Thursday, March 1, 2007

  • Students thinking and talking
  • Profs away on sabbatical leave
  • Pellets of pithy information
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Link of the day

St. David's Day

When and where

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs, last day of the main cycle today; ranking opens 1 p.m. tomorrow, closes 2 p.m. Monday.

Engineers Without Borders day of events: newspaper distribution this morning; "poverty piñatas" 11:30 to 1:30 outside Student Life Centre; "Splash Out Poverty" 12:00 at SLC, explanations online.

Memorial service for Meghan Reid, social development studies student, 11 a.m., St. Bede's Chapel, Renison College; funeral at the same hour, Tubman Funeral Home, Richmond Road, Ottawa. (Tuesday’s Daily Bulletin said Reid was a first-year student; in fact she was in second year of social development studies.)

Surplus sale of UW property, 12:30 to 2:00, central stores, East Campus Hall (off Phillip Street).

Department of English presents Julie Rivkin, Connecticut College, "The Perverse Library of Alice Munro", 4 p.m., Humanities room 232.

Athletics department reception to honour recipients of departmental awards and bursaries, by invitation, 4 p.m., University Club.

[Blue swirl]
Waterloo engineering
50th anniversary celebration, 6:00, Royal York Hotel, Toronto, $125 per person, details online.

Alumni in Palo Alto 50th anniversary celebration 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Stanford University faculty club, details online.

Arriscraft Lecture: Klaus Bode, BDSP Partnership, London, "Urban Density and Sustainability: Fact or Fiction?" 7 p.m., Architecture lecture hall.

[Red, yellow, green]Stoplight party tonight at Bombshelter pub (dry event), doors open 9:30.

Wilfrid Laurier University day of presentations: "Diversity, Respect Through Research", Friday 10:00 to 4:00, Paul Martin Centre, WLU.

Department of English presents Michael Ryan, Northeastern University, "A Prolegomenon to the Cultural Sciences", Friday 2 p.m., Environmental Studies room 221.

Department of philosophy presents Janna Thompson, visiting Humphrey Professor in Feminist Philosophy, "Gratitude and Justice in a Multi-Generational Society", Friday 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Warrior men's hockey playoff vs. Laurier, second game Friday 7:30 p.m., Columbia Icefield; tickets $9 (students $7) at athletics office, Physical Activities Complex; WatCard not good for admission; broadcast on CKMS. Laurier won first game last night, 5-3.

Warrior Weekend activities in the Student Life Centre: St. Patrick's on Friday night, Casino Night on Saturday, free movies both nights, details online.

Columbia Lake Health Club, Techtown building, north campus, open house Friday 9:00 to 8:00, Saturday and Sunday 9 to 6, more information online.

31st annual bus push organized by Engineering Society, this year in support of Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, Saturday, leaving Carl Pollock Hall 10 a.m. en route to downtown Kitchener.

Dinosaur mural by Peter Etril Snyder completion and presentation to UW earth sciences museum, Saturday at Waterloo Town Square: children's activities 10:00 to 3:00, presentation event 2:00, with dinosaur cake.

Lunar eclipse special event 6 to 8 p.m. at Gus Bakos Observatory, Physics building, details online.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel University College, "Midnight: Darkness and Wonder", Saturday 8 p.m., St. John's Church, Kitchener, tickets $20, students and seniors $15.

'Working through conflict' presentation sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, March 5, 12:00 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research presents Nikos Chrisochoides, College of William and Mary, "Real-Time Non-Rigid Registration for IGNS", Monday 3:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

[Trudeau]Justin Trudeau, environment and youth advocate, Liberal candidate, speaks Monday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre, sponsored by Arts Student Union, Diversity campaign and others, tickets $15 (undergraduate students $5) at Humanities box office.

Multi-media performance linking UW drama department with Bradley University and University of Central Florida in Elmer Rice's drama "The Adding Machine", March 6-10 at 9 p.m., March 11 at 3:30, Studio 180, Humanities building, free admission, details online.

Income tax information session for international students, March 7, 10:00 to 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3001.

Gradfest celebration, information for graduating students from UW departments, reception with UW president, "HK Expo" with information about opportunities in Hong Kong, March 7-8, Davis Centre, details online.

Communitech and Industry Canada special event: "Business, Science, Technology and You", briefing about government programs to support research and international growth, Wednesday 4 to 6 p.m., Accelerator Centre, north campus, free registration online.

'March Madness' 3-on-3 recreational basketball tournament, March 9 and 10; registration deadline is tomorrow at campus rec office, Physical Activities Complex.

Explorations open house for grade 6-8 students, sponsored by UW faculty of engineering, March 12, tours at 5:00 and 6:45, registration and information online.

Campus Day open house for future students and family members, Tuesday, March 13, programming 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., details online.

'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' drama department major production, March 15-17 and 22-24, Theatre of the Arts, tickets at Humanities box office.

[Students at front of room holding apples]

Be thou my vision, says Ed Jernigan to one of the high school students attending a week of enrichment learning and activities around the "Vision" theme, organized by Waterloo Unlimited. Jernigan, who directs the Unlimited program — based in UW's faculty of environmental studies — was leading an introductory session on perceptual experience, which somehow ended up being called "friendly fruit space".

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Students thinking and talking

A pair of events on tomorrow’s calendar — a noontime meeting and the beginning of a two-day conference — illustrate how the intellectual life of UW students extends well beyond the classroom. Here are the details.

“FIT is starting up again under a new set of leaders,” writes chemical engineering student Rajat Suri, who was a key figure in establishing the Forum for Independent Thought as a student think-tank two years ago.

He writes: “Are you tired of repeating the same boring routine: school, eat and sleep, without ever knowing what's happening in the world outside? Are you an opinionated individual who is always looking for new people to exchange your ideas with? If so, you might be interested in the ‘Think or Shut Up!’ discussion series!” It promises “a pool of independent thinkers to exchange ideas related to current events, politics, philosophy etc. . . . a spectrum of perspectives from people all across the campus, with a variety of political, economic and cultural backgrounds . . . intellectual space for students to freely express their opinion on controversial issues. Future events will include short documentaries, debates and talks as well as discussions!”

Meetings are to be held weekly, and the launch is tomorrow at noon in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. The topic this week is 'Where is the Independent Thought’ . . . a look at how the intellectual, free-thinking atmosphere of universities has been lost and what can be done to regain it.”

Friday evening and all day Saturday, students will address some of the world's toughest issues, from Iraq's reconstruction to the "blood diamond" industry of Sierra Leone, in the annual International Development Student Conference, to be held in Rod Coutts Hall.

The keynote speaker Friday evening will be Paul Samson, director of environmental policy at the Canadian International Development Agency, whose 7:00 remarks will be followed by a reception in the building's foyer.

Saturday brings some 13 individual student papers, as well as panel discussions and a closing keynote address. Among the student papers — many of them based on work done for UW courses — are "Agroforestry as Sustainable Agricultural Development: International and Domestic Partnerships in Kenya" by Tegan Renner (environment and resource studies) and "Canada's Trade with Cuba: Promoting Democracy or Selling Out?" by Rebecca Janzen (history).

Also: "Cultural Isolation in the Acadian Co-operatives" by Brian Gruters (ERS) and "Political Obstacles and Opportunities of Pro-Poor Tourism in Developing Countries: The Gambia" by Candice Gartner (environmental studies tourism). The full agenda is on the IDSC web site.

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Profs away on sabbatical leave

Here’s another list of UW faculty members who are on sabbatical leave at present, and their plans for their sabbatical time as reported to the UW board of governors.

Fedel Saccomanno, civil and environmental engineering (six months that began November 1): “My sabbatical will be used to conduct collaborative research on road and rail safety carried out at Dipartimento di Pianificazione Territoriale, Universita della Calabria, Rende (CS) Italy. I will organize a national conference on highway safety issues in Italy. I will also prepare the draft of a book on transport safety analysis that will serve as a basis for a future graduate course to be offered at the University of Waterloo. Furthermore, I will perform an analysis of Italian road and rail safety data, and complete several papers dealing with intersection signal warrants and grade crossing safety treatment.”

Fraser Easton, English language and literature (six months that began January 1): “During this leave I will pursue research related to my SSHRC grant project on cross-dressing, plebeian life, and eighteenth-century literature. I will complete an article on references to sexual disguise in digital archives, write part of a monograph on the SSHRC topic, and conduct additional research on the recoding in drama and the novel of popular representations of cross-dressing labouring women.”

Richard Holmes, philosophy (twelve months that began January 1): “I shall be working on two projects. One is an analysis of three major critiques of Edmund Husserl’s Sixth Cartesian Meditation and an explication of my response to them. My second project will involve developing some considerations about ethics and, more generally, value theory that follow from my earlier work on epistemology.”

Peter Woolstencroft, political science (twelve months divided into two periods, January-June 2007 and again 2008): “As a consequence of signing the Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s increasing dependence upon the American economy raises questions about its long-term ability to run counter to American policies. Without successful strategies to enhance influence in the United States, Canada — as a political entity — will become increasingly irrelevant. On my sabbatical I will write a book that analyzes Canada’s strategic options.”

John L. Wright, mechanical engineering (six months that began January 1): “A demand exists for glazing and shading system models for building performance simulation. Software is being produced under an ASHRAE research contract and work will continue through an NSERC network grant. It is hoped that this time will enable these tasks to be more fruitful. Some ‘blue sky’ research, and a small amount of travel, will be pursued if possible.”

Lynne Taylor, history (six months that began January 1): “I will be writing a monograph on the Displaced Persons Crisis in Germany, 1945-1952, which is under contract with Harvard University Press.”

Joseph Cheriyan, combinatorics and optimization (six months beginning March 1): “My sabbatical will focus on research in the area of network design and approximation algorithms, with colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Alberta (Edmonton), and ATT lab. Some of these projects are already in progress.”

Anindya Sen, economics (six months beginning March 1): “I intend to continue my research on the economics of smoking at McMaster University.”

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Pellets of pithy information

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin reported on the noon-hour talk Tuesday by pension consultant Hugh Mackenzie, which drew several hundred people to the Humanities Theatre. I'm told that the event was videotaped, and those who were unable to attend can arrange to view a copy of the tape. The place to go is Engineering II room 1309, which for many long years was the "audio-visual centre". With the recent absorption of A-V into the information systems and technology department, though, it it has a catchy new name: Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services.

The staff association is sponsoring two "town hall" meetings today to talk about issues affecting staff, and hear "comments, concerns and ideas". Instigator of the events, and moderator when they take place, is Stephen Markan of IST, past president of the association. He's had a fair few things to say in web forums discussing the attempt by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation to unionize UW's staff, and he also raised his profile with a campus-wide memo to the staff association mailing list the middle of last week. "I think it is time the UWSA members started talking about the UWSA," he wrote, and went on to speak of "the power structure at the university", "improving the compensation program", benefits, grievances, arbitration processes,"transparency of process", "respect and dignity", job security, performance appraisals, UW's financial position, and a good deal more. Today's meetings are scheduled for 12 noon (Rod Coutts Hall room 301) and 4:30 (Physics room 145).

Also of importance to staff: Alfrieda Swainston of human resources, the university's manager of salary administration, sends a reminder that performance appraisals are due by March 16. The annual appraisal is an important factor in calculating staff merit increases that go into effect in May.

[Suits]Bernard Suits (left), formerly of UW's department of philosophy, died on February 5. Suits joined UW's faculty in 1966, and retired in the fall of 1994. A specialist in moral philosophy, he was especially well known for his book The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, originally published in 1978, with a new edition as recently as 2005. He received one of UW's Distinguished Teacher Awards in 1982, and retired as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Today's the application deadline for those few students who are thinking of entering UW starting in the spring term. • The

sponsored by the UW Recreation Committee and the UW bookstore has a session today to discuss the edgy novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. • Tim Alamenciak, editor-in-chief of UW's student paper, proudly reported yesterday that "for the first time in five years, Imprint has placed in the Ontario Community Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Competition".


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Yesterday's Daily Bulletin