[University of Waterloo]


Past days


About the DB

Thursday, March 3, 2005

  • Job on the other side of the world
  • The web 'common look and feel'
  • Notes for a winter Wednesday
Chris Redmond

Birthday for Bell and Bethune

Job on the other side of the world -- by Esther Chen, from the Inside Scoop electronic newsletter for co-op students

Co-op is often an opportunity to explore new career paths and places, whether it is through living in another city, province, or country. Mike Bloxam, a 3A computer science student, is currently on the other side of the world working for Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in Seoul, Korea.

[One dog, one sled, one hand-made UW sign]

'A great day despite one crash," says Sharon McFarlane (in the hat of many colours) after she and colleague Bonnie Fretz went dogsledding "near Algonquin Park" last weekend. "Bonnie and I wanted to go," says McFarlane, so they decided to make it a publicity event for the Better Beaker Challenge, the graduate fund-raising program in UW's science faculty, where the two share a job as alumni officers. "Often students don't hear about it until after they graduate," McFarlane writes. "We've been doing a bunch of things to introduce ourselves. We're located in the ESC link, and students pass our door and stop cold when they see the dog sledding signs and then stop to read about the pledge and all the services we provide to alumni. If down the road, one of our alumni needs help planning a reunion, getting job leads or reconnecting with UW and suddenly remembers that those Dog Sledding Women can help, then it worked!" She adds: "To add to the cause, we will be selling 'Mush-mallow Arctic Dog Treats' (s'mores) for $1 on Monday from 11:30 to 1:30 in the main level of EIT."

He applied for the job at Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (SFM) through the co-op process and got the job through a phone interview. He writes, "I am really enjoying the work experience. The people at SFM have been great to me, and since so many speak English, they are able to communicate at least conversationally. The work that I have been doing has been very interesting and challenging at times, and I enjoy that as well."

Throughout the term he has been updating and enhancing a software application that involves actuarial data, and has learned how to use SQL and Oracle database access in Visual Basic .NET, among other things. "I've learned quite a bit about programming a large software application for the real-world."

Beyond the workplace, he has gained a wealth of knowledge about Korea from a Canadian's perspective. "Korea has a different culture from Canada, though there are some similarities. A lot of the same values we hold in Canada are the same here." He also notes that "Every single person has a mobile phone, most people are willing to help out foreigners, and most people in Seoul understand or speak English." This has made it relatively easy for Bloxam to adapt to Korean life. Through his work and free time, he has learned a few key phrases and the basics of the Korean language, and taught himself how to read Hangul (the Korean alphabet).

[A pair of big smiles] For those who are thinking of working in Korea in the future, Bloxam (right, with his supervisor) has the following advice: "Start looking early for a place to live and be aware that there is a 'key deposit', usually between $2,000 and $5,000 Canadian, plus monthly rent. The deposit is returned when you move out. Housing and utilities are about the only expensive aspects of living in Korea. Restaurant food, most store-bought food, clothing, alcohol, and electronics are all cheap, especially if you know where to shop.

"Pack lightly, but pack smartly. You should bring clothing appropriate for the seasons you'll be here, and also bring a few mementos from home -- even something as simple as some Canadian money to show people. I actually had a few quarters in one pair of jeans and gave them to the Korean people I was with at the time as a souvenir of Canada."

  • Distance ed graduate discusses books and life with Oprah Winfrey
  • Former UW librarian Dave Binkley mourned at Trent
  • Presentation to UW optometry librarian
  • 'Did York bungle university land deal?' (Star)
  • JISC Plagiarism Advisory Service (UK)
  • UW planning grad, former Fed president, talks about his Guyana internship
  • Student group calls for more 'freedom of information'
  • Gap Year Abroad from Travel CUTS
  • Coming next: Veterinarians Without Borders
  • New president for College of Art and Design
  • The web 'common look and feel'

    Training sessions continue as UW's planned new "common look and feel" for web pages is introduced, and members of the overhauled Web Operations Committee "will also be available to provide individual assistance to you or your web maintenance group", says the new Common Look and Feel web site.

    It explains that "a framework has been put into place" to help with the transformation of UW's estimated 400,000 web pages. "This framework consists of two components: a centrally maintained Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) that will be linked from all pages; a template that can be configured for use in Dreamweaver or Contribute, or adapted for use by other web site development tools."

    In the new approach, which was endorsed by the university's top officials in a memo last month, there are a number of defined areas on the web page: header, image, navigation, body text and footer. "Each of these areas may consist of a number of distinct elements, each having its own specific position on the page," the new site explains. "Some elements are required on all three levels of pages, some on only level 1 pages. Some elements must be linked to a specific URL."

    For example, every UW web page is expected to carry the university's logo as a link to the UW home page; a search box; UW's address; an e-mail link to the office responsible for the page; and so on. "All pages must have the unit title (e.g. department) to identify these pages in the overall UW web structure."

    The Cascading Style Sheets determine the appearance of UW web documents. "The appearance," says the web site, "includes the positioning of elements on the page, the fonts and colours used, etc. The CSS resides on a central web server, and will be accessed from web pages on all other servers. It is not intended that the CSS should be copied to individual web servers. Most web sites on campus need not concern themselves with the CSS."

    It notes that the new Web Operations Team "has been put into place to assist you in converting your web site to the new UW Web Common Look and Feel. The Web Ops Team will be providing documentation and holding information sessions and courses. Members of the team will also be available to provide individual assistance." The team is chaired by Carol Vogt of information systems and technology, and includes others from IST, design experts from graphics, and Jesse Rodgers, manager of web communications in the communications and public affairs office.

    The new design will be the topic for Friday morning's professional development seminar in IST. "At this session," Vogt writes, "we will examine the page components of this appearance and discuss the framework that has been put into place to provide this look and feel. . . . Then we will quickly go over the configuration of this template, and use it in Dreamweaver and Contribute to create some pages." She and colleague Jason Greatrex "will also discuss the experiences they have had configuring the template, and creating a web site using it."

    Ursula Franklin follows up last night's Hagey Lecture ("Thinking About Technology: Defining Technology as Practice") with a student colloquium, 10:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

    Engineers Without Borders Day with events, information and discussion, Student Life Centre great hall.

    Dalsa Corporation: "A Brief History" by founder (and former UW faculty member) Savvas Chamberlain, sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, 12 noon, Rod Coutts Hall room 305, RSVP to ext. 7167.

    International Week events: "Around the World in 180 Minutes", student presentations about their homelands, 12:00 to 3:00, Student Life Centre. Country presentation and international movie night, 6:00, SLC.

    Health informatics information session for students, faculty and staff, 12:30, Coutts Hall room 308.

    Copyright in Canada information session by Amber Lyons, McMaster University intellectual property office, including discussion of copyright on learning materials, 1 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, reservations required (ext. 3300 or zadilsky@uwaterloo.ca).

    Artist's talk: Sarah Nind discusses "Fictions", her exhibition now in the UW gallery, 1:30, East Campus Hall room 1219.

    Career workshops: "Law School Bound" 1:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; "Teaching English Abroad", 3:30, TC room 1208; "Job Search Strategies", 4:30, TC room 2218.

    Quantum computing lecture: Anton Zeilinger, University of Vienna, "Interpretation of Macromolecules", 2:15, B. F. Goodrich room 2125.

    Health mentorship afternoon: alumni of the health studies program talk about their careers, 3 to 5 p.m., Clarica Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute, Matthews Hall.

    Business breakfast seminar on "Improving Workplace Relationships" with two speakers from Meta Team Solutions, Friday 7 a.m., Renison College, tickets 884-4404.

    Quest and Waterloo Inquiry demonstration for staff and faculty: graduate studies, Friday 9:30, Davis Centre room 1304; undergraduate studies, Friday 9:30 in Coutts Hall room 309 or 1:30 in Arts Lecture Hall room 113.

    International Skating Day at Columbia Icefield, Friday 2 to 4 p.m. -- Society of International Students members only for the first hour, open to all ($2) from 3 to 4.

    Notes for a winter Wednesday

    [Dufournaud] A memorial event will be held this afternoon for Christian Dufournaud (right), professor of geography, who died February 14. A specialist in topics including the economic development of Asian and African countries, he was on leave for this academic year and serving as an associate dean at the United Arab Emirates University. Friends are invited "to remember Christian and to express condolences to his family" from 4 to 6 today at the University Club.

    This evening brings a student-organized symposium on "The Role of the Bioengineer for the 21st Century", and while registration for the event itself (being held in the Davis Centre) is now closed, there's another option for those interested: watch it on the Internet. A webcast has been arranged through UW's audio-visual service, says Rohi Gupta, co-president of the Club for Undergraduate BioEngineers, which is organizing the event. The symposium runs from 3 to 7 p.m., and "features speakers from industry and academia discussing multidisciplinary and exciting projects in bioengineering," Gupta notes.

    Tomorrow brings another student-organized conference, this one a day-long event under the title "The World Is Our Community: Canada's Response to International Crisis". Put together at the school of social work at Renison College, it'll be held at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Centre in central Waterloo. Keynote speaker is Maude Barlow, chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and author of some ten books on globalization, social programs and related issues. Other speakers come from the Canadian Red Cross and other agencies. "As Canadians, we need to respond appropriately to international crises," says Mike Mainland, one of the student organizers, "and this conference addresses issues that affect our global community." Last-minute information is on the web.

    A revised version of UW's Policy 74 has been issued, says a notice from the university secretariat. Formerly titled "Fixed Asset Inventory", it now has a catchier name: "Capital and Non-Capital Assets". Either way, the policy talks about things that belong to the university, and notes that "Responsibility for the care and custody of property rests with the UW person providing the resources for the purchase of the asset, and/or the person responsible for the physical area where the furniture or equipment is located" -- usually a department head. The revised policy raises the minimum value for something that has to be "tracked" by the university's finance office: formerly $1,000, it's now $5,000, and there is no longer a requirement for a physical "tag" on such equipment. "Finance will provide a list of all capital assets to each department annually," the policy says. "The list must be verified by the department for completeness and accuracy. . . . Implementation of proper safeguarding and security measures . . . will eliminate the need to conduct a physical count each year."

    An invitation for comments on the possible reappointment of the vice-president (academic) and provost, Amit Chakma, issued by the nominating committee a few days ago, is available on the web. . . . This year's TD Canada Trust Walter Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment will be Frank Schwartz of the Ohio State University, who will lecture March 23 with the title "Whisky's for Drinking, Water's for Fighting Over". . . . "Pick Your Plan Week" continues for undergraduates who need to select or change a major, minor or option, in advance of class enrolment appointments in June. . . .

    Roy Beattie, a custodian in UW's plant operations department since 1976, retired officially on March 1. . . . Engineering students are showing off projects and activities today (9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.) at Conestoga Mall on the north side of Waterloo, in celebration of National Engineering Week. . . . Here's a reminder that the winter final examination timetable is available on the web at a different URL from the one used in the past. . . .

    The men's hockey Warriors are in the OUA playoffs, and meet Western tonight in the first game of a best-of-three semifinal game. Play starts at 7:35 at Western's Thompson Athletic Centre. (Game two will be Saturday night at the Icefield, and game three, if necessary, Sunday night back at Western.) Also in action today are the UW figure-skaters, in the OUA championships, which are also being held at Western. Next up: the OUA west finals in men's basketball, pitting Waterloo against Brock at 4:00 Saturday afternoon in the Physical Activities Complex.


    Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
    200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
    (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
    bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Daily Bulletin
    Copyright © 2005 University of Waterloo