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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

  • Artist's carnival reflects life and horror
  • Grad students face PhD defences
  • The $19 million question, and more
Chris Redmond

Passover begins at sundown

[Bright colours on walls and floors]

Detail from the installation "Carnival, Image and Duality"

Artist's carnival reflects life and horror -- by Barbara Elve

The beauty and horror of life in Colombia inform the dream world of "Carnival, Image and Duality", an installation by fine arts master's student -- and Colombian expatriate -- Cesar Forero, which opens tomorrow and runs through April 23 at the UW Art Gallery in East Campus Hall.

A performance by the athletic artist and two dancers, inspired by "dramatic situations in Colombia," opens the exhibition. Using carnival as metaphor, Forero explores the experience of terrorism, specifically the activities of the Colombian guerrilla group Las Farc. Detonating bombs strapped to donkeys or horses has been a trademark of the group, resulting in death and destruction, as well as a terrified populace.

Through the interactive dance/narrative, Forero aims "to show an optimistic position despite the tragedies that are now a common blight in our modern society." The result -- employing living sculptures and "violent animal parts" -- is participation by "the whole community . . . hoping to make the world a more peaceful and unified place."

The show itself consists of a series of brightly-coloured carnivalesque installations which "explore social problems and how we live in the world," says Forero. "Like in a carnival, this installation work is composed of various small 'parades' in which different stories are told."

Enigmatic, often dreamlike narratives invite the viewer to participate. Do the masked images depict the torture of war prisoners? Children's fairy tales? "The fantastic spaces I build confront the observer with a periodical re-evaluation of reality and the human relationship to society, nature and culture," he adds.

The opening reception will be held Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., with the performance at 7:30.

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

  • Scheduling and first year engineering assistant, engineering undergraduate office, USG 4
  • Catering manager, Federation of Students, USG 7
  • Resource assistant, school of architecture, USG 4
  • Graphics, exhibitions and marketing manager, school of architecture, USG 8
  • Shift sergeant, police services, USG 8
  • Administrative coordinator for undergraduate studies, school of computer science, USG 5
  • Research associate, Ideas for Health, USG 8-9

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • Grad students face PhD defences

    Here's the latest list of graduate students who are preparing to defend their doctoral theses -- the last hurdle before that last degree is granted.

    Systems design engineering. Qiyao Yu, "Automated SAR Sea Ice Interpretation." Supervisor, D. Clausi. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, April 28, 9:15 a.m., Engineering II room 1307C.

    Psychology. Koreen Clements, "What's Wrong with My Rats? Characterizing Multiple Memory Systems and Neural Gene Expression in the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat." Supervisor, Patricia Wainwright. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Tuesday, May 2, 10 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

    Electrical and computer engineering. Rick Wan Kei Ha, "A Cross-Layer Design Framework for Application-Specific Wireless Sensor Networks." Supervisors, P.-H. Ho and X. S. Shen. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Thursday, May 4, 2 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

    Pure mathematics. Mihail Gabriel Neagu, "The Asymptotic Freeness Phenomenon for Random Permutation Matrices with Restricted Cycle Lengths." Supervisor, A. Nica. On deposit in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Thursday, May 4, 2 p.m., Math and Computer room 5136.

    Chemistry. Raymond Nassar, "Chlorine, Fluorine and Water in the Stratosphere: Chemistry, Transport and Trends Based on ACE-FTS Measurements." Supervisor, P. F. Bernath. On deposit in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, May 5, 9:30 a.m., Chemistry II room 361.

    Psychology. Agnes Zdaniuk, "Who Is Most Likely to Avenge an Injustice, and Why? The Role of Independent Self-Construal." Supervisor, Ramona Bobocel. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Friday, May 5, 10 a.m., PAS room 3026.

    Electrical and computer engineering. William B. Miners, "Toward Understanding Human Expression in Human-Robot Interaction." Supervisor, O. Basir. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, May 5, 1 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

    Chemistry. Alireza Shayesteh, "High Resolution Infrared Emission Spectroscopy of Diatomic and Triatomic Metal Hydrides." Supervisor, P. F. Bernath. On deposit in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Friday, May 5, 1 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

    Pure mathematics. Dilian Yang, "Contributions to the Theory of Functional Equations." Supervisor, C. T. Ng. On deposit in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, May 9, 9 a.m., Math and Computer room 5046.

    Civil engineering. Hiroyuki Takada, "Road Traffic Condition Acquisition via Mobile Phone Location Referencing." Supervisors, B. Hellinga and L. Fu. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, May 9, 9:30 a.m., Carl Pollock Hall room 1320B.

    Electrical and computer engineering. Hamid Reza Salehi, "Electromagnetic Left-Handed Media Physics and Device Applications." Supervisor, R. Mansour. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Wednesday, May 10, 10 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

    Electrical and computer engineering. Hassan Ghasemi, "On-line Monitoring and Oscillatory Stability Margin Prediction in Power Systems Based on System Identification." Supervisor, C. A. Canizares. On deposit in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Thursday, May 1, 2 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

    Health studies and gerontology. Daniela Friedman, "Health Literacy and the World Wide Web: Assessing Text Readability and Older Adults' Comprehension of Cancer Information on the Internet." Supervisor, Laurie Hoffman-Goetz. On deposit in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Monday, May 15, 12 noon, Matthews Hall room 3119.

    English. Catherine Scott, "Crippled Bodies and Crumpled Selves: The Construction and Use of Narrative in Memoirs by Disabled Americans." Supervisor, Linda Warley. On deposit in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Friday, June 9, 10 a.m., Environmental Studies I room 221.

    Easter luncheon buffet at the University Club, Wednesday and Thursday 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 3801.

    Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents director Dominic Covvey, "Dealing with Dynamic Workflow in Healthcare", Wednesday 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

    'Using UW-ACE to promote student reflection on course content': presentation by two faculty members, Thursday 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

    Good Friday holiday April 14: UW offices and services closed.

    Retirees Association spring luncheon 11:30 Tuesday, great hall, Luther Village, with speaker Herb Lefcourt, department of psychology, $20, information ext. 2015 or 745-1689.

    Spring term fees due April 24 by cheque, or April 27 by bank transfer; statements are now available on Quest.

    The $19 million question, and more

    About 100 people showed up last night for Waterloo Region's public meeting about the proposal to give a $19 million grant towards construction of a McMaster University medical school building on UW's health sciences campus downtown. Several officials from UW and Mac were on hand, and the evening began with a presentation led by John Kelton, dean of Mac's DeGroote School of Medicine. Members of Regional Council listened to delegations and asked questions, but there was no debate -- that will come April 26 as council prepares to vote on the issue. Local MPPs were heard from along with leaders of Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle, a representative of the three regional hospitals, Joe Lee of the Centre for Family Medicine that will also be housed at the health sciences campus, and others -- including seven private citizens. "By my count," a colleague tells me this morning, "the breakdown was 10 in favour of supporting the whole project at $19 million; 4 supported the project, but at less than $19 million (many urged council to appeal to the Province for more funding for it); 3 said this project isn't a Regional concern or responsibility and shouldn't be considered by Council; 2 were in favour of the project, but don't like taxpayers having to pay for it at all."

    Less than a week after the English Language Proficiency Exam was written by several hundred students, the results are ready. Grades (pass or fail) are posted, says Ann Barrett of the Writing Centre, in undergraduate offices across the academic departments, and outside her office, room 2082 in the PAS (Psychology) building. "Students who did not pass do have options," says Barrett, "and they should consult their academic advisors, the UW Calendar, or us."

    Ken Westhues of UW's department of sociology will be the featured guest today in an online conference sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which frequently hold "colloquies" on issues of interest in universities and colleges. Today's colloquy deals with what Westhues and other sociologists call "mobbing", the experience of employees ganging up on a colleague whom they perceive as a threat, shunning and otherwise punishing the person and eventually drumming him or her out of the job. Says the Chronicle web site: "Academe is a perfect petri dish for the culture of mobbing, according to the sociologist Kenneth Westhues, thanks to its relatively high job security, subjective measures of performance, and frequent tension between individual professors' goals and the goals of the institution. The victims of mobbing are not always wholly innocent, he says, but the campaigns against them are often based on fuzzy charges, take place in secret, happen fast, and are full of overheated rhetoric. . . . Is that what happened to Harvard University's president, Lawrence H. Summers? Is there a better way to handle conflicts in academe? How can academics resist giving in to herd mentality and maintain a spirit of open debate?" The online event starts at 1 p.m.

    Today and tomorrow are the final days for the free "exam fitness" classes that the campus recreation program is holding three times daily. . . . William Ross, a member of UW's custodial staff since 1990, will officially retire on May 1. . . . Winter term marks will start appearing on Quest on April 23, the day after the end of exams, and become official there on May 23. . . .

    And . . . I don't think I've perpetrated "applied health studies" lately, but I did something nearly as bad in Monday's Daily Bulletin, referring to one of UW's academic units as the "school of accounting". I'm reminded that the correct name is School of Accountancy.


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