TLDR: This week on campus


NOV. 2

UW President meets with Federal Government

UW President Vivek Goel visited Ottawa to meet with MP Filomena Tassi, who is also the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, to chat about the role UW plays in Ontario’s economic growth and innovation. The discussion focused on areas of climate change, health, addressing social inequalities and creating innovative companies.

Goel also met with Deputy Ministers from across the Federal Government to discuss how UW can work with the Government of Canada to solve global challenges such as creating a net-zero economy, preventing future pandemics and reducing global inequality.

Source: Twitter – Vivek Goel (@UWaterlooPres)

NOV. 3

UW research team creates a drone that can see through walls

A team of researchers at UW recently developed a drone that uses private WiFi networks to see through walls. Even if a network is password protected, smart devices will still respond to contact attempts from other devices within range. The team’s drone takes advantage of this loophole to identify the specific location of each device inside a building. This means personnel carrying or wearing smart devices could be tracked, opening the door to an inventory of devices, including security systems. Unlike other similar devices, the UW team used a store-bought drone and $20 worth of hardware. The research will be presented at an upcoming international conference on mobile computing and networking.

Source: UW Media Relations

NOV. 7

New climate change course available to undergrads Winter 2023

UW will offer an undergraduate course on climate change starting this winter. “The Wicked Problem of Climate Change” is a pilot project designed and taught by PhD students from each faculty and will be open to students in level 3A or higher. The course will explore climate change from social, cultural, environmental and scientific perspectives. Each faculty will accept 10 students for a total of 60 enrolments. 

Source: UW Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs

NOV. 8

UW reinstates mask mandate

UW has reinstated a mask mandate for indoor academic activity for the remainder of the fall 2022 term. According to the university, this decision is the result of increases in local COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as emerging trends from test positivity and wastewater that suggest increasing levels of COVID in the community now and in the near future. 

Starting Nov. 9, masks will be required at lectures, seminars, teaching labs, tests, exams and all other forms of academic instruction happening indoors. Additionally, students may be asked to wear a mask in other places, like when they meet with a TA or instructor.  Instructors and students will temporarily be able to remove their masks when speaking in class if they are physically distanced from others.

The university also encouraged students to get tested as soon as they are eligible and to stay away from campus when they are sick.

Source: Internal memo sent to all UW students and employees