Friday, June 23, 2006

  • Open house on north campus proposal
  • UN veteran among new board members
  • Book explores the rocks of Manitoulin
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Magazine cover]

The new issue of the student-published magazine Dimensions features an interview with Chinese exchange students at UW and comments on their experience, plus articles on the UW architecture program, blood donations, inter-racial romantic relationships, "and much more", says production director Derek Cheung.

Link of the day


When and where

World Cup soccer on the big screen at the Student Life Centre: Switzerland vs. Korea Republic and Togo vs. France, 3:00 today.

'An Inconvenient Truth', film on global climate change, opening tonight at Princess Twin Cinemas, special participation by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group and other agencies.

Graduate Student Associ-ation picnic at Elora Gorge Conservation Area, Saturday, buses leave campus 8:30 a.m., tickets $10 at Graduate House (includes transportation and two meals), all welcome.

Bojangles Art of Dance recitals Saturday and Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

National Aboriginal Day celebrations Saturday noon to 5 p.m., Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery: arts and crafts, displays, food, drumming, workshops, all welcome, information 519-763-5292.

Columbia Lake Village North community barbecue Saturday 4 p.m., CLV community centre, free to CLV North residents.

UW Recreation Committee outing to see "Cats" at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, Saturday night.

Children's group with activities in Chinese culture and language, Sunday 10:15 to 12:15, Columbia Lake Village community centre, information

Vancouver alumni event: Southern Ontario Alumni Reunion, UW and other universities volunteer-driven family picnic, Sunday at Jericho Beach, details online.

Embargo on telephone changes begins Monday, in preparation for August 8 switch to five-digit extension numbers; details online.

Retail services stores will be closed Tuesday, June 27, for annual general meeting and staff training. Affects book-store, UW Shop, TechWorx, and Campus TechShop.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre, "How the West Was Nearly One: Canada, NATO's Early Years and the Quest for an Atlantic Community," Tuesday 7 p.m., 57 Erb Street West, free tickets

Canada Day holiday observed Monday, July 3; UW offices and most services will be closed, classes cancelled.

PhD oral defences

Electrical and computer engineering. Wei Sun, "Joint Compression and Digital Watermarking: Information-Theoretic Study and Algorithms Development." Supervisor, E.-H. Yang. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, July 7, 2:30 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Nitin Mohan, "Low-Power High-Performance Ternary Content Addressable Memory Circuits." Supervisor, M. Sachdev. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, July 17, 9 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Chemistry. Denise Corsil-Gosselink, "Study of Transition Metal Phosphides as Anode Materials for Lithium-ion Batteries: Phase Transitions and the Role of the Anionic Network." Supervisor, L. F. Nazar. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Wednesday, July 19, 1:30 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Computer science. Claude-Guy Quimper, "Efficient Propagators for Global Constraints." Supervisor, A. Lopez-Ortiz. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, July 21, 1:30 pm., Davis Centre room 1331.

Systems design engineering. Ye Chen, "Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis: Classification Problems and Solutions." Supervisors, K. Hipel and D. M. Kilgour. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, July 25, 9 a.m., Engineering II room 1307C.

Statistics and actuarial science. Peng Zhang, "Contributions to Mixed Effects Models for Longitudinal Data." Supervisor, P. Song. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, July 25, 10 a.m., Engineering II room 1307G.


Open house on north campus proposal

The city of Waterloo will hold an open meeting Tuesday night for public discussion of the proposed “West Side Partnership” that would see a library and a YMCA open on UW-owned land along Fischer-Hallman Road.

The proposal came to city council earlier this month, and more discussion is scheduled for its meeting on July 10. From the university’s side, it was given approval in principle during a confidential session of the board of governors on June 6.

“As the population on the west side of Waterloo continues to grow,” an official advertisement from the city says, “a number of needs are emerging. On June 12, 2006, City staff, in partnership with the Waterloo Public Library, the Kitchener Waterloo YMCA and the University of Waterloo, presented details of this proposed partnership to Council.”

The main points of the proposal:

• The Waterloo Public Library would put its long-awaited west side branch, occupying about 21,000 square feet of space, on a section of UW’s north campus near the corner of Fischer-Hallman and Laurelwood Drive.

• The Y would open a major fitness facility and community centre in the same building as the library — another 47,000 square feet, making the total building about as big as UW’s South Campus Hall.

• UW would lease the city 7 acres of land for the library and Y, for a token $1 a year for 98 years.

• UW would lease the city 23 acres of the north campus, on the east side of Westmount Road just south of Bearinger Road, to be used for sports fields. Currently used for farming, the land is designated as part of the north campus “environmental reserve”. Again, the rent would be a token $1 a year.

• The city would pay the cost (estimated at $9 million) of providing roadways and sewers for an 87-acre district of the north campus. That amounts to about half of the area north of the existing Columbia Lake Village and west of Westmount Road, including the new library facility. Much of that area is available to be developed in future years for additional student housing as UW’s graduate enrolment expands.

The city would spend about $14 million to construct the library and sports fields; the Y would put in $6 million towards construction of its facility.

The purpose of Tuesday’s information session, says the city, is “to provide information to the community and to gather input regarding this partnership. Feedback from the community will subsequently be shared with Council as they contemplate exploring this proposal further.”

The information session will be held Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, 650 Laurelwood Drive, just up the street from the proposed library site. A public presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

There’s more information on the city’s web site.

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UN veteran among new board members

The Ontario government has appointed Louise Fréchette, a former senior United Nations official, to the University of Waterloo board of governors.

[Fréchette]Fréchette (right) becomes one of the "Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council representatives" serving a three-year term on the 36-member board. Her term began May 1 and ends April 30, 2009. She is one of several new board members who attended their first meeting earlier this month.

The board of governors is responsible for UW's governance, including the control of property and revenues, while the senate establishes the educational policies of the university.

Fréchette was the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations for eight years (1997-2005) and a long-time Canadian diplomat and public servant. Last May, she began a two-year appointment at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, an international relations and policy think-tank based in Waterloo. She is a 1971 graduate of the Université de Montréal, and was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the first Deputy Secretary General.

Other new appointments to the board:

[Harding]• Bob Harding (left), CEO of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (formerly Brascan), takes a seat as a "community-at-large" member chosen by the board itself. He was a former member and chair of the board, and volunteer chair of Campaign Waterloo. Harding returns to the board chair's position as Paul Koenderman ends his two-year term and leaves the board.

• Bruce Gordon, senior executive vice-president and general manager of Manulife Financial, also a "community-at-large" board member.

• Faculty representatives chosen by the UW senate: Beth Jewkes, management sciences; Catherine Rosenberg, electrical and computer engineering; Selva Selvakumar, electrical and computer engineering; Tony Vannelli, electrical and computer engineering.

• Undergraduate student representatives: Robert Allie, science; Caustan De Riggs, environmental studies; Michelle Zakrison, president, Federation of Students.

• Graduate student representatives: Marek Ratajczak, president, Graduate Student Association; Douglas Stebila, combinatorics and optimization.

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Book explores the rocks of Manitoulin

from the UW media relations office

For well over a century, the Manitoulin Island area has been a mecca for earth scientists from all over North America who came to study its rocks and collect its fossils. A new book by two UW earth scientists and a curator colleague explains why. Its launch, planned for Wednesday at the Gore Bay Museum in Gore Bay on Manitoulin, is timed to coincide with the start of the 2006 tourist season.

Manitoulin Rocks! Rocks, Fossils and Landforms of Manitoulin Island, a long-overdue guide to the geology of the island and nearby areas to the north, was written for the non-specialist. The profusely illustrated 130-page book is a resource for tourists, teachers, students, nature lovers or anyone else who wants to understand the natural history of the beautiful island.

The book's publishers are the Earth Sciences Museum at UW, in partnership with the Geological Association of Canada and the Gore Bay Museum. It was written by Mario Coniglio and Paul Karrow, both UW professors of earth sciences, and Peter Russell, curator of UW's Earth Sciences Museum.

"Early visitors and settlers would have been inclined, just as we are, to think of the natural setting of Manitoulin Island, with its escarpments, glacially sculpted bedrock and rocky shorelines, as a forever unchanging, permanent landscape," the three authors say in the book's introduction. "Today, we see homes and cottages, pastures, croplands and highways where endless forests previously stood. But what existed before the forests? If you answered 'glaciers from the Ice-Age,' what existed before the glaciers? . . .

"The Manitoulin Island area is an excellent natural laboratory to learn about the Earth," they write. As the northernmost expression of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, the area offers an impressive diversity of well-displayed geological features in a relatively small area.

The authors also highlight many interesting facts about Manitoulin, such as being the home of Canada's largest quarry (at Meldrum Bay) and one of North America's oldest quarries (archaeological site at Sheguiandah). The tourist literature often describes Manitoulin as "the world's largest freshwater island."

The first half of the book explores a broad range of concepts needed to appreciate the geology of Manitoulin Island. It goes on to describe two-billion-year-old mountains that are now worn down and exposed as the gently rolling hills of the La Cloche Mountains.

Approximately 500 million years ago, salty seas invaded the area and deposited vast sediments that now constitute the fossil-rich limestone and dolostone bedrock of the island, magnificently exposed in the Niagara Escarpment. Much more recently, extensive glaciation in the last Ice Age, followed by glacial melting, were largely responsible for the present landforms and topography.

The second half of the book is a field guide to 50 locations in the Manitoulin area where readers are encouraged to make their own observations of the geology and landforms. The authors focused on making the guide user-friendly by including detailed maps and directions, GPS coordinates and indications of where to park.

Manitoulin Rocks! can be ordered online from the GAC bookstore, or through UW's Earth Sciences Museum. The authors expect it to be carried by a number of retailers on and near Manitoulin as well. The cost is $25 (plus GST).

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