Monday, September 10, 2007

  • Universities as an election issue
  • 'Budding engineer' enters year 1
  • Notes on the first day of classes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Invisible illness

Sports scores

Football: Warriors 18, York 15
Women's soccer: York 3, Warriors 0
Baseball: Warriors 8, Guelph 1
Men's rugby: Warriors 38, Guelph 10

When and where

Imaginus poster sale in Student Life Centre, Monday-Friday.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research scholarship information session, open to undergraduate and grad students as well as faculty and staff, 2 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

'Map your house and neighbourhood' workshop, University Map Library, today and Thursday 2:00, Tuesday 10:30, Wednesday and Friday 11:30, details online.

Research Institute for Aging presents Gloria Gutman, Simon Fraser University, "Global Aging and the Continuum of Care", 3:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 1621.

Warrior team meetings, walk-ons welcome — Monday: women's volleyball 4:00, PAC room 1001; men's hockey 4:00 p.m., Icefield meeting room; swimming (men and women) 4:30 p.m., PAC pool deck; men's basketball 5 p.m., PAC room 1001; women's hockey 5 p.m., Icefield meting room; women's basketball 6 p.m., PAC room 2021; men's volleyball 6:00 p.m., PAC room 1001; figure skating 8:00 p.m., Icefield meeting room; squash 8:30 p.m., PAC room 1001. Tuesday: badminton (men and women) 6:00 p.m., PAC room 1001.

'Fed 101', first night of the term at Federation Hall pub, doors open 10 p.m.

Graduate scholarship information sessions organized by the graduate studies office: arts and AHS, Tuesday, 9 a.m., Needles Hall room 3001; environmental studies, Tuesday 4 p.m., ES II room 286; science and engineering, Wednesday 3:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302; math, Thursday 4:00 p.m., Davis Centre room 1351.

Campus recreation open house Tuesday 10:00 to 3:00, Physical Activities Complex large gym: "learn about Campus Rec programs and events, watch our sport club demonstrations and win great prizes." Intramural registration starts Monday.

Open Classroom session for faculty members, Combinatorics and Optimization 350, Wednesday 10:30 a.m., details and registration online.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research seminar: Dominic Covvey, director of WIHIR, "A Comprehensive Framework for the Representation and Processing of Dynamic Healthcare Workflow", Wednesday 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

Alumni 50th anniversary celebrations in Boston (cruise of Boston Harbor, Wednesday) and New York (Tom Coleman, dean of math, speaks at 3 West Club, Thursday), details online.

UW farm market organized by food services, local produce for sale, Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Student Life Centre lower level (also September 19 and 26, October 3).

Render (UW art gallery) presents "Neutrinos They Are Very Small" by Rebecca Diederich, Gordon Hicks and Sally McKay, opening reception Thursday 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., East Campus Hall, exhibition continues through October 20.

Orchestra@UWaterloo open rehearsal Thursday 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., Ron Eydt Village great hall; more information and advance registration online.

Co-op work reports from spring term jobs due Monday, September 17, Tatham Centre.

Volunteer and Internship Fair organized by career services, September 18, 11:00 to 2:30, Student Life Centre great hall.

Downey Tennisfest for faculty, staff, retirees and alumni, September 23, Waterloo Tennis Club, registration deadline September 14, details ext. 84074.

Blood donor clinics September 24 (10:00 to 4:00) and October 3, 4, 5, Student Life Centre, make appointments now at turnkey desk, information 1-888-236-6283.

One click away

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'North country gold': Canada's economy and research
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Balsillie funds another international think-tank
'Students underestimate the cost of university'
WLU political scientists launch 'election monitor' site

[Three students with munchies]

About 40 students attended a beginning-of-term barbecue last week as an Upper Year Accountancy Living-Learning Community got organized in Wilmot Court of UW Place. "Enjoying their juicy burgers," writes Victoria Lehmann of the residence office, "the students were given an opportunity to meet their respective Peer Leaders (hired by their faculty to be an academic support network for their students in residence). Students asked their peer leaders about various subjects including the co-op process, upcoming courses, and extra-curricular activities on campus." Altogether about 330 students from accountancy, health studies, and arts-and-business are in living-learning communities in three residences this term.

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Universities as an election issue

a news release from the leaders of Ontario's universities

The Council of Ontario Universities welcomes the fact that the major political parties in the province are paying attention to postsecondary education in their recently released platforms. “We commend the commitments that would improve access and funding to postsecondary education in the province. A high-quality university system is essential to Ontario’s economic prosperity. However, a quality agenda for our universities needs much more attention by all party leaders,” said Peter George, chair of Council and President of McMaster University.

Last year, over 357,000 students — an all-time high — enrolled in Ontario universities, and this year first-year enrolments are expected to rise a further 5%. By 2009-10, enrolment at Ontario universities is projected to grow by an additional 46,000 students. While increased enrolment is a good news story, continued growth in our student-faculty ratio is not. Over the past 17 years, our student-faculty ratio has gone from 17-1 to 26-1, resulting in Ontario falling further behind the U.S. and other jurisdictions regarding student engagement with their professors.

COU does not support tuition roll-backs and freezes. While they may seem appealing as ways to address postsecondary education challenges, experience has shown that these are ineffective in improving access and quality. In addition, they add huge costs that would have to be absorbed by taxpayers. Direct grants to Ontario students in need are far more effective in ensuring access. COU strongly supports the principle that no qualified student who wishes to pursue a university education shall be denied access due to a lack of financial resources.

“University teaching and research are engines of economic growth in the global, knowledge-based economy. They are fundamental to producing highly qualified personnel and enabling Ontarians to realize their dreams. Funding to support student access and quality must remain a key priority for the new government,” said Paul Genest, president of COU.

The Council of Ontario Universities is calling on all parties to strengthen their platforms and commit to the need for substantive investments in our institutions so that we can improve student-faculty ratios to improve quality and heighten student engagement; provide more spaces for the growing numbers of students who are seeking a university education; and provide more graduate opportunities to advance research and innovation in the province.

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[Lake]'Budding engineer' enters year 1

from the engineering faculty's online newsletter

It seems that as well as having chalk and crayons in her classroom Stephen Lake's kindergarten teacher may have had a crystal ball. Described by his teacher as "a budding engineer" on his final kindergarten report card, Lake (left) is a first-year Waterloo engineering mechatronics student.

But Lake is not your typical new engineering student. At 17 the Toronto native has launched two businesses and was named one of this year's Top 20 Under 20, a national awards program presented by Youth in Motion. The program honours young Canadians under the age of 20 who have demonstrated a significant level of achievement, innovation and leadership.

As a child Lake graduated from playing with Lego and K'Nex to taking apart old radios and creating small robots and gadgets. A few years later he began building go-karts, mini-bikes and recently a dune buggy that he describes as similar to Waterloo's mini baja.

At the tender age of 13, Lake's interest in engineering and robotics led to the creation of RC Tunerz. Having identified a need in the field of radio-controlled vehicles, he started developing high efficiency LED lighting systems for mobile vehicles. He imported parts from China and Japan and created finished products which he would then sell on either his own e-commerce site or eBay.

Two years later, at the age of 15, he identified another gap, this time in the DJ/entertainment business, and proceeded to launch Harmonic Synergy Entertainment. This business has also become a success and has a list of clients that includes Mary Kay Cosmetics and the Toronto District School Board. His goal in 2008 is to hit annual sales of $100,000 with a gross profit margin of 85 per cent. Realizing that as a mechatronics student he won't have as much time to concentrate on his business, Lake spent much of this summer looking for staff to handle its day-to-day operations.

Waterloo was his first choice of Canadian engineering schools. "Do they even teach engineering anywhere else in Canada?" he jokes. "I'm kidding, of course, but for engineering in Canada Waterloo is the place to be. On top of that I love the idea of the co-op program. Being able to make connections with different employers and get a taste of several different fields before graduation is a great concept."

Describing Waterloo's mechatronics program as the "next logical step" for him, Lake is considering joining one of Waterloo's student vehicle teams. When he eventually graduates he'd like to become involved in the alternative energy sources industry, possibly the automotive sector. "I also plan on doing some sort of grad work, possibly an MBA or engineering master's program, or both."

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Notes on the first day of classes

The federal minister of industry, Jim Prentice, will be on campus today, making a a visit to researchers in the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research. "Minister Prentice will tour the facility," says a brief government news release, "and view cutting-edge automotive technologies. There will be a photo opportunity immediately following the tour." Prentice is expected in WatCar's labs (the release doesn't say where, exactly) at 11:00 this morning.

Some of the year’s biggest concerts have just been announced by a local promoter, and a special offer is available, writes Chantel Franklin of the university’s alumni office: “Alumni Affairs is excited to provide the UW community with the opportunity to purchase tickets to the upcoming Celebrate Waterloo music festival.” Celebrate Waterloo, produced by Standing Ovation Productions “in honour of the City of Waterloo's 150th anniversary and UW's 50th anniversary”, is set for September 28-30 — the same weekend as UW’s Homecoming — at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Organizers have set a limited number of tickets aside for the UW community and waived the handling fees on tickets purchased online by UW alumni, staff, faculty, retirees and students before tomorrow at 10 a.m. The organizers’ web site now has details and prices as well as online ticket purchasing. Here's the lineup: Friday, "headliner to be announced very soon" with David Usher and Pilot Speed. Saturday, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider with Kim Mitchell, April Wine and the Spoons. Sunday, Blue Rodeo with support acts to be announced. Celebrate Waterloo is an independent event held by Standing Ovation Productions “and is in no way connected to the University of Waterloo,” Franklin stresses. Online ticket sales are hosted and fulfilled by Standing Ovation Productions.

The fall's first issue of the "Rez eNewsletter" was sent out to residence students on Thursday, with information about beginning-of-term stuff (orientation, campus recreation activities) and an exhortation to "Get involved in rez!" There are various ways to do that, it seems, some of them with a paycheque attached (leading tours) and some that are mostly good for the resumé. "Sign up for the Marketing Advisory Board," the newsletter suggests, or join "rez council" (spelled "res" on its web site). "It is a great chance," the newsletter goes on, "to meet new people, plan fun events, and make lasting memories."

Staff in UW’s “external relations” departments — development and alumni affairs, and communications and public affairs — will be dining out tonight at the Grey Silo golf course in east Waterloo. The occasion: “a special evening in celebration of your success, hard work and dedication” as Campaign Waterloo approaches its $350 million fund-raising goal and keeps right on rolling. Those departments provide the staff who, along with alumni and corporate volunteers, operate the campaign and related activities. UW president David Johnston is expected at the event, as is Meg Beckel, who’s scheduled to start work October 1 as the university’s new vice-president (external relations).

The key control office in the General Services Complex will be open over noon hour all this week to help with the beginning-of-term rush, making its full hours 8:30 to 4:30. • The graduate studies office (ext. 32841) has information about this year's Rhodes Scholarships, open to candidates born between October 1983 and October 1989 and good for two or three years' study in Oxford. • A $600 prize is offered in a contest to create a new logo for the School of Computer Science; submissions are due by October 30 and details are online.

And . . . Friday’s Daily Bulletin misspelled the name of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, which will be operating a satellite program to train physicians at UW’s planned health sciences campus in Kitchener. Friday’s article also was a bit misleading about the building where that will be taking place — it’s not McMaster’s building, but rather a UW building that will house a medical teaching clinic as well as the DeGroote School program and possibly other tenants.


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Friday's Daily Bulletin