Wednesday, April 11, 2007

  • Three new University Professors
  • New supplier for Warrior uniforms
  • Grains of truth under our toes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Barbershop Quartet Day

When and where

UW Shop sidewalk sale continues, South Campus Hall concourse.

Hagey Hall of the Humanities electrical power shutdown Thursday 6:00 to 8:00 a.m.

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. “Watt’s Last Stand”, IST professional development seminar, Friday 9 a.m., Math and Computer room 5136.

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

Student Life Centre hot water shut off Friday 6:30 to 9:30 a.m., with a possibility cold water will also be turned off.

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

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Paul Masson, University of Toronto, "The IMF: Victim of Its Own Success of Institutional Failure?" Friday 11:45 a.m., 57 Erb Street West, reservations online.

Women's studies 35th anniversary colloquium: Deborah Steinberg, University of Warwick, "Beggars and Choosers: Genes, Phantasy and the Neo-Liberal Subject", Friday 1:30 p.m., Humanities room 334.

Super Cities Walk to support Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Sunday 10 a.m. (check-in 8:30), Federation Hall, details online.

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

Alumni in western Canada: special events April 16 in Victoria, April 17 in Vancouver, April 19 in Calgary, details online.

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.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research workshops:"EHealth Risk-Opportunity Report Card" April 17-18, "Health Privacy" April 18-19, details online.

Unofficial winter term marks available on Quest starting April 22; marks become official May 22.

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., Theatre of the Arts.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Senior development officer, development and alumni affairs, faculty of engineering, USG 11
• Interuniversity sport manager, athletics, USG 11
• Administrative assistant to the director, independent studies program, special programs, USG 4
• Awards assistant, student awards and financial aid, office of the registrar, USG 5/6
• Career advisor, co-operative education and career services, USG 8
• Graduate admissions coordinator, civil and environmental engineering, USG 4
• Administrative assistant to chair and graduate, history, USG 5
• Director of commercialization, office of research, technology transfer and licensing office, USG 16

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

 [Davidson] [ ] [Hipel] [ ] [Sivak]
Three new University Professors

UW has appointed three more University Professors, the highest academic honour given at this university, the university senate and board of governors have been told. That brings the total to eleven since the rank was created in 2004.

Provost Amit Chakma announced that (left to right, above) Ken Davidson of pure mathematics, Keith Hipel of systems design engineering, and Jake Sivak of optometry have been awarded the title by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee.

They join the previous three years’ recipients: Garry Rempel of chemical engineering, Mary Thompson of statistics and actuarial science, Mark Zanna of psychology, Terry McMahon of chemistry, Cameron Stewart of pure mathematics, Robert Jan Van Pelt of architecture, Phelim Boyle of accountancy and Ian Munro of computer science.

The provost gave some background about the honour: "The University of Waterloo owes much of its reputation and stature to the quality of its eminent professors. UW recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence through the designation University Professor. Once appointed, a faculty member retains the designation for life. . . . Such appointments are reported to Senate and to the Board of Governors for information, and are recognized at Convocation."

Here's how the individuals are chosen: "Annually, nominations will be sought from Deans, Directors and Chairs, as well as from the University community generally. A nominee shall have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence in a particular field or fields of knowledge. The individual who nominates a colleague is responsible for gathering the documentation and submitting it to the Vice-President, Academic & Provost. The University Tenure & Promotion Committee will act as the selection committee; its decisions are final.

"A nomination must be supported by at least six signatures from at least two UW departments," and opinions are asked from "scholars of international standing in the nominee's field" before a decision is made. The intention is that "at steady state" there will be no more than 14 University Professors, apart from those who have retired.

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New supplier for Warrior uniforms

The athletics department announced this week that UW has signed "an exclusive partnership agreement" with Russell Athletic, the largest athletic uniform distributor in North America.

Says an announcement: "Distributed in Canada through H. D. Brown Enterprises Ltd., Russell Athletic is an American company that has been operating for over 100 years. It is responsible for world-wide distribution of such recognizable brand product lines as Spalding and Bike. Since developing the sweatshirt as a replacement for the wool football jersey 80 years ago, Russell Athletic has become known for offering innovation in athletic apparel design, and for the quality and durability of its products."

Judy McCrae, director of athletics and recreational services, says she's excited about the partnership. "We are very pleased. Russell Athletic is a strong manufacturer in uniforms and equipment. Their products are leaders in industry standards and the quality and fashion of the uniforms are second to none. Our solid partnerships with our local distributors, Webco and the UW Shop, make this agreement a win-win situation. With the multi-year partnership, we will be able to grow with Russell Athletic."

[Warrior shirt]The three-year deal, which began April 1, offers UW "full access to Russell Athletic stock and custom uniform options available in Canada and the U.S.," the announcement says, "with an eye to having all varsity teams wearing Russell Athletic uniforms by year three of the agreement. UW will also have access to the complete Russell and Bike brand lines of team outerwear, fleece, performance base layer, practice apparel, protective equipment and brace products. Under the agreement, Webco Sports will handle team uniform and protective equipment orders from Russell while Warrior retail apparel will be ordered and sold by UW Retail Services."

Chad Currah, divisional manager for Russell, says UW "has helped build some excellent cross-promotional opportunities into this deal — everything from incorporation of the Russell Athletic brand into UW Athletics' web presence to consistent campus and event visibility. . . . Any time both sides come away winning it feels good." He adds that "Russell Athletic works with leading universities and colleges across North America to ensure that student athletes have access to innovative apparel and high quality options to help them achieve excellence in their sport of choice. We look forward to watching the Warriors
put our products to good use."

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Grains of truth under our toes

[Six of them jumping on a dune]There's a reason they call it White Sands National Monument, and in the picture you can see it: the sands are, duh, white. Kicking up their heels in joy are six students from UW's environmental engineering program who were in the neighbourhood (it's in southern New Mexico) for the 17th annual International Environmental Design Contest. The team — Cameron Brown, Heather Crone, Jonas Didzbalis, Paul Javor, Bridget Schmidt and Caitlin Sykes — designed a system farmers can use to treat pond water for use in routine pesticide applications. They took their project to New Mexico and came home first-place winners, with "the highest number of points given to any team in the history of this competition", says faculty advisor Neil Thomson.

[Richards]Colleagues in the distance education office and the Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology are holding a farewell lunch today for Les Richards (left), who's retiring after some influential years as Senior Learning Technologies Advisor. He's also, I'm reminded, "the original architect for Distance Education’s on-line learning environment", which has become the normal way of learning for thousands of UW students both on campus and off. Says a co-worker: "Les has contributed immensely to what we now know as the foundational UW-ACE and Distance Education online learning concepts, during their early embryonic stages, and well past that point. He has continued to consult with faculty across campus, and has remained active in new research projects such as learning design and LearningMap. While Les is retiring from UW, he will continue his consulting in southeast Asia, where he is a frequent guest faculty member of universities. Les has won two awards in Thailand for his outstanding contributions." He's the author of a long online reflection this month on the LT3 web site, under the common-sense title "Technology is supposed to support instruction, not the other way around".

Ken Coates, UW's dean of arts, spoke to the Rotary Club in Stratford late last week about the proposal, which he's spearheading, for a UW campus in that little Ontario city. "Crucial progress is being made," Coates told the civic luncheon, talking about the planning work that's under way. "Our goal," he said, "is to ensure that a student attending UW-Stratford is given a distinctive, career-ready, and academically sound program, one that prepares for the unique challenges of the 21st century." As for some numbers, "if all of the pieces come together, we envision a student body of 1,000 by the end of five years. Up to half of those students will be from outside Canada. . . . Appropriate residence space would also need to be built to complement the academic buildings. The projected cost of the campus build, not including residences or land, is $30 million." The dean said government support will be needed (so far, "no one has turned us down") and the UW board of governors is expected to look at the overall proposal at its June meeting. Stratford's Beacon-Herald newspaper reports that listeners were enthusiastic. "I think it would be an amazing benefit to Stratford, something I originally thought would be beyond the city," one Rotarian told a reporter.

Students doing graduate work in the natural sciences or engineering "are encouraged to take a new look at their thesis work", says a memo from the graduate studies office, "and identify what potential product or service could be generated through application of their research results. The nomination deadline for Innovation Challenge Awards, sponsored by NSERC and GrowthWorks, is April 27. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council invites submissions from universities on behalf of master's or PhD students who have successfully completed their thesis work or intend to do so shortly. There are three awards: one $10,000 main prize and two $5,000 runner-up prizes."

The Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology, accustomed to industrialists and VIPs visiting its pavement laboratory in Engineering III, will play host this morning to a rather different group of visitors, three and four-year-olds from UW's Early Childhood Education Centre. • Jennifer Boyd, a graduate student in UW's psychology department, is the author of a piece on "Problematic eating disorders in university women" that appeared in the winter issue of Moods magazine. • Columbia Lake Village is looking for a language tutor "to teach English slang, idioms and expressions to our diverse resident population" in weekly lessons (information from


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