May 13, 2004

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Plant sale set for May 19
Azaleas, rhododendrons, hostas and hamburgers - there's more variety than ever at the SFU plant sale on the Burnaby campus May 19 from 11 a. m. -2:30 p.m. on the east side of Strand hall. In addition to the plethora of plants, SFU dining services plans to locate its outdoor barbecue nearby.

Don't forget to check out the plant sale raffle prizes in the SFU bookstore window. All proceeds from the sale go toward the SFU campus community bursary endowment fund. For complete information, visit

Imagining the future
Imagine a future where your fridge, your sofa or even your clothes are aware of their environment and can interact with you. Where robots compete with humans in soccer's World Cup. Where your identity online is as real as your physical identity. Faculty members in the school of interactive arts and technology at SFU Surrey have been imagining this future and have been sharing their vision with the public in a free public lecture series that addresses how technology impacts people's lives.

There's still time to catch the last two lectures: Augmenting Reality: Exploring the Future Museum Now with Ron Wakkary (May 15 at 10:30 a.m.) and The Age of Virtuality: The Future of Identity, Community and Ownership with Steve DiPaolo (May 27 at 7 p.m.).
All lectures are held at the Surrey campus. For more information about the individual topics, visit Call 604-291-5096 or email to reserve a seat.

Pourvali wins volunteer award
During the past two years SFU has recognized molecular biology and biochemistry student Reza Pourvali with a Judy Kelly humanitarian award as well as an outstanding alumni award for student leadership. Recently, Volunteer Vancouver also recognized Pourvali's many volunteer contributions when they named him a leader of tomorrow in the 18-25 year-old category. Pourvali has led Christmas clothing drives for the homeless at SFU and volunteered with Burnaby hospital, Queen's Park care centre and the Canadian Institute for the Blind.

Yu recognized for innovation
SFU analytical/materials chemist Hua-Zhong (Hogan) Yu is the 2004 winner of the Canadian Society for Chemistry's national Fred Beamish award. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. Yu's research is devoted to biosensors and gene analysis. Most recently he has been working to fabricate a new generation of DNA chips.

A DNA chip (also called DNA microarray) is an orderly arrangement of DNA samples on a sensor. It provides a medium for matching known and unknown DNA samples and automates the process of identifying unknown DNA pieces. DNA chip technology is significant for genome studies, says Yu. “Many fields, including drug discovery and toxicological research, will benefit from DNA chip technology.”

Relating to your computer
Could your computer be your best friend? Lucy Suchman of Lancaster University in England combines cultural anthropology with computer science to find the answer. Suchman will present her ideas on human-computer relations in a free public lecture sponsored by the faculty of applied sciences May 17 at 4:30 p.m. in AQ3150. Suchman, a professor of the anthropology of science, will examine some classic assumptions underlying software-based relations between humans and machines. Suchman spent 20 years as a researcher and principal scientist at Xerox's Palo Alto research centre.

Clayman to head research centre
Bruce Clayman, VP-research, steps down from his position in September and assumes the role of director of SFU's centre for policy research on science and technology (CPROST). Established in 1988, CPROST researches the relationship between public policy and technology. It brings together practitioners and scholars to study the interaction of advancements in science and technology, their implementation in the marketplace and their impacts on community and individuals. Clayman has served as VP-research for the past 11 years. His successor is Mario Pinto.

Davidson a child advocate
Sheila Davidson, who has been executive director of SFU's childcare centre since 1991, has left her job to become the city of Vancouver's new child and youth advocate. At SFU, which boasts one of the largest university childcare centres in Canada, Davidson was well-known for her childcare advocacy role and her tireless pursuit of quality publicly funded childcare services. She served for six years as chair of the provincial childcare council and was a founding member of the childcare advocacy forum. In 2003, Davidson received SFU's C.D. Nelson award in recognition of her contributions outside the academic realm.

New technology agency launched
B.C. has a new technology agency with a mandate to promote economic development. The new Crown agency, the B.C. Innovation Council, is the result of a merger of the Innovation and Science Council of British Columbia and the Advanced Systems Institute of B.C. The move centralizes the government's technology development and commercialization programs and provides support for high-tech companies, technology industry groups, federal science and technology agencies and university research labs. For more information go to:

Mackenzie cafe closed for upgrade
Mackenzie cafe in the east academic concourse is closed for a $1 million upgrade over the summer and will re-open in September. In the new cafe, patrons can look forward to porcelain tiles, textured walls, pendant lights and wall sconces, wood, vinyl and carpet flooring, booths with soft seating, and a communal table. Over the summer, an alternative foodservice station have been set up at the Big Pita in the south east concourse.

The benefits of HIPPY
Ruth Westheimer may be best known for her advice about sexual relationships, but the famous psychosexual therapist is equally passionate about helping at-risk children get a solid footing on the ladder of education. Westheimer, a former kindergarten teacher and a founding board member of the Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program in the U.S., will be at HIPPY Britannia's site on May 19. Westheimer will join SFU President Michael Stevenson in discussing the benefits of the HIPPY program with its participants and the media from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., at Britannia community centre at 1655 Williams St. in Vancouver.

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