Friday, May 18, 2007

  • Keystone invites dreams of the future
  • The summer's first long weekend
  • Harper's science strategy, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

International Museum Day

When and where

Tourplay drama for children: "Charlotte's Web" 10:00, 11:45 and 1:30, Humanities Theatre.

Ladies' car care clinic organized by UW Recreation Committee, scheduled for Saturday, postponed to June 2.

Winter term grades for undergraduate courses become official on Quest May 22.

MBET (Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology) information session Tuesday 4 p.m., Accelerator Centre room 240, reservations ext. 3-7167.

UW senate monthly meeting Tuesday 4:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Arriscraft Lecture by Otto Kapfinger, scheduled for Tuesday at the school of architecture, has been cancelled.

Smarter Health seminar: Geoffrey Fong, department of psychology, "Why Not Evidence-Based Health Policies? The Case of Global Tobacco Control", Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Safety Awareness Day with sessions on gas cylinder safety, inspecting the workplace, lab safety and other topics, plus exhibits and vendors, Thursday, May 24, details and registration online.

Toronto 50th anniversary alumni celebration with chancellor Mike Lazaridis, president David Johnston, co-op director Peggy Jarvie, Thursday, May 24, 6 to 8 p.m., Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place, details online.

Waterloo Math@40 anniversary celebration, dinner at Federation Hall, remarks by founding chair Ralph Stanton, Friday, May 25, 6:00 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $67, registration online.

Conrad Grebel University College sleepover for alumni from the first decade, May 25-26, evening reception, then single or shared rooms available, information ext. 2–4381.

You @ Waterloo Day open house for future students Saturday, May 26, details online.

City of Waterloo 150th anniversary parade Sunday, May 27, 1:00 p.m., King Street from William to Central, followed by afternoon picnic in Waterloo Park, details online.

CanHEIT 2007: Canadian Higher Education and Information Technology conference, May 27-30, organized by UW and held on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus, details online.

5-km run and family walk raising funds for a new facility for Hildegard Marsden Cooperative Day Nursery, Sunday, June 3, 10:30 a.m., details and registration online, donations welcome.

'Vision' conference, "Tomorrow's Health Leaders Together Today", Saturday, June 16, Davis Centre, details online.

One click away

Webcam in the Computer Science Club office
Visual environment can affect eye development, researcher says
Reviewing praise raises self-esteem, research finds (Record)
Honour for former head of UW architecture school
University rankings 'another best-seller' for Maclean's
'Bye-bye blackboard'
'Accessibility and affordability review' in Saskatchewan
Laurier announces June honorary degrees
European higher education ministers meet this week
Engineer comes to McMaster as provost
Seven Wonders of Canada: the candidates
'The most high-maintenance workforce in history'

[Heavy machinery and hand tools both]

Terraces form a garden in a previously steep, featureless area north of the Physical Activities Complex. The UW grounds crew completed the job in late April, backed by a donation to the university from the Garden Club of Kitchener-Waterloo. The area will be dedicated June 5 as the Val O'Donovan Garden, honouring a former UW chancellor who was both a local industrial leader and an award-winning gardener.

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Keystone invites dreams of the future

Invitations have gone out to faculty, staff and retirees for the annual Keystone Campaign outdoor celebration, this year scheduled for June 6 and titled "Back to the Fuwture".

"Congratulations and thank you!" says the black-and-gold invitation. "The Keystone Campaign surpassed its $4.5 million fundraising goal in 2004 and its participation of goal of 2,007 donors by 2007. With an amazing $6.8 million raised to date, Keystone organizers are looking forward to a bright future of ongoing annual support."

The celebration event will be held from 11:30 to 1:30 on June 6 — a Wednesday — at the Peter Russell Rock Garden and on the nearby Biology green. There is also a special event for night-shift employees in the Festival Room, South Campus Hall, starting at 10 p.m.

"Come relax, play, and dream," says the invitation to the daytime event. Organizers are promising great food, terrific entertainment, and exciting games and activities. The "dreaming" part includes an opportunity to fill out a form that's printed on the back of the invitation: "The past 50 years have been an incredible adventure for UW's faculty, staff, and retirees. When I dream of UW's future, I imagine . . ." From those who hand in their entries, a winner will be drawn, as VIP Travel and WestJet have provided a grand prize of two round-trip flights anywhere in Canada. "Terms and conditions apply," a note adds; details are on the Keystone Campaign website.

Also to be held a the event is "UW’s Amazing Race". Four-person teams can put their mental and physical abilities to the test as they "travel through the past, present, and fUWture", unscramble brain teasers, and solve UW’s largest puzzle of all time, in a race to the finish with prizes at the end. Would-be participants can contact Kristine McGlynn (e-mail to register.

I've also been asked to pass along this note from the organizers: "Calling all psychics and tarot card readers — you already know what to do. But for those whose predictive abilities are a little rusty, the Keystone Event Planning Committee invites you to volunteer your fortune-telling talents. Please contact Kristine McGlynn for more information and to volunteer."

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[Queen Victoria poster]The summer's first long weekend

A smart blue-and-white hot air balloon cruising low over the west side of the campus . . . an affectionate couple strolling through the arts quad, each clutching a steaming Tim's coffee . . . a goose family with half a dozen small and fuzzy newborns . . . those are the sights of a perfect late spring morning at Waterloo, and the beginning of a welcome holiday weekend. The spring term is interrupted by three long weekends (while winter and fall have just one apiece), and the first of them is now. Monday, May 21, will be Victoria Day and a holiday; UW offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held.

Of course some key services continue as always: UW police on duty 24 hours, 519-888-4911; Student Life Centre open 24 hours, turnkey desk 519-888–4434; maintenance emergencies phone ext. 3–3793; report major computer network outages to 519-888-4357.

The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday. On Saturday and Sunday, Dana Porter is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Davis 11 a.m. to midnight. Tonight, things are a little different, with Davis open until midnight but Dana Porter closing at 5 p.m. thanks to some flooring work being done just inside the main entrance.

Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre will be closed all through the holiday weekend. The bookstore, TechWorx and UW Shop, usually open on Saturdays, will be closed tomorrow. The Physical Activities Complex will be closed all weekend; the Columbia Icefield is open 9:00 to 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday, but closed Monday. A highlight of life on Monday will be a barbecue at the Columbia Lake Village community centre for residents of the "south community" townhouses.

And no, there are no fireworks on campus to mark Victoria Day. For that, we have to wait until the second long weekend of the summer, and UW's Canada Day celebrations on the north campus on Sunday, July 1.

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Harper's science strategy, and more

Prime minister Stephen Harper chose Waterloo yesterday as the place to announce a new federal "science and technology strategy" under the title "Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage". It's described as "the government's plan to achieve the goals set out in 'Advantage Canada'" last fall. The prime minister spoke at the Perimeter Institute and met with Research In Motion founder Mike Lazaridis, Perimeter's major benefactor. The new plan is to focus federal research spending four key areas: natural resources, the environment, health, and information technology. "Harper said the federal Conservative government plans to boost private research and development," the CBC reports. "He said the plan is designed to reverse years of declining private-sector involvement in research and development in Canada, causing the country to fall far behind other G8 nations. . . . The strategy also calls for bolstering falling enrolment in university science and engineering programs with scholarships and increased funding for research internships. Harper said the government plans to tap into what he called the 'creative genius' of Canada's scientists and its entrepreneurs, as well as make the country more attractive to foreign investment and researchers."

Waterloo mayor Brenda Halloran and Shirley Fenton, an administrator at UW's Computer Systems Group, are among delegates who are in New York today for a conference on "Building the Broadband Economy". It's sponsored by the Intelligent Community Forum, a non-profit think-tank, which will announce today which city, among seven finalists, is "the most intelligent community in the world" for 2007. Waterloo was a finalist last year too, when the top honour went to Taipei, and officials are hoping this will be Waterloo's year. "We have all the ingredients of what I consider to be an intelligent city," Fenton told the Record newspaper, while Halloran cites such innovations as wireless broadband service through most of central Waterloo, as well as the presence of universities and high-tech companies. Ottawa-Gatineau is also among this year's finalists, along with Seoul and four European cities. The awards ceremony is to be webcast live starting at 1:30 today. (Links of interest: 'A lot to be proud of' in intelligent Waterloo' . . . 'Explore Your Intelligent Waterloo' for high schoolers.)

[Sedra]Adel Sedra (right), UW's dean of engineering, is to receive an honorary degree May 29 from McGill University in Montréal. Sedra, says a citation from McGill, "literally wrote the book on microelectronics. His seminal 1982 textbook, Microelectronic Circuits, has been translated into 10 languages and has sold more than 800,000 copies. His work has helped pave the way for the evolution and refinement of such modern electronic staples as television and cell phones. But Sedra is as dedicated to the inner workings of universities as to adaptive integrated filters, as witnessed by his years at the University of Toronto where he distinguished himself as vice-president, provost and chief academic officer before becoming Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2003."

The engineering faculty's e-newsletter reports that Kaan Erkorkmaz is the recipient of an Outstanding Young Manufacturing Award presented by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He's the only Canadian on the list of the 13 people honoured this year by the SME, which presents the award annually to engineers aged 35 or younger for their contributions and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry. Erkorkmaz, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, is the director of Waterloo’s precision control laboratory.

Colin Hunter of the Record newspaper has received an award from the Canadian Science Writers Association for his coverage of the mastodon bones that were discovered in an Ontario house and donated last year to UW's earth sciences museum. • Some 80 participants in the Ontario Folk Dance Camp, as well as 150 young people attending a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada convention, will spend the weekend living in the Ron Eydt Village conference centre. • The student duo who are biking across Canada (and got some news coverage in Regina earlier this week) are staying in Winnipeg today to meet with students at Miles Macdonell Collegiate Institute and Collège Jeanne-Sauvé.

The new issue of the staff association newsletter offers some interesting calculations about how long it would take, at current inflation rates, for someone in various UW salary grades to move up to the $145,000 annual salary that triggers a government-imposed maximum pension. For example, somebody in a USG 10 job (some librarians and office managers, for example) would see the current $60,000 midpoint of their salary range reach $145,000 within a 28-year career. For USG 6 ("administrative assistant" is a typical job title), it's 39 years. The conclusion offered: "Many staff members in their 20s, 30s and early 40s will be affected by the current limit." Meanwhile, the human resources department says staff members can now see "increase advices", with the details of their individual May 1 pay increases for this year, on the 'myHRinfo' system.

Finally . . . writing on Tuesday about the Award of Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision, I said that "Candidates who were nominated last year but did not receive the award will be carried forward into the nominees' pool for this year." That was part of the rules in 2006 but does not apply in 2007, I'm told by Diana Macfarlane of the graduate studies office — which means that anyone who submitted a nomination last year and didn't see the candidate win the award might want to submit it again for the current year. The deadline is June 15.


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