Skip to the content of the web site.

February 20, 2013

  • Waterloo researchers draw crowds at AAAS in Boston
  • CECA: Growing engagement
  • Wednesday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Waterloo researchers draw crowds at AAAS in Boston

by Stacey Ash and Tobi Day-Hamilton

University of Waterloo researchers from the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and the Institute for Quantum Computing shared leading edge research with academic peers, policymakers and members of the public attending the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston, MA from February 14 to 18.

Post-doctoral researcher Terrence Stewart and PhD candidate Xuan Choo, from Waterloo's Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, drew crowds on the meeting’s exhibition floor with a multi-directional robot that demonstrated some aspects of their breakthrough research into brain function.

“It was wonderful to be able to present this work to such a broad audience,” Stewart said. “Everyone asked about the medical and robotics applications of understanding how the brain works, and it was great to show the younger crowd that they can build some pretty interesting Lego robots and give them simple simulated brains.”

“It was inspiring to see such a great mix of people and researchers, and I hope to have inspired both current and future generations of scientific researchers to investigate the mysteries and wonders of the human brain,” Choo said.

At the same exhibit, the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) demonstrated quantum key distribution — an unbreakable form of cryptography leveraging the laws of quantum mechanics. IQC graduate students Catherine Holloway and Christopher Pugh showcased an interactive demonstration of QKD and a scale model of a satellite their research team proposes to launch for further research in space. The research team, led by Thomas Jennewein, proposes an implementation of satellite-to-earth quantum communication.

“The exhibition area is open to the general public and welcomes thousands of people from all walks of life,” says Martin Laforest. “We are able to share the potential of the quantum revolution to those that will ultimately benefit from it in the future.”

Also at AAAS, IQC presented a symposium on quantum devices with the leading scientists in quantum information from Waterloo, Harvard and University of Illinois. The symposium presented the latest developments in quantum sensor technologies. Moderated by Raymond Laflamme, the session included CERC and IQC faculty David Cory, Amir Yacoby from Harvard and Raffi Budakian from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “AAAS is one of the most prestigious platforms to showcase science to our scientific colleagues, media and policy makers,” says Raymond Laflamme. “We are honoured to be able to present a symposium about not only the long-term opportunities for quantum information, but also the near-term implications, specifically quantum sensors.”

Bernard Glick, a professor of biology in the Faculty of Science, was unable to attend due to weather, but appeared via a pre-recorded video on Sunday, for a session entitled How Microbes can Help Feed the World.

Waterloo was among hundreds of academic institutions from around the world taking part in the annual meeting billed as America’s largest general scientific conference. As many as 11,000 people attend the five-day meeting, which includes sessions with leading scientists and policymakers, and exhibits open to the public. Plans are already underway for the 2014 meeting of the AAAS, taking place in Chicago, IL.


Back to top

CECA: Growing engagement

Employment is a top concern for CECA. Despite reassuring employment rates (95% on average every year) there are some students each term who are unable to find employment.  Concern for their success is shared among faculty, university administration, parents, and, of course, everyone in CECA. Growing employment opportunities for the ever increasing number of co-op students is proving to be more and more challenging, especially with changing and often unpredictable economic conditions. While co-op jobs don’t grow on trees there is, nevertheless, substantial cultivation being done.  The good news is that any moment can turn into an opportunity to promote the co-op program at Waterloo!

You can support Waterloo co-ops by becoming unofficial Hire Waterloo ambassadors. When networking or talking with people who may be interested in hiring co-ops, consider using these quick facts to help promote our students and expand our list of employers:

  • Waterloo has more than 120 co-op programs
  • We are the largest co-op program in the world: over 16,000 students!
  • Co-op students are available for hire all year round
  • Besides Canada, students have work terms in over 60 countries
  • More than 4500 organizations hire Waterloo co-ops on a regular basis
  • Co-op students participate in professional development courses
  • Our co-ops are hired by industry-leading organizations in every sector
  • Our staff is dedicated to supporting employers through the hiring process

Interested about more information about becoming an employer? Identify a lead? Please call CECA’s Leads Co-ordinator, Patti Ford: 519-888-4567 ext. 37362


Last week’s poll results: 56 per cent of you guessed correctly: 17, 490 Skype, phone, and video interviews took place last year. Congratulations to last week’s draw winner David Ha, from Computing and Financial Management.

This week’s question: How many jobs did CECA post last year? (Hint: have a look at this infographic) Take a guess and enter to win a Starbucks gift card.

Back to top

Wednesday's notes

Matteo Mariantoni, from IQC as well as Physics and Astronomy, has won a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, valued at $50,000 over two years. Professor Mariantoni is the 11th University of Waterloo researcher to receive a Sloan Fellowship since the 1960's.

The Winter term's final examination schedule is now available.


Back to top

Link of the day

World Day of Social Justice

Retail Services including Media.Doc Centers and the WatCard Office will be closed today for a staff meeting.

When and where

UWRC Book Club meeting, featuring "The House I Loved" by Tatiana de Rosnay, Wednesday, February 20, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Retirement party for Linda Kieswetter, Wednesday, February 20, 3:30 p.m., University Club.

Stratford Campus Open House, Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 p.m, Stratford Campus. Details.

Open House of St. Paul's refreshed guest rooms and meeting rooms, Wednesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 21. Tours four times daily at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tours leave from the Student and Guest Services desk, inside the main doors. RSVP to:

Arriscraft Lecture featuring George Baird, "Thoughts on "Agency", "Utopia", and "Property", in Contemporary Architectural and Urban Theory," Thursday, February 21, 6:45 p.m., Cummings Lecture Hall, School of Architecture. Details.

Vision Science Research Seminar Series featuring Professor Agnes Wong, University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children, “Skew Deviation: From the Laboratory to Bedside”, Friday February 22, 3:30 p.m. OPT 1129. Details.

Info Session: Grand Challenges Canada Funding Opportunity, Saving Lives at Birth.  Friday February 22, 2013, Waterloo Int’l, NH 1101, 3:30pm.  RSVP to: jcalbery@uwaterloo.caDetails.

Senate meeting, Monday, February 25, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

VeloCity Recruiting Event: For Startups & Waterloo's Tech Talent, Tuesday, February 26, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre. Register here.

Noon Hour Concert Series, Russian Chamber Music featuring the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Taneyev, and Rachmaninov, with artists Sara Jane Gibbs, cello, Renee Kruisselbrink, piano, Pierre-Andre Pashley, violin. Wednesday, February 27, 12:30 p.m. Conrad Grebel Chapel. Details.

Waterloo Women's Wednesday featuring Jeremy Steffler and Katrina Di Gravio, "Sexual Orientation and and Gender Identity Workshop," Wednesday, February 27, 4:00 p.m., Grad House.

Department of English Language and Literature lecture featuring Wayde Compton, Emily Carr University, “Vancouver Versus Hogan's Alley: Urban Renewal, Negro Removal, and the Myth of Livability”, Thursday, February 28, 4:00 p.m., HH 373.


Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

Job id# 2018 - Research Administrator, Institutional Research – Office of Research – USG 7

Job id# 2020 - Examinations Specialist – Centre for Extended Learning – USG 7

Job id# 2016 – Building Sections Supervisor – Plant Operations – USG 10

Job id# 2021 – Information Systems Specialist – Information Systems & Technology – USG 10-12

Job id# 1989 -  Administrative Systems Assistant – Plant Operations – USG 5


Internal secondment opportunities

Liaison Librarian (Library – Information Services and Resources:  Davis) – USG 8-13

Administrative Coordinator – Arts Computing Office – USG 6


Yesterday's Daily Bulletin