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Monday, October 7, 2002

  • Wireless reaches the Grad Club
  • Microbiologist to give Hagey lectures
  • Racing to the finish line
  • The talk of the campus
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Americans flock to Canadian universities


[Renison photo]

Ecclesiastics were thick on the ground at yesterday's installation service for John Crossley, the new principal of Renison College. Posing at the Church of the Holy Saviour in Waterloo are its rector, Ven. Dennis Hayden, who serves on the Renison board, and Rt. Rev. Bruce Howe, bishop of Huron. Crossley told the audience at the service: "I am hopeful for a positive future, in which appropriate innovations are built upon respected traditions, all with an eye to serving students, learning, scholarship, society, and God. I will work hard while trying to achieve this."

Wireless reaches the Grad Club

A few enthusiasts of "Canada's connected campus" gave a demonstration Friday afternoon -- quenching their thirst at the Graduate Club without losing their access to the Internet.

The Club, located in the 19th-century farmhouse that is the oldest building on the main campus, now has access to 21st-century communications in the form of a wireless net connection. Bruce Campbell of the engineering computing office explains that his department provided the coverage, "with an access point (a wireless base station) at the end of the DWE building, attached to a directional antenna aimed at the Grad Club." He adds that "Users must typically be within about 50 meters of an access point, but coverage can vary significantly depending on obstacles, walls, etc."

Wireless coverage in UW's buildings is growing rapidly, making it possible for computer users to see their e-mail or work on the web without being tethered to a cable.

"Coverage in the Davis Center is excellent, with approximately 50 access points installed," Campbell observes. "Coverage in the Engineering Buildings is currently limited to a few common areas, with only four access points installed so far. Another two access points are in the process of installation, and funding is being sought for coverage in a number of classrooms. "Anyone with a laptop computer, 801.11b wireless card, and a userid/password in either UWdir or Nexus, can use these wireless networks."

He adds: "A few days ago, the associate dean for computing in engineering, Hector Budman, myself, and a number of other staff from my department had a round table discussion with four engineering students to decide how best to enhance student laptop use. Apart from learning where they thought coverage should be provided, we heard that two of the students had recently bought laptop computers based on the fact we are now providing wireless network access."

Bell launches program

Bell Canada officials will visit campus today to launch the Field Industrial Research Student Program, or FIRST. A media advisory calls it a "multi-disciplined university and business program" for students and faculty involved in Bell University Labs. Celebrations start at 1 p.m. in the Davis Centre lounge.

Council bets on students

The Responsible Gambling Council (Ontario) wants students to Know the Score, and will have a booth on campus this week to make sure of it. "If you do," writes Heather FitzGerald of the student life office, "you could win one of two $1,500 cash awards. Students will have the opportunity to complete an entry form, which includes five questions, to see if they know the score. The answers to the questions can be found online." The booth will be in the SLC from 11:00 to 2:00 Monday through Thursday, and from 5 to 7 p.m. daily it'll be either in the SLC or in one of the residences.

Microbiologist to give Hagey lectures

The Hagey Lecturer for this year will be microbiologist John Stanford, a member of the Hagey Lecture committee has announced. Stanford will give his talk Thursday, November 21, under the title "Environmental Echoes".

The Hagey Lectures, jointly sponsored by UW and the faculty association and named for UW's founding president, are given about once a year. While Stanford is at Waterloo he will also give a colloquium in the kinesiology department, said computer science professor Prabhakar Ragde on behalf of the organizing committee.

Stanford is professor and head of the department of medical microbiology at the Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College, London. His life work concerns the role of the immune system in the control of infection, and the interactions between bacteria and human physiology.

He did his primary medical studies at Guy's Hospital Medical School, University of London, from 1957 to 1962. Eight years later, he earned his Doctor of Medicine degree with a thesis on classification of mycobacteria, the infectious agents responsible for diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy. His framework remains in common use. A series of academic appointments at Guy's Hospital Medical School and Middlesex Hospital Medical School followed. He joined University College, London, as a reader in microbiology in 1988. He has published more than 150 papers in refereed journals and has more than 100 publications in other forums.

Applied mycobacteriology involves extensive fieldwork, on which Stanford was usually accompanied by his wife and collaborator, Cynthia, and their children. Through research programs spanning three decades and four continents, he has gained an understanding of not only the harmful effects of bacteria, but also of their potential benefits. His work on the mechanisms behind the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis (whose efficacy appeared to vary with geography) led him to identify an innocuous mycobacterium, M. vaccae, in soil samples from the shores of Lake Kyoga in Uganda. This organism, because of its similarity to more virulent mycobacteria, can help the human immune system to respond to them. This led to the development of an effective vaccine for leprosy, and a treatment that healed the autoimmune systems of leprosy sufferers free of bacterial infection.

With colleague Graham Rook, he has formed Stanford Rook Ltd., a public company to develop and investigate applications of vaccines derived from M. vaccae. He believes that the modern rise of allergic diseases such as asthma may be linked to the disappearance of mycobacteria from living environments because of modern hygiene, and that benign organisms such as M. vaccae may even offer hope in the treatment of cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Racing to the finish line -- from the co-op student newsletter Inside sCo-op

Every co-op student has a story about someone they know, usually a "friend of a friend", who landed the ultimate co-op job.You know the job -- the ideal work term with the amazing location, co-workers that respected you, plus incredible perks and a salary to match. Cole Pearn's work term might not have fit those specifications exactly, but to him, he had the best co-op job in the world.

Cole Pearn (#24 in the picture) just finished his first work term at Pearn Motorsports and no, the name isn't just a coincidence. The family owned business operates in Mt. Brydges, Ontario, and belongs to Cole's parents, both from racing families themselves. Racing is not just a hobby for Cole: it's a career. He is already recognized on the North American racing circuit as one of the most promising young drivers in Canada.

In 2001, he became the youngest sportsman division champion in Delaware Speedway's 50-year history. This summer, he broke the top 20 on the Cascar Super Series races in Nelles Corners, Ontario, and Montréal and the top 30 in Vancouver. All this and he still has to find time to write his first work term report.

Working at Pearn Motorsports, he has been able to combine his love of racing with his other passion: engineering. A 2A Mechanical Engineering student, Cole spent his summer not only racing cars but also building them. He recounts that he has "been able to build race cars from the ground up, as well as study and deal with whatever problems arise from them. The greatest thing has been being able to combine the feel of the car on the track and the track data to make changes, and then see and feel the difference."

Cole believes that co-op will help him decide which area of racing he wishes to pursue as a career. "I hope to go work with the engineers on a Nascar racing team as well as work for a couple of performance parts manufacturers," he explains.   When applying to universities, he chose Waterloo for the co-op program. Cole knew even from a young age that he "wanted to be involved in racing. "It was something that I was born into, and I have never wanted to do anything else since."

The moral of the story is don't neglect your hobbies and interests. Who knows? Maybe someday you might be able to make a job out of it. As Cole puts it, "I feel that no matter how much I can learn in a classroom or from books, nothing can substitute for real life experience."

[Newsletter]

A newsletter to promote the Keystone Campaign, under the title It's Our Waterloo, had its first issue in May, and a second issue will be sent to faculty and staff members in November, says Bonnie Oberle in UW's development office. "Save a tree!" she suggests. "If you would like to subscribe to the electronic version of future newsletters, please e-mail keystone@uwaterloo.ca."

The talk of the campus

[Proscenium stage] I said something in Thursday's Daily Bulletin about the "750-seat Humanities Theatre". "I know this is being picky," writes theatre manager Peter Houston, "but the Humanities Theatre has a maximum capacity of 721 and, as shown in the very nice picture, has 675 available seats. The removable front three rows have 46 seats. They can be removed to extend the stage, as shown, or to have an orchestra pit."

"Empty residence beds puzzle admin" was a front-page headline on Friday's issue of Imprint. And that should put to rest any lingering sense that there's a "housing shortage" this fall. "Although fluctuating," Christine Loureiro reported in Imprint, "current vacancies number approximately 100 beds, with 70 empty beds in residences reserved for first-year students, and 30 in upper-year residence." Housing director Gail Clarke says that many students reserved residence rooms but didn't show up. Since Labour Day, the paper added, "20 to 30 students have walked into the housing office and requested residence. According to Clarke, all have been accommodated."

A couple of notes about UW's distance education program, as reported on its web site: "As of May 1, 2002, students are no longer able to complete all of the requirements for a degree in Classical Studies entirely by distance education. However, students can complete a Classical Studies degree through a combination of on campus and distance education courses. . . . Please note that we do not offer Macintosh support for our online courses as of Fall 2002." New online courses this fall include Computer Science 114, Economics 211 and Religious Studies 100L.

The web site for future UW students, dubbed Findoutmore, has a new look these days. "It was redesigned with the help of graphics' Christine Goucher, Matt Regehr, myself, Jen Johnston and our co-op student Alan Wong," writes Julie Hummel, manager of undergraduate recruitment. "We developed a new architecture that is geared to a specific audience and once they self-identify using the left menu they can find info that is specific to them and their interests. We will continue to grow the site with plans to enhance the whole site with emphasis on the parents' page. We are finding them more and more involved in the process of choosing a university and with their own need for specific information."

Mike Kerrigan, vice-president (internal) of the Federation of Students, is working on an improved listing of volunteer opportunities for students. "Right now," he writes, "the Feds only advertise our own positions when we're recruiting for volunteers through our website or through other means (volunteer boards, handbook). What I'd like to do is create a list of all the various volunteer opportunities that are available across campus. This will be easy to do through our website now that it automatically forwards volunteer requests to different people depending on the position selected. I need the name of the position, a short description, the terms it's available and the e-mail any applications should be forwarded to. If positions are already filled, I'd still like them so that I can mark is as full, but people could still apply for future terms." Anybody with such information should send it to vpin@feds.ca.

The career development seminar series continues, with a talk today under the title "Business Etiquette and Professionalism", at 2:30 p.m. The career resource centre in Needles Hall has details and a registration sheet.

Tonight at 7:30, the Jewish studies program presents a lecture by Menachem Kellner of the University of Haifa, Israel. Title: "Religion Without Dogma: Must a Jew Believe Anything?" Everyone's welcome, admission is free, and there will be a reception afterwards. Oh, the location: Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University.

CAR

TODAY IN UW HISTORY

October 7, 1976: First-year English student Mary Pat Hannon is voted Miss Oktoberfest.

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