Skip to the content of the web site.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

  • Registration is open for OND conference
  • Waterloo joins IBM research consortium
  • So, about that online tuition benefit...
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Recipients of the Amit and Meena Chakma Awards for Exceptional Teaching by a Student (AETS) pose with Sue Horton, Associate Provost of Graduate Studies at an AETS recognition event at the University Club on Tuesday, April 10. Joining Associate Provost Horton and the AETS winners (pictured are Hamed Shateri, Andrea Murphy, Sue Horton, and Keith Delaney) were members of the AETS committee. A free lunch wasn't the only thing on the menu: the AETS award recipients also received a certificate commemorating their accomplishments.

Back to top

Registration is open for OND conference

Faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students are all welcome at this year’s Opportunities and New Directions conference, the theme of which is “Fostering Deep Approaches to Learning”.

This year, a "sharing practices" track has been added alongside the research track, "which we hope will facilitate a variety of discussions about instructional practices and student learning," writes Centre for Teaching Excellence director Donna Ellis.

A pre-conference workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 starting at 1:30 and running until 4:30. "Integrating Research and Teaching to Foster Deep Student Learning" features conference keynote speakers Marcy Slapcoff and Brad Wuetherick, and while registration is required for the workshop, registration for the conference itself is not required in order to attend. Registration for the workshop is as easy as emailing Julie Timmermans at ond@

The conference keynote event takes place at the Presidents' Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, held Thursday, April 26, from 8:45 to 9:35 a.m. Admission is free for “Bridging the Divide: Promoting Deep Learning Through Integrating Research, Teaching, and Learning”, a keynote presented by Marcy Slapcoff, an educational developer at McGill University’s Teaching and Learning Services, and Brad Wuetherick, director of Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Saskatchewan.

Conference sessions begin Thursday, April 26 at 10:00 a.m. Registration is $25. "We encourage our colleagues to join us for a full day of exploration about how to foster deep approaches to learning!" writes Ellis. "With more than 40 sessions—plus a plenary demonstration of 3 Waterloo faculty members’ instructional practices—the conference will provide many learning opportunities."

Lunch and a wine and cheese reception are included for those who register for the conference.

Registration details and the preliminary conference program are available online at the conference website. The registration deadline is April 18.

Back to top

Waterloo joins IBM research consortium

With material from IBM Canada and the Office of John Milloy, MPP

The University of Waterloo has joined a consortium of seven Ontario universities, the Governments of Canada and Ontario, and IBM Canada to establish the world's first virtual IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.

The $210 million initiative, based in Ontario and led by the University of Toronto and Western University, is expected to create 145 new jobs.

University and industry researchers will use high performance and cloud computing infrastructure to better manage and analyze massive data sets to solve critical world challenges, driving innovative discoveries in key areas and bringing them to market.

The Centre’s research will focus on:

  • Data management of health care;
  • Software Innovation in high performance computing platforms;
  • Water conservation and management, such as reducing pollution in water systems by monitoring sewer systems and spotting problems in a pipeline before a leak;
  • Energy management, such as finding better ways to track how hydro flows, reducing waste and saving customers money; and
  • Rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure in our cities, such as managing traffic lights to improve traffic flow.

The research projects will be further supported by an expansion of IBM’s software development labs in Markham and Ottawa, and a new high performance data centre in Barrie, set to be fully operational in late 2012.

This type of virtual research collaboration allows users in different locations to store, use and share enormous quantities of data, leading to faster research discoveries, and products and services that can be sold to the global market.

“The University of Waterloo is proud to be part of the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre. This initiative is an excellent example of partners from various sectors — academics, industry, and government — joining together around a common vision," said president Feridun Hamdullahpur. "This initiative will significantly enhance Canada’s data mining and analytics capacity in key areas of research, including water. Building the leading-edge IT infrastructure needed for high-performance computing and collaboration will help drive the advanced research and new product development we need to ensure our continued success in a competitive global economy.”

Back to top

So, about that online tuition benefit...

Remember that online Tuition Benefit Application I highlighted a couple of days ago? Well...

"We’ve encountered some unforeseen issues which can’t be resolved quickly enough to facilitate registrations for Spring term, so we’ve had to discontinue the new online Tuition Benefit form this term," says a note from Student Accounts. "We’re sorry for the inconvenience but hope to offer you this enhanced functionality next term!"

The fillable PDF application is still accessible online under "forms" on the Student Accounts website.

"If you'd like to deduct the amount of the anticipated Tuition Benefit from the balance owing on your student account for the term and only pay the difference not covered by the benefit amount, you’ll need to be sure that a Tuition Benefit Application has been completed and signed for the term before you attempt to complete the online Promissory Note," reads the message from Student Accounts. "Then, login to the online Promissory Note and enter the anticipated Tuition Benefit amount in the appropriate space. During the Promissory Note submission process, you’ll be prompted to attach a scanned copy of the Tuition Benefit form."

Student Accounts can be reached at 519-888-4567 X38466 or studentaccounts@

In other news:

The Faculty Association’s Status of Women & Equity Committee (SWEC) is looking for new members. According to the call-out document, SWEC is "concerned with matters related to the status of women as well as broader equity issues such as those arising from gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, or gender identity. The committee engages in educational and advocacy activities to promote equity on campus activities and makes recommendation to the FAUW Board of Directors about what policy changes to pursue to promote equity on campus."

Serving on the committee entails attending monthly meetings from September to June, contributing to one or more subcommittees, and providing feedback on issues and initiatives as they arise in meetings and via email.

The faculty association's Board officially appoints SWEC members to renewable 1- or 2-year terms, usually on the advice of the current committee members.

Anyone interested in joining the committee is encouraged to send a brief paragraph outlining previous equity work, if any (previous experience is not required), and particular equity interests to swec@

More information about the committee, its activities and its terms of reference is available online.

Back to top

Link of the day

21 Jump Street logo.

21 Jump Street premiered 25 years ago today

When and where

On-campus examinations April 9 - 21.

Yinxing Hong, Chancellor, Nanjing University, "Study on the Drivers for China's Sustainable Development," Thursday, April 12, 10:30 a.m., RCH 307.

WIN Seminar Series, Professor Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy, University of Miami, "Chemistry in a Nanocapsule: Controlling excited state processes through confinement and weak interactions", Thursday, April 12, 2:30 p.m., DC 1304.

Nanjing University presents "Study at Nanjing University Program," Thursday, April 12, 3:45 p.m., DC 1301. Co-hosted by the Confucius Institute and the Sino-Canadian College.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "I'd do what I love...but what is it?" Friday, April 13, 9:30 a.m., TC 1112. Details.

Reminder: Brad Vogt Fundraiser, Friday, April 13, 8:00 p.m., Royal Canadian Legion - Polish, 601 Wellington St., Kitchener (no tickets available at door).

Online Class examination days Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14.

Mini Pharmacy School, Monday, April 16, 7:00 p.m., School of Pharmacy. Sessions run for six weeks. Register online.

Waterloo Lecture: the Representation of Apes in Medieval Art, Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, April 19, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

University senate Monday, April 16, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Official launch of the School of Public Health and Health Systems in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Thursday, April 19, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Grades due April 16 to May 1.

Lunch & Learn: Apple 101 for uWaterloo Faculty & Staff, Thursday, April 19, 12:00 p.m., Laurel Room, SCH. Online registration required. Lunch will be provided.

International Potluck Lunch, Thursday, April 19, 12:45 p.m., Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

On-campus examinations end April 21.

International spouses meet-up event "Movie & Coffee", Sunday, April 22, 1:00 p.m., Breakfast at Tiffany's, tickets $5, meet at Galaxy Cinema on King Street North, Waterloo. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference, Monday, April 23 to Thursday, April 26. Details.

Unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest April 23, standings and official grades available May 22.

Spring 2012 promissory notes and payments due April 24.

Co-operative work term ends April 27.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference, April 27 to 29, University of Calgary and University of Toronto. Details.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel U College, “Celebrating Home” concert May 5 (8 p.m.) and 6 (3 p.m.), St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener. Details.

PhD Oral Defences

Germanic and Slavic Studies. Myriam Léger, “Neoliberal Governmentality in the Red-Green Era: Tracing Facets of the Entrepreneurial Self in Three Contemporary German Novels.” Supervisor, Dr. Barbara Schmenk. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Tuesday, April 17, 1:30 p.m., HH 373.

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. Ayhan Ince, “Development of Computational Multiaxial Fatigue Modeling for Notched Components.” Supervisors, Dr. Grzegorz Glinka, Hamid Jahed. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, April 18, 1:00 p.m., E5 3052.

Physics and Astronomy. Nathan Killoran, “Entanglement Qualifications and Quantum Benchmarking of Optical Communication Devices.” Supervisor, Dr. Norbert Lütkenhaus. On deposit in the Faculty of Science Graduate Office, ESC 254-A. Oral defence Wednesday, April 18, 2:00 p.m., PHY 308.

Computer Science. Andrew Curtis, “Reducing the Cost of Operating a Datacenter Network.” Supervisors, Alex Lopez-Ortiz, Srinivasan Keshav. On display in the Mathematics Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, April 19, 9:00 a.m., DC 2314.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin