Tuesday, December 4, 2007

  • High schoolers make campus visits
  • Now 51 Canada Research Chairs at UW
  • Walking in a winter wonderland
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

[Donor and recipient]

The Ontario Public Health Association has created the Dr. Sheela Basrur Scholarship, named for Ontario's former chief medical officer of health, to be awarded each year. The first winner, pictured with Basrur herself at OPHA's annual meeting last month: Jenna Allen, a first-year student in UW's Master of Public Health program.

Link of the day


When and where

WatITis, Waterloo Information Technology and Information Systems conference, sessions in Rod Coutts Hall 301, 302 and 305, until 3:15; reception 3:30 to 4:30, Graduate House.

Santa's Book Sale of UW bookstore merchandise, Tuesday-Thursday, South Campus Hall concourse.

UW-ACE Instructor User Group 10:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter Library, three instructors talking about their use of ACE in teaching.

Waterloo Public Interest Research Group presents Dru Oja Jay, editor, The Dominion, speaking on the Alberta tar sands, 12:30, Student Life Centre room 2134.

Faculty association fall general meeting 2:00 to 4:00, Math and Computer room 4020, information online.

Communitech workshop: "Ontario Tax Incentives and Opportunities" Wednesday 7:30 a.m., Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard, details online.

'The Power of Ideas', one-day conference focusing on issues of inclusiveness and access in academic environments, Wednesday, Rod Coutts Hall, details online.

'Knowing Your Workplace' information session about UW insured benefits, Wednesday 11:00 to noon, Math and Computer room 4040, repeated Thursday 1:30, Davis Centre room 1302; no registration needed; details online.

Christmas at the Davis Centre concert by UW Chamber Choir and Chapel Choir, with audience singing, Wednesday 12:00 noon, Davis great hall.

English Language Proficiency Exam Wednesday 4:00, 5:30 and 7:00, Physical Activities Complex, all faculties choose any session, details online along with information on "strategy sessions" the previous day.

Perimeter Institute presents a panel on "The Physics of Information: From Entanglement to Black Holes" Wednesday 7 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

Blood donor clinic Thursday (10:00 to 4:00) and Friday (9:00 to 3:00), Student Life Centre, appointments now at turnkey desk.

UW bookstore book club meets Thursday 12 noon in the bookstore to discuss The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, details online.

Military history speaker: Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum, "Storm Troops: The Canadian Corps and the 1917 Battles" Thursday 7 p.m., 232 King Street North, Wilfrid Laurier University.

'Interfaces of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning' conference, Friday-Saturday, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

School of Optometry hosts the 6th Canadian Optometry Conference on Vision Science, Friday-Sunday, details online.

UW Chamber Choir concert with K-W Chamber Orchestra, "An Alpine Christmas", Sunday 7 p.m., Maureen Forrester Recital Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University, tickets $20 (students and seniors $15).

Town hall meeting for staff, sponsored by UW staff association, Tuesday, December 11, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m., Davis Centre room 1350.

50th anniversary closing event for faculty and staff, Wednesday, December 12, 3:00 to 4:30, Columbia Icefield.

High schoolers make campus visits

About 350 high students from Waterloo Region will participate in the annual federal-provincial conference simulation at UW today and Wednesday. Guest speaker will be Ian Urquhart, provincial affairs columnist for the Toronto Star.

The simulation, sponsored by UW's political science department and the local History Heads Association, has been an annual event for more than 30 years. This year, delegations from 17 regional schools will take part in the event. For the first time, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate will be participating.

The role of Canada's prime minister will be handled by Fatemeh Mayanloo of Waterloo Collegiate Institute. Other students from the same school will serve as federal ministers. Students from other schools will have responsibilities to chair meetings of provincial and territorial ministers.

Besides first ministers meetings, delegations will participate in committees dealing with finance, justice, health, the environment, agriculture and economic affairs, immigration and aboriginal affairs. A number of special interest groups will also be represented, including the National Citizens Coalition, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Two schools will produce newspapers during the conference to provide information and promote debate over the two days.

Sessions will be held in several rooms in the Arts Lecture Hall, Humanities building and Modern Languages building today and Wednesday. The concluding plenary session will be held in the Theatre of the Arts tomorrow from 1:45 to 3 p.m.

At the other end of the campus, more 1,000 high school students from across Ontario will participate in the annual Kinesiology Lab Day, tomorrow through December 14.

Hosted by UW's department of kinesiology, Lab Days was originally established some 30 years ago as an introduction to the then relatively new field of kinesiology — the science of human movement. (“In July 2007,” an announcement of this year’s visits points out, “kinesiology entered into an exciting new phase as the Government of Ontario passed Bill 171, making it a regulated health profession.”)

Kinesiology Lab Days serves as an educational resource to hundreds of exercise science and biology teachers in high schools across the province. This year, grade 11 and 12 students from 43 schools will learn about a wide range of human health and movement-related topics in lab sessions.

The students’ visit begins with an introductory presentation examining human movement “From Cell to Society” followed by participation in three laboratory experiences, which may include “Put Your Best Foot Forward” (neurological pathways and biomechanical principles involved in walking/running/jumping), “Exercise Management, Nutrition, and Performance” (the impact of various diets on wellness and performance), “Psyched-Up” (how psychological variables affect performance), and “Work Those Muscles” (how muscle forces are generated and quantified).

Students will be introduced to equipment and techniques used in many of the kin department’s research and teaching laboratories. Lab experiences range from learning to use electrocardiograms to measuring breath-by-breath oxygen uptake. Says the announcement: “Participants can even apply their new-found knowledge in creative applications such as propelling an electric car around the corridors using only electrical signals from their muscles!”

Visitors tomorrow include some from Galt Collegiate Institute and Elmira District Secondary School. Eleven more local schools will be involved by the time the series winds up next week.

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Now 51 Canada Research Chairs at UW

Two UW professors, one studying neurological disorders and the other advances in information processing using nanostructures, have received Canada Research Chairs from the federal government. UW was given multi-year funding for the two chairs — a new award in chemistry and a renewal in psychology.

The positions allow faculty members to focus on research and training the next generation of scientists. The federal money includes payments for associated infrastructure, such as laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and other sources.

"This announcement brings the total number of Canada Research Chairs established at Waterloo to 51," says George Dixon, UW's vice-president (university research). "UW will continue to attract leading researchers to explore new directions for scholarship that will benefit the entire nation."

At the École Polytechnique de Montréal on Thursday, Jim Prentice, the federal minister of industry, announced spending of $109.7 million for 109 Canada Research Chairs across the country.

UW's new chairholder is Pavle Radovanovic, a professor of chemistry, who will hold the Canada Research Chair in Physical Chemistry and Spectroscopy of Nanoscale Materials. CRC funding toward his salary is $100,000 annually for five years. As well, he receives $205,000 in CFI money for infrastructure.

The research explores optical, magnetic and electronic interactions in nanosystems, says Radovanovic, and their uses in creating advanced forms of information processing and computer memory. The work will result in improved computing performance, speed and energy consumption through new forms of non-volatile information processing and computer memory. These new forms will overcome many limitations of existing technology.

The renewed chair is held by James Danckert, professor of psychology, who receives $100,000 annually for five years as the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, plus $361,323 in CFI funding for infrastructure.

Danckert says his research compares healthy individuals with patients who have an unusual but common neurological disorder, known as unilateral neglect. His work is expected to lead to better ways in rehabilitating stroke victims, along with a new understanding of neurological conditions resulting from right-side strokes.

There are two levels of Canada research chairs: seven-year chairs (tier 1, valued at $200,000 a year) for experienced researchers widely acknowledged as world leaders in their fields; and five-year chairs (tier 2, valued at $100,000 a year) for researchers considered by their peers as having the potential to lead in their fields in future.

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Walking in a winter wonderland

"During winter, give falls the slip," suggests a flyer distributed by UW's safety office. Directed mostly to staff, it has advice that's suited to students and faculty members as well, about staying upright despite the snow and ice that have hit hard and early this winter.

Says the flyer: "Watch out for and avoid black ice. Often this occurs when temperatures rise above freezing during the day and drop below freezing at night.

"Do not get caught by surprise — monitor the weather. Campus safety is everyone's responsibility; play your part.

"Think prevention — If you see an icy condition do not hesitate to use salt/sand on the walkways from the bins located throughout the campus. Wear winter footwear, even for short walks. When walking on ice or snow take short steps to keep your centre of balance under you.

"Use extra care when getting in and out of vehicles; parking lots are particularly difficult to maintain between parked vehicles. Use handrails on steps/ramps. Avoid shortcuts. Use salted/sanded and well-lit walkways. Delay use of recently plowed areas as they can be slippery until the salt/sand has taken effect.

"During storms UW's first priority is main road routes to ensure emergency access and then primary walkways. Attention to some walkways and parking lots may not be possible until at least 24 hours after a storm has subsided. Keep clear of snow removal equipment for your safety and to expedite their response to storm conditions.

"During and following winter storms review any access concerns with your supervisor. Report unsafe conditions such as ice and snow to Plant Operations at ext. 33793 (24-hour service). Try to give the exact location of the area or some landmarks.

“Report slips and falls to your supervisor for completion of UW Injury/Incident Report.”


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