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Thursday, January 17, 2002

  • Another round of big grants
  • Consistent UW image on the web
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

It's a small world when you're on the Internet

UW-sponsored Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference opens today in Toronto

[Pointing with cotton gloves]

This Bible, printed in 1531 in Zürich, has come to rest at the archives at Conrad Grebel University College, a donation from George and Anna Reesor of Markham. An ancestor brought the Bible to North America in 1739, and it reached the Markham area in 1804. Grebel archivist Sam Steiner admires the book along with its donors. Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel College.

Another round of big grants -- from the UW news bureau

Several UW faculty members, including some who were named Canada Research Chairs last year by the federal government, have received major equipment grants worth $2.18 million to conduct their work.

The equipment funding comes from two research granting agencies -- the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust. The federal CFI seeks to strengthen Canadian capability for research by investing in research infrastructure, while the provincial OIT helps fund the capital costs of research for Ontario's universities.

Chairs at UW

Six in August

Four in November

So far, 10 Canada Research Chairs have been approved for Waterloo, out of a total of 448 such chairs established on Canadian campuses since December 2000. Recently, four more of those UW chairholders have received equipment grants from CFI and OIT:

Jean Duhamel, chemistry, uses fluorescence spectroscopy to examine polymeric chains -- complex materials at the molecular level. His work seeks to cut the time required to study the dynamics of polymeric chains in synthetic and biological systems. He has been awarded infrastructure support of $123,540 from CFI and the same amount from OIT. With the money, Duhamel will buy the equipment required to make and study polypeptides by fluorescence spectroscopy.

Holger Kleinke, chemistry, investigates new thermoelectric materials and seeks to create energy-efficient cooling materials and power generators. He has received infrastructure support of $126,087 from CFI and $126,087 from OIT. With the money, Kleinke will purchase a state-of-the-art high temperature powder diffractometer so he can test semiconductors with high temperature stabilities.

Ian Munro, of computer science, explores pure and applied research in algorithm design. He aims to improve how information is organized on large computer systems to achieve optimum performance within the constraints of time and space. He has received infrastructure support of $147,622 from CFI and $147,622 from OIT. The money will provide a top quality computing environment for large-scale experimental work on methods of data organization.

En-hui Yang, of electrical and computer engineering, conducts work in the field of multimedia compression, information theory multimedia communications. He has received infrastructure support of $125,000 from CFI and $125,000 from OIT. The money will allow Yang to build a world-class multimedia communications research lab.

As well, CFI and OIT announced equipment grants for the following faculty members, who are not Canada Research Chairs:

Gladimir Baranoski, of computer science, Nancy Day, of computer science, Dan Brown, of computer science, Justin Wan, of computer science, Steve Drekic, of statistics and actuarial science, and Bertrand Guenin, of combinatorics and optimization, have received infrastructure support of $369,584 from CFI and $369,584 from OIT. The award will support their research in computer science and mathematical fields, advancing work in computer graphics, scientific computing, software engineering, bioinformatics, symbolic computing, combinatorial optimization and scientific visualization.

Robert Hecky, of biology, and Stephanie Guildford, of biology, have received infrastructure support of $198,815 from CFI and $198,815 from OIT. The money will allow them to create an integrated laboratory for research, informatics and modelling of aquatic ecosystems in Ontario and around the world. They seek to understand and make predictions about the health and future of the Great Lakes in North America and Africa, which are changing because of exotic species introductions, nutrient inputs and climate change.

James Rush, of kinesiology, has received infrastructure support of $151,274 from CFI and the same amount from OIT. The money will support his research in the field of cardiovascular biology, including the study of adaptations in blood vessels to dietary, exercise and drug factors using hypertension models.

Consistent UW image on the web

The "gold standard" web page layout, introduced in September for UW's home page on the world wide web, is catching on across campus.

At least ten departmental sites have adopted the new design, and several more are being developed, says Jesse Rodgers, the web developer here in the information and public affairs office. [Kin home page] The most recent to appear was our own I&PA site, launched earlier this week. The kinesiology department's site, pictured at right, is one of those that follow the pattern, with a central horizontal graphic, pull-downs at the top, main headings at left, and square buttons to highlight major items. Most important of all is the UW logo at top left, which serves as a web link to the university's home page.

In addition, plenty of sites and pages are using a reduced version of the full new design, with a gold bar across the top of the page, as seen on this Daily Bulletin.

Rodgers and colleague Avvey Peters are giving a talk this morning to the weekly professional development seminar in the information systems and technology department, with a report on the development of "standards and guidelines" for web pages across campus. A draft of the proposed standards and guidelines for web pages is almost ready for final approval.

Their presentation includes background about the "UWinfo project", launched by the provost to "guide a facelift of basic graphics, content and architecture" of UW web pages. It began in the summer of 2000 and produced the new design this past fall. The visual design of the page was done by Alan Kirker and Matt Regehr of UW Graphics, in consultation with the web team in information and public affairs, and approved by the UWinfo steering committee, made up of senior university officials.

News of the world

Fraud alleged in visa applications from China (Globe and Mail)

U of Toronto decides what to do with Varsity Stadium

Occupation of principal's office continues at Queen's

Physicians' ruling supports doctor at Sick Kids | CAUT inquiry also backs Olivieri

And a little of this and that

Nominations are now being accepted for this year's Distinguished Teacher Awards. The nomination deadline is, as always, the first Friday in February. Further information is available by calling the Teaching Resource Office at ext. 3857. Also to be presented are the Distinguished Teaching by a Registered Student Awards. Says a memo from TRACE: "Do you know of a registered student whose teaching could be recognized? Nominations for this award are being accepted until Friday, February 8, at 4:00 p.m."

Now, let's talk about today:

And there's an important event at 4:30 p.m.: an open forum (sponsored by the Federation of Students) at which the co-op department will brief co-op students about proposed changes to the interview and job matching process. The event will run about an hour and takes place in Physics room 145. There will be a presentation followed by questions, says Federation vice-president Ryan Stammers.

And then tonight:

I wouldn't be very surprised if there was a little bit of snowman-building on campus tonight too.

A note is on hand from Debra Crispin, of the local social agency Lutherwood CODA, and I think I'll just quote her directly:

Family Literacy Day is January 27. To celebrate and promote family literacy, Books for Birthdays, a unique program of Lutherwood-CODA, is collecting new, high quality books for children in need on their birthdays. Last year, 3,000 children, ages 0-14, received a book of their own through the program. New books can be dropped off at the Turnkey desk in the Student Life Centre or at the University Bookstore until January 31.
Plans are being made, she adds, for a year-round program encouraging people to donate books on their own birthdays; details will be along soon.

Finally, the co-op department sends word that on Thursday and Friday last week, CECS held another "Résumé Blitz" for students about to take part in the co-op interview process for the first time. Students could bring in a completed résumé and have it reviewed and critiqued by a small army of CECS staff and trained student volunteers. Attendance increased from last year's event, as a total of 62 staff and experienced students assisted 481 new students on Thursday and 421 on Friday, a total of 902 students from a potential of about 1,100. "Students were usually seen within 5-10 minutes," I'm told. "The longest time 14 students on both days had to wait was 31 minutes."


January 17, 1988: UW president Doug Wright is among educational and scientific leaders present in Ottawa when prime minister Brian Mulroney announces a $1.3 billion five-year plan to promote science and technology.

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