Friday, April 23, 2010

  • Many services shut down this weekend
  • 350 grad students show off their work
  • Two events next week talk teaching
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Many services shut down this weekend

A utilities shutdown from Saturday at 4 p.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m. will put many of the central campus buildings “off limits”, as announced in a memo from the provost earlier this week. It will also take some computer services out of operation, but the central web site, Quest and ACE are not affected.

The shutdown is planned so that utility hookups can be made to the new Quantum-Nano Centre. It comes at one of the quietest times of year, immediately after the end of winter term exams, which finish tonight. Residences will be empty, and almost no activity would be scheduled over the weekend anyway, so the main concern involves laboratories where equipment normally keeps running all the time.

Buildings in the north and east sections of the campus — from Ron Eydt Village to Chemistry II and the Davis Centre, and also Carl Pollock Hall — will be without electrical power, heat and ventilation. Police will clear and lock these buildings at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and re-open them on Sunday when power has been restored, the provost’s memo said. “These buildings will be absolutely off limits to everyone. Anyone found trespassing in these buildings may be subject to disciplinary measures.”

The same rule applies to Math and Computer, Matthews Hall, and the Doug Wright Engineering building, where emergency electrical power will be provided in some areas “to provide critical services”. The provost wrote: “These buildings will be absolutely off limits to everyone except security personnel and UW-designated individuals who have been authorized to be present.”

The southern part of the campus will have no heat and ventilation, but electrical power will be available. That includes Engineering 2 and 3, most science buildings, and the arts side of the campus. There are no special rules for those buildings, which will be open as much as they normally are on a weekend.

The four colleges along Westmount Road are not affected, nor are the Minota Hagey Residence (VeloCity), UW Place, Columbia Lake Village, or buildings in Kitchener and Cambridge.

A memo from the university safety office tells researchers that laboratories in buildings that will not have power this weekend should “suspend” operations from tonight until Monday morning. “Fume hoods and other ventilation will not be operating. Therefore do not leave hazardous materials or processes in fume hoods. Shut off compressed gases and gas supply lines to equipment. Turn off and unplug electrical devices prone to damage due to electrical failure. Defrost refrigerators and freezers to avoid water damage.”

The Student Life Centre will be closed from 2 p.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday. It’s the first time in years that the SLC and its turnkey desk won’t be in operation. Greyhound bus tickets can be purchased in advance, online, or at the Charles Street terminal in Kitchener; GO Transit tickets can be purchased in advance or from the driver.

The libraries are winding up their extended exam-time hours today; the Dana Porter Library will close at 11 p.m. and the Davis Centre library at midnight. Davis will be open from noon to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, closed on Sunday. Dana Porter will be open from noon to 5 p.m. both days.

The Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield will be closed Saturday and Sunday.

Backup power will keep some central computer servers in the Math and Computer building operating, providing support to the central web site and many computer-based services. The telephone system will be working.

However, other web servers, e-mail and other systems may be out of operation. For example, the main math computing system and all departmental and student web sites in math will be down. “The web sites of affiliated groups such as IQC and CMC will be unavailable,” says Ray Butterworth of the Math Faculty Computing Facility, “as will other campus-wide services such as Maple-TA. Also note that things won’t simply keep running until 4 p.m. on Saturday and instantly restart at 8 p.m. on Sunday. It takes hours to cleanly shut down all the equipment and then hours more to restart them.”

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350 grad students show off their work

a news release from the media relations office

Graduate students will present their diverse scholarly findings to the public next week at the largest research conference of its kind in Canada. At the 10th annual Sharing Discovery graduate student research conference, close to 350 master's and doctoral students will share their research through oral and poster presentations each day next week. The event will also feature several guest speakers, including a Canadian astronaut.

"The conference is important because it showcases the diversity of the work that the new generation of researchers are pursuing," said Sue Horton, associate provost (graduate studies). "The public are welcome to come and hear talks from young scholars at the frontiers of their disciplines, whose work will potentially change society and technology in the future."

Presentation topics range from diet and obesity to math anxiety, from robot manipulators to BlackBerry users and from women’s rights in the government to 3D computer landscape visualizations.

Sessions will be held in the Davis Centre, starting at 9 a.m. each day next week. The event is open to the public. The schedule and research paper abstracts are available online.

Astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, who did some of his early research at Waterloo, will deliver the keynote address, entitled "Living and Working in Space". He'll speak on Tuesday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre.

Another guest speaker will be Waterloo graduate Parker Mitchell, co-founder and co-CEO of Engineers Without Borders, who will be heard Thursday at 3 p.m. in Davis room 1351.

"The general public are encouraged to attend the two talks, to hear from two individuals who studied and researched at Waterloo, and who have gone beyond borders into space and internationally," Horton said.

Other feature speakers include David Harvey, chief member services officer, Alzheimer Society of Ontario (Monday at 1:00); Gordon Willmot, Munich Re Chair in Insurance, UW department of statistics and actuarial science (Tuesday at 11:00); Dan-Eric Nilsson, department of cell and organism biology, Lund University, Sweden (Tuesday 100); and Gerry Wright, director, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, McMaster University (Wednesday 1:00).

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Two events next week talk teaching

The Teaching Excellence Council and the Centre for Teaching Excellence will sponsor the annual Learning About Teaching symposium on Monday and Tuesday, an event that focuses on enhancing teaching and learning at the University of Waterloo.

Learning about Teaching begins on Monday at 2 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre, with the Presidents' Colloquium, an event hosted by the president of the University and the president of the Faculty Association. “All are welcome to attend this event,” says Donna Ellis, acting director of CTE. The colloquium is followed by a wine and cheese reception and book signing at 3:30 in the Humanities Theatre foyer.

The keynote speaker for this year is Catherine Wehlburg, a teacher, author and scholar who heads the Office of Assessment and Quality Enhancement at Texas Christian University. Her talk focuses on how instructors approach the assessment of our students' learning and is titled "Making Assessment Meaningful".

The symposium continues on Tuesday with two workshops that Wehlburg will facilitate. The first focuses on creating alignment in a course design and is entitled "Mapping Your Curriculum: Where Are You Going?" (9 to 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library). The second workshop further examines assessment choices and is called "Teaching, Learning, and Assessment: A Three-Legged Stool" (2-4 p.m., also in the Flex Lab).

"Registration in these workshops is free,” says Ellis, “but is limited and restricted to faculty members.”

A sub-committee of the TEC and staff from the CTE are organizing the symposium, she said. The committee includes Carey Bissonnette of chemistry, Ron McCarville of recreation and leisure studies, Bob Sproule of the school of accounting and finance, and Shelley Bacik and Ellis herself from CTE.

Ellis adds: “Dr. Wehlburg is continuing her stay at Waterloo and will deliver the opening keynote for our Opportunities and New Directions conference on April 28 — an event where you can learn about research that has been done by your colleagues here and at other institutions about the impact of their teaching practices. Dr. Wehlburg has also agreed to speak again at Wilfrid Laurier University's McGraw-Hill Ryerson conference being held April 29 and 30.”

She adds a little background about next week’s two separate teaching-related events: “The purposes of the LaT and OND are different. The LaT is to bring in an outside speaker and facilitator to promote general thinking and some skill building in a teaching/learning related topic that we in CTE and the Teaching Excellence Council believe will be pertinent to those who teach at UW, particularly our faculty members.

“The OND is intended to encourage and promote research on our own teaching practices and have a place to share the results of that research.  It has been fortunate that we have been able to share speakers for these two events (and hence the travel costs), but their talks are quite different at the two events. We have been fortunate to have engaged very versatile speakers.”


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'Discoloured' water is possible

The main campus and surrounding residential areas could be affected as the City of Waterloo carries out water main cleaning over the next few days. A schedule on the city’s web site — which is subject to change — suggests that work on the University Avenue pipes might take place today. Other areas would follow, including Columbia Street on April 29 or 30. “Customers may experience discoloured water,” says the city. “If necessary, you may continue to use your water at all times during this cleaning program.”

Link of the day

For England and St. George

When and where

Annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, proceeds to scholarship funds, today (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), First United Church, King and William Streets. Details.

Bill Oldfield, library, retirement coffee break 10:00, Dana Porter Library staff lounge, RSVP ajdandyk@

Standard Deviation Theatre presents “Drinking Alone” by Norm Foster, tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., Studio 180, Humanities building. Details.

Earth Day Eco-Showcase co-sponsored by UW faculty of environment, Saturday 1:00 to 5:00, Kitchener city hall. Details.

Shine Dance recitals in Humanities Theatre, Saturday-Sunday from 8 a.m.

Unofficial grades for winter term courses begin appearing on Quest April 26. Grades become official May 25.

Fee payment deadline for spring term is April 26 (promissory note) or April 29 (bank transfer). Details.

Stratford Campus announcement of UW-Zambia initiatives, with High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia, Monday 11:00, University Club, by invitation.

UW-ACE upgrade to Angel version 7.4: system will be down Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fire drills in most main campus buildings, Tuesday morning. (Not included: PAS, ERC, DC, PHY, E2, E3, RAC.)

Biochemistry and molecular biology seminar: Stephen G. Withers, University of British Columbia, “New Approaches to Enzymatic Glycoside Synthesis” Tuesday 10:30, CEIT room 1015.

UW Recreation Committee presents Chloe Hamilton, Warm Embrace  Elder Care, “Brain Fitness” Tuesday 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158.

All Science Challenge for students in grades 6-8, Wednesday. Details.

Advances in Health Informatics Conference 2010 hosted by NIHI, WIHIR, and schools of optometry and pharmacy, April 28-30, Health Sciences Campus, Kitchener.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference April 29-30, Ryerson University, Toronto. Details.

UW International Spouses potluck lunch Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

Engineering alumni and friends reception, “Designing the Future” Thursday 6:30 p.m., Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum. Details.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Bruce Riedel, terrorism expert and White House advisor, “Obama’s War: Prospects for the Conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan” Thursday 7:00, 57 Erb Street West.

Guelph-Waterloo Centre for Graduate Work in Chemistry and Biochemistry annual meeting April 30, 1:00, CEIT room 1015; seminar, Marcel Schlaf, U of Guelph, “Transition-Metal Catalyzed Deoxygenation” 3:00; poster session and awards presentations follow. Details.

PhD oral defences

Electrical and computer engineering. Sasan Adibi, “An Application Layer Non-Repudiation Wireless  System: A Cross Layer Approach.” Supervisor, Gordon B. Agnew. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, April 30, 9:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 1331.

Health studies and gerontology. Maria Thomson, “The Influence of Acculturation on the Prose Comprehension of Colon Cancer Information by English-as-a-Second-Language Immigrant Women.” Supervisor, Laurie Hoffman-Goetz. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Friday, April 30, 12:00 noon, Matthews Hall room 3119.

Civil and environmental engineering. Sara Sadri, “Frequency Analysis of Drought Using Stochastic and Soft Computing Techniques.” Supervisor, Don Burn. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, April 30, 1:00 p.m., Engineering II room 2348.

Electrical and computer engineering. Chenxi Zhang, “On Achieving Secure Message Authentication for Vehicular Communications.” Supervisor, Pin-Han Ho. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, April 30, 2:00 p.m., CEIT building room 3151.

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