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Wednesday, October 6, 2004

  • ES faculty and staff to meet
  • $11 million for finance institute
  • Modern architecture talks begin
  • Pixels in the big picture
Chris Redmond

Stamp Collecting Month

Playwright speaks tomorrow

Playwright Tomson Highway is the speaker in this year's Silversides Theatre Artist event, sponsored by the department of drama and speech communication. The playwright, novelist and author will speak at the UW bookstore (in South Campus Hall) on Thursday at noon.

Best known for his Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning plays "The Rez Sisters" (1986) and "Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing" (1989), he has also published an award-winning novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998), and several children's books. His latest play, "Rose", was first performed in 2000. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1994, the first Aboriginal writer to be so honoured.

The series commemorates the donations made by Brian Silversides to the drama department.

[Doorway with sign]

ES faculty and staff to meet

Staff and faculty members in environmental studies have been invited to a meeting with the dean today to hear some information about a proposed move of the school of architecture from ES to the faculty of engineering, "and discuss views of our future".

Interim dean of ES Ellsworth LeDrew sent out a memo Monday calling the meeting and announcing the results of a vote in architecture -- the largest academic unit in ES -- about the proposal.

Architecture faculty and staff were asked: "Do you support a move of the School of Architecture from the Faculty of Environmental Studies to the Faculty of Engineering?" All 16 full-time faculty members and one reduced-load faculty member voted yes; two full-time staff voted yes and three voted no.

LeDrew said in his memo that he was about to meet with the architecture school "to find out the reasons for their support of a move". He said last night that he had held that meeting yesterday morning -- at the school's new building in Cambridge (pictured) -- and said it had been "productive and collegial".

The dean stressed that last week's vote was a measure of "support", not a decision. "There is a process to follow," he said. "A full debate" will take place in the ES faculty council later this month.

Says his memo: "The next step is for the Dean of Engineering to determine the procedure in Engineering to find out whether that Faculty will accept the School. Such a move will be debated by Senate and the final decision will be made by the Board of Governors. . . .

"All activities will proceed normally as a Faculty of the four units until the Board of Governors makes the final decision." Besides architecture, ES includes the school of planning, the department of geography and the department of environment and resource studies.

His memo also included this assurance: "It has been stated to me by the senior management of the University, many times, that the Faculty will not be broken down or absorbed. The six faculty structure is one of the distinguishing features of this University's administration."

  • UW's Adam Thuss in world junior cycling championships
  • Text of yesterday's federal throne speech
  • 'Together we stand': U of Guelph president reports to community
  • WLU names its social work faculty for Hallman
  • Several Canadians among this year's Ig Nobel winners
  • 'Iraq's academic community struggles for autonomy'
  • Former Israeli PM will not speak at Concordia
  • 'Academic integrity' website at U of Guelph
  • U of Toronto kills Varsity Stadium redevelopment
  • Ontario moving ahead to eliminate mandatory retirement
  • College students see Rae review as 'last hope'
  • Tim Horton's in SLC doing big business ('uwstudent.org')
  • Promoting diversity in science and engineering
  • [Bury]

    Acting director of the women's studies program, for a one-year term that began August 1, is Rhiannon Bury, who has been a part-time instructor in the program. She takes over from Vera Golini of St. Jerome's University. "The plan is to appoint a longer-term director next year," says Gail Cuthbert Brandt, associate vice-president (academic).

    $11 million for finance institute -- from the UW media relations office

    More than $11 million in public and private sector funding has been awarded to the Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance to pursue research in finance, mathematics, scientific computing and actuarial science. A total of 20 researchers and about 30 graduate students from five departments or schools on the UW campus are associated with the institute.

    "Our goal is to be a world-class centre in risk management, bringing together a strong interdisciplinary research team of specialists in actuarial science, computer science, econometrics, finance and statistics," said Phelim Boyle, the centre's scientific director and a professor of finance in UW's school of accountancy and holder of the J. Page R. Wadsworth Chair in Finance.

    The institute's vision is to achieve excellence by focusing on three main areas: research, education and the introduction of new ideas in the practice of improving risk management. The IQFI promotes collaboration and co-operation among its researchers and private sector partners through conferences, seminars, and meetings. It also enhances the research environment at Waterloo through sponsoring seminars and visiting scholars.

    For example, a conference on hedge funds will be held in Toronto on November 19, attracting portfolio managers, pension plan sponsors, chief investment officers, risk managers and regulators. Hedge funds are complex and controversial investment vehicles of increasing importance in Canada.

    As well, IQFI provides post-graduate scholarships to attract top students to related academic programs. As a result, the institute helps to increase the supply of highly qualified graduates in the risk management and insurance disciplines. UW is Ontario's major supplier of highly skilled graduates in actuarial science and offers Canada's premier master's degree program in quantitative finance.

    Missions/Internship Day sponsored by peace and conflict studies, Conrad Grebel University College, 11:00 to 1:00, Grebel atrium.

    Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Jim Estill, Synnex Canada, "How to Start a Business and Sell it for $50,000,000", 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302, last-minute information lcurtis@uwaterloo.ca.

    Dinosaur tour in the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology, sponsored by the UW Recreation Committee for staff and faculty, noon hour today.

    Noon hour concert: Njacko Backo and band, African music from Cameroon, 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free.

    'Selling Your Skills' career workshop, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

    Warrior swimming vs. Guelph, 5:30, Physical Activities Complex pool.

    Labview User Group meeting 6:00, Carl Pollock Hall room 1346.

    Mathematics Society Campus Cove Night, free unlimited play on games ($5 for non-mathies), Student Life Centre, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight.

    Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System training for staff, faculty and grad students, 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304. Video and quiz run about 90 minutes. Information, ext. 5613.

    'Accessing Statistics Canada Data Sets' presentation by Southwestern Ontario Research Data Centre, Thursday 3:30 p.m., PAS room 2030, mostly for graduate students and new faculty in the social sciences.

    Staff association open meeting to discuss the association's future, Thursday 7 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 302 (repeat of yesterday afternoon's session).

    Other members of the institute include Alan Douglas, Ranjini Sivakumar and Ken Vetzal, school of accountancy; Rob Brown, Jun Cai, Steve Drekic, Mary Hardy, Adam Kolkiewicz, Don McLeish, Harry Panjer, Ken Seng Tan, WeiDong Tian and Gordon Willmot, department of statistics and actuarial science; Tim Brecht, Peter Buhr and Peter Forsyth, school of computer science; Tony Wirjanto, department of economics; Andrew Heunis, department of electrical and computer engineering; and Sheldon Lin, University of Toronto.

    Major sponsors of the institute, created earlier this year, are Munich Re Insurance, CIBC and the Ontario government, along with UW. It also counts on funding from more than 30 private sponsors.

    Modern architecture talks begin

    The school of architecture is holding a series of lectures this month at its new home in Cambridge, the former Riverside Silk Mills at 7 Melville Street.

    The Modern Architecture in Canada lectures start tonight and continue on October 13 and 20, starting at 7:30 p.m. Lecturer is UW architecture professor Brian Hunt, whose talk "follows the evolution of ideas and highlights some of the most notable buildings" in Canada.

    His topic for today is "Modernism is Established", as he'll discuss how, by the 1950s, modern architecture was accepted across Canada with new architectural firms making their mark. In the 1960s, the great opportunity arrived, with both a "respect for the new architecture and a great deal of new building." The following two lectures will be about "The New Architecture Flourishes (after Expo '67)" and "Set-backs and New Directions (in the mid-1990s)."

    The series is presented with Cambridge Galleries; tickets are $27 ($20 for gallery members) for the series of three lectures or $10 and $8, respectively, for each. Call 621-0460 for tickets and information.

    On this week's list from the human resources department:

  • Expeditor, procurement services, USG 3
  • Communications coordinator, Centre for Contact Lens Research, school of optometry, USG 8
  • Admissions and records administrator, graduate studies, USG 6
  • Special project coordinator, health studies and gerontology, USG 6

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • Pixels in the big picture

    There was something of a demonstration in the Student Life Centre at noon hour yesterday, as scores of participants in the Embassy Church sprawled across the floors as they wrote letters to the Federation of Students about the church's status. Embassy is a "contemporary worship" Pentecostal Assemblies church that in recent years has been meeting one night a week in Federation Hall, and enjoying cheap student rates for the room rental because it's been represented by a recognized club, the Embassy Students Association. Recently the Federation cut off that privilege, saying Embassy is essentially an outside organization and has to pay the full price for use of Fed Hall. "They've consistently not performed the procedures that we require of all our clubs," Feds club director Rick Theis said yesterday, adding that the church has a healthy cash flow and "is using its club as a front". Embassy members were gathering to protest that decision.

    UW's fall program of continuing education courses is in full swing, with three more offerings taking place this week. Tonight, for instance, it's the first session of "Fundamentals of Public Relations, Part 1", which runs for four Wednesday evenings. Tomorrow: a one-shot day-long course on "Managing the Opportunities Provided by Conflict". Friday: "Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices". There's more information about these courses -- and others on report-writing, customer service, assertiveness, XML programming and digital photography -- on the continuing education web site.

    "Bridging the Digital Divide: Using Information and Communication Technologies to Assess School-based Education Quality in Peru" is the topic of this year's Faculty of Environmental Studies, to be given tomorrow night. The speaker (7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts) is Brent Hall of the UW school of planning. He will talk about how the Internet has had a huge impact, changing the role and importance of distance in most forms of human communication. There are, however, "substantial class, cultural and locational obstacles" affecting information access and use. The lecture assesses this technology in transforming society, with a focus of interest in the use of digital information to assess educational quality and to plan for educational improvement in state-funded primary schools in Peru. Admission is free.

    I don't think I mentioned it earlier in the week, but employer interviews for winter term co-op jobs are now under way in the Tatham Centre. . . . The UW Shop in South Campus Hall is running a "For Women Only Sale", with 20 per cent off the prices of selected ladies' wear, today through Saturday. . . . Nelly Kehli, who was a custodian in the UW plant operations department from 1977 to her retirement in 1993, died October 1. . . .


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