- Waterloo entrepreneurs enter the Dragons' Den
- WISE thoughts on energy delivery
- Monday's notes
- Brandon Sweet
- Communications and Public Affairs
Waterloo entrepreneurs enter the Dragons' Den
Four intrepid heroes, armed only with their wits, venture into a dragon's lair, with a hoard of treasure and promises of lasting glory at stake.
No, it's not the plot of the latest Dungeons & Dragons campaign being played in the Math & Computer building. Rather, two startups launched by University of Waterloo students are going to be featured on an upcoming episode of Dragons' Den that will be showcasing student businesses.
Dragons' Den is a reality show, airing on the CBC, that pits entrepreneurs against a panel of hard-nosed venture capitalists (the titular Dragons). The business concepts that find favour with the Dragons receive investment capital and sage advice. Those that don't? Well, that's where the entertainment begins, so I'm told.
The episode will air Wednesday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m. on CBC.
Desmond Choi and Hongwei Liu will represent the company they founded, MappedIn, as they make their pitch in front of the Dragons.
MappedIn builds interactive directories, mobile apps and analytics for places like malls and universities, helping people navigate their surroundings as well as find their way to products and services. They bill themselves as a company "whose mission is to be your guide to the indoor world." MappedIn apps are available for Android and iPhone, with a BlackBerry version coming after the launch of the BB10 platform.
The startup is located in the VeloCity Garage in downtown Kitchener at the Communitech Hub. MappedIn's technology is already in use at the Conestoga Mall and the University of Waterloo, with more locations to be launched in the near future.
Alex Peters and Rohan Mahimker, both graduates of the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering program, will be showcasing their online mathematics teaching startup, SMARTeacher.ca. "At SMARTeacher, we know that it’s not enough to simply make a fun game or have a lot of educational content; children require a seamless integration of fun and education that’s as unique as they are," reads a self-explanatory note on the website.
SMARTeacher's flagship product, Prodigy, is a gameified math tutorial that allows students to create avatars and fight monsters using the magic of mathematics (and here you thought my D&D metaphor was an overreach.). The game adapts to its player's performance, creating an "individual learning profile" for each student playing the game. Through the use of an interactive wristband peripheral based on polygraph (lie detector) technology, the game's next iteration will respond to a player's emotions — frustration or boredom, for example — and adjust gameplay difficulty accordingly.
SMARTeacher is based in Burlington.
WISE thoughts on energy delivery
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have come up with a bold vision to transform energy delivery in Canada: smart energy networks (SENs) that connect electricity grids, natural gas pipelines, renewable energy resources and district heating networks into a single, integrated system.
As a new report from the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy describes, this would allow "smart" appliances and equipment to switch seamlessly between energy sources, using advanced information technology to make the best choice at any given minute based on price, demand and availability.
"It's time to rethink the way energy services are provided to Canadians," says John Wen, lead author of the report. "Smart energy networks have the potential to reduce greenhouse gases, meet growing energy needs, provide reliability and stability, and lower the costs to consumers."
The 152-page report was released October 23 and lays out definitions, conceptual models, technical considerations, and recommendations for moving forward.
According to report co-author Ian Rowlands, the next steps will be undertaking market feasibility studies, launching pilot projects to investigate optimal configurations and scales, and working with stakeholders to move the agenda forward. "This kind of transformation won't happen overnight, and there are many questions still to be answered, but we believe SENs could help make Canada a global leader in sustainable energy," he says.
The SEN research was funded by $10,000 grant from Union Gas and involved researchers from the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Engineering and Department of Environment and Resource Studies.
The Registrar's Office is reporting that due to a delay in the STEP course rescheduling project, Spring 2013 pre-enrollment will occur from October 29 to November 4. Pre-enrollment helps to reduce possible schedule conflicts. Instructions on pre-enrollment are available online.
The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) announced the results of the election of new members to its Board of Directors at its general meeting last Thursday. Elected to a two-year term were Stephanie Filsinger, Chantel Franklin, and Jeremy Steffler. Elected to a one-year term were Carlos Mendes and Lawrence Folland.
Also at the meeting, a resolution providing for a special election process to fill the now-vacant position of President was approved. The special election will occur by the end of November. For more information, contact UWSA Past President Trevor Grove.
The AIM Institute of Lifestyle Information, located in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, is offering a series of flu clinics from November 12 to 16, and is welcoming members of the university community to participate. The clinics are open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily. Call 519-747-2677 for an appointment time before Wednesday, October 31. Other dates may be available based on demand.
While we're on the subject, campus flu clinics for the University of Waterloo's "high risk" population will take place this week on Tuesday, October 30 and Thursday, November 1, with the annual vaccination clinic for the "healthy population" on campus scheduled for Wednesday, November 14 through to Friday, November 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Life Centre.
"This Halloween, the University community is able to support the Federation of Students' Food Bank by donating non-perishable food items or volunteering for Trick or Eat," writes Jacqueline Martinz of the Federation of Students. "Bring your non-perishable food items to the Feds office located in the Student Life Centre, room 1102."
Trick or Eat is a program held in partnership with Meal Exchange Canada. Volunteers go door to door and ask for non-perishable food items. In the past, Trick or Eat volunteers have collected thousands of pounds of food for the Feds Food Bank and Food Bank of Waterloo Region. "To join this year, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to trickoreat.ca and join the Waterloo contingent," concludes Martinz.
Link of the day
When and where
Audit Committee meeting, Tuesday, October 30, 11:00 a.m., NH 3004.
Board of governors meeting, Tuesday, October 30, 1:30 p.m., QNC Room 0101.
Noon Hour Concert, "Courage for Lydia," featuring new music by Carol Ann Weaver and Joanne Bender, with Meaghan McCracken, flute, Willem Moolenbeek, saxophone, Ben Bolt-Martin, cello, Marianne Wiens, violin, Joanne Bender & Carol Ann Weaver, piano, Wednesday, October 31, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel.
Quantitative Biology Seminar featuring Matthijs van der Meer, "Decoding the neural basis of planning in the rat," Wednesday, October 13,
3:30 p.m., B2 350.
School of Public Health and Health Systems lecture featuring Dr. Ping Yan, “Quantitative models and their appraisal in the study of infectious diseases”. Wednesday, October 31, 2:00 p.m.,Lyle Hallman North, room 2703.
CTE687 Active Learning in a Really Large Classroom, Session 0002: Wednesday, October 31, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 324A.
Arriscraft Lecture Series featuring Margie Zeidler, Urban Space, "The Accidental Developer," Thursday, November 1, 6:45 p.m., School of Architecture.
Fall Open House, Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., various locations on campus.
Shanghai Chapter launch and networking reception, Wednesday, November 7. Details.
Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Hector Levesque, University of Toronto, "Two Thoughts on the Turing Test," Wednesday, November 7, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.
"Life in 2030" panel discussion and researcher fair, Thursday, November 8, The Tannery.
Department of English Language and Literature lecture featuring Elizabeth Harvey, University of Toronto, “Shakespeare's Spirit World,” Thursday, November 8, 4:00 p.m., HH 373.
8th Annual UWSA Shopping Weekend to Erie Pennsylvania, Friday, November 9 to Sunday, November 11. Details.
Annual Hong Kong Alumni Networking Dinner, Saturday, November 10, 6:00 p.m. Details.
International Education Week, November 12 to 16.
University flu clinics, November 14 to 16, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., SLC Multipurpose Room.
UW Retirees Association Fall Luncheon Thursday, November 15, 11:30 a.m. (cash bar), 12:00 (lunch), tickets $27; presentation by Chris Redmond on "Writing at Waterloo: Memorable Moments from my Career as a Communicator."
Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, November 20, 3:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.