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Monday, January 23, 2006

  • More high schoolers apply to UW
  • IBM workstations added to Porter
  • A correction and other notes
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

The first woman MD


ONE CLICK AWAY
  • Former student's Election Prediction Project
  • Apology after rowdy Engineering Society meeting
  • Skilled worker shortage feared in technology
  • 'Math will rock your world'
  • Political alumni controversy at UCLA
  • U of Guelph opening College of Management and Economics
  • UW sociologist quoted in story on 'faculty mobbing'
  • Federal election day

    Polls are open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Last-minute voting information: see the Elections Canada web site.

    The city of Waterloo, including the main campus, is in Kitchener-Waterloo riding. Much of the city of Kitchener is in Kitchener Centre. Surrounding areas are in Kitchener-Conestoga. The Architecture building is in Cambridge riding. The Record web site has reports on local candidates and issues.

    On-campus residents are assigned to polling places at Conrad Grebel University College and in the Village I great hall. Columbia Lake Village residences vote at the Christian Reformed Church on Bearinger Road.

    More high schoolers apply to UW

    Early figures on the number of applicants to enter UW next fall are showing an increase from last year -- and showing Waterloo ahead of the Ontario-wide average.

    A total of 75,660 would-be students have applied for September admission so far, says a report from the Ontario Universities Application Centre, distributed by Peter Burroughs, UW's director of admissions. The figures so far include only "OSS" students -- those from Ontario secondary schools.

    Of the applicants, 7.9 per cent ranked a Waterloo program first (up from 7.4 per cent last year). There are no statistics yet on applicants to particular faculties or programs.

    Students can list more than one program -- the average is between 4 and 5 choices for each -- so there are a total of 331,061 applications across the province's universities, with 6.7 per cent of them (22,318) naming Waterloo.

    To put it another way, the number of applications is up 7.2 per cent at Waterloo and 1.6 per cent across Ontario; the number of individual first-choice applicants is up 11.7 per cent at Waterloo and 3.7 per cent across the province.

    Burroughs calls the trend "very encouraging". He writes in a memo sent across campus last week: "Although the quality of the OSS applicants will not be determined until later in the admissions cycle, in recent years applicants have become much more aware of the relatively high admission standards of many of our year one programs and have 'self-selected' when making their application choices."

    For most UW programs, the application deadline for fall admissions will be March 31.


    [Students at work]

    IBM workstations added to Porter

    New IBM computer workstations appeared on the main floor of the Dana Porter Library (left) late in the fall term -- made possible by gifts from UW alumni working at IBM Canada.

    The 48 machines, with flat-screen monitors, are in the area behind the information desk and in the alcove area behind the "new books" shelving, both on the second floor of Porter. All are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.

    They're equipped with an extensive suite of supported software -- including Microsoft Office -- and research tools, something new for computers in Porter. The previous hardware in that area had browsers and viewing software, but "nothing that students could really use to complete their assignments," says Rachel Caldwell of the library's communications and development staff.

    The Davis Centre library got fully-equipped workstations in 2004 as part of the installation of the RBC Information Commons there. The next development in Davis is the installation of an additional 37 express workstations, again made possible by the IBM alumni campaign.

    University librarian Mark Haslett says the new state-of-the-art equipment from IBM "brings us one step closer in our quest to provide an Information Commons at the Porter Library. This updated equipment helps us to provide UW students, faculty, and staff with the technology necessary for building life-long research and information management skills."

    The library's electronic newsletter quoted Nicole Tsonis, a first-year social development studies student who was preparing for her first set of final exams in late fall, and who said she was thrilled by the new hardware and software: "I typically work on my assignments here and appreciate that I no longer have to take the extra step to reformat my papers at home or at another location on campus. Now I can create, edit, and print my assignments while I am at the Porter Library."

    Launched in 2004, the UW Alumni @ IBM Campaign supports projects across campus, such as graduate scholarships, named award endowments, and teaching equipment. Since the campaign's launch, more than 300 UW alumni working for IBM Canada have made pledges. When they do, the IBM Matching Grants Program provides equipment credits towards the provision of new and enriched computing equipment at the library -- more than $200,000 worth in the past year, the library says.

    A correction and other notes

    The correction, first, thanks to a reader who wrote that she was "disappointed" to see the error in last Wednesday's Daily Bulletin. "I was pleased," she writes, "to read an article about an old friend of mine, Hao Xin, winning a scholarship for her work in systems design engineering. That's right, her work, not "his" as mentioned in the article. Anyone who has met Hao -- and I'd bet many on this campus have, since she worked in co-op education and career services as a co-op student -- would know that Hao is very clearly an intelligent female. This is an example of women succeeding in a field traditionally male-dominated."

    WHEN AND WHERE
    'Benefits of RRSPs' Workshop sponsored by Education Credit Union, 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

    Computational mathematics colloquium: Ilias S. Kotsireas, Wilfrid Laurier University, "Algorithms in Combinatorial Design Theory", 2:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

    Students for Palestinian Rights present Ai Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, "Israel-Palestine: Peace or Apartheid?" 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

    Staff safety training: WHMIS training with safety orientation, Tuesday 10 a.m. or Thursday 2 p.m.; general safety orientation, Tuesday 2 p.m. or Thursday 10 a.m.; all sessions in Davis Centre room 1304. Information ext. 5613.

    Volunteer fair Tuesday, 11:00 to 2:00, Student Life Centre. Students can speak with agencies that work with children, seniors, people with health issues, arts programs and others.

    'The New Germany: Where Is It Heading?' Steve Crawshaw, Human Rights Watch, Tuesday 2:30, Environmental Studies I room 221.

    Engineering exchange program information sessions: General overview, Tuesday 11:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 309; Pacific rim and Mexico, Tuesday 4 p.m., RCH room 302; Europe and the Netherlands, Wednesday 4 p.m., RCH 302; United Kingdom, Thursday 4 p.m., RCH 302.

    Public Anthropology Lecture: Miroslava Prazak, Bennington College, "A Kenyan Community Confronts the Tradition of Female Circumcision", Tuesday 7 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

    Job fair and opportunity to network with more than 170 employers, Wednesday, February 1, 10:00 to 3:30, RIM Park, Waterloo, details online.

    Here's a memo from the human resources department that I should repeat after publishing it a couple of weeks ago: "Pension legislation in Ontario gives certain employees, who are not normally eligible, the option to join the University of Waterloo Pension Plan. To be eligible you must have worked continuously for the University of Waterloo during 2004 and 2005 and also you must have: earned $14,385 in 2005 and $14,175 in 2004, or worked more than 700 hours for the University of Waterloo in both 2004 and 2005. Pension plan participation requires employee contributions at the rate of 4.55% of base earnings up to $42,100 and 6.5% of any base earnings exceeding $42,100 (the 2006 Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings for Canada Pension). If you wish to join the pension plan, and feel that you qualify or have any questions concerning your eligibility, please contact Wanda Speek at ext. 3573 or wspeek@uwaterloo.ca to make the necessary arrangements."

    The January issue of the Teaching Matters newsletter, published by the teaching resource office, has an article by director Barbara Bulman-Fleming about "Engaging Students Through Global Perspectives". She cites several examples of courses that are drawing on international material, including this one: "Doris Jakobsh of Religious Studies is keen to enrich the learning experiences of her students at UW by facilitating contact between them and students at Lady Doak College in Madurai, India. She was made aware of the substantial differences between students here and in India during a recent three-month visit to India with fifteen UW Religious Studies students. The contact, which will occur via a series of online discussions as well as a one-month visit this fall of Dr. Roopa Ravikumar from Lady Doak College, will involve students in both locations having an opportunity to gain knowledge from each other's perspectives on women's issues in religion."

    Sign-up for the "Let's Make a Deal" contest, sponsored by Leave the Pack Behind, is finished now, and participants are in the process of giving up cigarettes, cutting down, or consciously not starting in spite of any pressures they might face. . . . The popular continuing education course on "Homicide: From Crime Scene to Trial" was to be offered starting this week, but last-minute word from the CE office is that it's been cancelled. . . . UW is represented in a series of visits to Norwegian secondary schools being made today and tomorrow by a delegation from Canadian universities. . . .

    With a cover sheet in a shade too eye-catching to be called fuchsia, the mathematics student newsletter (you say mathNEWS, I say MathNews) has distributed "Volume 100, Issue 1". The publication starts a new volume each term, and has now been running for 33 years ("1 051 920 000 seconds and counting"). The new issue includes some longstanding traditions, such as ProfQuotes ("one-twelfth is not zero," according to pure mathematician Frank Zorzitto) as well as Mathematics Society news and announcements, student-drawn comic strips, and a few jabs at student newspaper Imprint.

    Winners of January's draw prizes among Keystone Campaign donors are now listed on the web site. . . . Nominations for Federation of Students executive posts have now closed, and a meeting for candidates is being held today in advance of the campaign. . . . Today is the "fully graded date" when final marks for fall term undergraduate courses can be seen on Quest. . . .

    CAR


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