Tuesday, March 6, 2007

  • McMahon to become dean of science
  • Region opens survey on local travel
  • The return of interactive theatre
  • 'Global' business conference next week
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca

Women's day dinner is Thursday

It's last call for tickets for the International Day Women's Dinner being held in the Festival Room at South Campus Hall on Thursday. Volunteers from staff and faculty have organized this evening to celebrate women's stories on campus and in the world. The evening begins at 5 p.m., with time to socialize before a three-course gourmet dinner at 6 p.m., followed by guest speakers and musical performers. Details of menu and program are online. A limited number of tickets for $30 are still available today and tomorrow at the box office in the Humanities building, phone 519-888-4908.

Link of the day

150 years after Dred Scott

When and where

Job match results for spring term co-op positions available on JobMine 7 a.m. today.

50th Anniversary quilt available for signing today 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., lower level, Student Life Centre.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents Ronald Baecker, University of Toronto, "Towards the Design of Electronic Cognitive Prostheses", 2:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Staff association "town hall" meeting 4:30, Physics room 145, postponed from Thursday because of weather.

Career workshop: "Working Effectively in Another Culture" 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

Stitch 'n' Bitch Craft Night in honour of International Women's Week, sponsored by Women's Centre, refreshments and craft supplies, 5:30 to 8:00, multipurpose room, Student Life Centre.

Residential Tenancies Act panel discussion: "What's New for Tenants?" endorsed by UW Federation of Students, 7 p.m., Region of Waterloo administration building, 150 Frederick Street, Kitchener.

Income tax information session for international students, Wednesday 10:00 to 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3001.

Gradfest celebration, information for graduating students from UW departments, reception with UW president, "HK Expo" with information about opportunities in Hong Kong, Wednesday-Thursday, Davis Centre, details online.

'Sexual Violence and Oppression' presentation by Joan Tuchlinsky, K-W Sexual Assault Support Centre, sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, Wednesday 12 noon, Student Life Centre room 2143.

Free noon concert: 'All-night Beatrice' (music of Canadian women with cello, piano and flute), Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Award-winning author and cabinetmaker John Terpstra reads from his work, Wednesday 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University room 2017.

Communitech and Industry Canada event: "Business, Science, Technology and You", briefing about government programs to support research and international growth, Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Accelerator Centre, north campus, free registration online.

Knowledge Mobilisation lecture series: Wayne Kondro, Ottawa-based freelance journalist, "Social Science and Humanities Research Meets the Press", Wednesday 6 p.m., PAS room 3026.

Perimeter Institute presents Jill Tarter, Centre for SETI Research, "Life, the Universe and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence", Wednesday 7 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

Render series of lectures on contemporary art: Gu Xiong, University of British Columbia, "Public Memory", Wednesday 7 p.m., Architecture lecture hall.

St. Paul's College Klassen-Harvey Annual Lectureship in Bible and Culture: Major Steven Moore, Royal Military College, "Seeding Reconciliation: Military Chaplains as Agents of Peace", Wednesday 7:30 p.m., MacKirdy Hall, no tickets required.

'Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion' panel sponsored by associate vice-president (learning resources and innovation) and associate provost (academic and student affairs), Thursday 11:45 to 1:15, CEIT room 3142, registration online.

Centre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology presents David DiBattista, Brock University, "Stay or Switch? A Learning Object to Promote Understanding of the Monty Hall Dilemma", postponed from January, Thursday 2 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Ontario deputy minister of education, Benjamin Levin, speaks on "Research, Policy and Politics: How Government Decide", Thursday 7 p.m., PAS room 1229.

Explorations open house for grade 6-8 students, sponsored by UW faculty of engineering, March 12, tours at 5:00 and 6:45, registration and information online.

Campus Day open house for future students and family members, Tuesday, March 13, programming 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., details online.

PhD oral defences

Chemistry. Navid Soheilnia, "Thermoelectric Properties of New Transition Metal Arsenides and Antimonides." Supervisor, H. Kleinke. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, March 20, 2:00 p.m., Chemistry II room 361.

Applied mathematics. Qing Wang, "Stability and Boundedness of Impulsive Systems with Time Delay." Supervisor, Xinzhi Liu. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, March 27, 10:00 a.m., Math and Computer room 5158.

Electrical and computer engineering. Rui Zhang, "Novel Planar Microstrip and Dielectric Resonator Filters." Supervisor, Raafat R. Mansour. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, March 27, 1:30 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Electrical and computer engineering. Ju Jiang, "A Framework for Aggregation of Multiple Reinforcement Learning Algorithms." Supervisor, Mohamed Kamel. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Thursday, March 29, 3:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

[McMahon]McMahon to become dean of science

Long-time chemistry professor Terry McMahon (left) will be UW's next dean of science, taking on the job as of July 1, the president has announced.

Says a memo from the president's office: "This appointment was recommended by the Nominating Committee established under UW Policy 45 and has been approved by Senate and the Board of Governors."

The university secretariat says McMahon, who is currently chair of the chemistry department, will serve for the five-year term that's usual for deans when they're first appointed. Approval was given by the UW senate in the closed portion of its February meeting last week, and by the board of governors executive committee on behalf of the board.

The dean's position is coming open because George Dixon, dean since 2001, was barely into his second term when he agreed to take on the post of vice-president (university research) instead. Dixon will move into the VP's office in Needles Hall this summer.

Says this week's memo from the president: "Professor McMahon is an experienced administrator and accomplished leader, as well as being a highly respected scholar and educator. Completing his PhD at Caltech in 1974, Terry accepted a position at the University of New Brunswick as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 1974, achieving the rank of Professor in 1981; he came to Waterloo in 1984. Since arriving at UW, Terry has held several administrative positions, including Director of GWC2 and Chair of the Department of Chemistry; his teaching and scholarly contributions have been outstanding, resulting in him being named University Professor in 2005, an honour approved by the UW Senate in 2003 to recognize the exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence of UW's most accomplished faculty members.

"The appointment of Terry McMahon as Dean has extremely strong support within the Faculty of Science. Terry's wisdom, commitment and energy will be invaluable as the Faculty of Science strives to achieve even greater national and international prominence. Terry will be a valued member of UW's senior administrative team and I am looking forward to working with him."

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Region opens survey on local travel

An online survey is opening today, asking UW faculty, staff and students about their "travel patterns" — where they go in a typical week and who they are — as part of work by Waterloo Region staff to improve public transportation.

"The Region of Waterloo is conducting a travel demand survey as part of the process of developing a new Regional Transportation Master Plan," says a memo from Vi Bui, transportation planning engineer for the Region. "The primary goal of the RTMP is to develop a long range transportation system improvement plan, or master plan, which identifies the nature and/or location of new or improved facilities required to achieve the Region's transportation and planning objectives and policies, as articulated in the Regions Official Policy Plan. The RTMP also articulates strategies to encourage shifts in mode use and to maximize investment in existing infrastructure."

Here's the idea in the current survey, which will run through March 23: "If you decide to volunteer, you will be asked to complete a set of questions that has been designed specifically for Travel Demand Survey. The questionnaire will ask general background questions (for example, your demographic characteristic, travel patterns, and the trips you take during the week). Your participation in the study should take no longer than ten minutes."

For most users, the survey is on the Region's web site; participants should use the login "UW2006". If using the web site is a problem, says Bui, "please contact us and we will make arrangements to provide you another method of participation. . . . There are no known or anticipated risks from participating in this study. Participation in this study is voluntary." The arrangements, Bui adds, have been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the UW Office of Research Ethics.

As an incentive for participation, there's a draw in which one participant will win a 30GB Apple iPod with video.

Says Bui: "All of the data will be summarized and no individual could be identified from these summarized results. Furthermore, the web site is programmed to collect responses on the Travel Demand Survey questionnaire alone. That is, the site will not collect any information that could potentially identify you (such as machine identifiers). . . . The final compilation of the results will be used for the Regional Transportation Master Plan purpose only. Once the data is compiled, the surveys will be destroyed.

"The results of the survey will be shared with the University of Waterloo community." The address for more information, or a copy of the results, is bvi@region.waterloo.on.ca.

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The return of interactive theatre

[Two figures against plain green background] Why would actors, like the ones pictured at right, be doing their thing in front of a bleak green background? The answer is that it leaves electronic room for the "virtual scenery" that's part of an international, interactive production like the one in which UW is involved this week.

A news release gives some details: "Students, staff, and faculty from the Department of Drama and Speech Communication will join their peers at the Department of Theatre Arts at Bradley University (Illinois) and the University of Central Florida in a fully mediatized production of Elmer Rice’s classical American expressionist drama The Adding Machine.

"Integrating virtual scenery, live Internet 2 videoconferenced broadcast, recorded video, avatar performers, digital sound, and real-time performers in three remote locations, this international, collaborative multi-media performance is the largest of its kind ever staged.

"Written by Nobel Prize-winning author Elmer Rice in 1923, The Adding Machine is a funny and slightly nightmarish look at advancing technology and its effect on human relationships. The play chronicles the life of Zero, a hapless cog spinning aimlessly in the corporate world who, after 25 years of service, is replaced by a machine. This production is a mediatized conceptualization of Elmer Rice‘s play which, ironically, investigates critically the technology it uses to present it."

And more: "This collaboration has been facilitated through a process of joint decision-making and interdependent critical thinking. Responsibility for the process and final outcome of this collaboration has been shared by students, staff and faculty at the three participating sites; however, Bradley University has been the hub and creative engine for the project."

Performances will be presented in Modern Languages room 117, one of UW's most sophisticated high-tech classrooms, from Wednesday through Saturday at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

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'Global' business conference next week

from the Science and Business Students’ Association

"Globalization” has emerged as this year’s topic for a student-run business and technology conference organized by SBSA. The conference will feature a variety of speakers, workshops, and exhibition. The focus is to provide "tools for emerging global leaders".

This conference is free to all delegates, but space is limited and registration is mandatory. "A Global Perspective: From Science to Business," runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Davis Centre, on Saturday, March 17.

The conference will introduce and discuss new strategies for conducting business in today’s global economy. This fascinating topic is being discussed since industries are adapting to a new way of performing at a global level. In addition, the conference will base its discussion on providing tools for working in emerging competitive markets and becoming tomorrow's top business leaders and managers. Apart from this, topics like international licensing and patenting, human dynamics, and academic opportunities will also be covered.

Networking opportunities will include a two-hour exhibition during lunch in which sponsors and corporate invitees will have an opportunity to set up booths to allow for a one-on-one interactions with the delegates. This will give delegates the chance to ask specific questions, learn more about the company and perhaps open up future employment opportunities.

Among our speakers, we have the president of the International Institute of Business Analysts, Kathleen Barret; Jim Knowlton, the president of Luminance Inc.; and Brad J. Ryder, manager of industry policy from Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. Sessions throughout the day will discuss global outsourcing, global management, the case of the Merck/Gates partnership to improve health in the developing world, and many other key business issues.

The multidisciplinary Science and Business program at UW equips its students with a unique combination of scientific expertise and business training, and is designed to produce leaders for the new economy. This is SBSA’s fourth annual conference. All of the past conferences have been a huge success, and “A Global Perspective: From Science to Business” will be no different. We want to thank our great supporter and partner the UW Science & Business program administration, and our major sponsors; Merck Frosst, Astra Zeneca, RIM, CBET and WIHIR.


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