March 10, 2005

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More women grads in computer science
A recent survey from the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) says that while more women are graduating from computing science programs at Canadian universities, only a small percentage of them who enroll graduate. The informal survey of 10 universities also says that enrollments in computing related courses continue to decline, in part because students, parents and school counsellors continue to hear discouraging reports about the state of the information technology sector in Canada. In fact, says CIPS, technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, with an unemployment rate of about three per cent.

At SFU, statistics show that averaged over the past five years, women represent about 17 per cent of the computing science enrolment and that 16 per cent of the graduating class is female. Overall, computing science enrollment for both males and females increased from 1994/95 to 2002/03 when it almost tripled. There has been little growth, however, since then. In all, SFU has about 800 undergraduate students who have declared computing science as a major.

National co-op week celebrated
Students will soon be forgetting about papers, projects and assignments, even if it's only for a few hours. For the first time in 15 years, SFU's co-op education department is celebrating national co-op week. Mark March 22 to 24 on your calendars as the week of fun and excitement. Upcoming events include a barbecue and the co-op olympic games in convocation mall, a recognition ceremony for SFU student Jan Verspoor - Canada's co-op student of the year, and a professional development presentation. For a complete list of activities check:

Richards honoured for service
SFU economist John Richards, who teaches in the master of public policy program, recently received a Saskatchewan distinguished service award for contributions to provincial social policy programming over the last decade. A native of Saskatchewan, Richards sat as a MLA in the 1970s and has since maintained links to the Saskatchewan government.

One student at the University of Alberta, commenting on the site's feature of presenting live researchers talking about their work, writes, “What a treat it was to see and hear the researchers we had studied. I've been on the site for about an hour, and have only just scratched the surface, loving the up-to-date information it gives.” The site,, was created by the museum and SFU's learning and instructional development centre, with a financial investment from the department of Canadian Heritage's virtual museum of Canada.

Million flock to museum website
The SFU museum of archaeology and ethnology launched a new website in January entitled A Journey To A New Land, which presents current theories about the peopling of the New World. By the end of March the site will have already logged its millionth hit. Museum curator Barbara Winter says feedback, from school children and academics to armchair surfers, has been steady and positive.

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