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Wednesday, April 19, 2000

  • 'Honorary member' and other awards
  • Apartments are now UW Place
  • Students critique textbooks on line
  • Reader responds to yesterday's Bulletin
  • Wednesday I feel better just for spite

'Honorary member' and other awards

[Power] Retired biology professor Geoff Power, pictured at right, is one of five faculty members who will become "distinguished professor emeritus" at convocation ceremonies this June. UW will also make one retired staff member an "honorary member of the university".

Names of those receiving the awards were announced yesterday after final approval from the UW senate.

Besides Power, "distinguished professors emeritus" will be Emil Frind, retired from the department of earth sciences; George Mulamoottil, school of planning; Jiri Vlach, department of electrical and computer engineering; and Mike Yovanovich, department of mechanical engineering.

The new "honorary member of the university" is Steve Little, who served for three decades as UW's director of secondary school liaison, and who is recognized as a pioneer of student recruitment for Ontario universities.

Also to be presented at June convocation will be eight honorary degrees. Six of the recipients are distinguished academics from Europe and the United States:

  • Henry Bates, director of the Physical Electronics Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
  • George Box, leading statistician, retired from the University of Wisconsin at Madison
  • Daniel Livingstone, zoologist at Duke University
  • Dirk Pette, professor of biochemistry at the University of Konstanz, Germany
  • Gordon Ruskell, retired professor of ocular anatomy at the City University, London, England
  • Yves-Henri Nouailhat, director of the Centre for Research on the History of the Atlantic World, Université de Nantes, France

    The seventh honorary degree recipient is Janice Palmer, a Toronto-based pioneer in environmental education who has written and taught widely in the field. She is credited with developing the "experiential" approach: her students at North Toronto Collegiate Institute were among the first to learn about the environment through hands-on recycling and restoration projects in the community.

    And an honorary degree will be presented to actor Martha Henry, who recently completed her 24th season at the Stratford Festival of Canada.

    UW's 80th Convocation will be held in five sessions June 14 through 17.

    Apartments are now UW Place

    It's official: the UW Apartments are now UW Place.

    The name change was announced in a memo from Marita Williams, UW's manager of space information and planning, who said the building abbreviation is also changing: UWA becomes UWP.

    [UWP tower] Not so long ago, UWA was MSA -- the complex, between University Avenue and Seagram Drive, was originally the Married Student Apartments.

    As announced several months ago, the six buildings that make up the UW Place complex are also getting new names, thus:

    The name changes are part of a project that's turning most of the complex from apartments into residence-style rooms for single students, grouped in "suites".

    News from the University of Toronto

  • Uncertain future for Hart House Theatre
  • Officials respond to human rights case
  • University disciplines Sick Kids doctor
  • Chair in 'college leadership' established
  • Students critique textbooks on line -- a news release from Queen's University

    Concerned about the high costs of education and ensuring value for money, a group of students at Queen's University has launched an online textbook review which allows students around the world to give thumbs up or down to textbooks required for their courses.

    The textbook reviews, which take about three minutes to complete, will provide valuable information to professors when deciding what textbooks to recommend for their courses.

    "It is not uncommon for required textbooks to cost in excess of one hundred dollars, particularly for courses in engineering and medicine. It's even more frustrating for students when only a few chapters are used from a textbook that has cost them a lot of money," says Andrew Stronach, an engineering student and Operations Director for QUESSI (Queen's University Engineering Society Services Inc.) who organized the project.

    "We wanted to provide this opportunity for university students everywhere to pass on the kind of information that will be helpful to other students and to instructors and ensure that the best textbooks are being put into the hands of students," he says.

    The Campus Bookstore at Queen's is the only campus bookstore in Canada that is both student-owned and student operated. Operating under the auspices of QUESSI, a non profit corporation, the bookstore's mission is to distribute required course material at the lowest possible price to students. Queen's students enjoy a seven per cent discount on suggested list price.

    To encourage students to fill out a review, Queen's Campus Bookstore is donating one dollar per review (up to $1,000) to Frontier College, Queen's Students for Literacy.

    The online textbook review process was developed in collaboration with publishers, faculty, administrators and college booksellers, a process that was facilitated through Queen's Executive Decision Centre, an electronic brainstorming facility. The project originated with the findings of a Queen's survey indicating that 75 per cent of students would like to review textbooks online.

    Reader responds to yesterday's Bulletin
    -- a letter from engineering student Keith Parker

    I don't understand why such a one-sided, poorly researched article as "Students go where the money is" would be posted in a University of Waterloo publication. Dave Chan even openly admits that the survey was not scientific, and most of the article focuses on Chan's comments -- and no offence to him, but who the heck is he to represent not only the students of Waterloo, but Waterloo itself?

    The article is filled with anecdotal evidence and worse, the hyperbole and myth surrounding the brain drain. What kind of statement is "Those who stay (in Canada) may be perceived -- rightly or wrongly -- as having lack of ambition or capability." Corporate America propaganda seems to be working its magic with some of these students with their recruitment campaigns. I believe that anyone that believes they must go elsewhere to be successful are the weak and unambitious.

    I do see a trickle of people from my graduating Systems Design Engineering class going down to the states. However it is certainly not 50%, and I wouldn't think (although I haven't seen a list compiled yet) that it is going to be as high as 15-20%. In the group of people staying, are several that have turned down very high paying US jobs in favour of staying here. For some, it was looking at the cost of living down there and realizing the offer was not nearly as attractive. For others it was the job and the level of responsibility that was better here. And for some, it was the drive to start a business -- and would you believe this -- with a little bit of research, they found that Canada was a better place to start a business than moving down to Silicon Valley. Oh! What is going on here?

    I have no problem with some of my friends and classmates going down to the States; I'm not trying to make a point that everyone should stay here. There are opportunities on both sides of the border. The belief that only the US has respectable jobs in the technology industry is a myth built up by American companies needing people and is perpetrated and given credibility blindly by the Canadian media (now including the University of Waterloo Daily Bulletin).

    Wednesday I feel better just for spite (Lorrie Morgan)

    There's just one day left in winter term exams, and then we come to the Easter long weekend. Good Friday, April 21, is a holiday, on which UW offices and most services will be closed. Easter Monday, although it's a school holiday, will be a working day at UW -- a pretty quiet one in most areas, though, as the spring term doesn't begin until the following week.

    UW's retail services outlets -- the bookstore, the UW Shop, Techworx in two locations, and the computer store -- will be closed for the next two weekends. This Friday is the holiday, as I've mentioned, and stores that usually are open on Saturdays won't open on April 22. Then the stores will be closed again Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, for year-end inventory.

    The technology transfer and licensing office continues its series of intellectual property lunchtime forums today with a talk on "Who Owns Intellectual Property at UW?" The session will start at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3001.

    Today brings a seminar by Richard Simpson, director-general of electronic commerce for Industry Canada. His talk on "Connecting Canadians to the Digital Economy" will be given at the Waterloo Inn, following a luncheon; both are sponsored by the InfraNet Project and Communitech.

    The physics department presents a colloquium today by Michael Nielsen of the University of Queensland, speaking on "Quantum Information and Quantum Computation" (3:30 p.m., Physics room 145).

    The new term will bring a new Weight Watchers at Work session. "A 10% decrease in body weight has a significant impact on your health," says a note from WWatW. "Invest in your health this summer." An information meeting will be held Monday (April 24) at 12 noon in Math and Computer room 5158A -- or more information is available from Anne Fullerton in the Davis Centre library, affuller@uwaterloo.ca.

    And here's a note: "Breast Cancer Support of K-W is looking for volunteers to fill several positions on their Board of Directors. This is a great opportunity for people who have a special interest in breast cancer and want to become involved. Previous board experience, organizational skills, computer skills or ability to take minutes are all needed." More information is available from the local Volunteer Action Centre -- which is also looking for people to assist an English as a Second Language teacher two afternoons a week in July and August. The VAC can be reached at 742-8610.

    CAR


    Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
    Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
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