Home page of Edward R. Vrscay

Edward R. Vrscay

Professor Emeritus and Adjunct
Department of Applied Mathematics
Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
e-mail: ervrscay "at" uwaterloo.ca




Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching - September 2019

In July, 1986, I joined the Department of Applied Mathematics, UW, as an NSERC University Research Fellow and Assistant Professor.

On January 1, 2023, I retired from my position as full-time and tenured Professor in Applied Mathematics. I am now an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics.

Table of Contents

Some opening remarks on UW's COVID-19 mandatory vaccination and testing policy, known as the "Requirement"

The last two years of my employment at UW, i.e., 2021-22, were quite "eventful" because of my refusal to submit to UW's mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Indeed, I came very close to being "dismissed with cause" (i.e., fired) in April 2022.

The "Requirement", and its enforcement over the years 2021-2022, represent a very dark period at the University of Waterloo. At least 50 UW employees (49 staff members and one faculty member) were fired for "noncompliance" to the mandate. In contrast, no employees were fired at Wilfred Laurier University, down the street from us. I believe that UW's "Requirement" created wounds on this campus that may never fully heal. For this reason, I am posting here the closing remarks of a document which I wrote in December 2022 as part of the arbitration process for two grievances that I had filed against the University of Waterloo (following guidelines contained in the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo). These remarks are of a general nature and are most certainly non-confidential. I think that it is most appropriate that they be seen not only by the entire UW campus community but also by the world-at-large.

The motives of my two grievances lie not in the University of Waterloo’s “Requirement” itself but in the ways in which the “Requirement” was enforced. Firstly, as pointed out in these grievances, the University unnecessarily resorted to falsehoods (i.e., that it was compelled to adopt a vaccination mandate) and deception (two “Requirements”) to justify its mandate.

Secondly, my grievances are concerned about how those deemed “noncompliant” with respect to the “Requirement” were treated by UW’s administration, both at the local level, i.e., Deans, as well as the higher level, i.e., President and Vice President Academic and Provost. Indeed, I conclude this document with an expression of sympathy and greatest respect for the fifty (to my knowledge) UW employees who were fired because of “noncompliance”. Why these fifty people were fired, while no employees were fired at our sister institution, Wilfrid Laurier University, remains a mystery. One can only pray that the truth will someday be revealed. The authoritarian behaviour of the UW administration in its imposition and enforcement of the “Requirement” suggests a new and more appropriate motto for the University of Waterloo, namely,

Concordia cum falsitate per coercionem

      (In harmony with falsehood by coercion)

A tragic stain on an institution which I used to consider, with pride, as my “home”.

I cannot help but think that the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW), by "sleeping at the wheel" (or perhaps "looking the other way") must share some responsibility with the UW administration for this stain, which includes the firing of Dr. Michael Palmer - to the best of my knowledge, the only firing of a full-time, tenured faculty member at a Canadian university for "noncompliance" to a vaccine mandate. How much responsibility? Time will tell. (My letter to the FAUW Board on this matter.)

A brief history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio" is presented at the bottom of this webpage.

A more detailed history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio" and the people affected, along with the many letters that I wrote during the "imbroglio", is presented here.

I think it fitting, as a warning, to conclude this section with the final paragraph, plus references, of a letter that I wrote during the "imbroglio":

That being said, I fear that if this "vaccine imbroglio" is but an initial glimpse of where and how this administration wishes to lead our institution, especially with its dedication to the "great reset" [1,2], then "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:21). Those familiar with the Bible will know the message contained in this quote. Others may wish to do a little "digging". Those not at all interested, however, can simply continue to be silent, enjoy the ride on the good ship SS UWaterloo and faithfully support the UW administration without question in its relentless drive for coerced compliance. The penalty for noncompliance is exclusion (interestingly, a product of colonialism [1]) but you can rest assured that "everyone feels a sense of belonging at this institution, and can achieve their full potential" [1].

[1] UW President Vivek Goel's Installation Address

[2] COVID-19: The Great Reset, by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret. World Economic Forum Publishing (2020). Is this the unofficial "textbook" being adopted by government, NGOs and universities, including our own?

Final examination question: Do you think that any of the fifty UW employees fired for "noncompliance" felt a sense of belonging at UW, or were able to achieve their full potential (at UW)?

Ongoing research activities

Recent industrial research and collaboration: The "Chrysler-Waterloo Project"

Design of a new generation of conformable high-pressure vessels for gaseous fuels in automotive applications (2014-18)

This work was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) with Chrysler Canada Inc. -- now Fiat Chrysler Automotive Canada (FCA Canada)-- as industrial sponsor during the years 2014-2018. (The heading of this section is the title of the CRD Grant.) In collaboration with FCA, we were engaged in developing a framework for the design of compressed gaseous fuel vessels that will occupy arbitrary geometries. Our goal was to develop algorithms for fitting a network of tubes with a range of diameters into an arbitrary three-dimensional region.
A tubular network constructed during the early period of our project

The following three faculty members were involved in this project:

This research was highly interdisciplinary in nature, involving various aspects of optimization, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, software design and computing. Both theory and application played important roles.

Three M.Math. students, one M.Sc. student and one Postdoctoral Research worked on this project (see below).

I was originally approached by Chrysler Canada because of our Waterloo Fractal Coding and Analysis Group website. Our project would eventually involve very little fractal content, except for the important idea of branching. Nevertheless, the entire exercise was a very good opportunity for me, and others as well, to ``expand our horizons'' by learning new ideas and methods. For example, one of the important components of our project and subsequent algorithms was circle packing, which was used to pack tubes in regions. Here are two slide presentations on our work delivered at the AMMCS-CAIMS 2015 meeting, June 7-12, 2015, held at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Here is a set of notes on an early method of circle packing for arbitrary polygonal regions which I developed a little later in the project (and for which I wrote some primitive code) in collaboration with my colleagues Sean Peterson (UW) and Franklin Mendivil:

Past research activities

Mathematical physics, in particular quantum theory. At one time, this represented a major research activity of mine. However, as time progressed and my activities in mathematical imaging were expanding, there was less and less time (and energy!) available to supervise graduate students in this area. As a result, I decided in 2007 that I would not take any new graduate students. It was a difficult decision for a number of reasons: Here is a brief list of areas of quantum mechanics in which I have worked, arranged chronologically from past to most recent:

Primary research collaborators

Current and recent graduate students and undergraduate research assistants

Lecture notes for courses recently (and not so recently) taught

Below are links to my lecture or supplementary notes for some courses taught recently -- and not so recently.

The "Spirit of Calculus"

A brief history of the UW vaccine mandate "imbroglio"

For more details of the "imbroglio" and the people it affected, please visit the following website:


On August 26, 2021, an Open Letter, signed by 32 people - faculty (including myself), staff, students and parents of students - was sent to the UW administration asking it to repeal its vaccination and testing mandate. On September 2, 2021, this Open Letter was sent by e-mail to all faculty, staff and students on the UW campus. Eventually, 155 people signed the Letter.

Here is my letter of September 27, 2021 in which I formally state, with reasons, my refusal to submit to the UW vaccine mandate.

Starting in January 2022, the UW administration began subjecting, to my knowledge, five faculty "mandate resisters" (including myself as well as a young Canada Research Chair) to a series of "disciplinary measures", with the ultimate goal of terminating their positions. (Note: There may have been others of whom I was unaware. I also knew of a couple of other faculty "resisters" who were on medical leave at the time.)

At that time, it was unknown how many students - undergraduate or graduate - were not allowed to either begin or continue their academic programs at UW because of the vaccine mandate.

Later, a few of us (three faculty members plus three staff members) were interviewed by Robert Williams of the Waterloo Region Record newspaper. This led to the following article by Mr. Williams which appeared in the March 2, 2022 issue of the Record: UW has terminated staff not complying with policy, professors begin unpaid leaves

Here is another Record article by Mr. Williams (March 10, 2022) on the subject of how students requesting religious accommodations were being treated by UW: Waterloo students barred from campus question criteria used for religious accommodations


On March 21, 2022, Professor Michael Palmer (Chemistry, UW) was fired for "noncompliance" with UW's vaccine mandate.

UW fires professor over vaccine mandate

But it gets even lower: CTV News Report, March 25, 2022: UW has terminated 49 members because of its vaccine mandate

And lower: TheRecord.com, April 23, 2022: UW fires another employee over vaccine mandate (making it 50)

On the other hand, down the road at Laurier: TheRecord.com, March 24, 2022: Wilfred Laurier University says no staff or faculty fired over vaccine mandate


UW 50     WLU 0



A critical examination of UW's COVID-19 "vaccination requirement" by John Turri (Philosophy, UW).

Past articles include:

"Tea Time" Episode 29: COVID Science + Vaccine-Related Deaths With Michael Palmer, MD

In this episode of the Children's Health Defense "Tea Time" series, Michael Palmer, MD - yes, the Michael Palmer who was fired by UW (see above) - discusses mRNA vaccines, spike proteins, heart and lung health, vaccine-related deaths and more. Dr. Palmer exposes the dangers of mRNA technology and how the body reacts negatively to it. Viewer discretion is advised.

Dr. Palmer has been a member of Doctors for COVID Ethics (D4CE) since its inception in April 2021. At the D4CE site, you will be able to find much information on COVID-19 vaccines which is contrary to that being peddled by the mainstream media, government, established health agencies, and, yes, academia.


On Thursday, January 27, 2022, the portion of the convoy which began in Sarnia passed by Kitchener on Highway 401 East. Here are a couple of photos of the convoy which I took from the Conestoga College walkover bridge at 2:30 p.m. that day.


Here is a short video of the convoy taken from the bridge

There are many wonderful photos and videos to be found of the Convoy during its procession to Ottawa and during the peaceful protest of the "fringe minority" in our nation's capital. This photo is perhaps the nearest and dearest to my heart because to me, "it says it all".