Friday, June 22, 2007

  • Reunion for wearers of gold and black
  • Pure math unveils 10-metre mural
  • 'Living wall' celebrated in ES
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

K-W Multicultural Festival this weekend

When and where

Conferences continue: C&O@40 sponsored by department of combinatorics and optimization; Northern Lights summer conference sponsored by Canadian Federation of Biological Societies and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Columbia Lake Health Club grand opening 11 a.m., TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard; guest speaker, Helena Guergis, federal secretary of state for sport; bring workout wear to try out a fitness class; RSVP 519-746-7416.

Women in Engineering Committee presents Cat Coode, electrical engineering 2001, Research In Motion, "Soft Skills: How They Can Get You Ahead in a Competitive World", 12:00 noon, Rod Coutts Hall room 306, register online.

ACM-style programming contest scheduled for Saturday has been postponed to July 14.

Contemporary School of Dance rehearsals today, recital Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, Humanities Theatre.

Canoeing the Grand outing sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, scheduled for Sunday, postponed to September 9.

Pride Parade in Toronto, Sunday, with contingent from Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo and UW Federation of Students.

Warrior football camp for youngsters entering grades 9 through 12, Sunday (1 to 5 p.m.) and Monday-Wednesday (6 to 8 p.m.) with Warrior coaches and players, fee $75, details online.

Jim Balsillie, Research In Motion executive, announcement of 'transformational gift to the social sciences in Canada' involving UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and Centre for International Governance Innovation, Monday 11:30 a.m., 57 Erb Street West.

Bookstore, UW Shop and TechWorx closed Tuesday, June 26, for retail services staff general meeting.

Institute for Quantitative Finance and Insurance presents Raghuram Rajan, University of Chicago, "Has Finance Made the World Riskier?" Tuesday 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Aviation program in science and environmental studies, launch celebration in partnership with WestJet, appearance by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, Wednesday 1:30 p.m., Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, Breslau.

Open house on north campus planning, with staff from Urban Strategies and UW, June 27, 2:30 to 7:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301.

CanTeach International information night about volunteer work in El Salvador, June 27, 7:00, training room, UW distance and continuing education department, 335 Gage Avenue, Kitchener, reservations 519-496-8265.

Southern California alumni event in La Jolla Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 p.m., guest speaker John Szeder, BMath 1996, co-founder of Mofactor Inc., details online.

Canada Day celebrations on the north campus Sunday, July 1, 2:00 to 11:00 p.m. UW holiday Monday, July 2 (no classes; offices and services closed).

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[Women in action in gold uniforms]

The women's rugby squad won bronze in the OUA and was fifth across Canada last season.

Reunion for wearers of gold and black

Hundreds of former Warriors will gather this weekend to celebrate UW’s athletic achievements and remember good times on the ice, on the basketball floor, in the pool and, let’s not forget, on the rugby field.

The women’s rugby team gets front-page play in the special issue of the Gold and Black newsletter for athletics alumni that announces this weekend’s reunions and Saturday night gala. “Make it official,” says the front-page story: “the University of Waterloo is a rugby school.

“Throughout the first half-century of Warrior athletics, a select few programs have enjoyed powerhouse status — the championship men’s basketball and hockey programs in the 1970s, swimming in the 80s, the four straight Yates Cup appearances by Warrior football in the 90s, and the constant dominance of the UW field hockey club in the new millennium. Now, thanks in part to head coach Eric Ciezar and a bumper crop of rejuvenating talent, women’s rugby at UW is approaching dynasty status.”

In a decade of conference play, the article goes on, the Warriors have won four OUA medals to go along with three CIS podium finishes, including a stretch of three seasons, 1999-2001, where they were dominant. And while the Warriors made an impressive run in 2006 to get back to the CIS national tournament, Ciezar said the three years at the turn of the century were beyond special. “The competition, the camaraderie, the laughter; the team in general had a lot of fun together. It was a coach’s dream to have such a disciplined team.”

He goes on to talk about the 2001 season, in which Waterloo almost took a national championship away from the University of Alberta. One key memory: “Getting to Ottawa and getting off that bus for our first games, all the girls coming off the bus with black Warrior hoodies over their head — it was like something from a Rocky movie.”

Former members of the women’s rugby teams will get together (with or without hoodies) for a drop-in party tonight at the Huether Hotel, and will take part in a touch rugby game on the Columbia Fields at noon tomorrow, with pizza to follow. Meanwhile, former baseball Warriors are gathering for dinner tonight at Martini’s, men’s soccer teams are reuniting at the Flying Dog, football alumni are gathering at the Bombshelter, and so on. It’ll be a busy Friday night and Saturday for roughly 500 athletes returning for what athletics director Judy McCrae claims is “the largest single event on campus” during UW’s 50th anniversary year.

“We want to celebrate our achievements and capture this momentum for years to come,” McCrae writes in the Gold and Black newsletter.

Saturday night’s gala will be held in the Physical Activities Complex itself, home of UW athletics since it was built in 1968 (and the only athletic facility, other than what was then called Seagram Stadium, until the Columbia Icefield was added in 1983). Tickets have been on sale at $50 a head for the evening, which includes a cash bar from 5:30 and dinner at 7:30.

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Pure math unveils 10-metre mural

Five feet wide and thirty feet long, a mural that honours the great mathematicians of the past millennium will be unveiled today in a fifth-floor hallway of the Math and Computer building.

Retired faculty member Stanley Burris gets much of the credit for creating the mural, based on an exhibition in a Los Angeles museum more than 40 years ago, says Frank Zorzitto, chair of the department of pure mathematics. Burris will speak at the dedication of the mural, today at 12:00 noon.

Originally, says Zorzitto, the mural was created by hand as a timeline of mathematical discoveries and the great mathematicians of past centuries, for a 1961 display at the California Museum of Science and Industry, credited to the design team of Ray and Charles Eames. “Then IBM got hold of it and reproduced it as 2-by-12-foot poster for circulation to schools. Back in the 1970's and early 1980's our Faculty of Mathematics displayed the IBM poster in its lounge. Given the density of information in the poster it was necessary to use fine print, which made it difficult to read. In time the poster became neglected both here and elsewhere.”

Burris continues the story: “This 1966 poster was called Men of Modern Mathematics (it had one woman on it, Emmy Noether), and was distributed at no cost to mathematics departments and teachers. I do not know when IBM stopped offering this poster, but it has not been available for many years, and I gather IBM has no plans to revive it. The poster was very popular and can be seen in universities all over the world. This is the only mathematics history time-line poster that I know of.

“There are at least five people in the Pure Math department who have a copy of this poster, and I am one of them. I thought of donating my copy to the department lounge, but it was rather dulled and worn with age. Having had a bit of experience in recent years working with a copy of Adobe Photoshop that came with my digital camera, I thought it would be a good idea to try to clean up the poster and have a fresh bright single sheet printing of it.

“John Lawrence and I were discussing the possibilities for putting this in the Pure Math Lab room when Frank said it really should go into the hallway to make it more accessible. That was when we decided to make it as large as we could fit onto the available wall space, namely 5 by 30 feet, to make the type readable. The IBM poster had a lot of type that was only about 5 or 6 point in size. This was a novel project and we had to do a lot of background research on materials to pull this off.”

Says Zorzitto: “In this labour of love Stan dedicated several hundred hours. With the assistance of staff in the pure mathematics department,the capable people in the print shop and plant operations, as well as a generous donation from the mathematics students through the Math Endowment Fund, the mural has come to fruition. We think it will provide decades of educational benefit to all who walk past it: visitors, faculty, staff and most of all students. Not only is it informative, but it also looks very good.”

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'Living wall' celebrated in ES

from the UW media relations office

The faculty of environmental studies today celebrates the unveiling of a living wall of plants, which will improve air quality in the faculty's main building.

[Greenery spilling down the wall]The living wall (left) is located in the front foyer and indoor courtyard of the Environmental Studies I building. An interactive computer display shows how the air biofiltration system (living wall), which is covered with vegetation, can enhance air quality in the building.

The wall supports living plants that process water — a biofilter — and improve air quality in the building. It can also potentially lower cooling costs, because the air is cooler once processed through the roots of the plants. As well, it offers the opportunity for research to be conducted and boosts people's knowledge of the living environment in their daily lives.

The unveiling event, today at 10:30 in the ES1 foyer, recognizes donors, students, staff, faculty and alumni for their contributions and work in the installation of the Living Wall. An interactive electronic display and a plaque honouring the donors are also in place in the foyer.

"An innovative filtering system using a wall of living plants is an effective and natural way to treat the air," says Deep Saini, dean of environmental studies. "The wall demonstrates the faculty's commitment to green buildings. In addition to air purification, the wall will significantly add to the attractiveness of the indoor environment and will serve as an educational tool."

The project was done by Air Quality Solutions, a Guelph-based company well known for a massive living or green wall at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. Funding comes from the student-funded Waterloo Environmental Studies Endowment Foundation, the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment.


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