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Thursday, May 3, 2012

  • National startup tour to hit Waterloo
  • Geometry, physics researchers convene
  • Pebble Kickstarter passes $7M, other notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Anam Khan and Carlos Radic on a motorcycle.

Zen and the art of motorcycle balancing: Architecture student Anam Khan and senior mechanical technologist Carlos Radic found a fitting way to enjoy some of April's summer-like weather last month. More of that weather appears to be on the way (thunderstorms notwithstanding), according to forecasts.

Photograph by Jeff Wettlaufer.

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National startup tour to hit Waterloo

The Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park will be hosting a stop on the Startup Canada national tour. Startup Canada is "Canada's first-ever, entrepreneur-led, national movement to enhance the nation's competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship." The tour will hit 30 cities between March and September 2012.

The town hall will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 17.

The tour is intended to "fuel a groundswell, grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together Canada's entire entrepreneurship community to create a clear, concise plan that leads to real change and action." The town hall event will include discussion and the creation of an action plan that will be presented to the Prime Minister's Office.

Registration for the town hall can be done online. Attendance is free.

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Geometry, physics researchers convene

The GAP (Geometry and Physics) 2012 conference, held jointly by the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, takes place from Saturday, May 5 to Monday, May 7. "This is now the 4th installment in a very successful annual series of conferences, whose primary goal is to bring together geometers, from Canada and around the world, who work at the interface between mathematics and physics," writes organizing committee member and Pure Mathematics professor Spiro Karigiannis.

The conference features principal speakers from a variety of institutions including Australian National University, Universiteit Utrecht, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Princeton, and MIT, as well as seven local area postdocs.

Registration details can be found online.

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Pebble Kickstarter passes $7M, other notes

Waterloo alumnus Eric Migicovsky's Pebble Smartwatch fundraising venture using the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform has received more than $7.9M in pledges from over 53,200 backers with more than two weeks left to go before the funding project comes to a close. The Pebble watch, which uses e-paper technology and connects to iPhone and Android devices, is the successor to Migicovsky's InPulse smartwatch for BlackBerry, which began as a project during his days as a VeloCity resident in the fall of 2008. Migicovsky has kept in touch and shared his experiences with other VeloCity students.

Participants at the Think About Math workshop.The annual Think About Math workshop got underway yesterday and will run until May 5. The workshop, intended to boost Grade 9 girls' interest in mathematics, is hosted by the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing and will bring about 40 students together over three days.

This is the fourth year for event, which gives young girls' in high school the opportunity to learn about the lifestyles and fulfilling careers of women who have graduated with a degree in mathematics. Girls will also participate in interactive labs and hands-on activities. They will learn how the field of mathematics relates to such fields as the environment, the stock market, and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. University of Waterloo faculty members and professional businesswomen and businessmen will lead all of the sessions.

A note from IST's Andrea Chappell to faculty members last week provided an update on the status of the podium computers in 104 Registrar-scheduled e-classrooms. The podiums' scheduled upgrade to the Windows 7 operating system has been completed. "A note has been left on the computer to indicate it has been upgraded," writes Chappell. "We advise you to visit the e-classroom in which you will teach to make sure any special applications you use work as expected, and to become familiar with the interface (if you have not used Windows 7 before." Anyone encountering problems with the computer should call extension 33233, which is the usual e-classroom help line that reaches the ITMS support technicians.

E-classrooms can be found in the Arts Lecture Hall, Biology 2, the Davis Centre, Douglas Wright Engineering, EIT, Engineering 2, Environment 1,2, and 3, Hagey Hall, Mathematics and Computer and Mathematics 3, Modern Languages, Optometry, PAS, and RCH.

Gordon Stubley, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor and as of May 1 the Faculty of Engineering's first Associate Dean (Teaching) has been honoured with a 2012 Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was one of just eight province-wide to receive the award. Professor Stubley was nominated by the University of Waterloo's Federation of Students.

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Countdown to Congress: 22 days remaining

Sign up to volunteer at Congress!

University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are looking for a variety of volunteers to help elevate and enrich the Congress conference experience. Anyone can volunteer – training will be provided. Be a part of this extraordinary event, register to volunteer today.

Factoid: 2012 marks the first time the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences has been held in Waterloo.

Link of the day

World Press Freedom Day

When and where

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

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

All About U Fair, Wednesday, May 2, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall. Details.

International Development "Shape The World" conference, Wednesday, May 2, all day, St. Paul's University College. Hear presentations by the first graduating class of international development students on their international field placements. Details.

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.

The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Todd Holyoak, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, "The Coupling of Conformational Equilibria and Enzyme Function in Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase," Tuesday, May 8, 3:30 p.m., C2-361.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Keith Hipel, "Tackling Climate Change: A System of Systems Engineering Perspective," Wednesday, May 9, 11:30 a.m., E5 6111.

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.

PhD Oral Defences

Electrical and Computer Engineering. Yousef Elmabruk Saad El-Rayani, “Models for Decision Making in Local Distribution Networks Considering Uncertain Renewable Energy Resources.” Supervisors, Kumarawami Ponnambalam, Ramadan El-Shatshat. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, May 8, 2:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Chemical Engineering. Hui Wang, “Preparation of Functional Polymer Nanoparticles Using Semibatch Microemulsion Polymerization.” Supervisors, Garry L. Rempel, Qinmin Pan. This thesis is restricted but on display in the Engineering Graduate Studies Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, May 9, 9:30 a.m., E6 4022.

Computer Science. Margareta Ackerman, “Towards Theoretical Foundations of Clustering.” Supervisor, Shai Ben-David. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, May 9, 12:00 p.m., DC 1331.

Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dongliang Lu, “Estimation of Stochastic Degradation Model Using Uncertain Inspection Data.” Supervisors, Mahesh Pandey, Wei-Chau Xie. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, May 9, 2:00 p.m., E2 3324.

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