Monday, April 9, 2007

  • Student attends Vimy commemoration
  • Staff association 'continues to work'
  • IST recommends move to Office 2007
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Corrections and notes

The "Research Accelerator Centre" to be constructed on UW's north campus is to be at 475 Wes Graham Way — not 475 Frank Tompa Drive, as Thursday's Daily Bulletin said.

Mudie's cafeteria in Village I begins 24-hour-a-day operation to provide fuel for exams, today through April 16. Tim Hortons, Davis Centre, is open 7:30 to 7:30 Monday to Friday this week. Complete food services schedule is online.

The PowerPoint presentation from Friday's open meetings held by the UW pension and benefits committee, explaining proposed changes, is available online.

Link of the day

Easter Monday customs

When and where

Winter term exams begin today, end April 21; distance education exams April 13-14; schedule online.

UW Shop sidewalk sale Tuesday and Wednesday, South Campus Hall concourse.

Kids & Company day care centre grand opening, guest Monte Solberg, Ontario minister of human resources and social development, Tuesday 2 p.m., TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Surplus sale of UW furniture and property, Thursday 12:30 to 2 p.m., central stores, East Campus Hall.

'Online Peer Mentoring Programs for Distance Faculty' web conference, sponsored by PDEng program, Thursday 1:00 p.m., details and registration online.

Roger Watt, information systems and technology, retirement party Thursday 3:30 to 5:00, University Club, RSVP ext. 3–8018.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Barbara Liskov, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "From Viewstamped Replication to BFT", Thursday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1350.

David Johnston, president of UW, speaks at annual Leadership Breakfast organized by Leadership Waterloo Region, Friday 7:30 a.m., Bingemans Ballroom.

Auditions for June production of "Don Juan in Chicago" by K–W Little Theatre, April 16-18, 7 to 10 p.m., Humanities room 373, information

Architecture student projects end-of-year review, April 17 through June 16, Design at Riverside gallery, Architecture building; opening reception Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.

43rd annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, April 20 (9:00 to 9:00) and 21 (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, details online.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 23-26, details online. Keynote speaker Roberta Jamieson, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, April 23, 8:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $3 at Humanities box office.

Friends of the Library authors' event: lecture by history professor Ken McLaughlin, launch of his book Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, and display of work by UW authors, Wednesday, April 25, 3:30 p.m. (note corrected time), Theatre of the Arts.

President David Johnston Run for Health Monday, April 30, 12:00, around the ring road starting at Needles Hall, register with Johan Reis, ext. 3-5418.

PhD oral defences

Statistics and actuarial science. Hyun Tae Kim, “Estimation and Allocation of Insurance Risk Capital.” Supervisor, Mary Hardy. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Friday, April 27, 10:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 1331.

Civil and environmental engineering. Hatem S. ElBehairy, “Bridge Management System with Integrated Life Cycle Cost Optimization.” Supervisors, Khaled Soudki and Tarek Hagezy. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, April 30, 9:30 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Electrical and computer engineering. Shahin Jafarabadiashtiani, “Pixel Circuits and Driving Schemes for Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode Displays.” Supervisors, Arokia Nathan and Sherman X. Shen. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, April 30, 1:00 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Xinhua Ling, “Design and Analysis of Distributed MAC Protocols for Wireless Networks.” Supervisors, Sherman X. Shen and Jon W. Mark. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, May 1, 2:00 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Hossain Sarbishaei, “Electrostatic Discharge Protection Circuit for High-Speed Mixed-Signal Circuits.” Supervisor, Sachdev Manoj. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Wednesday, May 2, 2:00 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Physics and astronomy. Michael J. Dick, “Spectroscopy of Selected Calcium and Strontium Containing Polyatomic Molecules.” Supervisor, P. F. Bernath. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Thursday, May 3, 10:00 a.m., Physics room 352.

Student attends Vimy commemoration

[Vimy memorial with tiny figures]As Canada marks the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge — variously hailed as "the greatest of all Canadian battles" and the incident that made Canada a nation — at least one UW student will be on hand at the Vimy Memorial on the Douai plain of northern France.

He's Brian Fong, a second-year political science student who is there as part of the co-op job he's doing this term at the Directorate of History and Heritage of the Department of National Defence.

The four-day Vimy battle began April 9, 1917, which was Easter Monday that year as it is nine decades later. Thousands of Canadians are expected today at Hill 145, now the site of the landmark Canadian memorial (left), for anniversary commemorations.

Fong is attending the three-day gathering at Vimy as a part of his writing and research into the historical role of military bands. Along with his supervisor from DND in Ottawa, he'll be on hand for parades, presentations and ceremonies, including a rededication of the Vimy Memorial, created in 1936, which honours the Canadian dead of World War I including about 3,600 who died at Vimy.

Back in Waterloo, a new book about the battle is being launched today. Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment was edited by Geoffrey Hayes of UW's department of history and colleagues Andrew Iarocci and Mike Bechthold of Wilfrid Laurier University. It's published by WLU Press.

A collection of articles with insights from 16 authors, including the three editors, the book began on the premise that there is more to learn about the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Hayes says the memory of Vimy Ridge has become more a matter of symbolism for Canadians and less an awareness of the actual battle. The book returns to the events of 1917, and "provides a good level of detail not found in most publications,” he says, as it tries to explain exactly what happened before, during and after those four fatal days.

The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and WLU Press will host the official book launch tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 in the board and senate chamber at Laurier. Several of the contributors will speak about their studies of Vimy. "The formal evening will end," organizers say, "with the issue of a rum ration to toast the memory of the men who fought at Vimy Ridge."

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Staff association 'continues to work'

The staff association “continues to work on your behalf despite many unfounded rumours”, a memo assured its members last week. “The UW Staff Association is conducting business in the same manner that is has done since being founded in 1970.”

The two-sided memo doesn’t say a word about unions, but comes in the context of resignations by two members of the executive who are supporting unionization of UW’s staff through the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation. But the work goes on, writes association president Sue Fraser, whose words lead off the memo.

“UW is the current voice for all University Support Staff,” Fraser writes. “The Executive endeavors to work hard, on your behalf, to make the University of Waterloo a better environment in which to work. All Executive members have busy full-time jobs, but they spend many extra hours serving on Committees, preparing committee reports and assisting in policy changes that affect all staff. . . .

“There is presently a 'Call for Nominations' for the 2007-08 UWSA Executive and we encourage Staff Association members to run for these elected positions and get involved.” (Deadline for nominations is April 19.)

Shorter messages come from the other individual members of the executive, including president Joe Szalai: “In these unusual times, it's business as usual for the Staff Association. We are here to serve you to the best of our abilities. So, please continue to contact us with your work-related concerns, comments, complaints or praise.”

Says Chris Henderson: “I was asked to fill the vacant position of Past-President after the resignation of Stephen Markan. I was excited to become involved again on the SAEC so that I could become more directly involved in making positive changes for staff. While not perfect, the Staff Association is currently the only voice on campus that represents staff and I do not want staff to lose this voice. I believe in the Staff Association and want to see it continue, and I support the other Executive members who put countless hours of their time into making UW a better workplace for staff.”

Cathy Jardine, one of the directors, writes: “With the current climate on campus, the Staff Association is still working very hard to represent you. As a director of SAEC, I serve on the Staff Relations Committee (SRC) and Members' Advisory, as well as currently serving a 3 year term on the UW Staff Grievance Committee. I continue to support and believe in the staff who work at the University of Waterloo.”

Director any Newman talks about the pension, benefits and compensation subcommittee; secretary Nancy Poole refers to the pending election; director Nelson Carrillos refers to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation; and other association activities are noted.

Finally, director Maureen Stafford writes: “I joined the Executive as a Director in 2005 and am currently Chair of the Members' Advisory Committee. This is a confidential committee for staff to speak about work-related concerns and/or to ask questions about policies.

“It has been an extremely busy year with a multitude of concerns about poor supervisors, harassment or abuse in the workplace, and many questions about misunderstood policies. This committee, along with other members of the Executive, have spent a great deal of time trying to improve our workplace. I continue to strive to make UW a great workplace for staff.”

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IST recommends move to Office 2007

an announcement from information systems and technology

Microsoft Office XP has been used extensively across campus for the last 5 years in both the faculties and the academic-support departments. Microsoft has released a new version called Office 2007 that offers improvements in usability, functionality and security.

A project team has assessed this new version of Office and recommends the upgrade from Office XP to Office 2007. This recommendation was discussed at UCIST along with the plan to deploy Office 2007 in the academic-support departments in June, July and August, 2007.

While the first impression of Office 2007 appears to be a significant change from Office XP, experience with the new product shows that users quickly adapt to, and prefer, the new design. IST will be providing instructional Web pages and just-in-time training, scheduled to meet the requirements of each department.

The sharing and exchange of documents across the various academic and support departments of the University is a regular and ongoing occurrence. While Office XP is still an excellent product, there are compatibility issues with the use of Office XP and 2007. Office 2007 uses a new file format so an Office compatibility pack is required for Office XP users. Mac users should note that Office 2008 for the Mac is scheduled to be available in the second half of 2007 and will support the new Office format.

IST will be focusing its training and support on Office 2007. It believes that document interchange issues, training and support will all be simplified with the adoption of Office 2007 by the Faculties as well as the academic-support units. Recognizing the difficulties associated with this change, IST encourages the timely adoption of Office 2007 by the Faculties.


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