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Thursday, February 15, 2001

  • UW names on Order of Canada list
  • Lecture on sustainable development
  • Engineers take their obligation
  • Volleyball thriller; other notes

Staff member is mourned

Adassa Burey, a member of the custodial staff in UW's plant operations department, died Saturday. She was 63. She is survived by her husband, Charlie, a son and a daughter and many other family members.

The funeral will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Kitchener Church of God, 533 Weber Street East. There will be visitation tonight (7 to 9 p.m.) and Friday (2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.) at the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home.

Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society were suggested.

UW names on Order of Canada list

[Tutte] An emeritus faculty member at UW -- Bill Tutte of the department of combinatorics and optimization -- is one of four people with close UW ties to be named to the Order of Canada today.

The government announced the appointments yesterday among 98 new Companions, Officers and Members of the Order. The appointments are retroactive to November 15, 2000.

William T. Tutte (left) was honoured not just for his work as a teacher and theoretical mathematician, but for his contributions to breaking German codes for the British armed forces during World War II. That work led to a lifelong interest in cryptography, and Tutte is now honorary director of the UW Centre for Cryptographic Research.

In a citation for the CRM-Fields Institute Prize in mathematics a few weeks ago, colleagues said of Tutte that "In graph theory he established fundamental results for matching, connectivity, symmetry in graphs, reconstruction, colouring, Hamiltonian circuits, graphs on higher surfaces, graph enumeration and graph polynomials. In matroid theory, he is the single most important pioneer."

He becomes an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Also named an Officer is Arthur Carty, president of the National Research Council of Canada, who was a professor of chemistry at UW from 1967 to 1994 and dean of research 1989-1994. He received an honorary degree from Waterloo in 1997. The Order of Canada citation calls him "an internationally respected chemist" and adds that at NRC, "His energetic leadership and clear vision have made the Council a major player in the development and expansion of new frontiers of scientific exploration."

Two outside friends of the university were both named Members of the Order:

Lecture on sustainable development

A leading international authority on sustainable livelihoods will speak this afternoon in the Humanities Theatre, and promises to "challenge experts and policymakers to unite to develop 'new era' solutions".

[Singh with world map] The speaker is Naresh Singh (right), who is visiting UW this winter as Canada Trust/Walter Bean visiting professor in environmental studies. When not at UW, Singh is principal advisor in Poverty and Sustainable Livelihoods for the United Nations Development Program.

"We have the tools to revolutionize traditional policy-making for optimum management of our environment," says Singh. "Recent developments in biology, economics, computer science and systems thinking and in social design and complexity theory are producing tools with phenomenal potential." He'll elaborate on those statements today, and will also speak about what UW faculty and students are doing and what needs to be done to share expertise in developing countries.

The lecture starts at 4:00 this afternoon. It's open to the public at no charge, but seating is limited. Call 888-4973 for last-minute tickets.

Engineers take their obligation

Late this afternoon, in a closed ceremony (actually multiple closed ceremonies, because there are so many of them), this year's graduating engineers will make a promise and put on an iron ring. The ring, worn on "the little finger of the working hand", is a uniquely Canadian symbol, a token by which to recognize a Canadian engineer who has deliberately taken an "obligation" to his or her new profession.

The web site for the independent agency that manages the Iron Ring tradition gives this background:

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has a history dating back to 1922, when seven past-presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada attended a meeting in Montreal with other engineers. One of the speakers was civil engineer Professor Haultain of the University of Toronto. He felt that an organization was needed to bind all members of the engineering profession in Canada more closely together. He also felt that an obligation or statement of ethics to which a young graduate in engineering could subscribe should be developed. . . .

Haultain wrote to Rudyard Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems and writings. He asked Kipling for his assistance in developing a suitably dignified obligation and ceremony for its undertaking. Kipling was very enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both an obligation and a ceremony formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer." . . .

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has been instituted with the simple end of directing the newly qualified engineer toward a consciousness of the profession and its social significance and indicating to the more experienced engineer their responsibilities in welcoming and supporting the newer engineers when they are ready to enter the profession. . . .

The Iron Ring has been registered and may be worn on the little finger of the working hand by any engineer who has been obligated at an authorized ceremony of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. The ring symbolizes the pride which engineers have in their profession, while simultaneously reminding them of their humility. The ring serves as a reminder to the engineer and others of the engineer's obligation to live by a high standard of professional conduct. It is not a symbol of qualification as an engineer -- this is determined by the provincial and territorial licensing bodies.

Among Kipling's references to the tireless work of engineers is his poem "The Sons of Martha", which includes this quatrain:
They do not preach that their God will rouse them
a little before the nuts work loose.
They do not teach that His Pity allows them
to drop their job when they dam'-well choose.
The first Iron Ring ceremony at UW was held in the spring of 1963.

Today's event will be preceded by a day of hijinks around the engineering buildings, and followed by the Iron Ring Stag at Bingeman Park. The Iron Warrior has explained that "One tradition of the IRS is for everybody to find the nuttiest, goofiest, ugliest clothes they can find." And it gets wilder from there -- it's not for nothing that the price of Stag tickets includes a pair of special (black) IRS boxer shorts.

Volleyball thriller; other notes

The men's volleyball Warriors will host Western tonight as the Ontario west division finals get going. It's the first game of a two-out-of-three series. "Although Western is the higher seed," says Chris Gilbert of UW's athletics department, "they have elected to play the first game here in Waterloo and the second and third game, if necessary, in London." Play starts at 8:00 tonight in the Physical Activities Complex -- and because it's a league playoff, admission isn't covered by UW season tickets. Entrance is $8 (students $5). The Warriors got to this point with a thrilling win over Windsor, 3-2, on Tuesday night.

Otherwise, things are distinctly slowing down on a campus that's about to enter the catch-up days of winter reading break. However, a few things are happening. . . .

And of course the drama department's production of "totally durang-ed" continues (8:00) in Studio 180 in the Humanities building.

Tomorrow brings the annual general meeting of Imprint Publications, the corporation that publishes the student newspaper Imprint. All students who have paid the Imprint fee -- that's the great majority -- are entitled to attend and vote. The meeting will start at 12:30 p.m. in Student Life Centre room 1116.

And tomorrow night brings an open house at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, attached to Wilfrid Laurier University. The event starts at 6 p.m. and includes a concert (7:30). I'll say a little more about it in tomorrow's Bulletin.


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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