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Friday, March 18, 2011

  • Most co-op students are out of Japan
  • Engineering student projects go on show
  • What's happening on a springlike campus
  • Positions open on university senate
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Most co-op students are out of Japan

a statement issued last night from the co-op education and career services department

Earlier this year, ten Waterloo co-op students arrived in Japan to begin a work term with various employers. Eight of the students headed to Tokyo while two were situated in the vicinity of the big city.

We could not have predicted the catastrophic events that unfolded in Japan over the past week. Immediate action was taken to connect with each of the students as soon as news of the earthquake last Friday reached us. By the end of that day, we were able to determine that all ten were safe.

Communication continued throughout the weekend and discussions took place concerning what options were available to them. One option was to leave the country. We stressed to them that their safety was paramount. The students were supported on whatever decision they made, and to this point in time all but one have opted to leave. Students are updating us as they arrive at their destinations. Six have confirmed their arrival and three are en route. Destinations of choice include Hong Kong, China, South Korea and the United States.

The ability to contact our students wherever they are in the world is crucial. Personnel in CECS spend significant preparation time with these students prior to their departure making them aware of potential risks and to empower them to make critical decisions. A compulsory risk plan includes the capture of emergency information so that they can be reached at any time if necessary. “Although we have no staff in Asia,” says Cathy Lac-Brisley, director of employment relations (integrated & international), “we tried to support the students as much as possible emotionally as well as with logistics, negotiations with their employers, maintained contact with Foreign Affairs, etc."

As for the work term credit, the university will assess each case individually and make a decision taking into account these exceptional circumstances. Employers are standing behind the choices their co-op students have made.

Says Merrirose Stone, the international employment advisor who assisted our co-ops in Japan: “We are pleased with how proactive they have been in keeping in touch with us and we are extremely proud of how professionally the students have handled themselves through this significant challenge.”

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Engineering student projects go on show

Upper-year undergraduate students in six Waterloo engineering programs will display their innovative design projects next week, including a prototype device that can control your MP3 player with just a squeeze of an arm muscle.

At Engineering Design Symposium Week, nearly 700 senior engineering students will present more than 150 design projects, posters and prototypes to the public, industry guests, alumni and the academic community.

"Engineering Design Symposium Week is a tremendous opportunity to view first-hand the work of our talented engineering students as they near graduation," said Adel Sedra, dean of Waterloo Engineering. "The inventive design projects on display represent months of hard work and effort by our students."

[Wires to the forearm]Among the projects is the Portable Media Player Control Using EMG Signal from Arm Muscles (left), devised by systems design engineering students Jae Yoon Kim, Eric Lim, and Min Chol Kweon. They say their invention uses electromyography: "a portable music player such as a MP3 player can be controlled without needing any physical interactions with the device’s screen. This is especially useful when the users need to minimize unnecessary arm movements."

Systems design students will be the last group to show off their projects as the winter term comes to a close. Their turn in the lobby of the Davis Centre comes on Monday, March 28, as third- and final-year students in systems design will exhibit projects in the areas of human and biomedical engineering, mechatronics, financial and environmental systems.

Scheduled earlier, and also in the Davis Centre:

• Monday, March 21, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., students graduating from mechatronics engineering will exhibit projects in the areas of autonomous systems, medical systems, mechatronics sports systems and reconfigurable service systems.

• Wednesday, March 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., students from electrical and computer engineering will showcase their projects in audio/video processing, energy and power, robotics, input devices, tracking, security, software and entertainment systems.

• Friday, March 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., students from nanotechnology engineering will present their projects in nanofluidics and nano-biotechnology, nanophotonics and electronics and nano-functional materials.

• Also March 25, students from software engineering will demonstrate innovative projects on software systems for mobile devices, desktop computers, embedded systems and cloud computing.

Visitors are encouraged to browse the interactive displays and discuss the projects with the students.

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[Baja vehicle, like a dune buggy]What's happening on a springlike campus

The Baja SAE Team hosted an unveiling event Wednesday in the Student Design Centre in Engineering 5. The team is made up of engineering students who design and construct an off-road vehicle for an annual, international competition involving a series of presentations and events, including hill climb, acceleration, manoeuvrability and a four-hour endurance race. (Last year, Waterloo placed 29th out of 92 teams.) The unveiling showcased the team’s 2011 competition vehicle (right), decked out in vinyl-wrapped graphics and logos courtesy of a local sponsor. The event was attended by team members, corporate sponsors, and students from various programs, plus several members of the engineering faculty including the department chair of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, Pearl Sullivan. Team leader Ryan Kim, gave a presentation on the details of this year’s design and described changes from past designs — several key improvements, including a smaller, lighter frame and new gear ratios. The team hopes these improvements will push them up in the standings at the 2011 competition, June 8-11 in Peoria, Illinois. The team will be practising regularly on a dirt track set up on the north campus for dynamic testing and driver training. The goal is at least 40 hours of actual driving time on the car prior to competition.

“Food insecurity has becomes a critical issue,” says Cassandra Polyzou of the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, announcing a free event this weekend under the title “Food Justice: Our Food, Our Bodies”. “With higher food prices,” she says, “more people at risk of hunger, and growing dependency on food banks, Canadians across the country are talking about ways to make their food systems more equitable. Join the local conversation on the barriers and opportunities for making good food accessible to all.” Polyzou promises a wide range of community organizers and thinkers who will be speaking and leading workshops: “We hope to create a spark in the community with the variety of projects and new ideas that our presenters are working on.” They include indigenous youth activist Jessica Yee, founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network; Anan Lololi of Toronto’s Afri-Can Food Basket; Sridharan Sethuratnam of FarmStart, who works with new Canadian farmers and is a proponent of traditional and indigenous agricultural methods; and No One Is Illegal, a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who advocate for migrant farm workers’ rights in Ontario. The event begins with a keynote by Lololi at 7:00 tonight at Conrad Grebel University College’s great hall, and runs all day Saturday (in Rod Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall) and Sunday. Details are on the WPIRG website.

It’s got to be one of the big entertainment events of the year: So You Think You Can Dance Waterloo, which hits the stage at Federation Hall Saturday night with twelve dancers and one celebrity judge. The Federation of Students has announced that Blake McGrath, one of the lead choreographers and judges for SYTYCD Canada, will be eyeing up the competition, along with Sarah Cook, the Federation’s vice-president (administration and finance) and Matt Li, winner of last year’s SYTYCD Waterloo event. “We’re thrilled with the talent we’ve found on campus,” says Nga Tran, the Feds’ special events coordinator. “Blake and the other judges will have their work cut out for them picking a winner.” McGrath, who had his start in television, competed in the 2005 season of SYTYCD in the United States and is now pursuing a music career. He has danced with Madonna, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Adam Lambert, Ashanti, Destiny's Child and Pink. Doors for SYTYCD Waterloo open at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6 for Waterloo students in advance (at the Feds office in the Student Life Centre), $8 for guests in advance and $10 at the door. (See the video.)

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Positions open on university senate

a memo from the university secretariat

Nominations are requested for the following seats on Senate:

Faculty representatives: One faculty member of the university to be elected by/from each faculty of the university, terms May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2014.

Faculty-at-large representatives: Seven faculty members of the university to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the university, terms May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2014.

One faculty member of the university to be elected by/from the members of faculty of the university, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

Faculty representative from Conrad Grebel University College, Renison University College and St. Jerome's University

One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of Conrad Grebel University College, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.

One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of Renison University College, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2014.

One faculty member to be elected by/from the members of faculty of St. Jerome's University, term May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2014.

Graduate student representatives: Two graduate students of the university to be elected by/from the full- and part-time graduate students of the university, terms May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.

Nomination forms are available from the Secretariat (ext. 36125) and from the Secretariat webpage. At least five nominators are required in each case. Nominations should be sent to the Secretariat, Needles Hall, Room 3060, no later than 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 6, 2011. Elections will follow if necessary.

Senators whose terms expire April 30, 2011 — all are eligible for re-election. Faculty: Carol Acton (St. Jerome’s University), Dan Brown (computer science), Kevin Cai (Renison University College), Shannon Dea (philosophy), Paul Eagles (recreation & leisure studies), Marlene Epp (Conrad Grebel University College), John Flanagan (optometry), Geoffrey Hayes (history), Kevin Lamb (applied mathematics), Brendon Larson (environment & resource studies), John Lawrence (pure mathematics), John Lewis (planning), Wayne Oldford (statistics & actuarial science), Peter van Beek (computer science), Robert Jan van Pelt (architecture), Beth Weckman (mechanical & mechatronics engineering). Graduate students: Mohamed AbdelRazik Mansour (electrical & computer engineering), James law (environment & resource studies).


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Police statement on posters and parking

The director of police and parking services, Dan Anderson, noted in a brief statement last night that “more offensive posters have surfaced lately, largely circulated by email.” He’s referring to the anti-women broadsides that first appeared on campus last month. University police are continuing to press that investigation forward with support from Waterloo Regional Police.

And an announcement: “In an effort to address some of the safety issues that have been raised, the university will be offering free evening access to on-campus parking. As of Monday, and continuing until the end of term, Lots A, B, C, L, M and R will be open for free parking as of 6:30 p.m.”

Dallaire speaks tonight

Lieutenant-General and Senator Roméo Dallaire, who commanded the United Nations forces in Rwanda during the genocide of 1994, will give a public talk tonight in the Humanities Theatre. Dallaire will deliver the Arts Student Union’s 2011 keynote lecture starting at 7 p.m.

"We hope the Honourable Roméo Dallaire inspires students to be vocal about the things they believe in, while at the same time teaching about the responsibility and humility he is famous for," said Robert Fry, president of the ASU. "Students will hear about his experience with international affairs, leadership, conflict resolution and human rights."

Tickets are $30 for arts students, $35 for others, at the box office, 519-888-4908.

Link of the day


When and where

Fever International Dance Competition through Sunday, Humanities Theatre (ticketed finals Sunday 3:30).

Wilfrid Laurier University March break open house, Friday at Waterloo campus. Details.

Pilot demonstration of new main website, 9:00, Math and Computer room 5158. Prototype is online.

Blood donor clinic 9:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Details.

Library workshop: “Conference Proceedings” 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Warrior badminton at Ontario University Athletics championships, Friday-Sunday at University of Western Ontario. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Dennis Piechota, University of Massachusetts at Boston, “What We Bring to the Table” 2:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301.

Philosophy colloquium: Ori Friedman, department of psychology, “Everyday Intuitions about Knowledge” 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies: Roger Epp, University of Alberta, “We Are All Treaty People”, second of two lectures 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’ by Shelagh Stephenson, production by department of drama, Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

College Royal open house at University of Guelph, Saturday 9 to 5, Sunday 10 to 4. Details.

Free tax clinic for students and others, run by trained students from School of Accounting and Finance, Saturday-Monday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Student Life Centre multipurpose room, no appointment necessary. Details.

Croatian film “As If I Am Not There” sponsored by Germanic and Slavic studies department, followed by session with director Juanita Wilson and Croatian author Slavenka Drakulic, Sunday 4:00, Princess Twin Cinema, admission free.

Architecture student co-op job interviews in Cambridge Monday-Wednesday. Rankings open March 24-25, match results March 29.

Career workshop: “Careers Beyond Academia” Monday 12:00, Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Library workshop: “Journal Impact Factor, H-Index and More” Monday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Spoken word artist Carlos Andres Gomez, marking UN Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Monday: workshop 2:00, great hall, Student Life Centre; performance 8:00, Hawk’s Nest, Wilfrid Laurier University, tickets $5.

Health Informatics Club networking event, “Careers in Health Informatics and eHealth” Monday 4:00, Communitech Hub, Kitchener. Register.

Croatian author Slavenka Drakulic reads from her most recent work, Monday 8:00, CEIT building room 1015, reception and book signing to follow.

World Water Day graduate research fair and water celebration, Tuesday, CEIT building foyer. Details.

Waterloo Centre for Advancement of Cooperative Education research seminar: Justin Friesen, department of psychology, “Do Co-op Job Ads Include Gender Stereotyped Language?” Tuesday 12:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

‘Racism on Campus’ panel discussion sponsored by Federation of Students, Tuesday 3:00 to 5:00, Student Life Centre multipurpose room.

Pink Day coffee break fund-raiser for breast cancer research, Thursday 10:00, Needles Hall room 1021, with raffle on gift basket.

A correction

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin referred to political scientist David Docherty as Wilfrid Laurier University's dean of arts. In fact he's the former dean, as Mike Carroll succeed him in the dean's office in July 2010.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin