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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

  • Students gearing up for federal vote
  • More profs' plans for their sabbaticals
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Somehow, a human figure in the landscape]

Projects by architecture students, including this drawing ("plan of wastewater treatment landscape" by Liana Bresler), will be on display through the end of May at the "Design at Riverside" gallery in Waterloo's Architecture building in Cambridge. An opening reception for the show is scheduled for 6:30 tonight. "The annual Projects Review exhibition celebrates exemplary student work of the School of Architecture," organizers at the Cambridge Galleries say. "The selected undergraduate work includes both final design projects and preparatory design exercises from the first to fourth year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program as well as outstanding graduate thesis work drawn from the professional Master of Architecture program. The exhibition provides the school community and the public the opportunity to see the architectural imagination, creative design solutions and drawing and modelling techniques explored by students in the architecture program."

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Students gearing up for federal vote

“Now is a good time to explore early voting opportunities,” Elections Canada is telling students, acknowledging that the coming federal election is scheduled for a less-than convenient day: Monday, May 2. At many Canadian universities, most students will have scattered following the end of the winter term; at Waterloo, students will just be arriving, as May 2 is literally the first day of spring term classes.

“We recognize that this is a busy time for students and their families,” says a statement from says the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand. “Elections Canada wants to ensure that students have all the information they need in order to choose when and how they vote.”

Student organizations are taking the same attitude — including, at Waterloo, the Federation of Students and the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, which is helping to sponsor a “vote mob” rally tomorrow and a “picnic the polls” get-together next Monday.

So here’s the how-to-vote word from Elections Canada: “If election day isn’t convenient, students can vote early.” Advance polls will be held this weekend (April 22, 23 and 25, but not Easter Sunday) and there’s also the option of voting “by mail or in person at any local Elections Canada office anytime before election day”, though for the latter option a voter must register no later than April 26.

To vote, the non-partisan agency says, “students who have moved to attend school must decide which address they consider their ordinary place of residence — where they live while at school or where they live when not at school (e.g. with their parents). Once they decide on their home address, students should make sure they are registered to vote in that riding.”

The majority of students at the Waterloo campus, as well as many staff and faculty members, live in one of two ridings: Kitchener-Waterloo (the city of Waterloo, including the campus, and northern parts of Kitchener) and Kitchener Centre (which includes the Pharmacy building and Gage Avenue offices). Other nearby ridings include Kitchener-Conestoga (south Kitchener and rural areas of  Waterloo Region), Cambridge (which includes the Architecture campus), and Perth-Wellington (which includes Stratford). Candidates in all the ridings have now been formally nominated and are listed on the Elections Canada site.

A major all-candidates’ meeting for Kitchener-Waterloo will be held tonight at 7:00 at RIM Park in the east end of Waterloo.

Tomorrow’s “vote mob” event, which has several hundred fans on Facebook, is scheduled for 2:00 in the Student Life Centre courtyard. “It’s time we use the crazy amount of students in this city to attract some attention to the current need for the youth vote!” organizers write. “There will be a video shot during the event that will be uploaded to YouTube and directed towards the media.”

“Picnic the polls” events (“remember our roots by coming together to eat and vote”) are scheduled for Monday at 12 noon at the Wilfrid Laurier University St. Michael’s campus, and 2 p.m. at Waterloo’s SLC.

And the Federation will sponsor a Kitchener-Waterloo candidates’ meeting on Wednesday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m. in the SLC great hall.

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More profs' plans for their sabbaticals

Here’s a further list of Waterloo faculty members who are currently on sabbatical leave. The plans quoted are taken from documents submitted to the university’s board of governors, which has to approve all sabbaticals. All these leaves are for six months that began January 1, 2011.

Murray Haight, planning: “During this leave I will pursue two projects. The first is a new initiative focused on planning and managing biomedical waste in Cameroon. The second ongoing waste management project in Hainan, China, is focused on expanding an already successful community-based composting project.”

Bruce Hellinga, civil and environmental engineering: “I will be spending my sabbatical at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands and working with several faculty members in the Department of Transport and Planning. this work will focus on the issue of transportation reliability.”

Joseph Kim, statistics and actuarial science: “Concentration on research and collaboration with other researchers.”

Luna Khirfan, planning: “Early sabbatical leave during winter which will allow me to publish several papers in progress, finish my book contract with Ashgate Publishing and carry out research on the cross-national transfer of planning knowledge of two case studies Toronto-Amman, and Vancouver-Abu Dhabi.”

John Lawrence, pure mathematics: “This is a six-month sabbatical to continue research on Gröbner bases and applications to decision problems.”

Norbert Lutkenhaus, physics and astronomy: “During my leave, I will be interacting with collaborating groups in Canberra, Erlangen, Innsbruck,  Zurich, Osaka and Singapore to push forward research in the theory of optical quantum communication. The research will involve the further development of theoretical tools in analyzing the security of practical quantum cryptography protocols, but also benchmarking of quantum communication devices.”

Janice Aurini, sociology: “I will be a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology. I will spend the term writing a book from a SSHRC funded study; participating in various workshops; and networking. My sponsor, Dr. Annette Lareau, is an award winning scholar of education, family/parenting and qualitative methods.”

Linda Nazar, chemistry: “I will be spending most of my time to jump-start a new “Energy Materials” initiative/institute here, based on funding recently donated to UW. I will also spend a month of the sabbatical carrying out research at Caltech; and possibly another at the Technical University of Delft.”

Julia Roberts, history: “I am requesting a sabbatical leave in the winter term of 2011, as negotiated when I accepted this position three years ago, in order to work on a SSHRC funded book manuscript.”

Tara Vinodrai, geography and environmental management: “I will be conducting field research in Copenhagen, Denmark for my SSHRC-funded study of design-led innovation in advanced economies. I will be applying to be a Visiting Scholar at the Copenhagen Business School. I plan to present research at Uppsala and Lund Universities, as well as two international conferences. Finally, I hope to complete several writing projects in preparation for tenure.”

John Wright, mechanical and mechatronics engineering: “Green building design is an emerging and high priority field. There is a strong demand for glazing/shading system models to conserve energy and reduce CO2 production. Software produced with ASHRAE contract and NSERC network funding has been well received. Plans include implementation in several major commercial simulation packages, and creation of a rating tool with graphical interface.”

Derek Koehler, psychology: “I plan to extend lines of research investigating the costs of excessive optimism in people’s predictions of future outcomes. Such costs  include intention-action gaps arising from over commitment, under evaluation of steps that could be taken to make goal achievement more likely, and failure to abandon goals even when the costs of continued goal pursuit outweigh the expected benefits of goal achievement.”


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Employees' time off to vote

The university's human resources department sends along this official memo about the right some employees may have to take time off for voting on May 2: "Under the Canada Elections Act, all employees who are electors — Canadian citizens who are 18 years of age or older as of the date of the election — are entitled to 3 consecutive hours on election day, during voting hours, to cast their votes. For Ontario employers located in the Eastern time zone, voting hours run from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Where an employee’s hours of work prevent him or her from having the 3 consecutive voting hours required by the Act, the employer 'shall allow the time for voting that is necessary to provide those three consecutive hours'. The time off is paid. Where an employee has 3 consecutive hours that fall within the voting hours, but fall outside of his or her work hours, there is no obligation to provide paid time off from work."

Link of the day


When and where

Winter term examinations April 8-21; unofficial grades begin to appear in Quest, April 22; grades become official, May 24.

Teaching Excellence Academy for faculty members April 19-21 and 25. Details.

Discovery Days in Health Sciences for high school visitors, 8:30 to 3:30, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Learning Management System open house with representatives of Desire2Learn (planned replacement for UW-ACE) as well as university officials, 10:30, CEIT building room 1015.

Retirees Association spring luncheon today, speaker Ken Coates, dean of arts, Luther Village great hall, cash bar 11:30, meal 12:00, tickets $25, phone 519-888-0334.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: Ronald Neufeld, Queen’s University, “Design of Complex Nanoparticulate Carriers for Oral Delivery of Insulin” 3:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

Book launch for Ecclesial Repentance by Jeremy Bergen, 4:00, Conrad Grebel UC.

UWRC Book Club: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Wednesday 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.

Lunchtime walking meditation sponsored by UW Recreation Committee , Wednesday, meet 12:05 in front of Needles Hall.

General Services Complex and Commissary building, electrical power shutdown Thursday 5:00 to 8:00 a.m.

QPR suicide prevention training session Thursday 1 p.m., Math and Computer room 4068, registration required, information ext. 32797.

Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, opening reception Thursday 5 to 8 p.m., art gallery, East Campus Hall; exhibition (work by Heidi Jahnke, Gary Carlson, Alison Shields) continues to May 14.

‘Facts of Fishing Live’ starring Dave Mercer, Thursday 7:00, Humanities Theatre. Details.

Good Friday, April 22, university closed.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 25-28; keynote speaker, cartoonist Jorge Cham, Monday 3:00, Davis Centre. Details.

Opportunities and New Directions teaching and learning conference sponsored by Teaching Based Research Group, keynote addresses and workshop sessions, April 27-28, Hagey Hall. Details.

Germanic and Slavic studies day and evening of 50th anniversary celebrations, April 28, alumni invited. Details.

Retail services locations, including bookstore and Media.doc copy centres, closed for inventory, April 29.

PhD oral defences

Health studies and gerontology. Alexander Crizzle, “Self-Regulatory Driving Behaviour, Perceived Abilities and Comfort Level of Older Drivers with Parkinson’s Disease Compared to Age-Matched Healthy Controls.” Supervisor, Anita Myers. On display in the faculty of applied health sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Monday, May 2, 1:00 p.m., Matthews Hall room 3119.

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Hossein Ahari, “Optimization of Laminated Dies Manufacturing.” Supervisors, Amir Khajepour and Sanjeev Bedi. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, May 2, 1:00 p.m., Engineering 3 room 4117.

Applied mathematics. Christopher Subich, “Simulation of the Navier-Stokes Equations in Three Dimensions with a Spectral Collocation Method.” Supervisors, Kevin Lamb and Marek Stastna. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, May 2, 1:30 p.m., Mathematics and Computer room 5136.

Systems design engineering. Qian Wang, “Facilitating Brownfield Redevelopment Projects: Evaluation, Negotiation and Policy.” Supervisors, Keith Hipel and Marc Kilgour. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, May 5, 10:00 a.m., Engineering 5 room 6004.

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