Wednesday, April 18, 2007

  • Life scientists meet at UW in June
  • Faculty members on sabbatical leave
  • Money for optometry, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

The Constitution of Canada

Virginia Tech notes

There will be a prayer vigil in response to Monday's shootings at Virginia Tech, 12 noon today, St. Bede's Chapel, Renison College.

Memorial web site at Virginia Tech
Nova Scotia college mourns teacher who was killed
Virginia state government launches investigation

When and where

April Showers Book Sale from UW bookstore, through Thursday, South Campus Hall concourse.

Terpsichore Dance Competition all day Wednesday and Thursday, Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research workshops: "EHealth Risk-Opportunity Report Card" continues, "Health Privacy" tonight and tomorrow, details online.

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

International spouses group potluck lunch ("bring some food to share; something from your own country would be nice") Thursday 12:45, Columbia Lake Village community centre; children welcome. Questions:

Alumni in Calgary, reception at Art Gallery of Calgary, Thursday 6 to 8 p.m., details online.

Centre for Family Business, Conrad Grebel University College, breakfast seminar: Lowell Ewert, "Social Responsibility of Businesses", Friday 7 a.m., Westmount Golf and Country Club.

Germanic and Slavic studies 5th departmental conference, sessions on applied linguistics, German and Russian literature, and sociolinguistics, Friday, details online.

43rd annual used book sale sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women, Friday (9:00 to 9:00) and Saturday (9:00 to 1:00), First United Church, details online.

Women's studies 35th anniversary colloquium continues: Carla Rice, Trent University, "How Big Girls Become Fat Girls: The Cultural Production of Problem Eating And Physical Inactivity", Friday 1:30 p.m., Lyle Hallman Institute room 2703.

Faculty of arts lecture series, panel of three researchers funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research on their work in "the grey zone": Alan Blum (faculty of arts), Kieran Bonner (St. Jerome's), Tristanne Connolly (St. Jerome's), Monday, April 23, 3:00 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 23-26: presentations in Davis Centre room 1302 and 1304; seminar on NSERC postgraduate scholarships Monday 11:15, Davis room 1351; seminar on SSHRC fellowships Thursday 11:15, Davis 1351; keynote address by Roberta Jamieson, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Monday 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts (note corrected location), tickets $3 at Humanities box office; awards reception Thursday 4:30, Graduate House; details online.

Spring term fee payments due April 24 by cheque or April 27 by bank payment, details online.

Staff and faculty lunch hosted by Executive Council, Tuesday 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., Village I central complex; night shift event 10:00 p.m., Davis Centre great hall.

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, 3:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts.

'Passport to Health' Fair for staff and faculty, Thursday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Life Centre; stations include blood pressure reading, ergonomics, "reading your stress level".

Alumni networking workshop on campus April 26, 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., details online.

President David Johnston Run for Health Monday, April 30, 12:00, around the ring road starting at Needles Hall, register with Johan Reis, ext. 3-5418, pledge forms available, T-shirts $20.

'Learning about Teaching' symposium, including Presidents' Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, speaker Ken Bain, April 30, 2 p.m., Humanities Theatre; workshops and discussions May 1-2, details online.

Positions available

On this week’s list from the human resources department:

• Construction coordinator/inspector, plant operations, USG 8
• Senior facilities technologist, plant operations, USG 8
• Senior electrical technologist, plant operations, USG 8
• Mechanic I (controls), plant operations
• Administrative assistant, co-operative education and career services, USG 5
• Graduate admissions coordinator, school of computer science, USG 4
• Library circulation supervisor, optometry learning resource centre, USG 6
• Associate director (continuing education), distance and continuing education, USG 12

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

One click away

Photo: studying for exams in the Davis library
'Massive' failure of BlackBerry network
'Distinguished fellow' comes to CIGI from UN University
Stats Canada study of Canada's 100,000 PhD holders
Forgers caught with passports, visas, degrees (Star)
'American Idol' as a model of education

[A sea of T-shirts in primary colours]

It was a road trip for youngsters from the Early Childhood Education Centre last week: they made their way across campus from the Psychology building to visit the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology on the second floor of Engineering III. CPATT's work involves structural design, construction and maintenance technology, materials and geotechnical engineering, field evaluation methods, equipment and data processing, intelligent transportation systems and safety, and risk and reliability methods — but for this VIP tour, the big deal was the engineering T-shirts. That's Susan Tighe, faculty member in civil and environmental engineering, in the middle of the action.

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Life scientists meet at UW in June

Experts in such fields as nanomedicine, nanotoxicology, and "metabolomics" — the study of small molecules in a metabolic system — will converge on UW in June for the fifth Northern Lights Summer Conference organized by the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, which calls itself "the voice of life sciences in Canada".

The conference, co-sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is scheduled for June 20-23 in the Davis Centre. Local organizers are headed by Terry McMahon, chair of the chemistry department (and, as of July 1, dean of the faculty of science) and include Tong Leung of chemistry, Alain Francq of electrical and computer engineering and Pu Chen of chemical engineering.

It will have two main themes: "Nanomedicine: Nanostructures and Their Biomedical Applications" (Targeted Nano Delivery Systems ,Drug Delivery/Gene Therapy, Diagnostics and Imaging Applications, Nanotoxicology and Potential Health Effects) and "Metabolomics, Technologies and Applications" (Human Metabolomics, Metabolomics Technologies, Hardware & Software, Metabolomics in Other Systems).

Says the conference web site: "Both the Metabolomics & Nanostructures themes are composed of three symposia, chaired by recognized leaders in the field. This promises to be an excellent meeting, covering all aspects of Nanomedicine and Metabolomics. Symposium talks will be presented by internationally regarded experts from the United States and Canada. Oral presentations will be offered in the Metabolomics program, and will be selected from submitted abstracts. Abstracts will also be invited for poster presentation."

Key speakers will include David Needham of Duke University, talking about "nano delivery systems" for getting drugs into the body, and Ian Smith of the Winnipeg-based NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics, with the latest on early cancer detection through magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Andrea Spires of the school of pharmacy staff, who's helping to organize the conference, observes that "It is truly fitting to have this conference at this time at UW because of the new Nanotechnology Engineering Program and Nanotechnology and BioNanotechnology Initiatives taking place on campus. Delegates for this international conference are expected from disciplines across campus from Chemical Engineering and Physics to Biology and Pharmacy and Optometry to Chemistry and Computer Science."

The event will include student activities, a "science policy forum", social events, and even door prizes. Abstract submissions are due this week.

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Faculty members on sabbatical leave

Here’s the latest list of UW faculty members who are on sabbatical, or soon will be, along with their plans as reported to the UW board of governors.

Colin Farrelly, political science (six months that began January 1): “During this sabbatical I will complete work on my book-in-progress entitled ‘Genetically Modified Justice’. This research monograph examines the ethical, legal and social implications of the genetic revolution. The book covers a range of issues, from gene patents and genetic discrimination, to gene therapy and the ethics of human enhancement. The book builds on a series of articles I have already published in international peer-reviewed journals.”

Robert J. Le Roy, chemistry (six months that began January 1): “My primary focus for this period will be to continue work on two book projects: an introductory spectroscopy textbook (tentatively entitled ‘A Spectroscopy Primer’) based around the content of the course Chem 209, and a research monograph on potential energy functions in molecular spectroscopy (tentatively entitled ‘Energies, Intensities and Potentials — A Spectroscopy Toolkit’).”

David Jackson, combinatorics and optimization (six months that began March 1): “I shall be based in Waterloo with monthly visits to four universities to continue current research, complete research manuscripts, and learn new techniques in quantum topology/algebra for a new project. In Waterloo, I shall write sections of a research monograph on ‘Advanced Methods in Algebraic Combinatorics and Algebraic Geometry’, and complete a text for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.”

Norman Ball, systems design engineering (six months to begin May 1): “Research and writing a book on the Niagara Parks Commission from 1885 to the present with particular emphasis on responses to changes in technology, the larger societal environment and visitor expectations. This builds on my previous book, The Canadian Niagara Power Company Story (2005). Anticipated length 125,000 words plus numerous illustrations.”

Trefford Simpson, optometry (twelve months to begin May 1): “The majority of time will be spent writing texts and papers. Visits to a laboratory at Indiana University and Universidad Miguel Hernandez in Spain are planned. The visits will be approximately two months each and I propose to examine ocular surface redness and discomfort while in Indiana and ocular surface pain processing while in Spain. Back in Waterloo I’ll develop new methods for assessing pain on the eye.”

Qing-Bin Lu, physics and astronomy (six months to begin June 1): “I plan to spend two months collaborating research at Harvard Medical School and one month in China attending an international conference at Xiamen University and conducting visits/initiating collaborations with researchers at Xiamen University, Fuzhou University and the Fujian Research Institute for Matter Structure, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The other three months will be at UW.”

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Money for optometry, and other notes

The Ontario government announced on Monday that it’s giving UW’s School of Optometry a $680,000 grant “for the first-ever program for internationally trained optometrists. Partners include Renison College English Language Institute, Canadian Examiners in Optometry and Lifelearn Eyecare.” Another $120,000 will come from the federal government. The news came from the Ontario minister of citizenship and immigration, Mike Colle, as part of more than $1.5 million being spent “to help newcomers in the Waterloo Region settle in the area and get jobs in their field”. John Milloy, the MPP for Kitchener-Centre, commented: “I’m delighted that Kitchener-Waterloo — Canada’s technology triangle — is being designated as an immigration gateway. This funding strategy will boost our local economy and create solid opportunities for newcomers.” Other local projects include an "Employer Engagement Strategy", managed by the Chamber of Commerce, and a "Waterloo Region portal" for the Ontario Immigration web site. The optometry school was involved in a smaller-scale program for newly arrived optometrists in 2005.

There's money available this year to help faculty members and departments improve learning and teaching at UW, but only if applications arrive by May 15. Says a memo from the learning resources and innovation office, soon to become part of the new Centre for Teaching Excellence: "Funds to develop proposals to enhance learning through changes in instructional methods are available through the Learning Initiatives Fund. Funds to develop proposals that address learning resources and curricula developments are available through the Program Initiatives Fund. The LIF offers faculty researcher(s) up to $20,000 over a two-year period to fund research projects that enhance undergraduate student learning and support the strategic plans of an academic unit. Preference will be given to proposals that show promise of developing best practices in teaching approaches and/or classroom-based research methods that can be shared with other disciplines, programs departments, or schools. The PIF offers departments, schools and faculties up to $20,000 over a two-year period to fund projects that support instructional changes linked to formal undergraduate academic program reviews." More information is available on the web, or from Vivian Schoner, e-mail, phone ext. 3-2940.

[Blake]Clifford Blake (left) will retire officially on May 1, ending 19 years as a faculty member in UW's management sciences department. Jamaican-born and a Waterloo BASc and PhD graduate in mechanical engineering, he has served as director of the department's online master's program, and done research in the areas of organizational behaviour and small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly in developing countries. He's also well known as a speaker on topics of race and Christian faith.

This week would be a good time to buy tickets to the 50th Anniversary dance that's scheduled for May 5 at Federation Hall, mainly because the organizers — a subcommittee of the UW Recreation Committee — say that Friday may be the cutoff for ticket sales. The price is $20 a person, [Dance step]which includes not just admission to the Saturday night event (it runs from 8:30 to 1:00) but refreshments and what I understand is an impressive set of door prizes. DJ for the evening is the well-known Phat Albert (see, I spelled him right this time). I'm told that those attending can expect "wedding style music" with a good concentration of tunes from the fifties, sixties and seventies. The dance is pitched to faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and students — everybody, in short. Tickets are available from the Humanities box office, and members of the committee will also be selling them intensively around campus for the rest of this week.

The latest batch of winners in the monthly prize draw for Keystone Campaign donors has been listed on the Keystone web site. • In advance of the fall United Way campaign, the engineering faculty's online Bingo game is starting again May 1, with tickets available now at one for $2, three for $5. • Repairs to floor tiles are planned over the next few days at the entrances to the Student Life Centre, and the plant operations department urges people to use caution.

Jay Black, long-time faculty member and a former associate provost, will take over May 1 as associate director of the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, working with director Tamer Özsu. • April 27 (Friday next week) is the deadline to apply for Innovation Challenge Awards offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council for graduate students who can "identify what potential product or service could be generated" from their thesis results. • Bob Sproule of UW's school of accountancy will teach a one-day "Introduction to Managerial Accounting" course for UW's continuing education office this Friday.


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