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Thursday, April 27, 2006

  • The year's count: 410,872 oranges
  • Honorary degrees set for June
  • Life at Waterloo between terms
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

National Volunteer Week


Waterloo Regional Council voted last night, 10 to 5, to contribute $15 million to the construction of a McMaster University medical school building on UW's health sciences campus in Kitchener. Details and comment in tomorrow's Daily Bulletin.

The year's count: 410,872 oranges

"Everything from the inks and chemicals we use on the presses to the various types of paper" will have to be counted tomorrow, as UW Graphics takes inventory on the last working day of the 2005-06 fiscal year.

Other departments will be counting books, glassware, sachets of tea and jugs of water -- all the supplies that are in stock and have to be accounted for as the books close. As a result of inventory, some services on campus will be closed for part or all of the day tomorrow, their managers warn.

"This is my first time through inventory," says Sean Van Koughnett, who took over as director of graphics a few months ago. "But from what I've found out, the majority of the 35 staff in the department are involved -- it will be a busy place." He warns that the four copy centres will be closed from 12:00 to 2:30 tomorrow. "Then between 2:30 and 4:30 we will accept jobs but not produce them until Monday. Main Graphics will be open all day to take in jobs, but any jobs brought in after 2:30 will not be produced until May 1."

The bookstore, the UW Shop and Techworx in South Campus Hall will be closed all day tomorrow. The Campus TechShop, in the Student Life Centre, will be open Friday and will take inventory on Saturday instead, says retail services director May Yan.

She reports: "Over 200,000 units in Retail Services is counted in the first count, and auditors require 10% of the initial count be counted a second time. This year, the Bookstore upgraded the inventory management system which allows for quick scanning of over 15,000 titles in stock and over 5,000 General Merchandise product lines. The count process is completed in one and a half days by 30 full-time staff members in South Campus Hall and 5 full-time in CampusTechshop."

She adds that the UW finance office "sends five or six staff members to verify counts in all locations in addition to the external auditor from Ernst & Young who also verifies location counts. The staff get to dress down, and lunch is provided by Retail Services.

And then there's food services. "Looking back over the year," writes director Lee Elkas, "numbers tell an amazing story. We operate 17 units on campus, employ over 350 people, and as many as 110 UW students. Over 18 different languages are spoken.

"We have squeezed 410,872 oranges to make 22,000 16-ounce bottles of fresh orange juice, served 887,238 litres of dairy milk and cream, 52,050 pounds of french fries and 6,496 litres of ketchup. Our Village Bakery used 90,000 pounds of flour to bake 118,000 kaiser buns and over 50,000 loaves of bread. That's a lot of flour. We also baked up 105,120 muffins. Our Chinese food outlet, Chopsticks at the Davis Centre, served 50,112 daily specials. Brubaker's in the SLC served 7,244 roasted chicken dinners. The University Club served 931 pounds of salmon fillets. Tim Horton's in the Student Life Centre poured 257,624 cups of coffee. We catered 3,340 events.

"During the past year we have served over 2,996,368 staff, students, and visitors."

And now comes inventory -- as well as annual cleanup. Says Elkas: "Before May 1, we count anything left in our cupboards and clean absolutely every nook and cranny. We scrub 24 ovens, 65 fridges, 16 freezers, 9 steamers, 10 fryers, 9 woks, 6 char grills, 6 flat top grills, 9 steam tables, 5 ice machines; wipe down countless counter tops, mop miles of floors and wash innumerable windows."

Most of the food services outlets that are open this week will close at 1:30 tomorrow for inventory.

[Scores of little girls with eager faces]

Dance recital season keeps the Humanities Theatre busy each spring, as students from local dance schools show off their achievements for families and friends. The competitive Rhythm Dance Festival, representing nine schools, runs morning till night today through Sunday. (The photo from a previous Humanities competition is from the festival's web site.)

Honorary degrees set for June

Doug Letson, former president of UW's St. Jerome's University, will receive an honorary degree from UW this spring, along with Flora MacDonald, a former federal cabinet minister, Bob Rosehart, president of Wilfrid Laurier University, and other prominent academic and public figures.

Spring convocation will be held in eight sessions this year -- up from five in previous spring ceremonies -- in the Physical Activities Complex. Names of the award recipients were announced this week after being approved in confidential session earlier by UW's senate. Most of them will also be giving the convocation addresses at their respective ceremonies.

In addition to the honorary degrees, there will be Distinguished Professor Emeritus status awarded to three retired faculty members: Howard Green, department of kinesiology; Tony Cullen, school of optometry; and Bill Lennox, department of civil engineering, who was also a member of UW's original graduating class in engineering in 1962.

Here's the schedule of convocation ceremonies and degree recipients:

Wednesday, June 14, morning: applied health sciences and environmental studies; address by Thomas Goodale, professor emeritus at George Mason University and an authority on leisure and parks. Also, honorary degree for Serge Rossignol, neuroscientist based at the Université de Montréal.

Wednesday afternoon: faculty of science; address by Howard Howland, Cornell University scientist specializing in optical properties of the eye.

Thursday, June 15, morning: arts, part one; address by MacDonald, former minister of external affairs and Companion of the Order of Canada. Also, honorary degree for Robert Mundell, Nobel-winning economist, formerly UW faculty member, now at Columbia University.

Thursday afternoon: arts, part two; address by Margaret Visser, author of Much Depends on Dinner and other popular books of anthropology. Also, honorary degree to Douglas Letson, English professor and former president of St. Jerome's.

Friday, June 16, morning: mathematics, part one; address by Dominic Welsh noted researcher in discrete mathematics at the University of Oxford.

Friday afternoon: mathematics, part two (computer science); address by Kurt Melhorn, University of the Saarland, Germany, a key founder of the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science.

Saturday, June 17, morning: engineering, part one; address by Jacques Lamarre, prominent engineer who heads the international construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Saturday afternoon: engineering, part two; address by Robert Rosehart, UW graduate in engineering and president of WLU since 1997.

WHEN AND WHERE
Computing Help and Information Place (CHIP) closed today 12:00 to 1:30 for staff meeting.

Teaching seminar: Les Richards, Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, "What I Learned about Learning in a Developing World Practice", 3 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series: Andries van Dam, Brown University, "Immersive Virtual Reality in Scientific Visualization", 4:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 101.

Waterloo-Cornell Seminar in Quantitative Finance: Harry Panjer, statistics and actuarial science, 5 p.m., 55 Broad Street, New York.

Arts alumni film showing: "Show Me" and "Interviews with My Next Girlfriend", followed by question session with filmmaker Cassandra Nicolaou, 7 p.m., Galaxy Cinemas, Cambridge, tickets $10.50, details online.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: "BlackBerry Support Project Update", Friday 8:45, IST seminar room.

Innovate Entrepreneurs Bootcamp sponsored by Enterprise Co-op, co-operative education and career services, Friday-Saturday, details online.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Tom Jenkins, Open Text Corp., "Technology in Times of Crises", Friday 11:45, 57 Erb Street West, reservations e-mail rsvp@cigionline.org.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry annual general meeting, seminar, "Quantum Chemistry at Guelph: Then and Now", graduate student poster session, and reception, Friday 1 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Robot Racing involving eight teams from three universities, Friday 1 p.m., greens north of Math and Computer, spectators welcome.

Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition by Gregory Blunt and Suzy Oliveira, through May 2, UW art gallery, East Campus Hall, opening reception Saturday 6 to 9 p.m.

Graduate Student Leisure Research Symposium May 2-3, Clarica Auditorium, details online.

UW Accounting Conference with speakers and case competition, May 5-6, details online.

Life at Waterloo between terms

Some of Canada's top scientists, thinkers and teachers -- Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada -- are gathering in Waterloo today for a one-day conference jointly hosted by UW and two nearby think-tanks. The event is one of a series of regional conferences for Fellows, and is led in part by two of Waterloo's FRSCs: Keith Hipel of systems design engineering and Bruce Mitchell of geography. The morning session is at the Centre for International Governance Innovation on Erb Street; the afternoon, at the nearby Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Participants will be greeted by UW president David Johnston and provost Amit Chakma and briefed on the work of CIGI and Perimeter, under the title "Collaborative Partnerships and Connecting Research with the Community". Tom Brzustowski, past president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and an advisor to UW's Institute for Quantum Computing, is the lunchtime speaker.

Also hitting Waterloo today is a contingent of psychology students from across the province, attending the 36th annual Psychology Undergraduate Thesis Conference. "I am continually amazed by the creativity of the ideas and the sophistication of the techniques that comprise undergraduate theses," writes Mike Dixon, chair of UW's psych department. The conference begins tonight with a reception, and tomorrow brings some 150 talks and poster presentations, with titles like "The Presence of Tobacco in Video Games and Its Association with Injunctive Smoking Norms" and "Cross-Cultural Sibling Negotiation". Conference details are, of course, online.

The spring term begins Monday, as everybody knows by now, with Tim Horton's in the Student Life Centre returning to a 7/24 schedule, and the first classes starting at 8:30 (well, maybe 8:31). Most undergraduates on campus for the May-to-August term are returning from co-op work terms, or picking up extra courses, but director of admissions Nancy Weiner says there are about 30 brand-new students arriving, including some who are here through exchange programs. A "welcome reception" for newcomers will be held Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. For international students, many of whom are at the graduate level, an orientation session is set for Friday, May 5, at 5 p.m. in the community centre at Columbia Lake Village. More information is available from the student life office.

A new issue of Phys 13 News, published by UW's physics department for high school science teachers, has just come through the mail. Most of the newsletter's content is typically written by Waterloo faculty, but the author of the lead article this time is Kate Ross, a third-year physics student. She describes her work on a co-op term at the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre in Kitchener, working in radiation therapy. "It is true," Ross writes, "that the physics behind the treatment of cancer using radiation is complex, but it can be understood conceptually quite easily. . . . My research centred on the use of the Multi-Leaf Collimator for a treatment technique called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy."

The University Club luncheon buffet to mark Staff Appreciation Week (formerly "Secretaries' Day") continues today and tomorrow. . . . The massive book sale in the lower level of the Student Life Centre, with used books priced at 50 cents apiece or five for $2, also continues. . . . UW's continuing education office has scheduled a one-day course for June 8 under the title "The Power of One: Your Attitude Is Showing". . . .

CAR


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