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Thursday, March 14, 2002

  • UW joins HP's Linux consortium
  • Notices from the secretariat
  • The talk of the campus
  • What's scheduled today and tomorrow
Chris Redmond

Fake message from Microsoft is really a virus

[His hands on her shoulders]

Witch project: John Proctor (Owen Goss) confronts his wife Elizabeth (Natalie Herr) as the witchcraft scandal grows. They're among the leads on "The Crucible Project", to be staged by UW's drama department March 20-23. Tickets are on sale now at the Humanities box office.

UW joins HP's Linux consortium

Hewlett-Packard Company has announced the formation of the Gelato Federation, a worldwide consortium focused on "enabling open source Linux-based Intel Itanium Processor Family computing solutions for academic, government and industrial research". UW is one of seven universities around the world that will be founding members of the consortium.

Gelato will work, a news release says, "to develop scalable, commodity software to enable researchers to advance their studies in developing and technology-intensive areas, such as life sciences and physical sciences. Gelato invites participation from all interested organizations. . . . Gelato is launching an open source community initiative designed to foster the development and dissemination of focused computing solutions for researchers and associated IT staffs working on the Itanium Linux platform."

Gelato will provide researchers with software downloads, including new solutions developed by Gelato member institutions and by other contributors from "the greater open source community". Gelato also will supply information services -- such as forums and technical data -- to make the Itanium Linux platform more accessible to researchers.

Gelato members include the BioInformatics Institute (Singapore), Groupe ESIEE (France), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Tsinghua University (China), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), University of New South Wales (Australia) and Waterloo.

The news release says each institution will provide financial backing, IT infrastructure and human resources to oversee and support Gelato's mission and operations. "Representatives of these organizations bring expertise in biotechnology, grid computing, compilers and languages, Linux kernel performance, and security, among other capabilities."

"The Gelato Federation is representative of HP's effort to provide powerful Linux-based Itanium solutions for use by university and government researchers," said Martin Fink, general manager for HP Linux Systems Operation. "As a sponsor of Gelato, HP will work with federation members to bring superior scalable, open source computing solutions to the global research community."

NCSA and Groupe ESIEE will build and manage the Gelato Web Portal, which is expected to be operational in May. The portal will serve as a central meeting point for researchers who want to develop, execute and share their research in an open source, commodity computing environment. In addition to its portal role, NCSA will join with UIUC to host the Gelato Federation lead, the primary individual who will facilitate operations and coordinate Gelato's activities.

"The Linux IA-64 platform has enormous potential to help scientists achieve important breakthroughs that will improve the quality of our lives in the new century," said Dan Reed, director of NCSA. "Gelato will give scientists the support base they need to make the Linux IA-64 platform more robust and even more widely used. We are building a community of users and a virtual space where they can come together to share open source code, develop computing solutions, and address real-world problems."

The news release again: "The Gelato Federation endorses the major tenets of the open source movement, including a primary emphasis on the user; a commitment to developing high quality, 100-per-cent open source software; and a dedication to a non-bureaucratic, egalitarian and collaborative working environment."

Notices from the secretariat

Nominations are requested from full-time staff of the University to fill one staff seat on the Board of Governors, term from May 1, 2002, to April 30, 2005. Full-time staff members who are Canadian citizens are eligible for nomination.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (ext. 6125) and on the web. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Chief Returning Officer, Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Monday, April 1, 2002. An election will follow if necessary.

The Senate election for one full-time at-large undergraduate student closed at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1. Douglas Stebila (Combinatorics & Optimization/Computer Science) was elected with 445 votes; Durshan Ganthan (Arts) received 370 votes and Craig Sloss (Applied Mathematics/Pure Mathematics) received 429.

The call for nominations for undergraduate student representatives to Senate closed at 3:00 p.m., Friday, February 22. While no nominations were received for the Science seat (term from May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2004), there will be an election for the Arts seat (term from May 1, 2002 to April 30, 2004). Candidates are Andrew Dilts (arts non-major) and Jesse Helmer (English).

To obtain information about the online voting process for the above Senate seat, visit the Federation of Students homepage. From 8:30 a.m., Monday, March 18, to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, eligible students will be able to select this site and, using their studentQuest userid and password, vote from any computer, on or off campus.

[Man kneeling]

In the library: The current exhibit on the second floor of the Dana Porter Library features the work of retired UW fine arts faculty member Virgil Burnett. The exhibit highlights Burnett's work as founder, editor and illustrator of the Pasdeloup Press, which he created in 1960. Included are the books themselves -- most often poetry -- as well as correspondence, manuscripts and records of the Press from Burnett's archives and papers which are housed in the library's Doris Lewis Rare Book Room. Burnett has lent six original illustrations which he prepared for various books and these are hanging in the rare book room on the lower floor of Porter. The exhibition continues through April 26.

The talk of the campus

Systems design engineering student Laura Naismith picked up a national honour last weekend at the Canadian Engineering Competition, held at Université Laval. She finished second in the "editorial communications" category of the competition. Naismith was among several UW students who earned their way to Laval with top placings in the Ontario Engineering Competition two weeks earlier.

A note from Joanne Wade, UW's director of student awards and student financial aid: "OSAP students are reminded that there are still several hundred loans that have not been picked up. Loans must be picked up and negotiated with the National Student Loan Centre prior to the end of the term or they will become void."

In case anybody was wondering: according to the calendar, March 29 should be the next payday at UW, for both monthly and biweekly payrolls. But March 29 is Good Friday and a holiday. Result: payday will be Thursday, March 28.

A flyer from the staff association this week sends out word that nominations are being accepted for 2002-03 executive members. The association's president for the coming year has been on hand for a year now as president-elect (Steve Breen, of information systems and technology), so positions now up for grabs include the president-elect, who will serve as president in 2003-04. More information is available from the staff association office, of course. Nomination deadline is April 19.

The co-op department has issued final statistics on the number of students employed for the current (January-April) work term. The answer: 4,215. "The fact that 96% of 4,400 students found co-op employment is a remarkable achievement considering the current recessionary times," writes co-op director Bruce Lumsden. The 162 unemployed students include 97 from math, 54 from engineering, 3 each from arts and science, 2 each from architecture and environmental studies, and 1 from accounting.

Renison College has announced that it will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for its new residence wing on Friday, March 22, at noon. Watch for more information about this project (and then watch for bulldozers).

As I noted a couple of days ago, central stores is now speaking of its periodic surplus sales as a "store". Says a memo: "On a temporary basis we will be opening up the sale area as a store. It will be open two days a week, Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 and Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30. Due to the frequency of these sales it may be difficult to keep an up-to-date list of surplus available on the Central Stores web page. All purchases will have to be removed that day to make room for the next sales stock."

And a note from Ann Barrett, manager of UW's writing clinic: "The next English Language Proficiency Examination is scheduled for Friday, April 5. There won't be another scheduled exam until Wednesday, September 4. Those delinquents who do not write at the three scheduled exam times (September, December and April) pay a hefty $150 to write the exam. I always have a number of students who miss the exam (for whatever reason -- need to graduate, can't register until they pass ELPE, never got their diploma because they didn't bother to write the exam) and then have to pay the fee. A UW education costs enough without getting dinged with negligence fees."

Lectures on Bonhoeffer

Tonight brings the first of two Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel University College. The speaker this year is Stanley Hauerwas of the Duke University divinity school -- "contemporary theology's foremost intellectual provocateur", according to Time magazine. He's speaking tonight and again tomorrow about the thought and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian who died in a Nazi prison camp. Tonight at 7:00, in the great hall at Grebel: "Bonhoeffer as Political Theologian". Admission is free.

What's scheduled today and tomorrow

The Yume Project continues in the Student Life Centre. "Our goal," organizers say, "is to send a thousand paper cranes to Hiroshima's Peace Park." Closing ceremonies are scheduled for 5:00 today, and until then special events continue, including origami lessons, book displays, and storytelling with the tale of Sadako, the Hiroshima girl who made crane-folding a symbol of peace.

It's job match day for architecture students aiming for co-op work in the spring term. Match results will be posted at 11:00, the co-op department says. Students who find themselves with jobs should then be scheduling acceptance meetings with their coordinators; those who are jobless at this point should plan to attend a 4 p.m. meeting about what happens next.

Interested in tuition fees? Two UW faculty members will debate tuition fee deregulation this afternoon, in an event sponsored by the Political Science Association. The speakers are Richard Nutbrown of political science and Jan Narveson of philosophy; they'll square off at 12 noon in the great hall of the Student Life Centre.

The "iWeb" group based in the LT3 technology centre has two related sessions today: "Welcome to the Exciting World of PHP" at 1:30, and "PHP and Databases" at 2:30. The question that crossed my mind was, "What is PHP?" and the answer appears to be that it's a language for writing server-side scripts allowing web pages to do neat things. Co-op student Tushar Singh is leading today's sessions, and promises, "You will leave knowing (at the very least) how to build dynamic web pages." The iWeb group is described as "an instructional web courseware developers support group". Andrea Chappell at ext. 3779 can provide more information.

The senate graduate council will meet at 1:30 this afternoon in Needles Hall room 3004.

Tim Epp of UW's Centre for Applied Health Research is the speaker today in the sociology department colloquium series. Topic: "Disability: Discovery and Experience". He'll speak at 3:30 p.m. in PAS (Psychology) room 2030.

It's Greek Night in Mudie's cafeteria in Village I tonight -- gyros, kotopolo riganati (who?), pork souvlaki and other such cuisine, 4:30 to 7 p.m.

There will not be a talk tonight in the school of architecture lecture series, as the presentation by Philip Beesley ("Noosphere Tectonics") has been postponed to May 9.

The Queer Film Festival, which I was describing yesterday, gets under way tonight at the Princess Cinema with the showing of the provocative film "L.I.E.". Over the weekend, other showings will be in UW's Davis Centre -- the Rainbow Reels web site has the schedule.

[Sivakumar] Looking ahead: the University Club promises a green St. Paddy's Day Lunch tomorrow (winding up with Irish cream cheesecake), at $11.95 per person. Reservations: ext. 3801.

Tomorrow brings the fourth annual Financial Econometrics Conference based in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Finance, which in turn is in the school of accountancy. Speakers come from as far afield as Duke, Michigan and Arizona, on such topics as "On Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods in Financial Econometrics". The conference -- to be held in Davis Centre room 1304 -- runs all day, winding up with a 3:45 p.m. talk by UW's Ranjini Sivakumar (right).

And voting winds up tomorrow at 12 noon as faculty members say yes or no to ratifying three proposed articles for the Memorandum of Agreement, dealing with rules for program closings, "financial exigency" and faculty layoffs.



March 14, 1977: Gerry Meek is named to the new position of orientation librarian in UW's libraries.

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