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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

  • Waterloo brings home ACM bronze
  • Pragma Council meeting addresses challenges
  • Faculty of Engineering plans for 2015
  • W3 hits up the Bomber and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo brings home ACM bronze

with material from the Faculty of Mathematics

Waterloo ACM team members Tyson Andre, Benoit Maurin, and Anton Raichuk with coach Professor Ondrej Lhotak captured the bronze medal at the 2012 Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals, held in Warsaw, Poland on May 14-18.

Waterloo finished in 9th place, earning a bronze medal and 2nd place in North America behind Harvard University. St. Petersburg State University of IT, Mechanics and Optics placed first with host University of Warsaw in second place.

Waterloo teams have qualified for the ACM-ICPC world finals twenty years in a row, brought home a medal 17 times and placed first twice - in 1994 and 1999.

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Pragma Council meeting addresses challenges

The Pragma Council, a forum of peers from business, education, and government that meet on a semi-annual basis to discuss issues relating to economic growth, environmental quality, development and land use change, and, in general, the quality of life in Canada, had its meeting on May 9 and 10, hosted by the School of Planning.

Pragma was established in 1987, has several objectives, including providing financial and other support for School of Planning projects such as field trips and student awards, supporting a Planner-in-Residence program that allows an experienced planning professional to spend time teaching and advising students, serving as an advisory body to Waterloo's Planning program, giving advice and assistance to ensure programs and research remain effective and relevant, and addressing problem of common concern linked to the challenges of growth and change in society.

Membership in the council is by invitation and is limited to individuals whose backgrounds have extensive professional experience and broad-based levels of expertise in the areas of planning, environment, and the development of human and fiscal resources. The council's membership represents a wide range of fields, and varying degrees of knowledge, perspectives, and viewpoints. Participants include Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr, School of Planning director Clarence Woudsma, Dean of Environment André Roy, Ian MacNaughton of Canada's Technology Triangle, Waterloo professors Jeff Casello and Ron Farrow, and several others from the private and public sectors.

This year's theme was "Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Economic Times in Ontario."

The conference participants "engage in a free awareness of ideas and information, enter into debate, as appropriate, and generally raise their awareness levels on topical issues of the day," says the School of Planning's Shelley Knischewsky. "Participants in the sessions benefit from their membership and participation in many ways, often taking the information and applying it to their specific roles and responsibilities."

This year, the sessions included a discussion on new and recurring patterns in provincial-municipal relations, risk and resilience in urban economies, economic change and the development industry, and case studies from Barrie, Waterloo Region, Kitchener, and London.

The keynote speaker was John Stapleton, the principal of Open Policy Ontario Consultancy, who gave an address entitled "Planning for Economic Change: The Working Poor in Ontario."

Brandan Rowe receives his Pragma Award.Undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Planning were also honoured at the event. Brandan Rowe (left) received the John Horton Pragma Undergraduate Award.

The award, valued at $150, is given to an outstanding undergraduate student citizen who has significantly contributed to the well being of fellow students and to the School of Planning.


Shireen Aslam wins the Pragma graduate award.Shireen Aslam received the Pragma Council Graduate Student Award. The award, valued at $150, is awarded to a graduate student who has made a contribution to the general well-being of the School of Planning and that of their fellow students, while maintaining a strong academic record.

Pragma Council chair Leo DeLoyde, CAO of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, North Bay, handed out the awards on behalf of the council.

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Faculty of Engineering plans for 2015

a message from the Faculty of Engineering

“We’re aiming to make Waterloo Engineering a truly world-class school of engineering – the destination of choice for outstanding students, employers, employees and partners around the globe,” says Engineering Dean Adel Sedra, summing up the aspiration of Waterloo Engineering’s new strategic plan, Vision 2015: Building on Excellence.

Waterloo Engineering already enjoys an impressive reputation in both academic and industry circles, and the ambitious Vision 2015 strategic plan sets the stage for even greater success. To reach its aspiration, the plan focuses on six priorities: attracting, engaging and retaining outstanding students, staff and faculty; committing to excellence in programs and services; undertaking high-impact research; building connections and promoting collaboration; fostering innovation and entrepreneurship; and providing facilities to support excellence in education and research.

The Vision 2015 plan builds on the foundational work in Waterloo Engineering’s previous plan, Vision 2010. It results from over a year and a half of self study, analysis, consultation with students, faculty and staff, and committee work across all areas of the faculty.
Find out more about Vision 2015, or download the full plan.

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W3 hits up the Bomber and other notes

Are you a Waterloo grad student, post-doc, faculty or staff member who identifies as a woman? It may interest you to know that the next meeting of W3 (Waterloo Women Wednesday) will be from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at the Bombshelter Pub in the Student Life Centre.

According to organizer Carla Fehr, Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology, "there will be about an hour of chit-chatty snacking and drinking and then around 5 o'clock Christine Logel will talk to us about her research and there will be lots of time for everyone to discuss the topic: How to Succeed in Your Career - According to Psychology Research on Prejudice and Discrimination (plus: The Most Fun Study in the Field)."

A folder for prospective students.The following is a message from Tina Roberts, Director, Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment: "In the next few weeks, hundreds of prospective students will visit campus. They’ll be easy to spot – they’re the ones carrying a “You’re In” folder (at right) or a campus map. And chances are, they’re excited (and more than a little stressed) as they consider which school they’ll attend this coming September. You can help make their decision easier. Whether it’s something as simple as offering directions, or as personal as sharing your own Waterloo story, your actions reflect what makes this university great. Thanks for doing your part to make future Waterloo students feel welcome."


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Countdown to Congress: 4 days remaining

Factoid: Eight of the associations meeting at Congress study foreign languages and cultures. All of these languages are originally European: Finno-Ugric, Dutch, German, Spanish, Slavic languages, Hungarian, Scandinavian languages, and Italian.

Congress 2012 takes place May 26-June 2, 2012, and is co-hosted by University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and organized by the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World, the theme of Congress 2012, explores the real-world impact of the humanities and social sciences. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest annual multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada.

Link of the day

20 years since Carson's final show

When and where

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

University senate Tuesday, May 22, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Biology seminar featuring Dr. Janet Braam, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, "Plant Defense: Roles for Touch and Time," Wednesday, May 23, 2:30 p.m. EIT 3142, refreshments provided. Special meet and greet with Biology students, staff, and faculty from 2:10 to 2:30 p.m.

Farewell reception for Alan George, Thursday, May 24, 3:30 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall. RSVP by May 18 to Michelle Mank, ext. 36448 or mank@

Warriors band practice, Thursday, May 24, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001.

School of Public Health and Health Systems research seminar featuring Dr. Jennifer O'Loughlin, Université de Montréal, "Quit-It: New perspectives on youth cessation from NDIT," Thursday, May 24, 4:00 p.m., LHN 2703.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Building and Properties Committee meeting Friday, May 25, 3:00 p.m., NH 3004.

You @ Waterloo Day, Saturday, May 26, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, May 26 through June 2. Details.

Congress 2012 Big Thinking Lectures, May 26 - May 31. Details.

UW International Spouses presents "Movie and Coffee with Patty," featuring A Streetcar Named Desire, Sunday, May 27, 1:00 p.m., Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo. To register email patty91872@

Measuring Wellbeing: A Symposium on the Use of Wellbeing Indicators, Monday, May 28, 1:00 p.m., Paul Martin Prosperity Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University.

Retirement celebration for Adel Sedra, Wednesday, May 30. Details.

Geographers Without Borders: geography department's 50th anniversary, Thursday, May 31, 5:30 p.m. Details.

Board of governors Tuesday, June 5, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation brown bag lunch, Wednesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m., Communitech Hub Kitchener, P2P Meeting Room. Register today.

Master of Digital Experience Innovation student showcase, Monday, June 11, 5:00 p.m., Waterloo Stratford Campus. Register today.

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

Friday's Daily Bulletin