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Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Friday, June 19, 1998

  • Farms and museums conference
  • Cryptography centre opens today
  • Tidings from other campuses
  • And these miscellaneous notes
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* Fathers' Day

Power shutdown in Davis Centre

Electrical power will be shut down in most of the Davis Centre -- all except the CIM wing -- Saturday morning from 6:30 to 11:00, for maintenance on the 15,000-volt substation. "Computer equipment should be shut down in an orderly fashion" before the outage, says a memo from plant operations. "For further information or assistance, contact Computer Help and Information Place, ext. 4357." Heating, cooling and ventilation will also be shut down for that period.

Farms and museums conference
-- reported by Barbara Elve

Headaches, Hysteria and Hope; Clangers, Bangers and Plonk; Calicos to Furbelows; and Invalid Cookery: they're all fodder for the annual conference of the Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums, starting this weekend at the Ron Eydt Village conference centre.

The event will bring together some 370 educators, curators and administrators of historic houses, villages, recreated communities, military complexes and agricultural museums from across North America and as far away as Australia to explore "A Day in the Life: A Living History of the Everyday".

Tom Reitz, manager and curator of Doon Heritage Crossroads in Kitchener, and chair of the conference, says the international gathering will focus on "the nitty gritty of everyday life in the past", providing an opportunity for primary research to be presented, with conference papers slated for publication to an even wider audience later.

Among the highlights is a presentation by UW history professor and local historian Geoff Hayes, a keynote address by Dan Needles of Wingfield Farm fame, and a talk by broadcaster and journalist Marsha Boulton, best known for her Letters from the Country.

In addition to ploughing though a debate on whether living history museums will survive into the 21st century, and other serious stuff, delegates will attend hands-on workshops at UW and at historic sites around the region, and enjoy a series of day trips, including visits to area Mennonite farms and to a local stockyard market and livestock exchange.

A marketplace of products in the cafeteria of the conference centre is open to the public on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with some 20 vendors featuring historic reproduction clothing, tin ceilings, and Victorian paper items, to name but a few. The conference will wrap up Thursday evening with a square dance at Doon.

Cryptography centre opens today

The new Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research at UW will celebrate its official opening this afternoon by paying tribute to a mathematician whose calculations laid the foundation for the centre. Distinguished professor emeritus William Tutte, now retired and an adjunct faculty member in the combinatorics and optimization department, has been named honorary director of the cryptography centre.

Following opening remarks at the ceremony in Davis Centre room 1350 at 3:30 today, Tutte will present a lecture on "FISH and I", providing an overview of his work on a series of German military codes by that name. During World War II, Tutte was a young mathematician at the now famous cryptographic centre at Bletchley, England.

Scott Vanstone
Half a century later at Waterloo, the new cryptography centre builds on two industrial research chairs in mathematical cryptography that were launched at UW late in 1997. One is held by Scott Vanstone of St. Jerome's University and the department of combinatorics and optimization; the other will be held by Douglas Stinson, who arrives at UW from the University of Nebraska on July 1. Stinson who will also be on hand to speak at today's ceremonies, and a reception will follow from 4:50 to 6:30.

The new UW unit is intended to be the leading academic research and training centre for this vital information technology -- now associated not so much with warfare as with electronic banking and safe Internet communications. Industrial partners have promised a total of $2.5 million over the next five years to further research and offer graduate training in this growing field.

Says a UW news release: "Cryptography is the study of mathematical techniques used to make codes for information security. Conventional cryptography, generally focused on encryption and decryption to ensure the security of digitally transferred information, provides confidentiality, user-authentication, data integrity and non-repudiation for many practical applications, from credit card purchases to wireless transactions. As portable computing becomes the mode of the future, the demand for smaller, faster, more effective cryptographic technology is rapidly increasing. "

Tidings from other campuses

The Atomic Energy Control Board in Ottawa could lift restrictions this summer on production of radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine at McMaster University's medical centre. The school's licence was revoked last September following a radioactive spill, the third "significant incident" in six years. McMaster has submitted a report to the board detailing work done to remedy problems, including "poor control of operations with radioisotopes, poor knowledge of regulatory requirement, inappropriate spill response, and inadequate radiation exposure". Hospitals across Canada use material produced at the centre for detection of cancer, tumours, and heart problems, and for the treatment of arthritis.

A National Capital Institute of Technology has been proposed by a coalition of Ottawa-based universities and high-tech companies to help meet Canada's demand for skilled labour and halt the brain drain to other countries. According to the proposal, presented to both the Ontario and federal governments, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University would administer the Institute, with funding and expertise offered by Nortel, Bell, Newbridge Networks, the municipality and a number of industry associations. In exchange, companies would have access to student research and labour through on-the-job training. In addition to an emphasis on advanced technology, the curriculum would include management of technology and entrepreneurship training. Federal industry minister John Manley noted that while education falls under provincial jurisdiction, the project appears to offer "a very constructive approach" to the problems. He suggested expertise from federally funded research bodies could assist the Institute.

Everybody from Oxford, Cambridge and Durham to the newest of "new universities", formerly polytechnics, has been represented by one organization in Britain in recent years, but that won't last much longer. "This summer's spending review could split the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals," the Times Higher Education Supplement reports. "The CVCP already harbours subgroups of universities such as the Russell Group of older research-led institutions, the Coalition of Modern Universities, representing the former polytechnics, and the '94 Group of small research-led institutions. Fears of a split have intensified as it becomes clearer that higher education is unlikely to be a major beneficiary of any redistribution of resources by the review."

And these miscellaneous notes

Retirements of several staff members are reported by the human resources department. Barry House, co-ordinator in the co-op and career services department since 1982, retired June 1. Graham Connor, custodian at Renison College since 1987, will retire July 1. Carlos Radic, custodian in plant operations since 1974, and most recently a foreperson, will retire August 1. And Elaine Sim, secretary in independent studies, who joined the UW staff in 1984, will retire August 1.

[Sounds of
Summer logo] The annual Sounds of Summer music festival, sponsored by the city of Waterloo, runs this weekend in Waterloo Park, with two main stages plus a separate children's program. Tickets are available at the gate and local music stores. Information: 747-8769.

The Academy of Dance, a local school, has its spring concert in the Humanities Theatre Saturday night at 7:00 and Sunday afternoon at 2:00.

UW alumni in the Vancouver area are holding a barbecue all day Saturday at Jericho Beach Pond, with "casual sporting events and kids' events".

"Thanks," writes Ted Harms of the Bike Centre, "to all those that came out and to all the volunteers that assisted in the Bike Centre's auction. Over $700 was raised by the sale of the bikes, and that money will go back into the Bike Centre to upgrade and replace tools."

Much less grateful is Sheila Wilson of health services. "Someone," she writes, "took our heavy grey wood and metal picnic table ten days ago from the back of Health Services. Not only is it used by staff and passers-by, it was part of our memorial garden for a special nurse who died in 1984. We would just like it back -- no questions asked!"


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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