Friday, June 16, 2006

  • Renison will be home to Confucius Institute
  • Math convocation happens today
  • Engineers convocate Saturday
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Ten-digit dialling starts tomorrow.

Dogged effort to graduate

Jennifer Wong, who has been legally blind since the age of eight, graduated yesterday with a degree in psychology. She is the subject of a feature in today’s Record.

When and where

Ninety-Second Convocation Wednesday-Saturday, each day 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Physical Activities Complex, detailed schedule online.

Retirement celebration for James A. (Jay) Thomson, kinesiology, will be held at the University Club Wednesday, June 21, 3-5 p.m. RSVP by the end of today.

Warrior Weekend events take place starting at 9 p.m. this Friday and Saturday in the Student Life Centre.

Contemporary School of Dance students are rehearsing this evening in the Humanities Theatre. Performance is 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts takes place at the UW School of Architecture, 7 Melville Street South, Cambridge, today at 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets $25. Details online.

Hot and cold water will be shut off in the north and west quads of Ron Eydt Village on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to allow valves on water softeners to be repaired.

17th annual Matthews Golf Classic starts at noon sharp, Monday, at Grand Valley Golf and Country Club. More information online.

In case you missed them

• arts program now “general liberal studies”

• accelerator centre opens today
• prominent curator takes UW job

• Video teaches injury treatment



Renison will be home to new Confucius Institute

from a Renison College press release

UW and Chinese government dignitaries sign agreement to set up Confucius Institute at Renison College.
A Confucius Institute is to be established at UW. Ready to sign the agreement are (front, from left): John Crossley, Renison principal; UW President David Johnston; Zhang Linyi, Chinese consul of educational affairs. Standing (from left): Wu Xiaochuang, consul of educational affairs; Gail Cuthbert Brandt, UW associate vice-president, academic; Consul General Chen Xiaoling; Caroline Woerns, Renison’s director of development; Bruce Mitchell, UW associate provost, academic and student affairs. Photo: Chris Hughes

The University of Waterloo, Renison College and Nanjing University, a highly rated Chinese research university, signed a letter of intent on June 13 to establish a Confucius Institute at Renison. To be operated jointly with Renison, the institute will be the second in Canada (the other is at the British Columbia Institute of Technology), and one of about 50 worldwide.

Confucius Institutes are established through the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing and are designed to strengthen relations between China and other countries by offering opportunities for students outside China to study Chinese language and culture.

“A Confucius Institute at Renison offers tremendous advantages for teaching, research exchange and collaboration as we build our East Asian Studies Centre and academic program,” says John Crossley, Renison’s principal. “The institute represents an important step forward in our internationalization strategies and will greatly strengthen Renison’s ability to meet the needs of both UW students and members of Waterloo region who wish to acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture. This is an excellent opportunity and one that will greatly benefit the college, the university and our community.”

The Confucius Institute will move into Renison’s new wing along with the East Asian Studies Centre.

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Math convocation happens today

with files from the UW Media Relations Office

Mathematics students become grads today in two ceremonies. At the morning session, at 10 a.m., Kesi Walters will give the valedictory address. Dominic Welsh will receive a Doctor of Mathematics degree and address convocation. “Welsh,” says the citation, “is a distinguished senior researcher in the study of discrete mathematics. The recognition is due to a long series of contributions spanning four decades and many branches of mathematics, such as probability theory, statistical mechanics, coding theory, computational complexity and matroid theory.”

At the afternoon session, at 2 p.m., math and computer science grads will receive their degrees. Anja Holovac will address them as valedictorian.

Kurt Melhorn will receive a Doctor of Mathematics degree and address convocation. A bright light in the world of algorithms, “Melhorn is a professor of computer science at the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, Germany. He was the key person behind the launch of the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Computer Science, along with the International Conference and Research Centre for Computer Science.”

UW will award Ian Munro, professor of computer science, the university professor designation, the highest academic honour given at the university. The university will also present Deanne Farrar, senior vice-president of Bycast Inc., with the J. W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation. Farrar is the first woman to receive the prestigious medal, which recognizes innovation in high technology research.

Among student awards and honours, the Mathematics Alumni Gold Medal will be presented to Xiannan Li, pure mathematics, in the morning. In the afternoon, Sabrina Yao will receive the Samuel Eckler Medal for highest standing in actuarial science.

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Engineers convocate Saturday

with files from the UW Media Relations Office

Two sessions on Saturday will be devoted to Engineering. At the first session, at 10 a.m., Jessica Junker will address the gathering as valedictorian.

The main address will be given by Jacques Lamarre, who will receive a Doctor of Engineering degree. “One of Canada's top engineers and a national leader in the management of global engineering firms, Lamarre heads SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., one of the largest companies in international construction. His career as an engineer and senior executive spans more than 35 years.”

UW will also present George Davidson, professor of mechanical engineering, with the annual award for teaching excellence.

Bill Lennox, dean of engineeringAlso during the morning ceremony, the title of distinguished professor emeritus will be conferred on UW professor Bill Lennox (left), of civil engineering, who retired in 2002 after a four-decade UW career. One of UW’s first grads (BASc ’62, MSc ’63), he came back as a faculty member in 1966. “He played a pivotal role in establishing the University of Waterloo as a premier school in Canada,” says the citation. “Among the many highlights of his career, he served as Dean of Engineering in 1982-1990 and chaired the Civil Engineering department three times.” Known to generations of engineering alumni as an approachable and dedicated teacher, he has a special empathy for students. Among other endeavours he helped launch the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation to encourage young women to enter engineering.

At the afternoon ceremony, 2 p.m., Christopher Porter will give the valedictory speech. Bob Rosehart will receive a Doctor of Engineering and address convocation. “Rosehart is president and vice-chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, having assumed the post in 1997 after serving the previous 13 years as president and vice-chancellor of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. A triple graduate of UW's faculty of engineering (BASc ’67, MASc ’68, PhD ’70, all in chemical engineering), Rosehart regards Waterloo as the place that most shaped his ideas on higher education and research.”

Among students who were honoured today, here are some of the highlights: Sheena Luu, computer engineering, one of three Waterloo undergraduate students receiving a Governor General’s Silver Medal for “highest academic standing in a bachelor’s degree program," and Christopher Blake, systems design engineering, who received the Engineering Alumni Gold Medal. Also David Kadylak (Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering 2006 Gold Medal); Jennifer Nafziger (Bert Barber Award and the Sir Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski Medal for Excellence in Communication); Kayan Ma and Nicholas Lawler (both of whom won the John Fisher Leadership Award).

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Yesterday's Daily Bulletin