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Thursday, April 29, 1999

  • Danish students here for software
  • About departmental photocopiers
  • Happening today at Waterloo
  • The year will end tomorrow

Danish students here for software

Some 20 students from Denmark were guests of honour at a luncheon in the University Club yesterday as they began a six-week program of study at UW. They're brought here by a general world-wide shortage of professionals in information technology, including computer programmers.

The Danish government and key Danish industries are sponsoring the students to visit Canada and get training from UW's Education Program for Software Professionals.

"The Danes are very enthusiastic about the prospects," said John Green, program director for the EPSP. "We're also very excited because this is the first time a large group of students has been sponsored by a foreign government." The Danish students are living in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre and taking classes on topics ranging from Modern Programming Methods and Database Management to Operating Systems.

The EPSP program was developed because people at UW and in industry concluded that traditional education couldn't turn out graduates fast enough. The focus of the program has been on software professionals who developed their skills on the job, or who received their formal education more than 10 years ago and who now find that changing technology is leaving them behind.

"Obviously we are in crisis," says Donald Cowan, the CS faculty member, now retired, who developed the EPSP program. "We need far more trained people than are currently available. . . .

"Organizations must invest in the education of their people," Cowan emphasized. "In particular, information technology people must be provided with a solid foundation and understanding of the computer field, so that they can grow and cope with continuing change."

Besides in-class lectures, the program can also be taken remotely using CD-ROMs and e-mail. The Danish students will be finishing their UW training back in Denmark, with Waterloo-trained instructors.

About departmental photocopiers

The graphics department has some information for offices across campus who have photocopiers leased through the fleet copier program. "We have had a lot of Ikon phone number changes lately," says Colette Nevin, marketing manager in graphics, and she'd like departments to know the latest.

The changes, says Nevin, affect "all departments that currently have photocopiers/multi-functional equipment placed in their department through the Graphics Departmental Photocopier Program". Here they are:

Nevin adds that departments wishing to add photocopying equipment are invited to fill out the information form on the graphics web page. "Virginia will arrange a visit with you to discuss your requirements and your options."

Happening today at Waterloo

A seminar on "Research at Electronic Arts Canada" is happening at 10 this morning, sponsored by the Institute for Computer Research and the computer science department. The speaker is John Buchanan, chief research scientist for Electronic Arts Canada; he's also an adjunct faculty member in the computing science department at the University of Alberta, which incidentally is breaking ground next week for a new building. Buchanan's talk will deal with "the current state of the video games industry, the challenges that are facing us and the purpose of the research group", he says. It'll be given in Davis Centre room 1331.

The Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry will hold its "annual meeting, seminar, graduate student poster sessions and awards presentations" today. This year the GWC2 get-together will be on the University of Guelph campus, where things will start at 1 p.m. in the Thornborough building. The public part of the program is a 3 p.m. talk by Don Irish, retired from UW's department of chemistry, under the title "Chemistry by Laser Light -- A Retrospective". Things wind up with the poster session, awards presentations and a reception in the University Centre at U of G.

"Playing on the Moon" will be performed in the Humanities Theatre tonight. This show, says theatre manager Peter Houston, is the year-end production for a local theatre program for children and teenagers. And, he adds, "it is dance recital and competition time again," so the theatre will be busy over the next few weeks with rehearsals and year-end performances by a number of local dance schools.

The football Warriors' spring camp runs today and tomorrow; players are based in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre, and stretching their gridiron muscles under the eagle eye of UW coach Chris Triantafilou.

David Johnston, who becomes president of UW on June 1, arrived on campus yesterday and will be here until midday tomorrow; he's meeting with various people on campus, including a couple who will take office shortly after he does -- Bob Kerton, next dean of arts, and Jake Sivak, next dean of graduate studies. Johnston is having breakfast today with something called Broadband Community Networks, at a Kitchener hotel.

The year will end tomorrow

Tomorrow, being April 30, is the last day of UW's 1998-99 fiscal year, a twelvemonth in which the university will have gone through close to $300 million. (Two-thirds of that would be the operating budget, involving tuition fees, government grants, staff and faculty salaries and utility bills; the rest would be research funding, ancillary businesses and trust funds such as gifts to the university.)

The exact totals for 1998-99 won't be known until some time in the fall, when a financial statement is passed by the university's auditors and submitted to the board of governors.

As usually happens on the last day of the fiscal year, a good many staff across campus will have to drop their usual activities to count things -- taking inventory of books, light bulbs, paper and microchips. As a result, the bookstore, UW Shop, Techworx and computer store will be closed all day tomorrow; the outlets that are usually open on a Saturday will also be closed Saturday, May 1.

Most graphics outlets will close at noon tomorrow for inventory. "Exceptions are Main Graphics and Photo Imaging, closing at 11 a.m.," an announcement says. Graphics Express and the Davis Centre copy centre will reopen "shortly after 4:30 p.m." for their normal evening hours. Graphics Express, which is usually open on Saturdays, won't open on May 1; that's moving day, from South Campus Hall to its new location in the Dana Porter Library.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo