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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

  • Teachers hailed as 'distinguished'
  • What to do with the leftovers
  • Indecency? Play explores scandal
  • From solar computing to le jazz hot
Chris Redmond

The Young and the Restless, 30 years today

[Under a ballroom chandelier]

Programmers at work: Denis Dmitriev, Lars Hellsten and Gordon Chiu represented UW yesterday at the world finals of the ACM intercollegiate programming contest, held in Beverly Hills. Organizers reported last night that the Waterloo team had solved five of the ten problems in the competition, making them the top Canadian entry in the competition but tied for 21st overall. The University of Warsaw, with nine solutions, was this year's winner.

Teachers hailed as 'distinguished'

Here are the winners for 2003 of UW's Distinguished Teacher Awards: The teaching resources and continuing education, office is expected to publish summaries of these four teachers' achievements, with references to the nomination documents that earned them their DTAs, in the next day or two.

Also announced this week were two winners of the 2003 award for "distinguished teaching by a registered student". They are Jason Niles of the school of planning and Ian VanderBurgh of pure mathematics.

Positions available

Just two jobs are listed in this week's summary from the human resources department:

  • Systems support analyst, co-operative education and career services, USG 7

  • Software engineer, physics, USG 10

    More information about the two jobs, and about how current UW staff can apply for them, can be found on the HR web site.

  • City now owns building where architecture school will move
  • Conflict likely over equipment for Icefield expansion (Imprint)
  • Campaign to recruit more math and science teachers
  • Canada Research Chairs biased against women, group says
  • Out-of-province students see the deck stacked against them
  • No tuition fees for PhD students at UBC
  • The latest on Yale's troubled labour relations
  • The Craft of Research, second edition
  • 'The materials and manufacturing R&D event of the year'
  • What to do with the leftovers

    With the end of term approaching, students will be cleaning out their houses and apartments, including food items.

    On Friday and Saturday the Meal Exchange Program at both UW and Wilfrid Laurier University, and the UW Federation of Students Food Bank, are offering students an alternative to tossing food in the garbage.

    The event is called Clear the Shelves, and involves groups of volunteers circulating throughout the community as well as in student residences asking for donations of any unused food, which would otherwise go to waste. The food is then donated to local food banks, including the Feds Food Bank.

    The campaign will run over the course of two days. On March 28, volunteers will be going through the residences to collect food, and on the 29th, they will be going door-to-door in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Volunteers will be in the neighbourhoods around midday.

    The event is a Meal Exchange (www.mealexchange.com) initiative and is being run with the help of the UW Food Bank. Meal Exchange is a student-focused charity that began at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1993 with a mission to identify and implement student solutions to hunger in Canada. Since its inception, it has expanded to 38 campuses and has raised over $230,000 worth of food for local community and campus food banks, soup kitchens, shelters and other social organizations.

    Indecency? Play explores scandal

    The famous 1890s trials of Oscar Wilde receive a re-examination this week as the UW drama department mounts a new play by the provocative playwright Moisés Kaufman. "In this stunning work of theatre," a news release promises, "Moisés Kaufman (co-author and director of another knockout success, The Laramie Project) turns the sensational trials of Oscar Wilde into a rivetting human drama."

    When Wilde accused Lord Queensberry of libel in 1895, after his homosexual affair with Queensberry's son, he set in motion a course of events that rocked the foundation of Victorian society, and led ultimately to his own incarceration on the charge of "gross indecency" -- the phrase that gives the play its title.

    Kaufman's play examines the relevance of the Wilde trials today. The hero of gay liberationists, Wilde also championed the right of individuals to discover themselves through beauty and pleasure. His ideas on art as "the only civilising influence" and the power of culture to humanize in the face of cruelty or war are as challenging and relevant today as they were when Wilde first uttered them.

    "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" is described as "a gripping and thought-provoking drama, which explores the often puzzling motives of a writer who is still today the most widely read in the English Language after Shakespeare. Wilde's courageous attempts to challenge the moral codes of his society, and his tragic downfall at the hands of his enemies, makes for a compelling evening of theatre."

    Guest Director Julie Hartley and an acting company of 18 bring Wilde's trials to the Theatre of the Arts from tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Humanities box office, 888-4908.

    Student's garage band concert tomorrow in Toronto

    Kinesiology student Jennifer Yorke, who's at a job at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga this term, will see the results of some hard work on Thursday night.

    She's been organizing a concert as a benefit for Alzheimer's disease research at UW. Location for the event is the Tequila Lounge at Bathurst and Bloor Streets in central Toronto. It's licensed, and bands include Brodie (acoustic rock), Kenghk ("alternative-rap-industrial"), and Knuckle (alternative rock). Tickets are $8 at the door.

    Yorke says a couple of her friends were involved in organizing a concert at UW last term, and with a keen interest in Alzheimer's, which affects one of her grandmothers, she decided to put a benefit together. A web search helped her find several "garage bands" from the Mississauga area. "To find the venue I asked my bands where they normally play," and one thing led to another and eventually to the Tequila. Kinko's provided discount posters, and several companies have given raffle prizes. Yorke adds: "My good friend Jarrod Blinch (software engineering, also on co-op this term) is going to be my doorman and is helping with general organization . . . and keeping me sane."

    The doors open at 6:30 and the music will start at 7:10.

    From solar computing to le jazz hot

    An intelligent vacuum cleaner . . . automatic offside detection for soccer . . . a plagiarism detector . . . interactive monsters for Disney . . . applications of hyperspectral imagery to precision agriculture . . . solar-powered computing . . . real-time epileptic seizure prediction. Those are some of the projects created by teams of fourth-year systems design engineering students this year. The results of work in SYDE 461 and 462 will be shown off today in the Davis Centre lounge. Displays are in place all day, and 15-minute presentations of the various projects are scheduled in room 1302 nearby.

    "Hot Latin Jazz", featuring Michael Wood on vibraphone, is promised at a 12:30 concert in the Conrad Grebel University College chapel. . . . The Jocus toy sale continues today, 9:00 to 2:00, at the Early Childhood Education Centre, PAS building room 1015. . . .

    The joint health and safety committee will meet at 1:30 in Needles Hall room 3004. Agenda items range from fire safety to SARS, the respiratory disease that's got Ontario's public health system on edge this spring.

    March is Nutrition Month, and to mark the occasion, health services invites people to drop by tomorrow between 2 and 4 p.m. Enticements: "Enjoy a healthy snack . . . speak with a nutrition nurse . . . test your nutrition IQ . . . you could win a great prize!"

    The teaching resources and continuing education office holds a a noon-hour workshop today on "Writing CVs and Cover Letters". . . . At 6:00 tonight (Math and Computer room 2065) the Computer Science Club presents a talk by Stefanus Du Toit under the intriguing title "Abusing the C++ Compiler". . . . It's the third and last day for an exhibition of instant-camera photos in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre, under the title "Holga Mania". . . .

    This afternoon brings a cancer control seminar: "Cancer Research and the NCIC: From Cell Populations to Human Populations", by Gerald Johnston, vice-president of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and professor of microbiology and immunology at Dalhousie University. Location: the Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute. The event is sponsored by the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation.

    The Federation of Students will hold a general meeting -- that means all undergraduate students can speak and vote -- at 3:30 p.m. in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. Agenda items include ratification of the elected executive for 2003-04 and approval of a cost-of-living increase in the Fed fee, to $29 per term. There are also some by-law changes, including one that redefines the duties of the vice-president (education). In the past, the VP has been mandated to "work . . . to keep post-secondary education financially accessible"; now it'll say "to keep post-secondary education both financially accessible and of high quality".

    This evening, UW's Civics Research Group holds one of its weekly open discussions. The leader this week is graduate student Stephanie Janetos, and the topic is "Communities, Values, Protected Areas: Examples from Greece". Things start at 7:30 at 70 King Street East in downtown Kitchener.



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