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Friday, March 8, 2013



  • It's International Women's Day
  • Stacking cans for a cause
  • Prof named Outstanding Young CS Researcher
  • March Break programs bring kid to campus
  • Queen's Cup game tomorrow and other notes


  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Feridun Hamdullahpur, Carolyn Hansson, and Pearl Sullivan pose together with the Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Mechanical and Mechatronics engineering professor Carolyn Hansson is one of the university's latest recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which was presented to her by President Feridun Hamdullahpur on Tuesday, February 26. Professor Hansson is pictured above with Hamdullahpur and Dean of Engineering Pearl Sullivan.


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It's International Women's Day

Every year, March 8 is designated International Women's Day, and a today is the culmination of a week's worth of events sponsored and organized by groups on campus including Women's Studies, Sociology and Legal Studies, International Development, the Federation of Students’ One Waterloo Diversity Campaign and The Women’s Centre.

There are two main events in support of the special day today, with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics hosting "Women and Physics: Past, Present, and Future - A Celebration of International Women's Day all day.

Tonight, there is an International Women's Day dinner hosted by the university's Women's Studies program that features Professor Wendy Mitchinson, Canada Research Chair in Gender and Medical History as the keynote speaker, with a talk entitled "Fighting Fat: Mother-Blaming in Canada, 1920-80." The event takes place at the University Club at 5:30 p.m..

International Women's Week concludes tomorrow with a performance of The Vagina Monologues in HH 180 at 8:00 p.m.


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Russ Wong stacks cans for Canstruction.
Stacking cans for a cause

by Russ Wong, Faculty of Engineering.

On Saturday, March 9, two teams from the Faculty of Engineering and School of Architecture will head to Conestoga Mall for Canstruction Waterloo Region’s 2013 event. Organized by the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, Canstruction is part of a larger international program that raises awareness of poverty while collecting food for those in need. The University of Waterloo is a proud sponsor of Canstruction, which is now entering its sixth year in our community.

The Engineering and Architecture teams will be joined by 12 others, with participants ranging from the Kitchener Rangers and Mosaic Counselling and Family Services to Google and McAfee. When all of the teams are done, the Mall will be host to 14 “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. These structures will be on display until Sunday, March 17, when the teams return to take down their creations and find out who wins the coveted People’s Choice award.

Canstruction teams spend a lot of time in planning and design leading up to the event, which includes trips to grocery stores to find cans, boxes, and bags that are the right sizes, shapes, and colours. Memorable builds in past years have included Angry Birds, Thomas the Tank Engine, and a medieval castle defended by Kool-Aid men. Engineering’s 2012 build was a tuna leaping out of a can, and Architecture’s 2010 model of the Parthenon won an international award.

While most teams will build after the mall closes on Saturday evening, Architecture and three other teams will start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Drop by to show your support for our students, then come back later in the week to check out all of the impressive structures! In the meantime, you can visit the Food Bank website to see builds from the 2012 and 2011 events.


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Prof named Outstanding Young CS Researcher

by Anna Beard, Communications Officer, Faculty of Mathematics

Ondrej Lhotak.Ondrej Lhotak, Associate Professor with the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science has been named an Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher by the Canadian Association of Computer Science. Lhotak joins Associate Professor Ian Goldberg (2010) and Professor Bin Ma (2009) in a growing list of distinguished faculty members who have won this researcher prize.

Lhotak’s research focuses on programming languages, compilers, and program analysis, with a specific focus on object-oriented languages. Program analysis has long been used to generate efficient code, and is increasingly being used in software engineering tools. These applications require precise and efficient program analyses. Increased modularity enabled by object-oriented languages makes interprocedural analysis necessary for precise results. As a result, he is working on making precise interprocedural analyses efficient enough to be practical.

In addition to his research, Lhotak coaches the University of Waterloo ACM teams. Once a member himself, the ACM teams compete in the Association for Computing Machinery Intercollegiate Programming Contests (ACM-ICPC). Lhotak led the Waterloo Black team to a bronze medal at the 2012 ACM-ICPC world finals.


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March Break programs bring kids to campus

It's that time of year already - next week is March Break, and if the students you see on campus next week look younger than usual, it's probably because they are elementary and secondary schoolkids participating in one of the university's March Break programs

For example, from Monday, March 11 to Friday, March 15, Waterloo Unlimited, the high school enrichment program on campus, hosts over 60 grade 11 students from across Canada as they explore the theme of Design across disciplines. Waterloo Unlimited exposes participants to ideas and information from all across campus, and challenges them to make trans-disciplinary connections.

Engineering Science Quest (ESQ) also has programming lined up on the main campus next week for youths from grades 1 to 6 (registration is full but there are waiting lists), as well as programs at the Waterloo Stratford Campus for kids in grades 1 to 4. ESQ's goal is to "offer a variety of fun and educational activities, that cover a whole range of engineering and science concepts, each day."


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Queen's Cup game tomorrow and other notes

The #BeatUQTR logo for this weekend's Queen's Cup game."The Waterloo Warriors men’s hockey team battle the UQTR Patriotes on Saturday for the 102nd Queen’s Cup," Dan Ackerman from Athletics reminds us. "Follow @WlooWarriors and use the hash tag #beatuqtr to show your support for the team as they look for their third ever provincial title."

Tickets for this Saturday's playoff game sold out in 30 minutes, and the event, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Icefield, will be broadcast online.

Another TEDxUW talk on failure has met with success, as serial entrepreneur Michael Litt's talk from last November's TEDxUW event, "Why you have to fail to have a great career," was featuring in a blog post on the main TED (for Technology, Entertainment, Design) website entitled "8 talks about learning from failure."

This weekend marks the return of Daylight Saving Time, with clocks to be turned ahead one hour at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. Waterloo Fire Rescue has sent out its usual press release reminding people that it is a good time to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

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

"Myth:" Eating eggs is bad for cholesterol levels.

"Fact:" This notion is based on older research that has since been re-evaluated. While there is about 185 mg of cholesterol in an egg yolk, saturated fats found in fatty cuts of meat and high fat dairy products and trans fats found in many processed foods have a much bigger impact on blood cholesterol. Eggs are a great source of nutrients, as well as being inexpensive and versatile.  Adults without a history of heart disease or diabetes can enjoy eggs, including the yolk, in moderation, or about one per day.


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Performance review deadlines approaching

Human Resources is reminding staff managers that the deadline to enter and approve staff performance ratings is quickly approaching.

"It is critical that staff performance ratings are entered into myHRinfo by March 15 in order to ensure accuracy for your staff through the Annual Salary Review process," says the latest memo from HR. "Next week is March Break, if you are planning on being off please ensure that you have completed your entry and approvals prior to leaving."

To do this, from myHRinfo, go into "Manager Self Service" and follow Job and Personal Information/View Employee Personal Info.  "This will produce a list of all your direct reports as well as staff reporting to them.  Should you identify errors or have questions please contact your HR Advisor."

Managers are also reminded to continue to forward completed staff performance appraisal forms to HR as they are due by Friday, March 22.

Link of the day

International Women's Day

When and where

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, March 8, 8:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Women and Physics: Past, Present, and Future - A Celebration of International Women's Day, Friday, March 8, all day, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Details.

History Speaker Series featuring Lynne Taylor, History Department, "In the Children's Best Interests: Unaccompanied Children in Germany, 1945-1949," Friday, March 8, 1:00 p.m., HH 117. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Kevin von Appen, Director of Science Communication, Ontario Science Centre, Friday March 8, 2:30pm, Environment 3 (EV3), room 1408. Details.

Farewell event for Paul McDonald, Friday, March 8, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lyle Hallman Institute Fireplace Lounge. Details.

International Women's Day dinner featuring Wendy Mitchinson, Friday, March 8, 5:30 p.m., University Club.

Int'l Spouses, "Movie & Coffee with Patty," Sunday, March 10, "Funny Face" at Galaxy Cinemas. Details.

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, 3:30 p.m., C2-361. Details.

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.

Quantitative Biology Lecture Series featuring Nuno Barbosa-Morais, University of Toronto, "The evolutionary landscape of alternative splicing in vertebrate species," Wednesday, March 13, 2:30 p.m. B1-266.

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

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

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.

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.

Int'l Spouses, Book Club featuring "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, Monday, March 18, 7:00 p.m., St. Paul grad apartments, 3rd floor. 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.

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


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