June 23, 2005

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Students win technology award
Two SFU students were among four winners of the inaugural B.C. medical technology research showcase, conceived by Matt Ferguson of SFU's university industry liaison office. The networking event brought together B.C.'s post-secondary medical technology research community and medical technology firms to demonstrate the latest medical technology research (devices, diagnostics, imaging, software) out of post-secondary laboratories. The event attracted 115 people including representatives from all key B.C. medical technology companies, and 44 student poster entries from SFU, UBC, University of Victoria and BCIT. SFU winners were graduate engineering science students Paul Marshall, for his poster depicting new surgical simulation hardware and software out of SFU's robotics lab and Nasim Vafai, for her poster about a new virtual training environment for surgeons.

Senate approves program
Senate appproved the school of interactive arts and technology's (SIAT) bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in interactive arts and technology programs on May 16.

SIAT was created in 2002 following the closure of the Technical University of British Columbia. SIAT, which has about 900 undergraduate and 100 graduate students, has been developing its program over the past three years. The undergraduate program has four streams, performance and media arts, new media environments, technology in art and design, and interaction design. Senate approved the school's graduate program in January.

Truax produces new CD
SFU communication professor Barry Truax has produced a new double CD entitled the Powers of Two. It's an electroacoustic opera featuring the cast of the 2004 workshop production of the opera by the Vancouver based Modern Baroque Opera Company. Described as an unusual music theatre work, the performers on the CD are some of Canada's best. The CD takes lyrical texts from the 17th through to the 20th centuries.

In the Powers of Two, these relationships are dramatized on stage with the disembodied electroacoustic element creating a soundscape of beauty and dramatic force. The CD was produced by Cambridge Street Records in Burnaby. Truax has produced several innovative CDs, beginning with his groundbreaking Digital Soundscapes in 1987. He is the only Canadian-born recipient of the Magisterium award, which he received in 1991 at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France.

International centre approved
Senate has approved the creation of a new Centre for International Research and the dissolution of the existing Research Institute for Southeastern Europe. The new centre was created because researchers associated with the old institute realized their research was often leading them outside of southeastern Europe. “The new world order means that the future of countries, regions and continents is now so interlinked that it requires more collaborate research,” said Hellenic studies professor Andre Gerolymatos.

He says the creation of the new centre is “a natural progression of our academic research and the increasing linkage between regional politics with international events.” The centre will allow faculty and students to explore global issues, such as economic development, refugees, health crises, human migration, terrorism and security, and evaluate ways of managing or resolving these issues, he says.

Education website recognized
SFU's 7th Floor Media, the faculty of education's new media development and prototype centre at the Vancouver campus, was a finalist in the 2005 Canadian New Media awards for an educational website, Journeys and Transformation: British Columbia Landscapes created for the Royal British Columbia Museum. The online exhibition is part of the Virtual Museum of Canada project. “We're very proud to be recognized for this project by our industry peers,” says Julie Zilber, co-director of 7th Floor Media. “It was a great opportunity to work with the museum's rich collection of images and other resources.” The site offers a wonderful view of B.C.'s human and natural history. Check Royal B.C. Museum.

New bike lane approved
Biking up the west side of Burnaby Mountain will soon be easier now that the city of Burnaby council recently approved a bike lane extension running east from Centennial Way (the entrance road to Burnaby Mountain Park and Horizons restaurant) to the traffic light on Gaglardi Way. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall semester, providing a continuous bike lane from SFU to Hastings Street and North Burnaby's existing bikeway system.

Lee Gavel, director of campus planning and development, says this is a welcome addition to SFU's many initiatives that support commuting by bike. These initiatives include bike routes on SFU's internal roadways and bicycle storage on campus. “And if the climb up the hill seems daunting, bike racks on buses make it possible to take the easy way up and still have the fun of the ride down,” he says.

Choral festival on the mountain
Burnaby Mountain will be alive with the sound of music from June 29 - July 4 as youth and children's choirs from North America gather at SFU for the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival. The young people, to be housed in SFU's new residences, will spend five days singing and working at SFU with well-known music clinicians such as conductor Diane Loomer, percussionist Sal Ferraras, choral singer Sanna Valvanne of Finland and the vocal ensemble musica intima.

The opening ceremony on June 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the SFU theatre, is free to the public and will feature guest conductors Valvanne and Loomer and the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The young singers will also perform at various venues around Vancouver. The festival, the first of its kind in the Vancouver area, is a non-competitive event created to fill a void in the choral arts in the Lower Mainland. More information regarding the festival can be found at

Pipe band records in concert
Thrill to the skirl of the pipes June 30 and July 1 and 2 as the world renowned SFU pipe band records its ninth CD in a special concert, On Home Ground, at the SFU theatre. There are only 500 tickets available, so book early. Concert seating for all performances. Ticket price for June 30 is $15, and for July 1 and 2, $25. Check

A story in the June 9 issue of SFU News on biologist Bruce Leighton's study of mosquitoes in providing evidence of disease in wildlife (Mosquito's blood can reveal disease) contained inaccurate information. For a correct version please check

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