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Friday, March 30, 2012

  • One week, two budgets
  • UAE's Got Talent
  • Friday's notes
  • Editor:
  • Brandon Sweet
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Think Pink: Federation of Students VP Education Natalie Cockburn, VP Internal Luke Burke, director of Athletics Bob Copeland, Federation of Students VP Administration and Finance Kumar Patel, and Associate Provost (Students) Bud Walker take one for the team at Wednesday's Paint Drop, the highlight of the Colour Me Educated Campaign. Obviously, the Faculty of Mathematics won the nine-week fundraising campaign, which sees uWaterloo's six faculties compete to raise the most money for the Kitchener branch of Pathways to Education Canada. The math faculty contributed $2,706.96 to the total of $7,649.72 raised during the campaign.

Photo by Michael L. Davenport

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One week, two budgets

with material from an Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada backgrounder

Even as Ontario's post-secondary sectors continues to analyze Tuesday's provincial budget, the 2012 federal budget, brought down yesterday, will no doubt merit some attention as its implications for universities become clearer. A snapshot of some of the measures follows:

The budget will direct $500 million over five years, starting in 2014-15, to the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to establish new funding competitions.

The budget also proposes $37 million in spending on the three federal granting councils —$15 million per year each for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and $7 million annually to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)— to support industry-academic partnership initiatives. This funding comes as the agencies are expected to pursue "operational efficiencies and reallocation of funding from lower-priority programs to generate savings." The savings are to be reinvested in industry-academic programs, such as CIHR's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research and NSERC's Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation.

Genome Canada received $60 million, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) will receive $10 million over two years. CANARIE, Canada's high-speed research network, is getting $40 million over two years.

The work of the Expert Review Panel on Research and Development, headed by Open Text's Tom Jenkins, was reflected in the government's decision to double the contribution budget of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (an increase of $100 million a year) to better support research by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), support for internships for graduate students, and funding for business-led development. The budget allocates $67 million in 2012-13 to assist the National Research Council in refocusing on "industry-relevant research." The SR&ED tax incentive program is being reduced—streamlined, in official parlance—in favour of direct spending programs to support innovation.

“This is a smart choice," said president Feridun Hamdullahpur of the government's decision to continue investing in research and development even in tough times. "The government's budget supports investment in research, innovation and the creation of new knowledge, which is tremendously important to the country’s future as we move ahead and navigate through a difficult economic period."

The budget also signalled that an international education strategy remains part of the government's plan for post-secondary education, with an advisory panel chaired by Western University president (and former uWaterloo provost) Amit Chakma to submit a report in the near future with recommendations on deepening educational links between Canada and international institutions.

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) were both supportive of the measures contained in the budget.

I, on the other hand, will be pouring a jar of coins out on the curb in memory of the penny, which the government announced will be discontinued this year, for a savings of about $11 million annually.

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UAE's Got Talent

by Livia Fama, Student Support Manager, Waterloo UAE Campus

Students at the UAE campus came together in their annual talent show to sing, dance and perform their way to raise money for the Terry Fox Run in Dubai.

The campus faculty, student body, parents and local community were all in attendance to enjoy the multifaceted range of talents; from hip hop medleys and breakdancing (pictured above is the UW UAE breakdancing squad), to cultural dances and songs, comedy acts, art displays, and even impersonations of faculty which were met with good humor.

UAE student Sharon Wachira.“It is really nice to see the students come together and share their talents with the wider community — especially with them all being from so many different countries,” said Ralon Nazareth, Employment Manager in Co-operative Education at the UAE campus.

At right, Sharon Wachira, a 2B Financial Analysis and Risk Management student, plays the violin in traditional Kenyan dress.

The event was organized by the campus' student council, which raised $1356 that was matched by an administration grant for a grand total of $2712. The money was donated to a local UAE university for cancer research.

“Despite all the last-minute planning and rehearsals, we were able to produce a successful talent show to illustrate both student and professors' hidden talents,” said Llewellyn Human, a 2B Civil Engineering student who is Vice-President of the UAE student council. “It was a great achievement to see our event raise funds for such an important cause.”

The Terry Fox run is an annual, worldwide event put on by the Terry Fox Foundation, whose aim is to fund cancer research.

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Friday's notes

The Spring term is rapidly coming to a close, with lectures ending on Monday. Even as students gear up for their exams next week, reminders are going out for students to complete their fee arrangements by April 24. Students who have completed their arrangements and are thus "fees arranged" by April 24 will have access to their courses on Learn on the morning of May 1, 2012. Those who don't, won't. More information is available from Student Accounts in NH 1110 at extension 38466 or at studentaccounts@

We had a pretty good run with the daily "myth vs. fact" nutrition tips supplied by Health Services dietician Sandra Ace in support of Nutrition Month. Except for yesterday's mix-up with the energy drink tip. In case you needed any clarification, energy drinks should not be consumed on an empty stomach or mixed with alcohol.

That said, I would like to thank Sandra for supplying me with these tips for the last few weeks, and thank the readers who sent feedback both to me and to Sandra directly. Here is the final nutrition tip:

Myth: Dietitians only eat healthy foods – never chocolate, fries, chips or candy.
Truth: Happily, this one is definitely a myth! Dietitians eat all kind of foods, even chocolate, French fries, chips and candy...on occasion. Registered Dietitians are uniquely-trained nutrition experts that are accountable to a provincial regulatory body, just like doctors and nurses. We have a passion for nutrition, health and food. Dietitians believe that healthy foods are delicious but also that there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat- and we hope that you do, too!

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Websites down on Sunday

A message from IST: "The UW homepage and websites hosted on will be offline due to maintenance from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. this Sunday, April 1. These sites include academic-support departments that are not in the WCMS. A ’splash page’ will be displayed to our website visitors during this outage."

"Please note that faculty sites, and sites now on the WCMS will not be affected."

Link of the day

Van Gogh turns 159

When and where

Engineering Shadow Days, Monday, March 19 to Friday, March 30.

2012 Athletics banquet, Friday, March 30, 6:00 p.m., St. George's Hall, Waterloo.

Third annual SMF Symposium, Friday, March 30. Details.

Institute for Computer Research (ICR) presents Prof. Bobak Nazer, Boston University, "Harnessing Interference", Friday, March 30, 11:00 a.m., DC 1302.

Knowledge Integration Senior Research Conference, Friday, March 30, 4:00 p.m., Minto Atrium, Environment 3. Details.

School of Accounting and Finance Equity Research Challenge, Friday, March 30, 4:30 p.m., HH 1102. Details.

"Unveiled," a play by Rohina Malik, Friday, March 30, 7:00 p.m., Conrad Grebel Great Hall. Free admission, tickets available online. For more information, contact Idrisa Pandit at sievents@

UW Chamber Choir, "Love of My Soul," Friday, March 30, 8:00 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church.

Alyson Woloshyn fundraiser cocktail party and silent auction, Saturday, March 31. Details.

Open Data Codefest, Saturday, March 31, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., SLC Multipurpose Room. Details. Organized by Open Data Waterloo Region, the UW Open Data Initiative, and the Feds Student Developer Network.

University Choir, "Canticum Orationem", Saturday, March 31, 8:00 p.m., Benton Street Baptist Church, 90 Benton St., Kitchener. $10 general admission, $5 students/seniors.

Lectures end April 2.

Staff conference April 3-4, Humanities Theatre and other rooms in Hagey Hall, details online.

Board of governors Tuesday, April 3, 2:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3001.

Waterloo Research Institute in Insurance, Securities and Quantitative Finance (WatRISQ) presents Christiane Lemieux, associate professor, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, “An Adaptive Premium Policy with a Bayesian Motivation in the Classical Risk Model,” Tuesday, April 3, 4:00 p.m., DC 1304.

The Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience presents the 6th annual Waterloo Brain Day, Wednesday, April 4, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., PAS 2083. Details.

Designing the Future, Faculty of Engineering reception, Wednesday, April 4, 6:00 p.m., Student Design Centre, Engineering 5. Details.

English Language Proficiency Exam in the Physical Activities Complex, Thursday, April 5.

Good Friday holiday April 6, university closed.

Drop, Penalty 2 Period ends Friday, April 6.

On-campus examinations begin Monday April 9.

Centre for Career Action workshop, "I'd do what I love...but what is it?" Friday, April 13, 9:30 a.m., TC 1112. Details.

Online Class examination days Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14.

Waterloo Lecture: the Representation of Apes in Medieval Art, Wednesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., Stratford Public Library.

Surplus sale of furniture and equipment, Thursday, April 19, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall.

University senate Monday, April 16, 3:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Official launch of the School of Public Health and Health Systems in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Thursday, April 19, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Spring 2012 promissory notes and payments due April 24.

PhD Oral Defences

Systems Design Engineering. Turuna Saraswati Seecharan, “Metamodel-based Probabilistic Design for Dynamic Systems with Degrading Components.” Supervisor, Gordon Savage. On deposit in the Engineering Graduate Office, PHY 3004. Oral defence Friday, April 13, 10:00 a.m., E5 6002.

Computer Science. Amr El-Helw, “Query Optimization in Dynamic Environments.” Supervisor, Ihab F. Ilyas. On display in the Mathematics Faculty graduate office, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, April 16, 1:30 p.m., DC 1331.

Computer Science. Richard Jang, “Fast and Robust Mathematical Modeling of NMR Assignment Problems.” Supervisor, Ming Li. On display at the Mathematics Faculty Graduate Office, MC 5090. Oral defence Tuesday, April 17, 9:30 a.m., DC 1331.

Kinesiology. Rodrigo Villar, “Effect of Arterial Blood Perfusion on Vascular Conductance and Muscle Blood Flow at Rest and Exercise.” Supervisor, Richard Hughson. On display at the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, BMH 3110. Oral defence Tuesday, April 17, 10:00 a.m., BMH 3119.

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