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Friday, June 14, 2013



  • Today, Math grads crunch the numbers...
  • ...while tomorrow it's Engineering's turn
  • Grad class photos given high-res makeover
  • Friday's notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Today, Math grads crunch the numbers...

1,044 mathematics students will cross the stage today in two ceremonies as convocation continues.

At this morning's ceremony, an honorary Doctor of Mathematics will be conferred upon Robert Bixby, who will address convocation. Bixby is the Noah Harding Professor Emeritus of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University, as well as research professor of management in Rice University's Jones School of Management. His research is mainly in the theory and practice of optimization. In addition, he is the president of Gurobi Optimization.

Brian Vethanayagam will deliver the valedictory address.

Receiving the Award of excellence in grad supervision is Kenneth Davidson from Pure Math.

The Governor General's Silver Medal will be given to Boyu Li.

At this afternoon's ceremony, Hans Gerber will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics and address convocation. Gerber is one of the world's leading researchers in actuarial science. Retired from the University of Lausanne where he was professor of actuarial science since 1981, he was distinguished visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong from 2005-2011. Prior to that he was professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan.

Terrence Yi Fung Chin will deliver the valedictory address.

Douglas R. Stinson of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science will be named University Professor.

Jay David Steele will receive the J. Wesley Graham Medal.

The Alumni Gold Medal will be given to Krithika Suresh.

In addition, the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for excellence in undergraduate research will be given to Ahmad Abdi.

The Samuel Eckler Medal for highest standing in Actuarial Science will be given to Aaron Hendrickson-Gracie.

The Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement will be given to Renaud Bourassa-Denis.

The Sandford Fleming Foundation Medal for Academic Excellence will be given to Renaud Bourassa-Denis and the Sandford Fleming Foundation Medal for Co-operative Work Term Proficiency will be given to Shaylan Keshav Govind.

Mathieu Guay-Paquet will be recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies (doctoral).


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...while tomorrow it's Engineering's turn

On Saturday, June 15, convocation will conclude with two ceremonies for the Faculty of Engineering. 1,358 graduates will receive their degrees.

At tomorrow morning's ceremony, Jacob Apkarian will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering. He will then address convocation. Apkarian is a global leader in the development of real-time control systems and services for industry who founded Quanser in 1990 to enhance and advance control theory education. His work has contributed to the success of prominent Canadian engineering achievements, including Canadarm I and II. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.

Laurin Benson will deliver the valedictory address.

Duane Cronin will receive a Distinguished Teacher Award.

The Alumni Gold Medal will be awarded to Zachary Robert Gowanlock

At tomorrow afternoon's ceremony, Diane Freeman will be a guest speaker. Freeman is a City of Waterloo Councillor and professional engineer, first elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a BASc in civil engineering, and works as an associate with Conestoga-Rovers and Associates in the air quality services group. She has served as president of Professional Engineers of Ontario, and is the founding president of the Butterfly Learning Centre, a non-profit child-care facility.

Valedictorian Mina Labib will address convocation.

The Governor General's Silver Medal will be given to Steven Derek Yang.

Hamed Shateri will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

The Albert Sherwood Barber Medal for best overall work term and academic performance will go to Tim Leshuk.

The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement in mechanical engineering will be given to Mathew Robert Biskup.

The George Dufault Medal for excellence in communication will go to Erin Matheson.

Michael Seliske will receive the John Fisher Award for Leadership.

The Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement will be given to Renaud Bourassa-Denis.

Sarah Sleiman will receive the Roy Duxbury Leadership Award.

A number of Sandford Fleming Foundation Medals will also be handed out in two categories.

For Academic Excellence: Derek Taschereau Badner, Mathew Robert Biskup, Renaud Bourassa-Denis, Dominic Kai-Yin Cheng, Musa Chunge, Ankush Dhar, Zachary Robert Gowanlock, Mohammad Ali Jangda, Donghyun Kim, Carmen Nguyen, Jason Pye, Yue Anna Shen, Regine Marthe Wan Fook Cheung, Steven Derek Yang, and Jennifer Jaclyn Yip.

For Co-operative Work Term Proficiency: Mark Andrew Cachia, Musa Chunge, Guan Cheng Curtis Fang, Christopher Allan Gilson,Shaylan Keshav Govind, Jesse Ephraim Haber-Kucharsky, Sarah Ann LeBlanc, Xinheng Li, Christopher Paul McGuire, Ethan Oblak, Oladayo Ayobami Olawo, Alison Jean Scott, Parthipan Thayanithy, and Brandon James Van Asseldonk.

The Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies awards will go to Navid Bizmark (Master's) and Madjid Soltani (Doctoral).

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Grad class photos given high-res makeover

They line the hallways of academic buildings - a passing parade of young faces flushed with future potential as well as relief that they persevered to the point of graduation. They are the photos of graduating classes, and there are enough of them going back all the way to this institution's beginnings that you can track the progression of everything from hairstyles to gender ratios just by walking past them in chronological sequence.

Time does march on, however, and the original portraits don't last forever, even under glass, and so the Chemical Engineering department recently took all 48 of their graduating class photos down for a restoration project. The portraits were retaken at high resolution, and were touched up to remove any yellowing or other deterioration, and then they were all reframed to a standard 24 inch by 30 inch portrait size.

They are now on display, in order, on the 3rd floor atrium of Engineering 6, Chemical Engineering's new home. The two most recent class photos are placed near the atrium's elevators for visibility, and will be shuffled annually as a new cohort of chemical engineering students graduates and has their class photo added to the wall.

Managing the restoration project was the department's Director, Technical Operations Tom Dean who worked with co-op students Victoria Marchand and Raffaella Nocita.

"As the third floor houses the Department Admin Offices and will eventually be the floor which will link to the envisioned E7 building in the future, it was fitting to celebrate our student history there," says Dean.

Photographic work was done by Joseph Bergel, Aaron Schwab and Justin Russo of NewSchoolPhotography, who currently take all Engineering graduate photos each year.

"They did an amazing job of restoring the old, yellowed originals and reprinting to a standard size, on-time and on-budget," Dean says. "We are very pleased with their work and dedication to this project, commemorating our graduating students."

The department is also designing plaques, for placement on the atrium's outside walls, that will list the names of their graduate students (MASc and PhD), which is expected to be completed shortly.

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Friday's notes

On Tuesday, June 18, weather permitting, Challenger Motor Freight and Process Group Inc will be installing a Genset generator engine into the extension built onto the back of the General Services Complex next to the Central Plant, according to a message from Maintenance Project Co-ordinator Gary Kosar. This is no Y2K backyard genny we're talking about here - the engine is 21 feet long by 8 feet wide and stands more than 7 feet tall, and will arrive on a tractor trailer unit that will have to do some tricky maneuvering to get up the pathway between Mathematics 3 and the GSC. There will be a crane set up in the area next to the addition. This delivery will require some access restrictions on the Math road for about 4 hours, starting at 8:00 a.m. when the unit arrives on campus. Barricades will be placed at the ends of the pathway between Mathematics 3 and the GSC.

Also on an electrical note: if you study or work in the Mathematics & Computer Building, mark your calendars as there will be an electrical power shutdown across the entire sixth floor on Saturday, June 22 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. as renovations to the floor continue. Power will also go out on Saturday, July 6 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 13 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please ensure that you shut off all computer equipment in an orderly fashion before leaving the Friday before.


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Link of the day

World Blood Donor Day

When and where

Campus Walk 2013, Tuesday, May 21 to Friday, June 14. Details.

Spring 2013 convocation, Tuesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 15. Details.

"Graduation Photos are being taken convocation day! Sign up in the SLC on the spot. Congrats 2013 grads!" - Lifetouch Photography

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, June 14, 8:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Child Vision Research Society Conference 2013, Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., School of Optometry and Vision Science. Details.

Employer Interviews (Pharmacy), Monday, June 17, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Senate meeting, Monday, June 17, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, June 18, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Retirement celebration for Steve McColl, Tuesday, June 18, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., LHS 1656 (fireplace lounge).

25-Year and 35-Year Club Recognition Reception, Tuesday, June 18, 6:00 p.m. Physical Activities Complex.

UWRC Book Club, "Waiting for Sunrise" by William Boyd, Wednesday, June 19, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Centre for Career Action presents Career Interest Assessment, Wednesday, June 19, 2:30 p.m., TC 1112. $10 registration fee required.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Mamata Mohapatra, Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology (CSIR-IMMT), India, “Simple Synthetic Approach for Shape Oriented Fe/Ti Oxide Nano Particles:  Application in Water Treatment Technology” Wednesday, June 19, 2:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

VeloCity Campus event: "Design," featuring speaker Christopher Howlett. Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 p.m., EV3 4412. Free pizza. Register online.

Deadline for 50 per cent tuition refund, Friday, June 21.

46th Annual K-W Multicultural festival, Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Victoria Park. Admission is free. Details.

Cheriton School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series featuring David Sankoff, University of Ottawa, "Computational Genomics of Flowering Plant Evolution," Monday, June 24, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Lunch and Learn Pension session, “Retirement Planning Tools: myPENSIONinfo/Annual Pension Statement”, Tuesday, June 25, DC 1302, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Details.

Postdoctoral event - Fun in the Park, Tuesday, June 25, 4:30 p.m., Waterloo Park Picnic Shelter. Details.

Centre for Career Action presents Work Search Strategies, Wednesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., TC 1208.

Student Life 101, Thursday, June 27.

Petition to the Registrar to register late form required to become Fees Arranged after Sunday, June 30.

Canada Day Celebrations, Monday, July 1, Columbia Lake.

Canada Day Holiday, Monday, July 1, university closed.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Wednesday, July 3, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

Environment Lecture Series featuring Sven E. Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen, "Samsø , a Danish Island based on renewable energy," Wednesday, July 3, Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment, Huntsville. Details.

Student Consultation Group - uWaterloo Student Portal, Tuesday, July 16, 12:00 p.m., SSO multipurpose room. Details.

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

PhD Oral Defences

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Seyed Behravesh, "Fatigue of Magnesium Spot-Welds." Supervisors, Hamid Jahed, Steve Lambert, Gregory Glinka. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, June 24, 9:00 a.m., E5 2004.

Computer Science. Narges Simjour, "Parameterized Enumeration of Neighbour Strings and Kemeny Aggregations." Supervisor, Naomi Nishimura. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, June 24, 10:30 a.m., DC 1331.

Applied Math. Wentao Liu, "Three Dimensional Hydrodynamic Modelling of Lake Erie: Kelvin Wave Propagation and Potential Effects of Climate Change on Thermal Structure and Dissolved Oxygen." Supervisor, Kevin Lamb. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, June 25 1:30 p.m., MC 5158.

Civil & Environmental Engineering. Sara Esmaeili, "Simulation of Nitrate Mass Loading to Groundwater from Agricultural Fields." Supervisors, Neil Thompson, David Rudolph. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, June 27, 1:30 p.m., E2 3324.

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