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Student projects support Smart Waterloo Region initiative
Students in Conestoga’s engineering and technology programs used their study break during the last week of February to participate in the college’s 4x4 Challenge. The event gives participants the opportunity to explore and solve real-world problems while showcasing their entrepreneurial and technical skills. Ig Kolenko, director, Centre for Smart Manufacturing and Digital Innovation, launched the event in 2012. The name of the challenge was drawn from the concept that a minimum of four teams had four days to design and implement solutions for industry projects. “Congratulations to all for the effort and the incredible quality of your projects,” said Kolenko before announcing the winners. “This was not the easiest challenge in terms of the theme. You’re all students in our IT programs - you’re not psychologists or child educators.”
From floppy disks to thumb drives, every method of storing data eventually becomes obsolete. What if we could find a way to store all the world's data forever? Bioinformatician Dina Zielinski shares the science behind a solution that's been around for a few billion years: DNA.
Recent data suggest that the slowdown in the global economy has been more pronounced and widespread than the Bank had forecast in its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). While the sources of moderation appear to be multiple, trade tensions and uncertainty are weighing heavily on confidence and economic activity. It is difficult to disentangle these confidence effects from other adverse factors, but it is clear that global economic prospects would be buoyed by the resolution of trade conflicts.
Robert Myers, an internationally recognized Canadian theoretical physicist, has been named the Institute’s new Director after an exhaustive international search. Robert Myers, a theoretical physicist consistently ranked among the world’s most influential scientists, has been appointed the new Director of Perimeter Institute. The appointment follows an exhaustive global search and was made with the unanimous approval of a search committee of top international scientists and Perimeter’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to move into the next exciting phase of Perimeter’s evolution under Rob Myers’ leadership,” said Perimeter Founder and Board Chair Mike Lazaridis. “Rob’s contributions as a scientist are second to none. He is highly respected throughout the global physics community, and he possesses the drive and vision to advance Perimeter at a particularly exciting time in the history of the Institute and of physics more generally.”
In an unusually competitive riding , Mike Morrice beat out two other nominees for the Green Party of Canada to become their candidate for Kitchener - Centre in the upcoming federal election . The local riding association’s nomination meeting, held Wednesday March 6 th in Kitchener, drew a record breaking crowd with more than 200 people in attendence . Members selected Morrice, well known as the founder of Sustainable Waterloo Region, and Green Economy Canada . “I’m doing this because I recognize the significant challenges we face, from economic inequality to gaps in our health system to household debt, all of which are made worse by the climate crisis” said Morrice. “It’s time our ambition rises to meet the scale of the challenges we face .” Morrice shared with attendees his support for a made - in - Canada Green New Deal with a shift to 100% renewables, high speed rail, universal access to affordable and energy efficient housing, and a federal jobs guarantee .
Many scientific datasets from satellites are in principle available for free, but that doesn’t mean that they are actually accessible to the wider public. A new web application aims to change that, at least for satellite imagery of Earth at night. The app called “Radiance Light Trends” allows anyone with an Internet connection to quickly select a region or a site and analyse the trends in light emissions observed by satellites since 1992. The development of the webapp was guided by Christopher Kyba from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. It was produced as part of the GEOEssential project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, with the coding done by Jurij Stare of Deneb Geoinformation Solutions.
Suzanne Cadarette (photo), an associate professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, is researching the use of community pharmacy services across Ontario (photo by Steve Southon) New research led by a University of Toronto faculty member will provide important data about the use of community pharmacy services across the province. Suzanne Cadarette, an associate professor with U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, is using health-care administrative databases to describe and share results with the public through an innovative, interactive format. Starting in 2007, the Ontario government began funding several professional pharmacy services. The most common include the suite of MedsCheck services – a medication review and update for patients with certain chronic illnesses and residents of long-term care facilities. Other services include flu immunizations, smoking cessation services and the Pharmaceutical Opinion program, in which pharmacists consult with prescribers about medication issues.
Peter Weltman, Financial Accountability Officer of Ontario, has just released the report Ontario Health Sector: 2019 Updated Assessment of Ontario Health Spending. “In the coming years, Ontario’s growing and aging population, as well as rising prices for health care will put increased pressure on health spending,” says Weltman. Under current policies, and without anticipating any new government decisions, health sector spending is projected to increase to $73.3 billion by the 2022-23 fiscal year, an increase of $12.0 billion from today’s levels.
After years of dedicated training, runners’ hearts may function more efficiently than those of other athletes, according to a new University of Guelph study. Prof. Jamie Burr (photo), Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, compared resting heart function in elite runners and swimmers to learn more about how the body may adapt to different types of exercise. Published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, the study compared 16 elite swimmers and 16 elite runners. Most participants were white males, and all athletes were competing at the Olympic or international level. Athletes were matched based on age, race and sex, and were asked to fast for two hours and refrain from exercise for 12 hours before testing.
During a special event held on February 19th, a culinary skills lab at Conestoga College was named in recognition of Flanagan Foodservice for its generous support of the recent expansion and re-development project at the John W. Tibbits campus in Waterloo. Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts provides a broad range of programs to serve the workforce needs of the growing hospitality industry. Conestoga is Ontario’s only college included in the Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance, the leading global network of education excellence for culinary arts and the hospitality trades.
The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises, based at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, has selected 10 of Canada’s most promising women-led technology companies to participate in the fourth cohort of the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo collected data and ran computer simulations to determine that adjusting the signals at intersections in bad weather could reduce delays by up to 20 per cent. “We need to have weather-responsive signal plans,” said Liping Fu, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Waterloo. “Their timing should recognize weather conditions and change accordingly.” Signals in modern cities are timed using optimization models that analyze factors including traffic volume and speed to safely get as many vehicles as possible through intersections.
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association welcomes the interim report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released yesterday. "Today's interim report is an important contribution to the current discussions on how to ensure access to affordable prescription medicines for all Canadians," CLHIA President and CEO Stephen Frank said. "Prescription drug reform requires a collaborative effort among insurers, provincial and territorial governments and the federal government," Frank said. "Improvements must ensure that all Canadians can access affordable prescription medicines no matter where they live and work in Canada. A balanced solution will ensure that the system is sustainable into the future and protects the health benefit plans that Canadians value."
Tim Rappon and Nina Shahid (photo) published their findings after an extensive literature review across databases in health, business and computer science University of Toronto graduate students have found that artificial intelligence, or AI, can be used to improve decision-making in almost every field of health care – a development that could profoundly improve the delivery of health services and sustainability of our health systems. “This will be a quiet revolution to the way we practise medicine,” says Tim Rappon, an MD/PhD student in the department of medicine. “It’s not going to be, ‘Here’s your robot surgeon.’ But AI is maybe going to suggest a different approach to a particular surgery based on patient factors, pathology or genetics. AI will never replace doctors and nurses, but it is already streamlining and supporting their clinical practice.”
The three finalists for the 2019 Canada's CFO of the Year™ Award were announced. The award, now in its 17th year, honours senior financial leaders who have made significant contributions to business in Canada with demonstrated quality, insight and integrity.
Yesterday at 9:30am, Fossil Free UW (FFUW) will be presenting University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur with a unique kind of petition calling on the university to divest from fossil fuels. Last spring, the University Board of Governors rejected calls for divestment and has not taken any action to consider climate change in its investments, even as the climate emergency worsens. In response, this petition is signed by nearly three hundred students who withdrew their contributions to faculty-level endowment funds in protest.
She moved 14 times in her first 21 years – back and forth across Canada, even dipping down for two stints in The States. For this daughter of an Air Force father, Winnipeg came the closest to being a hometown. But even claiming that is a stretch. There were simply too many stops to call one home. “It seems like a lot. And maybe it was. But all that moving taught me something important – how to manage change. With each move, I had to find my ‘new’ way. Quickly assessing the environment, carefully selecting my new activities and friends became second nature to me.”
Leonovus Inc. founder of GALAXA, has received notice of issue of another patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), bringing the running total to eight issued patents across North America and Europe with several more still in-process. The patent, granted as of February 19, 2019, re-defines cloud computing and storage across a widely distributed, loosely coupled set of infrastructure resources; essentially a virtual data center outside the data center; no longer tied to the necessity and restrictions of a closed and isolated network. This approach fundamentally changes the IT infrastructure landscape, enabling multi-year, multi-cloud strategies without cloud vendor lock-in.
Canadian travellers have long been envious of the incredibly low costs offered by some European discount airlines. These “a la carte” carriers offer extremely low prices, but travellers have to pay extra for options like seat selection, meals, or luggage.’ The frustrating part of all this, for the Canadian traveller, is that Canadian airlines are adopting many of the same up-charges – without necessarily offering the compensatory lower prices. This month, an award-winning, low-cost European airline is teaming up with the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to create some precedent-setting flight options. Starting March 31, Norwegian Air will be offering direct flights from Hamilton to Dublin, Ireland, four times a week, for as little as $209, one way, including taxes. Top price, on the busiest days in high season, is $339.
Marit Collective is hosting the annual public presentation of their popular International Women’s Day event on Friday, March 8, 2019. This year’s event will be held at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), located at 67 Erb St. W., Waterloo, and has expanded to include a half-day afternoon conference, evening speaker spotlight event, and feminist market. This year’s theme is “Know Better, Do Better” and the event celebrates International Women’s Day again by exploring ideas on how we can all work to advance intersectional gender equity. As always, Marit Collective centres local voices with nuanced examination of key issues and compelling discussion.
As a recognized expert on women’s health, Dr. Vivien Brown tells women what they need to do to stay healthy as they grow older. Spanning the topics of the mind and body, Dr. Brown identifies “Seven Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong”. Sweeping away the myths and sales tricks that populate the internet, she offers insightful and sensible advice based on the latest scientific evidence. Join us for this invigorating luncheon event on Thursday March 28th, 12pm – 2pm. For more information and to purchase tickets visit ___________________________
Deciding which career path to follow is a difficult decision for many youth. Help them find their fit by showcasing your industry at Explore Your Future, Waterloo Region’s annual career exploration fair for grade 7-12 students and their parents/guardians. Join 60+ local employers and community organizations as an exhibitor, offer an interactive session, or come as a parent/guardian and bring your kids: thanks for the support of local sponsors, this event is free to attend for youth and parents. ___________________________
Education Credit Union (ECU), Kindred Credit Union (Kindred), and Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) announced their upcoming charity golf tournament, Credit Unions for Change. The fundraiser will be held at Rebel Creek on May 28, and it will include an 18-hole golf tournament, a boxed lunch, raffle table, and dinner. The three credit union hosts operate in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. They are sharing the costs of the event and directing all profits to their three chosen charities, which are in support of food security. ECU will support Nutrition for Learning, Kindred will direct funds to The Working Centre, and YNCU has chosen to send proceeds to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.