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Friday, June 23, 2000

  • Bookstore opens its Internet Café
  • Students reach finals of health care contest
  • Government issues 'business plan'
  • Music and bridge and more

Bookstore opens its Internet Café

There will be e-books as well as just plain books on the concourse level of South Campus Hall, as the UW bookstore opens its Internet Café today. A ribbon-cutting for the new facility is part of the Strawberry Social that's planned at the store from 11:30 to 1:30.

Unlike commercial Internet cafés -- including two that have set up near the UW campus and gone out of business -- the bookstore's service will be free, says marketing manager Jason MacIntyre. "We see the café more as a convenient resource for customers in the store and for members of the off-campus community to access the web. . . .

"We feel that a successful academic bookstore must be responsive to the needs of its customers as well as changes in the technological landscape. The advent of e-books is just one example of emerging technologies that we are watching closely."

He said the café has been being planned for months, but "it's only in the last week or so that all our sponsors were confirmed." Bell Canada has provided a Sympatico High Speed Edition connection to the Internet, Apple gave two iMacs and an iBook, and EMJ Data Systems supplied Academy PC systems, MacIntyre noted. All three firms will be represented at today's ribbon-cutting.

The highlight of the Strawberry Social of course is the sweet red fruit, including strawberries with cream, strawberry shortcake, strawberry tarts, and strawberry punch. The Primavera Quartet will play, and there will be two celebrity guests:

Students reach finals of health care contest
-- from the UW news bureau

A UW team is among the 10 finalists of the Computer Society International Design Competition, which this year has challenged students to find ways of improving health care by designing a portable "information appliance".

The top 10 teams will be competing Monday and Tuesday in the CSIDC World Finals in Arlington, Virginia. The teams will make a presentation to a panel of judges, and will be evaluated on their project's creativity, usability and marketability.

Says UW team leader Bamdad Afra, an electrical and computer engineering student: "We are very excited to be awarded this opportunity to participate in a global competition to solve a real-world problem. We look forward to the world finals to meet with experts from around the world."

The team came up with the Diabetes Internet Appliance (DIA), a wireless device that provides diabetic care by enabling patients to interact with their physician through a wireless link and the Internet.

"The students have worked hard to put together a very useful design, which will help diabetics communicate effectively with their doctors," said Robert Gorbet, electrical and computer engineering professor, the faculty adviser for the four-member team. Other team members are Faisal Karmali, Gordon Li and Wallace Leung.

Says Gorbet: "Use of the DIA by patients would greatly reduce the required number of office visits, improving quality of life for diabetics and reducing health care costs. The potential for monitoring of diabetic patients in rural areas is fantastic." He said that all the designs and project teams in the contest will be of high calibre. "It is exciting to see teams coming from so many part of the world. The interaction in itself will be a wonderful learning experience."

Prizes range from $25,000 for first place to honourable mention awards of $1,000. Prizes for the schools with the top three winning teams will include financial aid components of up to $10,000.

Other teams in the top ten are coming from McMaster ("The Total Heart Care Unit"), Russia, Taiwan, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong and the United States. This year's competition attracted more than 180 applications for its original 50 slots, with each team receiving the same hardware and software project kit.

The "Health Care Information Appliance Project" required teams to create a working model of an information appliance (IA) to address a specific challenge in health care. These devices -- easy to carry and simple to operate -- are designed to create, send, retrieve and manipulate information via a network of computers, such as over the Internet. Teams submitted a final report first judged by international experts from industry and academia, and then selected by a panel of judges.

Government issues 'business plan'

Boasting of "a greater investment in postsecondary education than has been made by any other government in Ontario's history", the ministry of training, colleges and universities yesterday issued its second annual "business plan".

"In this report," says minister Dianne Cunningham, "it is evident that we continue to undertake numerous initiatives to foster a postsecondary and training system of the very highest quality." She notes the money spent through the SuperBuild program this year for building construction at colleges and universities, and the five-year limit on increases in student fees ("holding tuition fees to fair and reasonable levels").

The minister also takes credit for "making it easier for students to make transitions between colleges and universities . . . providing students with more choices for flexible learning opportunities, such as the chance to obtain applied degrees from colleges". Some detail on that:

In April, 2000, the Government of Ontario announced that it would provide students with more choices by allowing Ontario's colleges of applied arts and technology to offer applied degrees on a pilot-project basis. Up to eight projects per year will be approved for three years. As well, the government approved the establishment of private, degree granting institutions in Ontario. At the same time, the Ministry released a consultation paper entitled Increasing Degree Opportunities for Ontarians and promised to meet stakeholders across the province to seek advice on how to implement the changes. The announcement reflected the government's commitment to ensure the system is more responsive to the needs of students and communities. One way the government can achieve this goal is by providing students with a broader, and more flexible range of high quality learning opportunities, such as new applied degrees at colleges and the establishment of new private universities. To ensure high quality, the government is establishing a Quality Assessment Board to provide assessments of new private sector universities and to establish safeguards to ensure consumer protection.
The document also notes plans for big changes in the way nurses are educated in Ontario:
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced this year that as of 2005, all new Ontario nurses must complete a four-year baccalaureate degree in Nursing (BScN) to be eligible for professional registration. As of September 2001, all new nursing students will enroll in a four-year program. Acting on the advice of the College of Nurses of Ontario and the Nursing Task Force, the government introduced the changes to make sure nurses are able to deliver complex health care in which patients have greater health needs. As part of its commitment to help usher in the new, four-year degree system, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will provide $10 million this year to develop collaborative college-university programs. Overall, the government will invest $22.6 million over the next seven years to support the restructuring of nursing education.
The ministry of TCU is also responsible for such programs as apprenticeships, literacy training, summer jobs and job upgrading, and the document includes a summary what's been done in that area and is planned for the coming year. A new Apprenticeship and Certification Act went into force this year, it notes, which "promotes quality training, ensures public and worker protection, and enhances industry's role in setting standards for training and promoting careers in skilled trades".

And: "early in 2000, the government announced that it would create a service to assess the academic credentials of immigrant job seekers and help speed their entry into the workforce. This service will help qualified immigrants quickly find work to match their educational achievement while at the same time helping employers hire immigrants with the educational background they need. In March 2000, the Ministry announced that it had awarded the academic credential assessment contract to World Education Services."

Music and bridge and more

LT3 -- the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology -- today offers a presentation on "Designs for Telelearning in the Workplace", by Mike Dobson, of England's Lancaster University. It starts at 10 a.m. in Dana Porter Library room 329.

Christine Jewell of the library sends a last-minute reminder of a workshop today about XML: "The response has been good, and we've moved the location of the presentation to Davis Centre 1304. The afternoon workshop is fully booked, but I welcome all who are interested to attend the morning presentation. From 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 . Geoffrey Rockwell will be speaking on the topic of XML and electronic texts. Geoffrey is the director of the Humanities Computing Centre at McMaster University. His presentation will include an overview of XML, how it relates to SGML and HTML, and how it will enhance web access to electronic texts."

Today brings a goodbye party for Jeff Weller, long-time assistant to UW's deans of engineering, who is retiring. "Best wishes only," says a note about the reception, which will run from 3:00 to 5:30 in the POETS pub on the first floor of Carl Pollock Hall.

"The Grad House is hosting a fun-filled evening of unique entertainment," Rose Vogt of the Graduate Student Association promises. The house band, which rejoices in the name of The Panty Daddys, "will be rocking down the house with an early show at 8 p.m. and then at 10:30," she writes. "We are also hosting a play written to take place within the individual rooms of the Grad House. The play is called '3rd Party', written and produced by 'Do You Go Productions'." Information about the play is hard to come by, but it looks as though tonight's is a free preview performance, to be followed by regular performances (tickets $8) Saturday and Sunday at 7:00 and 9:30, and again Monday through Wednesday.

The Taiwan Students Association has "a cultural celebration" tonight in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre, starting at 9:30 and running into the small hours. "We are celebrating the DuanWu festival," says Boyang Qin of the TWSA. "Zongzi (some of you might call it 'rice dumpling') will be provided, and entertainment like karaoke, dance, Chinese chess, and mahjongg will also be there." Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

The annual fund-raising campaign for CKMS radio continues, and tonight brings the big event of the week, a "Cultural Caravan Concert" at the Kitchener City Hall stage, starting at 6:00. The announced performers: "Traces -- Margaritas, sun and steel drums; Flamenco dancers; Queen Havana -- Acoustic and cute, they rock your world; The Jolly Lamas -- Reggae to the max mon." Saturday night, Jim Guthrie performs at the Jane Bond Café in Waterloo, also for the benefit of CKMS.

The K-W Sectional contract bridge tournament will be held at Ron Eydt Village this weekend. Judi Carter of the faculty of applied health sciences is one of the organizers, and notes that "On Saturday we are having a special novice duplicate game for people new to duplicate bridge, and/or less experienced bridge players. Paid up members of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) are aware of the tournament but people in the general UW community are not as we don't usually publicize these events. Everyone is welcome to attend. People can play in the event and if anyone wants to see what duplicate bridge is all about, they are welcome too." For more information, she can be reached at jdcarter@healthy.

The Waterloo Park Summer Music Festival runs tomorrow, just south of campus. Music begins at 12 noon and continues until 11 at night, with everything from African drumming to classic rock; there will also be a poetry reading, a pottery sale, a beer tent and "the first annual British Car Summer Picnic".

Meanwhile, in Kitchener's Victoria Park, this weekend brings the 33rd annual Multicultural Festival, offering such novelties as henna painting along with the crafts, dances and foods of groups from all over the world. Children's games, music and community displays are also promised. "It's going to be a great event," says a flyer from the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, which sponsors the festival each year to promote "the diversity of our area" and "full participation in Canadian life by all members of our community". Things happen in the park from noon to 11 on Saturday, noon to 7 on Sunday.

A note from the University Catholic Community at St. Jerome's University says that the 5 p.m. Mass tomorrow will be the last Saturday Mass for the season -- Saturday services will resume in September. Sunday services at St. Jerome's, however, continue all summer.

And here's a note from Milton Chan of Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo: "GLOW is geared up for another great year of celebrating our diversity. GLOW will be participating in the Toronto annual Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25. Both Gay and Straight students are invited to march with us and celebrate diversity. We will be gathering in downtown Toronto in the afternoon, (location will be walking distance from Wellesley Subway Station). Any students who are interested to participate and march with the Waterloo team, please e-mail m6chan@engmail. Details of gathering time and location will be e-mailed to you."

CAR


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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