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Monday, June 25, 2001

  • Schedules go on-line next month
  • Over target for first-year students
  • Nine students write perfect physics test
  • And a little of this and that

[Davis like a mirror]
The orange of the lilies is echoed by the orange of the construction machinery, as the mirrored wall of the Davis Centre picks up the CEIT construction site east of the Earth Sciences and Chemistry building. Barbara Elve took the photo.

Schedules go on-line next month

Some of the things UW students have long wished for -- such as a web view of their class schedules, and the possibility of paying fees by electronic banking -- will start coming true next month.

A major part of the new Student Information System will go live on July 16, says an announcement from the team that has been working on the project over the past several years.

The announcement also has news of what the new system is going to be called: Quest. Says the announcement, posted this week on the SISP web site:

"Quest is an umbrella for a group of applications that are used to manage the University's student administrative processes. Some of the applications have been purchased from vendors such as PeopleSoft (Admissions, Records, Financial Aid, Student Financials etc.), Ad Astra (room bookings and event management) and Cyon (exam scheduling). Other applications have been developed locally using the Cognos reporting tools. The Quest website will be launched in early July at www.quest.uwaterloo.ca. It will describe how faculty, staff and students will gain access to the new system."

Meanwhile, SISP reached a milestone a few days ago: "After migrating over 250,000 historical student records during May and early June, we are beginning to manage our student record, financial aid and student financial business for Fall 2001 with the new system. This is in addition to the admissions and early financial aid processes that were introduced over this past winter term."

Fall 2001 undergraduate class enrolments collected in March, in the process that used to be called "preregistration", are currently being entered in the system. The fall schedule of classes for graduate courses is being built. Student study lists (schedules) and fee bills will be produced and mailed to students in late July. And students will be able to pay their bills at their bank, either directly or through web or phone banking.

Beginning with the July 16 watershed date, full-time undergraduate degree students registered for this term will be able to view "various aspects of their student record" and schedule their courses for Winter 2002, over the internet. "By early to mid-August," says the SISP announcement, "we expect to broaden the web access to include all students enrolling for the Fall 2001 term."

Training on various parts of the system has begun for staff in some central UW departments, and "beginning in mid-July, we will be offering training sessions to users in other administrative areas and the faculties for their parts of the processes. We plan to offer sessions at multiple times throughout the summer and early fall to maximize exposure to Quest, as the campus works through this transition."

While the new system comes into effect, most operations for the current (spring) term are still being done on the old mainframe computer system, and STUDINQ (the student record inquiry facility used by advisors and others) will be available for several more months. The Quest student record inquiry facility is expected to go live in August.

Says the announcement: "Other work continues in the area of academic progression and advisement. These aspects of Quest will be introduced beginning in January 2002."

Over target for first-year students

As of Thursday morning, the Ontario Universities Application Centre had processed 4,416 "confirmations" from students who say they'll enter first year at UW in September. "This updated total represents 102.2% of our target," says Peter Burroughs, the director of admissions.

The goals for UW's six faculties and a couple of other programs added up to 4,322 after the most recent adjustments, says a memo issued by Burroughs at the end of the week.

The faculty of science is leading the crowd this year, with 683 confirmed first-year students, well over the target of 638. News from the other faculties:

Burroughs notes that by June 13, UW had a total of 3,730 confirmations from OSS students, as well as 604 from non-OSS students. The June 13 figures are important because "only those applicants who confirmed by this date are guaranteed on-campus residence. Assuming a maximum show rate of 82% for this group, all students who want on-campus residence can be accommodated."

Nine students write perfect physics test -- from the UW news bureau

Albert Einstein would be proud of the budding physicists who competed in the Sir Isaac Newton physics contest held recently by the University of Waterloo. Nine students are tied for first place -- with "perfect scores" -- as winners of this year's contest.

The highly competitive two-hour contest was written May 3 by 3,700 students from about 500 high schools across Canada and a few abroad. Most students were from Ontario.

Physics professor John Vanderkooy said the average score this year was 25.6 per cent, up considerably from last year, as expected since a few exam questions were made a bit easier. Still, he was quite surprised to see so many perfect papers.

The contest was computer-scored, but the top 250 papers were hand-marked to select scholarship winners and 145 book prizes. Several students are expected to accept SIN Entrance Scholarships of $5,000 to study honours physics at UW, in either the regular or co-op program.

Physics questions in the contest involved various real and fictional characters and situations. This year, they featured the demise of space station Mir, various Canadian politicians, the Air Farce chicken cannon, Brick beer and Canadian Forces helicopters.

And a little of this and that

Co-op students find out today where they'll be in September. Job matches for the fall work term will be posted by 3:00 this afternoon, the co-op department says.

The Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program presents a talk today by Christine and Paul Bryden: "Advocacy for Persons with Dementia". The event starts at 3 p.m. in the Clarica Auditorium in Matthews Hall.

The show "Architecture in Cambridge: Shaping the City", displaying work by UW architecture students, is continuing at the Cambridge Galleries in Queen's Square, Cambridge, but winds up this Saturday.

People who might be interested in working on the news web site uwstudent.org are invited to a meeting tonight at 5:00 in Math and Computer room 4042. "At the meeting," says UWS editorial director Jon Willing, "we will introduce new volunteers to our technical, editorial and organizational structures. We are always looking for new people to report on stories, build our technologies and help further our corporation. We invite everyone from the UW community to come out and participate in this successful and dynamic new media venture."

The International Student Association will hold a mixer tonight, starting at 6:00 in Humanities room 139. The evening includes the next in a series of presentations about international students' home countries -- tonight, France.

Finally . . . as of today, I'm off on some summer vacation. In my absence, the Daily Bulletin is in the hands of Avvey Peters (alpeters@uwaterloo.ca) and Barbara Elve (bmelve@uwaterloo.ca), either of whom will be happy to receive announcements, tips, suggestions and news releases. Watch for the Bulletin every morning in the usual location.


[UW logo] 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 | Friday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo