University of Waterloo

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Group.png University of Waterloo  
Uwaterloo seal.gif
MottoLatin: Concordia cum veritate
HeadquartersOntario, Canada.
TypePublic university
Other nameWaterloo Warriors
Known for having more companies formed by its faculty, students, and alumni than any other Canadian university.

The University of Waterloo (commonly referred to as Waterloo, UW, or UWaterloo) is a public research university with a main campus in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is on 404 hectares (998 acres) of land adjacent to "Uptown" Waterloo and Waterloo Park. The university also operates three satellite campuses and four affiliated university colleges.[1][2] The university offers academic programs administered by six faculties and thirteen faculty-based schools. Waterloo operates the largest post-secondary co-operative education program in the world, with over 20,000 undergraduate students enrolled in the university's co-op program.[3] Waterloo is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.[4]

The institution originates from the Waterloo College Associate Faculties, established on 4 April 1956; a semi-autonomous entity of Waterloo College, which was an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario.[5] This entity formally separated from Waterloo College and was incorporated as a university with the passage of the University of Waterloo Act by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1959. It was established to fill the need to train engineers and technicians for Canada's growing postwar economy. It grew substantially over the next decade, adding a faculty of arts in 1960, and the College of Optometry of Ontario (now the School of Optometry and Vision Science), which moved from Toronto in 1967.

The university is a co-educational institution, with approximately 41,000 undergraduate and 6,900 postgraduate students enrolled there in 2019. Alumni and former students of the university can be found across Canada and in over 150 countries; with a number of award winners, government officials, and business leaders having been associated with Waterloo. Waterloo's varsity teams, known as the Waterloo Warriors, compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of the U Sports.

Twenty-first century

In 2001, the university announced it would develop the Waterloo Research and Technology Park in the north campus. The park was planned to house many of the high-tech industries in the area, and is supported by the university, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the provincial and federal governments, and Canada's Technology Triangle.[6] The aim was to provide businesses with access to the university's faculty, co-operative education students, and alumni, as well as the university's infrastructure and resources.[7] Groundbreaking was on 25 June 2002, with the first completed building, the Sybase campus building, opening on 26 November 2004.[8] In 2010, the Waterloo Research and Tech Park was renamed as the David Johnston Research and Technology Park, after David Johnston, the 28th Governor General of Canada and former president of the university.[9]

From 2009 to 2012, the university managed four undergraduate programs in Dubai.[10] The university worked in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology, the largest post-secondary institution in the United Arab Emirates. Discussions regarding the partnership emerged in 2004, and the Dubai campus was officially opened in September 2009.[11] Through the partnership, the university offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, civil engineering, financial analysis and risk management, and information technology management.[12] The programs offered in Dubai took place in facilities provided by the Higher Colleges of Technology.[13] On 30 October 2012, the university's Board of Governors decided to close the university's extension in Dubai.

Notable alumni and faculty

Over 213,000 people have graduated from the university, and now reside in over 150 countries.[14] Waterloo graduates have accumulated a number of awards, such as George Elliott Clarke, recipient of the Governor General's Award; William Reeves, recipient of an Academy Award, and a number of Rhodes Scholarships.[15][16][17] Two members of the university have received the Nobel Prize. In 1999, Robert Mundell was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas.[18] In 2018, university faculty member Donna Strickland was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics for her work in laser physics.[19] Other notable awards and positions bestowed on people affiliated with the university includes two Canada Excellence Research Chair laureates, five Killam Prize winners, 74 Canada Research Chairs, and 83 Fellows to the Royal Society of Canada.[20]

A number of business leaders have worked or studied at Waterloo. Examples include David I. McKay, president and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada,[21] Kevin O’Leary, founder of SoftKey,[22] John Baker, founder of Desire2Learn,[23] David Cheriton, co-founder and chief scientist of Arista Networks,[24] Mike Lazaridis, co-founder and former co-CEO of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry Ltd),[25] Prem Watsa, chairman of Fairfax Financial and a former chancellor of the university,[26] Steven Woods, co-founder of NeoEdge Networks and[27] and co-founders of Waterloo Maple, Keith Geddes and Gaston Gonnet.[28] Gonnet was also the co-founder of OpenText Corporation.[29] Several faculty members and students have also gained local and national prominence in government. David Johnston, the former president of Waterloo, served as the 28th Governor General of Canada from 2010 to 2017.[30]

A number of the university's faculty and students have also gained prominence in the field of computing sciences. Examples include QNX operating systems co-creators Gordon Bell and Dan Dodge,[31] Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of the PHP scripting language, Matei Zaharia, the creator of Apache Spark, Gordon Cormack, the co-creator of the Dynamic Markov compression algorithm,[32] Ric Holt, co-creator of several programming languages, most notably Turing,[33] Jack Edmonds, a computer scientist, and developer of the Blossom algorithm, and the Edmonds' algorithm, and William Thomas Tutte, a World War II codebreaker who cracked the Nazi high command's Lorenz Cypher.

Graduates from the university have also risen to prominence in other fields. Heather Moyse, a graduate from the kinesiology program, is a prominent Canadian athlete and two-time Olympic bobsleigh gold medalist.[34] Moyse has represented Canada in international bobsleigh, rugby and track cycling competitions.[35] Graduate of the Rhetoric and Professional Writing program, Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet, writer, illustrator.[36] Her book of poetry, Milk and Honey, has spent over a year on The New York Times' bestsellers list, reaching No. 1 in January 2017.[37] George Elliott Clarke, who served as the Poet Laureate of Toronto from 2012 to 2015 and as the 2016–2017 Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, graduated with an English degree.

On 2 October 2018, Donna Strickland, an associate professor at the Physics and Astronomy Department, was awarded the Nobel prize in physics. Strickland is the third woman to have ever been awarded the prize in physics.[38] This was the first Nobel prize for a member of the university's faculty.[39] Strickland was honoured for being half of the team to discover chirped pulse amplification, a technique that underpins today's short-pulse, high-intensity lasers.[40][41] Scientific American explained the practical aspects of the invention as it applies in the most noteworthy application: it allows for "ultrabrief, ultrasharp beams can be used to make extremely precise cuts, so their technique is now used in laser machining and enables doctors to perform millions of corrective" laser eye surgeries.[42]


Alumni on Wikispooks

Greg CoppolaWhistleblower
Google employee for 5 years before exposing their political bias in 2019.
David McKayMay 1964CanadaBankerPresident and CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada
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  23. October 2015