Thursday, April 24, 2008

  • Honours listed for June convocation
  • Associate VP will step down
  • Notes on the last day of the term
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Honours listed for June convocation

A retired UW faculty member will give one of the eight convocation addresses this spring as degrees and honours are handed out in a series of ceremonies in the Physical Activities Complex.

Carol Peterson, a plant specialist who retired from the department of biology last fall, will be the speaker at the convocation session on Wednesday afternoon, June 11, when graduates from the Faculty of Science are recognized. She will also be installed as a Distinguished Professor Emerita (“emerita” is the Latin feminine form of the more familiar word “emeritus”).

Four other retired professors will also be granted Emeritus status during convocation week, which runs from June 11 through Saturday, June 14. At the same time 10 honorary degrees will be presented, including one to a former UW faculty member now at Georgia Tech.

The convocation honours were announced at this week’s meeting of the UW senate, having been approved at earlier senate meetings in confidential sessions. Here are the highlights:

June 11, morning, applied health sciences and environmental studies: Robert Sanson-Fisher, a leader in behavioural cancer control research, will receive an honorary degree and give the address. Onkar Prasad Dwivedi, scholar in public administration and environmental management policy, will also receive an honorary degree. A retired University of Guelph political scientist, Dwivedi has established and supported an elementary and junior high school, as well as a walk-in clinic and hospital, in villages in India.

June 11, afternoon, science: Peterson will give the address and receive her honour. An honorary degree will be given to See Leang Chin, who pioneered ultra-fast intense laser science, a field that promises to revolutionize everything from communications to food preservation. Chin, who holds a Canada research chair at Université Laval, invented a technique to measure air pollutants as well as chemical and biological warfare agents. Professor emeritus status will be presented to Robert Gillham, of the earth and environmental sciences, a pioneer of groundwater research at UW.

June 12, morning, arts: Robert Kaplan will receive a degree and address convocation. A key figure in the management accounting profession, he is the Baker Foundation Professor at the Harvard Business School. He has played an instrumental role in revitalizing how management performance is measured over the last quarter-century. Patrick Harrigan, of the department of history, will be inaugurated as a professor emeritus.

June 12, afternoon, arts: Rex Murphy, host of CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup and commentator on CBC TV's The National, will receive a Doctor of Laws degree and address the graduating students. Murphy, who also writes a regular column in The Globe and Mail, is a noted orator and the winner of several national and provincial broadcasting awards.

June 13, morning, mathematics: Jeff Wu will receive a Doctor of Mathematics degree. A former professor in UW’s department of statistics and actuarial science, and holder of an industrial research chair in productivity, Wu is considered the leading authority on the design of experiments in industry and manufacturing design. Currently, he holds the Coca Cola Chair in Engineering Statistics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. At the same session, Jon Rao, retired from Carleton University and now a distinguished research professor there, will receive an honorary degree, recognizing his profound impact on sample surveying by government agencies and other organizations and businesses. Both Wu and Rao will address convocation. David Jackson, of combinatorics and optimization, and Jerry Lawless, of statistics and actuarial science, will be introduced as professors emeritus.

June 13, afternoon, mathematics: computer pioneer Alan Kay will receive a degree and address the ceremony. Widely considered one of the most innovative thinkers and influential researchers in computer science, Kay did ground-breaking work in graphical user interface and object-oriented programming, which served as inspiration for personal computers. He is currently president of the Viewpoints Research Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to changing how children are educated.

June 14, morning, engineering: Clarence de Silva will receive an honorary degree and address convocation. A pioneer in the fields of control, robotics and automation, de Silva has made contributions to practice, research and education that have earned him international recognition and fellowship in professional societies.

June 14, afternoon, engineering: Gilles Patry will receive a degree and address convocation. Patry, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa, is a scholar, academic leader and entrepreneur. He is also the founding president of Hydromantis, Inc., an international consulting firm that develops and applies computer-based technologies to the water and wastewater industries.

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Associate VP will step down

[Brandt]Gail Cuthbert Brandt (left), who has held senior posts in Needles Hall for the past five years, will return to her base as a history professor at Renison College as of this summer, the provost has announced.

“This is to let you know,” says a memo from provost Amit Chakma to department chairs and other officials, “that Professor Gail Cuthbert Brandt, UW’s first Associate Vice-President International Affairs, will be stepping down from this position at the end of June 2008. Gail agreed to take on this role to get Waterloo International established. She has now accomplished this goal and as per her original intention will be taking a sabbatical leave to focus on a number of history projects, including a history of Renison College.

“Professor Cuthbert Brandt has served the University of Waterloo in several leadership roles. She led Renison College as Principal and Vice Chancellor for 10 years from 1992 to 2002 before becoming UW’s Associate Vice-President Academic in September 2003. She provided a strong leadership to UW’s academic program review process. She also served as UW’s Associate Vice-President Learning and Innovation and led the reorganization exercise resulting in the creation of the Centre for Teaching Excellence. After serving in that role for 5 years, she became UW’s first Associate Vice-President International in May of 2007.

“Professor Bruce Mitchell, UW’s Associate Provost has kindly agreed to take on the role of Interim Associate Vice-President, International till Gail’s successor is named.

“I would like to thank Gail for her superb leadership in the various portfolios she has served. I would also like to thank Bruce Mitchell for agreeing to take on the additional task of heading the international portfolio.”

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Notes on the last day of the term

It all comes down to this: today is the last day of exams for the winter term — and let us spare a moment to think of those students in Computer Science 246, Earth Sciences 361, and Latin 100B, among other courses, who have had to wait the full weary length of the exam period before putting pen to paper at 7:30 tonight. Unofficial grades for winter term courses begin appearing on Quest tomorrow, and grades become official May 26. Tonight the Dana Porter Library will close at 11 p.m. and the Davis Centre library at midnight, ending the exam-time schedule of extended hours. A reduced schedule of library hours will be in effect until the spring term begins on May 5. Fee payment deadline for the spring term is April 28 (cheque, money order, promissory note) or May 1 (bank payment or international wire transfer).

The Graduate Student Research Conference is also coming to an end. Among the oral and poster presentations on this final day: “A Trusted Hardware Module Approach for Recovering Satellites from Faults and Attacks”, by Marcio Juliato, electrical and computer engineering; “Mathematically Clinching a Playoff Spot in the NHL and the Effect of Scoring Systems”, by Tyrel Russell, computer science; “Antioxidants Developed from Soy Proteins”, by Mary Robinson, chemical engineering; “How Emotional Context Changes Evaluation of Faces in Younger and Older Adults”, by Shahnaz Koji, psychology. The action is in and around several lecture halls in the Davis Centre; a full program is online. Several awards are to be given for the best presentations during the four-day conference, and the Daily Bulletin will have news about the winners next week.

Tomorrow is payday for UW’s faculty and most staff members, which will lead a good many of them to be checking the gross, the net and the government’s share through the online facility that was introduced for such purposes five years ago. Warning, though: if you do want to look at the April pay statement (or any other data) through “myHRinfo”, do it now. “Please note,” writes Sandie Hurlburt of the human resources department, “that the myHRinfo system will be down for system maintenance for four days (from April 25 until April 28 inclusive). Employees who use self-service to check their paycheque data can do so until 11:59 p.m. on April 24th or in the morning of Tuesday, April 29.”

[Knight]A memorial gathering will be held today in Gravenhurst, Ontario, to honour Dick Knight (right, in 1981), who was one of UW’s best-known staff members through most of his Waterloo career, from 1966 to 1994. He worked as academic counsellor for the Faculty of Arts, helping thousands of students through their academic programs, and served the university in other ways as well, including multiple terms as president of the staff association. Following his retirement he was given the honour, bestowed on only a few, of Honorary Member of the University. He settled in his beloved Muskoka — where he continued the career of community service for which he’d been known in Kitchener-Waterloo, but kept an eye on developments at UW, as intermittent e-mail notes to the editor of the Daily Bulletin would attest. Richard L. (Dick) Knight died April 21. Today’s gathering, from 4 to 8 p.m., is at SunPark BeaverRidge Community Centre in Gravenhurst. Memorial donations to UW’s scholarship funds are among the family’s suggestions.


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Link of the day

Armenians remember 1915

When and where

Dance Odyssey Competition today through Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

Staff Appreciation Week lunch available at University Club all week 11:30 to 2:00, $18.00 per person, reservations ext. 33801.

Chemical engineering seminar: Mosto Bousmina, Université Laval, “Bricklaying at Nanoscale”, 11:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Permanent residence in Canada: speaker from Canada’s Consulate-General in Buffalo, sponsored by new faculty recruitment office and Waterloo International, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 116, register online.

UW alumni in Hamilton networking reception 6:30 to 8:30, Canadian Warplane Heritage, details online.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, breakfast seminar, “Communication in Conflict”, Friday, Waterloo Inn, details online.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry annual general meeting Friday 1:00 p.m., CEIT room 1015, followed by seminar, “Small Contributions to the Emerging Field of Sulfenic Acid Anion Chemistry”, by Adrian Schwan, University of Guelph, 3:00, then graduate student poster session and awards presentations.

‘The Algorithmic Lens: How the Computational Perspective Is Transforming the Sciences’, Christos Papadimitriou, University of California at Berkeley, Friday 2:00, Davis Centre room 1350.

Philosophy colloquium: Doreen Fraser, “The Applicability of Mathematics and A Priori Knowledge”, Friday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Travelling exhibition: “Aga Khan Historic Cities Program”, Architecture building, Cambridge, Saturday through Monday.

Going Green workshop series sponsored by Grand House student co-op: “Making Concrete Countertops” April 26, “Black Water, Grey Water and Living Machines” May 3, “Natural Landscaping” May 10, details online.

Engineering alumni Rick Matzeg Memorial Event, Saturday 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Luther Village, details online.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents Shirley Fenton, managing director of WIHIR, “Trade Missions: A Framework for Initiating Multinational Collaboration”, Monday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Fire drills on main campus Tuesday, April 29, schedule to be announced.

‘Financing and Purchasing a Vehicle’ seminar sponsored by Education Credit Union, speaker Tony Verbeek, Tuesday, April 29, 12:15 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Internet outage: interruption in external network connections to UW, Wednesday, April 30, 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., to install new border router.

PhD oral defences

Civil and environmental engineering. Qinghua Huang, “Stochastic Stability of Viscoelastic Systems.” Supervisor, Wei-Chau Xie. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, May 2, 9:30 a.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Psychology. Heather MacDonald, “Motivational Differences in Feedback-Seeking Intentions: A Cultural Analysis.” Supervisor, Doug Brown. On display in the faculty of arts, HH 317. Oral defence Friday, May 2, 10:00 a.m., PAS room 3026.

Chemical engineering. Jennifer (Runhong) Du, “Studies on Poly (N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) Composite Membranes for Gas Separation and Pervaporation.” Supervisors, Xianshe Feng and Amit Chakma. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, May 5, 9:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Electrical and computer engineering. Agustin Dominguez, “On Fault-based Attacks and Countermeasures for Elliptic Curve Cryosystems.” Supervisor, Anwarul M. Hasan. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, May 6, 2:00 p.m., CEIT room 3142.

Applied mathematics. Rob Martin, “Bandlimited Functions, Curved Manifolds and Self-adjoint Extensions of Symmetric Operators.” Supervisor, Achim Kempf. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Wednesday, May 7, 9:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 5136.

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