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Friday, June 18, 1999

  • 4,500 students are on their way
  • New minister and new ministry
  • One degree is posthumous
  • UW's 78th Convocation continues
  • UW name on your licence plate
  • And more and more and more

4,500 students are on their way

First-year classes are going to be crowded next fall, as UW expects about 4,500 students to arrive in September -- substantially more than the target of 4,060 students on the official count date, November 1.

Waterloo's Renaissance

A special section in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record this week presents "The Commons" . . . "The Urban Oasis" . . . "Urbanism.org" . . . "Waterloo Public Space" . . . altogether dozens of student designs for public areas in central Waterloo as it is extensively redeveloped. The special section appeared last night in home-delivered copies of the Record and will be in copies on newsstands tomorrow. Winners have yet to be announced in the student design competition -- and for one award, readers of the paper are being asked to vote among the proposals that appear in the special section. Ballots provided there can be dropped in boxes at UW's Student Life Centre and other locations in Waterloo.
The enrolment target is already up from last year's 3,735 students, mainly as a result of the ATOP enrolment expansion program in computer science and electrical and computer engineering.

"In the last two years, we've experienced a 20 per cent increase in first choices. That tells us it's a very committed pool of students who are choosing us," said Peter Burroughs, director of admissions. He said the latest figures show that 4,549 students have accepted UW's offers of admission, representing an 18 per cent increase over the number of confirmations at this time last year.

Students who have accepted UW's offer of admission include 1,053 in mathematics, 938 in engineering, 1,209 in arts, 277 in applied health sciences, 314 in environmental studies and 754 in science.

That means five of the six faculties are already expecting more students than their fall targets, with science the furthest beyond its target at 125.7 per cent. Only mathematics hadn't quite reached the target (98.9 per cent) as of earlier this week. Arts was at 120.7 per cent, engineering and environmental studies both 111.7 per cent, and applied health sciences 103.7 per cent.

This year, Burroughs said, 13,806 Ontario Grade 13 students have been offered admission to UW, although not always to their first-choice program. Another 1,344 offers have gone to students from other backgrounds, such as out-of-province, out-of-country, and "mature" students returning to university from the workforce.

New minister and new ministry

Post-secondary education is no longer a responsibility of the ministry of education, following a cabinet reorganization announced yesterday by Ontario premier Mike Harris. It now comes under the auspices of a "ministry of training, colleges and universities".

[Cunningham] To head the MTCU, Harris named Dianne Cunningham (pictured at left). She is MPP for London North, the riding that includes the University of Western Ontario. A member of the Legislature since 1988, Cunningham was minister of intergovernmental affairs and minister responsible for women's issues in the 1995-99 Harris government. She is described as "a former educator and self-employed professional" who served on London's board of education.

The team introduced yesterday is a "Jobs and Growth Cabinet", Harris said. "The new Cabinet includes two new ministers with a focus on jobs: a Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and a Minister of Tourism."

In the new cabinet, Janet Ecker -- formerly minister of community and social services -- gets the education portfolio, responsible for schools. Kitchener-Waterloo's Elizabeth Witmer keeps pretty much the same responsibilities, but gets a new title: "minister of health and long-term care".

A separate ministry for higher education is nothing new in Ontario, although it's the first time "training" gets top billing. During the early building of UW in the 1950s and 1960s, the "ministry of university affairs", headed during some key years by William G. Davis, took an active role. Later, a series of Progressive Conservative and then Liberal ministers headed the "ministry of colleges and universities". It was under New Democratic premier Bob Rae that a united "ministry of education" was formed; Harris renamed it "education and training" in 1995.

One degree is posthumous

Andrew Chik lost his battle with Hodgkin's disease and will never realize his dream of becoming a civil engineer. But the UW engineering student's courage, determination and hard work will be recognized on Saturday afternoon when he will be awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Applied Science degree at the last of this spring's convocation ceremonies.

According to Nick Kouwen, civil engineering associate chair (undergraduate studies), Chik completed 3B civil engineering in December 1997, although he missed the exams because he was being treated for his illness.

"While he seemed to make good progress in recovering his health at first, the disease returned and treatment was unsuccessful," he said. "He would have graduated with the current 4B civil engineering class if he had been able to continue his studies.

"I met him on several occasions during his ordeal," said Kouwen. "He certainly was determined." Chik died on December 2, 1998.

Knowing his great disappointment in not being able to finish his degree, Chik's sister Halina, of Thornhill, visited Kouwen to see if the degree could still be awarded. The request was approved by UW senate, and Andrew's father, Wing Hong Chik, will accept the BASc degree on behalf of his son on Saturday.

UW's 78th Convocation continues

The pomp continues, today and tomorrow, with nervous graduates, proud parents, gorgeously garbed faculty, busy photographers and assorted VIPs gathering in the Physical Activities Complex for the third, fourth and fifth ceremonies of spring convocation.

All too briefly, here's a summary of what will be happening at the remaining ceremonies this week:

Ceremony Friday 2 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. Saturday 2 p.m.
Degrees to be awarded 545 in the faculty of science 498 in the faculty of mathematics 692 in the faculty of engineering
Alumni gold medal winner Karim Mithani, optometry Ian VanderBurgh, applied mathematics and pure mathematics Parker Mitchell, mechanical engineering
Valedictorian Loi Phuong Lam, chemistry Sheila Barclay, teaching option Arjun Moorthy, computer engineering
Honorary degree and convocation speaker Trina McQueen, president, the Discovery Channel John W. Tukey, Princeton University and Bell Labs Claudine Simson, vice-president, Nortel Networks
Honorary degree Marvin Edelman, Weizmann Institute, Israel Dianne McGarry, vice-president, Xerox Corp. Zenon Mróz, Polish Academy of Sciences
Distinguished professor emeritus Herbert Fernando, biology;
Raj Pathria, physics
Donald Cowan, computer science Savvas Chamberlain, electrical and computer engineering
Honorary member of the university Peter Russell, curator, Biology and Earth Sciences Museum Helen Kilbride, former associate registrar, United Way campaign chair  
Distinguished teacher award Rohan Jayasundera, physics Ron Scoins, dean's office Metin Renksizbulut, mechanical engineering
Other honours Dean of Science Awards and W. B. Pearson Medals for graduate work J. W. Graham Medal for Computing and Innovation: Kim Davidson;
Governor General's Silver Medal: Frederic Latour, combinatorics and optimization and pure mathematics
Governor General's Gold Medal: Hoan Huu Pham, electrical engineering

And the graduates will file out at last, having been admitted to their various and several degrees, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereto appertaining.

I made a mistake yesterday, by the way, when I wrote that classical studies student Cathy Harrison was receiving a Governor General's Gold Medal. UW registrar Ken Lavigne reminds me that the Gold Medal is for work at the graduate level; Harrison (and math student Frederic Latour, as noted above) receive the Governor General's Silver Medal for bachelor's degree achievements.

UW name on your licence plate

Something like two years ago, there was talk of "vanity" licence plates with a UW symbol and name on them -- something a number of other universities, including Wilfrid Laurier, already have. Here's news from May Yan, the director of retail services, about UW's application: "The ministry has advised us they will consider our application now."

But, she says, "I need to submit a list of purchasers along with our business plan." Interested? Read on.

Says Yan: "The Ontario ministry of transportation requires, as part of our application and business plan for a UW license plate, a list of 200 purchasers who will commit to purchasing a UW license plate. The ministry will not consider our request unless we submit a list of purchasers.

"If you are interested in purchasing a UW license plate, please forward your name, address, telephone number to the UW Shop with a statement indicating your intent to purchase. We are not asking for payment at this time. The UW plates will not be available until the year 2000. There is a sign-up form available in the UW Shop." Or interested people can send name, address and phone number by e-mail (uwshop@bg1.uwaterloo.ca), fax (747-2859) or telephone (ext. 3914).

Says Yan: "We would like to submit the list of purchasers along with our business plan by the end of June." Any questions? She can be reached at ext. 5221.

And more and more and more

University of Waterloo's campus and community radio station, CKMS 100.3 FM, is holding its "Spring For Radio '99" pledge drive today. Live to air from 8 a.m. until midnight, listeners can pledge financial support for the non-profit station. Various CKMS on-air personalities will host the event, providing what's described as "an eclectic mix of music and chat". Also, local area bands will perform live in studio during the event. Listeners who make pledges to CKMS are eligible to win prizes such as CDs, T-shirts and posters. CKMS has been broadcasting with alternative music, spoken word and multicultural programs for over 20 years. With limited commercials, and staffed by over 100 volunteers, CKMS says it needs financial support from the community to stay on the air.

The university's four child care centres will hold their annual "fun morning" today, starting at 9:30 on the Village Green. It looks as though the weather is right for an outdoor party, starring visiting singer Erick Traplin. The event, now in its third year, brings together kids (and teachers and parents) from the Early Childhood Education Centre in the psychology department; the Hildegard Marsden Co-operative Day Nursery; the Paintin' Place day care in the UW Apartments; and the Klemmer Farmhouse Co-op.

John W. Tukey of Princeton University, who will receive an honorary degree at the mathematics convocation ceremony tomorrow morning, is being put to work while he's on campus, and will give two talks today. At 10:30 this morning he speaks on "A Smorgasbord of Handy Techniques That Can Help in Analysing Data"; at 3:30 he "will respond to questions and lead a discussion on topics in statistics". Both talks take place in Math and Computer room 5158.

Cancer is the topic as Brian Dingle, head of oncology at the Grand River Hospital (Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital), speaks at 12 noon today. "Dr. Dingle will be speaking on breast cancer and will give an update on the new Cancer Centre being opened in October 2001," says an announcement from the Employee Assistance Program, which is sponsoring the talk, in Davis Centre room 1304.

Kim Davidson, who's receiving the J. W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation at convocation tomorrow, will speak today on his work in computer animation with Side Effects Software. The talk begins at 2:30 in Davis Centre room 1302, sponsored by the faculty of mathematics and the InfraNet Project.

Arriving on campus today are some 500 participants in a United Church of Canada women's conference, based in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre Friday through Sunday.

An "ACM-style programming contest" takes place tomorrow in room 3006 of the Math and Computer building. "In case you've been on another planet," an announcement says, "UW is the reigning world champion in the ACM International Collegiate programming contest. Our local contest provides practice for prospective team members and interested parties. . . . The trick is to answer as many programming questions as you can (by yourself) in three hours." Check-in is at 10:30, a practice contest starts at 11, and the "contest proper" runs from 1 to 4 p.m. "Pizza and post-mortem to follow the contest." More information -- and a registration form -- can be found on the web.

The dance recital season in the Humanities Theatre is winding up; the Academy of Dance has performances scheduled there at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

UW-based chiropractor Jeff Tuling drew "an overwhelming response" for two recent talks, says Gayle Shellard in the faculty of applied health sciences. So a third talk on "that pain in the neck" has been scheduled for this Monday, June 21, at 12 noon in room 1633 of the Lyle Hallman Institute (the Matthews Hall addition). "People should call ext. 5301 to register," Shellard notes.

And Monday brings the tenth annual Matthews Golf Classic, at the Grand Valley Golf Course in the Cambridge area. A number of staff and faculty will be away from their usual places for the occasion. Jan Willwerth in the information systems and technology department (phone ext. 2376) can supply last-minute information about the event.


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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