Thursday, March 19, 2009

  • Committee seeks new dean for AHS
  • High schoolers unleash their robots
  • Google to use UW images, and more
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Committee seeks new dean for AHS

Faculty, staff and students in applied health sciences were told yesterday that Roger Mannell, the dean of AHS since 2005, doesn't want a second term in that job, and the nominating committee will be looking for a new dean.

Creation of the committee was announced in January, and a memo yesterday announced that "the nominating committee, constituted under the terms of Policy 45, is now in place and has held its first meeting." The committee is being chaired by Alan George, dean of graduate studies and former UW provost. Usually nominating committees for deans' positions are headed by the provost of the university, but current provost Amit Chakma is leaving UW on June 30 and wouldn't have been able to see the job through to the finish, so George was asked to fill in.

The usual first step for a nominating committee, when a dean is finishing his or her first term, is to consider a reappointment. But, George writes in yesterday's memo, "As chair, my first task was to inform the committee of Dean Roger Mannell’s decision not to stand for a second term. As such, the nominating committee will begin the process of identifying Dean Mannell’s successor, who will assume office July 1, 2010."

Over the next month, he wrote, "committee members intend to consult broadly, possibly including some individual interviews and/or meetings with small groups within the faculty. Notwithstanding, you are invited to convey your views on matters concerning the deanship to any member of the nominating committee. The committee especially seeks feedback on important issues and challenges facing the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

"If you prefer to respond in writing, your submission should be directed to Trenny McGinnis, the committee secretary (by mail, c/o University Secretariat in Needles Hall; by e-mail: trenny@; or by fax 519-888-6337). Comments should be received no later than April 8, 2009 and will be held in confidence within the committee."

Members of the committee:
Sandra Bullock, faculty member, Health Studies & Gerontology (ext. 32378; sbullock@
Pete Driezen, staff member, Population Health Research Group (ext. 35886; prdrieze@
Sue Fraser, staff member, Kinesiology (ext. 32968; fraser@
Alan George, committee chair (ext. 84800; jageorge@
John Hirdes, faculty member, Health Studies & Gerontology (ext. 32007; hirdes@
Dan James, undergraduate student, Kinesiology (djames@
Heather Mair, faculty member, Recreation & Leisure Studies (ext. 35917; hmair@
Josephine McMurray, graduate student, Health Studies & Gerontology (ext. 37053; djbmcmur@
Jim Rush, faculty member, Kinesiology (ext. 32126; jwerush@
Sue Shaw, faculty member, Recreation & Leisure Studies (ext. 35019; sshaw@
Bryan Smale, faculty member, Recreation & Leisure Studies (ext. 35664; smale@
John Thompson, Associate Vice-President, University Research (ext. 84465; jet@

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High schoolers unleash their robots

a news release from the UW media relations office

Ontario high school students keen about robots will compete this week in the first round of an international robotics competition being held at UW. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition challenges teams of students and their mentors to build robots to qualify for a final event to be held in April.

The robots are built in a six-week period using a standard parts kit and common set of rules. The high-tech sporting competition involves brainstorming, teamwork and mentoring. Referees oversee the contest and judges give awards for design, technology, sportsmanship and commitment.

This year's game, FIRST Lunacy, adds a twist in the form of a near-frictionless surface on which robots must manoeuvre. In teams of three, each robot will try to collect balls and score by getting them into trailers towed by the opposing team.

Today is a day of practice rounds in UW's Physical Activities Complex, and competitions, open to the public, will be held tomorrow and Saturday. Admission is free.

"Through FIRST, kids realize that building a robot can be fun and cool," said Rob Gorbet, UW professor of electrical and computer engineering and the planning committee chair for FIRST Robotics Waterloo Regional. "It gives them very real role models from outside the worlds of professional sports and entertainment," he said. "It's about opening their eyes to careers in math, engineering, science and technology — and it works."

Despite the lack of weapons, games are fast-paced and competitive, as well as fun for the whole family. Besides learning about science, math, engineering and technology, students must work with each other in a spirit of "co-opetition". Major sponsors for the Waterloo regional competition include Research In Motion, Youth Science Canada, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and UW itself.

Twenty-six teams involving about 400 students will participate in the event: 25 from Ontario and one from Québec. UW is one of two Canadian venues hosting a regional FIRST competition in 2009. The other Canadian regional takes place March 26-28 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

The annual contest involves more than 40,000 students on 1,650 teams in regional competitions in Canada, the United States, Israel and Brazil. The final championship, dubbed the "superbowl of smarts", will be held April 16-18 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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Google to use UW images, and more

The UW library’s e-newsletter reports that the Map Library’s 1,200 aerial photographs “have recently been made available to Google Earth, the popular online virtual globe program.” The aerial photo collection was featured in the Daily Bulletin last June, and subsequently in a UW news release, which apparently caught somebody’s attention: “Google Earth contacted Map Library staff to request copies of the historical images. With an eye to offering historical air photos to their users, Google Earth was interested in using the images as part of a pilot for writing a program that will georeference aerial photography. With historical imagery being incorporated into Google’s image collection in the latest release of Google Earth (version 5.0), UW’s imagery will be published and made available this March or April. The process of converting paper to digital began in October 2007 and involved the scanning and georeferencing of aerial photography of the Region of Waterloo from the 1930s and 1940s. The digitized images have been made available online, offering high and low resolution images, as well as PDF and KML formats. Once Google Earth adds the Library’s images to their collection, individuals will then have instant access to them through the virtual globe program.”

[McCutchan, hairless]"Sacrificing his hair and his dignity", according to a colleague, is Walter McCutchan of the information systems and technology department. Head-shaving is getting to be a customary way of raising money for cancer research, and McCutchan (left) let it happen to him at noontime Tuesday in the Computer Help and Information Place on the first floor of the Math and Computer building. The Canadian Cancer Society is some $750 better off as a result. (Difficulty, as they say on Fark: Tuesday being St. Patrick's Day, the hair and beard were green before being shaved off.)

Lock Up Your Hardware department: Staff Sergeant Chris Goss of the UW police sends word that “two Ontario universities were victimized within the last week by thieves seeking specific electronic equipment used for multi-media presentations and teleconferencing. Trent and McMaster both lost equipment of the following type: Crestor Rack 2 Media Processors, Polycom teleconferencing units and Crestron Audio Switchers. The equipment is expensive and has a very specific range of uses. Circumstances suggest this is an organized group targeting learning institutions. Persons on campus in possession of such equipment should be diligent about proper security measures. Any inquiries may be directed to Police Services.” Goss is at ext. 36966, and Sergeant Alan Binns is at ext. 35992.

Much of what appears in this Daily Bulletin is here because somebody requested or suggested it. For example, this e-mail message arrived recently from environment student Hanae Tokui: "I was wondering if you can promote our Peace Project Promotion days, which will take place in SLC. The dates are March 12 and 19 (Thursdays). The location: SLC boothing area (between the cafeteria and Wasabi). Purpose of the event: to promote our annual school event Yume (peace) Project that will take place in SLC Great Hall on March 24 and 25. We will be selling bubble tea from Sweet Dreams and the profit will be going to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as a donation. At the event on March 24 and 25, we will gather people in the great hall to fold a thousand cranes to send it off to Hiroshima along with the profit money from bubble tea and donation money."

The office of organizational and human development sends word that there's still space in a number of spring Skills for the Electronic Workplace courses, on topics such as Google Analytics, Securing Data, and Email Lists Using Mailman. • Alternatives Journal, published in UW's faculty of environment, is soliciting articles for an issue on "Canada as a transformed society", to be published later this year. • Yesterday's Daily Bulletin managed to misspell the name of long-time faculty member Jeffrey Shallit of the school of computer science.


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Link of the day

The swallows return

When and where

Blood donor clinic 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

‘Dragons’ Den’ series on CBC television visits in search of aspiring entrepreneurs to appear during the new season: auditions 11:00 to 6:00, Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

End-of-term recitals by UW music students today and March 24, 25 and 30, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Ontario Centres of Excellence overview seminar and “Characteristics of a Great Research Project” 1:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Employer panel: “Hot Tips from the Pros” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

‘The Case for Israel: Democracy’s Outpost’ by lawyer Alan Dershowitz and US delegate Jeff Robbins, 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1350.

Graduate Student Association annual general meeting 6:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 301. Details.

German film series: “Head-On” (2004), 6:00, East Campus Hall room 1220.

Arriscraft Lecture: John Shnier, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto, “The Best Average and Other Audacious Statements”, 6:30 p.m., Architecture lecture hall, Cambridge.

John Sitler, UW library staff, died March 15, visitation 7 to 9 p.m., Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener; memorial service to be announced.

Active and Community Transportation presents the film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” 7:00, Environment I coffee shop.

Drama department production of “Mad Forest” by Caryl Churchill, continuing through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets from Humanities box office, 519-888-4908.

Engineering play (details to be announced) March 19-21 8:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Canadian Regional Boot Camp for Technology Start-ups Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., UW Accelerator Centre, R+T Park. Limited registration. UW information: tellis@ or 519-342-2400. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Rose Padacz, office for persons with disabilities, and Andrea Chappell, IST, “Accessibility Standards in IT”, Friday 9:00, IST seminar room.

Wilfrid Laurier University March break open house (Waterloo campus) Friday 9:00 to 3:00.

Travel slide show: Andrew Smith on Scotland and Austria, Friday 12:15, Environment I room 221.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Eric Higgs, “On Connecting Dots and Clouds”, Friday 2:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Executive Awards Gala with presentation of 2008-09 Federation of Students awards, Friday 6:30 p.m., Federation Hall, dinner and dance tickets $15 at Federation office, Student Life Centre.

College Royal annual open house, University of Guelph, Saturday-Sunday. Details.

Science and Business Students Association presents "Fusion: The Economy of the Future” Saturday 8:00 to 5:00, Rod Coutts Hall. Details.

Niagara Falls visit and winery tour organized by International Student Connection, Saturday, buses leave Davis Centre 10 a.m., tickets $20 from Federation of Students office.

Global City Partnership launch of its its 0.7 Challenge, with keynote speaker Marc Kielburger, Free the Children, along with Canadian band Vacuity, Saturday 7 p.m., Wilfrid Laurier University athletic complex, tickets $10. Details.

Mechatronics engineering design symposium, 30 projects by fourth-year students, Monday 1:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Co-op Students of the Year award presentations Monday 2:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

UW Senate meets Monday 4:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Deloitte Speakers Series presents Michael Malcolm, former UW faculty member, founder of Kaleidescape Inc., “Creating a Technology-Based Company” Tuesday 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302, reservations e-mail c3hudson@

Muslim Student Association end-of-term dinner Tuesday 6:30 p.m., Student Life Centre lower atrium. Details.

‘Launching Your Career in Stormy Weather’ lecture for arts students by Larry Smith, department of economics, March 30, 4:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

Winter term classes end Friday, April 3; exams April 8-24. Unofficial winter term grades appear in Quest beginning April 27. Grades become official May 25.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin