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Tuesday, May 3, 2005

  • Quantum leap in Lazaridis gift
  • UW research 'spectrum' is worldwide
  • Sabbaticals that began January 1
  • Pixels in the big picture
Chris Redmond

World Press Freedom Day

[Holding hands]

Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis at the celebration of their gift for the Institute for Quantum Computing a year ago. Their latest megadonation to UW made this morning's Globe and Mail.

Quantum leap in Lazaridis gift

UW officials yesterday announced receipt of another "magnificent" gift from Ophelia and Mike Lazaridis, who have given the university another $17.2 million on top of last year's $33.3 million gift for the Institute for Quantum Computing.

Most of the new gift will help to pay for a new building for the IQC and the new nanotechnology engineering program, while 25 per cent of the money will go towards an endowment to attract top foreign graduate students involved in quantum studies. "Each student will receive a $20,000 scholarship from the endowment, and a President's Graduate Scholarship equivalent to full tuition, currently valued at $13,770," a news release said.

Mike Lazaridis is the university's chancellor and the founder, president and co-CEO of Research In Motion. He was listed as one of this year's "100 most influential people" by Time magazine last month.

"The University of Waterloo is once again blessed by our chancellor's outstanding commitment to our university's mission," said UW president David Johnston. "This is a magnificent gift to the university and will be used for developing outstanding national programs, researchers and grad students in quantum computing and nanotechnology engineering."

Lazaridis said: "Ophelia and I are grateful to be in a position to contribute and we are proud to see this important research happening within our community and country. We believe accelerated research and education in Quantum Computing and Nanotechnology Engineering will change the technological landscape and benefit mankind for generations to come."

Bob Harding, outgoing chair of UW board of governors, said: "Mike's generosity is without parallel and it ensures that the University of Waterloo will continue to be a major player in these critical areas of scientific exploration. We are very grateful for his vision and commitment, both for empowering Waterloo and its future plans, and for helping to ensure the nation's place among global leaders in fundamental research."

The news release said plans for a new facility to house quantum computing and nanotechnology engineering research and teaching "are already well underway. The new building will be situated in the centre of the university's campus."

It notes that quantum computing is one of the most important new areas of technological research in the world. It involves harnessing the power of atoms and building quantum computers with transistors of atomic size. "Scientists believe this technology will aid many discoveries, including unbreakable cryptography, unparalleled high precision measurement devices, computers with mind boggling power and a better understanding of the microscopic world.

"Nanotechnology engineers and scientists assemble, manipulate and control materials at the atomic and molecular scale to fabricate structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functionality. Applications include ultra-fast and high memory capacity computers, new materials of incredible strength and cell size probes for biomedical investigations.

"The attraction of students of the highest quality to quantum research will give tremendous support to creativity and research output in this field of research, while also enhancing the capacity of the Canadian economy through the infusion of talent, new discoveries and potential commercial spin-offs."

[Brochure cover]

UW research 'spectrum' is worldwide

From oil in China to water in Guatemala, UW's research connections stretch all over the world, says the latest brochure produced by the university's research office.

Under the title "The Full Spectrum of Research", previous brochures have touched on automotive research, fine and performing arts, quantum science and other topics. This time (left) it's international research, with notes on coral reef studies (headed by Ellsworth LeDrew of geography), international tobacco policies (Geoffrey Fong of health studies), and conservation of wetlands in Kenya (William Taylor of biology), among other projects.

Some of the activities mentioned are specific to the problems of one country -- such as Malawi, where UW's Robert Hecky is helping to establish a centre for aquatic research. Others are collaborations, in fields from astronomy to cryptography, that just happen to involved researchers across international boundaries.

"Waterloo has formalized more than 250 institutional agreements with leading international agencies to pursue collaborative research, exchange, training and development initiatives in 56 countries," the cover of the brochure says.

"Faculty, staff and students take part in challenging research endeavours that merge applied field surveys with advanced made-in-Canada technologies to address a host of global issues such as climate change, groundwater remediation and environmental management."

The cover photo shows an orbiting satellite -- symbolic of projects, such as LeDrew's, that use remote sensing to collect data from distant or difficult areas.

A sampling of the other projects involved includes restoration of Iraq's Mesopotamian marshland areas (headed by Barry Warner of the department of environment and resource studies); municipal strategic planning for Russian cities (James Bater of geography, in partnership with a researcher at the Leontief Centre for Social-Economic Research in St. Petersburg); and the impact of exposure to power line electromagnetic fields (Magdy Salama of electrical and computer engineering, with funding from King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia).

"The Canadian-based Internet program called the 'Virtual Learning Centre for Water' is offered by the United Nations University and was developed by UW's Dr. Colin Mayfield," the brochure adds.

"Dr. Maurice Dusseault, Earth Sciences, is involved in the creation of a national biosolids management centre in India. . . . Dr. Donna Strickland, Physics, and Dr. Leonid Losev of the Lebedev Institute in Moscow are helping to establish a new diagnostic probe for ultra-short time measurements."

Sabbaticals that began January 1

Here's another list of UW faculty members who are away from their usual duties on sabbatical leaves that started January 1 this year.

Zina Gimpelevich of Germanic and Slavic studies has a six-month sabbatical, "dedicated to the Album of V. Krivich, the son of the keeper of the legacy of his famous father, Innokenti Annenskii. There are 144 contributors that include the most prominent cultural figures of the period (Silver Age)."

Bertrand Guenin of combinatorics and optimization also is on sabbatical for six months. "I will be visiting the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, and CWI, Amsterdam, Netherlands."

Sally Gunz of the accountancy school has a year-long sabbatical. Plans: "Work on current research projects, mostly considering ethical decisions made by professionals. Visit several US universities to observe the teaching of business ethics courses for input into a new course in School of Accountancy."

Mark Havitz of recreation and leisure studies is on sabbatical for six months. "The primary purpose of my sabbatical will be to complete a first draft of a leisure marketing textbook. I will be lead author, responsible for 16 to 21 chapters. My co-author, John L. Crompton of Texas A&M University, will write the remaining five. I also hope to upgrade my statistical analysis skills by auditing a structural modeling course in Psychology."

David Blowes of earth sciences is part way through a six-month sabbatical as well. "During my leave I will initiate two major projects focused on preventing contamination from mine sites. I will also install and commission two major analytical instruments in my laboratory. I will visit colleagues in Japan and Sweden."

Terri Meyer Boake of the architecture school has a year-long sabbatical. "Much of the time will be spent completing work on three multi-media CD-ROMs to teach steel for the Steel Structures Education Foundation as well as the Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute. I will also be working with ACSA and the Steel Tube Institute of America in the creation of teaching materials for hollow structural steel sections. Time will be spent self-teaching FinalCutPro in the intent of creating a short film. I will participate in 3 conferences."

Jean Duhamel of chemistry is on sabbatical for six months, "to write up papers and grant proposals in view of the renewal of my Tier 2 Canada Research Chair".

Automotive Crashworthiness Workshop sponsored by Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research, today, Davis Centre room 1302.

Networking 2005 conference continues.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students begin, details online.

Electrical and computer engineering seminar: Ian Akyildiz, Georgia Tech, 12:30, CEIT conference room.

Welcome reception for new students 4:30, Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre.

Flex lab open house for faculty interested in technology for teaching and learning, Wednesday 2 to 3 and Thursday 11 to 12, Dana Porter Library room 329.

Computational mathematics seminar: Kees Oosterlee, Delft University of Technology, "Evaluation of European and American Options with Grid Stretching and Accurate Discretization", Wednesday 3:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group recruitment meeting Wednesday 6 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology presents Eugene Roman, Bell Systems, "Innovation: What Else Is New?" Friday 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1101, RSVP ext. 7167 by Thursday.

Pixels in the big picture

There's a result in the recent election of two graduate student representatives on UW's senate, says an announcement from the university secretariat: "The election closed Wednesday, April 27, at 8:00 p.m. The results were as follows: Atefeh Mashatan (Combinatorics & Optimization), 64 votes; Lawrence Brett McAllister (Civil Engineering), 10 votes; Douglas Stebila (Combinatorics & Optimization), 32 votes; Maria Ziegler (Biology), 31 votes. The candidates declared elected are Atefeh Mashatan and Douglas Stebila, terms from May 1, 2005 to April 30, 2007. Of the 2,763 eligible graduate student voters, 137 voted, for a return rate of 4.9 per cent."

Tina Roberts, director of marketing and undergraduate recruitment, reports that UW "has been presented with an excellent opportunity to showcase our school in the United States and Canada on a television show called 'Today's Family' . . . a series that celebrates successful parenting solutions. They are producing a show on the importance of choosing the right university. Four U.S. universities and four Canadian universities (UW, Victoria, Bishop's and Carleton) are being featured. The actual segment about UW will be aired sometime this fall on ABC Family, the Canadian Learning Channel, and on regional television. . . . In May/June a film crew will be on campus. The intent is to produce a segment that accurately reflects UW's point of difference and fairly depicts the range of programs, facilities, people, strengths, and accomplishments for an audience that knows little if anything about UW." Gail Cuthbert Brandt, associate vice-president (academic), is coordinating UW's involvement along with Roberts and Martin Van Nierop of communications and public affairs. Wanted are what the producers call "wow examples" of striking things about UW, including "what's happening in the classroom" and "student successes". Roberts will welcome suggestions by this Friday.

The research and technology park Accelerator Centre has chosen a winner of its public logo design contest, [Logo] a news release announces. "The winner of the $500 cash award and the honour of having the winning design for this community-based Accelerator Centre is the design team of Jason Erb and Alex Mohammed of Conestoga College. The design they submitted (right) conveys a forum where ideas are generated and solutions are found. The cyclone icon held by the two arrows indicates the continuous motion and speed of technology, while the bold condensed type is reminiscent of a strong foundation holding all the elements of acceleration." They'll be feted at the Accelerator Centre's annual general meeting on June 13.

A former member of UW's staff, Hilda Roethel, died March 8. She was a housekeeper in Village I from 1986 until her retirement in April 1994.

The department of classical studies has announced several winners of prizes and scholarships at the end of the winter term. Honoured at a luncheon last month were Stephanie Blad (for the Classical Studies Companion Prize), Bridget Whittle (Cathy Jane Harrison Award), Kyle Menken (Classical Studies Prize in Roman History and R. L. Porter Book Prize), and Madelyne Hilker (Jacqui Spoth Greek Book Prize).

Ian Forde, who starred for the football Warriors as a receiver and kick returner, was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts in last week's Canadian Football League draft. . . . The annual Matthews Golf Classic for faculty, staff and retirees will be held this year on Monday, June 20. . . . Were those really snowflakes I noticed in the air this morning?


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