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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, March 16, 1999

  • UW research gets $36.3 million boost
  • Campus Day visitors check us out
  • Elsewhere on a balmy Tuesday
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UW research gets $36.3 million boost

"After a period of relative drought, it can be said that the desert of academic research is beginning to bloom again," said UW president James Downey in response to an announcement Monday of $36.3 million in funding for research projects at UW by the province and its "industrial partners".

Ontario energy, science and technology minister Jim Wilson announced the funding Monday afternoon in the Davis Centre, noting that the government was "making an important investment in Ontario's future. "These projects will engage some of our best minds in developing new technologies that will keep our telecommunications and auto manufacturing industries competitive and create highly skilled jobs."

Government and industry collaboration will provide $27 million for the Bell Canada University Laboratory located at UW. The lab on this campus will conduct "leading-edge research that will result in new telecommunications products and services" As well, the money will be used to create endowments to support an increased number of graduate students in information technology research.

An additional $38.1 million will go to the establishment of the other laboratory at the University of Toronto. The laboratories are a joint venture involving Bell, both universities, and the Network for Computing and Mathematical Modeling at the Universite de Montreal. Researchers at the UW and U of T labs will collaborate on the creation of technologies for next-generation multimedia and Internet working platforms, as well as development of advanced communications services over the Internet.

A total of $1.7 million from the province, UW and corporate sponsors will go toward research into high speed automated welding. "This project will develop a gas metal arc robot welding system that will help a broad range of manufacturers including automakers to reduce the costs and improve the quality of welded products," said Wilson. "And it will supply them with engineers with welding expertise."

The list of partners in the welding project should have included Air Liquide Canada Inc. 17 March 1999
The province will provide funding for the initiatives through the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, which has committed $19.5 million for the two Bell Canada labs, and $573,000 for welding research. Contributions from Bell bring the total lab project funding to $65.1 million. Welding partners Alcan International, Babcock & Wilcox Industries, Centreline, John Deere, Magna International and Ventra Group Inc. will top up the welding funding to $1.7 million.

"This collaboration with the Challenge Fund, Bell Canada, the University of Toronto and our industrial partners is a model for the kinds of partnerships that are needed to meet Canada's research and productivity challenge," noted Downey. "Waterloo researchers are not only at the forefront of emerging computer technology, they are also leaders in devising improved systems for more traditional industries," he added.

Also announced was funding of $1.5 million for a project which will create two new Ontario Research Chairs in Computer Algebra -- one at UW and one at the University of Western Ontario. Total funding of $4.6 million for the project will also "bring two of the most distinguished scientists in symbolic mathematics" to Ontario each year for four years, said Wilson. "By working with Waterloo Maple Inc., a mathematical software company, researchers in symbolic mathematics will make Southwestern Ontario the world centre for symbolic mathematical technology."

As well, some $1.9 million from the province, and additional funding from Certicom Corporation, MasterCard International, Mondex International Ltd., and Orange and Associates will provide funding worth over $3 million for the Centre of Applied Cryptographic Research at UW. Cryptography is a growing area that provides security for digital information and electronic commerce.

To ice the cake, Wilson handed over a cheque for $5,000 to the Midnight Sun Solar Race Car Team before embarking on a tour of UW lab facilities.

Campus Day visitors check us out

By 7:30 this morning crisp UW banners were fluttering from the lamp posts, parking patrols in orange vests were stationed at university entrances, festoons of balloons were being fastened into place, and vehicles labelled VISITOR VANS were cruising the Ring Road. The campus is looking as spiffy as it can, given the mounds of brown snow.

The occasion: UW is rolling out the welcome mat today for thousands of prospective students and their parents at the annual Campus Day open house. Visitors will have an opportunity to find out first hand about the university's academic programs, campus life and student services.

"We've planned an exciting day with lots of information to help students decide which university is best for them," says Tina Roberts, director, undergraduate recruitment and publications. "Our students tell us that visiting the campus was the best way to see for themselves what the University of Waterloo has to offer."

Events officially began as early as 8 a.m. in some faculties, and continue until 4 p.m. Students and their parents can stop at the Visitors Centre in South Campus Hall to pick up a Campus Day newspaper, which details the day's activities. At the centre they can also visit information booths or view the new on-line Virtual Tour before taking an actual walking tour of the campus.

Other points of interest are displays at the Student Life Centre and individual tours of the residences and student services departments. Special presentations will answer questions about financing a university education and co-operative education and career services.

UW's six faculties will each hold program-specific activities, tours and information sessions. The colleges -- Conrad Grebel, Renison and St. Paul's United -- and St. Jerome's University are also hosting tours and special events.

Co-op and career services will staff a display booth at the Student Life Centre from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, and offer tours of CECS in Needles Hall at 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at the paging desk for Campus Day visitors. Tours of the career resource centre will be held at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. A special presentation for students and parents -- "Experience it! Co-operative Education and Career Services" -- will be held at 1 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages.

New this year is a dramatic presentation designed to answer the questions: Why study arts? Why at Waterloo? Developed by drama graduate Darlene Spencer (of "Single and Sexy" fame), "That Artz Show" will debut at 11 a.m., and run again at 12:15 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre in Hagey Hall, and at 3:30 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts in Modern Languages. On campus staff, faculty and students are especially welcome to the final performance.

And for the first time, Campus Day visitors will have an opportunity to purchase a photographic memento of the event. The Pixel Pub. in the Student Life Centre has set up a special photo booth from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to document the day.

Elsewhere on a balmy Tuesday

In co-op today, ranking forms for architecture students will be available after 11 a.m., and are due back after 4 p.m. The Work Finding Package, a workshop which includes information on the job/work search, networking and employer research will run from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 1020. Students are invited to remain at the end of the workshop for a tour of career resource centre and library resources from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Mitra Imaging Inc. will hold an employer information session today from 5 to 7 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1304 for graduating and co-op students in engineering, math, and applied health sciences.

A series of exam preparation workshops are being held today and tomorrow to help students reduce exam anxiety and develop effective study habits. Times today are 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., and on Wednesday, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. To sign up for one of these sessions, visit counselling services in Needles Hall 2080.

Bishop Morse Robinson will review Becoming Human by Jean Vanier tonight at 7:30 as part of the St. Bede Lenten lecture series. The exploration of "balancing individualism and the common good" will be held at St. Bede Chapel, Renison College

Also at 7:30 p.m., UW information and public affairs writer Patricia Bow, author of The Spiral Maze, a novel for young adults, reads at Chapters,135 Gateway Park Drive in Kitchener.

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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