Friday, February 29, 2008

  • This just in: February's heading out
  • Secrecy agreement for research
  • Some highlights of what's happening
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

International Rare Disease Day

When and where

Co-op spring work term job rankings open today 1:00 p.m., close Monday 2:00; match results available Monday 4:00 p.m. on JobMine.

History Society 25th annual MacKinnon Dinner, with guest speaker Karolyn Smardz Frost, UW graduate and Governor General's Award winner, 6 p.m., Ali Baba Steakhouse, tickets $20 ($30 non-students) at Humanities room 122.

Health and wellness fair at TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard, Saturday: organic food, women’s sportswear, blood pressure management, “how to find a great spa”, free fitness classes, speakers, keynote by Chris Crowley, author of Younger Next Year, details online.

Alumni career planning workshop offered by Career Services, Saturday 9:30 to 4:00, cost $75, registration online.

Chilly Dog Run: run or walk two loops around the ring road, then chili in the Student Life Centre, with guest speaker, hosted by Moods Assistance Through Educational Support, Saturday 10:30 a.m., registration (online) $10.

Hopespring Cancer Support Centre curling fund-raiser, organized by UW earth sciences staff and alumni in memory of Gail Bendig, bonspiel Sunday at Westmount Golf and Country Club, information and donations e-mail

‘Let’s Dance’ showcase performance Sunday 1:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

International Celebrations Week brings events Monday through Saturday, including social gathering Tuesday, 1:00 to 3:00, at Waterloo International, Needles Hall first floor, all staff, faculty and students welcome.

Social Work Week event: “World Café on Social Justice” luncheon Monday 11:30 to 1:15, Renison College dining hall, information e-mail mreid@artsmail.

English Society spelling bee Monday 2:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Sexual health talk with UW health services, sponsored by Women’s Centre, Monday 2:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Senate executive committee Monday 3:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Women in Mathematics Committee presents Julia Knight, Notre Dame University, “Comparing Classes of Structures”, Monday 4:00, Math and Computer room 5158 (refreshments at 3:30).

International Women’s Week speaker: Judy Rebick, former president of National Action Committee on the Status of Women, presented by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group and Women’s Centre, Monday 7:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116, admission free.

Staff association special general meeting Tuesday, March 4, 8:40 to 9:30 a.m., Math and Computer room 1085, agenda online.

‘Can men be feminist?’ panel marking International Women’s Week, Tuesday, March 4, 1:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Institute for Computer Research presents Eric Sutherland, TD Securities, “An Insider’s Perspective on TD Bank Financial Group”, Tuesday 4:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Cultural Caravan with performances from Hindu, Bengali, Iranian, Caribbean, Polish and other student clubs, plus ethnic food and displays, Tuesday, March 4, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Apple’s new iMac lunch-and-learn session sponsored by Campus TechShop, Thursday 12:00 noon, Math and Computer room 2066, RSVP ext. 36143.

International Women’s Day dinner: “Celebrate women mentoring women,” Thursday, March 6, 5:00, University Club. Speakers are Emerance Baker (aboriginal services coordinator) and Susan Tighe (civil and environmental engineering); tickets $30 at Humanities box office.

Distributive Education Clubs of America invitational competition and conference in marketing and management March 7-8, details online.

‘Tartuffe’ drama department major production, March 11 at 7:00 (preview by invitation), March 12-15 at 8:00, March 15 at 2:00, Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 (students $10) 519-888-4908.

History professor Andrew Cooper speaks with Daiene Vernile, CTV, about his new book Celebrity Diplomacy, Tuesday, March 18, 7:00 p.m., Centre for International Governance Innovation, admission free, reservations online.

Good Friday holiday Friday, March 21, classes cancelled, UW offices and most services closed.

Walk for Darfur: Event sponsored by UW Genocide Action Group, Muslim Students Association and others, Wednesday, March 26; speaker Debbie Bodkin of UN Commission of Inquiry, 12:00 noon, Student Life Centre, followed by fund-raising walk around ring road.

PhD oral defences

Earth and environmental sciences. Orfan Shouakar-Stash, “Evaluation of Stable Chlorine and Bromine Isotopes in Sedimentary Formation Fluids.” Supervisor, S. K. Frape. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, March 18, 9:30, Davis Centre room 1304.

Chemical engineering. Dominik Jurgen-Lohmann, “Spectroscopic Characterization of Sol-gel Thin Films: Properties of Immobilization Matrix and Immobilized Proteins.” Supervisor, Raymond Legge. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, March 20, 2:00, Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Planning. Lija Margaret Bebee Bickis, “Improving Competitiveness in Environmental Conservation: A Study of Strategy and Planning in Canada’s Federal Protected Areas Management Organisations.” Supervisors, P. Eagles and M. Seasons. On display in the faculty of environmental studies, ES1 335. Oral defence Monday, March 24, 1:30, Environmental Studies I room 221.

Electrical and computer engineering. Jose Rafael Avalos Munoz, “Analysis and Application of Optimization Techniques to Power System Security and Electricity Markets.” Supervisors, Claudio Cañizares and Miguel Anjos. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Tuesday, March 25, 9:00, CEIT room 3142.

Chemistry. Mark W. Ingratta, “Aspects of Polymer Chain Dynamics in Solution Studied by Fluorescence.” Supervisor, J. Duhamel. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, March 25, 9:00, Biology I room 266.

[Hardly room to move in the middle of seminar room]

More than 200 people showed up for Wednesday's talk — "How the World Will Try to Stop You and Your Idea" — by economics professor Larry Smith, sponsored by the new Laurel Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. "RCH 307 was full to the point that people were lined along the sides of the room, with more crowding the doorways," says Mohammad Jangda of the Laurel Centre, who sent along photos to prove it. A recording of the lecture should be online next week, he says.

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This just in: February's heading out

It’s the twenty-ninth of February — Leap Year day — and not only payday, for most UW employees, but a day with other financial implications as well. Contributions to Registered Retirement Savings Plans have to be made by the end of today, for instance, in order to be used as a deduction on 2007 income tax returns. The end of February is also the deadline for various tax-related paperwork to be provided to individuals by their employers or educational institutions. I understand that UW has met the deadline as usual, with vast shipments of Form T2202, the Tuition and Education Credit Certificate, sent on time to students, and Form T4, which is officially called Statement of Remuneration Paid, sent to everybody who earned money from the university last year. Your challenge now, and you don’t have much choice in whether to accept it, is to use that information in filling in Form T1, the General Income Tax and Benefit Return.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin talked about the spinoff firm CREZ Basketball Systems, founded by UW faculty member David Clausi, and identified him as being in the management sciences department. In fact he's in systems design engineering.

An upgrade of UW's wireless service has begun,” writes Bruce Campbell, director of network services in the information systems and technology department. “This involves replacement of 650 wireless access points (APs) that are no longer vendor supported, 8 locally developed ‘Network Authentication Appliances’ (NAAs), and an AP management system, with an integrated solution from Aruba Networks. This first phase is expected to be completed before September 1. Approximately 100 additional APs will be deployed later in the year to improve indoor coverage. Subsequent phases will include adding outdoor coverage, expected to become more important as the number of wifi handheld devices increases. Until the first phase of the upgrade is complete, users will not notice a significant difference in service or performance. The web based login page will look the same. But once the existing wireless infrastructure is replaced, some of the new features of the Aruba system will be made available. These include seamless roaming across campus (without requiring a re-login), and secure 802.1x connectivity. The new system will also address load related issues which have been frustrating users in the Davis Centre. Upgrade progress is available online. We expect that interruptions in service will be minimal but apologize for any inconvenience caused by these changes.”

Also from IST, and also accompanied by an apology for any possible inconvenience, is a warning that UW-ACE, the 'admmail' e-mail system and some other services will be out of operation on Saturday morning. "A number of servers will be shut down from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m.," says IST's Paul Snyder, "as part of the air conditioning upgrade to IST's machine room."

[Kloos]A number of UW staff members retired officially on February 1, including Peter Dennis, field coordinator in co-op education and career services, who came to UW in November 2000; Gail Grigg, microbiology assistant in the biology department, on UW’s staff since September 1986; and John (Ian) Donaghey, assistant in the facilities department of the library, who’s been on the staff since May 1976. Set to retire officially on March 1 is Herondina Silva, a custodian in plant operations, who’s been at UW since January 1989. And colleagues will hold a dinner at the Transylvania Club tonight to honour Horst Kloos (right), who's retiring after 17 years in the mechanical section of plant operations, keeping the UW Place pipes and ducts working.

I was down in Cambridge last weekend, and had a look at the exhibition in the Riverside gallery in the UW Architecture building. It’s called “Logotopia: The Library in Architecture, Art and the Imagination”, and includes some quirky items (a massive Oxford dictionary with a hole drilled through the middle) as well as pictures and models of libraries, a touching collection of bookplates, and a first-hand description of the devastated National Library of Iraq. As the organizers put it: “The exhibition explores the library in its various typologies — the Universal Library, the National Library, the Community Library, and the Private Library, plus a section on Technology and the Future of Libraries. . . . Featured projects include Biblioteca Alexandria in Egypt by Snøhetta Architects, the Grande Bibliothèque in Montréal by Patkau Architects, the Hespeler Library in Cambridge by Alar Kongats Architects and Library of a Poet in Japan by Shigeru Ban Architects.” The gallery is an outpost of Cambridge Galleries, a city agency rather than part of UW, but it did seem to hint at involvement by some architecture faculty members. For sale at the desk is a 128-page catalogue, with more content than the little gallery itself has room for; price, $30.

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Secrecy agreement for research

by Sheldon Smart of the C4 consortium

Sharing secrets, without invoking pinkie pledges or spit shakes, is now a lot easier for universities in Southwest Ontario, including UW. Members of C4, a technology transfer consortium that links several universities, have released a jointly developed Non-Disclosure Agreement. The new NDA will be used at McMaster, Guelph, Western, Windsor, and Wilfrid Laurier as well as Waterloo.

The new joint NDA satisfies C4’s twin goals of sharing best practices between institutions and making it easier for others to work with C4 members. Previously, each university technology transfer office had a different NDA and businesses that wanted to collaborate with multiple C4 institutions would be faced with reviewing several NDAs. Now a business that has collaborated with, for example, the University of Western Ontario will already be familiar with UW’s NDAs terms as well.

“Having a common NDA across Southwest Ontario will make it a lot easier for businesses to interact with universities,” says Scott Inwood, director of the Intellectual Property Management Group in UW’s research office. “We hope this will set a standard for NDAs between universities and industry or other universities.”

A working group formed by C4 to develop the new NDA reviewed such documents from 17 institutions and researched the latest legal findings on the topic before jointly developing the new NDA. After much work, they developed two template NDAs and an explanatory set of guidelines for technology transfer officers. The first NDA template is “one-way” — designed for situations where a university is letting a company review a technology or invention for possible licensing . The second template is “two-way” — designed for situations where both parties are sharing information — and is the type most likely to be used by faculty members. For example, it would be used when a company seeks to arrange a collaborative research project or research contract with a university researcher.

The NDAs are simplified (just three pages) and modernized compared to the agreements they replace, and are designed to eliminate ambiguity while balancing interests of all parties. The agreements also contain provisions that can be tailored for specific circumstances. “The prospect of being on both the issuing and receiving end of this NDA really forced us to write a balanced agreement, notes Chabriol Colebatch, C4 copyright officer, who spearheaded the initiative.

The C4 is now working on a common Materials Transfer Agreement for C4 universities. It hopes to release that agreement this spring. Meanwhile, the Template NDAs are available on the C4 website.

C4 exists to innovation in Southwest Ontario by promoting technology transfer and commercialization. It allows ten universities and research institutions to coordinate their resources, cooperate with governmental and industrial bodies, collaborate in multi-disciplinary research, and commercialize the results of their research. C4’s members are McMaster, Guelph, Waterloo, Western, Windsor, and Wilfrid Laurier universities, and Robarts Research Institute, the Lawson Health Research Institute, Hamilton Health Sciences, and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. This diverse group of universities and research institutions generates hundreds of new discoveries each year.

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Some highlights of what's happening

Frederick Bird of UW’s political science department will speak tonight at St. Jerome’s University, giving the 2007-08 Devlin Lecture. “More than two billion humans live in poverty (less than $2/day per capita income),” says an abstract of tonight’s talk. “Most live in developing areas. International businesses operate in many of these areas, extracting and harvesting natural resources, sourcing goods and services from local producers, manufacturing, and selling. In what ways have these international businesses acted to reduce and/or aggravate the problems of poverty at the bottom of the global economic pyramid? What can we learn from their experiences?” Organizers note that Bird is a recent arrival at UW: “Previously, he was Professor of Religious Studies at Concordia University, where he held a Concordia University Research Chair in Comparative Ethics. He is the author or co-author of a number of books in business ethics. Between 1999 and 2006, he directed an international team of researchers examining the practices of international businesses in developing areas in 20 countries.” Tonight’s event starts at 7:30 in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome’s, and admission is free.

Conrad Grebel University College will present its "Distinguished Alumni Service Award" to journalist Ruth Teichroeb tonight during the 30th anniversary celebration for the peace and conflict studies program. The event starts at 7:30 at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and also features a duo from Nigeria who have won international honours for their work: James Wuye, a Christian clergyman, and Muhhamed Ashafa, an imam, co-founders of the Interfaith Mediation Centre in the city of Kaduna. Admission is free. Teichroeb, the alumni award winner, followed her UW studies with a journalism degree from Carleton, and has worked for the Vancouver Province, the Winnipeg Free Press, and now the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, receiving many honours along the way. “The PACS courses I took at Grebel,” she says now, “helped me develop tools to analyze why conflicts between individuals and communities sometimes deteriorate into violence.” Also marking the PACS anniversary is the student-organized Inter-Collegiate Peace Fellowship conference that’s happening at Grebel today through Sunday. And Saturday night, a banquet will raise funds for the Frank H. Epp Memorial Fund to assist PACS students (tickets $20, call ext. 24269).

Forty grade 11 students will arrive Sunday to interact with UW faculty and students as part of Waterloo Unlimited’s Design program. Says Betty Bax of the Unlimited staff: “Spending a week visiting campus, they will explore the theme of Design in the context of fine arts, biology, urban planning, ergonomics, engineering, math and more. Skills sessions and hands-on workshops will introduce students to the Design Process, Idea Generation and Creativity, Problem Solving and Technical Writing; lectures will feature design approaches by various disciplines; and evening public events will inspire with local design success stories such as Engineers Without Borders. Students will be fully engaged each day from 8:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night.” And this background about the program: “Waterloo Unlimited is a distinctive high school enrichment program which immerses students in a rich, trans-disciplinary, pre-university experience. It is about challenging the borders of scholarship and developing higher-order skills: communication, analysis, synthesis, initiative, curiosity, responsibility, leadership, teamwork, problem solving and creativity.”

There are a few tickets left for the International Women's Day Dinner being held at the University Club on Thursday, March 6. The dinner, organized by a committee of staff and faculty volunteers, this year celebrates Women Mentoring Women, says chair Christine Tauer-Martin of Counselling Services. Guest speakers are Emerance Baker, co-ordinator of aboriginal services, and Susan Tighe of civil engineering. Tickets are $30 and available through the Theatre Centre box office, which is open from noon to 5 p.m. for in-person ticket sales; you can also call 519-888-4988 and use a credit card. The three-course dinner features lemongrass and basil chicken on cilantro rice; the vegetarian option is Pad Thai. The event starts with a chance to mingle during a social hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Today brings the end of "Drop Period 1" — it's the last day to receive a WD grade (no penalty) for dropped winter term undergraduate courses. • The main gym and small gym in the Physical Activities Complex will be shut down Monday through Thursday next week for maintenance work. • Watch for information at the beginning of the week about "the first annual two-day UW Staff Conference", April 8-9, with workshops, roundtables and keynote speakers.


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Yesterday's Daily Bulletin