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Friday, January 9, 2015

  • CS students produce graphic images
  • IST staff member is mourned
  • Teens in Motion program gets kids moving
  • The trickle-down effect

Chongxi Huang's computer-generated image of a tabletop with items on it.
CS students produce graphic images

by Anna Beard.

Dian Xiang's image.Each year, the students enrolled in CS 488 - Computer Graphics, are tasked with developing their own course project that employs the skills they've developed in the course and throughout their undergraduate program.

Projects are then judged and gold, silver, bronze, and honourable mention prizes are given. For Fall 2014, Chongxi Huang (gold, pictured above), Dian Xiang (silver, at right), Jessica Jamieson (bronze, below left), and Haiyu Zhen (honourable mention, below at bottom), proved to be better than the rest of their classmates.


Jessica Jamieson's undersea image of a small fish."Each student submits a proposal for their project that includes 10 objectives on which the project is to be marked. We give feedback on the proposals – often suggesting different objectives – and students submit a revised proposal," explained CS 488 professor Stephen Mann. "Their project is then marked on how many of the 10 objectives they've completed."


In addition, students are given a subjective mark based on the project's difficulty and artistic merit. The project must be computer graphics based but, may include non-graphic components such as sound or simple artificial intelligence, to create a more dynamic submission.


"The point is: they need to draw upon many of the courses they've taken as an undergraduate to get a good project," said Mann.


At the end of the term, the top students walk away with a prize and their work memorialized on the CS 488 website. To see the top projects from the past few terms, visit the gallery.

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IST staff member is mourned

Laura Smith.Information Systems & Technology (IST) staff member Laura Smith died December 31, 2014 after a battle with cancer.


Laura joined the University of Waterloo in September 1978 as an I/O Operator in the Department of Computing Services and most recently worked as the General Services Supervisor in IST.


She was the supervisor of the CHIP help desk, setting up printing accounts, distributing software, and creating accounts for students, staff and faculty. She was best known across campus for helping with the exam marking process. If professors or teaching assistants needed assistance with marking their exams, it was Laura they would come to.


Students were close to Smith’s heart, and she was the principal organizer for departmental contributions to the student food bank.


“She would organize ‘food bank drive’ breakfasts for IST staff – we would make muffins, pancakes, and bagels and in exchange for a donation to the food bank, our staff could have their breakfast at work that day,” writes Service Desk Manager Peggy Day, who worked with Smith for more than 30 years. “She loved the students coming into the CHIP office, and would welcome them and laugh with them, making them feel at ease when it may have been a stressful time for them.”


“When I think about Laura, I think of the type of person who was deeply involved in life,” writes Client Support Specialist Jim Marshall, who also worked with Smith for decades. “She knew and cared about all her fellow workers and was always the first to organize a collection for flowers or for cards of congratulations or of sympathy.”


Laura kept cookies, pastries, candy and other assorted homemade treats in her office, which became an unofficial “community centre” for IST. “When you dropped down for a treat and a chat you never knew who you would be running into, or what discussion you would end up having,” writes Marshall. “Laura was a great unifying force within our department – everyone knew here and she knew everyone – she was there to help others, which she did and she did very well.”

Smith joined the University of Waterloo’s 35-year club in 2013.


“Not a day would go by that someone did not stop in and ask how Laura was doing,” writes Day. “She had fans across campus. We will all miss her greatly.”


A celebration of Smith’s life will take place at a visitation at the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home in Waterloo on Friday, January 16, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., followed by her funeral at the same location on Saturday, January 17 at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow. Laura’s family has requested that expressions of sympathy should be made in the form of donations to the Feds Food Bank.


Smith is survived by her husband Larry.


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Teens in Motion program gets kids moving

This is the latest in a series of #UWCommunity stories that feature Waterloo in the community.

At Waterloo’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences we know that healthy bodies and healthy minds go hand in hand. This is why UW Fitness leverages research and teaching expertise from our department of Kinesiology to offer a number of program and services to our community.


A teen throws a frisbee.One such example is Teens In Motion (TIM), a free exercise programs for clinically overweight teenagers.  Launched in 2006, TIM has helped over 130 youth develop the knowledge and skills to lead a healthier life. 


Teens in Motions focuses on providing participants with the tools for long-term sustainable lifestyle changes as opposed to short term weight loss, in a fun, safe and non-judgemental environment.


Introducing participants to movement patterns, games and sport skills improves movement coordination and boosts self-confidence. By encouraging participants to be more active, TIM gives them the confidence and skills to try new activities in their school or community, and educate them on the importance of healthy eating.


Teens in Motion offer 12 week sessions that begin each Fall, Winter and Spring, with our winter session beginning on January 13, 2015.  To participate in the program teens require a referral from a family physician or registered dietician. 


Learn more about TIM and how to participate.


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The trickle-down effect

This is an excerpt of an article published on the Athletics website.

Mary Ann Vaughan thought she'd be home in an hour.


It was a Friday night in January 2010, and Vaughan had just concluded another demanding early-semester week as a uWaterloo Economics professor. But instead of enjoying a relaxing start to the weekend at home with her equally-busy husband David (a mathematics professor at Wilfrid Laurier University), Vaughan decided to answer a personal appeal from one of her students.


John Zelenbaba knew his Macroeconomics professor was a hockey fan, and he knew that the Waterloo Warriors' annual staff and alumni game was impending. Zelenbaba, then in his first year as a Warriors goaltender, thought the match was made in heaven. So he approached Vaughan after class one day with an invitation to their game that Friday.


Vaughan likely thought there were better – and certainly warmer – ways for her to spend a Friday night than at the frigid Columbia Icefield Arena, on a campus where she already spent the bulk of her waking hours. But Zelenbaba had taken the time to invite her, so she thought she could take the time to show up, at least for part of the game. "I felt it would be rude not to go," she'd say later.


She settled into a bleacher seat shortly before the 7:30 puck drop, checked a few emails on her BlackBerry, and glanced around at the less-than-half filled arena. She planned to stay for the first period, thus fulfilling Zelenbaba's request. She thought she'd be home in an hour.


As it turns out, she hasn't left the arena since.

As the story goes, it took Mary Ann Vaughan one period – 20 minutes – to fall in love with Waterloo Warriors hockey. But in truth, it was probably much less than that. Soon, her Friday night plans had changed.

"I probably sat there with my mouth wide open for the whole period," said Vaughan with a laugh – a sound that often accompanies her words. "I emailed my husband at the end of the first period and told him I was staying for the whole game. I was hooked."


Read the rest of the article on the Athletics website.


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Take the President's Town Hall Survey

If you attended the President's Town Hall in October, or if you didn't, please share your feedback by taking the following survey, which will be available until January 16, 2015.

Link of the day

Sunday: Sir John A Macdonald's bicentennial

When and where

Feds Used Books hours for January: • Monday, January 5 to Wednesday, January 14 (including Saturday, January 10 and Sunday, January 11), 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. • Thursday, January 15 to Saturday, January 17, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Closed Sunday, January 18.


Winter 2015 Orientation, Sunday, January 4 to Friday, January 9.


Knowledge Integration Seminar: Bringing the Future to Life, Friday, January 9, 2:30 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.


Feds Winter Welcome Week, Monday, January 12 to Friday, January 16.


Getting Started in LEARN for TAs, Monday, January 12, 1:00 p.m., EV1 241. Details.


Getting Started in LEARN for TAs, Monday, January 12, 1:00 p.m., EV1 241. Details.


UWSA and ECU Lunch ‘n Learn session, "Debt Management: Practical Strategies" featuring Eva Englehutt, Sharon Feldmann, Tuesday, January 13, 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., DC 1302. RSVP to Angela Burkholder by Thursday, January 8, 2015. Sandwiches and beverages will be provided by Education Credit Union.


WICI Talk featuring Dr. Sander van der Leeuw, "Invention and innovation: the long term," Tuesday, January 13, 2:00 p.m., DC 1302. Details.


Résumé Tips: Think Like an Employer, Wednesday, January 14, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., TC 2218. Details.


Get Started on your Grad School Applications, Wednesday, January 14, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., TC 1208. Details.


Information Session for Graduating Students, Wednesday, January 14, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. Zhifeng Ding, Department of Chemistry, Western University, “Photoelectrochemistry for Energy and Electrochemiluminescence”, Thursday, January 15, 10:30 a.m., C2-361. Details.


Using LEARN's Rubric Feature (CTE727), Thursday, January 15, 10:30 a.m., EV1 241. Details.


Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (I.B.M.B.) Seminar Series featuring Prof. Jay Zhu, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, “Vibrio cholerae Genetic Retooling at the Intestinal Interface” Thursday, January 15, 3:30 p.m., RCH 105. Details.


Information Session on Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics, Thursday, January 15, 4:30 p.m., DC 1304.


Information Session for Graduating Students, Thursday, January 15, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., EV3 1408. Details.


First day of non-credit Korean classes at Renison, Thursday, January 15, 7:00 p.m. Details.


Add period ends, Friday, January 16.


Master of Taxation Open House, Saturday, January 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, 69 Bloor Street East, Toronto.


AHS Speed Networking event, Tuesday, January 20, 6:00 p.m., BMH Foyer. Details.


UWRC Book Club featuring The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, Wednesday, January 21, 12:00 p.m., LIB 407.

Mini Town Hall Session - Experiential Education, Wednesday, January 21, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sedra Student Design Centre, Engineering 5. Details.


BIG Data, Medical Imaging and Machine Intelligence, Wednesday, January 21, 4:00 p.m., E5 6006. Details.


Mennonite Writing Series featuring Patrick Friesen, Wednesday, January 21, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Details.


Drop, no penalty period ends, Friday, January 23.


Games Institute presents GI Jam, Friday, January 23 to Sunday, January 25. Details.


"“Sometimes leading, sometimes following, sometimes side-by-side”: Catholic and Anglican Missionaries and the Political Evolution," Friday, January 23, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's. Details.


PhD Oral Defences

Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering. Ayyoub Rezaeian, "Development of an Integrated Estimation Method for Vehicle States, Parameters and Tire Forces." Supervisors, Amir Khajepour, William Melek. On deposit in the Engineering graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, January 15, 9:00 a.m., E3 4117.

Chemistry. Olivier Nguon, "Polymer-stabilized Transition Metal Nanocatalysts: Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications." Supervisors, Mario Gauthier, Flora Ng. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 2008. Oral defence Thursday, January 15, 1:00 p.m., C2 361.

Chemistry. Nafiseh Moghimi, "Hybrid Metallic Nanostructures for Bio and Analytical Applications." Supervisor, Tong Leung. On deposit in the Science graduate office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, January 15, 2:30 p.m., B1 266.

Psychology. Pierina Cheung, "The Nature of Representations of Number in Early Childhood: Numerical Comparison as a Case Study." Supervisor, Katherine White. On deposit in the Arts graduate office, PAS 2428. Oral defence Friday, January 16, 11:00 a.m., HH 373.


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