Wednesday, February 3, 2010

  • Ian Goulden will be new dean of math
  • Alvin Dust remembered; others in the news
  • Flying doctors, ice dogs, and other worthies
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Ian Goulden will be new dean of math

Ian Goulden, new math deanA memo sent out today by President David Johnston announces the appointment of Ian Goulden (right), a professor in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, as the new dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, for an initial five-year term beginning July 1. The memo, which was sent to faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Mathematics, the president of MathSoc, members of Executive Council, and heads of the Federated University and Affiliated Colleges, continues:

"The appointment was unanimously recommended for consideration by the nominating committee established under UW Policy 45 and has been approved by the Board of Governors and Senate. Professor Goulden will succeed Tom Coleman, who completes his term as dean on June 30, 2010.

"Ian Goulden completed his BMath (1976), MMath (1977) and PhD (1979) in combinatorics and optimization and statistics at the University of Waterloo. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization since 1980, initially as an NSERC University Research Fellow, and was promoted to professor in 1990. Professor Goulden has made a substantial commitment to administrative service throughout his career at the university, including multiple terms (1988-1993, 1996-1998, 2009-present) as department chair. He is well-known for his research in algebraic and enumerative combinatorics, and is co-author of the classic graduate monograph "Combinatorial Enumeration," together with more than 85 papers in refereed journals. Professor Goulden is also highly regarded as a teacher, receiving the Faculty of Mathematics Award for Distinction in Teaching in 2009.

"The appointment of Professor Goulden as dean has overwhelming support from both the faculty and staff constituencies within the Faculty of Mathematics. This confirms the committee’s strongly held view that Professor Goulden should be recommended to succeed Tom Coleman as dean.

"I wish to add my own strong personal support for this appointment. Professor Ian Goulden is an alumnus, an experienced administrator and accomplished leader, as well as a highly respected scholar and educator. Professor Goulden will bring wisdom, commitment and energy to the position and will help strategically develop the Faculty of Mathematics in the years to come. He will also be a valued member of UW’s senior administrative team and I look forward to working with him. I know Professor Goulden can count on the support of the entire UW community as he takes up his new challenge."

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Alvin Dust remembered; others in the news

Alvin Dust, professor emeritus, EnglishAlvin Dust (right), an English professor at Waterloo from 1960 to when he retired in 1990, is remembered in an article by Valerie Hill in the Record of February 2. One of the founders of the department, he was a specialist in Restoration literature and a great supporter of theatre in the region. A former student and colleague, Paul Beam, is quoted in the article as saying: "Al's strengths were his enthusiasm for his subject matter . . . and his attention to what students actually wrote. I had opportunity to read a number of the marked essays he returned, done in detail, with compassion and encouragement." Professor Dust died on December 27, 2009. The obituary is here.

A Canadian Press article published on CTV’s website on January 31 charges that “an increasingly unacceptable number of post-secondary students” can’t write properly, and that “little or no grammar teaching, cellphone texting, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” are being blamed. The article notes that “Ontario's Waterloo University is one of the few post-secondary institutions in Canada to require the students they accept to pass an exam testing their English language skills.” Ann Barrett, who directs the English Language Proficiency Exam (ELPE) at Waterloo, is quoted as saying that "Thirty per cent of students who are admitted are not able to pass at a minimum level," and that the failure rate has risen to 30 per cent from 25 per cent in the last few years.

Rick Haldenby, director, school of architectureA recent article by Maria Cook in the Ottawa Citizen reports that Rick Haldenby (left), director of the Waterloo School of Architecture, is among the “high-profile talent” recruited by the City of Ottawa to serve on the three-person design-review panel for the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. The panel is to guide an international design competition for redesigning the aging downtown fairground’s public spaces and buildings, as well as green space next to the Rideau Canal. The article notes that “Haldenby’s research interests include the design of mid-sized cities,” and refers to the relocation of the architecture school to a former industrial building in Cambridge, a move led by Haldenby, as “a highly successful example of urban redevelopment.”

Yes, you can keep kids from hooking up too early, if you approach the topic the right way. That’s the finding of a study co-authored by Waterloo psychology professor Geoffrey Fong, and published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine on February 1. "We took the religion out of it," says Fong, as reported in a Globe and Mail article February 2. He says current abstinence programs typically have a strong religious message, emphasizing morality and sometimes using pressure tactics. “‘They are trying to scare kids with information that is dubious from a scientific point of view.’ . . .  In the study, the small group sessions focused on communication — teaching kids how to make their own decision about whether to have sex and how to respond to the pressure to have it — without ‘making a value judgment,’ Dr. Fong says.” The press release from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, which led the study, is here.

History professor Andrew Hunt has set himself the task of convincing Sarah Palin to turn vegan. An article by Greg Mercer in the February 2 Record says that Hunt, an American-Canadian dual citizen and recent convert to veganism after some 40 years of eating meat, plans to send a new letter every week for a year to the outspokenly carnivorous former Republican vice-presidential candidate. “He plans to write about animal rights, health benefits of veganism, personal anecdotes about his own experience and even recipes. . . . ‘I intend to send them to her very religiously. I intend to persuade her that this is a much better way,’ Hunt said. ’I intend to write them as if I'm sitting at the dinner table with her.’” He plans to eventually publish the letters as a book and donate the proceeds to animal sanctuaries.

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Flying doctors, ice dogs, and other worthies

Emma Dines, actorIndependent studies student Emma Dines appears as Sabine in “The Flying Doctor,” one of two Commedia dell’Arte plays being staged this week by the drama department under the title “Masks on Meds.” “Step into a world where doctors and charlatans use both their knowledge and idiocy to cure their desperate patients,” says director Gabrielle Houle, promising “a delectable taste of popular entertainment, masked performance, sense of improvisation and actors’ inventions.” Performances are today through Saturday at 8 p.m. in Studio 180 of Hagey Hall of the Humanities.

A reminder that the deadline for submitting abstracts for the Graduate Student Research Conference: Sharing Discovery is next Monday, February 8. This four-day conference “highlights the best graduate student research being conducted on campus and promotes the development of the graduate student community,” says Marta Bailey, GSO communications manager. “The conference will feature oral presentations, poster presentations, keynote speakers and a wine and cheese reception." More information at the website, or by email.

salt shakerThis is World Salt Awareness Week, we’re reminded by Sandy Ace, the university’s health services dietitian. “And the Heart and Stroke Foundation just released their annual report on Canadians’ Health which discusses the looming crisis and changing face of heart disease, especially in young adults and baby boomers. One of the main risk factors of heart disease, along with physical inactivity, obesity, smoking and diabetes, is high blood pressure. While most people are aware that using too much salt may affect blood pressure, Canadians still consume dangerously high levels of sodium – about double what the recommendations are.” Sandy recommends this “informative and interactive website with great information on top sources of sodium, how to reduce your sodium intake, myths and facts, and label reading.”

From the UW Staff Association: the deadline to apply for UWSA student awards for the winter 2010 term is Monday, February 15. UWSA offers three awards, each valued at $500: one for a graduate student, and the other two for undergrads. Details and application forms are available for the undergraduate awards and the graduate-level award.  

Jacob Glick, Google’s Canada Policy Counsel, speaks today, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., in the Humanities Theatre on “The Unified Theory of Everything (in Communications Policy).” His billing says that “the policy debates in Canada over the last two years around net neutrality, Canadian content online, copyright reform, the digital TV transition, the future of local TV and anti-spam legislation, are all reflections of a single technological and business transformation: the convergence of everything to the open internet. … Policy should seek to protect and promote the open internet rather than distort it to protect existing business models or technologies.” Please register if you plan to attend.

Sheila McConnell, administrative coordinator, Master of Health Informatics in the School of Computer Science, is also the volunteer director for the UpTown Waterloo Ice Dogs Festival, to be held this year on Saturday, February 20, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Waterloo Public Square. Volunteers are needed as ice slide coordinators and ambassadors, and for popcorn sales and crowd control. Contact Sheila at or ext. 33203.

CPA staff

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Link of the day

The day the music died

When and where

Federation of Students annual elections campaign period, through February 8. Polls open February 9 at 10 a.m., close February 11 at 8 p.m.

Imaginus poster sale February 3-5, Student Life Centre.

Job Fair sponsored by UW and other post-secondary institutions, today 10:00 to 3:30, RIM Park, Waterloo. Details.

‘Find books and more’ workshop on doing research in the UW library, February 3 or 11 at 10:00, February 22 at 1:30, March 1 at 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

School of Planning speaker: Kevin Eby, Region of Waterloo, “Aging in Place”, today 12:30, Environment I room 354.

Free noon concert: jazz duo Kevin Ramessar (guitar) and Matt Lima (bass), today 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Career workshop: “Work Search Strategies” today, February 3, 4:30 p.m., Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Columbia Lake Health Club lifestyle learning: “How Healthy Are You? Interpreting Your Annual Physical” today, 5:30, 340 Hagey Boulevard.

Perimeter Institute public lecture: Hod Lipson, Cornell University, “Mining Experimental Data for Scientific Laws” today 7:00, Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Details.

Chartered Financial Analyst:”Differentiating Yourself in a Tough Market” today 7:00, Math and Computer room 2066.

Observatory night with brief talk on astronomy, tour of UW observatory and chance to look through telescope, today 8:00, Physics room 308.

Certificate in University Teaching Research Projects Workshop, Thursday 9:30 to noon, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council national announcement of funding through Community-University Research Alliances, guests include UW vice-president (university research) George Dixon, Thursday 1:00, Village of Winston Park, Kitchener, by invitation, information ext. 33580.

Book launch by members of the English language and literature department. Thursday 3 - 4:30 p.m., Bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” Thursday 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

UW International Development Health Association and WPIRG present Samantha Nutt of War Child Canada, Thursday 5:30 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $5 at Federation of Students office or at door.

FASS 2010 (“Final Fassity MMX”) performances Thursday, February 4, 8:00; Friday, 7:00 and 10:00; Saturday 8:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Road closed at EV2 from Ring Road to ML, starting February 5, during construction of EV3.

Winter Carnival trip to Ottawa organized by International Student Connection, February 5-7, bus travel and two nights stay from $109 per person, tickets at Federation of Students office.

Centre for Knowledge Integration Speaker Series. Carla Fehr, Iowa State University. "Integrating Expertise: Improving the Advancement of Women and Minority Scientists." Friday, February 5, 1:30 - 3 p.m., Math & Computer Building room 4061

Career workshop: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” Friday, February 5, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Women's Studies Student Society. Meeting to form a student society: all welcome. Friday, February 5, 3 p.m., Hagey Hall room 119.

Philosophy colloquium: Carla Fehr, Iowa State University, “What's in it for me? The benefits of diversity in scientific communities." Friday, February 5, 4:00, Humanities room 373.

Author reading at St. Jerome’s University: novelist Austin Clarke, Friday, February 5, 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

Bombshelter Pub, Student Life Centre, presents Mudmen, Friday, February 5, doors open 9 p.m., advance tickets $5 at Federation of Students office.

Chapel Choir takes part in worship service Sunday, February 7, 10:45 a.m., St. Jacobs Mennonite Church.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Strategies for Effective Grant Writing” Monday, February 8, 1:00,  Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Federation of Students executive candidates’ debate Monday, February 8, 3:00 p.m., Student Life Centre.

Book reading and signing: Meg Westley, professor of speech communication, author of fantasy thriller Goddess Fire, Monday, February 8, 3:00, bookstore, South Campus Hall.

Cultural Encounters, Encountering Cultures series: Joan Coutu, fine arts, “Orientalism and 19th-Century Art” Monday, February 8, 4:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

Alumni in Los Angeles: reception at Canadian consulate, Monday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. Details.

Embassy Church Monday, February 8, 7:00, Humanities Theatre.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

• Information services and science manager, Geography, USG 10
• Mechanical repairperson, Plant Operations
• Assistant director, communication and outreach, Institute for Quantum Computing, USG 13

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