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Thursday, April 3, 2014



  • Childcare centre off to a bright start
  • Waterloo student, teammate crack the CODE
  • Event jogs students' housing memories



Teaching award winners and the selection committee at the University Club.

Rania Al-Hammoud stands with Sue Horton and her award.Exceptional student teachers honoured: The recipients of the Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student—Rania Al-Hammoud of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brenda Lee of Biology and Nathaniel Barr of Psychology—were honoured at a luncheon at the University Club on Monday, March 31. Pictured above with award winners Brenda Lee and Nathaniel Barr are (l-r) Husnia Barakzay, co-op special projects assistant, Verna Keller, selection committee secretary, Susan E. Horton, selection committee chair, Chris Lolas, selection committee member, and Rohan Jayasundera, selection committee member). 

Rania-Al Hammoud is pictured at right receiving her award.


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Childcare centre off to a bright start

The University of Waterloo has grown the number of childcare places available on campus with the opening of a new daycare facility.

The Bright Starts Cooperative Early Learning Centre, an amalgamation and expansion of three long-standing daycares at the University, is now the largest child care centre in Waterloo Region offering care for more than 160 children.

“Bright Starts provides high quality early learning and child care for University of Waterloo faculty, staff, students, fellows, and the surrounding region,” said Fran Hannigan, president of Bright Starts Board of Directors. “The centre offers a positive, safe, loving, nurturing and home-like atmosphere. Our thanks go the University of Waterloo Staff Association, Graduate Student Association and Faculty Association for their invaluable contributions and support.”

Bright Starts is a welcome addition for parents on campus, who have not seen a growth in child care spaces since 1998. The centre offers 10 new spaces for infants, a vital addition to support new parents.

The new centre is now the largest in the region, caring for 20 infants aged up to 18 months, 60 toddlers aged 19 to 30 months, and 80 preschoolers aged 2.5 to 5 years-of-age. The centre also cares for junior- and senior-kindergarten students in July, August and March as well as Christmas breaks, and PD days.

“Waterloo aspires to be an employer of choice that enables top performance from staff members,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur. “This new facility extends the provision for daycare on campus to better meet the needs of parents who want the best care for their children, close to work.”

Bright Starts opened its doors in January, but will host a formal grand opening on May 2.

The daycare is located on North Campus, behind the School of Optometry and Vision Science building, at the corner of Columbia Street West and Hagey Boulevard. The building was carefully designed by WALTERFEDY and PM Contracting Ltd to provide a high quality early learning and care environment for children.

The centre is an amalgamation and expansion of three of the University’s long standing child care centres, Paintin’ Place Co-operative Daycare, Klemmer Farmhouse Co-operative Nursery, and Hildegard Marsden Co-operative Nursery.


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Team Electric Sheep, Minister Tony Clement, and an oversize cheque.
Waterloo student, teammate crack the CODE

The winners of the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE), the first national appathon using federal government Open Data, were announced on Friday, March 28.

At the CODE Grand Finale on March 28, held in Toronto, finallists presented their apps to a panel of industry professionals and venture capitalists during a live judging event. Judges voted on the app they felt best demonstrated innovative concept, art and design, usefulness, use of open data, and stability.

The winning team was Electric Sheep, which consisted of Carlos Saavedra, a Master of Digital Experience Innovation from the University of Waterloo's Stratford campus, and his teammate Jason Ernst, a PhD candidate in computer science from the University of Guelph. Saavedra and Ernst were both undergraduates at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The team was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize provided by contest sponsor OpenText Corporation – well-known for its support of Open Data in Canada. Electric Sheep also won the Fan Favourite Prize of $1,000, as chosen by voters in an online poll.

The team developed the newRoots app using datasets from Employment and Social Development Canada, Statistics Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. NewRoots matches new Canadians with cities that will give them the greatest opportunity to maximize their potential and be successful, productive citizens of Canada.

The second-place $5,000 prize, provided by XMG Studio, went to Team Quantified from North York. Kevin Quan, a University of Waterloo alumnus, developed the A Healthier Commute app using datasets from Natural Resources Canada, and Statistics Canada. A Healthier Commute provides users with personalized and specific feedback about the costs of their daily commute to encourage people to consider ways to improve their trip to work.

The third place $1,000 prize went to team SYLM from Markham. Sunny Mak developed the Deep Breath app using datasets from Environment Canada. Deep Breath displays air quality data from local monitoring stations and nearby large facilities emitting pollutants for given locations.

The top three teams were selected from 15 finalists, from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.


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A student adds a handwritten residence memory to a bulletin board in the Student Life Centre.
Event jogs students' housing memories

a message from Housing and Residences.

Last Thursday the Student Life Centre’s Great Hall was abuzz with students and peers becoming immersed in their many residence memories at Housing’s Reminiscing Rez promotional event.

The student body, and anyone for that matter, was invited to come out and reminisce about their time once spent living in their home away from home. Whether it be eating some of Food Services delicious creations, getting a photo taken at the Reminiscing Rez booth, or writing their favourite memory on the Reminiscing Rez memory wall, those attending got to recreate their time spent in residence.  Waterloo Residences hosted the event to support and promote living on campus in future terms to upper-year students – did you know residence wasn’t just for first-years?

“We find that there is a common misconception that on-campus residence is only for first-years, however we welcome upper-year students to come back and live again in the place that potentially once created so much comfort and normalcy in a time of such transition," said Jane Kolb, the Housing staff member overseeing the event. "We’re especially promoting the winter and spring terms when we can offer one-term contracts.”

As many as 240 students came out and shared their experiences at the event.

If you are a student wanting to live in residence now or in future terms, take a look at Waterloo Residence’s website to see what options are available.


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Quest to be down this weekend

Quest users take note: Quest will be down and unavailable starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 4 as the system's database undergoes scheduled maintenance.

The maintenance begins at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and the downtime will run until 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 7.

During this time, Quest will be unavailable.

Link of the day

The Grand National

When and where

Chemical Engineering seminar featuring David Latulippe, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, "Microscale Processing for High-Throughput Studies in Water Separations and Bio-Polymer Processing", Thursday, April 3, 3:30 p.m., E6 2024. Details.

History End-Of-Term Trivia Night, Thursday, April 3, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Bombshelter Pub.

Warriors Band rehearsal, Thursday, April 3, 5:00 p.m., PAC 1001. Details.

Germanic and Slavic Studies presents the 2014 Diefenbaker Lecture Series featuring Elisabeth Herrmann, University of Alberta, “How Does Transnationalism Redefine Contemporary Literature? An Investigation of Five German Authors,” Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m., HH 1102. Details.

Orchestra@uwaterloo concert, Thursday, April 3, 8:00 p.m., Hagey Hall. Details.

Lectures end, Friday, April 4.

Pension & Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, April 4, 9:30 a.m., NH 3001.

Peer Education at Renison, "Healthy Body = Healthy Brain," Friday, April 4, 10:30 a.m., Renison University College. Details.

Staff Relations Committee meeting, Friday, April 4, 1:00 p.m., NH 3001.

Knowledge Integration Senior Research Project Symposium, Friday, April 4, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Minto Atrium, EV3.

St. Jerome's Relay for Life, Friday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Details.

Pre-examination study days, Friday, April 4 to Monday, April 7.

The Games Institute Jam – PLAY, Saturday, April 5, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Student Life Centre multipurpose room. Details.

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience presents Waterloo Brain Day, Monday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.

Waterloo Colloquium on Language Learning and Teaching, Monday, April 7, 1:00 p.m., HH 373. Details.

Canadian Team Mathematics Contest (CTMC), Monday, April 7, 3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., DC 1351. Details.

Senate Executive Committee meeting, Monday, April 7, 3:30 p.m., NH 3001.

On-campus examinations begin, Tuesday, April 8.

Senate Undergraduate Council meeting, Tuesday, April 8, 12:00 p.m., NH 3001.

WIN Nano Graduate Seminar Series, Tuesday, April 8, 12:30 p.m., QNC 1501. Details.

Retirement celebration for Doreen Knol, CECA, Tuesday, April 8, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Laurel Room, SCH.  RSVP to Pat Graf  by Friday, April 4.

Germanic and Slavic Studies presents the 2014 Diefenbaker Lecture Series featuring Laurie Johnson, University of Illinois, “Forgotten Dreams: Werner Herzog’s Romantic Cinema,” Tuesday, April 8, 7:00 p.m., HH 1102. Details.

Retirement celebration for Pam Van Allen, Wednesday, April 9, 3:30 p.m., University Club. RSVP to Lisa Weber by Friday, April 4.

Fine Arts Life Drawing Open Session, Wednesday, April 9, 6:30 p.m., ECH 1224A. Details.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, April 9, 7:15 p.m., MC 5136. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology seminar featuring Oleg Gang of Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, "Programmable Nanoparticle Assembly: From Exploration to Design," 3:00 p.m., QNC 1501.

Bookstore author event featuring Sarah Tolmie, "The Stone Boatmen", Thursday, April 10, 4:30 p.m., UW Bookstore, SCH. Details.

Online class examination days, Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12.

Conrad Grebel presents John Paul Lederach, "Dispatches from the Burning Ground: Compassionate Presence and Faith-based Peacebuilding," Saturday, April 12, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall. Details.

UWRC Book Club, "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn, Wednesday, April 16, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., LIB 407. FLEX Lab (LIB 329) Note the new location.

Waterloo Innovation Summit, Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15. Details.

Systems Design Engineering seminar featuring Dayal Pyari Srivastava, Dayalbagh Educational Institute,
Dayalbagh, Agra, India, “Graph-theoretic quantum system modelling for neuronal microtubules as hierarchical clustered quantum Hopfield networks,” Wednesday, April 16, 3:00 p.m., E5 6127.

PhD Oral Defences

Chemistry. Yaser Abdel-Karem, "Design, synthesis, and evaluation of inhibitors of steroid sulfatase." Supervisor, Scott Taylor. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Thursday, April 17, 9:00 a.m., C2 361.

School of Public Health and Health Systems. Shannon Freeman, "Care Planning at the End-of-Life: Potential use of the interRAI Palliative Care Assessment Instrument Clinical Assessment Protocols (InterRAI PC CAPs) to Identify the Needs of Persons Receiving Palliative Home Care Services in Ontario, Canada." Supervisor, John Hirdes. On display in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Tuesday, April 22, 9:00 a.m., BMH 3119.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Amir Salim, "Superconducting Nanostructures for Quantum Detection of Electromagnetic Radiation." Supervisor, Amir Majedi. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, April 22, 1:00 p.m., EIT 3142.

Electrical & Computer Engineering. Chang Sun, "DCT-Based Image/Video Compression: New Design Perspectives." Supervisor, En-Hui Yang. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, April 22, 2:30 p.m., MC 2009.


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