Thursday, January 21, 2010

  • 'Prioritizing' to shape use of wireless
  • High schoolers invited to think about brain
  • A mumps warning and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Intense look from student at table]

'Applied Health Sciences held a successful student/alumni Speed Networking night on Tuesday," reports Mike Iley, the alumni advancement officer for AHS. "Modelled after speed dating, AHS students had the chance to meet and learn from alumni from their department. Eighteen alumni returned to campus to share their insights and wisdom about their careers and what to expect as students prepare for their transition to alumni. Pictured here, Anne Scanlon (Therapeutic Recreation ’89) answers student questions. The students were grateful to meet and learn from people who have been in their shoes, and the alumni found it rewarding coming back to campus to help students out by sharing their experiences and offering some insight."

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'Prioritizing' to shape use of wireless

Use of the on-campus wireless computer network is booming, growing “sometimes faster than our infrastructure can support well”, says a computing official in an announcement made online a few days ago. As a result, some technical changes are coming, including “prioritization” so that downloading of massive files doesn’t get more than its share of the available bandwidth.

Bruce Campbell, director of network services for Information Systems and Technology, writes that “Two important changes will be made to the campus wireless environment (excluding residence wireless) during the Winter 2010 term, in response to increasing usage and demands on shared resources. These changes are the use of NAT (Network Address Translation), and the deployment of an advanced network traffic management system.

“These changes should be transparent to most users, and no action is needed by users when the changes are made.”

Some background: “The use of wireless services has increased dramatically in recent years, in large part due to the popularity of wireless handheld devices. Each laptop or handheld device which connects to UW's wireless service is issued a public IP address. Public IP addresses are convenient and flexible, and are routed throughout the worldwide internet, but there is a limited supply of such addresses.

“Our only practical solution to public IP address exhaustion on wireless is to use private IP addresses, together with NAT. Most home computers connect to the internet this way, and the computer applications commonly used on laptops and handheld devices work well with NAT.”

Campbell’s memo continues: “Another impact of increased use of wireless services is increased network bandwidth use. UW has a 1 gigabit/second general internet service, which is shared by the entire organization, including student residences, campus wireless, student computer labs, and faculty and staff workstations. At peak times, about 25% of UW's available internet bandwidth (250 megabits/second) is attributed to peer to peer file sharing on campus wireless.

“UW's wireless service, like all UW computer services, is provided primarily to support and further the mission of UW. Some recreational use of the service is expected, and acceptable, of course. However, recreational use, particularly large file downloading, is now adversely impacting service for all wireless users, so some prioritization of wireless traffic is needed.

“Such peer to peer traffic will not be blocked, but the bandwidth available to it will be limited, so that users of other applications are less affected.

“This will be implemented with a traffic management appliance, a device which can recognize the different types of applications, and apply appropriate service policies. We hope wireless users at UW recognize that academic uses of our services deserve priority.”

In addition to these changes, says Campbell, “we are also deploying additional wireless APs (access points) in high load common areas, to support the growing demand.

“We ask that instructors who would like to use wireless in lecture rooms consult with IST well in advance of classes, as most lecture rooms offer basic wireless service only, suitable for use at the podium, and light use within the class. Providing good wireless service to all students seated in a classroom requires careful planning, and installation of additional equipment.

“If you find the wireless service poor in an area, for any reason, please report it to your faculty computer help desk, or the CHIP in MC 1052.”

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High schoolers invited to think about brain

To spark interest among high school students about neuroscience, the kinesiology department is issuing a call for participants for its second annual "Brain Bee" next month.

The event, open to students in Grades 9 to 12 in Waterloo Region and surrounding areas, is one of the brain bees scheduled across Canada this winter. On February 27, the Waterloo contest begins at 10 a.m. and takes place in the Sun Life Financial Auditorium in the Lyle S. Hallman Institute for Health Promotion building.

"The brain bee gives high school students an exciting opportunity to learn about the brain and about the importance of brain research," says kinesiology professor Aimee Nelson, who is co-ordinating the local contest with help from graduate students and psychology professor Jonathan Fugelsang. "It also brings the students to campus to meet researchers who are doing brain research and will hopefully attract young minds to the field of neuroscience."

It raises awareness about neuroscience by challenging students to answer questions about the brain. Students who are registered in the contest will answer multiple-choice questions anonymously by choosing their answer using clicker technology and compete for first- and second-place prizes.

Winners qualify for the national Canadian Institutes of Health Research Brain Bee, to be held in the spring at McMaster University in Hamilton. The Canadian champion will go on to compete in an international brain bee later this year.

To prepare for the test, students can use Brain Facts, a 74-page primer on the brain and nervous system published by the Society for Neuroscience. Brain Facts covers such topics as memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain-imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics and brain disease.

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A mumps warning and other notes

“Mumps are not just a kids’ disease,” says Ruth Kropf of UW's health services, who sends a warning — repeated from late in the fall term — there have been several cases of mumps in young adults in Ontario in recent weeks. “Health Services urges those in the following categories to seek mumps immunization: people born after 1970 and before 1992 because this cohort may have missed the second dose to effectively immunize against mumps; people immunized outside of Canada who may have received the first dose of mumps vaccination before the age of 12 months or vaccine which was not properly refrigerated. If you are unsure whether or not you have been immunized with the recommended two doses of vaccine, please check your health records by contacting your family physician or the public health department where you attended high school. Health Services welcomes  students, faculty, staff and union members in the above categories for mumps immunization between the hours of 9:30 and11:00 or 2:00 and 4:00 daily.”

The fully-stimulated crowd in the picture below are the members of this year's Federation Orientation Committee, who spent last weekend in intensive training and bonding, and are now ready to do the planning and leader selecting for September's orientation week. [Group picture of FOC members]("Week" is the word; UW's senate gave the okay Monday for a full-length orientation program, and fall term classes won't begin until Monday, September 13.) Becky Wroe of the Federation of Students staff notes that their work will include "hiring orientation leaders, ensuring that events are safe and welcoming for the first-year students, and meeting with faculty and staff members to coordinate the academic components of their programming. The Federation of Students and the Student Life Office are excited to plan UW Orientation with this wonderful team of student leaders."

Five student seats on UW's senate are coming open as of May 1, with the new senators to be chosen as part of the Federation of Students election in mid-February. Names of candidates for the five positions have now been announced. One person has been acclaimed: Jonathan Cluett will take a senate seat representing students in science. For arts there are three candidates: Luke Burke, Arjun Dhingra, and Juwairyah Khalid. For environment, five candidates: Adwitya Das Gupta, Joshua Jodoin, Kevin Knapp, Stephen Krysak, and Natalie Livshitz. For mathematics, four candidates: Ian Charlesworth, Ian Kasper, Jennifer (Jin Kun) Qiao, and Sarah Sun. And for an at-large seat, four candidates: Praveen Arichandran, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Yousif Al-Khder, and Reemah Khalid. Three other undergraduate seats on senate aren't coming open until May 2011.

And now, a word from Karlee Hall, a graduate student in the department of kinesiology: "Do you have a high metabolism and have trouble gaining weight or have a slow metabolism and have trouble maintaining or losing weight? Individuals that have a low metabolism may be more prone to diet-induced obesity. In order to examine whether increased metabolic efficiency of muscle contributes to human obesity, the Muscle Physiology Lab is conducting a research study to compare the metabolic efficiency of overweight/obese and non-obese individuals of the same age. Knowledge gained from this study will lead to improved understanding and possible treatments for obesity. If you are interested in being a participant for this study you can obtain more information by contacting chall@ Participants taking part in the study will receive financial remuneration of $50. This study has received ethics clearance through the Office of Research Ethics."

The last two sessions in a series providing information about housing for upper-year students next fall will be held at 10:00 tonight, one in Ron Eydt Village (north quad lounge) and one in Columbia Lake Village (the community centre). • Tomorrow's the deadline for nominations for a seat on the nominating committee for dean of environmental studies, as announced a few days ago. • The staff association, through its own nominating committee, is also looking to fill a seat on the ENV deanship committee.


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Link of the day


When and where

Change of coverage period for student health and dental plan continues through Friday. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Communicating and Facilitating in the Online Environment” 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops today: “Writing CVs and Cover Letters” 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Preparing for the LSAT” 1:30, Tatham 1208; “Teaching English Abroad” 2:30, 1208; “Career Interest Assessment” 2:30, Tatham 1112. Details.

Flu shots (H1N1 and seasonal) available at health services Thursdays, January 21 and 28, 2:30 to 4:00.

Chemical engineering seminar: Richard Jordan, University of Chicago, “Metal Catalyzed Copolymerization of Olefins” 2:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Graduate studies in mathematics information session for upper-year undergraduates 4:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute Distinguished Lecture: David R. Nelson, Harvard University, “Gene Surfing in Microorganisms” 4:00, Physics room 145, reception follows.

Alumni in Toronto: Networking event at Banana Republic, 6 p.m. Details.

Blood donor clinic today 10:00 to 4:00 and Friday 9:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Appointments 1-888-236-6283.

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy lecture: Alistair Miller, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., “Kicking Our CO2 Addiction” 6:00, Davis Centre room 1304. Details.

Arriscraft Lecture: Mitchell Joachin, Terreform One, New York, “Future Carborexic Cities” 6:30 p.m., Architecture building lecture hall, Cambridge.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo rehearsal 7 p.m., Ron Eydt Village great hall. Players still wanted. Details.

K-W Perl Mongers technical talks and pizza 7 p.m., Davis Centre room 3323. Details.

Payday for faculty and monthly-paid staff, January 22.

Drop, no penalty period ends January 22 (last day to withdraw with 100 per cent fee refund). Last day to register and pay fees, January 29.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel UC, breakfast seminar, “Life’s Big Three Questions” Friday 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre. Details.

Pension and benefits committee Friday 8:30 a.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Jason Testart, “How Policy 8 Came to Be” Friday 9 a.m., IST seminar room.

Engineering alumni ski day at Osler Bluff Ski Club, Collingwood, Friday. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Grading and Giving Feedback in the Online Environment” Friday 10:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Web redesign project open forum with White Whale Web Services, Friday 11:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

University Club “Themed Fridays”: January 22, French food, 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 33801.

‘Interview Skills: Preparing for Questions’ workshop Friday 1:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Daniel King and Gajan Sathananthan, Engineers Without Borders, Friday 1:30, Math and Computer room 4061.

Philosophy colloquium: John Turri, Huron University College, “The Express Knowledge Account of Assertion” Friday 4:00, Humanities room 373.

Live at the Bombshelter pub: Arkells, Saturday, doors open 9 p.m., advance tickets $15 at Federation of Students office.

‘Jersey Boys’ at Toronto Centre for the Arts, Saturday, bus trip leaves Davis Centre 12:00 noon, tickets $35 (note reduced price) from Federation of Students office.

Fall term grades become official January 25.

‘Bridging the Gap to Retirement’ workshop presented by Employee Assistance Program, Monday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Education Credit Union guest speaker: Eva Englehutt, “RRSP, Evaluating Your Options” Tuesday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302. RSVP janinew@

Town hall forum organized by Federation of Students, discussion of the first-year experience, Wednesday 5:00 to 7:00, Student Life Centre.

Social Innovation Generation lecture: Adam Kahane, Reos Partners, “Power and Love” Wednesday 7 p.m., CIGI, 57 Erb Street West, admission $25 includes copy of book, registration e-mail siglecture@

International Spouses group: Ruth Kropf, health services, “Navigating Ontario’s Health Care System” Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre. Details.

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