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  Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, April 8, 1999

  • Classrooms displace Red Room
  • Fine arts students honoured
  • Another job program for youth
  • Positions on campus this week
  • The calm before exams
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The Red Room as it looked in October 1974 -- full of "big iron", as Bruce Uttley calls the mainframes that passed for computers in that generation. Math students working all night on their programs, submitted on punched cards, were paying 15 cents a cup for coffee.

Classrooms displace Red Room

The historic Red Room in the Math and Computer building, where UW's central computers have been housed and shown off since MC was built in 1967, will disappear this summer to provide new classroom space for engineering and computer science students.

The towering two-storey Red Room, a regular stop on campus tours, will become a bunker on the first floor of MC. Says Bruce Uttley, a senior technologist in information systems and technology: "There will still be a computer room -- we don't know what colour -- occupying one-half the floor space and one-quarter the volume it does now."

Taking up most of the present Red Room, as well as some adjacent space on the second floor, will be two new computer labs and two new classrooms -- both replacements for current facilities -- a new lecture theatre, computer lab and project room. Construction of a second floor and the renovations will create a net increase of 300 student spaces. On Tuesday, the UW board of governors approved an expenditure of $1.3 million for the project. Work is expected to begin this spring, with most of the construction taking place in the evenings to minimize disruption.

The Red Room was originally home to the IBM 360 Model 75, the largest computer in Canada when UW acquired it in 1967. "It was an icon of the sixties, that brash time when tie-dyed shirts and mini-skirts were in," says Uttley, noting the Red Room was designed as a "cathedral to the computer". The 360/75 was decommissioned in 1980, when computers were starting to get dramatically smaller. But the Red Room still houses a functioning IBM mainframe, as well as nearly 100 Unix and NT servers.

The transformation of the Red Room is not the only change in the works to accommodate the ATOP enrolment expansion, which will add 100 students each to CS and electrical and computer engineering this fall. Karen LeDrew, associate registrar (records and systems), has been heading an effort to squeeze more teaching activity out of an already tight inventory of classroom space. The mission: to find room for more first-year students, and at the same time reduce class sizes from 120 or higher to 90 students in first-year math, science and engineering courses.

LeDrew says a wall in Carl Pollock Hall will be coming down to create a 76-seat classroom from two which accommodated 30 students. As well, furnishings will be adjusted in three classrooms in Arts Lecture Hall to increase seating from 19 to 25-30 per classroom.

And that's just for September. Meetings have not yet begun to discuss the winter 2000 term, "but we know it's waiting out there," says LeDrew.

Looking ahead, "we can probably manage until the first phase of the double cohort," said LeDrew. By 2003, when changes to the secondary school system will create a major influx of first-year students, she is anticipating the need for at least 10 more classsrooms of about 100 seats, and an additional 10 in the 50 range for tutorials. "I'm nervous," she admits.

Still uncertain: provincial funding for the proposed Centre for Environmental and Information Technologies, which UW hopes to construct on the present parking lot B1. Another possibility, LeDrew says, is Saturday classes -- the idea has not yet been discussed seriously, but it may become a necessity when the double cohort hits.

Fine arts students honoured

At last month's 17th annual awards day ceremonies, the fine arts department honoured the achievements of its students in studio, film and art history.

The McDonald's Scholarship, given to a first year student continuing to second year as a fine arts major, went to Erin Kelly, with honourable mentions to Mark Duiker, Karen Beecroft, Christina Jones, Grace Zeng and Ying Guo. Aimee Hawkins, who completed her three years of studio work with distinction and is entering the fourth year honours program, received the Lynn Holmes Memorial Award.

The Auggie Corvino Memorial Award for a distinguished second year student in fine arts studio, was presented to Amanda Burk, with an honourable mention to Erin Henry. Nathan Turner received the Nancy-Lou Patterson Award for Works on Paper, with honourable mentions going to Chris Hill and Roger Fernandez.

As special recognition "for assistance and dedication to the department," books (compliments of Prentice Hall) were given to Shawn Sagolili, Cathy Herzog, Amanda Burk, Vienne Chan and Sarah Ptatschek. Scott Lee received a gift certificate from the Bookstore for excellence in computer graphics.

The Princess Cinema Award went to Rasit Akgol. Excellence in Sculpture Awards were presented to Lisa Andrews, Erin Lane and Catherine Paleczny. Andrea Wink and Nittu Raj received Art History Awards.

Melissa Gordon was given the Sylvia Knight Award for a graduate student who has demonstrated excellence in studio work, leadership and academics. The Liz Edwards Award went to Laurie Skantzos; the Abe Peters Award to Sarah Ptatschek.

Two new memorial awards -- the Pat Hurley Award and the C.J. Stone Lithography Award -- were both presented to Erin Vincent.

Another job program for youth

Education and training minister Dave Johnson announced this week that "the Ontario government must do more to help young people find work." To that end, Ontario Summer Jobs 1999 has been launched, designed to "help at least 53,500 people aged 15 and up find work this year."

Positions on campus this week

Effective April 7 to April 13, the following positions are listed by human resources: A temporary position is also available for an assistant registrar in the registrar's office, grade USG 11. The seven-month maternity leave replacement runs from August 1, 1999, to February 27, 2000. Resumes for this position only should be sent directly to Ken Lavigne, registrar's office.

For more information on these positions, contact human resources at ext. 2524.

The calm before exams

Georgia Roberts of Statistics Canada will speak today on Longitudinal Surveys and Analysis Software as part of the UW survey research centre seminar series. The talk takes place at 3:30 p.m. in Math and Computer room 5158. All are welcome.

The English Language Proficiency Exam is being held tonight at 7 in the Physical Activities Complex. No registration is needed for the exam, which is a requirement for most UW students.

A roundtable discussion of the Research and the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) will be held tomorrow from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Hagey Hall room 334. The purpose of the roundtable is to discuss the research agenda for REEP -- a partnership between UW's faculty of environmental studies and the Elora Centre for Environmental Excellence. The project will use NRCan's Energy Guide appraisal system to provide a comprehensive report of home energy efficiency. All interested researchers in the UW community are invited. For further information, contact Ian Rowlands at ext. 2574 or irowland@fes.uwaterloo.ca.

The Canadian Blood Services sends UW its thanks for donation of 235 units of blood at the March clinic at the Student Life Centre. There were 76 first time donors at the clinic. The next clinic on campus will be held July 20 to 22, but anyone who would like to give blood in the meantime is invited to phone 744-6110 to make an appointment for the permanent clinic at the corner of King and Allen Streets in Waterloo.

Barbara Elve

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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