the term, Sasanka made significant contributions to the software design of a prototype 3D scanning sensor to be mounted on experimental lunar rovers. In his second week on the job, Sasanka presented his preliminary design for the ground station software to the Canadian Space Agency. He went on to identify and implement significant improvements to another sensor’s embedded software. Sasanka quickly earned the trust and respect of his colleagues, giving him the opportunity to introduce several new technologies to the development processes at Neptec.

Environment: Samantha Lynne Dupré - Environment and Resource Studies

The influx of invasive species in the Great Lakes is a major environmental concern with potentially devastating ecological consequences. During her work term with the International Joint Commission, Samantha conducted extensive research on the aquatic invasive species monitoring efforts currently underway in the Great Lakes, using GIS software to map the data she collected from stakeholders in Ontario, Quebec and eight U.S. states. She gained broad support for the project after presenting her research to a group of international experts at the Great Lakes Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel. Her high-calibre report will inform future aquatic invasive species planning efforts by the Canadian and U.S. governments.

Mathematics: Terrence Chin - Actuarial Science, Finance Option

Terrence went far beyond his listed job description on his work term at Mercer, making significant contributions to numerous additional projects. He was instrumental in obtaining and verifying the quotes for 46 separate not-for-profit groups across Canada, informing the implementation of a group benefit plan for a large not-for-profit organization. Terrence’s exceptional communication skills served him well during the presentation of a report to a large potential client. His ability to explain technical concepts in an accessible way impressed the client, and the presentation was successful in winning new business for Mercer.

Science: Janet Nguyen - Biology

On her work term at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Janet proactively identified two areas for improvement in the quality of life of radiotherapy patients. After conducting extensive research, she drafted two grant proposals for pilot clinical trials, successfully securing a total of $350,000 in funding. Over the course of her five work terms at Sunnybrook, Janet has first-authored eight publications in peer-reviewed journals and presented her research at conferences from Vancouver to Athens. She was also the editor-in-chief of a bone metastases handbook that is used by oncology professionals across the world.

In addition to these winners, Evgeny Shulyatyev of Computer Science, Nathan Jones of Nanotechnology Engineering, Kaitlin Koo of Health Studies, and Sameer Shah of Environment and Resource Studies received honourable mentions.

Co-operative Education and Career Action presents the Co-op Student of the Year Award annually.

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Wednesday's notes

The School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) and The Water Institute are bringing in four keynote speakers from around the world for a workshop entitled "Governing Wetlands and Watersheds: Issues, Cases, Practices" that runs from today until Friday.

"Water resources are under increasing pressure around the world, with wetlands faring particularly badly," the workshop's promotional materials reads. "The causes of these problems are complex and primarily human-made. Moving toward sustainable water resource use requires, among other things, accurate and appropriate scientific information regarding both the state of the resource and the socio-politico-economic supports of current practice."

"This three day workshop combines student-led panels with international keynote speaker public lectures to interrogate the questions: what is the state of our water resources and what might be done to improve them?"

Today at 11:30 a.m., Professor William Mitsch, Distinguished Professor of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University, and 2004 Stockholm World Water Prize recipient will be speaking on "Creation and restoration of wetlands for watershed improvements" in room 211 of the Arts Lecture Hall.

At 4:30 p.m., Professor Pieter van der Zaag of UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands and director of the Integrated Water Management Program will give a talk entitled "Towards enduring water institutions - on water symmetry, inequality and interdependency" in room 1408 of Environment 3.

On Thursday, March 22, Dr. Douglas Merrey, former director of the International Water Management Institute (Africa Division) will speak on "Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Integrated Water Provision through Change Agents' Creativity: Social Change as Bricolage" at 12:00 p.m. in Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

On Friday, March 23, Professor Dominic Mazvimavi, professorial chair in Hydrology and Director, Institute for Water Studies at South Africa's University of the Western Cape, will speak on "Integrated water resources management along a connected and disconnected Boteti River system in Botswana" at 11:30 a.m., in Arts Lecture Hall room 211.

The workshop is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis with space permitting.

Health Sciences dietician Sandra Ace serves up another "myth vs. truth" in support of Nutrition Month:

"Myth": Everyone should eat a gluten-free diet.
"Truth": A gluten-free diet is the only healthy way of eating for people diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a type of protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, and any foods made with these grains. Unless you have celiac disease, a gluten sensitivity or are allergic to one of these grains, you don’t need to avoid them. Whether the grain you choose is gluten-free (such as corn, rice, millet or quinoa) or not, enjoying more whole grains is a healthy choice.

If you have any questions or comments about these nutrition tips, please contact Sandra Ace at sace@

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Link of the day


When and where

Electrical and computer engineering design symposium, Wednesday, March 21, 9:30 a.m., Davis Centre foyer. Details.

Noon hour concert series, "Paraguay Primeval" featuring Rebecca Campbell (vocals), Carol Ann Weaver (piano), Katie Honek (flute), Ben Bolt-Martin (cello), Kyle Skillman (percussion), Wednesday, March 21, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel chapel.

Centre for Career Action Webinar: Writing an A+ resume, Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m. Details.

Street party at Mudie's, Wednesday, March 21, 4:30 p.m.

Vision 2015 town hall for engineering undergraduates, Wednesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m., RCH 301.

Waterloo Lecture: Homer, the Brain, and Rhetoric, hosted by the Waterloo Stratford Campus, Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Co-op Student of the Year Awards, Thursday, March 22.

World Water Day Graduate Research Fair and Water Celebration, Thursday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Vision 2015 Town Hall for engineering staff, Thursday, March 22, 12:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Weight Watchers At Work registration session, Thursday, March 22, 12:15 p.m., PAS 2438, for info call ext. 32218.

International Spouses event, "Painting with Imen," Thursday, March 22, 12:45 p.m. Please pre-register. Details.

Student Developer Network iOS workshop, Thursday, March 22, 6:00 p.m., MC 3003. Snacks provided.

Careers in Health Informatics and E-Health (CHiE) 2012 Career Fair, Thursday, March 22, 4:00 p.m., Kitchener City Hall. Register online.

Presentation by Som Seif, “Engineering Success” Thursday, March 22, 4:30 p.m. HH 1108. Details.

First annual Management Engineering Design Symposium, Friday, March 23, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer. Details.

CIGI-BSIA Signature Lecture with Saudi Ambassador Osamah Al Sanosi Ahmad: “Saudi Arabia in the 21st Century: Dialogue as a Means of Transformation,” Friday, March 23, 12:30 p.m., CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb St. West.

First annual nanotechnology and software engineering design symposia, Friday, March 23, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre foyer.

Hackathon, Friday, March 23, 7:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m., MC comfy lounge.

Scarboro Missions Lecture featuring Dr. Heather Eaton, "One Earth, Many Religions: The Spiritual Quest for a Sustainable and Just Future." Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University. Part of the Lectures in Catholic Experience series.

International Spouses event, "Movie and Coffee with Patty," (See "Willy Wonka" at Galaxy Cinemas for $5). Details.

University senate Monday, March 26, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

4th Annual Pink Day, Tuesday, March 27, Pink Coffee break gets started at 9:00 a.m. in NH 1021.

Student appreciation night at REVelation, Tuesday, March 27, 4:30 p.m.

Reading and Q&A with children's author Robert Paul Weston ("Zorgamazoo", "Dust City"), Tuesday, March 27, 4:30 p.m., St. Jerome's room 2009. Part of the St. Jerome's Reading Series.

Waterloo Centre for German Studies presents Faust in the Box by Bridge Markland, Tuesday, March 27 (German-language performance) and Wednesday, March 27 (English-language performance), 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building. Tickets available at the door or at the uWaterloo box office. Details.

Digital Media Series: Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality: Implications for Marketing, Wednesday, March 28, Stratford Campus. Note: this event has been cancelled.

Lunch 'N Learn event, "Mortgages Made Easy" featuring Sharon Feldmann and Paul O'Reilly, Thursday, March 29, 12:05 p.m., Davis Centre 1302. Please RSVP to Janine Warry, 519-722-3050 ext. 2423 or janinew@ Presented by the Education Credit Union.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, March 29, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Third annual SMF Symposium, Friday, March 30. Details.

Alyson Woloshyn fundraiser cocktail party and dance, Saturday, March 31. Details TBA.

Lectures end April 2.

Staff conference April 3-4, Humanities Theatre and other rooms in Hagey Hall, details online.

Board of governors Tuesday, April 3, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience presents the 6th annual Waterloo Brain Day, Wednesday, April 4, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., PAS 2083. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Custodian I - Plant Operations
• Custodian II – Plant Operations
• Department Administrator – Applied Mathematics, USG 6/7
• Residence Life Co-ordinator – Housing & Residences, USG 7
• Manager, Undergraduate Studies – Electrical & Computer Engineering, USG 7
• Director of Housing – Housing & Residences, USG 16/17
• Administrative Assistant – Fine Arts, USG 6
• Secretary to the Chair & Graduate Admissions – Systems Design Engineering, USG 5
• International Education & Immigration Advisor – Student Success Office, USG 7
• Assistant Director, HR Operations – Human Resources, USG 14
• Technical Writer – Dean of Engineering Office, USG 10

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