Friday, December 1, 2006

  • Engineering student is mourned
  • Children can negotiate, study finds
  • Matters of the utmost gravity
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

December is the tenth month

When and where

'Understanding the Darfur Conflict' by Caroline Khoubesserian, 11:45, Centre for International Governance Innovation, 57 Erb Street West, details and reservations online.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre Friday and Saturday evenings, including movies (tonight "Jackass 2" 11:30, Saturday "Home Alone 2" 11:00), free food, dance lessons, casino, pictures with Santa, crafts, details online.

Warrior sports: basketball vs. Toronto tonight and Ryerson tomorrow, both days women 6:00, men 8:00, Physical Activities Complex. • Men's hockey vs. Concordia tonight 7:30, vs. UQTR Saturday 7:30, Icefield. Warriors' food drive at Saturday night's game. • Women's volleyball at McMaster tonight, vs. Brock tomorrow 2 p.m., PAC. • Women's hockey vs. York 2:00 Sunday, Icefield. • Cheerleading, PCA University Nationals at Brampton tomorrow. • Swimming at Eastern Michigan Invitational today and Saturday. • Men's volleyball at Laurier, 2:00 Saturday. • Track and field at Western tomorrow.

Brian Byrne free concert tonight, Bombshelter pub, doors open 9 p.m.

Perimeter Institute presents Damian Pope, "The Essence of Quantum Theory", Saturday 10 a.m. to noon, 31 Caroline Street North, no reservation necessary.

World Religions Conference sponsored by Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, speakers from eight traditions on "My Faith and Freedom of Conscience", Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Humanities Theatre, details and free registration online.

UW Recreation Committee outings: Saturday to "Aladdin" at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, Sunday to Christmas Tea at Woodside National Historic Park.

UW Choir with Waterloo Chamber Players, Handel's "Messiah", Sunday 3 p.m., St. John's Lutheran Church, Willow Street, tickets $12 (students $10).

Language Learning and Teaching colloquium, presentations by students in graduate course on "Applied Language Didactics", Monday 1:30 to 6:00, Humanities room 373, details online.

Instrumental chamber ensembles end-of-tern concert Monday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free.

BarCamp Waterloo for discussion of web and technology issues, Tuesday 5:30 p.m., Accelerator Centre, details online.

Christmas concert by Chamber Choir and Chapel Choir in the Davis Centre great hall, Thursday, December 7, 12 noon.

Annual carol sing in the Modern Languages lobby, led by Jake Willms, Thursday, December 14, 12:15 p.m., all welcome.

Winter term fee payments due December 18 by cheque, or December 28 by bank transfer.

[Yip]Engineering student is mourned

Fourth-year electrical engineering student Janet Yip (left) died Wednesday afternoon in hospital in Kingston, near where she had been spending a co-op work term.

She was "an excellent student who was actively involved in campus life", in the words of the chair of electrical and computer engineering, Catherine Rosenberg. Yip served as an engineering representative on students' council and had been involved in everything from the Canada Day celebrations to the Forum for Independent Thought and a proposed peace society.

A friend, Rajat Suri, writes that "The campus community has suffered an incalculable loss. Janet was a wonderful friend and a dedicated councillor. She was totally devoted to the causes she was passionate about, be it the status of women in engineering, the plight of students on campus or the environment. She stood up for her principles with an unwavering strength of character that many of us could not help but be inspired by. Her delightful sense of humour also brightened the lives of those who were lucky enough to know her; she had an uncanny talent for defusing a tense situation. We will all miss Janet terribly but thank our good fortune that she graced our lives with her love and friendship."

Her home was in Markham, north of Toronto. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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Children can negotiate, study finds

from the UW media relations office

When young children argue with their siblings, they are rarely counselled to address their conflicts after the fighting is over. Rather than encouraging children to forget past disagreements, it might be better for parents to use these quarrels to help their children develop skills in conflict resolution.

That's the conclusion of researchers at UW and the University of Chicago, who asked 64 pairs of siblings, between the ages of four and 12, to try to solve an ongoing conflict.

The study, reported in the November-December issue of the journal Child Development, found that at the time conflicts occur, it's difficult for siblings to negotiate constructively and compromise with one another. In contrast, when dealing with past disagreements, many children are able to discuss their differences productively and to resolve their conflicting interests.

"By not encouraging after-the-fact negotiations, parents may be losing a valuable opportunity to inspire children to take their siblings' interests into account and to develop effective conflict-resolution skills," concludes Hildy Ross, lead author of the study and a psychology professor at Waterloo.

Research shows that children don't readily forget past grievances. But siblings were able to resolve those differences when they worked together, compromised and made flexible plans for the future. When children failed to discuss the future or lobbed accusations at each other, they were unable to resolve these conflicts. Even when disagreements were expressed in a reasoned or toned-down manner, they often stood in the way of solutions.

Much of the time, older siblings were the leaders in efforts to resolve conflicts — suggesting, modifying, justifying and asking their younger siblings to accept proposed solutions. Younger siblings countered and disagreed, but they also helped plan and, quite often, agreed to their older brothers' and sisters' plans. When older siblings thought highly of their younger siblings, the children were more likely to reach a compromise.

Ross and her colleagues were seeking to determine whether young children can negotiate with each other to resolve long-standing disagreements, learn whether siblings can reach compromises that allow both children to meet at least some of their goals and identify strategies used when children agree and when they fail to resolve their differences.

The research continues, and the researchers are seeking families, with children between the ages of four and 10, interested in participating. To learn more or to volunteer, families can reach the family studies lab at ext. 3-2094.

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[Woman upside down, strapped to table]Matters of the utmost gravity

Tell me, I said, how you folks in Applied Health Sciences are selling tickets for the 50th Anniversary raffle that’s now under way. The photo at left was the answer: they’re using every tool at their disposal to shake the cash loose from ticket purchasers, including the “tilt table” in the Cardiorespiratory and Vascular Dynamics Lab. Technician David Northey (at right in the photo) says the table is more legitimately used in tests of how changes in position affect research subjects’ blood pressure and brain blood flow. Graduate student Drew Graham assists him in separating Marguerite Doyon, a co-op student working in the AHS computing office, from the ticket price of $5 a single or $10 for three. Craig McDonald of AHS computing took the photo. Tickets can be bought in less dramatic ways at various points across the university, likely including the bookstore within the next few days. The first of four draws is scheduled for January 11. The prize then will be not wine as the Daily Bulletin said a few days ago, but an entertainment package of 50 fifty-dollar vouchers for seats at the Stratford Festival, the Air Canada Centre and other outlets.

If your concerns include computer hardware, then "UPS" isn't always a shipping company — it also stands for "Uninterruptible Power Supply", a topic of great importance to prevent disastrous crashes. This week's professional development seminar in the Information Systems and Technology department (9:00 this morning in the IST seminar room) turns its attention to the Machine Room project, which "was asked to look into uninterrupted power and air conditioning options for our main machine and communications rooms. Nine people from Plant Operations and IST were on the team. Much was learned that was not originally anticipated. This presentation will cover some of those surprises."

A meeting was held in Stratford last night involving local business, arts and civic leaders, and a more general meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, both to discuss possibilities for a proposed "liberal arts campus" in that city half an hour west of Waterloo. Dean of arts Ken Coates is a key promoter of the idea, and will appear at the meeting along with Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson (re-elected last month and starting a new term of office as of Monday). The meeting, preceded by a reception for UW alumni, will run from 7:00 to 9:00 on Thursday at the auditorum in Stratford's picturesque City Hall, and will include an opportunity for feedback, suggestions and questions, organizers say.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Winnipeg will be at St. Jerome's University tonight to give this year's Somerville Lecture in Christianity and Communications. Most Rev. James Weisgerber "will be here," says Carol Persin of the St. Jerome's Centre for Catholic Experience, "to talk to us about reaching outside of our safe territory to help the long process of healing divisions, both in our church and our world." Weisgerber is currently vice-president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and a member of the Roman Catholic/Methodist International Dialogue. His talk starts at 7:30 tonight in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome's; admission is free.

Here are some final names and topics of UW researchers who presented their work at the Geological Society of America annual meeting last month: Jen Parks and Shoufa Lin, with researachers from Alberta and Manitoba, "Recording Tectonic Processes in the Archean by Dating Detrital Zircons in Late Archean Sedimentary Rocks"; Eric Sykes, "The Transport of a BTEX Plume in Fractured Limestone"; Randy Stotler and Shaun Frape, with researchers from Finland and Indiana, "Effects of the Glacial-Periglacial Cycle on Deep Groundwater at the Lupin Mine, Nunavut, Canada"; Orfan Shouakar-Stash and Shaun Frape, with researachers from Alberta, "Variations of the delta-81Br and delta-37Cl Stable Isotope Signature for Mississippian to Cambrian Formation Brines of the Williston Basin."

The next English Language Proficiency Examination will be held on Thursday, December 7, and Ann Barrett of UW's Writing Centre sends detals: "The exam will be held in the Physical Activities Complex, and we are offering students three sittings: 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. Students should remember to bring their WatCards, pens or pencils, and great ideas, but no dictionaries (electronic or paper). To help students prepare for the exam, we are holding ELPE Strategy Sessions on Wednesday, December 6, in Davis Centre 1350 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and in PAS 2083 at 3:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Students should attend one session only.) These one-hour sessions will explain to students what they need to know to write a passing ELPE. Students who are unable to attend the sessions can get more information about the ELPE by visiting our web site, and we have recently added an FAQ section which answers 44 questions about the rules and regulations of the ELPE."


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