[University of Waterloo]

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About the Bulletin

Monday, May 10, 2004

  • Two new groups will coordinate our look on the web
  • UW research team delivers live in-car satellite TV
  • Fewer co-op students scheduled to work this summer

Chris Redmond

Hepatitis Awareness Month

Two new groups will coordinate our look on the web

 As every web user in the university must have noticed, in recent years there has been a drive towards creating a distinctive "look" for UW's presence on the web. Guidelines have been set up to help departments and individual users achieve the look. The rationale behind this, to quote a memo from Amit Chakma, vice-president, academic and provost, and Alan George, associate provost, IST to members of executive council and department heads and administrators: "The University of Waterloo's web presence continues to gain in importance as the central vehicle for conveying essential information to the campus community, for carrying out some business transactions, and for projecting the university's image to the world."

To help with the evolution of this "common look and feel," two new groups were established May 1:  the UW Web Steering Committee and the UW Web Operations Team. "Their primary goal will be to provide a framework to allow web content providers to focus on developing sound content for their web pages, without being overwhelmed by technological underpinnings."

More about each group: "The UW Web Steering Committee reports to and derives its authority from the Provost. It will provide strategic direction for the use of the web as a central resource and communications tool of the university, in part by offering advice and support to UW's Marketing Steering Committee. It will promote a common look and feel for university websites, and will provide direction to campus departments, councils and other groups to ensure consistency. It will also negotiate adherence to its web guidelines at a management level, rather than at an individual webpage level. Finally, the Web Steering Committee will provide a forum for appeal in the event of disagreement over the application or interpretation of matters of common look and feel.

"Membership of the UW Web Steering Committee includes: members of the University Committee on Information Systems and Technology (UCIST); vice-president, university relations (or delegate); UW Web Operations Team chair; director of Communications & Public Affairs (C&PA); director of the Electronic Workplace Group (IST); manager of web communications (C&PA) as a technical resource person; president of the Graduate Student Association (or delegate); president of the Federation of Students (or delegate).

"The UW Web Operations Team reports to and derives its authority from the Web Steering Committee. The operations team will provide advice and promote best practices in the development, maintenance, and management of university websites. Based on the guidelines and directions established by the steering committee, the web operations team will give technical advice and assistance to departments and administrative units to help with the development and upgrading of their websites. It will also promote the use of standard practices across the campus, and recommend which web infrastructure and tools should be implemented and supported to best achieve the steering committee's objectives for the university's web presence.

"Membership of the UW Web Operations Team includes: the associate director, C&PA (chair); manager of web communications (C&PA); one (or more) technical staff member from IST to offer web technologies support; one design staff member from Graphics; one or more co-op students."

Both groups will be meeting over the summer and should be fully operational by the fall. In the meantime, visit UW's web development site to find information, templates, and resources.

UW research team delivers live in-car satellite TV-- from UW Media Relations

 A research team in electrical and computer engineering's RF/Microwave Group have designed a new high-performance antenna for mobile satellite applications. Visiting professor Mahmoud Shahabadi of the University of Tehran (far right) and PhD candidate Dan Busuioc (left) carried out the research under the supervision of Safieddin Safavi-Naeini, an E&CE professor (centre).  

The low-profile antenna can be mounted on various types of vehicles and will receive live TV "where there is clear line of sight to the satellite," says the press release from UW's Media Relations Office. "Access to more than 300 channels of TV and commercial-free music is provided in a tiny package less than 81 cm in diameter and 11 cm high."

The two-year project was sponsored by US-based Winegard Company and employed Farsightech Inc.-a UW spin-off company-to design of parts of the mechanical mount.

Fewer co-op students scheduled to work this summer

A larger proportion of co-op students are finding work this term than last summer, but fewer students are actually employed, Olaf Naese reports from Co-op Education & Career Services. The May - August work term began with 3512 co-op  students scheduled to be on work terms. Of those, 87.8 per cent are in jobs. On May 4 there were 428 students still not employed. Half of them are in engineering and 34 per cent in math.

"Even though the work term has officially started, CECS staff will continue to be on the lookout for employment opportunities for these students, and by the end of June the number of co-op students with official co-op jobs will likely end up in the mid-ninety percent range," Naese says.

Last year at around the same time 83.9 per cent of the 4,013 students scheduled to be on a work term had employment. By mid-work term the figure was up to 93.8 per cent.

If you're wondering about the difference in the number of co-op students scheduled to be on a work term last year compared to this year, the explanation is here.

Notes for a Monday morning

A team of UW mechanical engineering graduate students came third in the DaimlerChrysler Poster Competition at a conference held by the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence in Windsor on May 6. Competing with 52 other teams from 23 Canadian universities, the UW students exhibited the results of their AUTO21-related research in welding and joining. They will go on to compete at the network's scientific conference in Montreal on June 15.

Mike Sharratt's term as dean of applied health sciences expires June 30, 2005, so a nominating committee has been set up to consider who shall be the next dean. All faculty, staff, and students in AHS are invited to discuss questions concerning the deanship with any member of the nominating committee. They can also send a written submission to Emily Barnes, the committee secretary, at the University Secretariat. The full memo, including all pertinent names and email addresses, is on the University Secretariat website. Comments should be received by the end of July.

The IST department is offering computing courses in May to UW faculty, staff and students. Courses for students include Creating Web Pages Using HTML and Unix, Introduction to Unix, and Connecting Your Laptop to the Campus Network. The following courses are part of the Skills for the Academic e-Workplace program, and are offered to faculty, grad students, and staff with instructional responsibilities: Introduction to SAS Coding, Scientific Computing Using MATLAB, Scientific Computing Using Mathcad,  Introduction to Parallel Programming, UW-ACE Drop-in Session, UW-ACE Overview, UW-ACE In-line Quiz Creation, UW-ACE Using the On-line GRADEBOOK. Information about the courses, along with a registration form, can be found on the IST website.

Here is a reminder from Charlene Schumm, director of scheduling, examinations and convocation, that locks cannot be placed on Registrar-controlled classrooms without the approval of the Scheduling Office. "We have had, on occasion, people request that locks be placed on classrooms, sometimes because they've booked the room for a special event and need to store supplies in the room overnight. The problem is that classes may also be scheduled in those rooms and if there is a lock on the door, an entire class may be displaced."


The elevator in Chemistry 2 will be shut down for repairs today until 5 p.m.

Co-op JobMine Technical Help Tutorial today and Tuesday, May 11, 4-6 p.m., TC 2218A.

Senate Undergraduate Council meets Tuesday, May 11, noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

LT3 colloquium on e-Portfolios Tuesday, May 11, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Dana Porter Library, room 329.

Arts Faculty Council meets Tuesday, May 11, 3:30 p.m., Hagey Hall room 373.

Midnight Sun solar car recruitment meeting Tuesday, May 11, 5:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

WPIRG information meeting Tuesday, May 11, 5:30 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2143.

UW Bookstore sale of gardening books Tuesday, May 11 and Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the SCH concourse. Gardening expert David Hobson Tuesday at noon: RSVP online for a chance at a free gardening book.

Term loan books from UW libraries, borrowed before early April, are due Wednesday, May 12.

Panel discussion on being deaf in academia, Wednesday, May 12, noon to 1 p.m., in Needles Hall room 1132.

Student Professional Awareness Conference, May 12-13, Tatham Centre. Register online. www.ieee.uwaterloo.ca/web/spac2004.html

UW Aerial Robotics Group information meeting Wednesday, May 12, 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.


A reminder for co-op students: Work term reports in most faculties (check your undergrad office if you're unsure) are due Tuesday, May 11.

E-portfolios (or e-Portfolios) are a technology for "planning, keeping track of, making sense of, and sharing evidence of learning and performance," according to UW's Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology. One of the experts in the field, Stanford University's Helen Chen, will speak via video conference from the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning. Venue at this end is the FLEX Lab in Dana Porter Library, room 329, Tuesday, May 11, 1:30-2:30. Register online.

The Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) invites students to "come meet other students and community members who are making change happen both on campus and in the community." The information meeting is Tuesday, May 11, 5:30 p.m., Student Life Centre room 2143.  

Appropriately for May, the UW Bookstore is having a sale of gardening books Tuesday, May 11 and Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the SCH concourse. On Tuesday, noon to 1 p.m., gardening expert David Hobson, local columnist and author of Soiled Reputations, will be present to answer questions. RSVP online, and you're entered in a draw for a free gardening book.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be deaf or hard of hearing in the academic world, you could find out at a panel discussion Wednesday, May 12, noon to 1 p.m., in the Office for Persons with Disabilities, Needles Hall room 1132. Panellists are Daniel Berry, a computer science professor; Doreen Siu, an Independent Studies student who is connected with the Talking Hands Club, and Janet Dunlea of the Canadian Hearing Society, who will discuss community support services.

The Alpha Course is a ten-week video and discussion session that runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays starting May 12 in St. Jerome's room 3020. It's described as an opportunity to explore the meaning of life and an introduction to the Christian faith. If you plan to attend the introductory session on May 12 (lunch is provided), RSVP by e-mail to one of Barry Ferguson, Mike Foulger, Vera Golini, or John North. All are in the UW directory.

The UW Aerial Robotics Group (WARG), a student group, announces that they have "accomplished a milestone in technology by creating a fully autonomous fixed wing aircraft." Find out more about their current activities and plans for the future at a meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 6 p.m., in Davis Centre room 1304.