Tuesday, September 26, 2006

  • UW considers link with Abu Dhabi
  • National quantum network launched
  • The diverse doings of autumn
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • credmond@uwaterloo.ca


Bright yellow stickers for UW phone users are being distributed across campus. They replace the previous red stickers as the result of UW's change to five-digit phone extension numbers. A call to the university police should now go to ext. 2-2222, but the outside direct-dial number, 519-888-4911, has not changed. From an on-campus phone, dialing the three digits 911 will reach a dispatcher for fire, ambulance or police, and will also notify the UW police service for quick response.

Link of the day

European Day of Languages

When and where

On-campus part-time job fair 11:00 to 3:00, great hall, Student Life Centre.

Ontario's caribou: "On the Road to Extinction", presentation by James Schaefer, Trent University, and Evan Ferrari, CPAWS Wildlands League, Tuesday 12 noon, Environmental Studies I courtyard, and 7 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch.

Accountancy distinguished speaker series: Ian Clarke, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, "Making Your Own Luck", 4 p.m., Humanities Theatre, reception follows.

Federation of Students president Michelle Zakrison "town hall meeting" 4:30, Student Life Centre great hall. Featured subjects: Bombshelter renovations, health and dental plan.

Career workshop: "Starting Your Own Business: The Basics", 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208, registration online.

UW Recreation Committee dining group reaches W: "W is for Waterlot", tonight 6:00.

Bookstore presents Tony Penikett, former premier of Yukon, speaking on his new book, Reconciliation, 7 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, free admission.

Alumni night in England: Canadian alumni networking at Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London, details online.

University-College Career Fair sponsored by UW and other institutions, Wednesday at RIM Park, Waterloo, details online.

Fund-raising barbecue organized by Udai to support its book collection drive for India, Wednesday and Thursday 11:30 to 3:30, Biology green.

Retirees Association annual wine and cheese Wednesday 3 to 5 p.m., University Club.

Smarter Health seminar: Brian Forster, OntarioMD, "Engaging Physicians in Ontario's E-Health Strategy", Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, details and live webcast online.

Novelist and playwright Margaret Sweatman reads from her work Wednesday 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University room 2017.

UW-ACE workshop: "The Spirit of Why Not in Course Design," James Skidmore, Germanic and Slavic studies, Thursday 12:15, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Computational mathematics pizza welcome event Thursday 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1301; visit with classmates, ask questions; RSVP wazehr@uwaterloo.ca.

Ontario Universities Fair Friday 9 to 7, Saturday and Sunday 10 to 5, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, more information online.

East Asian Festival at Renison College: literary and storytelling event Friday 12 noon, Culture Day Saturday 11:00 to 2:00, cocktail reception and silent auction Saturday 7 to 10 p.m., details online.

Arthur Carty, former UW dean and science advisor to prime minister of Canada, speaks on "The Changing Face of Science", inaugurating annual Arthur J. Carty Lectureship, Friday 4 p.m., CEIT room 1015.

Diversity Campaign concert with iLLScarlett, the Pocket Dwellers, Joel Plaskett and the Emergency, Friday, Federation Hall, doors open 9 p.m., free with WatCard.

Warrior Weekend activities Friday and Saturday nights, Student Life Centre, including movies, crafts, dance lessons, Quiz Bowl, details online.

Homecoming Saturday, reunions for alumni, "Blue's Clues" for kids, barbecue, Warrior football, fun run; keynote lecture by Stephen Lewis on Saturday night is sold out, but tickets available for live video feed; details online.

All-ages party at Federation Hall Saturday 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., dancing and socializing for all UW students and their of-age guests. Preceded by a thank-you barbecue, 9 p.m., for orientation leaders.

Edna Staebler Golf Classic sponsored by The New Quarterly, October 3, Grey Silo Golf Course, dinner follows, details online.

UW considers link with Abu Dhabi

Talks are progressing between Waterloo and the Centre for Excellence in Research and Training in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for a joint UW-CERT education opportunity, UW president David Johnston reported at the September 18 Senate meeting.

While he emphasized everything is still “under discussion,” and no plans are yet firm, Johnston reported that UW’s Howard Armitage, director of the Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, is spending his six-month sabbatical at CERT this fall and winter to explore possibilities.

Under discussion is a proposal to have CERT supply the physical facilities of an expanded campus in Abu Dhabi by September 2008 – a $700 million investment – while Waterloo would run programs there focused, to start, in engineering, computer science and environmental studies. “CERT would be the landlord and administrator, and UW would be the academic master,” Johnston said. They are discussing a “two-plus-two” program where students would study two years in Abu Dhabi, then transfer to UW in Canada for their remaining two years of study, and do co-op work terms along the way. While some major American universities such as Cornell and Carnegie-Mellon are already operating in this region of the Middle East, Waterloo brings the unique opportunity of co-op, he said.

Students would be drawn largely from the population of expatriates in the region who do not have access to local education opportunities, as well as to young women who have difficulty traveling out of the region for educational opportunities because of cultural restrictions. Johnson pointed out that UW received 100 engineering applications in 2006 from the United Arab Emirates to come to UW in Canada; of those, 46 were accepted, “which is a very high rate and shows the quality of students.”

Johnston himself has been to the UAE twice already this year to meet with CERT officials. He reminded senators that a similar opportunity explored by UW in Kuwait did not come to fruition and said he will keep Senate apprised of developments.

Back to top

National quantum network launched

from the UW media relations office

A new national network, headquartered at UW's Institute for Quantum Computing, will ensure that research laboratories and tomorrow's workforce are populated with quantum-aware graduates. It will also provide made-in-Canada breakthroughs, protect them and promote them to private and public sectors.

QuantumWorks is an innovation platform, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, that will officially launch tomorrow and Thursday. Innovation platforms are special initiatives that play a role in shaping the direction of Canadian research in a targeted area of emerging scientific and economic interests.

The network will link quantum researchers from across Canada with industrial and government partners, and lead the country into the next technological revolution — that of quantum information.

"QuantumWorks will build upon established national expertise in quantum cryptography, quantum algorithms and quantum information processing devices," said the network's scientific director, Raymond Laflamme. "Its research programs and national information training strategy will ensure that Canada benefits from the tremendous work going on right across the country."

Laflamme is the director of IQC, Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information and director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research's Quantum Information Processing program. He will be joined in leading QuantumWorks by theme leaders Gilles Brassard from the Université de Montréal, Richard Cleve from UW and Barry Sanders from the University of Calgary.

Academic partners include McGill University, U de M, École Polytechnique de Montréal, National Research Council of Canada, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics and the University of Calgary. Industrial partners include Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP, Bruker Biospin Ltd., Certicom Corp., IBM Corp., Research In Motion Ltd. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Launch events include a full-day conference on Wednesday. Workshops on intellectual property management and research-industry collaboration will follow on Thursday.

The first annual QuantumWorks conference will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to interact as well as exchange ideas regarding research and innovation with Canada's leading quantum researchers, along with industry and government representatives.

Back to top

[Aerial view: hundreds of desks on gym floor]

Marks are now available for the thousands of first-year students who wrote the English Language Proficiency Exam during orientation week. (This aerial view of the Physical Activities Complex main gym during one test session was caught by Ron Champion.) Students can get their results by visiting their undergraduate offices or the ELPE office in PAS building room 2082, says Ann Barrett of the writing centre. "Results are not posted online. Congratulations to students who passed, and students who were not successful can explore their options by visiting our web site."

Back to top

The diverse doings of autumn

Co-op students have started applying for winter term jobs; the first batch of jobs was posted on JobMine over the weekend, with applications closing at midnight last night. That meant a busy weekend for large numbers of students, including about 1,000 who are coming up to their first work term after entering Waterloo just this month. There were some grumbles overnight on LiveJournal, the popular discussion website, about difficulties in uploading resumés to JobMine. One student got to the heart of the matter with a comment early today: "Of course it's overloading, since about a thousand of us were procrastinating for all three days, leaving the application process for last couple of hours, and then we all started applying at once. Anyway, about 2 years ago there was no Jobmine at all. They had bins. And papers. Lots of them. Imagine that!"

[Display under a towering tent]Editor Kim Jernigan and other people involved with the UW-published literary magazine The New Quarterly were out on Sunday in Kitchener's Victoria Park for the annual Word on the Street festival (photo, left, by Michael Strickland). . . . Lynda Leeder Paull, assistant to the registrar at Renison College, retired September 1, ending a campus career that began exactly 20 years ago. . . . With the United Way campaign set to begin on campus, the engineering faculty will be running its e-mail bingo game once again. . . .

The engineering faculty's e-newsletter reports that Andrew Rae, an electrical and computer engineering PhD student, has won the 2006 Michel Van Aerde Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada. The award will help fund Rae's research into the use of a global positioning system and machine vision in intelligent transportation applications.

Something new to me that will be happening at UW on Friday is a BarCamp. It's a get-together for people interested in computer networking and similar issues. "Everyone who attends can participate," says my colleague Jesse Rodgers here in Communications and Public Affairs, "and it does not follow a rigid structure. The focus is on web technology and networking in general, not UW-specific. There will be coffee, pop, etc. The plan is to find out if there is some interest in the area, then have a bigger one next time, maybe the weekend before WatITis." Anybody interested can sign up online; the event will run from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Tatham Centre.

"Students are advised to keep their address, e-mail and telephone numbers updated in Quest," a memo from the registrar's office notes. . . . Imprint reports that the UW Kendo Club won the gold medal last weekend at the Southwestern Ontario Regional Dojo tournament, held in London. . . . "Because of popular demand," Kate Shippey writes from the campus recreation program, "Campus Rec has added more Shoe Tags, Hip Hop, Pilates, Salsa and Belly Dance classes."

[50th anniversary logo]Finally . . . as UW moves toward its 50th anniversary year, it's constantly possible to look back half a century and know that at this time in 1956, a university was a-borning. Fifty years ago today, for example, Gerry Hagey, president of Waterloo College and soon to be UW's founding president, was writing a vital letter to Edward Hall, president of the University of Western Ontario. The college was affiliated with Western, which took responsibility for its academic standards and granted its degrees in arts and theology, and Hagey wanted approval for the engineering and technology programs that would soon be launched by Waterloo College Associate Faculties. He wrote to Hall on this date defending the proposed "co-op" program, something that had never been tried in Canada before, and something that had annoyed Hall because Waterloo leaders were presenting it to industry as a fait accompli. Hagey's letter was clearly persuasive: two days later Western's senate gave its approval as requested. Within a year there would be a rupture with Western, and Waterloo would be looking for degree-granting powers on its own, but that's a story for another day.


Back to top

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin