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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

  • A raw morning, and here we are
  • Three are going to Disneyland
  • Link with Indian consulting firm
  • Happening now and shortly
Chris Redmond

The birthday of Muhammad

Engineering student is mourned

Mirko Hroch, a first-year mechanical engineering student, was killed Friday in a motorcycle accident on highway 7-8 at Trussler Road in Kitchener. Says an obituary notice: "He will be lovingly remembered by his parents, George and Viera Hroch; his sister, Petra; as well as his extended family and especially his friends." Memorial arrangements are yet to be announced.

A raw morning, and here we are

So I come back to campus after a week away, and find it markedly wetter than when I left. Well, it'll be good for the flowers. And among my hundreds of e-mail messages, I find one from a prominent faculty member, commenting on how -- in a time of great stress and weariness -- "we all appreciate the wonderful work the grounds people do to take care of the flowers and remove all that awful grit from the roads and pathways, etc. I'm not sure that they're told all that often how much we appreciate what they do to make our environment safe and beautiful."

Speaking of things that grow, today brings the third annual "GardenStart" event, says the organizer, Jason Rochon of the UW computer store. "I am having my usual seed and seedling swap," he explains. "Thanks to the UW staff association we have more than ever before. Not only will we be giving away pots, seeds and seedlings, but I will also have a limited number of strawberry plants." The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. today in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. On offer: scarlet runner beans, vervain, Welsh onion, rampion, peppers, forget-me-not, sweet rocket, collards, sweet corn, cilantro, marigolds, . . .

As I was saying, I'm back following a week's holidays, and a noticeable change in the campus landscape is the arrival of a sign along the ring road identifying the William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education & Career Services. It was still nameless when I left; and I think it takes a prize for length, its 69 letters and spaces easily beating the 45 in the William G. Davis Centre for Computer Research and even the 52 in the Isaiah Bowman Building for the Environmental Studies. (What's the shortest building name on campus? Physics.)

By the way, let me record my thanks to my colleague Avvey Peters for looking after the Daily Bulletin during my absence.

So it continues cool and rainy here, and it's warm with a "chance" of thunderstorms in Topeka, capital of Kansas -- which matters because that's where UW's Midnight Sun solar car can be found this week. The car is being put through its paces in qualifying events for this summer's American Solar Challenge. "It was a 23 hour journey from Waterloo to Kansas," writes Calli Citron, media relations officer for Midnight Sun, "but team members are in high spirits!"

[With little fuzzy guys]

Three are going to Disneyland

Systems design engineering students Munira Jessa, Analene Go, and Kimberly Tuck (right) are on their way to California this summer to showcase their creative talents as finalists in the Walt Disney Imagi-Nations Design Competition.

As a part of their fourth-year workshop project, the team of three decided to design a theme park ride for the Walt Disney Company as "Imagineers". Disney Imagineering sponsors the Imagi-Nations Competition each year for university students all over the world to present original ideas that will add something new to the Disney experience.

The goal of the project -- supervised by systems design professor Catherine Burns -- was to design a theme park attraction based on the film Monsters Inc., entitled Monsters Training Facility. The attraction is a theatre ride with motion platform seating to give the audience the feeling of immersion into the story being played out in from of them. The preliminary contest submission includes 56 hand-drawn pictures with captions portraying a sequel to the film. Further research and development has been done in the areas of motion platforms and immersion techniques. The team has also implemented an animation in the first person perspective as an example of what the audience will experience while on the ride.

As 2003 competition finalists, the three UW students have been invited to Glendale, California where they will bring their project to life at the Disney Imagineering head office during finalist week June 8 to 12. Their trip will involve a presentation of their design to Walt Disney Imagineers, a visit to Disneyland, and the opportunity to meet with Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

Link with Indian consulting firm -- from the UW media relations office

UW continues to develop new opportunities for its students through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Tata Consultancy Services, Asia's largest global software consulting and services organization.

UW president David Johnston and TCS chief executive officer S. Ramadorai said the agreement sets the stage for the creation of new co-op work placements for UW undergraduate students matching the needs of TCS.

"We are thrilled," Johnston said. "By combining our resources, we will be able to offer a better experience for our students and create new opportunities for TCS. It is truly a win-win situation."

The objective is to build a partnership between the two organizations that enhances the teaching, research and learning experiences of UW students and provides TCS with access to some of the top technology talent in Canada. Other collaborative projects will be pursued as the interests and needs of both sides become more clearly defined.

Specifically, TCS is working to create co-op placements for a small number of undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines.

"Our partnership with UW is another example of TCS's long-term commitment to research and development at the university level," said Arup Gupta, TCS president of North American operations. "We've been at the forefront of establishing long-term mutually beneficial relationships with universities around the world for decades. And we believe with UW as a partner, we can continue to accomplish great things." Gupta added that through the process of sharing information, research projects can be fully explored and developed for potential application in the marketplace.

The agreement comes on the heels of several recent initiatives that TCS has established with other institutions of higher learning in North America. It also has long-term relationships with a number of universities in India. Tata Consultancy Services is one of the world's largest IT software and services consulting organizations, with 22,505 employees (20,840 consultants), revenues of $880 million, and more than 150 offices worldwide.

[Biting the medals to make sure]

Waterloo colours stood out during National Capital Race Weekend in Ottawa. A total of more than 20,000 participants raised half a million dollars for the Ottawa Hospital, and among them was this crowd representing UW: Anne Freemark of the co-op education and career services department, Kerry Whyte, Jane MacGregor, and Freemark's children Maureen and Sam. Also running: former co-op coordinator Beth VandenBerg. The photo was taken by the UW team's coach, Dan Beaupre, also of CECS.

Happening now and shortly

Students who will be going through co-op interviews this term should pick up the "master copy student record" today (starting at 10 a.m.) at the paging desk in the new Tatham Centre. . . . The senate undergraduate council will meet at 12 noon in Needles Hall room 3004, with an agenda that includes a discussion of English language admission requirements. . . . The arts faculty council meets at 3:30 p.m. in Humanities room 373. . . .

The LT3 technology centre offers a talk today by Martyn Sloman, author of The E-Learning Revolution, about "Implementing E-Learning: The Current Challenge". Sloman will speak at 11:00 in the Flex lab in the Dana Porter Library, and this intriguing comment is part of the announcement of his talk: "Progress is not helped by over-hype and over-promotion. Real progress will come from the determined efforts of training professionals in organizations who are working to overcome the demanding problems of e-learning implementation." (Another talk in LT3, scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed: Roberto Bamberger, "solutions architect" for Microsoft, is unable to come to UW.)

An open house will be held tonight, 7 to 10 p.m., by the Martial Arts Club. Demonstrations of Taekwondo, Karate, and Aikijujutsu are planned in the Red Activity Area, Blue Activity Area, and Studio 2 of the Physical Activities Complex.

Registration for instructional programs in campus recreation will be held tomorrow for all programs except Staff Fitness, for which sign-up is today, noon to 1 p.m. People wanting to register for instructional programs should come to the Physical Activities Complex tomorrow between 8:15 and 11:00 to pick up a time-card, which sets an appointment to come back and register later that day. Late registration will take place on Thursday. Michelle Robinson of the campus rec program notes "a couple of new things" this term, including a Pilates exercise class on Friday mornings. "Check out our new workshops and clinics," she adds. "We are offering one-day workshops on Salsa and Merengue, Belly Dancing and Swing Dancing, to name a few. For more details, check out the Campus Recreation webpage."

The students who arrive with the double cohort and in the next few years will be -- surprise -- different from those who have been to universities before. So says Chris McGrath, a UW graduate who works in the student affairs business and has written about what he calls "the millennial generation". McGrath will speak tomorrow afternoon for anyone interested, in a talk sponsored by the student affairs office. According to a flyer: "Chris will help us understand the generational characteristics of millennial students, explore their developmental issues, the increasingly complex role of their parents and the family transition to the university community." The session is open to anyone who's interested, but RSVPs are requested. Contact Heather FitzGerald at ext. 6876 or e-mail studentlife@uwaterloo.ca to attend.

A session on "Personality and Spirituality in the Workplace", sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, is scheduled for noon-hour on Thursday, according to a green EAP flyer distributed a few days ago. . . . The first meeting of a support group for individuals impacted by war is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday (call ext. 5483 for information). . . . There's still plenty of room in the June 16 Matthews Golf Classic, organizers say, and registration is through the web. . . .

And Tammy Hoffmann writes from health services: "We would like to once again extend information to all registered UW students, and employees of the University of Waterloo and members of their immediate family, regarding the availability of the asthma education clinic here at Health Services to be held on alternate Tuesdays during the summer term. No referral necessary and this service is free of charge. Just call 888-4096 for an appointment. Clients should bring along their health card (provincial or UHIP), their medications, aerochambers, peak flow meters (if using one) and a list of any questions they may want to ask."


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