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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

  • Math teachers converge on campus
  • Graphics director leaves UW
  • Day of wellness, day of sun
Chris Redmond

Famous Birthdays


Earth Day last week was a success partly thanks to Aliza Kassam, a UW environment and business student, who spent the winter work term at Earth Day Canada in Toronto. She helped co-ordinate Earth Day and Earth Month events to promote environmental awareness, including the Great Canadian Eco-Trivia Challenge, a trivia contest on radio stations nation-wide that she helped develop and organize. She reports: "I was surrounded by environmentally sound practices from composting in the kitchen to using cloth towels in the bathroom. I also appreciated working with people who share the same environmental values as I do."

Math teachers converge on campus

A thousand math teachers will be arriving at UW today as the university's summer conference season gets underway. They're here for the annual conference of the Ontario Association of Mathematics Educators, under the title "Applications and Beyond".

Sessions will run Thursday through Saturday, giving teachers how-tos for teaching math to both younger and older students. "The mathematics educators of Ontario have been through an incredible period of reform," the organizers say in the program book. "With the implementation of the new curriculum in place for all grades, teachers are looking for ideas and strategies to help their students go beyond the curriculum; to solidify, enhance, and enrich their students╣ learning. What better way to achieve this goal than to join colleagues from all over the province in an excellent professional development experience!"

For example, one Toronto teacher is offering a session on "Goodwill Hunting". She writes: "Take a trip to the Goodwill, spend $10 and return to your classroom with some great new manipulatives to teach mathematics across the strands. Primary teachers love to hunt down resources; attend this hands-on session to see how creative re-cycled treasures can enhance your primary math program."

Bev Marshman of UW's applied math department, with colleague Lorna Morrow, a retired teacher in Toronto, will give a session titled "How Big? How Long? How Far?" For example: "How far does the sun move in 1 h? How tall is your school? How cold is snow? What size am I? What's the difference between a 'metre' and a 'meter'? Have fun with activities while developing estimation skills and measurement sense. Sample activity sheets will be given out."

Jock MacKay of UW's statistics and actuarial science department will give a keynote talk first thing Thursday. His topic: "Experience from the past 20 years as a Statistical Consultant. Through a series of tales, some truer than others, I want to convince you that the key to making improvements is to increase understanding. We can use simple but powerful statistical strategies and tools to learn how and why processes work (or do not work). We can then apply what we have learned to make substantive improvements."

Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy is expected for a breakfast talk on Friday, and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is the Friday morning keynote speaker.

Most of the sessions will be in the Math and Computer building, with the keynote speakers in the Humanities Theatre and social events at other spots on campus. Most conference participants will be staying in Ron Eydt Village.

The OAME conference, hosted by UW's Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, will be followed by other large and small conferences all summer. They range from a number of Ontario Hockey Association workshops in early May to 500 participants in the International Association of Great Lakes Research annual conference, May 23-28, and the Solar Energy Society of Canada in late August.

[Norton] [Read]

Graphics director leaves UW

Linda Norton (left), director of UW Graphics, has resigned, says a memo yesterday from Bud Walker, the university's director of business services.

"I know that those of you who have known and worked with Linda over her many years at UW will wish her all the best for the future," Walker's memo said. Norton has been graphics director for ten years. Before that, she was administrative assistant in the department of computer science, and served a term as president of UW's staff association.

"It is time to move on," a note from Norton says, adding that she will "pursue some new professional and personal goals".

Walker announced that as of this week, Chris Read (right), manager of the UW bookstore, will be director of graphics "on an interim basis for the next six months". May Yan, director of retail services, whose department includes the bookstore, will look after things there while Read is otherwise occupied.

Day of wellness, day of sun

Booths will be open in the Davis Centre lounge again today, as the Employee Wellness Fair winds up. Included are experts in yoga, tai chi, massage, stress relief and so on -- "also some great giveaways", I'm told. And there's a final seminar in the series the fair has been offering, this one under the title "Go Beyond Stress to Balance and Wellbeing". The speaker is Eli Bay, founder of something called the Relaxation Response Institute in Toronto. He'll speak from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in CEIT room 1015. "If people would like to come, they do not need to register," a note yesterday said.

A burst of recent grant announcements from the Canada Foundation for Innovation includes one that, although directed at Wilfrid Laurier University, will benefit UW as well. The CFI has awarded $196,937 in research funds (with matching provincial money a good likelihood) to WLU geographer Brent Wolfe, who was formerly on UW's faculty and is still cross-appointed to the department of earth sciences here. The funding is "to support the use of water isotope tracers in hydrological and palaeohydrological investigations. His research focuses on present and past hydro-ecological variability of the Mackenzie Basin Deltas, in oder to determine the potential environmental impact of river regulation, resource development and climate change." The grant will provide a gamma spectrometer and mass spectrometer that will actually reside in UW's isotope lab, said Tom Edwards, an earth sciences professor who works with Wolfe, as well as UW biologist Roland Hall, on Mackenzie Basin investigations.

  • Trinidad paper's report on Macdonald shooting
  • Half of 2000 graduates had student loan debt (StatsCan)
  • Renison issues statement against 'hate attacks'
  • Major prize for inventor of LED
  • 'Grubby PR tactics' in announcing Canada Research Chairs
  • Donor to U of Guelph, other groups, charged with tax evasion
  • Budget situations similar at western universities
  • European universities agree on PhD quality standards
  • WLU announces spring honorary degrees
    Kitchener-Waterloo Software Quality Association, 11:45 lunch, Davis Centre room 1304.

    Smarter health seminar by John Hirdes, health studies and gerontology, "Developing an Integrated Health Intelligence System", 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

    'Current Issues in Capital Markets', session for technology companies looking for financing, 3 to 5 p.m. at Federation Hall, followed by reception at University Club, information online.

    Da Capo Choir in the finals of the CBC Radio Choral Competition, 7 p.m., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Toronto, live on CBC Radio 2.

    Health informatics seminar, Murray Moo-Young, chemical engineering (emeritus), "Bioprocesses for Drugs, Food and the Environment", Thursday 11:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

    Spiritual Heritage Education Network presents Raheel Raza on "Building Religious Inclusivity", Thursday 7 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

    Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Daniel Drache, York University, "The Political Economy of Dissent Post Cancun and Its Global Counter-Publics", Friday 11:45 lunch, 57 Erb Street West, reservations 885-2444.

    Planned rock-moving at the Dorney Ecology Garden outside the Environmental Studies buildings didn't happen yesterday as was scheduled -- a result of the nasty weather, I presume. A new date for the project will be announced, says ecology lab manager Larry Lamb.

    Two men have been charged with arson after somebody set a small fire in Ron Eydt Village about 4:15 a.m. on Saturday. The residence was close to empty, with the end of the winter term, and nobody was hurt. Waterloo Regional Police said one of the men was also charged with impaired driving.

    The UW library is conducting a survey of students with disabilities to find out about their physical and information needs with respect to library services, resources and facilities. "This is an online survey," says Shabiran Rahman of the library's information services and resources department, "and is being conducted with the assistance and approval of the office of Persons with disabilities and in compliance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the UW Library's Accessibility Plan for 2003-04." The survey closes May 7. Students with disabilities who complete the questionnaire get a chance to win one of two $50 gift certificates. More information is available from Janet Wason in the library (ext. 3012) or Ruth Hanna in the disabilities office (ext. 5082).

    It's Wednesday, so there is a Positions Available list from the human resources department, but only a brief one this week:

    More information is available, as always, on the human resources web site.

    There's a change to one of the PhD thesis oral defences that were announced in the Daily Bulletin a couple of days ago. Leo Jingyu Lee of the electrical and computer engineering department will defend his thesis not this Friday, as originally scheduled, but on May 6 (10 a.m., Engineering II room 1307G).

    And . . . noon tomorrow is the (revised) deadline for nominations for president-elect (and president 2005-06) of the UW staff association. Last-minute information should be available from the association's office at ext. 3566.


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