Wednesday, April 9, 2008

  • 10,000 consider offers from Waterloo
  • How the campus stays 'sustainable'
  • Consider it the calm before the storm
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

April is Daffodil Month

When and where

‘2 Days for You’ staff conference concludes today, most sessions in Rod Coutts Hall, details online.

Graduate Conference in Philosophy (15th annual), keynote speaker Patricia Churchland, University of California at San Diego, Wednesday-Thursday, Humanities building, details online.

Tourplay children’s drama: “Jillian Jiggs and the Pirates”, Wednesday 10:00, 11:45 and 1:30, Thursday 10:00 and 1:00, Humanities Theatre.

[Coloured pencils]
English Language Proficiency Examination
5:30 p.m. (AHS, arts, CFM, ES, science) and 7:30 p.m. (engineering, math, software), details online.

Mathematics alumni reception tonight at Gallery on the Grand, Kitchener, registration closed.

Sociology lecture: Joan Friedenberg , Florida Atlantic University, “The Anatomy of an Academic Mobbing”, Friday 3:30, PAS building room 2083.

Web and e-mail outage as server room reorganization continues: UW home page and most web sites unavailable, as well as ‘mailservices’ and other servers, Saturday 7:30 to 11:00 a.m.

Athletics Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony, Saturday, Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

‘Are You Following Me?’ Employee Assistance Program presents workshop on “profiling stalkers, Internet dating and safety”, Thursday, April 17, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1304.

Former president of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam speaks on “Canada and India: Partnership in Global Development”, Thursday, April 17, 12:00, Theatre of the Arts, register online.

44th annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, April 18 (9:00 to 9:00) and 19 (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, King and William Streets; book dropoff information online.

‘Focus on Inclusion’, one-day event hosted by Waterloo mayor Brenda Halloran and the Social Planning Council of K-W, “bringing together the many voices of our community to lead the way to enhance Waterloo as an inclusive community”, Friday, April 18, Accelerator Building, 295 Hagey Boulevard, information online.

Spring term classes begin Monday, May 5.

Learning about Teaching annual symposium May 12-14, details online, including Presidents’ Colloquium Monday May 12, 2:00, Humanities Theatre: Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin, “Changing Students’ Attitudes about Who’s Responsible for Learning,” reception follows, all welcome.

Spring Convocation: applied health sciences and environmental studies, Wednesday, June 11, 10:00; science, June 11, 2:30, arts (some programs), Thursday, June 12, 10:00; arts (some programs), June 12, 2:30; mathematics, Friday, June 13, 10:00; computer science, June 13, 2:30; engineering (some programs), Saturday, June 14, 10:00; engineering (some programs), June 14, 2:30, details online.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses: continuing students, June 2-14; new students, July 14-27; open enrolment begins July 28.

Positions available

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

• Communications coordinator, international marketing and recruitment, registrar's office, USG 8
• Director, corporations and foundations, development and alumni affairs, USG 14
• Engineering development and alumni affairs assistant, dean of engineering office, USG 5
• Manager, network services (telecommunications), information systems and technology, USG 13/14
• Department secretary/ receptionist, Waterloo International, USG 5
• Communications design specialist, Graphics, USG 9
• Temporary assignment: admissions systems analyst, office of the registrar, USG 8

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

One click away

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One prof 'hopes for improvements' to south campus plans
Kinesiology student hoping to be Miss Universe Canada
MTV Cribs does the UW school of optometry
Former Fed president now working in Parliament
Researcher's work on balancing investment risk
'Why digital avatars make the best teachers'
First Nations University of Canada taken off probation
McMaster fights release of president's contract details
26,000 e-mail messages a year

10,000 consider offers from Waterloo

More than 10,000 students have been sent offers of admission to UW for this September, director of admissions Nancy Weiner said on Monday, and the process is continuing.

[New 5,316; Total 5,726]The target for first-year enrolment this fall is 5,316 new students, plus 410 who will be back in first year after previous study at UW. But figures from past years suggest that it takes around 20,000 offers of admission to fill that first-year class, since thousands of potential UW students are getting offers from Toronto, McMaster and other institutions at the same time.

As of March 31, Weiner said, 10,583 offers had been sent out, including 3,105 for arts and 2,600 for science. The total is up by about 2 per cent from the number of offers made at the same point a year ago.

A detailed report issued by Weiner’s office breaks down the number of offers by faculty and program, and also by the potential student’s status: “OSS” (Ontario secondary school” or “Non-OSS”, “domestic” (Canadian) or “visa” (international). The figures don’t include 53 students who have been offered places in the mathematics faculty’s “English Language for Academic Studies” preparatory program.

It also indicates that 7,387 of the admitted students, or 70 per cent of them, have been offered scholarships in recognition of high school or equivalent marks of at least 85 per cent.

At last count, UW had received almost 30,000 applications from Ontario secondary school students (the total could include multiple applications from one student) and thousands more, still arriving, from non-OSS students who are currently in other provinces or countries, or not in school at all. All the faculties except science are showing increases from last year’s application levels, she was able to report as early as February. The increase in environmental studies is more than 58 per cent, and in math 48 per cent; at the other extreme, the drop in science is less than 1 per cent from last year.

The challenge for Weiner’s office, and admissions committees in the faculties, is to send offers of admission to the right number of students for each program, so that everybody from software engineering to social development studies, from knowledge integration to regular math and business, winds up with the number of students it wants next fall. Overall targets for the faculties are shown in the chart at top, presented by UW registrar Ken Lavigne to the February meeting of the university senate.

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[Dials on control room wall]
How the campus stays 'sustainable'

From up-to-date hardware — variable frequency drives for the ventilation systems in some UW buildings — to garden-variety activities such as leaf composting, UW’s plant operations department is deeply into sustainability, its new web site says.

“Plant Operations continuously evaluates and implements projects to reduce the energy and environmental impact of the campus,” says a page that pictures some of the devices involved, including dials in the Powerhouse control room where energy consumption across campus is monitored (above).

“UW energy management initiatives through building automation include energy storage, temperature ramping, fan scheduling, CO2 measurement to control ventilation rates,” it says. “Ventilation system schedules are determined by the expected usage of the area, with fans being shut down during periods of minimal occupancy. System temperatures are ramped upwards during the day to reduce peak cooling loads. Night time and weekend temperature adjustments are implemented.”

There are some more technical notes: “Electronic boiler controls with oxygen trim systems optimize combustion efficiency of major boiler systems, and electronic positioning controls have been installed on smaller boilers. . . . Free cooling installations in Chemistry 2, Physics and CEIT minimize the need to operate mechanical refrigeration systems during cool weather. Heat recovery systems have been installed in eight buildings, and condensing hot water boilers have been used in three projects. . . . Chillers have been replaced with high efficiency CFC free machines. . . . Mass thermal storage is used to reduce peak air conditioning loads. . . . Boiler system operating pressures and temperatures have been reduced from 1200 to 860 kpa.”

It’s bringing success, the web site says: “The combination of these efforts has resulted in UW having one of the lowest energy consumptions per unit area among the Ontario university system for the last several years: our current energy consumption is 1.41 GJ / M2 (05/06). Our current energy intensity is roughly 30% lower than the Ontario system average and approximately 40% lower than the average commercial/institutional energy use as reported by Natural Resources Canada.”

Sustainability isn’t limited to the heating and cooling systems. There are “ongoing lighting retrofits” — including the one that brought bright golden-pink lighting to the washrooms here in Needles Hall this spring — with projects involving “high efficiency electronic ballasts,T-8 lamps and occupancy sensors . . . replacement of incandescent pot lights with compact fluorescent units wherever dimming is not required . . . converting exterior lighting to high pressure sodium units.”

Some other notes from the plant ops web site:

• “Low flow showers and water saving plumbing fixtures have been installed throughout the campus.”

• “Equipment which was originally installed using once through cooling water has been converted to utilize closed loop recirculating systems.”

• “A fine white paper program involves white box collection points in all buildings. Can/glass/newsprint/plastic blue box or blue kaddy kart collection in all buildings; corrugated diversion program. All leaves are composted and wood by-products and tree components are chipped for mulch.”

• “No application of selective pesticides on UW property (exception is occasionally on sports fields for safety purposes only). Aeration, irrigation and fertilization cultural practices are relied on. Large and small areas of campus have been naturalized.”

• “Storm water management is generally done on a macro basis with quality and quantity controls. . . . Campus is pedestrian and bicycle orientated. Public transit is accommodated and encouraged.”

And, the page notes, there’s a green roof over the chemical recycling facility at the Earth Sciences and Chemistry building.

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Consider it the calm before the storm

The campus has been a little quieter over the past few days, with winter term classes at an end and students hunkered down in preparation for one last hurdle. Examinations begin tomorrow and end April 24; the schedule is online, along with the long Examination Regulations document ("wireless or electronic devices, e.g., cell phone, BlackBerry, earphones, must be turned off"). Three food services retail outlets — Pastry Plus in Matthews Hall, the café in the PAS building, and Festival Fare in South Campus Hall — shut down as soon as classes finished, not to reopen until September. Some others, though not all, will take a break later in April. In contrast, the REVelation cafeteria in Ron Eydt Village has moved to 24-hour-a-day operation, from yesterday through April 18, recognizing the likelihood that Villagers will need to refuel at unusual hours as the studying gets intense.

With renovations about to start on the main floor of the Dana Porter Library (which is the second floor, so far as room numbers go), there will shortly be no access to the Graphics copy centre that's housed there, and so it's moving to a temporary location. The centre will close at the end of business today, and reopen on Monday, April 14, in room 370 of Hagey Hall of the Humanities. "All the same service that are currently available at Campus Copy Dana Porter will be be offered at the Hagey Hall 370 location, including the sale of course notes," says Jackie Hollmann of UW Graphics. "The hours will be Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:25 p.m." (Across the way from the copy centre in Dana Porter is Browsers coffee shop, which will close April 25, reopening in the fall.)

The School of Accounting and Finance, along with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and an agency called Youth in Motion, will play host to some 170 high school students today for what’s called a No Limits Conference. Such conferences were developed by the ICAO to provide high schoolers with “an exclusive look into the wide range of interesting career opportunities available for aspiring Chartered Accountants”. This is the first time a No Limits Conference is being held in Kitchener-Waterloo, and it’s one of just three taking place in the province this year. Says Jim Barnett, director of the school: “We are excited to be in partnership with the Institute and Youth in Motion in promoting the career possibilities that come with a CA designation.” Participants were selected by their schools in recognition of their leadership skills as well as their interest in university accounting and finance programs. Among the day’s highlights will be a keynote talk by Tim Rollins, director of corporate taxation for Research In Motion, the makers of the BlackBerry handheld communications device. The conference is taking place in Federation Hall, from 9:00 to 2:30, with Rollins’s speech scheduled for 11:00.

[Panjer]Harry Panjer (right) of UW's department of statistics and actuarial science has received news of an international honour, just days before the opening of a conference being held to mark his retirement. "Harryfest 2008" will celebrate Panjer's 28 years as a faculty member, and runs Friday and Saturday in the Davis Centre (details are online). Meanwhile, "what can only be considered a huge honour" has come his way, he says: "With the formation of the new China Association of Actuaries replacing the old Society of Actuaries of China and at its inaugural meeting, I am one of the persons to receive a 'certificate of honor', and one of only two foreigners to receive this honor. This award reflects the work that I've been involved with starting with the SOA China initiative first approved by the SOA Board in October 1987 (yes, I was on the Board then!) and my many teaching/lecturing/advisory trips to Chinese universities and the SAC. I think that this is an indirect recognition of the role that the SOA has played in establishing actuarial science and indirectly the insurance industry in China. Unfortunately, I won't be there to receive it in person."

Today's the final day for voting in the election of an undergraduate student representative to the UW senate. • More than 150 high school students from across Ontario are attending a "Global Youth Forum" today and tomorrow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, with involvement by a number of people from UW. • Minutes of the January and February meetings of the Joint Health and Safety Committee are now available online.


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