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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

  • Tooth decay study targets Native kids
  • President lauds 'partnerships' in Chamber speech
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Hunched over equipment together]

Quantum computing and physics researcher Adrian Lupaşcu — seen (right) with graduate student Jason Soo Hoo — has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2011. Lupaşcu, who joined the Institute for Quantum Computing in 2009 and explores quantum information through superconducting materials, is one of 118 North American researchers to earn the $50,000 fellowship this year. The fellowships, for top scientists in the early stages of their careers, are issued by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic institution based in New York. IQC says the award “will help Lupaşcu continue his cutting-edge research, which focuses on the creation and control of superconducting qubits — an important facet of quantum information science.”

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Tooth decay study targets Native kids

a release from the university's media relations office

A Waterloo health researcher is collaborating with colleagues around the world to develop a program to reduce incidences of childhood dental caries among First Nations populations.

The unique program designed for pregnant First Nations women will begin this spring in several communities across Ontario and Manitoba. First Nations populations have a higher-than-average rate of dental caries — a bacterial disease that results in tooth decay.

"Indigenous people in Canada, Australia and New Zealand experience a much larger burden of chronic diseases compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts," said co-investigator Laurie Hoffman-Goetz of Waterloo’s department of health studies and gerontology. "Extensive tooth decay among young Indigenous children is common, is linked to the development of other chronic diseases, and significantly reduces the quality of life for afflicted children, their families and communities. This international collaboration will provide a foundation for culturally-appropriate preventive dental care, oral health education and greater oral health literacy for pregnant Indigenous women, which will hopefully reduce oral disease for their children."

The Canadian arm of this project has received nearly $1.2 million in support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The team will focus on clinical components, including treatment and fluoride applications, as well as health education and behavioural modification including anticipatory guidance and motivational interviewing. Results will be compared with those from the Australian and New Zealand teams.

Four other Canadian Universities will join Waterloo for this investigation including the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University, the University of Manitoba, the University College of the North, and the University of Toronto.  The five-year study is called "Reducing disease burden and health inequalities arising from chronic dental disease among Indigenous children: an early childhood caries intervention." 

"Early childhood caries is a significant health problem confronting Indigenous communities in all three countries," said Herenia Lawrence, the project's principal investigator from the University of Toronto's faculty of dentistry. "We hope that by working in partnership with Aboriginal communities here in Canada we can create an intervention that will reduce the dental treatment needs of young children and motivate mothers to subscribe to better preventative oral health practices."

Lawrence hopes the results can serve as a model for other communities. "Our long-term goal is to create a culturally appropriate intervention that reduces dental disease burden and health inequalities among pre-school Indigenous children in the participating countries and that can be readily applied to other populations with high levels of early childhood caries."

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President lauds 'partnerships' in Chamber speech

“Skilled graduates stand alongside promising research and innovations as the most important output of a university,” president Feridun Hamdullahpur told a lunch meeting of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce last week.

[Architecture building]“Cambridge is obviously very close to the University of Waterloo’s hearts,” he told his Thursday audience at the Holiday Inn, a short drive from the university’s Architecture building (left) in the downtown Galt district. Hamdullahpur spoke about the economics of business and innovation and the role of universities, using Waterloo’s connections to Cambridge companies as an example.

Here’s a passage from the prepared text of his speech:

“A recent review of award-winning innovations in the United States between 1971 and 2006 concluded that groundbreaking innovations increasingly resulted from partnerships among government, business and academia, rather than from companies acting on their own. In 1971, for example, 86 per cent of the top innovations were developed privately, but by 2006, that number had fallen to 31 per cent.

“This trend should come to us as no surprise, given the history of Waterloo Region. Waterloo Region has a long tradition of adding value, of bringing the community together to build something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

“Our enterprising settlers in the 19th century built distilleries, mills, tanneries, and factories, making use of the abundant raw materials already present in the community. The region developed a diversified economy of agriculture, manufacturing, and export. In the 21st century, our diversified economy is still here, but knowledge has become the Number One renewable resource in our community. And the buildings that once housed distilleries, warehouses, and tanneries are now occupied by think tanks, high-tech start-ups, university satellite campuses, and talented workers.

“Cambridge is no exception. Your city is already a model of successful university-community partnership.

“The fruits of our partnership are plentiful. The opening of our School of Architecture was an important milestone for the University of Waterloo. It was an audacious idea that combined the vision of Cambridge’s mayor and Council with the University of Waterloo’s risk-taking attitude.

“And now, more than six years later, we can see the results. Our students contribute more than $4 million annually to the economy of Galt’s City Centre. 90 per cent of our students live within a ten-minute walk from our school. The school hosts between 30 and 40 community events on an annual basis. The School has hosted a number of installations, design charettes, and the annual ‘Unsilent Night’ Christmas event that lights up the downtown core. And the Grand Co-op, born out of a graduate thesis in 2008, sits proudly on Ainslie Street.

So how can universities help small and medium sized enterprises? I would like to answer that question by looking through the lens of our experience in Cambridge.

The first way is, of course, collaboration — collaboration between students and faculty, co-op students and co-op employers, and researchers with industry, government, and other institutions. Collaboration is what brought Cambridge and the University of Waterloo together. The School of Architecture came about because local business leaders bent the ear of Mayor Doug Craig, who had promised to bring a post-secondary institution to revitalize downtown Galt.

“This was a bold promise, one that inspired local leaders to take action. These leaders made the visionary choice to invest in the success of their community. Their vision was contagious, inspiring the City of Cambridge, the province, and the federal government to join them, resulting in a $27 million gift, and a new life for an old silk factory built a century ago.

“The Cambridge School of Architecture is now our textbook example of the power of partnership.”


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[W]Warrior sports

Weekly report, February 28

Link of the day

March lion and lamb

When and where

‘So You Think You Can Dance Waterloo’ auditions continue through Thursday; competition March 19. Details.

Application deadline for spring term undergraduate admission to the university is today. Details.

Employment information meetings for co-op students matched with spring term jobs, Tuesday-Wednesday.

Library workshop: “Find Books and More” 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Career workshops today: “Interview Skills, Selling Your Skills” 10:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Working Effectively in Another Culture” 2:30, Tatham room 1208. Details.

‘Digital Cameras for Beginners’ session sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, 12:00, Needles Hall room 1116.

Demonstration for staff of new myCareer@ UWaterloo system, 2:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Register.

German Research Today: Heidi Schlipphacke, Old Dominion University, “The Endless Return: Nostalgia in German Cinema” 2:30, Modern Languages room 354.

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology seminar: Logan Donaldson, York University, “SAM Domains, a Versatile Platform for Protein-Ligand Interactions” 3:30, Chemistry 2 room 361.

Kitchener Rangers vs. London Knights, Kitchener Auditorium, outing organized by UW Recreation Committee, 7:30 p.m.

Tech Leadership Conference sponsored by Communitech, Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00, Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener. Details.

TEDxLaurier “Ideas Worth Spreading” event with local speakers and video from Los Angeles, Wednesday, Turret nightclub, Wilfrid Laurier University. Information: mcca8940@

Career workshops Wednesday: “Career Exploration and Decision Making” 10:00, Tatham Centre room 1112; “Writing CVs and Cover Letters” 12:00, Tatham room 2218; “Thinking About Optometry?” 5:30, Tatham 1208. Details.

Ontario University Athletics “Women of Influence” luncheon, guest speaker Venus Williams, Wednesday, 12:00, Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Details.

‘The University, Retirement and You’ with Sue McGrath and Wanda Speek of human resources, organized by UW Recreation Committee, Wednesday 12:00, Davis Centre room 1302.

Free noon concert: Justyna Szjna (piano) and Amber Ghent (cello), Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Ambassador of Germany Georg Witschel officially opens photo exhibition in Modern Languages building, “The Ideal World of Dictatorship and The Beier Collection”, Wednesday 3:00; lecture and discussion, “International Law and the War on Terrorism” 3:30, ML room 245.

‘Racism in the Media’ panel discussion sponsored by Federation of Students, Wednesday 3:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Rainbow Reels Queer Film Festival co-sponsored by Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, Wednesday-Sunday. Details.

Design Exchange Waterloo open forum Wednesday 6:00 to 9:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Volunteer Appreciation Extravaganza organized by Federation of Students, Wednesday 7 to 9 p.m., Federation Hall. Details.

Waterloo Centre for Advancement of Cooperative Education research seminar: Rocco Fondocaro, co-op education and career services, Co-op Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations, Thursday 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218.

PhD oral defences

Systems design engineering. Jeff Meade, “Performance Improvement of an Optical Coherence Tomography System by Use of an Optical Pupil Slicer.” Supervisors, Arsen Hajian and Glenn Heppler. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, March 4, 10:30 a.m., Engineering 5 room 6003.

Electrical and computer engineering. Hussein Mahmoud Abdelsalam Attia, “Artificial Magnetic Materials for High Gain Planar  Antennas.” Supervisor, Omar M. Ramahi. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, March 9, 1:00 p.m., CEIT building room 3142.

Chemical engineering. Mohammad Al-Saleh, “Nonlinear Parameter Estimation for Multiple-Site-Type Polyolefin Catalysts Using an Integrated Microstructure Deconvolution Methodology.” Supervisors, Thomas A. Duever and João Soares. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Thursday, March 10, 10:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

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