Thursday, March 4, 2010

  • New colours: engineering goes for purple
  • Innovation, fraud, software and more
  • Olympics, Paralympics, and the Warriors
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

New colours: engineering goes for purple

[Eight colours]Waterloo’s new visual identity continues to unfold with a couple of colourful tweaks: the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Science have selected new colours to represent their area. The revised palette is pictured at left.

Engineering had chosen a blue, says dean Adel Sedra, “because we had been using blue in various publications for some time, and we went with that for continuity.” However, he says, “over time, our students let us know how much they wanted purple, as they identified with it strongly as being symbolic of engineering, and we decided this should be their choice.”

Purple is a colour widely associated with the engineering profession, and there are many stories as to why this is so — the most popular legend being that the overalls worn by the engineering crew on the Titanic were purple, and that these brave engineers went down with the ship in order to save as many passengers as possible.

Speaking of which: All of the Waterloo wordmarks, including faculty, school, campus and support unit wordmarks are available for download. Included are EPS files for print (Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress) and EMF files for Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint) as well as a PDF with usage instructions.

And now that the palette of colours is finalized, UW Graphics says presentation folders are ready to go and a bulk order is being placed this Friday at noon. If you are interested in placing an order (and you haven’t already made arrangements) you can use the Graphics online order form.

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Innovation, fraud, software and more

[Thiessen with crystal trophy]The happy man in the photo at right is Jake Thiessen, director of the School of Pharmacy, who was on hand last night to receive a trophy at the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards celebration. The Chamber gave its "innovation award" for this year to the pharmacy school, housed in a landmark building in downtown Kitchener — the first new pharmacy school in Canada in two decades, and by all accounts innovative in its approach to teaching, research and professional links. Other excellence awards went to local firms (among them Christie Digital and RIM, both with many links to the university) and nonprofit agencies such as Grand River Hospital.

Jason Testart, in charge of computer security for UW, said last night that something extraordinary — and dangerous — has turned up: "We have recently been made aware of a malicious website that was intended to mimic the site of the Electrical & Computer Engineering department. The apparent purpose of the malicious site was to distribute malware to users, who would be tricked into visiting the site through emails sent by somebody pretending to be a staff or faculty member of the University of Waterloo. The domain name of this website was clearly intended to resemble that of the E&CE department. The university is taking steps to take down this particular malicious site, but it is impossible to guess all possible permutations that an attacker might use. Please pay close attention to emails sent that ask you to click a link, even if the emails are apparently from people associated with the university. Most departmental websites hosted by the university end with the domain name ''. If you receive suspicious emails, please forward then to your local IT support personnel, and/or the IT Security Group at abuse@"

There’s been a change in plans for the Web Content Management System project, which has been under way for some months involving information technology people from across campus. Its goal: to implement new software that will make it easier to maintain UW’s hundreds of thousands of web pages using regular web browsers. As announced last summer, the project was to be based on Red Dot, a software product from locally based Open Text Corp., which would replace software now in use such as Contribute and DreamWeaver. But Alan George, associate provost (information systems and technology), has now announced that rather than Red Dot, the new CMS for Waterloo will be based on an open-source software system called Drupal. (As Wikipedia explains, Drupal “is used as a back-end system for many different types of websites, ranging from small personal blogs to large corporate and political sites”.) Says George: “Over the past six months or so we have thoroughly investigated the Open Text product and Drupal. There have been some pilot implementations using Drupal on campus, and UW sent 20-plus people to courses offered by Open Text. These efforts revealed a large amount of information about the characteristics, capabilities and limitations of each of the systems. The project team has concluded that Drupal is a better fit for UW’s needs.” He hastens to add: “This is not a reflection in any way on Open Text’s product.”

The local agency Focus for Ethnic Women will hold its 9th annual Focus on Friends celebration tonight as part of International Women’s Week. "The event," says a news release, "centres on an award ceremony recognizing local women who demonstrate the strong spirit of volunteerism for which Waterloo Region is known. The event also includes dinner, entertainment by the Lion Dance Group and a popular silent auction, and will be held at Golf’s Steak House in Kitchener." One of this year’s two honorees is Chandrika Anjaria of UW's Information Systems and Technology department. "In addition to being successful in their chosen work," says the release, "both, originally from India, have contributed many volunteer hours to various local organizations." Focus for Ethnic Women says it "has been providing life skills and employment readiness training to immigrant and visible minority women in an inclusive and supportive environment since opening its doors in 1988. These services help women to develop self-esteem, a sense of community belonging, and personal empowerment as they work to build a life for themselves and their families."

In the wake of Saturday's devastating earthquake in Chile, Waterloo International — as is now routine practice — sent a memo to departments across campus, asking what Waterloo faculty, staff or students were known to be in Chile. So far, the office reports, just one name has surfaced: fourth-year earth sciences student Luke Brough is on a co-op work term in Santiago, Chile's capital, and has reported in that he's fine.

Now, some words from systems design engineering student Amanda Sutanto: “The UW Management Consulting Club is holding a Management Consulting Case Competition on Saturday, March 13. The event includes a case preparation session provided by Deloitte Consulting earlier in the week, in which students will be taught how to approach and present a business case. On the day of the main event, participants will be presenting to judges from top consulting firms Deloitte, McKinsey and BCG. Registration closes on Monday, March 8, at 11:59 p.m. For general questions, feel free to email us at” Some background: “The UW Management Consulting Club seeks to attract students and help them acquire the basic skills needed to succeed in pursuing opportunities in the consulting industry. We believe that UW students hold the talent and drive to succeed; however, most students are either unaware of opportunities or lack the specific skills desired by employers and business schools. The club will not only plan events to facilitate the networking process between the students and recruiters at the targeted consulting firms, but also showcase the talent and motivation of UW students in front of the consulting firms.”

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Olympics, Paralympics, and the Warriors

As the glow of the Olympic Winter Games lingers, I’d like to quote from a note sent by Bob Kerton, retired economics professor and dean of arts, taking exception to something I said in the Daily Bulletin last week. I described the achievement of the Canadian women’s bobsleigh team as involving “what's probably the first Olympic gold medal for a Waterloo graduate”, namely kinesiology graduate Heather Moyse.

It seems that's not so . “I am as eager as anyone to note UW's connection to Heather Moyse and her amazing achievements,” says Kerton, “and I have huge admiration for her stunning interview skills showing grit and pride at the same time as she showed the love of sport and respect for fellow competitors. That said, she cannot be the first UW gold.”

He cites some others: “I remember intense discussions with Victor Davis in my office. He was not my student but I am reasonably sure he graduated from UW. At the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles he won a silver medal in the 100-metre breaststroke event then captured the gold medal in the 200-metre breaststroke. Victor Davis was killed in 1989 when struck by a car in Montréal and is remembered as the greatest breaststroke swimmer Canada had ever produced.

“We are also in awe of UW's hockey coach Geraldine Heaney: silver medal at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and, famously, gold at the Salt Lake City games in 2002. The Hockey Hall of Fame calls Heaney ‘arguably the best offensive blueliner’ in Canadian women's hockey history.

“There may be others. I believe Natalie Lambert, short track skater, was from UW (short track gold at Albertville). World level wrestler Egon Beiler (Lakehead grad) spent a couple of years at UW, won the Totzke Award in 1973-74, and was a member of the Canadian national team that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games, preventing him from entering his third Olympics where he was a favourite for gold.”

So we might fall back on the word “graduate”, perhaps, but Waterloo does have connections to several other Olympic gold medals; credit wherever credit is due.

And now attention turns to the Paralympic Games, due to open March 12 at the Olympic sites in Vancouver and Whistler, where Waterloo will again have a star appearing. I’ll let Sandy DeVisser in the department of recreation and leisure studies introduce him:

[On ice, in red jersey]“I was watching the sledge hockey segment yesterday with the Olympics (Wendell Clark trying out the sport), and realized that Greg Westlake of the Canadian men’s sledge hockey team to play at the Paralympic Games in March is one of our own UW students. He started his studies in our department in fall 2004. He is now working towards completing a three-year liberal arts degree. He is one of two alternate captains for this year’s team.”

Westlake (above) has been with Team Canada since 2003 and was part of the team that won gold at the Paralympic Games four years ago in Turin. Competition on the ice is scheduled to start March 13, with the gold medal game on March 20.

Finally, as long as we’re talking sports, here are a few notes related to Warrior interuniversity teams:

• With the women's basketball season at an end, Ontario University Athletics has named its award recipients for 2010; Reanne Holden of the Warriors wins the Joy Bellinger Award for the league's west division.

• The women's curling team was OUA "team of the month" for February, in the wake of a 5-3 season record, three wins in the round robin tournament, and a defeat of Laurier in the gold medal game.

• A link in Tuesday's Daily Bulletin referred to two "former" Warrior players who are trying out for Canadian Football League teams; both Joel Reinders and Michael Warner will be on the field for Waterloo again this fall.


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Link of the day

National Grammar Day

When and where

Graduate Student Association referenda on bus pass and expansion of health services, last day of voting, polls open until midnight. Details.

Pre-enrolment for fall term undergraduate courses, March 1-7 on Quest.

Library workshop: “Advancing Government Information” 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Student Climate Change Colloquium (second annual) sponsored by Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, South Campus Hall, final day. Details. Keynote speaker today: Jason J. Blackstock, Centre for International Governance Innovation, “The Science and Politics of Geoengineering Research” 12:20, Laurel Room.

Staff career workshops today: “Networking Is Not a Dirty Word” 3:00; “Job Search Solutions” 5:00, Tatham Centre, register lkoblyk@

Chemical engineering seminar: Jiujun Zhang, National Research Council, “PEM Fuel Cell Catalysis” 3:30, Doug Wright Engineering room 2529.

Author at St. Jerome’s University: Mary Swan, novelist, 4:30, StJ room 3027.

Short Attention Span Math Seminars hosted by Pure Math Club, 4:30 to 11 p.m., Math and Computer room 2066.

Fifth Annual International Women’s Day Dinner, 4:30 p.m. cocktail hour, 5:30 p.m. dinner, University Club. Tickets at Humanities box office, 519-888-4908. Details.

Speech communication alumni night: Networking with six alumni, plus reception, 5:00 to 7:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall. Details.

‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ events organized by Students for Palestinian Rights: “To See If I’m Smiling” (female Israeli soldiers) 6:00, Math and Computer room 4021.

Work reports from fall co-op work term marked by field coordinators available for pickup from Tatham Centre, Friday.

Fusion conference (“Sustainability: Success for Today and Tomorrow”) sponsored by Science and Business Students Association, Friday-Saturday. Details.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Eva Grabinski, “Preparing Your Web Content for the CMS and New Web Design” Friday 9:00, IST seminar room.

Public Service Leadership reception and announcement, Friday 12:00, Laurel Room, South Campus Hall. Details.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Alex Bielak, Environment Canada, “From Science Communication to Knowledge Brokering” Friday 1:30, Math and Computer room 4061.

Israel on Campus presents Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, “The View from Inside the Palestinian Territories” Friday 3:00, Wilfrid Laurier University, Alvin Woods Building 2-106.

Fever International Dance Championships Friday 4:00, Saturday from 9:00, Sunday from 8:00, final performance 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Waterloo Space Society presents documentary “Astrospies” Friday 4:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 309.

St. Jerome’s University Scarboro Missions Lecture: Vincent Miller, University of Dayton, “Where Are We? Responsibility, Spirituality and Place in a Global Age” Friday 7:30 p.m., Siegfried Hall.

UW Juggling Festival (18th annual) Saturday-Sunday in Student Life Centre great hall, performance Saturday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC great hall, tickets $5. Details.

‘Can Information Technology Really Help Save the Planet?’ Talk by Victor Galaz sponsored by Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation, Tuesday 2 p.m., Tatham Centre room 2218. Details.

Etiquette Essentials: Dinner and workshop for graduating students, hosted by Student Life Office and Alumni Affairs. Tuesday 5:30 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall.

‘Arcadia’ by Tom Stoppard, drama department spring production, preview by invitation March 10, 7:00; public performances March 11-13 and 18-20, 8 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, tickets $12 general, students $10. Details.

Employee Assistance Program presents UW president David Johnston and Richard Ennis, psychology department, “Hitting the Wall and Moving through It: Using community relationships and resilience for success,” March 12, 12 noon, CEIT room 1015.

Explorations 2010 visit to faculty of engineering for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 and their parents, March 15, 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. Details.

March break open house for future students and their families, March 16. Details.

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