Skip to the content of the web site.

Friday, June 15, 2012

  • Convocation at the half with math
  • New award celebrates undergrad research
  • Engineers convocate tomorrow
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Black, gold, and a whole lot of green: Karen Flanagan from Health Services submitted this photo of her son Alex in front of the new Environment 3 building after his convocation ceremony Wednesday. Mr. Flanagan received a degree of Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Honours Planning).

Back to top

Convocation at the half with math

With two days of ceremonies behind us and two more to go, the 104th Convocation is coming to a middle. Today, the emphasis on convocation turns to mathematics. A total of 802 mathematics students will receive their undergraduate or graduate degrees today.

This morning's ceremony, which begins at 10:00 a.m., will include mathematics students registered through St. Jerome's University.

John E. Dennis Jr. will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics (DMath). Dennis is the Noah Harding professor emeritus and research professor in tech Department of Computational and Applies Mathematics at Rice University and served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization at Waterloo from 1988 to 1993.

The valedictorian is Alexandra Russell (Mathematical Studies, Statistics Minor).

Matthew Harrison-Trainor (Pure Mathematics) will be given an Alumni Gold medal. Harrison-Trainor is also the inaugural winner of the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research (see below).

Alfred Menezes of the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization receives the Distinguished Teacher Award.

Jacqueline Kay-Kay Mok Computer Science, Speech Communication Minor) will receive an award for outstanding service by an undergraduate in computer science.

In the afternoon session, Zvi Galil will receive an honorary Doctor of Mathematics (DMath). Professor Galil is dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computer and a fellow of the Association of Computer Machinery.

Valedictorian Ian Charlesworth (Pure Mathematics and Computer Science with Philosophy option) will deliver remarks on behalf of the graduating class.

Actuarial Science graduate Jeffrey David Baer is the winner of the Governor General's Silver Medal. In addition, Baer will receive the Samuel Eckler Medal for highest standing in Actuarial Science.

Stephen M. Watt will receive the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation.

In addition, Simina Branzei of Computer Science will be recognized with an Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies Award at the master's level and Alexander Peter Nelson, Combinatorics and Optimization, will be awarded at the doctoral level.

Back to top

New award celebrates undergrad research

This is an excerpt from a longer piece that can be found here.

Ming Li and Matthew Harrison-Trainor.Matthew Harrison-Trainor, who convocates today, is also the first recipient of the Jessie W.H. Zou Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. The award, valued at $1,000, was created by Professor Ming Li and his family in honour and memory of his late wife, Jessie Wenhui Zou. Ms. Zou studied at Wuhan University in China, and at the University of Waterloo, graduating from the statistical finance master's program in 2000. With this award, the family wishes to support research activities at the undergraduate level within the faculty to carry on her passion for education. The award will be presented annually to an undergraduate student enrolled in his or her final year of any program within the Faculty of Mathematics. Students "must have demonstrated excellence in research and have been nominated by a faculty member who has supervised that research."

Harrison-Trainor, the inaugural winner, also won the Julie Payette-NSERC Research Scholarship, awarded to the top 24 applicants across Canada and has accepted the Berkeley Fellowship to pursue doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was nominated by Professor Rahim Moosa, who supervised his work as an NSERC undergraduate student research assistant.

In this inaugural year, a total of eight Faculty of Mathematics undergraduates were nominated, spanning all of the faculty's departments.

Back to top

Engineers convocate tomorrow

Convocation's big finish involves the Faculty of Engineering on Saturday, June 16, when 1,359 students will cross the stage in two ceremonies.

The morning ceremony, starting at 10:00 a.m., will be the first for the university's management engineering program, which was established in 2007 to provide undergraduate students with the "engineering education required to understand, design, implement, and manage complex management systems upon which organizations depend." The first class of 40 students will be receiving their degrees.

This will also be the final Engineering convocation with Adel Sedra as Dean. Sedra is stepping down on June 30 after nine years at the helm of the faculty.

Réal "Ray" Tanguay will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DEng). Tanguay was the first Canadian to be named as a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan in 2005, and has been a strong supporter of the University of Waterloo for many years, introducing Waterloo's co-operative education program to Toyota and helping to establish the NSERC/Toyota/Maplesoft industrial research chair in mathematics-based modelling and design.

The valedictorian for the morning ceremony is Doug Fournier (Mechatronics Engineering).

Matthew Daly of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering receives the Governor General's gold medal for highest standing in a Master's program.

Garry Rempel of the Department of Chemical Engineering is the winner of the award of excellence in graduate supervision.

Isaac Victor Roes (Chemical Engineering) receives the Alumni Gold Medal.

In the afternoon ceremony, which begins at 2:30 p.m., William M. Tatham will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DEng). Tatham's name should be a familiar one on campus, as it adorns the William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Action, supporting the construction of the building with a donation in 2003. A graduate of the University of Waterloo's systems design engineering program, Tatham founded Janna Systems in 1990, which became a world leader in providing software for financial services. He is currently CEO of NexJ Systems.

Alex Sin (Computer Engineering, Management Sciences option) is the afternoon valedictorian.

Rongxing Lu of Electrical and Computer Engineering is the winner of the Governor General's gold medal for highest standing in a doctoral program.

Mohit Verma (Nanotechnology, Management Sciences option) will receive the Governor General's silver medal.

In addition, Arash Shahi (Civil Engineering) will receive the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Graduate Student.

Other faculty awards winners include:

  • Mary Elaine Hughes, the Albert Sherwood Barber Medal for best overall work term and academic performance
  • Franklin Michael Jeffery Straus, The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Gold Medal
  • Nabeel Khan, The George Dufault Medal for excellence in communication
  • Robert Michael Edward Sparrow, the John Fisher Award for Leadership
  • Joshua Eli Rosen, The Ontario Professional Engineering Foundation for Education Gold Medal for Academic Achievement
  • Hillary Dawn Yeung, the Roy Duxbury Leadership Award

The Sandford Fleming Foundation Medals for Academic Excellence are awarded to:

  • John Stuart Haberl Baxter
  • Harmeet Singh Cheema
  • Michelle Seeun Cho
  • Daniel Peter Draper
  • Evan Daniel Goldenberg
  • Curtiss Luong
  • Jeffrey Ernest John McClure
  • Jason Bradley Neevel
  • Isaac Victor Roes
  • Joshua Eli Rosen
  • Phillip Wang
  • Sheran Christopher Lalith Wiratunga
  • Timothy David Worboys

The Sandford Fleming Foundation Medals For Co-operative Work Term Proficiency:

  • Colin James Ahola
  • Alex Jared Dueck
  • Matthew P. Genovese
  • Rajan Joshua Gill
  • Christopher Alexander Gist
  • Imaduddin Mohammad
  • Kevin Shahbazi
  • Stanislav Sokolenko
  • David Edward Michael Sommer
  • Spencer Russell Bennett Wheatley
  • Christopher Wiebe
  • Mikhail Zakharov

The Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski Medal for Excellence in Communication will go to Amir Taleghani.

Back to top

Professor Jillian Officer circa 1979.Retired dance professor dies

Professor Jillian Officer died on June 11. She started at the university in September 1969 as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology.

A dedicated professor of dance at Waterloo for 22 years, she receiving the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1979 and chaired the dance department from 1981 until her retirement in 1992. In the early 1980s she assembled the Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada - the nation's most extensive collection of information on dance personalities (dancers, teachers, choreographers) ever compiled.

Professor Officer was predeceased by her husband, Ernest Roy Officer in 2010 (also a UW retiree) and son Grant Officer in 2011.

There was no visitation, but there will be a gathering for the interment of cremated remains at Glen Allan Cemetery on Saturday, June 16, at 3:00 p.m.

Join the CONVO-sation

For the first time ever, Waterloo’s convocation ceremonies are going social!

If you are attending, be sure to check out the live Twitter walls in the PAC and SLC.

Join the CONVO-sation now by sending your congratulations or sharing your university memories with #uwgrad2012.

Link of the day

Global Wind Day

When and where

The Institute for Computer Research presents Professor Amir Khandani, RIM-NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Canada Research Chair
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, “Shaping the Future of Wireless: Two-way Connectivity,” Monday, June 18, 2:00 p.m. DC 1302.

University senate Monday, June 18, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

25-Year Club Reception, Tuesday, June 19, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex.

Systems Design Engineering presents Dr. Subash Bhatnagar
Honorary Professor of Information Systems, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, "Information Technology and Development: Challenges and Opportunities in India," Wednesday, June 20, 10:30 a.m., E5 6111.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Xiaojing Zhou, Centre for Organic Electronics, University of Newcastle, Australia, "Poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) Based Organic Photovoltaic Cells and Thin Film Transistors," Wednesday, June 20, 2:30 p.m., C2-361.

UW Farm Market, Thursday, June 21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Student Life Centre lower level.

Retirement celebration for Joanne Holzinger, Thursday, June 21, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EV1 347.

Retirement Open House for Adel Sedra, Thursday, June 21, 3:00 p.m., Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, June 22, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 12:45 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 2:15 p.m., RCH 301.

Pension information session, Tuesday, June 26, 5:45 p.m., RCH 307.

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 2, classes cancelled, university offices and most services closed.

Waterloo Residences presents the 2012 Make Your Mark Student Staff Conference for Housing and Residences’ and the University Colleges’ student staff and volunteers. Saturday, July 7. Details.

Staff facilitators needed for student workshops

The department of Organization and Human Development is seeking "creative and enthusiastic staff" to assist in facilitating workshops and mentor student facilitators for the department’s developed Student Leadership Program (SLP).

This volunteer learning opportunity is open to current full time staff who would like to complement their current position at UW and further hone their presentation and facilitation skills. A time commitment of 10- 15 hours per term would be required.

The learning and mentorship opportunity is available to any full time staff at The University of Waterloo from September 1st 2012 on an ongoing partnership with the Department of Organizational & Human Development. This opportunity would require the support from your current supervisor.

PhD Oral Defences

Chemical Engineering. Afsaneh Nabifar, "Bayesian Experimental Design Framework Applied to Complex Polymerization Processes." Supervisor, Alexander Penlidis. On deposit in the Faculty of Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, June 21, 9:30 a.m., E6 4022.

Applied Math. Easwar Magesan, "Characterizing Noise in Quantum Information Processing." Supervisor, Joseph Emerson. On display in the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, June 22, 10:00 a.m., MC 5158.

English Language and Literature. Danila Sokolov, "Renaissance Texts, Medieval Subjectivities: Vernacular Genealogies of English Petrarchism from Wyatt to Wroth. Supervisor, Sarah Tolmie. On deposit in the Arts Graduate Office, PAS 2434. Oral defence Friday, June 22, 1:00 p.m., HH 373.

Geography and Environmental Management. Reiko Omoto, "Small-Scale Producers and the Governance of Certified Organic Seafood Production in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. Supervisors, Steffanie Scott, Susan Wismer. On display in the Faculty of Environment graduate office, EV1 335. Oral defence Tuesday, June 26, 10:00 a.m. EV1 221.

Applied Math. Christopher Ferrie. "Some Theory and Applications of Probability in Quantum Mechanics." Supervisor, Joseph Emerson. On display in the Mathematics Faculty graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, June 26, 6:00 p.m., RAC 2004.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin