Monday, April 2, 2007

  • UW adds 46 staff jobs in a year
  • Academic women honour UW student
  • CBET celebrates, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Students approve bus pass and fee

Undergraduate students have approved a compulsory fee to provide for a Grand River Transit "U-Pass", in voting Wednesday and Thursday.

Federation of Students officials released this result: 4,056 yes, 3,002 no, declined ballots 44; turnout 33.9 per cent.

However, graduate students voted against participating in the plan, the Graduate Student Association says: 700 yes, 766 no, 10 declined ballots.

The undergraduate Mathematics Society voted in favour of a MathSoc fee increase: 529 yes, 391 no, turnout 22.2 per cent.

Link of the day

Passover (first Seder tonight)

When and where

Open enrolment for spring term undergraduate courses begins today on Quest.

Education Credit Union new branch office opens at TechTown, 340 Hagey Boulevard, open house 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. today.

Instrumental chamber ensembles spring concert 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free admission.

UW board of governors spring meeting Tuesday 2:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group annual general meeting and volunteer appreciation Tuesday 5 p.m., Arts Lecture Hall room 208.

Faculty association council of representatives 2:00, annual general meeting 2:30, Wednesday, Math and Computer room 1085 (note room change).

Applied Health Sciences Hallman Lecture, "Aging and Well-Being", scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, has been cancelled.

'Single and Sexy' 2007 auditions Wednesday 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Humanities Theatre, all welcome. Paid roles for 3 women, 4 men, "and 1 male improvisational keyboard player". Rehearsal and show run August 13 to September 7.

Perimeter Institute presents Daniel Gottesman, PI faculty, "Quantum Cryptography", Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

Pension and benefits committee open meetings for faculty and staff about proposed pension plan changes, Thursday, April 5, 11:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 6:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 101.

UW-ACE Instructors Group with presentations by Christa Johnston (on resources available inside ACE), Wayne Hawthorne (on pre-tutorial warmups), and Mary Louise McAllister (on increasing online activity in a face-to-face second-year course), Thursday 11 a.m., Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library, registration online.

Book Club sponsored by UW bookstore and UW Recreation Committee, monthly meeting April 5, noon, in bookstore, South Campus Hall, details online.

Good Friday holiday Friday, April 6.

'Online Peer Mentoring Programs for Distance Faculty' web conference Thursday, April 12, 1:00 p.m., details and registration online.

Auditions for June production of "Don Juan in Chicago" by K–W Little Theatre, April 16-18, 7 to 10 p.m., Humanities room 373, information

Friends of the Library authors' event: lecture by history professor Ken McLaughlin, launch of his book Out of the Shadow of Orthodoxy, and display of work by UW authors, Wednesday, April 25, noon.

PhD oral defences

Systems design engineering. Rozita Dara, “Cooperative Multiple Classifier Systems.” Supervisors, Mohamed Kamel and Fakhreddine Karray. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Tuesday, April 24, 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 2584.

Electrical and computer engineering. Yanmin Sun, “Cost-Sensitive Boosting for Classification of Imbalanced Data.” Supervisors, Mohamed Kamel and Andrew Wong. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, April 27, 9:30 a.m., CEIT room 3142.

Civil and environmental engineering. Moataz Badawi, “Monotonic and Fatigue Flexural Behaviour of RC Beams Strengthened with Prestressed NSM CFRP Rods.” Supervisor, K. Soudki. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Friday, April 27, 2:00 p.m., Engineering II room 3324.

Mechanical and mechatronics engineering. Amir Hossein Noroozi Sani, “Development of a Two-Parameter Model (Kmax, ΔK) for Fatigue Crack Growth Analysis.” Supervisors, Greg Glinka and Steve Lambert. On display in the faculty of engineering, CPH 4305. Oral defence Monday, April 30, 9:00 a.m., Engineering III room 4117.

[In the middle of a broad green space]

Doctor who? Dr. Ray Laflamme, obviously — director of UW's Institute for Quantum Computing, and ex officio time lord. He and his Tardis were spotted yesterday (yesterday?) on the green north of the Biology buildings, giving a pretty clear indication that constructing a full-sized Nanotech/Quantum building on the site may not be necessary after all. Photo (click for enlargement) by Linda Carson. Happy April.

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UW adds 46 staff jobs in a year

UW has added more than 200 staff positions in the past five years — half of them in the faculties, including 42 in engineering alone.

Statistics on “academic support staff positions” are provided as background to the university’s 2007-08 budget proposal, which was approved by the UW senate last week and is going to the board of governors tomorrow.

The total number of positions reached 1,752.6 in October 2006, the chart shows. (The six-tenths reflects the way positions are counted, in full-time equivalents. The numbers don’t include staff in the self-supporting “ancillary enterprise” departments such as food services and retail services.)

A year earlier, the corresponding number was 1,706.9. Five years ago, it was 1,545.4, and ten years ago, right after the massive early retirement program of 1996, it was 1,457.4.

Almost a third of the total, 551.2 staff positions, are in the faculties, up from 449.6 five years ago. Engineering has the most staff at 168.4, followed by science (123.5), mathematics (104.3), arts (85.7), AHS (34.7) and ES (34.6).

But the largest number of staff are in non-academic or “support” departments, where the total number of positions hit 1,201.4 this year, up from 1,095.8 in 2001.

The largest UW department is plant operations, which is listed with 347.5 staff positions, unchanged from a year earlier. Information systems and technology became the second-largest department this year thanks to a merger with the audio-visual centre, though its total number of jobs is unchanged at 119.0 in traditional IST operations and 16.5 from A-V.

The library grew by two-tenths of a position this year, to 133.2 jobs, the figures show. Co-op education and career services grew from 89.5 last year to 92.5 this year. And the development and alumni affairs office grew from 58.7 positions in 2005 to 62.0 in 2006.

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Academic women honour UW student

[Viehbeck]The Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada has chosen a UW graduate student, Sarah Viehbeck (right), to receive its Award of Merit for this year. "This award was established," says a proud memo from the UW graduate studies office, "to recognize women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their university and in the community while maintaining an exemplary academic record. The agency say that Sarah is a most worthy recipient of this Award, based on her outstanding academic record, teaching, scholarship, and community outreach."

The Award consists of $1,000 and a plaque. Both will be presented at a gala dinner during the association's annual conference in Toronto on May 4.

Viehbeck, whose research was featured in the Daily Bulletin in February, is a PhD student in the department of health studies and gerontology. She did her master's degree at Waterloo with Paul McDonald, who continues to be her doctoral supervisor, and completed her BA at Brock University.

Her supervisor states that Viehbeck "works on problems of considerable importance to Canadian society, and global health. Specifically, most recently she has been investigating how to improve the exchange of research into public health policy and practice and how to more effectively align research with important public health policy and program issues. Her work is highly original, and is already receiving considerable attention by the academic, public health policy and program sectors in Canada." Her thesis project was recognized as the top student presentation at the 2004 annual meeting of the Canadian Public Health Association, and she has won multiple scholarships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

Says McDonald: "In addition to being an outstanding scholar, Sarah is universally recognized by her colleagues as a sincere, generous, and caring person. It's truly delightful to see a person of such quality being recognized."

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CBET celebrates, and other notes

The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, which moved its base a few weeks ago from Needles Hall to the north campus Accelerator Centre building, will hold an open house and grand opening today. "Please enter the building through the North entrance," says the invitation, noting that CBET's new home is "in Manfred Conrad Hall in the Accelerator Building" at 295 Hagey Boulevard. The event runs from 4 to 7 p.m., with "ribbon cutting and remarks" at 5:00 — oh, and RSVPs were officially due (ext. 3-7167) last week. CBET exists, as its web site explains, "to support, build on, and expand the entrepreneurial initiatives at the University Waterloo". It's the home of the graduate program UW operates instead of an MBA — the Master's in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology — and also provides a focus for supporting student groups interested in entrepreneurship, organizing research in the area, and providing non-credit and certificate programs for business people.

"I'd like to thank all students, staff, faculty for coming out to donate last week," says a note from Sharr Cairns of Canadian Blood Services, which held one of its regular clinics in the Student Life Centre. "I'd also like to acknowledge and thank anyone who stopped by who may not have been able to donate at busier times. We collected 263 units, and welcomed 41 first time donors. This round of clinics is the last one in this school year, I'm thrilled to report that 1,146 units were collected at UW between September 2006 and March 2007, with 232 first-time donors joining us. This equates to over 3,400 patients benefitting from the generosity of the UW donors. This was a considerable jump from the 2005-06 school year, where we collected 821 units. We are so thankful to everyone at UW for their continued support. From all of us at Canadian Blood Services, good luck to all with your studies. If you are moving on from UW we hope to welcome you to a blood donor clinic again soon. The next blood donor clinics at UW are scheduled for July 16-19."

Mathematics students have made a contribution to improving the library they use most, says the UW library’s e-newsletter: “With thousands of visits made each day, the Davis Centre Library proves to be a busy study space, and a popular choice for Math undergrads working on assignments, borrowing course reserves, checking email, and completing other work. Partial funding granted by the Mathematics Endowment Fund (MEF) during the fall 2006 term will help improve this space through the purchase of five new ergonomic study carrels. These new ergonomic study carrels are necessary for the long periods students spend studying in the Davis Library, especially during the exam period when space is at a premium. Each of the new carrels has a well lit 2x4 ft. desk surface with two power outlets and space for a laptop, course notes, books, and other study essentials, while providing a greater sense of privacy with limited visual distractions. Although the Davis Library received 128 carrels in 2005 through the support of the Economical Insurance Group, a number of older carrels and chairs still require upgrades.”

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter . . . well, maybe not all that long and not all that cold, as summed up by Frank Seglenieks of the UW weather station. "A winter of warm and cold streaks works out to be average in temperature and average in precipitation," he writes in his quarterly summary. The winter, he goes on, was "very warm for the first month, very cold for the second month, and about average for the third month . . . it was actually 0.04 Celsius above average in the end. . . . The total precipitation for the winter was 162.8 mm compared to the seasonal average of 189.3 mm." Highest precipitation for the whole season? That was on the first day of winter, December 22, with 17.3 mm of rain.

The Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research will hold a pair of workshops for professionals this month, "EHealth Risk-Opportunity Report Card" on April 17-18 and "Health Privacy Professional Workshop" on April 18-19. • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the biggest single source of funding for research at UW, says letters to this year's applicants, telling them whether their grant applications were successful, were to go out "starting March 28", with a public announcement planned later in the spring. • And yes, it's the last day this term for Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes, with lectures ending tomorrow and winter term exams starting a week from today.


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