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Monday, March 11, 2013



  • Waterloo student crowned King of the Nerds
  • Snacks get stacked at Canstruction 2013
  • Knowledge Integration eXhibition underway
  • Senate seats filled by acclamation
  • Monday's notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Waterloo student crowned King of the Nerds

Celeste Anderson wearing a crown studded with polyhedral dice and holding a scepter.Celeste Anderson, a University of Waterloo computer science student who can solve a Rubik's Cube in seconds, has been named the winner of the TBS reality series King of the Nerds. Was there ever any doubt?

A competitive gamer who has played Halo professionally for seven years, Anderson battled contestants with an equally impressive array of geek credentials. The competitors faced challenges that tested, in the words of the show's website, "their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop culture prowess." Her opponents included a role-playing game designer, a master hacker, a fantasy writer, a neuroscientist, and a NASA engineer, to name a few.

The show is hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong of Revenge of the Nerds fame. Contestants competed first in teams and then as individuals as the field was narrowed, with one candidate being eliminated each week. Anderson was the only Canadian contestant.

On Friday, after the results were revealed, Anderson tweeted (using her handle @itsBiiTTERSWEET) "Experience of a lifetime that I will always cherish - the nerds, the battles, the celebrations."

Casting has now begun for the show's second season.

Hail to the King.

Photograph courtesy of King of the Nerds.


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Snacks get stacked at Canstruction 2013

Student teams from the Faculty of Engineering and the School of Architecture spent the weekend at Conestoga Mall building complex structures from perishable food items as part of Canstruction Waterloo Region 2013, a "creative and fun food raising event that supports the Food Bank of Waterloo Region" that showcases local engineers, architects, students, and designers while raising awareness of poverty and collective food for those in need.

The centrepieces of the event are the “can-structures”, all designed and built with non-perishable food items: bags of rice, boxes of pasta, and—of course—thousands and thousands of cans.

On Saturday, four teams including the Kitchener Rangers, Mosaic Pathways, Walter Fedy, and the School of Architecture began building their structures. The remaining 10 teams, from Google, the Muslim Association of Canada, Pioneer Craftsmen, Conestoga College, Dillon Consulting, MTE, McAfee, Stantec, RQDI, and Waterloo Engineering, built theirs after the mall closed.

The theme of Engineering's can-struction, built with 2000 cans, is CANtendo 64, a tribute to the Nintendo 64 gaming console complete with a Legend of Zelda cartridge and the iconic game controller.

Architecture's can-structure build, which resembles the 30 St. Mary Axe "Gherkin" building.Architecture's 1540-can contribution to the contest was to be "Squidward's Dwelling", home to the curmudgeonly cephalopod from TV's Spongebob Squarepants, however, when the team members arrived at the mall on Saturday morning to begin their build, they discovered that the food products they had ordered had been changed by the supplier. Instead of monochromatic metal cans, the vast majority of the food items were green-lidded plastic bowls, making their original design impossible.

"Demonstrating some exceptional problem-solving skills, the team of 1B students repurposed their green cans to create a scale model of 30 St. Mary Axe, also known as “the Gherkin”", writes Russ Wong of the Faculty of Engineering. Architecture received an Honourable Mention from the judges.

The display runs to Sunday, March 17. The public can vote for their favourite structure either at the mall or online. A $5 donation means 5 points for the chosen team, while $20 provides food for a family of 4 for 4 days.

The People's Choice Awards will be announced on Sunday, March 17 at 5:00 p.m., with the awards presentation starting at 5:30 p.m.


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Knowledge Integration eXhibition underway

The annual KI-X Knowledge Integration eXhibition, which is billed as "a convergence of disciplines, teaching methods and creative minds in an exhibition of topical, object-centric displays" is now open in the former Map Library in EV1 246.

The students of the Copenhagen cohort in the Knowledge Integration program are inviting members of the university community to experience the culmination of their third-year design project: The Museum Course.

"After spending ten days in Copenhagen last April and May, we returned to Waterloo in September ready to implement some of the design features we examined on our trip," reads a message from the Knowledge Integration students. "Working in teams to produce these exhibits has been a rewarding and unique experience."

As part of their studies in the Bachelor of Knowledge Integration program at the University of Waterloo, students enroll in a four-part Museum Course. Students use a field trip to an international city to "immerse themselves in museums and culture, honing their observational skills in a new environment." After the trip, they spend seven months combining what they found with what they’ve learned in museum-focused design courses.

The exhibition runs from noon to 4:00 p.m. today, and is open from noon to 7:00 p.m. tomorrow and from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

"In building our exhibits, we have moved beyond the traditional projects and assignments typical of an undergraduate experience. The creation process allowed us to be self-directed and enabled us to incorporate skills from many different disciplines. The result is an exhibition that showcases our knowledge of museums and their design methods, as well as our teamwork and dedication to something that is a little out-of-the-box."

More information about KI-X and the Knowledge Integration program is available on the exhibition website.

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Senate seats filled by acclamation

The Secretariat has announced that the following individuals have been elected by acclamation to serve on the university's Senate:

  • Faculty representatives – James Rush (kinesiology), James Skidmore (Germanic & Slavic studies), Anwar Hasan (electrical & computer engineering), Olaf Weber (environment, enterprise & development) and David Rose (biology), terms 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2016; Bruce Frayne (environment, enterprise & development), term 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2015.
  • Faculty-at-large representatives – John Burbidge (economics), Dong-Eui Chang (applied mathematics), David Edwards (pharmacy), Shelley Hulan (English language & literature), Marios Ioannidis (chemical engineering), Susan Leat (optometry & vision science), Daniel O’Connor (sociology & legal studies) and Bryan Tolson (civil & environmental engineering), terms 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2016; Paul Guild (management sciences), term 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2015.
  • Federated University & Affiliated University Colleges faculty representatives – Jim Pankratz (Conrad Grebel University College) and Tracy Penny Light (St. Jerome’s University College), terms 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2016.
    Graduate student representatives – Coleen Even (French studies) and Boyd Panton (mechanical & mechatronics engineering), terms 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2015; Maya D’Alessio (biology) and Michael Makahnouk (earth & environmental sciences), terms 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014.

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Monday's notes

Today marks the second anniversary of Feridun Hamdullahpur's appointment as president of the University of Waterloo. Look for a piece in the Daily Bulletin later this week commemorating the event.


Here's today's nutrition "myth vs. fact" from Health Services dietician Sandra Ace:

"Myth:"  All foods that contain probiotics will benefit your health.

"Fact:"  Probiotics are live microorganisms that function as “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. They are naturally found in some fermented milk products and may be added to foods such as yogurt, cheese and milk-based beverages. When eaten regularly and in the right amounts, some strains of probiotics may help keep your immune system healthy. Certain types of probiotics may decrease the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and can decrease symptoms of irritable bowel disease. Not all foods with added probiotics will offer health benefits. We’re still learning which probiotics are best, how much to take and how long to take them for different health benefits.


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Hockey Warriors fall to Patriotes, proceed to nationals

The UQTR Patriotes defeated the University of Waterloo men's hockey team 4-1 at the Queen's Cup game held Saturday at the Columbia Icefield. The Athletics department has a summary of the game on its website.

The Queen's Cup may be out of reach this year, but there's still a trophy up for grabs - a big one. Both teams now head to the University Cup CIS championship, starting on March 14 in Saskatoon. The 6-team tournament also features UNB, Alberta, St. Mary's, and Saskatchewan. Details about the tournament schedule are now available.

Link of the day

Moshoeshoe Day

When and where

KI-X Knowledge Integration Exhibition, Monday, March 11 to Wednesday, March 13, EV1 246. Details.

Waterloo Football Spring Skills March Break Camp, Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., for youth ages 11 to 15. Details.

International Tobacco Control Project talk featuring Ron Borland, PhD, Cancer Council in Victoria, Australia, "Theorising Hard to Maintain Behaviour Change," Tuesday, March 12, 10:30 a.m., PAS 3026.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Dr. Tracy Liu, Recent Graduate from the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, “Porphyrins applied: the imaging and therapy of cancer”, Tuesday, March 12, 3:30pm, C2-361. Details.

Gustav Bakos Observatory Tour, Wednesday, March 13, 9:00 p.m., PHY 308.

Noon Hour Concert, "Brass Essentials" featuring Debra and Martin Lacoste (trumpets), Trevor Wagler (French Horn), Carolyn Culp (trombone), Susan Follows (bass trombone), Wednesday, March 13 at the Conrad Grebel Chapel, 12:30 p.m.

UW Drama presents Top Girls, Wednesday, March 13 to Saturday, March 16, 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts. Details.

International Student Experience presents "Nigeria: Great People, Great Nation, and Cameroon: The Africa Miniature," Thursday, March 14, 12:00 p.m., NH 1116.

The Departments of Classical Studies and Religious Studies present Professor Jeffrey Wickes, Saint Louis University, "The Scriptural Poetics of Syriac Hymnody," Friday, March 15, 4:30 p.m. EV3 4412.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Ruth Kwakwa, Ashesi University, Ghana, “A Quest and a Question”, Friday March 15, 2:30 p.m., Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408. Details.

21st Annual Juggling Festival, Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17, Student Life Centre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. in Hagey Hall.

Public Consultation Centre for proposed 2013 Grand River Transit Service Improvement Plan, Monday, March 18, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Student Life Centre Great Hall.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Claude Spino, Department of Chemistry, Sherbrooke University, “Making Chiral Quaternary Carbons”, Monday, March 18, 2:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

UWSA "Let's Talk" event, Tuesday, March 19, 12:00 p.m., Brubakers, Student Life Centre. Details.

UWRC Book Club meeting, featuring "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes, Wednesday, March 20, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Dr. James Salvador, Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory, “Skutterudite Based Thermoelectric Materials for Automotive Waste Heat Energy Conversion”, Wednesday, March 20, 2:30 p.m. C2-361. Details.

Int'l Spouses, Book Club featuring "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 p.m., St. Paul grad apartments, 3rd floor. DetailsNote the new date.

Weight Watchers At Work registration session, Thursday, March 21, 12:15 p.m., PAS 2438, info ext. 32218.

Master of Public Service Annual Talk and Dinner Social featuring the Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, Thursday, March 21, 6:00 p.m., University Club.

Int'l Spouses, "Anne of Green Gables," Saturday, March 23, 2:30 p.m., Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. Group details. Event details.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Gerald Audette, Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions, York University, “Structural and Functional Studies of Protein Nanotubes and F-Plasmid Conjugation”, Tuesday, March 26 at 3:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.


Friday's Daily Bulletin