Monday, June 22, 2009

  • Digital talk in Ottawa; other summer notes
  • Perimeter announces festival for October
  • Alzheimer's authors will speak tomorrow
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Chatting with student]

The Ontario minister of citizenship and immigration, Michael Chan, visited campus on Thursday and spoke to about 175 people at a briefing event about the new Provincial Nominee Program. It’s a plan aimed at international students and foreign workers who want to stay permanently in Canada, in this case Ontario. Photo by Ceylan Turkeri of Waterloo International.

Digital talk in Ottawa; other summer notes

On this first hot day of a hot summer week, UW president David Johnston will be in Ottawa — and so will Tom Jenkins of Open Text Ltd. and Mike Lazaridis of Research In Motion. They're all taking part in a one-day forum on "Canada's Digital Economy: Moving Forward". Hosted by the federal industry minister, Tony Clement, it's intended "to identify the key areas of action necessary for Canada to regain its leadership position", and for some of those present will be a direct follow-up to the Canada 3.0 forum hosted by UW in Stratford two weeks ago. Johnston will speak as part of the day's last panel discussion, along with Jenkins, Andrew Sloss of eBay and Kijiji, and Bernard Courtois of the Information Technology Association of Canada.

Online appointments are under way using the new version of Quest, and undergraduate students are making the more-or-less-final choice of their fall term courses. "When you sign into your enrollment session for the fall 2009 term," an e-mail memo from the registrar's office told 21,800 students, "you'll see courses scheduled for you as a result of your pre-enrollment selections, or course selections done for you by your school or department. You'll still be able to add, drop, or swap courses to finalize your fall schedule."

"Now that the travel season is here," writes Alex McCulloch of the library's circulation department, "we are getting more questions about whether library materials can be taken out of town without being subject to recall. The answer is no — library books are purchased in order to be available to all users and therefore they are always subject to recall. If someone is heading to the cottage for a few weeks, or out of country, they should be leaving their books in Waterloo and making arrangements with a friend to receive their recall notices if they will be away from email, i.e. have us change their Trellis email to their friend’s email. They should also be providing access to their friend so the materials can be brought back, otherwise they will incur the recall fines."

"Do you text?" asks a memo here. "Do you iPod? We are looking for volunteers to take part in a study on mobile hand held device use and any related health or comfort troubles experienced during their use. As a participant in this study, you would be asked to fill out a 5-8 minute computer-administered confidential questionnaire. If you would like to participate, please follow this link. This study is being conducted by Richard Wells and Sophia Berolo, Department of Kinesiology, and Benjamin Amick, Institute for Work and Health. If you wish more information, please contact Sophia Berolo at sberolo@ The study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the office of Research Ethics, University of Waterloo."

[Henderson]"After 40 years of dedicated service," a memo announces, "Paul Henderson is retiring from the University of Waterloo." Henderson (right) is a well-known staff member in the computing systems services unit of Information Systems and Technology, and has been a staff member, according to human resources, since April 1969. He'll be the guest of honour at a retirement party Wednesday, starting at 3:30 at the University Club. RSVPs go to elmartin@

Anne Puncher, department secretary in the department of applied mathematics, officially retired on June 1, winding up a UW career that began in 1983. • For the rest of the summer, an exhibition about Canadian telescopes continues in the Davis Centre library, helping to mark the International Year of Astronomy. • At Friday's professional development conference in the information systems and technology department, the speaker was Dianne Naughton, reporting on her visit to the annual National Association of Broadcasters trade show.

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Perimeter announces festival for October

a news release from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

For 10 days this October, the Perimeter Institute’s 10th anniversary science celebration "Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future" will take a global audience from the strange subatomic world to the outer frontiers of the universe.

“Ideas developed in the pursuit of pure knowledge have time and again driven fundamental innovation”, says Perimeter Institute director Neil Turok. “Just one major discovery is literally capable of changing the world. The Festival’s three interconnected themes of Quantum, Cosmos and Ideas for the Future will celebrate human ingenuity and our continued ability to make the scientific breakthroughs we need to drive tomorrow's technologies.”

Events will take place from October 15 to 25, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Perimeter’s creation, contributing to Canada's National Science and Technology Week activities, and providing one of the world’s most interesting on-site and online destinations during this International Year of Astronomy.

An extensive program will feature more than 50 events, including keynote presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, film screenings, world premieres and cultural events that will showcase a wide variety of fascinating topics such as new forms of quantum communication, scientific visualization, the future of robotics, green technologies, personal genetics, and even the possibility of life on other planets.

Says John Matlock, Perimeter’s director of outreach and external relations: “Quantum to Cosmos will transcend traditional science festivals. Not only will Q2C presentations inspire tens of thousands of on-site visitors here in Waterloo, Ontario, the ideas and information will be shared with hundreds of thousands more via live television broadcasts throughout Ontario and Canada as well as live website streaming of most events to online audiences around the world.”

TVO, Ontario’s public educational media organization, will be the official Presenting Media Partner for the festival. TVO’s coverage will include five special editions of TVO’s flagship current affairs program The Agenda with Steve Paikin broadcast live from Perimeter Institute’s soaring Atrium. There will also be lectures and panel discussions recorded in the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas for later broadcast on TVO's Big Ideas series, plus cameras and hosts on location throughout exhibit areas in Waterloo, capturing unique content for inclusion in after-school programming.

“At TVO we’re always looking for innovative ways to engage people in the issues, ideas and conversations that shape our world,” says CEO Lisa de Wilde. “This is a unique opportunity to open up access to the world’s leading scientific thinkers, and to demystify their sometimes complex ideas for families across Ontario, and beyond.”

Confirmed speakers and panel guests include Stewart Brand, president, The Long Now Foundation; Sean B. Carroll, author and biologist, University of Wisconsin; Michael Griffin, former Administrator of NASA; and Lawrence Krauss, author and director of the Origins Initiative, with many others still to be announced. In addition, many leading experts will appear via multi-media presentations.

Visitors will be able to inspect a full-scale model of the next Mars Rover, named “Curiosity”, which replicates in every detail the SUV-sized Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) due to blast off in October 2011; learn how quantum physics contributes to technology as they witness a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) machine in action; and experience the mysteries of the universe under a “Big Top” in the Waterloo town square with exciting hands-on science activities, presentations for families and an immersive 3-D journey through the cosmos.

A science film festival will be centred in the Princess Cinemas, with daytime activities for school groups and evening and weekend screenings for general audiences. This venue will also feature “The Physics of Innovation,” an inspirational presentation that shows how our scientific exploration of nature can help explain reality and allow us to build cool stuff.

The Festival will also include “Science in the Pub” discussions with festival speakers following the lectures, broadcasts and screenings, and cultural activities from Jazz in the Black Hole Bistro to the world premiere of ”Quantum Quartet” by composer Kotoka Suzuki, for string quartet, interactive video, dancers, and quantum computer.

Tickets for the free events will be available online starting Tuesday, September 1, and the public can sign up online now to receive email alerts on new speakers and events as they are confirmed.

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Alzheimer's authors will speak tomorrow

a news release from the UW media relations office

UW's Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program will hold a public event tomorrow with two guest speakers on how to communicate better with people with dementia. MAREP, a trail-blazing program that integrates research and educational activities to improve dementia care practices, will host the event, entitled Re-Connecting and Re-Learning How to Communicate with Persons with Dementia, Tuesday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Sun Life Financial Auditorium, Lyle S. Hallman Institute for Health Promotion.

Speakers at the free event, which is aimed at persons with dementia, family members, health professionals, researchers and students:

• Heather Menzies, who will read from her new book Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia, and Coming Home. As Alzheimer’s seemingly turned her mother into a stranger, she struggled to reconnect and forged a new language of communication that steadied them through to the end. Menzies is a professor at Carleton University's school of Canadian studies and the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's Studies.

• Richard Taylor, who will speak about his book Alzheimer’s from the Inside Out. He will also discuss ways to involve people living with a diagnosis of dementia in conversations with health care professionals and family care partners. A former psychologist and himself a person living with dementia, Taylor is an articulate, thoughtful, and humorous international speaker.

"We seek to provide safe spaces for the voices of persons living with dementia and their family partners in care to be heard," said Sherry Dupuis, director of MAREP. "This is the only way we can truly find ways to ensure the quality of life of those diagnosed with dementia and their family members. Communication is a dynamic, two-way process that involves active listening and requires all to look at the many creative ways persons with dementia find to communicate with us."

MAREP researches new ways of communicating, interacting and connecting with others in order to implement effective approaches for care of persons living with dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a term used to describe a group of brain disorders that cause memory loss and a decline in mental function over time. At present, there is no known cause or cure for Alzheimer's disease.

The number to call to register for the event is ext. 32920.


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Link of the day

Discovery Day in Newfoundland

When and where

Waterloo Engineering Competition sponsored by Engineering Society and Sandford Fleming Foundation, opens today 10:00 a.m., continues through Saturday. Details.

Co-op job ranking for fall term closes 2:00 p.m.; match results available 4:00 p.m.

Senate long-range planning committee 3:00, Needles Hall room 3004.

[Lamb]Larry Lamb, Faculty of Environment ecology lab, retirement open house 3:30 to 5:00, Environment I courtyard, RSVP ext. 33463.

Joanne Wade, retired from office of student awards, recognition reception 4:00 to 6:00, University Club, RSVP bdenomme@

K-W Little Theatre auditions for fall production of “The Beggar’s Opera”, June 22-24, 7 to 10 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113. Details.

Retirees Association bus trip to “Humour in Orillia” Tuesday, sold out. Details.

Alzheimer Research and Education Program presents authors Heather Menzies and Richard Taylor, “Re-Connecting and Re-Learning How to Communicate with Persons with Dementia” Tuesday 1:00, Hallman Institute room 1621.

Lectures in Quantum Information series by Anthony Leggett, “The physics of topological quantum computing: selected topics”, continues June 23, 25 and 30, and July 2, 2 p.m., Research Advancement Centre room 2009. All welcome.

‘Wikis’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Tuesday 3:00 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

‘Rare Siting’ ideas competition exhibition and results announcement Tuesday 3:00, Architecture building loft, Cambridge.

Economic discussion: Waterloo Investment Research Exchange presents experts from business, UW and WLU speaking on “Where Is the Economy Headed?” Tuesday 6:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Department of English presents Peter Crisp, Chinese University of Hong Kong, speaking on the cognitive dimensions of allegory, Wednesday 9:00, Dana Porter Library room 329.

‘Getting the Most out of ACE’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Wednesday 1:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Health informatics seminar: Jim Shave, Cerner Canada, “Hospital Information Systems: The Promise and Reality”, Wednesday 3:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Farm market operated by UW food services and volunteers, Thursday 9:00 to 1:00, Environment I courtyard.

Cognitive Science presents Raymond W. Gibbs Jr., University of California at Santa Cruz, “Embodiment in Metaphorical Imagination” Thursday 1:00, PAS building room 1229.

‘Using the Action Editor and Beyond’ workshop organized by Centre for Teaching Excellence, Thursday, June 25, 1:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

John Starr Hamel, department of electrical and computer engineering, memorial service Thursday, June 25, 3:00, St. Jerome’s University chapel.

Liz Vinnicombe, office of research, retirement reception Thursday, June 25, 3:00, University Club, information ext. 33432.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Paul Van Oorschot, Carleton University, “Learning about Human-Computer Interaction Through Graphical Passwords” Thursday, June 25, 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Infusion Angels innovation event: “From Concept to Production: Prototyping with Expression Blend 3” Thursday, June 25, 5:00, Accelerator Centre, 195 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Department of English presents Mary Thomas Crane, Boston College, “Analogy, Metaphor, and the New Science” Thursday, June 25, 7:00 p.m., St. Jerome’s University room 3014.

Students for Palestinian Rights present Abdel-Rahman Lawendy, medical volunteer during the recent Gaza war, Thursday, June 25, 7:00, CEIT room 1015.

Friday's Daily Bulletin