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Thursday, May 9, 2002

  • It ain't necessarily so
  • Math prof visits from Mexico
  • Some of what's a-happening
  • Interview workshop for employers
Chris Redmond

Ottawa's annual tulip festival

It ain't necessarily so

Let's start this morning with a note from the co-op and career services department: "Due to a system problem, 'master' copies of the Co-op Student Records that were handed out on Tuesday and Wednesday have the incorrect academic level. The 'master' copies were re-printed and the corrected ones can be picked up today (Thursday, May 9) at the paging desk in Needles Hall, starting at 9:30 a.m. This should still provide students with enough time to apply to jobs in Posting #1 with the correct information on the Co-op Student Record."

And one from information systems and technology: "We have had a number of reports of people receiving an email claiming that a virus called jdbgmgr.exe is not being detected by any virus software. This is a hoax, and we would appreciate it if people would not propagate this by sending this email on to friends." IST has a web site about computer viruses, with pointers to information from such agencies as Sensible Security Solutions.

And more on the subject of it-ain't-necessarily-so: Some media were reporting yesterday that a UW student had been arrested and charged with a number of sexual assaults. There is no UW student by the name reported, and never has been, and UW officials aren't aware of any student being charged.

Math prof visits from Mexico -- from the web site of the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology

This month's spotlight illuminates Araceli Reyes, a math professor at Mexico's Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and a visiting professor at Waterloo's Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing.

While Reyes has been at ITAM in Mexico City for eight years, she is no stranger to teaching – her love for teaching has carried her through 36 years of teaching. She has two loves in her academic life: her love of mathematics, and her love for teaching and learning. But she is, to a large extent, self-taught in learning theories.

She has found that support for constructivist, student-based, task-centred learning (the LT3 T-5 model) is sustained and nurtured here at LT3, Distance Education, and also by professor Lee Dickey of pure math, who met Professor Reyes (below) last year in Mexico. But the kind of support she received in Waterloo is often not available elsewhere, she warns.

[Reyes] Both Dickey and Reyes have used dynamic geometry tools (Dickey has used Cabri, Reyes has used Geometer's Sketchpad, and now they are both working with Cinderella). Their cooperation goes much further into their areas of expertise, however. After completing the LT3 Faculty Series introducing the task-based T-5 Model, Reyes began developing an online course for delivery to her Mexican students in a remedial first-semester course. Additionally, she is helping to design an online course with Lee, Pure Math360.

For PM360, she is developing brand new applets for using MapleNet, a new product from Waterloo Maple. Her new work has her adding illustrations and dynamic geometry to Dickey's courses for online delivery. Her task isn't easy, since there is great difficulty in delivering math on the web -- mathematics and mathematics submitting processes are just now pioneering -- and she is one of the pioneers.

Her work with the T-5 model wasn't her first exposure to constructivist teaching. She has used this for many years in the classroom, and this latest experience has helped her to see how to incorporate constructivism in online delivery. While on the subject of classrooms, Reyes hasn't been idle here either. This past year she taught Algebra 115 on campus.

Within the LT3 group, Reyes works closest with Les Richards, who also heads up Distance Education's web development department which specializes in placing courses online. Richards has worked quite closely with Waterloo Maple and Reyes to help clear the way for research on their new MapleNet product here at UW. While Reyes does have an office in the Math and Computer building, most of her work is carried out in the research environment afforded her in the Kitchener distance ed building's Webdev section.

Reyes attended the LT3 Spring Colloquium, and appreciates the interesting and illuminating positions the speakers have taken. While she found Terry Anderson's talk an excellent summary, she found Jonathan Darby's talk quite deep and will be thinking about his ideas and comments for some time. She says she also enjoyed Darby’s talk because she shares his belief that the web-based teaching now being used is to a large extent not as helpful as it could be. She remarks that in teaching "the web is misused" and she is doing everything within her power to correct that -- at least in mathematics!

Reyes finds UW very pleasant and Waterloo a very nice "quiet" place to work. She especially appreciates "the helpful, positive working environment" here. She wants us to know that our winters are not that bad; she really feels great here, and if it weren’t for her husband waiting for her in Mexico City, she maintains she'd prefer to stay here.

Some of what's a-happening

A thousand young people will be arriving at the Village conference centre today for a three-day gathering organized by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Western Ontario District.

"Making Sense of the Middle East Conflict: Palestine, Israel and International Law" is the lecture topic for Michael Lynk, professor of law, University of Western Ontario. He served as a UN refugee affairs officer on the West Bank in 1989 and was part of the Canadian delegation that observed the 1996 Palestinian elections. Sponsored by the Muslim Association of Canada, Lynk speaks at 7 p.m. in Davis Centre room 1350.

The two-day "Designing for Diversity in Dementia Care" conference continues at the Regal Constellation Hotel in Toronto, co-hosted by the UW-based Kenneth G. Murray Alzheimer and Research Education Program.

"Jillian Jiggs" is back, as the Touring Players have three more children's performances today in the Humanities Theatre (10:00, 11:45 and 1:30).

Reminder for staff members: voting ends tomorrow in the election of a board of governors member.

Friday brings a seminar geared towards co-op students who are working on UW web pages this summer. It's scheduled for 9 a.m. in Math and Computer room 1078. Other people working on web pages are welcome as well. "It is recommended that all co-op students that are working on UW web pages attend even if they are not using Dreamweaver and/or Fireworks," suggests Jesse Rodgers of information and public affairs, who adds that the morning's agenda will be posted on the web site about UW web standards, and resources, web.uwaterloo.ca.

Interview workshop for employers

"Do you hire UW students?" asks a memo from the co-op and career services department. "Are your interviewing techniques a little rusty? CECS will offer a free, Co-operative Education & Career Services (CECS) will offer a free, one-morning workshop called Interview U to employers interested in improving their interviewing expertise. The two-hour workshops are scheduled for three separate dates: May 29, June 7 or June 11. All the workshops run from 9 until 11 a.m. and rooms will be announced soon.

"The workshops are designed to help employers conduct better interviews by answering the questions that need to be answered and evaluating student responses. This will help the employer choose the best candidate for the position.

"Since UW employs more co-op students than any other organization, the many people on campus who are supervisors of these students may find the workshops useful.

"An informal survey of employers during Winter 2002 interviews suggested that an interview workshop would be beneficial. The idea for an interview workshop for employers had also been long discussed by CECS staff, especially field co-ordinators. The decision to finally instigate the workshop, however, came from a commitment to raise CECS's level of service to employers.

"If you wish to attend, please reserve a spot by contacting Annette Trudelle (atrudell@uwaterloo.ca or 888-4567 ext. 2284) indicating your preferred date."



May 9, 1960: Bruce Kelley, dean of science and acting dean of arts, dies suddenly.

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