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Friday, January 17, 2003

  • File-sharing draws a cold shoulder
  • Anatomy school marks its 25th
  • Job's taken him beyond the brewery
  • Renison Founders' Day; more events
Chris Redmond

Malawi honours John Chilembwe today

File-sharing draws a cold shoulder

Two sentences about "file-sharing" -- the Internet activity by which individuals download music, movies and other electronic files -- have been added to UW's "Use of Computer and Network Resources" documents.

They stop short of banning file-sharing altogether, but it might be hard to get deeply into file-sharing without doing one of the things that the document now classes as "unacceptable behaviour":

RIAA reaches file-sharing agreement with IT groups (InfoWorld)

An issue at US universities (Centre Daily)

Walls go up on the web (Star)

ResNet game ports blocked ('uwstudent.org')

Examples of "appropriate" and "inappropriate" use of resources make up most of the document, which dates from 1998. Says a more general section of the document: "UW values and strives to provide its members with an environment of free inquiry and expression. Freedom of expression and academic freedom should be limited to no greater degree in electronic format than in printed or oral communication. Members of the UW community are responsible and accountable for their actions and statements, which includes showing reasonable restraint in the consumption of shared resources."

To put it another way, "we're not going to police the content," says Jay Black, associate provost (information systems and technology). But if users are putting the university at legal risk, or hogging the network, then it's time for action.

Most of the problem is on ResNet, which connects computers in UW residence rooms to the Internet through the campus network.

In practice, he said, IST staff have already blocked traffic in and out of UW that uses various Internet protocols (or "ports") used by KaZaA, Gnutella and various other file-sharing services, on the grounds that "they're causing unfair denial of service" to other users.

Anatomy school marks its 25th

UW's School of Anatomy -- one of the few places outside a medical school that anatomy is taught using actual human bodies -- marks its 25th anniversary today, although the main celebration will come in a few weeks.

"The UW School of Anatomy was established by Orders in Council of the Government of Ontario January 17, 1978," writes Jim Frank, kinesiology professor and current director of the school. It operates within the kin department and also serves students from the school of optometry and the health studies and gerontology department. "There regularly are a small number of students from other departments in the Human Anatomy and Human Neuroanatomy courses," Frank adds.

[With plastic skeleton] Creation of the school "was a significant achievement," he says, "as we have one of the few Schools of Anatomy in Canada that exist outside of a Medical School. We are indebted to Dr. Don Ranney (BA, MD, FRCS) for the founding of the School of Anatomy. Dr. Ranney served as Head of the School of Anatomy until his retirement in 1998."

Ranney -- seen in the photo using plastic replicas for a demonstration -- will be the guest of honour when the anatomy school holds its 25th anniversary celebration on February 28. He will speak about the beginnings of the school and his own experiences teaching anatomy, and a plaque in his honour will be installed.

The plaque will note that Ranney's "tireless efforts . . . made possible the dissection of human material for the purpose of learning anatomy at this university. Through his exemplary administration . . . Professor Ranney ensured that the cadavers would always be treated with respect and gratitude. His rigorous and creative teaching, illustrated from his experiences as a practicing physician and his innovative research and writing, have demonstrated the importance of anatomical knowledge in the promotion of health."

The school of anatomy now accepts one or two body donations each year, Frank says, and each year "approximately 250 UW students and a number of UW faculty researchers have the privilege of learning anatomy by examining the human body. This brings a level of understanding, amazement and reverence that cannot be equaled by pictures in a book or on a computer screen."

Job's taken him beyond the brewery -- by Jenna Olmstead, from the UW Recruiter newsletter for co-op employers

In June of 2000, Andy Bentley and Dave Bambrick took a chance when deciding to interview then junior student James Rowe (environmental engineering) for a senior position at Molson Breweries, but the pair quickly realized that they had found an invaluable team member.

Rowe has now spent four work terms with Bentley and Bambrick, following them to their new company Norfolk Systems, a control systems integrator and project management organization in Toronto. At the new business, he has consistently proven his flexibility, independence, and managerial skills. Although many employers shy away from recruiting junior students, Bentley and Bambrick's choice has paid off richly.

[With laptop] Work at Norfolk Systems has been a lesson in project diversity for Rowe (right), and his outstanding results let his managers trust him completely. "In a typical week I can be a programmer for one [client], a draftsman for another, and a project manager for a third," says Rowe, who mentions that he has even done some secretarial work for the small company.

In a business like Norfolk Systems, which employs six people, having a student who can hold his own is of huge benefit. Rowe became a favourite of one of Norfolk's major clients after managing a project that involved mechanical and electrical installation as well as configuring Programmable Logic Controls (a specialty of Norfolk Systems), and designing and programming human-machine interfaces. Not only was he able to manage a complex project, but he also formed an important relationship with one of the company's customers. Since that project, when doing business with Norfolk Systems, the client has continually requested Rowe's involvement.

He proved reliable again when he flew out to relieve Bentley and assume his managerial responsibilities on a million-dollar project in Edmonton. James enjoyed living out of a hotel for a number of weeks, although the prospect of "getting up to speed in a matter of hours then directing some fifteen to twenty trades" was intimidating.

Now that Bentley has returned to Edmonton, Rowe has assumed his manager's duties back in Toronto, handling customer relations and sales which Bentley considers, "the most important job we have." Other than bi-weekly phone calls with his manager, he handles the job on his own.

Considering the amount of work Rowe has done for the company and the lower cost of hiring a co-op student instead of a full-time employee, Bentley estimates that he has saved Norfolk Systems 30 to 40 thousand dollars. When asked what kind of contribution he has made, Rowe answers, "Everyone else in the company has at least 10 years experience in controls and project management. To be asked to join a group like this as an equal is pretty flattering."

Renison Founders' Day; more events

Renison College will celebrate its 44th anniversary at a Founders' Day service and address on Sunday. A service at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, in downtown Kitchener, at 3 p.m. will launch the activities.

The title of Honorary Senior Fellow of Renison College will be bestowed on Rev. Canon Kenneth Fung; Betty C. Graham; and Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain. The title of Fellow of Renison College will be bestowed on Rev. Canon George Ferris, with the title of Fellow of Renison and Professor Emeritus bestowed on Joanne Turner, who retired a few months ago as head of Renison's (and UW's) social work program.

Margaret Norrie McCain, the first woman lieutenant governor of New Brunswick, will deliver the keynote address. she has worked actively to develop and promote the arts and education, and is a former chancellor of Mount Allison University. She also helped to establish the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation, committed to the elimination of family violence through public education and research. She co-chaired the Ontario government's groundbreaking Early Years Study and is currently heading the City of Toronto's Early Learning and Care Commission.

Members of the public are invited to attend the Founders' Day service and keynote address on Sunday. After the service there will be social activities at the college.

Other events: The Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference, largely organized by UW students, continues in Toronto. Among the features today: UW's Midnight Sun solar race car will be on display this afternoon at the conference's "TechExpo".

The LT3 technology centre presents two workshops today on "Universal Instructional Design", the rubric for planning courses in a way that considers accessibility and all learning styles. A basic workshop is scheduled for 10 am. and one about web design at 1:00. Both are being held in the "Flex lab" in the Dana Porter Library. Advance reservations were wanted (ext. 7008), but I suppose there might be last-minute spaces.

Not UW-related, but of interest to some people on campus: Ontario government officials will be at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in central Waterloo this morning (11:45) to announce "a significant grant" from the Trillium Foundation for renovations, development and marketing of the gallery.

Tonight at Federation Hall, according to an ad: "Diesel Dog, Fat Cats, Grand Theft Bus". . . . A Banff Mountain Film Festival is scheduled for Saturday in the Humanities Theatre, with shows at 2:00 and 7:00. . . . There are still spaces in the February 22 Hagey Bonspiel, and today is the last day to register (ext. 3638) and be eligible for the early bird draw prize. . . . Tickets are on sale now for "Godspell", to be performed by Conrad Grebel University College students March 19-22. . . .

I understand a number of UW groups have been invited to take part in a "Walk for Peace" Saturday morning. The event, "protesting' against the US threats of war on Iraq", will start at 10:30 at the Seagram Drive entrance to Waterloo Park, says organizer Louisette Lanteigne.

A group from UW's staff association will be off to Casino Rama by bus for the day on Sunday. The association's social committee has been busy, and a number of other events are on the schedule: Chinese new year lunch at the University Club on January 31; The Caverners at the Black Forest Inn on February 1; a ski trip to Ellicottville on February 5; a group outing to FASS on February 8; Kitchener Rangers hockey on February 28. Various people are selling the tickets; information should be available from the staff association office, phone ext. 3566.

Sports this weekend: The basketball Warriors host Ryerson tonight and Toronto tomorrow, with both men and women playing both days (women at 6 p.m., men at 8 p.m.) in the Physical Activities Complex. Warrior swimmers hold a dual meet against Western tonight starting at 7:00 in the PAC pool; they're at Laurier for a dual meet tomorrow. The volleyball teams are at Western tonight and will host Queen's tomorrow afternoon in the PAC (women at 1 p.m., men at 3 p.m.). The women Warriors, hockey variety, will host a Mississauga team in an exhibition game tomorrow at 3:30 at RIM Park. The men's hockey team hosts Lakehead tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Columbia Icefield. Away from campus, the Nordic skiers are at Sherbrooke this weekend, the squash team is in a tournament at Ryerson, and the track and field athletes are in Windsor.


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