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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

  • UW prof will design Rome piazza
  • Cancer research brings $11 million
  • New web server tomorrow
  • Life under the summer sun
Chris Redmond

Bob Hope is 99 today

UW prof will design Rome piazza

UW architecture professor Lorenzo Pignatti has won a national competition for the design of a piazza in the centre of Rome, the school of architecture proudly announced last night.

[Pedestrians and old walls] Pignatti has been director of UW's Rome Program for fourth year architecture students since 1989, and has done extensive research about Roman architecture and the "urban requalification" of ancient buildings. His design is for the Piazza San Cosimato (right), a space in the historic centre of Rome.

Rick Haldenby, director of the school of architecture, says, "The win is all the more significant for the school of architecture because this piazza is just steps away from the Waterloo studio in the Trastevere district of Rome, a place with which all participants in the Rome program are very familiar."

The competition was sponsored by the city of Rome. A jury of Italian architects and planners selected Pignatti's design from 76 submissions by architects from all over Italy. The project team included two UW architecture students, Esther Cheung and Elsa Lam, who are currently participating in the exchange between UW and the Universita Gabriella D'Annunzio in Pescara.

The piazza is triangular and completely surrounded by historic buildings. The Jury comments that Pignatti's design "provides a solution that emphasizes the slope of the land and creates specific spaces that transform the existing elements -- the open air market, the huge trees, the historic colonnade of the church of San Cosimato and the angled streets -- into public resources and social occasions for the diverse users at the different times of day."

The funding allocated for the project is 1.3 million euros (about $1.9 million Canadian).

For Haldenby, "Lorenzo's project is simply magnificent, almost unbelievable. This is the most important act of design in a city, the public space, and this is one of the most important cities in the world. For years to come it will carry a mark of the relationship between Rome and the UW school of architecture."

Cancer research brings $11 million -- from the UW news bureau

The National Cancer Institute of Canada has approved $11.2 million in funding over five years to continue the work of UW's Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation.

"CBRPE was created to advance cancer control in Canada, and we are well positioned to do this," said Roy Cameron, the centre's director and a faculty member in the department of health studies and gerontology.

The centre's core mission is to conduct and support research that contributes to improved cancer prevention and care. To support its research program, CBRPE has created and oversees a national Sociobehavioural Cancer Research Network that allows top researchers across the country to work together on large projects. The research program focuses on a wide range of issues, from cancer prevention through to palliative care.

There are five scientists in the CBRPE core unit and 17 additional UW faculty members who do research with the centre. Cameron noted that this arrangement means that donor dollars contributed to the Canadian Cancer Society and passed on to the centre through the NCIC are stretched, since faculty paid by the university contribute to the centre's research program. These faculty and their students benefit because their association with the centre provides opportunities for them to be involved in high impact research. Established by the Canadian Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute of Canada in 1993, and moved to UW in 1998, CBRPE has played a crucial role in building behavioural cancer research in Canada.

The work at UW is concentrated on tobacco control research. Up to 70 per cent of cancers are preventable, CBRPE researchers say, with 30 per cent of cancer deaths caused by smoking. "We have about six million smokers in Canada. About half of all long-term smokers die prematurely, with one in six getting lung cancer," Cameron said. "This means that in Canada we have about one million cases of lung cancer in the making and two million cases of other diseases that will cause premature deaths in smokers. We do not want to just stand back and let this happen. We are going all out to find ways to reduce smoking rates as fast as possible."

Several smoking research programs are centred at UW. For instance, Paul McDonald, of health studies and gerontology, played a lead role in developing software to support government-funded cessation lines operated by the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario, British Columbia and Québec. McDonald now is heading a research team doing work that will continuously improve the services these lines provide to smokers.

Psychology professor Geoff Fong is studying the impact of the new Canadian warning labels on youth. A team of several scientists, including Steve Brown, of statistics and actuarial science, focuses on prevention of smoking in young people through school and community based programs.

Over the next five years, CBRPE plans to advance the Canadian Strategy on Cancer Control, the National Tobacco Control Strategy and the organizational initiatives of the CCS/NCIC. Details of research plans are in place and much of the funding has already been received, Cameron said.

In the past year, CBRPE helped establish the UW Survey Research Centre to support evaluation and stimulate survey research. CBRPE also played a role in developing a successful proposal to establish a Statistics Canada Regional Data Centre at UW that offers capacity to conduct policy-relevant analysis of population health surveys. In partnership with the Canadian Dental Association, it has disseminated a dental smoking cessation program, developed by CBRPE's Sharon Campbell with an NCIC grant, to all dental offices in Canada. CBRPE conducts program evaluation -- in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society -- as well as research. The goal is to ensure that CCS programs (including the Cancer Information Service, CCS emotional support programs for cancer patients and CCS tobacco control programs) are having real impact.

New web server tomorrow

The elderly computer that hosts UW's central web server will be replaced tomorrow, the information systems and technology department says. "The process will begin around 6 a.m. and should take one and a half hours to complete. Web pages will be available for most of the outage, but people will not be able to modify the contents of their pages for the entire switchover period."

The new machine is a Sun 280R running the Solaris 8 operating system -- rather a jump up from Solaris 2.8 on the current "info" server. It has two SunW UltraSPARC central processing units running at 750 MHz (hey, how d'you like the technical jargon?) and it's equipped with 4 gigabytes of active memory, compared with 196 megs (0.2 gigs) on the current machine.

The "info server" hosts the central UW web site as well as web services for many of UW's departments, the Booklook database for the bookstore, and even this Daily Bulletin.

"Extensive testing has been performed to ensure that the transition is a smooth one," says Brian Cameron of IST. "However, as with any new implementation there is the chance that problems may arise." Any problems should be reported by e-mail to request@ist.

Life under the summer sun

The Federation of Students will hold "Services Days" today and tomorrow from 11:00 to 2:00 outside the Math and Computer building -- look for the barbecue.

Today brings the first of three interviewing workshops for employers sponsored by the co-op and career services department. "The workshops are designed to help employers conduct better interviews by answering the questions that need to be answered and evaluating student responses," an invitation to employers explained. After the two-hour workshop, employers can stick around for the rest of the day and interview co-op students for fall term jobs.

The new "faculty series" in the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology starts today: "The New Classroom: Engaging Students with Online Tasks". Participants in the three-week series were expected to register in advance, as it's no small commitment of time from both the participant and the LT3 staff.

Tonight's topic in the gay and lesbian discussion group series is "Heart to Heart: Volunteering and Activism in the LGBT Community" (7:00, Humanities room 373).

Centre Stage Dance has a second recital tonight (7:00) in the Humanities Theatre.

And . . . computing support staff who are interested in the Microsoft Windows 2000 and Active Directory technologies are invited to attend a series of presentations to be held on June 4 from 1:00 to 4:30 in the LT3 Flex lab in the Dana Porter Library. To register, contact Jason Greatrex of IST at ext. 6494 or e-mail jgreatrex@uwaterloo.ca.



May 29, 1984: Jon Dellandrea, director of development, is promoted to vice-president (development). May 29, 1987: Spring convocation ceremonies include presentation of diplomas in the name of UW to almost 300 people who graduated from the Ontario College of Optometry before it became part of UW in 1967.

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