- Academic integrity survey launched
- Food for thought during interview season
- New research shines a light on black holes
- United Way campaign begins and other notes
- Brandon Sweet
- Communications and Public Affairs
Academic integrity survey launched
The Office of Academic Integrity wants to hear from you.
From October 2 to 12, the Office of Academic Integrity, in collaboration with Dr. Don McCabe of Rutgers University, will be conducting the Academic Integrity Survey. Undergraduate students in second year and beyond, graduate students, instructional staff and faculty are being asked to consider completing this anonymous web-based survey.
The University of Waterloo will examine the results and use them to improve existing integrity awareness and education practices. Originally administered in 2006 as part of an earlier study, it will provide updated information on integrity at Canadian universities.
“We are very much looking forward to examining the results of this survey and evaluating and further improving our current initiatives,” said Bruce Mitchell, Associate Provost, Resources. “I encourage all eligible participants to take this opportunity to provide their input on academic integrity on our campus.”
A link to the surveys was distributed via email on Tuesday, October 2. Surveys are estimated to take approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete and in order to ensure responses are based on reflections from post-secondary experiences, undergraduate participants must be in their second-year of studies or higher. Further, graduate students are being asked to consider completing two surveys: one from the perspective of a Teaching Assistant, and the other from that of a student.
Please note that this study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Office of Research Ethics. Questions about the survey can be sent to email@example.com. For students and faculty wishing to ask questions about the survey, an Office representative will be stationed on campus at the following locations over the next week:
- Dana Porter Library, Wednesday, October 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Student Life Centre, Tuesday, October 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Davis Centre, Wednesday, October 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Student Life Centre, Thursday, October 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Food for thought during interview season
During interview season at the Tatham Centre, the time each term when organizations are on campus recruiting co-op and graduating students, organizations from across Canada and the United States host information sessions for students. So far this fall, 91 companies hosted sessions on campus.
These information sessions wouldn’t happen without the help of a lot of people around campus. A HUGE thank you to the staff at Media.doc, Student Life Centre, Engineering 5, UW Finance, UW Catering, Plant Operations – Custodial Section, Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services, Bombshelter Pub, Davis Centre, University Club, Tatham Centre, and Donna Schell for your support in making these sessions happen.
At these info sessions, students learn about an organization, mingle with hiring managers and recruiters, and assess whether the organization is a good fit for them. Employers interact and meet a diverse group of students. For both students and employers, the sessions are terrific for networking and considering a wide variety of employment opportunities. “I love getting to chat one-on-one with employers. You get a better idea of what the company is all about and the type of people who work there. It’s also awesome to see what companies are working on behind the scenes. Sometimes they bring their current co-ops to talk about the job and it’s great to see firsthand what they’ve worked on and how they liked it,” said Victoria de Luna, Environment and Business student.
Another fun part of the sessions? The food. Check out the most common and the most interesting food served this term:
2. Assorted hors d’oeuvres (breaded shrimp, mini quiches, mushroom and leek crescents, mini samosas, chicken roule)
4. Sandwiches and vegetable trays
1. Shawarma wraps
4. Chinese food
5. Bacon wrapped scallops and mini-quiches
Sessions often have awesome giveaways too. Here are a few notables we've seen lately:
- Hot sauce
- Colour-changing coffee travelers
New research shines a light on black holes
Black holes are black. How much more black could they be? The answer is none. None more black.
Black holes are famous for gravitational pulls so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape (by the way, how awesome was Event Horizon?). But that's not the whole story.
"Perhaps counterintuitively, a subset of black holes actually launch material out at very nearly the speed of light," writes Avery Broderick, an assistant professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and an associate faculty member at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics. "Precisely how they do this is not presently clear, though most models invoke electromagnetic fields very near the event horizon."
Some black holes actually emit light so bright that it can outshine the rest of the universe. This light comes from jets of electrons and other subatomic particles that can extend for hundreds or even thousands of light years from the event horizon of the black hole. Far from simply curiosities, these jets are powerful enough to rule the fates of galaxies through their effect upon the gas that surrounds them. So what forces are at work that throw off these "relativistic jets" of brilliant high-speed particles? And where do the jets launch from?
Broderick was one of the authors of a paper appearing in the current issue of Science that is offering up some of the first empirical evidence that pinpoints the "launchpad" of the jets and the forces behind them.
"Our article presents the first observations ever to resolve the region from which these jets are launched," he explains. "It is also the first time horizon-scale structure was observed in an extragalactic black hole (the other case being the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way)."
Broderick was part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team, an international consortium of researchers, coordinated by MIT’s Haystack Observatory. The Event Horizon telescope is actually a continent-sized array of radio telescopes: the Arizona Radio Observatory's Submillimeter Telescope (ARO-SMT), the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) in California, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and the Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hawaii. The telescope was aimed at M87, a galaxy located some 50 million light years from the Milky Way. The black hole at the centre of M87 is 7 billion times the mass of our Sun. Broderick's role in this project was to assist in the interpretation of the data gathered from the black hole and then draft a model image of that black hole.
"These are some of the highest-resolution observations ever recorded," said Broderick. "The data tells us the size of the region launching the black hole jet, the narrow outflow of particles and radiation travelling at nearly the speed of light. For the first time, we are able to measure the size of the jet-launching region." At left is an artist's conception of the phenomenon.
Nearly all galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their centre, but not all produce jets. Scientists are still trying to determine why that is, and how such jets form. The EHT team's observations confirmed what theorists have only been able to speculate so far: there is a connection between the speed at which the black hole spins and the presence of black hole jets.
"This is fantastic," said Broderick. "This is the first empirical evidence that this is true."
It is possible, he says, that the rotation of the black hole powers the energetic jets. The matter that falls into the black hole and subsequently never escapes could provide an alternate mechanism. Learning why some black holes have jets and where they occur in proximity to the event horizon—the invisible boundary inside of which not even light can escape—is critical to understanding their impact on intergalactic scales. Resolving the material in the region immediately surrounding the horizon may even lead scientists to a greater understanding about gravity.
"For some time it has been thought that black hole spin was critical for launching the powerful jets observed," writes Broderick. "However, now we can say that in at least one object this is indeed the case."
More than 30 researchers from six countries make up the Event Horizon Telescope team. Broderick is the only scientist representing a Canadian university.
United Way campaign gets going and other notes
"The Waterloo United Way campaign has begun!" writes Jacqueline Martinz of the Federation of Students. "There are a number of ways to provide support including cheque, monthly-payment deductions, or a one-time gift. We also encourage you to keep an eye out for the many United Way events that will happen throughout October. Your donations will be used to assist individuals and families within our community and maintain valuable programs."
The campaign goal for this year is $230,000. A pledge form and more information are available on the campaign webpage.
Here's a note from Jennifer Lee, assistant manager at the Visitors Centre: "It's that time of year again, and uWaterloo is preparing for our annual Fall Open House for prospective students. We are looking for great students who would like to volunteer at this event. It is a fun, high energy, and exciting event!" The Fall Open House is taking place on Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Volunteer applications can be picked up in the Visitors Centre in South Campus Hall, and are also available as a PDF online.
"Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer!" concludes Lee.
Have your say to build a better myHRinfo. Human Resources will be launching a project that aims to deliver a more user-friendly, efficient myHRinfo to the desktop of all university employees. The scope of the project is to address and identify improved solutions for the most significant "pain points" related to navigation and the centralization of information. This will be achieved by gathering feedback from managers and employees, designing mock-up solutions, and providing another opportunity for input through participation in a focus group. Survey respondents who indicated that they were interested in participating in a focus group will be contacted, but any employee who wishes to participate can contact Stacey Parsons or Pam Fluttert via email before October 12. Yes, this announcement was so nice I ran it twice.
Link of the day
VeloCity Venture Fund competition takes place tomorrow
This week, 10 student teams will pitch their ideas for a technology business with the goal of winning cash to help start them. The VeloCity Venture Fund event will give the teams a chance to win one of four prizes of $25,000.
VeloCity runs three programs (Campus, Residence, and Garage), which support University of Waterloo students and alumni in realizing their business dreams.
Resources include workshops, seminars, as well as a connection to a community of mentors, investors, and other entrepreneurs.
The event takes place on Thursday, October 4 at 2:00 p.m. in the DC foyer. Judges will determine the winners at 3:30 p.m.
When and where
Imaginus Poster Sale, October 1-5, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall and multipurpose room.
CECA workshop: Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions, Wednesday, October 3 10:30 a.m., TC 1208. Details.
Water Institute Seminar featuring Prof. Maurice Dusseault, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, "Water demands for hydraulic fracturing and shale gas development," Wednesday, October 3, 12:30 PM, DC 1302.
Conservation Research Summer Programs info session, Operation Wallacea, Wednesday, October 3, 12:30 p.m., Waterloo International, NH 1101.
Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Michael Serpe, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta. "Fun with Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) Microgel-Based Etalons," Wednesday, October 3, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.
Are You LinkedIn? Learning the Basics (presented by a LinkedIn recruiter), Wednesday, October 3, 4:00 p.m., TC 2218. Details.
Are You LinkedIn? Beyond the Basics (presented by a LinkedIn recruiter), Wednesday, October 3, 5:00 p.m., TC 2218.Details.
Grad Studies Info Reception – Engineering, Wednesday, October 3, 6:00 p.m.– 8:00 p.m., E5 Student Design Centre. Details.
Stand Up to Stigma Event featuring speakers Arthur Gallant and UW Alumni Alicia Raimundo, Thursday, October 4, 11:30 a.m., BMH 1621.
VeloCity Venture Fund event, Thursday, October 4, 2:00 p.m., DC Foyer.
WISE Lecture Series featuring Heather Andreas, Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, "Solving Energy Loss in Supercapacitive Energy Storage," Thursday, October 4, 3:00 p.m., DC 1304. Details.
Centre for Career Action presents Hot Tips from the Pros! Thursday, October 4, 4:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.
Richard Nutbrown Memorial, Thursday, October 4, 7:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.
Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, October 5, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., NH 3004.
Tourism and Development lecture series featuring Daniel Olsen, Brandon University, "Rural development, rurality and tourism in Manitoba," Friday, October 5, 1:30 p.m., AL 113.
St. Jerome's University Lectures in Catholic Experience Friday, October 5, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall. Details.
WatRISQ seminar featuring Prof. Jian Yang, Associate Professor of Finance, The Business School, University of Colorado, “Credit Risk Spillovers among Financial Institutions around the Global Credit Crisis: Firm-Level Evidence,” Tuesday, October 9, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.
CrySP Speaker Series on Privacy and Sociology and Legal Studies presents Dr. Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa, "Repo Men Are Coming: Body EULAs, Privacy and Security of the Person," Wednesday, October 10, 1:30 p.m., DC 1302. Details.
English Language and Literature Departmental Lecture Series: "Affective Environments” featuring Ato Quayson, University of Toronto, "Self-Writing and Alienation in the Postcolonial Novel," Wednesday, October 10, 4:00 p.m., RCH 305.
Faculty of Environment Friends & Alumni celebration, Thursday, October 11, 5:00 p.m., One King West Hotel, Toronto. Details.
Tourism and Development lecture series featuring Geoffrey Wall, "Cultural tourism, sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods - International perspectives," Friday, October 12, 1:30 p.m., AL 113.
School of Public Health and Health Systems retirement reception for Roy Cameron and Nancy Poole, Friday, October 12, 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman South Fireplace Lounge.
Terry Fox Run in NYC, Saturday, October 13, 8:00 a.m. Details.
Calgary Alumni Chapter Oktoberfest, Saturday, October 13 - Sunday, October 14, Austrian-Canadian Cultural Centre, Calgary. Details.
University Senate meeting, Monday, October 15, 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.
Waterloo Stratford Campus opening, Tuesday, October 16, 1:00 p.m., 125 St. Patrick St., Stratford.
On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:
• Graduate Admissions Administrator – Electrical & Computer Engineering, USG 5
• Administrative/Financial Coordinator Faculty Research & Administration Faculty – Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 5
• Administrative Assistant/Receptionist - Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 4
Internal Secondment Opportunity:
• Liaison Librarian, Information Services and Resources: Davis Library, USG 8-13