September 8, 2005

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CBC exec chairs HIPPY
A CBC television senior executive is now chairing the board of directors for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program (HIPPY). The organization is allied with SFU through SFU continuing studies' community education programs. Richard Stursberg, a founding member of HIPPY's board of directors and a senior civil servant of 25 years, has been appointed to chair the board. The HIPPY program helps the children of impoverished and socially marginalized families get a head start in their schooling.

Tell us your story
Do you have a story to tell about Simon Fraser University? If so, SFU's 40th anniversary committee wants to hear from you. Anyone with an association with SFU, whether as a student, staffer, administrator, faculty or member of the public, is invited to share their stories. Memories will be published on the 40th anniversary web site at

Send your contribution (no more than 500 words) to and include your name, address, connection to the university and any photos you wish to share. By submitting your story, you are agreeing to let Simon Fraser University publish your submission.

Mathematicians awarded grants
How do mathematicians, scientists and engineers quickly solve their complex mathematical problems? Just like the rest of us - with a calculator, or sophisticated software capable of doing the algebraic and numerical computations for them. Recently, a group of SFU mathematicians received two research grants to design and implement new and faster mathematical algorhithms for such software.

Lead investigator Michael Monagan received a three-year $105,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grant while principal investigator Peter Borwein received a $253,000 two-year renewal of a Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems National Centres for Excellence grant. The group also received an NSERC equipment grant. Their industrial partner in the project is the Maple Software company. SFU hosts one of six international research and development sites for Maple. “Another reason we're working on this project is so that we can use the new algorithms ourselves for doing mathematical explorations,” says Monagan. SFU has a university-wide site licence for Maple and uses it for teaching mathematics courses. Further information about the computer algebra research group is available at

Youngsters win piping contest
SFU's youngest pipe band won its fourth world championship, sweeping all categories in their competition in Glasgow, Scotland on Aug. 13. The 12-17-year-old members of the Robert Malcolm Memorial Grade 3 band secured first place scores from all four competition judges, and finished first in the separate categories of drumming and bass section.

“This was a major victory for our young players. They played incredibly well,” says Rob MacNeil, band manager. The Grade 3 band, a feeder band to the other levels, placed second in its first competition in 1997. They compete every two years and have followed up with a string of championships in 1999, 2001 and 2003. SFU's elite Grade 1 band finished third, with each of the top three bands in their competition placing just one point apart. First place went to the Scottish band Shotts & Dykehead. Also performing this year was the Robert Malcolm Grade 2 band, which did not place.

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