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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

  • Improving scheduling one STEP at a time
  • Accounting school remembers David Carter
  • Exam schedules, endowments, and events
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Improving scheduling one STEP at a time

The Scheduling, Timetabling, and Examination Project (STEP) is progressing well, according to university registrar Ken Lavigne in an email sent to students, faculty, and staff earlier this week.

"In addition to our continuing we have just launched the STEP project website." Lavigne reports. "Dates have been established for the Provost's Advisory Committee for University Timetabling (PACUT) meetings and preparation for Scheduling Simulation 2 is well underway."

The STEP Project Website is the central location for all STEP communications, with a project timeline, detailed FAQ, and other information available with the aim of keeping the community informed about the project's progress.

The Provost's Advisory Committee for University Timetabling (PACUT) "will provide leadership in the formulation of policies, practices and protocols dealing with classroom scheduling and student timetabling and make recommendations to the Provost." Initial meeting dates have been set for February 27, March 26, and April 30, with more information about the committee and its composition available online.

The "Scheduling Simulation 2" workshop "will walk through the entire timetabling process for a winter schedule with our new scheduling system," Lavigne writes. "Persons involved in scheduling will be providing input and feedback in Simulation 2." The simulation is scheduled to take place during April, with more details on the website. The first simulation took place in July 2011.

According to the STEP website, some of the more significant benefits that the project is expected to deliver are:

  • produce a course schedule that meets the pedological needs of students and instructors;
  • develop a student demand-centric course schedule;
  • ensure efficient use of classroom space;
  • produce more conflict-free schedules;
  • assist in ensuring timely degree completion; and
  • eliminate paper-based processes and the reduction of lead times required to schedule

The reasoning behind the project was outlined in a memo distributed across campus in September of last year. Lavigne described the current methodology as a "non-optimized, labour intensive approach involving the copying forward of the previous term's timetable and building the new timetable by filling classrooms...similarly, exam timetabling is also very labour intensive and involves manual room assignment." The project was created to improve the current methodology and "build better timetables" in a way that allows staff to manage space effectively and optimize schedules for both students and instructors.

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Accounting school remembers David Carter

with material from the School of Accounting and Finance

David Carter.The School of Accounting and Finance has announced that retired faculty member and Professor Emeritus David Carter died on February 12 after a brief illness.

Carter is remembered for his commitment to teaching, the profession of accounting, the University of Waterloo, and his students. In 2005, Carter was listed as an honouree in the School of Accounting and Finance's Fellowship program.

Carter joined the university in 1978 and retired after 25 years in 2003. He served on many university committees including the pension and benefits committee, where for many years he was the retiree board expert, and the Arts Faculty Council, which he chaired. He was also a member of the faculty at the Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology, where he taught social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.

"The students David counselled as Undergraduate Officer and the Director of the MAcc program gave him great pleasure," says a statement from the School of Accounting and Finance. "He supported his belief in the accounting profession by providing liaison with the ICAO and the Cooperative Education and Career Services Department."

Carter obtained his B. Comm. (1965) and his MBA (1969) from the University of Windsor where he taught from 1970 to 1978. He articled with PwC and received his CA in 1968. In 1991, he was elected a Fellow of the ICAO . In 2005 Carter was made an Honorary Member of the university. Outside of the university, Professor Carter was very active in the not-for-profit sector.

Carter is survived by his wife Barbara, son Brian, daughter Jill, and two grandchildren, Nate and Connor.

Visitations will be held today from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Erb & Good funeral home on King Street in Waterloo. The memorial service will be held Thursday at 3:00 p.m. in the funeral home's chapel.

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Exam schedules, endowments, and events

The schedule for Winter 2012's final exams has been posted online. The exam period runs from April 9 to 21.

Federation of Students Vice-President Internal Luke Burke reports that the Student Life Endowment Fund (SLEF) is open and accepting applications. The fund, established in 1992 as part of the Co-ordinated Plan to Improve the Quality of Student Life at UW, now has a principal of more than $1,500,000, about $60,000 of which is allocated each year to support student projects that meet one or more of the four tenets of the fund:

  • The improvement of accessibility on campus
  • The improvement of safety on campus
  • The improvement of existing lounge and study space
  • The renovations of student services

The deadline for submissions is February 29 at 4:00 p.m.

Speaking of the Federation of Students, the voting period for the annual elections began yesterday and runs until tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. While voting is done online, a ballot station will also be open today from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. and tomorrow from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. There are elections for the four Federation of Students executive positions, Students' Council seats in the Engineering, Math, and Environment constituencies, and at-large student senate positions, one for a 2012-2013 term, and one with a term ending in 2014.

"The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) loves to learn so much that our office will be closed this Thursday, February 16, for our second annual professional development day," writes director Donna Ellis. "We take a day to learn from and with one another, sharing takeaways from conferences we have attended or resources we have read and engaging in various learning activities." All CTE staff participate in the day, necessitating the closure. Regular hours resume on Friday.

The University of Waterloo International Spouses group is presenting "Living Abroad as an Accompanying or "Trailing" Spouse", a discussion featuring Nancy Matthews, co-ordinator of International Spouses and author of Sabbaticals 101, about the "joys and challenges of living in another country." The event gets underway at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, February 16 at the Columbia Lake Villages community centre and details are online.

A final point of clarification about tomorrow's event featuring Esi Edugyan, winner of this year's Giller Prize. While the event is taking place at Siegfried Hall in St. Jerome's University, the event is part of the Department of English's speaker series, not the St. Jerome's Reading Series as previously reported.

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Link of the day


When and where

Water Institute Seminar featuring Zafar Adeel, "Crawling under the roadblocks to global water solutions?", Wednesday, February 15, 11:30 a.m., LHI 1621.

Noon Hour Concert series, featuring Elizabeth Rogalsky Lepock (soprano) and Jason White (piano), Wednesday, February 15, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel.

Chemistry Department Seminar Series featuring Prof. James W.Y. Choy, Department of Biochemistry, University of Western Ontario, "Experimental and Computational Studies of Intrinsically Disordered Prothymosin-alpha and Its Interaction with Keap1" Wednesday, February 15, 2:30 p.m. C2-361.

Graduate Student Association pub lecture series featuring the Perimeter Institute's Lee Smolin "Is Time real?", Wednesday, February 15, 4:00 p.m., Grad House.

The Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies presents a lecture by Professor Barbara Borg from the University of Exeter, "Exploring the Underground of Rome: The Roman Catacombs Reconsidered," Wednesday, February 15, 5:00 p.m., ML 349.

Beyond Borders information session, Wednesday, February 15, 6:00 p.m., STJ 3027. Details.

Waterloo Lecture: "Harry Potter: Heroic Fantasy, Murder Mystery or Videogame." Neil Randall, Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library. Hosted by the Waterloo Stratford Campus.

Studies in Islam speaker series featuring Professor Larry Harder, "The Landscape of Occupation: Contemporary Israel and Palestine," Wednesday, February 15, 7:00 p.m., Dunker Family Lounge, Renison University College.

Wednesday Night Discussion Group, Wednesday, February 15, 7:30 p.m., MC 5136.

International spouses event featuring Nancy Matthews, "Living Abroad as an Accompanying or "Trailing" Spouse", Thursday, February 16, 12:45 p.m., CLV community centre. Details.

Centre for Career Action webinar "Perfecting your interview skills," Thursday, February 16, 3:30 p.m. Details.

MBET program information session Thursday, February 16, 5:00 p.m., Conrad Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.

So You Want to Go to B-School? Thursday, February 16, 5:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Warriors Band practice, Thursday, February 16, 5:30 p.m., PAC 1001.

Department of English speaker series featuring Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan, Thursday, February 16, 7:00 p.m., Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome's University. Details.

Pension and Benefits Committee meeting, Friday, February 17, 8:30 a.m., NH 3004.

Senate Finance Committee meeting, Friday, February 17, 1:00 p.m., NH 3004.

Sawatsky lecture with Professor Julia Spicher Kasdorf Friday, February 17, 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel Chapel. Details.

Family Day holiday Monday, February 20, university closed.

Reading Week, February 20 to 24.

Deadline for 50 per cent tuition refund, Tuesday, February 21.

Alumni and Friends Reception at the IEEE 2012 ISSCC, Tuesday, February 21, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 5:30 p.m.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Customer Service/Admissions Assistant – Registrar’s Office, USG 5
• Customer Service Assistant – Registrar’s Office, USG 5        • Mechanic I – Insulation – Plant Operations
• Mechanic I – Plumber – Plant Operations
• Computing Support Specialist – IQC, USG 9
• ITC Finance & Grants Administrator – Psychology, USG 6

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