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Thursday, May 11, 2006

  • 'Angel' firm in Accelerator Centre
  • Prominent curator takes UW job
  • Drops in the daily drizzle
Chris Redmond

International Fast Day Against Malaria

[Colourful cranes linked in garlands]

When he finished his year as vice-president (internal) of the Federation of Students at the end of April, Lawrence Lam headed off on a trip to Japan, and offered to take some of the paper cranes that were folded at UW in March as part of the Yume Peace Project for Hiroshima. "I had no idea that two big boxes of cranes were collected!" says Lam. Some of them had to be shipped, but he did bring "a few bunches" personally to the Children's Peace Monument at Hiroshima.

'Angel' firm in Accelerator Centre

With the Accelerator Centre on UW's north campus scheduled to open next week, Infusion Development is moving in and ready to help the next generation of entrepreneurs with advice and cash.

Says an announcement from the company: "In recognition of the innovative ideas and great entrepreneurial ambitions of University of Waterloo students, Infusion Development has come home. Infusion Development, a New York and Toronto based IT consultancy founded and operated by UW graduates, has returned to Waterloo to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs.

"Infusion Angels (IA), a recently created division of Infusion Development, is a group of investing 'angel' partners focused on finding and funding ideas from Waterloo students and alumni. IA's goal is to identify, fund, and help grow concepts into full fledged, revenue-oriented companies with the ultimate goal of dominance in a given market, sale to larger, publicly-traded entities, or a public offering."

It will be one of the tenants in the Accelerator Centre, a building in the Research and Technology Park dedicated to "accelerating" new high-tech businesses. The Accelerator Centre, at the corner of Hagey Boulevard and Frank Tompa Drive, has announced its opening celebrations for May 18.

Says Alim Somani, co-founder of Infusion Development and a partner in Infusion Angels: "We chose to focus the fund on the University of Waterloo because, as a company run and staffed by UW alumni, we enjoy special understanding and relationships with the UW community. Mostly, we are excited that the fund and our partnership with the Accelerator Centre will allow us to elevate our relationship with the University of Waterloo and its students.

"There's a real entrepreneurial buzz in the Waterloo region and, as alumni, we're in a unique position to tap into that."

The company says it will provide equipment, office space, reception, accounting, and other administrative support at the Accelerator Centre. "Furthermore, IA will provide sales, business, and related training/support to its portfolio companies, handle PR, and facilitate introductions to key clients and influencers in relative industries. In short, IA will provide all of the requisite business infrastructure around a funded concept."

One reaction comes from economics professor Larry Smith. "I've always been impressed by the number and quality of entrepreneurs I see in my classes each year," he's quoted as saying, "but it's really great to see that private sector companies from outside of Waterloo are finally starting to notice and take advantage of the innovative people and ideas that are here."

IA is interested in investing in the areas of software product concepts (application and infrastructure), novel electronic designs, electronic consumer products, radio/wireless applications, and bioinformatics, among others. "In general, Infusion Angels is interested in novel, commercializable concepts of any kind, including theoretical areas such as mathematical analytics or unique algorithmic approaches."


Prominent curator takes UW job

The UW art gallery has a new curator-director who will start work next week, says Bruce Taylor, chair of the department of fine arts, where the multi-site gallery is based.

Taking on the job is Andrew Hunter (right), a well known figure in Canadian gallery circles. He follows Carol Podedworny, who left UW earlier this year to become director of the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton.

Says Taylor: "Andrew Hunter has produced historical and contemporary exhibitions, publications and writings for public museums across Canada, in the United States and Europe. He has become widely known for his creative narrative engagements with museum collections, his collaborations with contemporary artists, and his innovative approach to writing about art and history. Born in Hamilton, Hunter has been based in Dundas (since 1997) where he has worked as an independent curator, artist, writer and designer of books."

A list of his projects touches on everything from a Group of Seven exhibition at the McMichael Gallery, northwest of Toronto, to "Fishermenıs Memorial" at the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He has also produced exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, Harbourfront and other galleries.

His upcoming projects include Jumbo! (Museum London) Dark Matter: Remembering the Great War (Confederation Centre Art Gallery, touring), Dominion City (with the cartoonist Seth, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, touring) and This Is Montréal! (The Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University).

Hunter has held curatorial positions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Kamloops Art Gallery and Vancouver Art Gallery and has been adjunct curator with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. He has published numerous essays on his curatorial work, and his book Cul-De-Sac, a reflection on Canadian landscape painting, was published by the University of Lethbridge in 2004.

The UW art gallery has multiple exhibition spaces in East Campus Hall, the home of the fine arts department, as well as UW's original gallery in the lobby of the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages building. The gallery exhibits touring and original shows as well as selections from the university's permanent art collection and work by students.

Safety orientation for employees 2 p.m., Davis 1302, repeated May 18, 10 a.m., Davis 1304. WHMIS training May 18, 2 p.m., Davis 1304.

Health informatics research seminar: John Yeow, systems design engineering, "Micro/Nano Devices for Biomedical Applications," 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

'Co-op Japan' presentation for students interested in spending a work term in Japan, 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Manfred Grisebach, "Windows Vista", Friday 8:45 a.m., IST seminar room.

'Catholic Voices in the Media and the Public Square', third Catholics in Public Life conference hosted by St. Jerome's University and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, Friday and Saturday. Opening panel with Catholic journalists, Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall, admission free. Details online.

Spring yard sale at Columbia Lake Village, Saturday 8:00 to 11:00.

Non-Violence Fair and Concert in Waterloo Park, Saturday: peace walk 12 noon, fair 12:00 to 4:00, concert 5:00 to 10:00, details online.

Alumni networking workshop in Toronto, Monday 6 p.m., details online.

Drops in the daily drizzle

Gardeners who are smiling with relief at today's rain have another reason to smile: it's the day of UW Blooms, an annual fixture just as the gardening season begins. Originally a one-person initiative, it's now sponsored by the UW Recreation Committee, which organizes activities of all kinds aimed at faculty and staff members. UW Blooms provides an opportunity to trade or give away seeds, plants, plant pots, anything to do with gardening. Even if you have nothing to bring in, you can still pick up free things, organizers say. The event officially runs from noon to 4:00 today at the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. I'm told that after cleanup time, lots of items will be left there for possible pickup, especially by night-shift staff.

An "international spouses' group" has been meeting regularly at the community centre in Columbia Lake Village, since CLV is home to many of UW's students from other lands, especially at the graduate level, and their families. They're having a special event this afternoon -- a trip to "a special, nearby village", namely St. Jacobs, home of boutiques, theatres, the peanut store, and -- thanks to the current construction work on the Highway 85 expressway -- traffic jams. "All spouses of international students or professors are most welcome, no matter where they live," organizers say. Last-minute information might be available at dematthews@uwaterloo.ca. The group will meet again May 25 at 1 p.m. for a potluck meal.

Organizers of this year's Keystone Campaign celebration event on June 8 are asking those coming to the event to consider potential teammates for a special Scavenger Hunt. Says John Heckbert of the development and alumni affairs office: "Not all attendees at the event are required to participate in the Scavenger Hunt, but for those who do, six people are required to fill each team. Those on each team will be given a variety of clues that will lead them to different sites at the event. We encourage teams to recruit people with a bit of knowledge about UW's history. Prizes will be distributed to the teams who complete the challenge, and the grand prize winning team will receive a complimentary team lunch at the University Club on a date of the team's choosing." Advance registration: phone ext. 7747 or e-mail kmcglynn@uwaterloo.ca.

Ravi Mazumdar of UW's electrical and computer engineering department is one of a group of three researchers who won the Best Paper award at the recent 25th Conference on Computer Communications of the IEEE Communications Society, held in April in Barcelona. More than 1,400 papers were eligible for the award. Title of the winning paper is "Delay and Capacity Trade-offs in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks: A Global Perspective". Co-authors of the paper are Ness Shroff of Purdue University and Gaurav Sharma, who had been a doctoral student under Mazumdar when he too was at Purdue.

Finally . . . the cleaning of watermains in central areas of the city of Waterloo is continuing, and is scheduled to touch on the main campus shortly. "There may be some discoloured water," says Rick Zalagenas, UW's director of maintenance and utilities. Advice from the city's Utilities Section: "If necessary, you may continue to use your water at all times during this cleaning program. However, if you notice that your water is starting to discolour, you should discontinue use, wait approximately one hour, then allow a hard, cold water tap to run for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes until the water is clear. We recommend that you do not drink discoloured water. . . . Please keep in mind that we are conducting this maintenance activity on the watermains to reduce the number of incidences of discoloured water in your area." The work is expected to get to the south campus tomorrow, and the Columbia Lake Village and R&T Park area on Monday. A map and details are available on the city's web site.


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