Jan 23, 2003

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Open house draws 160 students
For high school students, it's no easy task to settle on a career path, or a university. That's why 160 Lower Mainland high school students turned out for the faculty of applied science open house in mid-January. The faculty, which aggressively recruits new students, had assistance from 46 student volunteers to entertain the potential recruits with aerial robotic demonstrations, tales of international co-op experiences in Iran and Japan, and stories of career success from alumni.

Cohen book praised
The Globe and Mail recently gave the paperback version of SFU professor Lenard Cohen's latest book about a fallen dictator the thumbs up. The paperback version of the Balkan politics expert's book, Serpent In the Bosom: The Rise and Fall of Slobodan Milsoevic, like the original, was published by Westview Press in Colorado. Released at the end of September 2002, the revised and expanded paperback contains material from Milosevic's indictment by the War Crimes tribunal in The Hague after his fall from power as former Yugoslavia's leader. Cohen also examines political developments in the post-Milosevic era. The Globe and Mail review, on Jan. 4, says, “Cohen adroitly navigates the confusing and treacherous minefield of Balkan politics. Focusing on Milosevic, he explains how the Serbian leader cleverly exploited nationalist sentiment and the tragic legacy of Kosovo.”

Professors win new grants
SFU associate professor of physics Barbara Frisken and professor of chemistry Steven Holdcroft are among 15 researchers awarded grants in a new competition. Its sponsors are the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the federal office of energy research and development. The inaugural annual competition sought proposals that would lead to greenhouse gas reduction. Frisken (principal investigator) and Holdcroft (co-investigator) will receive $70,620 a year for three years to develop a family of novel materials for application in hydrogen fuel cells based on the self-assembly of nanoparticles. (They are many times smaller than what can be seen by the human eye.)

Frisken investigates physical properties of various soft condensed matter systems, including emulsions and gels. Holdcroft studies long-chain, organic molecules known as polymers in an effort to design ion-conducting plastics that increase the efficacy of fuel cells. NRCan's funding for the winning proposals is coming through the federal government's 2000 action plan for technology development to deal with climate change.

Nightline's new number
Students, staff and faculty who are feeling stressed out, depressed or who just want to talk should call SFU nightline's new number: 604-857-7148. This free service, staffed by trained student volunteers, offers crisis intervention, peer counselling, and information and referrals to all members of the campus community.

Statistics endowment established
The Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) has donated $6,000 to a fledgling endowment fund started by SFU's department of statistics and actuarial science. The fund supports scholarships for undergraduate students declaring an honours or major in statistics and/or actuarial science. Award recipients will be selected on the basis of their academic merit and commitment to the SSC mission. The department will hand out its first scholarships at its spring annual award ceremonies. The SSC is a national organization representing statisticians from across Canada. Its mission is to encourage the development and use of statistics and probability.

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