Tuesday, May 25, 2010

  • 'Clean-up initiative' aimed at the junk
  • Making Canada a 'digital nation'
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

'Clean-up initiative' aimed at the junk

Back from the long weekend, and how’s your work environment looking? It could probably stand to be tidier and emptier, and that’s the idea of a “campus-wide clean-up initiative” that started last week. Central Stores, the department that’s responsible for trash and recycling, freight and storage around campus, originally said the program would run through June 4, though assistant manager Joel Norris says the target date could be extended for a couple of extra week if there’s demand. “The initiative is going well,” he said at week’s end, “and the junk is flowing into our facility daily.”

How it works: “Department heads and administrative assistants are encouraged to have staff identify items in their areas that are no longer needed and that are just taking up space. When a list of items and the pickup locations are identified, a simple email giving these details to Central Stores Moving and Storage (csms@ uwaterloo.ca) is all that is required. Central Stores has dedicated staff to this project and they will arrange the date and time to remove the items from your buildings. This is a pilot project where the success of the event will determine future initiatives. Applicable items will be recycled.”

What kind of thing is Stores hoping to haul away? “All types of office furniture; outdated office supplies and equipment; e-waste; published paper products, including books and magazines (not confidential shredding); lab equipment (certified as safe to dispose); most other space-consuming items.

“Please note that this project is primarily targeting items having only scrap value. Items deemed to be of greater value will still be picked up through this initiative, but must have the appropriate Asset Disposal form attached.”

Says Norris: “Central Stores is still available to pick up more items over the next couple of weeks. Departments should be made aware that this once-a-year offer means no paperwork is necessary for the low dollar items.”

Just a few other news items on a Tuesday morning that’s acting suspiciously like a Monday:

Art gallery director: An announcement arrived at week's end from the fine arts department, introducing Ivan Jurakic as the new director/ curator of the University of Waterloo Art Gallery. "Previously," it says, "Jurakic has held such positions as administrative director of Hamilton Artists Inc. and curator of Cambridge Galleries. He received his Honours BA from the University of Guelph and his MFA from the State University of New York. He has developed numerous exhibitions featuring Canadian artists including  Colleen Wolstenholme, Sara Angelucci, Kelly Mark, James Carl, Allyson Mitchell, and he represented Shary Boyle at the 2009 Sobey Art Award. In addition he has worked with various university galleries such as the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto and Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery in Halifax.  Jurakic begins his work as director/ curator in June."

Less financial paperwork: Here's news of importance if you occasionally get money from the university that isn't income. Jane Manson, director of finance, writes: "Faculty, staff and graduate students receive payment electronically in Canadian dollars for certain types of advances, refunds or reimbursements. Currently, Finance notifies individuals of the payment by way of a printed remittance advice. Beginning May 26, the format of the remittance advice will change from paper to electronic form and will be sent to the individual's university email address (userid@ uwaterloo.ca). Normally, individuals receive electronic payments from Finance for advances, primarily for travel; refunds from student accounts; or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, including travel claims or settlements. Questions regarding electronic remittance advices can be directed to Elizabeth Monachan," emonacha@ uwaterloo.ca, phone ext. 36124.

Grants for staff members: An announcement from the staff association: "The Staff Enhancement Grant (SEG) was created to provide funds to UW staff who are pursuing personal and professional development. It was established to help cover the costs associated with courses (excluding tuition), or pursuit of other such experiences undertaken by UW staff. The Staff Association Nominating Committee reviews applications and recommends recipients for a Staff Enhancement Grant on behalf of the University of Waterloo. Applications will be judged on the basis of the overall merit of the objectives, activities, benefits to the individual, and UW. All staff in the University Support group (as defined in UW’s Policy 54) are eligible to apply for a SEG. Preference will be given to individuals who have not received the grant previously. The amount of each grant is up to $500. Application deadline date is June 1, 2010. The next application deadline for 2010 is October 1."

Elections to senate: "Online voting is to begin Thursday, May 27, 2010 as faculty elect representatives to Senate," says a memo from the university secretariat. "Brief campaign statements are available online for the candidates who are contesting the positions: Mathematics representative — Peter Forsyth (Computer Science) and Christopher Small (Statistics & Actuarial Science); faculty-at-large representative — Kate Lawson (English Language & Literature) and Nancy Theberge (Kinesiology). All full-time and fractional-load regular faculty of the Faculty of Mathematics are eligible to vote for the Mathematics seat and of the university for the at-large seat. The election runs through June 2, 2010."

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Making Canada a 'digital nation'

an excerpt from the “Canada 2017 Digital Nation” report issued in the wake of Canada 3.0 in Stratford earlier this month

[Quotation marks]The gathering of Canada's digital media leaders in Stratford on May 10-11 produced intense discussion about this country's accomplishments, plans and capacity to expand our performance as a digital nation. The collective ambition? Nothing less than to identify a transformative national vision, a compelling shared goal of a society empowered and connected through the creative use of new technologies; an innovative, informed and engaged society which is a leader in the new global digital economy; a society in which our governing institutions, our health care and educational institutions model the benefits and in which our private sector, drawing inspiration from the creative arts, markets Canadian ingenuity to the world. Canada is well advanced in many areas but a sustained, collective national effort is required to build on this foundation. It may be a dream but it is a noble dream, worthy of Canada as it celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017. This is Canada’s “moonshot”: an aggressive target for our joint efforts, inspiring and energizing all Canadians to ensure that we can do anything online, from anywhere, anytime, at reasonable and appropriate cost by 2017.

Conference delegates were charged with assessing the legitimacy of this goal and discussing the barriers, tools, requirements and processes of ensuring that Canada becomes a truly digital nation.

They quickly realized that the discussion was about more than the digital economy: it is now about a digital society. The issues can no longer be left to technological experts and specialists: the digital now underlies how we create, communicate and store information in all media at home, amongst our friends and associations and through our institutions. Our workplaces are being transformed, old business models and habits are challenged and replaced and our children, the digital natives, function in significantly different ways than generations who have gone before. This is a transformative technology. It is not some passing fad. And we are still in early days. “The times they are a-changing.” Canada has difficult choices to make. All Canadians need to understand and engage in forming Canada of the 21st  Century.

For two days, over 2000 Canadians — entrepreneurs, government officials, academics, students, members of the general public, creators, service providers, international business leaders and others — debated the most fundamental questions about Canada's capacity in the digital media space. With frankness and passion, some nervousness about the intense global competition, a measure of frustration with our progress to date, and a unique determination to overcome barriers, Canada 3.0 delegates worked hard to move beyond general objectives and problem identification. The conference sought, instead, to develop practical and achievable goals — what can we do collective in the short-term — that would move Canada quickly and decisively toward the central objective. The conference was suffused with realism — this was not a meeting of dreamers promising immediate achievement and global leadership without massive effort — and determination. The 2000 participants at Canada 3.0 had come together because they believe in Canada, understand the digital media landscape, know that coordination and cooperation are essential, and understand the urgency surrounding this fast changing sector. To succeed, an unprecedented level of collaboration is essential across all sectors of society.

If Canada 3.0 last year was dominated by a formidable commitment to Canada's digital media future, this year's meeting focused on the global situation and the widely shared perception that Canada is falling behind. Canada 3.0 2010 addressed the formidable challenge of charting this country's path toward global competitiveness and engagement in digital media. The participants found general consensus in defining the challenges and opportunities and identifying options for governments, businesses, post-secondary institutions and citizens seeking to prepare Canada for a digital tomorrow.

The discussions oscillated between optimism and concern, frustration and commitment, an enthusiasm for innovation and a preoccupation with barriers to change. There was no doubting the collective passion, the enthusiasm for real and sustainable growth, and the belief that Canada had the human, intellectual and entrepreneurial resources to carve out an impressive place in the global digital economy. The benefits of an inclusive, digitally literate society were clear. But there were concerns, about everything from digital divides to the difficulties [Quotation marks]involved in mobilizing the national political will for the decisions that are needed, the challenges of our education and training systems and the difficulties involved with launching new companies in Canada. The real issues are not technological but cultural as we seek to transform our institutions, our habits and our workplaces. In the process we must respect and carry forward the values that define Canada.


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Mohamed Kamel of the department of electrical and computer engineering has been awarded the IEEE's 2010 Canada Computer Medal for outstanding contributions to pattern recognition and intelligent systems. The award, established in 2007, consists of a silver medal and a plaque. It was presented at an Awards Banquet held during the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering held in Calgary earlier this month.

Link of the day

African Liberation Day

When and where

Winter term grades become official May 25.

Procurement and contract services annual trade show in Davis Centre lounge: technology and computers, today; Staples, Wednesday; e-procurement, Thursday. Details.

Touring Players children’s show: “The Name of the Tree” 10:00 and 1:00.

QPR Suicide Prevention training session 11:30 to 1:00, Math and Computer room 4068, register ext. 33528.

Moroccan diplomat Mokhtar Lamani, now at Centre for International Governance Innovation, speaks on working towards peace in Iraq, 11:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 105.

Engineering exchange programs information session 11:30, Carl Pollock Hall room 4306.

Education Credit Union seminar: “Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Wills” 12:05, Davis Centre room 1302, reservations janinew@ ecusolutions.com.

Career workshops: “Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions” 2:30, “Networking 101” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Biology and chemistry seminar: Frank Gu, chemical engineering, “Polymeric Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapy” 3:30, Chemistry II room 361.

Robin Jones, school of optometry, retirement reception 4:00 to 6:00, University Club, RSVP samccoy@ uwaterloo.ca.

Computer Science Club presents Gerald Sussman, “Why Programming Is a Good Medium for Expressing Poorly Understood and Sloppily Formatted Ideas” 5:00, Math and Computer room 2066. Details.

Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning lecture by Paul Tiessen (WLU) and Hildi Froese Tiessen (Conrad Grebel UC), “The Construction of Kitchener-Waterloo in the Visual Imagination of Woldemar Neufeld” 7:00, senate and board chamber, WLU.

Co-op employer interviews begin May 26 (pharmacy), May 27 (main group).

Library workshop: “Introduction to Georeferencing in ArcGIS and Google Earth” Wednesday 10:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

UW Recreation Committee presents “How to Achieve and Maintain Total Body Wellness” Wednesday 12:00, Needles Hall room 1116. Details.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Understanding the Learner” Wednesday 1:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

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

Bob Truman, institutional analysis and planning, retirement reception Wednesday 3:00 to 6:00, University Club, RSVP a2morrow@ uwaterloo.ca.

Computer Science Club presents Gerald Sussman: reception and book signing 3:30, Math and Computer room 5136; lecture, “The Art of the Propagator”, 5:00, MC 5158. Details.

Waterloo Banking Project organizational meeting for student-run financial services, Wednesday 5:30, Student Life Centre room 2143. Details.

Waterloo Space Society lecture: Michael Lenick, filmmaker, “Lone Wolf Space Inventors in the Early Days” Wednesday 6:00, Physics room 145.

Retirees Association spring luncheon Thursday 11:30, Sunshine Centre, Luther Village, tickets $25, information 519-888-0334.

Women in Computer Science distinguished lecturer, May 31: Marie desJardins, University of Maryland (Baltimore County), panel discussion on graduate school 2:00, Davis Centre room 1304; social event 3:30; lecture, “Multiagent Communities” 4:30, Davis 1302.

Friday's Daily Bulletin