Tuesday, June 23, 2009

  • Parking fees rise; soon, so do garages
  • Faculty members on sabbatical this term
  • Engineering competition and hot weather
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Happy students and their cartoon dreams]

‘Each individual gift has made a difference,’ says a letter that’s gone out to UW faculty, staff and retirees in the days since the annual Keystone Campaign picnic early this month. “Each year,” it reminds readers, “the Keystone Campaign raises funds for projects that impact our entire community. In the last year alone, gifts have been made to more than 400 different projects. . . . You may also choose to direct your support to the current university-wide funding priority, our President’s Scholarships.” The card that highlights the mailing shows six students, each with a pop-out paper clip that represents a dram: “accessible medicine, clean energy, improved education. . . . By supporting Waterloo, you help turn these dreams into reality.”

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Parking fees rise; soon, so do garages

Parking fees across campus will be going up in September, the parking services office has announced.

“Rates have not been raised since 2005,” its memo says, “yet costs related to maintenance and staff have steadily increased. A schedule of yearly increases has been approved and will take effect on September 1, 2009.” It adds that the changes are “supported by the Parking Advisory Committee”, which includes faculty, staff and student representatives.

The memo goes on: “Parking availability is becoming a challenge as new buildings are erected, particularly on the south campus. The Campus Master Plan recognizes the need for parking structures in the future and UW Parking Services is in the process of identifying a consultant to assist with this major project.”

Meanwhile, rates for existing parking lots will go up each fall for the next four years. Faculty and staff members, who currently pay $28 a month (plus tax) for parking, will pay $32 as of September 2009; $34 in September 2010; $36 in September 2011; and $38 in September 2012.

Students who buy permits for the residence and unreserved parking lots, currently priced at $100 per term (plus tax), will pay $120 as of this September; $130 as of September 2010; $140 as of September 2011; and $150 as of September 2012.

Stand-along motorcycle permits are rising from $25 per term to $30 as of September.

A final note in the memo: “UW Parking Services has incentives for those able to car-pool and is working with Grand River Transit in hopes of acquiring a discounted transit pass for members of the UW Community.”

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Faculty members on sabbatical this term

Here’s a list of some UW faculty members who are currently on sabbatical leave. Their plans for the sabbatical are as reported to UW’s board of governors at the time the leave was approved.

Keith Hipel, systems design engineering (six months starting March 1): “Research will be pursued for advancing the scope of systems engineering approaches to conflict resolution with respect to competition, cooperation and meaningful combinations thereof. Specific topics include expanding the realm of applicability of the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution and Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis in group decision making and negotiation, as well as cooperative game theory in fair resource allocation.”

James Craig, civil and environmental engineering (six months starting March 1): “I plan to complete multiple research papers both independently and with graduate students. I will be in Waterloo working closely with graduate students except for a 3-week period during which I will be working abroad in Australia with colleagues.”

Rudolph Seviora, electrical and computer engineering (six months starting March 31): “During the sabbatical leave I will carry out research on schemes and techniques for infection-tolerant computing, in particular for tolerance to identity-theft malware such as keyloggers and certain families of bots. The research will consider similarities with the more advanced area of software fault tolerance. The leave will also be used to strengthen and update my computer security background, including recent trends in malware and its exploitation for financial gain.”

Rod McNaughton, management sciences (twelve months starting May 1): “My sabbatical research will focus on the emerging area of international entrepreneurship. Visits are planned to research centres that focus on the phenomenon of rapidly internationalizing technology ventures. Anticipated outcomes include publications, international linkages that facilitate comparative research and increased awareness of UW as a global leader in commercializing technology through entrepreneurial start-ups.”

Chris Godsil, combinatorics and optimization (six months starting May 1): “I want to complete a book, and I want to learn more physics, in order to build on my successful collaboration with workers in Quantum Computing.”

Brendan McConkey, biology (six months starting May 1): “This sabbatical leave will be used to develop techniques to address one of the major outstanding problems in computational biology, accurate ab initio prediction of protein folding. A novel computational approach will be developed using a search procedure based on distance geometry and cellular automata, and a scoring function based on statistical analysis of known protein structures.”

Guenter Scholz, physics and astronomy (six months starting May 1): “Plans are for collaborative nano-related TEM research. Presently there is no alternative at UW to the high resolution TEM service I provide. Specific studies include nano-diamonds from exploding munitions (military at Valcartier), industrial nanocomposites with Eng. As well, in lieu of a service contract, preventive maintenance and electronic updates for the TEM and its ancillary electronics are needed.”

Nicholas Wormald, combinatorics and optimization (twelve months starting May 1): “I plan to visit specific researchers in Poland, in Barcelona and in Georgia. I will also be a core participant in IPAM at UCLA in Fall ’09, where I will work on research with other attendees. I will also work at Waterloo on a book and papers.”

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Engineering competition and hot weather

It’s under way, for the first time but not the last: the Waterloo Engineering Competition. A web site explains that “the UW Engineering Society (EngSoc) and the Sandford Fleming Foundation (SFF) are working together in a joint effort to hold a prominent engineering competition as a way to select teams to represent the University of Waterloo at the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC). The OEC is held every February, with the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) following in March. The top two winning teams from the OEC in each category get to advance to the CEC. Starting in 2010, the top two winning teams from the CEC in the Senior Team Design and Consulting Engineering categories will advance to the International Engineering Competition (IEC).” It explains that the on-campus WEC will be held twice a year, in June and October, with competition in five categories: Junior Team Design, Senior Team Design, Consulting Engineering, SFF Debates, and SFF Technical Speaking. In a sixth category, Innovative Design, there will be competition every January. So this is the week, with debates at noontime Monday through Wednesday and the finals on Friday, technical speaking scheduled for Thursday, and then a big weekend of design and consulting presentations. I’m hoping somebody will be taking photos.

Friday’s Daily Bulletin reported on a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support research on childhood obesity that’s headed by Rhona Hanning of the UW department of health studies and gerontology. She writes to stress that another faculty member, Len Tsuji of environment and resource studies, is also involved, along with a team of graduate students who are getting “unique exposure to remote northern First Nation communities in Ontario” as a result. Says Hanning: “To implement the web-based survey of food intake and physical activity in Cree school children living in Hudson and James Bay regions of northern Canada they travel by plane and, depending on the season, by boat, snowmobile or pick-up truck. Food is expensive and access often limited in these communities. On a visit to the north in late May and early June, their school snack program exposed some students to kiwi fruit and cantaloupe for the first time.”

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, one of the big cultural institutions in central Waterloo, held its annual general meeting last week and took time to honour long-time volunteer Willy Nassau, retired from Wilfrid Laurier University but going strong in many community roles. Says a CCGG news release: “Over the years Wilhelm, in turns, has helped the Director, Curator, Educator, Marketing person and the Gift shop Manager with his good advice and media support and knowledge of fine glass and ceramics. Mr. Nassau has photographed every piece of art in the permanent collection and has visually documented most of the events at the Gallery. He has the ability to curate and assemble a complete exhibition in a gallery or a museum. He is cognizant of digital technology and uses it in his work rerecording video in the Gallery’s archive. His deft hands have fixed many of a family ceramic heirloom as his skills as a restorer in this region are also noted. With a generous and friendly nature he dedicates days of service to the University of Waterloo for their various collections, as well as at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Glass Museum in Austria, where he is giving two weeks to document some aspect of that museum’s programming.” Another development of interest down on Caroline Street: the gallery has received a “Cultural Properties Designation” from the federal department of heritage, meaning that, as another news release exults, “we can now collect national treasures.”

And now that everybody's talking about heat, let's look back a few weeks. It was “pretty much an average spring for snowfall”, but “the wettest spring since 2004” overall, says Frank Seglenieks of the UW weather station, who issued his quarterly summary within hours of the change of seasons on Sunday. He writes: “The final numbers put the daytime highs about 0.6 degrees below average and the nighttime lows about 0.2 degrees below. This works out to 0.4 degrees less than average overall and that's close enough to zero to make the temperature average for the spring. But for those who thought it seemed really cold this year, it was the coldest spring since 2003. It has been pretty steady since late May (the last time we had a daytime high that was more than a full degree above average was back on May 24) and I think this has made people wonder if the warmer temperatures are ever going to arrive. Total precipitation for the season was 264.6 mm, which is just 0.2 mm above the average range and thus we can call it an above average spring for precipitation. There were no particularly large storms during the season (the highest daily precipitation was 29.4 mm, pretty good, but not spectacular) and no extremely long periods of dry conditions, just 11 dry days in April.”


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Link of the day

UN Public Service Day

When and where

Class enrolment appointments for fall term courses; appointments June 22-27 for continuing students, July 13-26 for new students; open enrolment begins July 27.

Retirees Association bus trip to “Humour in Orillia” today, 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” 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, 3:00 p.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

‘Rare Siting’ ideas competition exhibition and results announcement 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?” 6:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

K-W Little Theatre auditions for fall production of “The Beggar’s Opera” continue today and Wednesday 7 to 10 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 113. 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.

Paul Henderson, information systems and technology, retirement reception Wednesday 3:30, University Club, RSVP elmartin@ uwaterloo.ca.

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.

International Spouses visit to Earth Sciences Museum Thursday 1:00, CEIT building, free guided tour, children welcome. Details.

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

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

Liz Vinnicombe, office of research, retirement reception Thursday 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 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

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

Menlo Park, California: Canadian consulate Canada Day reception, UW alumni participation, Thursday 6:30, Quadrus Conference Centre. Details.

Department of English presents Mary Thomas Crane, Boston College, “Analogy, Metaphor, and the New Science” Thursday 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 7:00, CEIT room 1015.

Drop, penalty 1 period ends (last day to receive a WD grade), June 26.

Workshop on Cognitive Allegory sponsored by department of English, cognitive science, faculty of arts and St. Jerome’s, Friday, Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s University. Details.

Brian Bradley, UW police, retirement reception Friday 4:00, University Club.

The New Quarterly bus tour of Queen’s Bush settlement, followed by African feast, to explore The Book of Negroes, this year’s One Book One Community selection, with author Lawrence Hill, Saturday, tickets $70. Details.

Bike repair for beginners sponsored by WPIRG and UW Bike Centre, Saturday 1:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre room 101A, $15 deposit. Details.

Warrior Weekend events in Student Life Centre June 26 and 27 from 9 p.m., including salsa dancing, casino night, sundae and coffee bar, crafts, movies. Details.

Redwood City, California: Digital Moose Lounge Canada Day picnic, Saturday 1:30, Huddart Park. Details.

Pre-enrolment for winter 2010 term undergraduate courses, June 29 to July 5 on Quest.

Canada Day holiday Wednesday, July 1, UW offices and most services closed; classes cancelled; annual celebrations and fireworks on the north campus 2:00 to 11:00.

Summer session classes begin July 2.

Spring term classes end Wednesday, July 28. Exams August 4-15; unofficial grades begin appearing on Quest August 17; grades become official September 21.

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