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Friday, July 12, 2013



  • A new campus system for tracking IT requests
  • Astigmatism study seeks participants
  • Notes knocked into the middle of next week


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


A new campus system for tracking IT requests

by Lisa Tomalty, project lead for the Request Tracking (RT) Investigation Project.

The Request Tracking (RT) Investigation Project started its work in June 2012 and was assigned the task of examining the current Information Technology (IT) request tracking needs of the University of Waterloo, and  recommending an IT request tracking system for the campus.

What does a request tracking system do, you might ask? A number of things, including:

  • Ticket/request-tracking systems are used to coordinate tasks and manage user requests;
  • Users (aka requestors or clients) receive email updates on work being done;
  • Staff working on a ticket/request sees all of the activity, communications, etc; and
  • The system is primarily used for IT related requests, but non-IT areas use it as well.

Benefits of a shared IT request tracking system include:

  • Allows collaboration between IT units to effectively help solve issues;
  • Shared tool, one installation;
  • Shared knowledge base;
  • Shared communications, support;
  • Shared system development and configuration; and
  • Common tracking and metrics.

The project team, led by Lisa Tomalty, Information Systems and Technology (IST), and IST Liaison to the Arts Computing Office, consisted of staff involved in IT support from across campus.  While developing the requirements for the new system, additional stakeholders and groups were also consulted, using the following channels:

  • Focus groups (which included IT managers, issue solvers, and clients of the existing system)
  • Survey (of users of RT systems on campus)
  • Consultations with current RT queue owners
  • Consultations with other stakeholders

Based on the requirements gathered and the research of available systems, the final recommendation is to implement Best Practical’s Request Tracker version 4 (RT4).

An RT4 Implementation Project will begin in August or September 2013 and will address the requirements and issues identified in the RT Investigation Project.

A key success factor for this implementation is a commitment to implement the system in a federated way across campus, in order to provide better service to our clients.

RT4 is the newest version of Best Practical's Request Tracker system, It has many new features, is customizable and expandable, and has an active user community. RT4 also meets all critical requirements identified by the project via focus groups, survey, and stakeholder consultations. Expertise for RT4 already exists on campus and in general, it is a well-liked, stable solution.

The requirements identified during the project's consultation will be addressed in an RT Implmentation Project as well as in an IT Best Practices Project.

It was found that many of the issues identified in the existing RT system can be addressed via process changes and leveraging existing features and capabilities of Best Practical's Request Tracker system (especially the newer features available in version

Key factors were used in choosing Request Tracker version 4 (RT4) to ensure the system chosen would meet requirements, work in browsers and on operating systems used on campus, and fit with the current IT Strategic Planning initiative, including: "Exchange high quality data and information when, where, and how it’s needed" and "...ensure that the University community is fully enabled any time, anywhere, on their preferred platform or device, ..."

More information about the project is available at the RT Investigation Project website.


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Astigmatism study seeks participants


If you have an astimatism and wear contact lenses, take a look at this offer from the Centre for Contact Lens Research:

The Centre for Contact Lens Research at the School of Optometry is seeking people (18yrs +) who wear toric contact lenses for astigmatism. The study includes 5 visits for a total of 5 ½ hours and $110 in appreciation for your time.

If you are interested in participating, please call for more details or to book your appointment at 519-888-4742. You will be provided with all relevant study information prior to study enrollment and you are under no obligation to participate.

All studies conducted at the CCLR have been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the University of Waterloo Office of Research Ethics. If you have any questions or concerns resulting from your participation in this study, please contact Dr. Maureen Nummelin (ORE), at 519-888-4567, ext. 36005.

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Notes knocked into the middle of next week


The Graduate Studies Office will be closed on Wednesday, July 17 from 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a staff retreat for a staff retreat.

New additions to the Waterloo Stories site include pieces on entrepreneurial engineering graduate Armen Bakirtzian, economics professor Larry Smith, Earth & Environmental Sciences researcher Igor Lehnherr, and the International Student Experience.

Finally, I will be on a one-week vacation starting Monday, July 15 and will return on the 22nd. My esteemed colleagues in Communications and Public Affairs will be editing the Daily Bulletin in my absence. Please be sure to send emails directly to the Daily Bulletin's address if you need to get in touch next week. See you next Monday!


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Link of the day

70 years ago: the Battle of Kursk

When and where

WISE Lecture Series featuring Phil Helwig, M.Sc., P. Eng., Hydropower Consultant, Helwig Hydrotechnique Limited, "The Role of Hydro in Modern Sustainable Power Grids," Friday, July 12, 2:00 p.m., CPH 4333. Details.

UWRC Book Club featuring ML Stedman's "The Light Between Oceans", Wednesday, July 17, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Weight Watchers At Work series begins Thursday, July 18, 12:00 p.m., PAS 2438. For info call ext. 32012.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 18, SLC lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

UW Stock Pitch Competition, Saturday, July 20, 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., QNC. Details.

UWSA special general meeting, Tuesday, July 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., PHY 145. Details.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, July 25, SLC lower level, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

VeloCity Demo Day and Venture Fund Finals, Thursday, July 25, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., SLC Great Hall.

ChemEd 2013 conference, Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1. Details.

WatRISQ seminar featuring Roger Lee, associate professor of mathematics, University of Chicago, "Variance Swaps on Time-Changed Markov Processes," Monday, July 29, 4:00 p.m., M3 3127.

QKD Summer School 2013, Monday July 29 to Friday, August 2, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.

Spring Term lectures end, Tuesday, July 30 (which is a Monday class schedule).

Pre-examination study days, Wednesday, July 31 to Monday, August 5.

Civic Holiday, Monday, August 5, university closed.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period ends, Monday, August 5.

3rd Annual Conference on Quantum Cryptography, Monday, August 5 to Friday, August 9, Institute for Quantum Computing. Details.


PhD Oral Defences

Global Governance. Manjana Milkoreit, "Mindmade Politics: the Role of Cognition in Global Climate Change Governance." Supervisor, Thomas Homer-Dixon. On display in the Faculty of Environment, EV1 335. Oral defence Thursday, July 18, 9:30 a.m., BSIA 1-25.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Mohammed Al-Shamsi, "Iron Nanoparticles for In Situ Chemical Oxidation." Supervisor, Neil Thompson. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, July 23, 9:00 a.m., MC 2009.

Physics and Astronomy. George Soliman, "Temporal Dynamics of Polarization and Polarization Mode Dispersion and Influence on Optical Fiber Systems." Supervisor, David Yevick. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate OFfice, ESC-254A. Oral defence Tuesday, July 23 9:00 a.m., PHY 308.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Xiaohui Liang, "Security and Privacy Preservation in Mobile Social Networks." Supervisors, Sherman Shen, Xiaodong Lin. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, July 23, 10:00 a.m., EIT 3142.

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