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Friday, May 17, 2002

  • Funding for 'new economy' research
  • Staff association picks leaders
  • Here we are at a long weekend
Chris Redmond

What is this place called Carolina?

Grad students survive dive

Two biology graduate students "are safe at home after a diving expedition on Lake Erie turned dangerous Wednesday", the Record reports this morning. (The Star has the same story.) Paul Weidman and Reagan Szabo were diving to collect sediment samples when their boat, operated by a third student, was blown out of position. The boat operator made for shore and called police. The Ontario Provincial Police marine unit found the divers about an hour later, three kilometres from their original location. They were treated for hypothermia and released from hospital. The diving project is part of a study of quagga mussels in the lake.

Most students are first generation

Judging from the results of the latest Daily Bulletin poll, the majority of UW's students represent the first generation in their family to attend university.

The question was posed on Wednesday, aimed at current students: How many of your parents graduated from university?

The results received during the 24 hours that Bulletin was current:

  • None -- 298
  • One -- 82
  • Two or more -- 122
It's important to stress that those who answer the Daily Bulletin poll are self-selected, not a random sample, and that the accuracy of the answers hasn't been verified.

Still, it's interesting to observe that if the poll is an accurate reflection, nearly 60 per cent of students don't have a parent who attended university.

Funding for 'new economy' research

UW researchers are receiving $226,790 in research funding under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Initiative on the New Economy, the federal government has announced. The funding is part of $8.1 million in the first round of research grants announced by Maurizio Bevilacqua, secretary of state for science, research and development, on behalf of Allan Rock, minister of industry.

The announcement involves 57 projects at universities across Canada. Two projects involve UW researchers:

Will e-commerce decimate the taxation of multinational enterprise? Kenneth Klassen and Carla Carnaghan, both of the UW school of accountancy, and Jeffrey Pitman, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Grant amount: $128,770.

The economic value of the knowledge-base of financially distressed high-tech firms. Thomas Åstebro, UW management sciences, and Joachim Winter, University of Mannheim, Germany. Grant amount: $98,020.

"The New Economy continues to redefine the way we live, work and play," Rock said in announcing the grants. "These INE research grants will strengthen our understanding of the impact of technology and shifting global issues while, at the same time, help us to continue to benefit from these changes.

"The work of these grant recipients will teach us how new technologies can help us achieve our innovation goals," Rock added.

"The New Economy is not just economics on a global scale; it also speaks to the relevance of the social sciences and humanities to Canada," said Marc Renaud, president of SSHRC. "One of the projects we are announcing today, for example, will lead the way in the study of Internet stock message boards and their impact on equity markets. This innovative project is only one of many that could have important policy implications for Canada."

A news release from SSHRC explains that the INE "contributes directly to the Government's efforts to make Canada a more innovative society, one marked by excellence, creativity and equity. It is a strategic investment in basic and applied research that lays the foundation for success in the knowledge-based economy. It is also an important step towards fulfilling the Government's commitment to make Canada a world leader in research and development by 2010."

Staff association picks leaders

The succession is settled in UW's staff association, as Steve Breen, president for 2002-03, is to be followed by Chris Henderson of the purchasing department in 2003-04. She's been acclaimed as president-elect, association members are told in a newsletter this week.

[Henderson] Henderson (left) has worked in purchasing since 1987, and has been on the staff association executive for the past four years -- as a secretary, a director, and most recently vice-president. The purchasing department web site explains her job briefly: "Currently, her key role in the department is to handle the import and export of all goods entering or leaving Canada, as well as responding to many queries regarding taxes."

Breen, who will become president at the association's annual general meeting next month, is computer operations manager in the information systems and technology department. He takes over the presidency from Ed Chrzanowski of the math faculty computing facility.

Other members of the staff association executive for the coming year will be Brian Whitfield (engineering machine shop), vice-president; Iris Strickler (graphics), treasurer; Avril McVicar (distance and continuing education), secretary; and Wendy Irving (chemical engineering), Andy Newman (plant operations), Nancy O'Neil (Student Life Centre) and Stephen Markan (information systems and technology), directors.

The association's annual meeting will be held Monday, June 3, starting at 11:30 a.m. in Davis Centre room 1302.

Noted for next week

Tuesday noon: "Staff Recruitment, Promotion, Transfer", second session in the "Know Your Workplace" series; to be repeated Thursday at 9 a.m., both times in Davis Centre room 1302.

Tuesday, 6 to 10 p.m.: "An Evening of Tunes" in the Humanities Theatre, free concert by three performers based in the department of English ("female alternative duo", alternative rock trio, "80s cover band").

Wednesday noon: "Ask the Expert" session at UW bookstore with David Hobson, gardening columnist and author of Diary of a Mad Gardener.

Wednesday, 4 p.m.: Smarter Health Seminar on "Healthcare, Technology and Privacy", with speaker Greg Keeling of the Ontario privacy commissioner's office. Location: Davis Centre room 1302.

Wednesday, 5:30: UW Innovate information session ("An Introduction to Start-Up Issues, Focusing on New Venture Incorporation and Legal Issues"), Environmental Studies I room 350.

Wednesday, 7 p.m.: Mohamed Elmasry of electrical and computer engineering speaks about his new book Spiritual Fitness for Life (Davis Centre room 1302).

Thursday noon: "Renting to Students: What You Need to Know", session aimed at staff and faculty members. Speaker is UW ombudsperson Marianne Miller. Location: you guessed it -- Davis Centre room 1302.

Here we are at a long weekend

Monday, May 20, is Victoria Day and a holiday. UW offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held. On Monday the Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open noon to 6 p.m. only, with no circulation or reference service available. Retail services stores -- the bookstore, TechWorx and the UW Shop in South Campus Hall -- that are usually open on Saturdays will be closed all this weekend.

Today, meanwhile, co-op students taking part in the interview process this term should hand in a copy of their resumé package to the Needles Hall drop-off slot by 8:00 tonight, the co-op department says.

There's open stage at the Grad House again tonight, starting at 9:00.

The conference centre keeps busy, with the arrival of about 85 participants in the Ontario Folk Dance Camp over the long weekend.

And . . . students who have been wondering about their winter term marks won't have to wonder much longer. Quest is announcing that marks and academic standings will be posted there on May 20, which is Monday. (Marks are no longer mailed to students, the registrar's office says.)



May 17, 1990: The first Midnight Sun solar car is unveiled; its cost is reported as $116,000.

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