Thursday, April 23, 2009

  • Instant books from 'Espresso' machine
  • Honours set for June convocation
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Like a giant photocopier]
Instant books from 'Espresso' machine

by John Morris, communications and public affairs

The UW Bookstore has acquired a print-on-demand machine that will in mere minutes print, bind and trim a high quality paperback book at a low cost from digital files.

The books will feature four-colour covers just like any paperback book on a bookstore shelf.

"The Espresso Book Machine has revolutionized the traditional textbook supply chain for book distribution," says May Yan, director of UW's Retail Services. "We will be able to offer options to students and faculty that will be cost effective and options for customized textbooks that will never be out of stock. We call it an ATM for books."

The EBM (pictured during installation) is made by a New York based company called On Demand Books, and is a good example of green publishing, which deploys technology to print materials on-site and thus saves money and fuel on shipping and storage. It has printed, bound, and automatically trimmed thousands of books in sites across the world, including bookstores at the University of Alberta and McMaster University.

"Students will be the main beneficiaries because the EBM makes it possible to distribute almost every book published, including out-of-print titles, easily and quickly at huge savings on print runs under 500 copies depending on the size of the book and the copyright costs," said Randy Dauphin, the bookstore information systems specialist. "It can print out a 300-page paperback, complete with colour cover and standard paper stock in just four minutes."

The EBM's software tracks print jobs and royalty payments to copyright holders. The on-board computer provides a simple user interface for controlling print jobs and managing content.

Dauphin said UW owns the latest version of the machine, which costs under $200,000 US. Waterloo's EBM Version 2.0 is seven feet (two metres) long, three feet wide and five feet tall.

Shawn Gilbertson, a bookstore course materials specialist, said the machine offers opportunities to work with publishers and faculty to achieve savings that will be passed on to students. One McGraw Hill accounting textbook, for example, costs $192 for the full version of the book. By selecting only the required chapters of the book that students need to read, the instructor customizes the textbook and the price is reduced to $89 based on the number of pages printed and copyright costs.

By printing this book on the EBM, the Bookstore avoids the cost of shipping the textbooks, warehousing the books and delays in out-of-stock reorders.

Through On Demand’s alliance with Lightning Source Inc, a subsidiary of the Ingram Book Group, the EBM digital database includes more than 650,000 titles and the right to print LSI's vast library of titles, pending publisher approval. In addition, the EBM has access to more than 400,000 public domain books through the Open Content Alliance and titles from other digital repositories.

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Honours set for June convocation

Two people from McMaster University who were closely involved in the creation of a Mac medical school branch at UW’s health sciences campus will be presented with honorary degrees at June’s convocation ceremonies. They are Peter George, Mac’s president since 1995, and John Kelton, dean of medicine and vice-president (health sciences) at Mac.

George will receive a Doctor of Laws degree at the morning ceremony for the Faculty of Arts on Thursday, June 11, and will give the address. A member of the Order of Canada, he is credited with the introduction of innovative approaches to teaching and research that helped McMaster become one of the top research institutions in the country.

Kelton will be honoured with a Doctor of Science degree at the ceremony Wednesday afternoon, June 10, for the Faculty of Science. Kelton, who was instrumental in adapting McMaster's problem-based medical school curriculum to an electronic format, developed a satellite campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in St. Catharines as well as the one at UW’s outpost in downtown Kitchener.

A total of 13 honorary doctorates will be presented in June, according to announcements made at Monday’s meeting of the UW senate and summarized in a release from the university’s media relations office.

Also at convocation, UW will install Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., as chancellor. That will happen at the morning ceremony on the Wednesday, when Watsa will address convocation for graduates in applied health sciences and environment.

Watsa succeeds Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of Research In Motion Ltd., who is completing two terms as chancellor. UW will name Lazaridis chancellor emeritus at the final convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 13.

The full convocation schedule:

June 10, morning, AHS and environment: installation of chancellor; honorary Doctor of Laws degree for Yinxing Hong, chancellor of Nanjing University in China, a noted development economist, who has played a key role in nurturing ties between Nanjing and UW, including the Sino-Canadian College. Also, presentation of Distinguished Professor Emeritus status to Michael Sharratt, former dean of AHS and professor of kinesiology, and Patricia Wainwright, health studies and gerontology; Honorary Member of the University status to John Horton, retired from the school of planning.

June 10, afternoon, science: degree for Kelton; honorary Doctor of Science degree for Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, who will speak. A former president of the University of Toronto, Birgeneau is one of the most cited physicists in the world for his work on the fundamental properties of materials.

June 11, morning, arts: honorary degree for George; Distinguished Professor Emeritus status for Phelim Boyle, school of accounting and finance.

June 11, afternoon, arts: honorary Doctor of Laws degree for Larry Gravill, former chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service; honorary Doctor of Letters degree for Regna Darnell, anthropology professor at the University of Western Ontario and founder of UWO’s First Nations studies program. UW historian Ken McLaughlin will receive the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus and give the address. Honorary Member of the University status for Al MacKenzie, former UW director of security.

June 12, morning, mathematics: honorary Doctor of Laws degree for Murray Martin, president and CEO of Pitney Bowes Inc. and a key figure in supporting cryptography research; he will give the address. Also, honorary Doctor of Mathematics degree for Arkadi Nemirovski, author of Interior Point Methods for Convex Optimization, a fundamental work in the field.

June 12, afternoon, mathematics: honorary Doctor of Mathematics Degree to Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, one of the world's most prominent computer scientists, who will give the address.

June 13, morning, engineering: Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree for Martha Salcudean, professor emerita of mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia, who will give the address. Also, an honorary DEng to Gerhard Kennepohl one of Canada's leading authorities in road and pavement technology, associated with the UW Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology. Distinguished Professor Emeritus status for Don Grierson, department of civil engineering.

June 13, afternoon, engineering: Chancellor emeritus honour for Lazaridis, who will give the address. Also, an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree for James Tien, dean of the college of engineering at the University of Miami; and honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Manfred Conrad, local entrepreneur who established the Cora Group and was a leading figure in the development of buildings in UW's Research and Technology Park.


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Link of the day

St. George's Day

When and where

Winter term examinations end Friday. Unofficial winter term grades appear in Quest beginning April 27. Grades become official May 25.

Terpsichore dance performances continue today, Humanities Theatre.

Staff association pension, benefits and compensation subcommittee meets 12:00, Davis Centre room 1351, association members welcome.

Chemical engineering seminar: Eric Stangland, Dow Chemical, “Alkane Activation over Rare-Earth Oxychloride Catalysts”, 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Alumni in London, UK: networking reception 6:00 p.m., Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill. Details.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel University College, breakfast seminar: “Succession Stories” Friday 7 a.m., Waterloo Inn. Details.

Used book sale sponsored by local chapter of Canadian Federation of University Women, Friday (9:00 to 9:00) and Saturday (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, King and William Streets; drop off books at the church today.

Information systems and technology professional development event: tour of Pharmacy building, Friday 9 a.m.

‘Radio systems’ one-day short course by Tajinder Manku, founder of Sirific Wireless, sponsored by Institute for Computer Research, Friday 9:00 to 5:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Health informatics seminar: Pavel Roshanov and Noemi Chanda, UW students, report on their Agfa Healthcare Innovation Award project, “Case-Based Reasoning for Patient Self-Management of Oral Anticoagulant Medications”, Friday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1304.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry, annual general meeting, Friday 1:00 p.m., University of Guelph Thornbrough building room 1200; seminar, Tong Leung of UW, “Surface Science of Some Nano Stuff”, 3:00; graduate student poster session and awards presentation follow, Peter Clark Hall, U of G.

Chinese competition: Ontario University Students Chinese Proficiency Competition, hosted by Renison University College, Friday 1:30 p.m. Details.

Philosophy colloquium: Natalie Evans, UW, “The Autonomous Animal Self” scheduled for Friday 3:30, postponed to May 7.

Dance Odyssey competition Friday-Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

Chapel Choir spring concert tour: Friday at Hamilton Mennonite Church, Saturday at Niagara United Mennonite Church, Sunday at Floradale Mennonite Church, all concerts 7:30 p.m.

Pharmacy building electrical power shut down Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., for high-voltage connection to new medical building.

Art gallery reception: Opening of “Performative Gestures” by fine arts graduate student Miranda Urbanski, Saturday 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Render gallery, East Campus Hall (exhibition through April 30).

Bike for AIDS fund-raiser sponsored by World University Services of Canada, Sunday 12:00 to 4:00, Columbia Icefield. Details.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 27-30, Davis Centre. Details. Keynote address: Howard Burton, former executive director of Perimeter Institute, “First Principles: The Crazy Business of Doing Serious Science”, Tuesday 1:30 p.m., Davis room 1350.

‘Permanent Residency: What You Need to Have to Prepare for It.’ Presentation by Canadian consulate in Buffalo, aimed at new UW faculty members, Monday 9:00 or 2:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 113. Details.

UW-ACE system will be down Tuesday 6:30 a.m., to Wednesday 12:00 noon.

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