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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

  • Graduating E&CE students show projects
  • $2 million gift for 'aging' institute
  • 'Hot writing for cold weather'
  • Flakes in the daily storm
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Muslims are making the Hajj


[Hand gestures]

A group of E&CE students at last year's project presentations

Graduating E&CE students show projects

Students about to graduate from the department of electrical and computer engineering are exhibiting their group projects today in the Davis Centre. Their "symposium" runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 and is followed by a public open house until 8 p.m.

The 327 students participating in the event will present 82 projects in seminar format to guests from industry and the academic community. They will also display design project posters and will be available to discuss their projects.

The symposium presentations will cover forefront technological developments in diverse categories such as entertainment, personal computing, medical devices, robotics wireless communications and smart homes. For example, one group has designed a voice-controlled wheelchair, and another has developed an "automatic camera pointing system" for videoconferences.

A third project is titled "Mobile Music Rush". Says a summary prepared by the students involved -- Ali Emami, Christopher Richard, Deepak Anand and Timothy McKillican: "For the car, decks exist to play compact discs packed with MP3s, but this requires the user to go through the process of recording discs for all the various songs on his or her computer and provides no way to add songs incrementally. Further, current decks provide a poor interface for navigating the potentially huge number of songs on a particular disc. We will be creating a car deck with a large storage capacity which accepts transfers from the user's computer over a wireless connection while the car is parked in a garage or driveway. The device will also have a rich and intuitive interface for easy navigation of songs and playlists."

The students have completed the intensive design project course sequence, which challenges them in their final year of study to work in groups to identify and address a specific design problem. The symposium offers the opportunity to showcase projects in poster and prototype format as well as presenting them in seminars to external audiences.

A detailed symposium schedule, including abstracts of each student project, is available online.

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

  • Research associate (RNA isolation), school of optometry, USG 7
  • Project workshop technician, engineering machine shop, USG 7
  • Clerical assistant, chemistry, Waterloo Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, USG 3
  • Administrative assistant/undergraduate coordinator, nanotechnology, chemical engineering, USG 5
  • Weekend supervisor, library user services, USG 4
  • Evening supervisor, library user services, USG 4
  • Program manager/CIHR training grant and CBRPE training coordinator, Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation, USG 10
  • Customer relations representative, co-operative education and career services, USG 4
  • Research financial administrator, office of research, USG 5
  • General cafeteria helper, food services
  • Senior research associate/health scientist, department of health studies and gerontology, Ideas for Health, USG 11
  • Administrative assistant, health studies and gerontology, Ideas for Health, USG 4
  • Educator and field coordinator, health studies and gerontology, Ideas for Health, USG 10
  • Project manager, health studies and gerontology, Ideas for Health, USG 7
  • Administrative assistant, office of the vice-president and provost, USG 6
  • Editorial assistant, Journal of Combinatorial Theory Series, combinatorics and optimization, USG 4

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • $2 million gift for 'aging' institute -- from the UW media relations office

    The university senate has approved the establishment of a Research Institute for Aging to enhance the care of seniors in both community-based and institutional living environments.

    As well, the RIA has received a $2 million donation from Ron Schlegel, a former faculty member in health studies at UW who is now president and co-owner of The Village of Winston Park, a local retirement community. Additional in-kind contributions of space and infrastructure will be available in seven other linked facilities across the province.

    The money will support infrastructure and new opportunities such as seed money for research, a visiting scholar program, workshops and conferences, along with student scholarships.

    Research related to low vision, falls prevention, joint replacement, cerebrovascular blood flow, dementia, quality of life and evaluation of best practices has never been more relevant as Canada's population ages, with the fastest growth rate seen among those over 80 years old. At UW, there are researchers across the campus with expertise in the health issues of an older population.

    The Village of Winston Park, which has been offering a continuum of care to seniors for more than 35 years in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, will "provide a physical campus for independent and care-giving accommodation where residents are part of a living laboratory," Schlegel said.

    "This long-term relationship between the University of Waterloo and the Village of Winston Park will have a profound positive impact on the quality of life of our aging population," said Mike Sharratt, dean of the faculty of applied health sciences.

    The RIA will be linked with AHS and researchers from all faculties on the UW campus. The focus of the institute's work will be to translate research into practice. The primary funding for projects will come from government agencies.

    'Hot writing for cold weather' -- from the UW media relations office

    The Waterloo Public Library will be the scene of a January thaw tonight when it plays host to the launch of the latest issue of the literary magazine The New Quarterly, celebrating the Burning Rock Writers' Group of Newfoundland, and other hot new Canadian talent.

    The Hot Writing in Cold Weather launch runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of the WPL on Albert Street. The event is free, and all are welcome.

    TNQ, which makes its home at St. Jerome's University, is a local literary magazine of national standing, publishing Canada's best writers alongside new talent, and frequently taking home top literary honours at the National Magazine Awards.

    This issue goes further afield than most -- all the way to the edge of the continent to feature the Burning Rock Writers' Group: Michael Winter, Lisa Moore, Libby Creelman, Ramona Dearing, Jessica Grant, Medina Stacey, Claire Wilkshire, Mark Ferguson, and Beth Ryan. "The Burning Rockers are an extraordinary collection of talent," says Rosalynn Worth Tyo, who guest-edited the issue. "They are taking over the literary scene in Canada, and raising the temperature in Newfoundland."

    Representing the Burning Rock will be Michael Winter, author of two short story collections and the novel This All Happened. He'll be reading from his new novel The Big Why. "We're so pleased to have Michael come headline the launch," says TNQ editor Kim Jernigan. "He's so charming, so thoughtful, so attentive to his audience. And he's funny. We're all in for a treat."

    Local writer Jamie Fitzpatrick will also read from his essay "Finding Newfoundland." Also reading are hot new local talents featured in the issue: essayist Christa Van Daele, winner of TNQ's Summer Place writing contest, and poet Chris Banks, fresh from his win of the Jack Chalmers Poetry Award for his first collection, Bonfires. Banks will be reading from his essay on the seductions of verse, part of the magazine's "Falling in Love with Poetry" feature.

    Flakes in the daily storm

    I should have said a word yesterday about the special session of the Engineering Faculty Assembly that was being held to approve proposed changes to the constitution of the engineering faculty. The assembly -- which includes all faculty members -- meets only rarely, and monthly business is taken care of by a faculty council. Yesterday's proposal was to add representatives of several new programs -- software engineering, mechatronics, PDEng ("professional development for engineers"), and nanotechnology -- to the council. The assembly was also holding its regular annual meeting yesterday, receiving 2004 reports from the dean of engineering and other officials.

    There continues to be a monthly draw for prizes to be given to Keystone Campaign donors, and the January draw was conducted the other day. Six prizes were awarded this month, ranging from gift certificates to a "wash, cut and blow-dry" from the Apple Stylist salon in the Student Life Centre. January winners were Avvey Peters of communications and public affairs; Isobel MacKay of the mature student services office Johnny Wong, director of the school of computer science; Sam Steiner of Conrad Grebel University College; Peter Hinchcliffe, retired from St. Jerome's University; and David Northey of kinesiology.

    The first three winning teams took home $1,000 prizes last week from the "LaunchPad $50K Venture Creation Competition", which has UW as a co-sponsor along with Wilfrid Laurier University. For the continuing competition, student teams develop and promote business ideas, and last week they were invited to make a "90-second pitch" to a panel of judges. "It acts as a catalyst for new and exciting businesses to take shape and launch," says Geoff Malleck of UW's Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. The competition continues; its next event is a workshop tonight (7:00 in the WLU senate and board chamber) on "Refining the Business Model".

    WHEN AND WHERE
    Blood donor clinic continues (through Friday) 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

    'People and Plans', new course in school of planning, hosts a guest speaker on "fear and safety issues", with exploration of personal safety in and around Rod Coutts Hall, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

    Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program information session 4 p.m., Needles Hall room 1101.

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity chapel service with prayer and reflection, 4:30, Conrad Grebel University College.

    Sociology career night 5:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

    Warrior men's basketball vs. Windsor, 7:00, Physical Activities Complex. Volleyball teams, both men and women, are at Western tonight.

    Waterloo-Germany exchange program information session Thursday 1:00, Modern Languages room 245, details online.

    'Indigenous Knowledge and New Scientific Discoveries', talk by Lenore Keeshig Tobias, Thursday 5 p.m., MacKirdy Hall, St. Paul's United College.

    'Risky Business: Decision Making Under Pressure', workshop sponsored by Centre for Family Business, Friday at Bingemans, Kitchener, information 749-1441.

    'Fantastic Alumni and Staff Day' at Warrior basketball games Saturday (women's game 1 p.m., men's game 3 p.m.), Physical Activities Complex, details online.

    Imprint had a cute article on Friday about "Wasabi", the sushi bar that has opened in place of the Scoops ice cream stand in the Student Life Centre. (Apparently there's thought to be more than enough cold stuff around just at present; ice cream will be back during the hot months of the year, Federation of Students officials promise.) The article, by Alex Doukas, describes some of the Wasabi offerings, including "the Waterloo roll, which contains crabmeat, tempura shrimp, cooked egg, and campio (a sweet Japanese gourd), as well as cucumber, avocado and smoked salmon." It also quotes Fed president Becky Wroe: "Watching them make sushi has actually been an educational experience. If I wasn't allergic to fish, I would definitely eat there."

    Andrea Dupont of Waterloo's Nordic skiing team has been named "Athlete of the Week" by Ontario University Athletics, following her winning performance at a meet in Collingwood over the weekend. Brent Curry reports from the UW athletics department about the meet, which drew more than 100 skiers from eight universities: "Saturday, skiers completed an individual time trial classic technique race. Women did 5 km, and men did 8.5 km. Andrea Dupont won the women's division in a time of 17:08, 43 seconds ahead of second place Linnaea Kershaw of Carleton. Bryon Hughson won the men's division in a time of 23:58, 37 seconds ahead of second place Brian Suke from the University of Guelph. Bryon's individual win helped the Waterloo men's team win the team competition on Saturday along with Eerik Randsalu in 5th, Andrew Rees in 12th, and Neil de Laplante in 16th. Sunday's competition was centered around the skate technique. Women completed 10 km and men did 15 km. The race involved a pursuit start, which meant skiers took off at intervals determined by their finish in Saturday's classic race. Andrea extended her lead and won the overall pursuit race for University women. Bryon held on through the skate race to win the overall pursuit for men."

    Agnes Stroeder, a former member of UW's staff, died January 12. She worked for the food services department from 1968 to the end of 1985, retiring as head cook in what's now Ron Eydt Village.

    Today's the first start date of 2005 for the dozens of online courses offered by UW's continuing education office. . . . February 3 is the deadline for orders for Treat-a-Grams ("a yummy, extra-large chocolate chip cookie on a stick") in support of the Keystone Campaign. . . . UW's senate gave approval Monday to closing the Institute for Improvement and Quality in Productivity, which becomes merely a "research group" as fewer faculty are working in the area and fewer outside partners are giving their support. . . .

    CAR


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