Wednesday, January 10, 2007

  • It's gonna be a banner year
  • Nobel physicist joins UW faculty
  • Focus on the environmental reserve
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

Day by day, 100 years ago

When and where

Campus recreation instructional program registration continues today and Thursday, 9:00 to 4:00, athletics office, Physical Activities Complex.

Library books borrowed on term loan before the beginning of December are due today; return or renew.

Application deadline for Ontario high school students seeking September admission to UW is January 10, with some exceptions, details online.

Engineering Society's Frost Week activities: duct tape sculpturing, from 11:30, Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Women in Mathematics supper party — all women math undergrads, grad students and faculty invited, 5 p.m., information mprelic@math.

Warrior basketball (men and women) at Windsor tonight.

Housing information sessions about second-year life in residence: tonight 10:00 at North Quad Lounge in Ron Eydt Village, Village I great hall, Beck Hall community centre in UW Place, and West 4 floor lounge in Mackenzie King Village. Other sessions over the week ahead.

Clubs, Feds Services and Societies Days, information about student organizations, Thursday and Friday 10:00 to 4:00, Student Life Centre great hall.

Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference Thursday-Saturday, Toronto Hilton, details online.

Surplus sale at central stores, East Campus Hall, Phillip Street, Thursday 12:30 to 2 p.m.

International Spouses Group "winter walk" starting at Columbia Lake Village community centre, Thursday 12:45 p.m. Wear warm clothes and boots; children welcome. For information e-mail

Learning Object presentation on the "Monty Hall problem" by David DiBattista, Brock University, sponsored by LT3, scheduled for Thursday, postponed to March 8, 2:00, details online.

International students open house sponsored by Federation of Students' "International Student Connection", Thursday 5 p.m., Student Life Centre room 3107.

Healthy Weight brown-bag series sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, second talk Friday 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302 (changed from originally announced date of Thursday).

Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery exhibition of ceramic sculpture by UW fine arts students, opening celebration Sunday 2 to 5 p.m., 25 Caroline Street North.

Blood donor clinic January 15-19, Student Life Centre, make appointments now at turnkey desk.

Positions available

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

• Vice-president, external relations
• Information technology manager, mechanical and mechatronics engineering, USG 11/12
• Senior project manager, Population Health Research Group, USG 8
• Grant/contract assistant, Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation, USG 5
• Geospatial data services librarian, Library, USG 8-13
• Facility manager, Centre for Advanced Photovoltaic Devices and Systems, electrical and computer engineering, USG 10
• Non-OSS admissions specialist, office of the registrar, USG 8

Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

[Smiling faces with black symbols]
It's gonna be a banner year

Things are almost ready for tomorrow's launch of the UW 50th anniversary celebrations. Nancy Heide of Communications and Public Affairs and Sheryl-Ann Schrik, co-op student for the anniversary organizers, are pictured preparing some of the banners and balloons that will decorate the festivities (photo by Barbara Elve) . Thursday's celebration runs from 11:30 to 1:30 in the Physical Activities Complex. Students, faculty, staff and retirees are all invited. Attractions are expected to include music, audience activities and a complimentary lunch, all with a 1950s twist as a reminder of the year UW was born. Staff who work the night shift can attend a smaller version of the party between 10 p.m. and midnight tomorrow in South Campus Hall.

A sporting (in every sense) addition to the 50th anniversary schedule of events has just been announced: a February 7 noontime hockey game in which a faculty and staff squad, captained by UW president David Johnston, will take on a Warrior men and women's combined team captained by women's coach and Team Canada veteran Geraldine Heaney. "Those who would like to have some fun playing on the Johnston team" should get in touch quickly with Brian Bourque of the athletics department, organizers say (he's at ext. 3-2635). And they can be reassured that Johnston is no rookie: he was a hockey all-American while playing for Harvard University's Crimson a few years back.

In other news . . . today's Positions Available list, summarized at right, includes one of the university's most senior positions, vice-president (external relations). The job has been vacant since Laura Talbot-Allan left the university last summer. Expectations: "This individual will play an important role ensuring achievement of the University of Waterloo’s Sixth Decade Plan. He/she will lead, mentor and grow a team of approximately 90 individuals, who comprise a significant department within the University. The Vice-President will be responsible for ensuring that the University of Waterloo’s ambitious fundraising targets are met, working closely with the President, the Board of Governors and colleagues across the University to develop a strategy and implementation plan. . . . The Vice-President will also be accountable for strengthening governmental relationships and the University’s partnerships with provincial, federal, municipal and regional governments and with key non–governmental external associations. He/she will also oversee the full breadth of strategic communications including public relations, media relations and image management. Finally, the Vice-President will ensure a coherent alumni strategy across the University to provide world-class relationship-enhancing services and networking to alumni. The successful candidate will be an experienced, seasoned professional with superb organization, relationship-building, and change-management skills. . . . In addition to bringing expertise in the area of fundraising, government relations and communications, the Vice-President will be an outstanding networker with strong ambassadorial capabilities."

Something new at Columbia Lake Village is announced in the January issue of the residents' newsletter: "Many CLV residents are originally from countries all over the world, but the one thing many people have in common is the need for support upon arrival in getting acclimated to life in Canada, K-W region and CLV community. The Residence Life team continuously tries to make this transition easier and are always available to help, but we also understand that International residents/families that have previously gone through this experience have a lot to share and can help as well. We are introducing a new CLV Host Program. If you are new to the CLV community from an international country and would like to meet other residents/families who have previously gone through this experience, please contact to join our new program. Several families have already signed up to be a 'host family' and are excited to meet you and help in any way. Amr will do his best to match residents/families from the same originating country (depending on availability) and will also be co-ordinating activities to encourage host program and resident’s/family’s interactions."

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Nobel physicist joins UW faculty

from the UW media relations office

[Leggett]A winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics will bring his considerable talents and knowledge north in what can only be considered a brain gain. Sir Anthony J. Leggett (left) has accepted a faculty position at UW: the newly created position of Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Distinguished Research Chair.

Leggett is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics. His pioneering work on superfluidity earned him and two colleagues the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics.

While continuing his position at the University of Illinois, he will spend at least two months in the spring, and maintain contact at other points, of each of the next five years working as a research professor with the Institute for Quantum Computing and with the department of physics and astronomy at UW.

He will be one of a handful of Nobel laureates holding faculty positions in Canada. “We are extremely gratified to be formalizing our relationship with this internationally renowned expert in condensed matter physics,” said Amit Chakma, vice-president (academic) and provost of the university. “His contributions will greatly benefit the university’s research efforts. Our younger scholars —graduate students and junior professors — will particularly benefit from Dr. Leggett’s significant abilities.”

Leggett will advise on promising research directions, help younger scholars develop their research programs and share his knowledge with the general public. His specific duties include supervising UW graduate students here and on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he has been a faculty member since 1983; offering seminars to undergraduate and graduate students; delivering public lectures; mentoring newly recruited professors; and guiding research direction as a member of IQC’s scientific advisory committee.

Leggett was a visiting scholar with UW and IQC during June and July of last year, delivering lectures to the on-campus community and the general public. The experience was sufficiently stimulating and rewarding that Leggett was quick to accept an invitation to formalize the relationship.

"By virtue of having assembled an outstanding cluster of computer scientists, mathematicians and theoretical and experimental physicists, all sharing a common language, and thanks to its generous support from both private and public sources,” explained Leggett, “the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo has already become an international leader in the exploding field of quantum information.

“I am particularly excited by the potential for fruitful interaction between this field and the more mature area of condensed matter physics in which I have spent much of my career, and I am looking forward enormously to ongoing participation in the activities of the Institute.”

Leggett and the university will mark the new arrangement with a public lecture at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 26, at the Centre for Environmental and Information Technology. Entitled "Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?", Leggett’s lecture will explore the idea — commonly held by physicists — that quantum mechanics offers the ‘whole truth’ about the world. He will review a major problem with that view, some popular resolutions to the problem, the current experimental situation and prospects for the future.

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Focus on the environmental reserve

The city of Waterloo will hold a public open house tomorrow to discuss proposed changes to UW's north campus Environmental Reserve, changes that would require zoning approval from city council.

A notice from the city gives some background: "In October 2003, the City of Waterloo, in partnership with the University of Waterloo and Grand River Conservation Authority, completed a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) study for the University of Waterloo Environmental Reserve. The study focused on rehabilitation alternatives for Columbia Lake, as well as environmental, recreational, research and teaching opportunities for the Environmental Reserve lands. The Class EA Study was conducted in accordance with the approved requirements of a Schedule C project as defined in the Municipal Engineers Association Municipal Class EA document (June 2000).

"Since the filing of the October 2003 Class EA, a partnership opportunity has developed between the City of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo for the development of a Library, YMCA and outdoor recreational facilities. The City is now proposing the potential use of a portion of the Environmental Reserve lands for a dual purpose that will serve as an environmental reserve and buffer to the Laurel Creek corridor and as well as recreational green space in the form of sports fields that will enhance recreational service levels for Waterloo citizens. The subject lands on the reserve were designated as old field meadow in the original study. The lands are currently in agricultural use and farmed with corn crop. Recommendations to enhance this parcel of the reserve to improve natural habitat linkages have not yet been implemented.

"This new option presents a change from the Environmental Reserve project plan as originally presented in the Class EA report. Accordingly, there is a need to prepare an Addendum to the Environmental Study Report. Following the Class EA requirements, an addendum shall describe the circumstances necessitating the change, the environmental implications of the change and what can be done to mitigate any negative environmental impacts."

The public event, "to provide additional information on the project and to address questions and concerns", will run on a drop-in basis from 5 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the "Hauser Haus" meeting room of the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex on Father David Bauer Drive. "Representatives from the City of Waterloo, University of Waterloo and CH2M Hill will be on hand to discuss the project and respond to your questions. Public input and comment are invited for incorporation into the planning and completion of the Class EA Addendum.

"Following the Open House, comments received will be carefully considered by the study team prior to finalizing the study recommendations. It is anticipated that the recommendations of the EA Addendum Study will be presented to City of Waterloo Council in February 2007. A report summarizing the recommendations, mitigation measures, and the public consultation activities and outcomes will be available at various locations for public review and comment."


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