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Friday, April 29, 2005

  • This is the day the year ends
  • Convocation honours are announced
  • Universities stress copyright concern
  • PhD students defend their theses
Chris Redmond

National Immunization Awareness Week

[Orange steel against black sky]

Stairway to the stars: Mechanical engineering student Alex Frakking caught this acclivitous view of the future Accelerator Centre building on the north campus the other night. "Light pollution in the city makes a good night shot difficult," he reports, 'as the sky turns hazy green after a few minutes of exposure." This shot was exposed for six minutes -- and has been colour-corrected.

This is the day the year ends

So I get back to Waterloo after a few days away, and find that I've missed a late April snowstorm, news of another team of students going to Disney's world, and the unveiling of this year's Formula SAE race car. Oh, and Mahesh Panday of the civil engineering department has acquired what might well be the longest title anywhere on campus: NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Risk-Based Life Cycle Management of Engineering Systems.

I hope everybody survived Sunday's big power (and computer) shutdown without difficulty. And my thanks to Pat Bow, Avvey Peters and Jesse Rodgers here in communications and public affairs, who kept the Daily Bulletin appearing while I was out of town.

Back in the here and now, today is the last working day of the 2004-05 fiscal year for UW -- a date of serious importance for those in the finance office, people across campus keeping track of departmental budgets, and the various units that have to take year-end inventory. Most food services outlets will be closing early today, and the bookstore, the UW Shop and TechWorx are closed altogether for the day. Graphic services copy centres will be closed from 11:30 to 2:30 and will not be starting new jobs this afternoon: "If your needs are urgent, you can call ext. 3452 and someone will assist you."

Otherwise, things are so slow in these few days between terms that Tim Horton's in the Student Life Centre, which usually operates 7/24, will close today at 1:30 and stay dark all weekend, reopening Monday at 7 a.m. Meanwhile, residence move-in takes place Sunday, and the Federation of Students used book store will be open Sunday, which it usually isn't. Classes start bright and early Monday.

UW is one of the three sponsors of this year's Great Lakes Geometry Conference, being held over the weekend on campus and at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. (The other two sponsors are Perimeter and the Toronto-based Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, in which UW is a partner.) Speakers will address the likes of "Conformal compactification in Riemannian geometry and general relativity" and "Cusped flow trees and contact homology". The local organizer is Doug Park of the pure mathematics department, who writes that "The registration for the conference is absolutely free and graduate students in any discipline are welcome."

Preliminary work is about to start on renovation of the entrance to parking lot D, under Needles Hall. "Major work will begin mid-May," writes parking manager Elaine Carpenter. "The entrance is being improved to move traffic off the ring road, update old underground wiring, as well as a leaky kiosk. The island will be larger to accommodate a more user-friendly kiosk." She promises there will be one lane of access to the lot all through the construction project.


Accounting professor Bob Sproule has placed second in the Canadian Academic Accounting Association's annual competition for innovation to advance accounting education with his new computer-based learning resource on "Operating Cash Flows Using the Indirect Method". His students were having trouble understanding this concept, so he developed an interactive learning resource with the help of a UW Learning Initiative Fund grant. He plans to make the resource available for other higher education institutions across North America. Proposals for this year's LIF grants are being accepted now, with a deadline of May 6.

Convocation honours are announced

Former university librarian Murray Shepherd and retired professor David Carter will be installed as "Honorary Members of the University" at convocation in June, it's been announced following approval by the UW senate. There will also be one new Distinguished Professor Emeritus: Alan Plumtree, who recently retired from the department of mechanical engineering.

Shepherd retired in 2003 after 34 years on the staff of UW's library, 30 of them as its director. Carter is retired after many years as a professor and student advisor in the school of accountancy, and is now chair of the board of governors of St. Paul's United College. Plumtree is a specialist in heat treatment of metals and the failure of materials, and has continued to serve the mech eng department as an adjunct professor since his retirement last fall.

Also announced were a number of people who will receive honorary degrees during the five sessions of spring convocation, June 15-18. Headlining them is Roberta Jamieson, who has served as chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River and as Ontario's ombudsperson, and is now chief executive officer of the National Aboriginal Foundation. She'll speak at the arts session of convocation on June 16.

Speaking on June 15 at the convocation session for environmental studies, applied health sciences and independent studies will be Ronald Schlegel, former UW professor of health studies and now the proprietor of eight long-term care facilities for seniors across southern Ontario. Schlegel is a key figure behind the UW Research Institute for Aging, announced earlier this year.

The speaker at the science convocation session on June 17 will be Louis Du Pasquier, an expert in immunology based at Switzerland's Basel Institute for Immunology. On the morning of June 18, at the mathematics ceremony, the speaker will be Egon Balas, noted researcher who lived the first part of his life in Romania but has been at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh since 1968. And at the June 18 afternoon ceremony for engineering, the speaker will be Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and chairman of Qualcomm Inc. and a pioneer of digital wireless technology.

Other honorary degrees at various convocation ceremonies will be awarded to George Ramsay Cook, noted historian and editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography; Scott Brisbin, a UW optometry graduate who just completed a two-year term as president of the World Council of Optometry; Wolfgang Schmidt, mathematician based at the University of Colorado who is a specialist in diophantine approximation; and Basma Shalaby, chief engineer for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.


Chair of the department of Spanish and Latin American studies, as of May 1, will be Maria del Carmen Sillato, who takes over in that role from Mariela A. Gutiérrez.

Universities stress copyright concern -- a statement from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada supports a number of the federal government's proposed amendments to the Copyright Act. At the same time, the association remains concerned that the proposed upcoming amendments to the Copyright Act will not address the educational use of the Internet.

AUCC welcomes a number of proposals which respond to the needs of the university community, including amendments that would permit the secure desktop delivery of certain copyright works and allow educational institutions to use information and communications technologies to deliver instruction without additional copyright liability.

"There are a number of very positive elements to the proposed copyright reform package that will go some way towards providing the required balance," AUCC president Claire Morris wrote in a letter delivered this week to industry minister David Emerson and heritage minister Liza Frulla.

But, the association and its 91 members remain extremely concerned that the educational use of the Internet is not scheduled to be part of copyright legislation in the short term.

"There is a pressing need for clarity in this area. Internet materials have become an integral part of teaching and learning, but routine educational activities using the Internet might well constitute copyright infringements under the current law," Morris wrote.

PhD students defend their theses

Here's another list of graduate students who are coming to the end of their doctoral work and preparing to defend their theses.

Recreation and leisure studies. Marianne Staempfli, "Adolescent Playfulness, Leisure and Well-Being." Supervisor, Roger Mannell. On deposit in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3120. Oral defence Thursday, May 5, 9 a.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Ron Eydt Village conference centre hosts spring term dons' training; Canadian Computing Competition participants; Ontario Hockey Association under-17 players; OHA trainers.

'WTO Dispute Settlement and Issues for Reform" by Chad P. Brown at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, 57 Erb Street West, 12:00.

'Adventures in BioChemistry: A Chemist's Exploration of Biological Systems" seminar by John Honek, chemistry, 3 p.m., room 1200 Thornbrough Building, University of Guelph, sponsored by Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Beckett's 'Catastrophe', videoconferenced production followed by cyber-cast party, 5 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Rhythm Festival today and Saturday all day, Humanities Theatre.

Da Capo Chamber Choir directed by Leonard Enns, Conrad Grebel University College, closing concert for Open Ears Festival, Sunday 2:30, St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener.

Co-operative education and career services professional development day Monday.

Used book sale sponsored by mature student services office, Monday from 9:30, Modern Languages foyer.

'Waterloo on the World Stage: A Celebration of Baroque Music" Monday 7 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation, 57 Erb Street West, free tickets rsvp@cigionline.org.

Language Teaching Colloquium Thursday, May 5, at Renison College, details online.

Computer science. Jianwei Niu, "Template Semantics: A Parameterized Approach to Semantics-Based Model-Compilation." Supervisors, J. Atlee and N. Day. On deposit in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, May 6, 10 a.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Statistics. Theodoro Koulis, "Stochastic Population Dynamics Approaches to Sea Ice Modelling." Supervisor, M. E. Thompson. On deposit in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, May 10, 9:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 6007.

Biology. Scott Neil Higgins, "Modeling the Growth Dynamics of Cladophora in Eastern Lake Erie." Supervisors, R. E. Hecky and S. J. Guildford. On deposit in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, May 10, 1 p.m., Biology I room 266.

Geography. Theresa A. Wilcox Henderson, "What Has Happened to the Family Dinner? A Study of the Eating Practices of Families in an Urban Environment Using Both Interpretive and Discovery Approaches." Supervisor, L. Guelke. On deposit in the faculty of environmental studies. Oral defence Wednesday, May 11, 10 a.m., Environmental Studies I room 221.

Psychology. Christopher White, "Deterministic versus Probabilistic Responding in Multiple-Cue Probability Learning." Supervisor, Derek Koehler. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Wednesday, May 11, 1 p.m., Psychology (PAS) room 3026.

Mechanical engineering. Tam Nguyen, "Weld Defects in High-Speed Gas Metal Arc Welding." Supervisors, D. C. Weckman and D. Johnson. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Thursday, May 12, 10 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Computer science. Mauro Steigleder, "Pencil Light Transport." Supervisor, M. D. McCool. On deposit in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, May 25, 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1331.


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