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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

  • Convocation awards for Waterloo people
  • Other honorary degrees, as announced
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Showing off three Piled Higher and Deeper sketches]

Souvenirs of the Graduate Student Research Conference: not just academic experience, but also sketches by cartoonist Jorge Cham, who was yesterday’s keynote speaker. “Following the talk, we had a very successful opening reception and poster presentation,” Marta Bailey of the graduate studies office reports. Today brings five concurrent sessions from departments ranging from Vision Science to WatRISQ. “Wednesday is packed full of Biology presentations — three rooms full of Biology students!” says Bailey. “Also from Science, we will have a room of Physics and Astronomy presentations, not to mention a little bit more of Statistics & Actuarial Science and Aging, Health and Wellbeing thrown in for good measure. Thursday is Engineering day with five concurrent rooms holding Engineering-related presentations; one room is reserved on the last day for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences as well.” The complete conference schedule is online.

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Convocation awards for Waterloo people

Six retired faculty members will become “distinguished professors emeritus” (or the feminine form, “emerita”) during eight sessions of the 102nd Convocation, to be held in mid-June.

Officials announced a string of Convocation awards on Thursday. The new “distinguished” faculty retirees include Anne Zeller, anthropology; Mary Thompson, statistics and actuarial science (and a former dean of mathematics); Robert Kerton, economics (and former dean of arts); Angus Kerr-Lawson, philosophy and pure mathematics; Stanley Burris, pure mathematics; and Victor Quintana, electrical and computer engineering.

Waterloo will also award the title of Honorary Member of the University to two retired staff members: Denise Angove, long-time nursing supervisor and sexual harassment officer in health services, who launched Single and Sexy, a groundbreaking original play on sexuality written and performed by drama students during orientation each year; and Bob Truman, former director of the institutional analysis and planning office.

[McPhee]Also announced were 11 people who will receive honorary doctorates during Convocation week. Among them: Ian McPhee (left), co-founder of Waterloo's first spinoff company, WATCOM, who has also served on the university’ board of governors. McPhee, a Waterloo math graduate, has provided leadership in the Canadian software business and the high-tech sector in Waterloo Region. He co-founded WATCOM with the late Wes Graham in 1981. WATCOM is now a division of Sybase, under the name iAnywhere, and remains a Waterloo-based company. McPhee has also served as chair of the Accelerator Centre in the University of Waterloo's David Johnston Research and Technology Park and as chair of the centre's entrepreneurship council. His honorary Doctor of Mathematics degree will be presented at the second of two ceremonies for the math faculty, Friday, June 17, at 2:30.

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Other honorary degrees, as announced

Environment and applied health sciences — Wednesday, June 15, at 10:00: Karla Henderson, a professor at North Carolina State University who revolutionized leisure studies research, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree and will address the graduates. Henderson is described as the dominant scholar in examining leisure and gender, and leisure and people on the margins of society. Henderson has had a long relationship with Waterloo's recreation and leisure studies department. She has published more than a dozen books, four dozen book chapters and about 150 peer-reviewed papers. 

Science — Wednesday, June 15, at 2:30: Anne Dell, a professor of carbohydrate biochemistry at Imperial College, London, will receive a Doctor of Science degree and address convocation. Dell is an international leader in understanding the structures and activities of complex polysaccharide molecules through the application of mass spectrometry. Her research has made a considerable impact on biological, analytical and physical chemistry. Over the years, Dell's innovative work has led to many technical advances with implications for a fundamental understanding of the roles of carbohydrates in healthy and diseased organisms. 

Arts — Thursday, June 16, at 10 a.m.:  Lawrence Hill, an award-winning Canadian writer who focuses on African Canadian and African American experience, will receive a Doctor of Letters degree and address convocation. Hill's work encompasses contemporary novels and historical fiction, non-fiction and autobiography, as well as a documentary film script on the black experience in Canada. His 2007 novel The Book of Negroes is widely recognized not only as a brilliant work of fiction, but also as a respectable piece of historical scholarship.

Arts — Thursday, June 16, at 2:30: Jean-Philippe Collard, a renowned French pianist and prolific recording artist, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. He is expected to play a short piece as his convocation address. Collard has received critical acclaim as one of the world’s leading performers of French composers Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns. Besides his performance of French music, Collard is renowned for his interpretations of Schumann, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. His musical legacy has been captured through nearly four dozen recordings with some of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Mathematics — Friday, June 17, 10 a.m.: Shing-Tung Yau, the William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, will receive a Doctor of Mathematics degree and address convocation. A worldwide leader in geometric analysis, Yau's celebrated proof of the Calabi conjecture in 1976 ignited the fledgling field, which is one of today’s most active and fruitful areas of mathematical research. Yau also strongly supports the training of new generations of researchers and the promotion of women in mathematics.

Mathematics — Friday, June 17, at 2:30: Bruno Buchberger, a key computer scientist in the area of symbolic computation, will receive a Doctor of Mathematics degree and address convocation. Buchberger's seminal paper, Gröbner Bases: An Algorithmic Method in Polynomial Ideal Theory, united the power of logical theorem proving and computer algebra. He is the founder of the Journal of Symbolic Computation, the premiere scientific journal in the field. Buchberger persuaded colleagues and companies to join his vision of creating the Softwarepark Hagenberg, one of the most successful technology parks in Austria.

Engineering — Saturday, June 18, at 10 a.m.: George Baird, a highly acclaimed academic, architect, and theorist, will receive a Doctor of Engineering degree and address convocation. Baird has achieved international stature in the field of contemporary architecture, calling for the dominance of public space and for buildings that defer to the city as a community rather than as isolated monuments. He most recently served as dean of the University of Toronto's faculty of architecture, landscape and design. Baird has also written influential books in post-modern architecture.

At the same ceremony, Robert Magee, a leading business executive, will receive a Doctor of Engineering degree. A Waterloo graduate in chemical engineering, Magee has made contributions to the automotive industry nationally and internationally. He became president of Woodbridge Manufacturing in 1995, and president and chief executive officer of Woodbridge Group in 1999. Under his leadership, the Canadian-owned multinational manufacturing company has made significant contributions to the field of green chemistry and engineering.

Engineering — Saturday, June 18, at 2:30: Jamal Deen, a McMaster University professor and senior Canada Research Chair in information technology, will receive a Doctor of Engineering degree and address convocation. A highly accomplished researcher, inventor and scholar, Deen has helped McMaster become a major centre for innovation and cutting-edge research in opto-electronics. He is a fellow of the IEEE, the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology, as well of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Physical Society.

At the same ceremony, John Keating, a top business executive in Waterloo Region, will receive a doctor of engineering degree. Keating has made significant contributions to the space and satellite industry in Canada and around the world. Since 2002, he has served as chief executive officer of COM DEV, an international leader in satellite space technology. Over the years, Keating has nurtured young leaders and the engineers of tomorrow. Each year, Waterloo's electrical and computer engineering graduate students present their research at a technical review meeting of the NSERC/COM DEV Industrial Research Chair, where Keating provides encouragement and motivation.


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Highlights today

Fire drills that were scheduled to be held in most main campus buildings this morning have been cancelled because of the rainy weather.

The Physical Activities Complex and Columbia Icefield are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this week for recreational users (and will be closed on the weekend). Incorrect PAC and Icefield hours appeared in yesterday's Daily Bulletin.

Link of the day

World Intellectual Property Day

When and where

UW Place hot water and heating shutdown to all buildings, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Franco-fête for high school French students, today and Thursday from 9 a.m., Humanities Theatre.

Integrating Experiential Learning: “Assessing Experiential Learning” 12:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: Dehua Pei, Ohio State University, “Specificity Profiling of Signaling Proteins Through Combinatorial Chemistry” 3:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

WatRISQ presents Ken Sen Tang, department of statistics and actuarial sciences, “Pricing and Hedging with Discontinuous Functions” 4:15, Davis Centre room 1304.

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

Federal election debate for local candidates, hosted by Federation of Students, Wednesday 10:30, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Engineering alumni affairs reception, “Designing the Future”, guest speaker John Baker of Desire2Learn, Wednesday 5:30, Engineering 5, tickets $10. Details.

‘Commute to uWaterloo by Bicycle’ sponsored by UW Recreation Committee , Wednesday 12:00, multipurpose room, Student Life Centre. Follow-up Thursday 12:00: “What Do I Need?”

Stratford Campus presents Neil Randall, department of English, “Harry Potter: Heroic Fantasy, Murder Mystery, or Videogame?” Wednesday 7:00, 6 Wellington Street, Stratford.

Spring term fees due Thursday (bank transfer).

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

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

Centre for Family Business, based at Conrad Grebel U College , breakfast seminar: “Strategic Planning in a Family Business” Friday 7 a.m., Bingemans Conference Centre.

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

Annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, Friday (9:00 to 9:00) and Saturday (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, Waterloo. Details.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin