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Thursday, March 28, 2002

  • No students in Village this summer
  • All ready for grad student conference
  • Academic computing courses listed
  • As we approach a long weekend
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Passover: Let my people seek their freedom


UW releases $100,000 salaries today

Along with other public sector employers across Ontario, UW will release a list today of the people on its payroll who earned more than $100,000 in the calendar year 2001.

By law, such lists are to be made public by March 31 each year. Last year's list included 202 names. The list for 2001 will be on the web at 2 p.m.

No students in Village this summer

For the first time since it opened in 1966, Village I will be empty of students for the spring term -- the rooms just aren't needed.

Renovations in progress

As soon as winter term students leave Ron Eydt Village in April, the contractors will move in, to begin work on a $2.5 million renovation to the central complex, including the cafeteria. It should be all finished by Labour Day.

As a result, the conferences office, usually housed in REV, will be moving to the central complex of Village I from mid-April and will stay there all summer.

Elsewhere in the residence system, work continues in Eby Hall, the "west tower" of UW Place, to convert it from one-bedroom apartments to suite-style residence rooms. They should be ready for occupancy this fall.

Students who want residence space will be housed in three newer, suite-style residences, says Gail Clarke, director of housing and residence administration. Those are Mackenzie King Village, beside V1, and Beck Hall and Wellesley Court of UW Place on University Avenue,

Clarke said King, Wellesley and Beck provide about 900 student beds, and typically 600 to 650 students ask for Village rooms in the spring term. That's a dramatic contrast to fall term each year, when Village I and Ron Eydt Village ("Village II") are always full to capacity, with more than 3,000 students.

"If we had had the demand, we would have opened up Village I," Clarke stressed. The Columbia Lake Townhouses are also open in the spring term, and some rooms are vacant there too, she added.

REV is always closed in the spring -- at least, it's not in use as student housing. Instead, it becomes a "conference centre" for gatherings ranging from hockey coaches to astrochemists. The housing department relies on income from conferences to subsidize the year-round residence fees charged to students.

Because V1 is empty of students, it can be used for conference accommodation as well this year, Clarke said, and the timing is great: coordinator Dave Reynolds has "a couple of very large conferences where he needs all the beds he can get". In particular, UW will be housing more than 3,000 participants in the Ontario Summer Games, to be held in Kitchener-Waterloo on the weekend of July 18-21.

Right after that, the Villages are setting aside 2,000 beds for a nine-day period to house some of the expected half-million participants in Catholic World Youth Days, taking place in Toronto.

Other conferences in the course of the summer include a regional gathering of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation; a seminar sponsored by the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies; about 1,000 participants in a Pentecostal youth convention that comes to UW summer after summer; a 500-person missions conference for the United Church of Canada; and a software workshop sponsored by Waterloo Maple.

All ready for grad student conference -- by Barbara Elve, from yesterday's Gazette

Winners of UW's Excellence in Research Awards will take centre stage at the Graduate Student Research Conference next week, April 1 to 5, in the Davis Centre.

Speaking at the opening of each afternoon session will be award-winning faculty members Richard Hughson (kinesiology), Michel Gingras (physics), Murray Moo-Young (chemical engineering) and George Dixon (biology).

As speakers at the conference, the research award winners will have a forum to address the entire university, says associate dean of graduate studies Jim Frank, who serves as conference program co-chair with Andreanne Bouchard of the Graduate Student Association. In addition, he adds, the speakers "serve as outstanding examples to current graduate students of where they might wish to take their own careers".

Kicking off the conference on Monday at 9:15 a.m. will be UW provost Amit Chakma, who will speak about graduate studies at UW. The vice-president (university research), Paul Guild, and the director of UW Innovate Inc., Douglas Sparkes, will address "Supporting UW Entrepreneurs: Innovate Inc." at 1 p.m. UW Innovate Inc. was recently launched as a UW company to "establish the best infrastructure for entrepreneurship in Canada".

Other highlights of the research conference will include a talk by Greg Mumford, Nortel Networks chief technology officer, on "How the Internet Comes Together", on Tuesday at 11:05 a.m.

But the conference really is about UW graduate students and the research they are doing. "Last year's conference provided an enriching opportunity for participants to explore emerging ideas and technologies as well as to forge research partnerships and friendships that crossed the disciplinary boundaries," said dean of graduate studies Jake Sivak in a letter earlier this year. "We hope Conference 2002 will once again act as a catalyst to promote and foster new ideas and encourage collaboration by providing even greater opportunities to share discovery."

In its second year, the Graduate Student Research Conference has grown from 142 oral and poster presentations last year to 186 this year, featuring research in five theme areas reflecting the UW Strategic Research Plan: Environment, Health, Information Technology, Materials and Systems, and Innovation, Society and Culture.

While many of the grad students participating in this conference present their research at national and international forums, the UW research conference provides an opportunity for them to exchange ideas with members of the campus and larger communities. From Monday to Thursday, grad students will present their research in two parallel sessions; on Friday, four concurrent sessions will be held to accommodate the oral presentations. As well, posters will be on display highlighting research in each of the five theme areas.

A complete conference schedule is available on the web, and will be posted in the Davis Centre. Titles of the research presentations range from the whimsical to the matter-of-fact:

Awards will be given for the top research presentations at a banquet on Friday, April 5, at Federation Hall. Dancing into the late hours follows the dinner.

Not only has interest in the conference by grad students grown, funding from corporate donors has increased as well, with sponsorships from a variety of corporations providing nearly half of the $35,000 cost of the event. Donors support the conference to gain exposure to people who may buy their products, Frank explains. As well, support is strong from UW graduates like those who founded Northern Digital Inc., who are "pretty proud of their heritage and want to reinvest in the university".

Financing is also provided by the Graduate Student Association, the graduate studies office, the office of research and the office of the vice-president (academic and provost).

Academic computing courses listed

The information systems and technology department (IST) is offering "Skills for the Academic e-Workplace" (SAW) computing courses in April. These courses are offered to faculty, grad students, and staff with instructional responsibilities: More information and a registration form are available on-line.

QUICK POLL

What's the most attractive building on campus?

  Dana Porter Library
  Davis Centre
  Health Services
  Math and Computer
  Student Life Centre

   

Tuesday's results

Did you see "The Crucible Project" over the weekend?
Yes, and I loved it, 32
Yes, but I didn't love it, 16
No, I never go to plays, 77
No, I don't like witches, 35
I didn't even know it was on, 83.

As we approach a long weekend

Today, which is Thursday: Tomorrow, March 29, is Good Friday and a holiday. UW offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held. And a few other notes:

CAR

TODAY IN UW HISTORY

March 28, 1987: A black-tie dinner marks the founding of a chapter of Sigma Chi, UW's first fraternity since a chapter of Phi Kappa Pi closed in 1975.

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