Monday, March 17, 2008

  • Robots go head-to-head this week
  • Staff asked to nominate rep for BoG
  • Bleed and feed on St. Patrick's Day
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

The Irish in Canada

When and where

Nominate the next UW president. Last chance to vote for a staff or faculty rep on the Presidential Nominating Committee: deadline today at 4:30. Electronic ballot and voting instructions online.

“2 Days for You” April staff conference online registration begins today.

Blood donor clinic March 17-19 (10 to 4) and March 20 (9 to 3), Student Life Centre.

‘Keep Current Digitally’ library workshop today, 1:30 - 3:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

Career workshop: "Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions," today, 4:30, Tatham Centre room 2218, details online.

Pilot Provincial Nominee Program information sessions for international students, Tuesday, 9:30 or 10:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 1302. Details online.

Academic Career Meets Life: lunch meeting for female grad students considering academic career. Tuesday, 11:30 to 1:30, Davis Centre 1301. Details and registration online: space is limited.

Biology brown-bag seminar: Jordan T. F. Young, “MicroRNAs: An Epigenetic Revolution” Tuesday, 12:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 305.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “You-biquity: What Every Instructor Needs to Know about Social Software,” Tuesday, 3:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, details online.

Graduate Student Association deadline for nominations for position of vice-president (operations and finance) Tuesday, 4:30.

Career Services panel: “Hot Tips From the Pros!” Tuesday, 4:30, Tatham Centre room 2218. Register online.

Book launch: Pavilion Project, joint Architecture-UW Art Gallery event, Tuesday, 6 p.m, School of Architecture in Cambridge. Details online.

German Cinema screening in English or with subtitles, free: “Rosenstrasse,” Tuesday, 6:30, Coutts Hall room 301.

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

Warrior Women’s Awards Breakfast to support the Women’s Sport Initiative Fund, Wednesday, 7:15 a.m., University Club, tickets $40, details online.

Easter luncheon buffet at the University Club Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 to 2:00, $18 per person, reservations ext. 33801.

Cognos Cubes training for users of statistical data from Institutional Analysis and Planning office: beginner sessions March 19, May 21, September 24; advanced sessions February 13, April 23, June 11, October 15, details online.

Turnkey coffeehouse to benefit Amnesty International, organized by Student Life Centre turnkeys, Wednesday, 2 to 8 p.m., free admission, snacks for sale. Talent wanted (sign up at turnkey desk).

Global climate change public lecture by Edward Parson, University of Michigan, Wednesday, 12:30 p.m., Math and Computer room 2065, all welcome, reception follows.

Poet Patrick Lane reading scheduled for Wednesday, at St. Jerome’s University has been cancelled.

Conference on Genocide Prevention hosted by Armenian Students Association and other groups, 3 speakers, Wednesday, 5:30 to 9 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350.

‘Flexibility and injury prevention’ lunch-and-learn session Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., TechTown board room, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Graduate Student Association annual general meeting Wednesday, 6 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 302, agenda and background material online.

‘Are You Thinking of an MBA?’ information session with a current student and a representative from the Wilfrid Laurier University MBA program, Wednesday, 5:30 to 7:00, Tatham Centre room 2218, registration online.

‘A Forensic Analysis of September 11, 2001,” speakers A. K. Dewdney and Graeme MacQueen, organized by UW Debating Society, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

FIRST Robotics tournament for high school students March 20-22, Physical Activities Complex, information online.

New faculty lunch-and-learn panel (by invitation): “Documenting Your Teaching for Tenure and Promotion,” Thursday, March 20, 11:45 - 1:30, CEIT room 3124. Details online.

Chemical engineering seminar: Richard Braatz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “Modeling and Design of Multiscale Chemical Systems,” Thursday, 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Render (UW art gallery) closing concert for “Deaderer” exhibition, featuring FightWithBears, five-piece hardcore band, Thursday, 7 p.m., East Campus Hall.

Alumni theatre evening in Toronto: “Stuff Happens”, Berkeley Street Theatre, Thursday, 8 p.m., details and registration online.

Good Friday holiday Friday, March 21, classes cancelled, UW offices and most services closed (libraries open noon to 6 p.m.).

ESQ campers 2008 March break

These Engineering Science Quest (ESQ) campers were among 360 on campus last week during the schools' March break. In this image caught by Michael Strickland, UW media relations, counsellors use a light to test a solar-powered car built by students in Grades 4 through 6 — just one of the activities students undertook during the week.

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Robot regional competition comes to Waterloo

from UW Media relations

Robot enthusiasts from high schools across Ontario will compete this week in the first round of an international robotics competition at the University of Waterloo.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition challenges teams of high school students and their mentors from around the world to build robots to qualify for a final event to be held this April in the United States. The robots are built in a six-week period using a standard parts kit and common set of rules.

This year, teams are building robots to play a game where the objective is to score points by manoeuvring 40-inch (approximately 1-metre) ten-pound (4.5-kilogram) balls around a race track as many times as possible. Teams score bonus points for being able to hurdle the ball over an overhead bar and recover it.

The Waterloo regional competition, open to the public, will be held Thursday through Saturday (March 20-22) in UW's physical activities complex. Admission is free.

"Through FIRST, kids realize that building a robot can be fun and cool," says Rob Gorbet, a UW professor of electrical and computer engineering who helped bring the event to the Waterloo campus. "It gives them very real role models, from outside the worlds of professional sports and entertainment. It's about opening their eyes to careers in math, engineering, science and technology — and it works."

"There is nothing like the clashes you see on the robo-warrior programs," adds Ian Mackenzie, a one-time student participant and current planning committee chair for FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional. "This is really about making science, math, engineering and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. The energy, pace and excitement of the competition will make it fun for the whole family."

Thirty teams involving about 600 students will participate in the event — 29 from Ontario and one from Michigan. Among the teams is one from Jacob Hespeler secondary school in Cambridge and another from Our Lady of Lourdes in Guelph. Although most come from the Toronto area, many represent rural towns from across southwestern Ontario.

UW is one of two Canadian venues hosting a regional FIRST competition in 2008. The other Canadian regional takes place March 27-29 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The annual contest draws more than 1,500 teams in regional competitions in Canada, the United States, Israel and Brazil. The final championship will be held April 17-19 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The high-tech sporting competitions are the result of brainstorming, teamwork and mentoring. Referees oversee the competitions and judges present awards to teams for design, technology, sportsmanship and commitment.

Major sponsors for the Waterloo regional competition include Research In Motion, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, the Ontario government and UW.

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Call to nominate staff rep on Board of Governors

a memo from the University Secretariat

Mark Walker, Registrar’s Office, completes a three-year term on the Board of Governors on April 30, 2008. Nominations are requested from full-time staff of the University to fill the vacant seat on the Board, term from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2011. Full-time staff members who are Canadian citizens are eligible for nomination.

As Mark will be completing his second consecutive term on Board, he is not eligible for re-election. A former Governor becomes eligible for re-election following the expiration of one year following the completion of two consecutive terms on the Board.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (x36125) and from the Secretariat webpage. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Friday, April 4. An election will follow if necessary.

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Bleed and feed on St. Patrick's Day; and more

Canadian Blood Services offers you an opportunity to save a life by giving blood. A blood donor clinic will be held in the Student Life Centre multi-purpose room today through Thursday. Hours are 10 to 4 Monday to Wednesday and 9 to 3 Thursday. Book an appointment at the Turnkey Desk or drop in. “Your donation can save or improve up to three lives … Bring a friend!”says the message from Sharr Cairns of CBS.

After giving blood you’ll want sustenance. Right there in the Student Life Centre is Brubakers, with St. Patrick’s Day specials: lamb stew for lunch and corned beef and cabbage for dinner. Over at the University Club, the St. Patrick’s Day luncheon buffet (11:30 – 2) includes dandelion greens salad, corned beef on soda bread, poached salmon, Guinness and steak pie, and oat cake with mixed berry compote and clotted cream; call ext. 33801 to reserve. REVelation, in Ron Eydt Village, features steak and Guinness stew for dinner. Details of other on-campus food choices are here.

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s and women’s curling teams will be travelling to Harbin, China, next February as Canada’s representatives at the 2009 FISU (Federation Internationale de Sport Universitaire). The Laurier teams defeated Calgary 9 – 4 and Manitoba 7 – 4, respectively, in the finals on Sunday afternoon in the tournament sponsored by Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the Canadian Curling Association, hosted by UW, and played in Guelph and Elora curling clubs. Nineteen men’s and 17 women’s university teams competed in the five-day event. The UW teams did not advance to the championship round. The Warriors men’s team skipped by Ryan Syer finished fourth in their pool, with two wins and four losses. The women’s team skipped by Amber Gebhardt finished fifth in their pool, with one win and five losses.

Career Services offers Hot Tips From the Pros! on Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., in the Tatham Centre, room 2218. “Want to know what RIM looks for in a résumé? What does CIBC recommend in your cover letter? Want to learn effective networking techniques from CTV? What makes for a successful interview with Petro-Canada? Come out and hear from our expert panel and bring your own questions, too!” Please register online as early as possible.

Two RENDER (UW art gallery) events are coming up this week. On Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m., the Pavilion Project Catalogue will be launched in the atrium of the School of Architecture in Cambridge. The Pavilion Project, a collaboration between RENDER and architecture, produced “a unique moveable studio/media station,” says the press release, that was installed at the gallery “as a central feature of the exhibition, research and teaching program.” The catalogue was designed by architecture student Lisa Hirmer and has texts by Robert Jan van Pelt. . . . The Deaderer exhibition closes on Thursday in East Campus Hall. “On March 20, Deaderer will close with a performance by FightWithBears, a five-piece hardcore band from Georgetown, Ontario. From 7 to 10 p.m., the gallery space will be transformed into a live recording studio. An EP of the evening's performance will be . . . released by RENDER as part of the Deaderer publication.”

UW’s Elliot Avedon Museum and Archive of Games is the subject of a feature article, “Enhancing Humanity,” in The Escapist, an online magazine about games, media and popular culture. The author, Erin Hoffman, interviewed applied health sciences dean Roger Mannell as well as Avedon himself. She concludes with a speculation: “Is a game design curriculum on the horizon? ‘I suspect we might get there eventually,’ Dr. Mannell says. Dr. Avedon agrees, and says that he raised the subject of a Chair of Ludology with the university – but the discussion concluded that such a cross-disciplinary position would have to be planned very carefully....”

CPA Staff

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Friday's Daily Bulletin