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News 12-06-2002

Sponsor: Syllabus

Syllabus2003 Call for Papers Extended to December 15

Plan to present at the Tenth Annual Summer Conference on Education Technology held in the San Francisco Bay Area July 28-31, 2003. Proposals for breakout sessions, panels, and workshops are due December 15. For details and further information, go to

Intuit Founder Endows Product Management MBA

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business said it will open what it calls the first MBA program focused on product management. The Center for Product Management, established by a gift of $6.4 million from Intuit financial software company co-founder Scott Cook, will train MBA students for product management jobs. While some universities offer a class or two in product management, no other university has a dedicated center focused specifically on the subject, the university said. The first students will be enrolled in the program in fall 2003 and the gift will cover full tuition and a stipend for many of the incoming students. Cook, who will be a lecturer at the Center, started his career by working in product management at Procter & Gamble.

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SU Site Hub of K-12 Info-Gathering Network

Louisiana State University's CADGIS Research Laboratory, in collaboration with the Louisiana Center for Technology, has developed an interactive Web site that will allow the state's K-12 students to help state officials prepare for public safety emergencies. The site, developed using GeoMedia WebMap technology, allows students to submit information about school facilities related to sheltering evacuated families in emergencies such as hurricanes, tornad'es, oil spills, and homeland-security incidents. Students can view an aerial infrared image of their school's neighborhood and determine the exact latitude and longitude of the building's main entrance. By enabling schoolchildren to collect the data rather than sending state employees to the school buildings to capture the data, the state said it can save thousands of dollars.

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DVD Giant Challenges Student Film Directors

Consumer electronics giant Pioneer is sponsoring a competition among college students from leading film schools to create a short movie using the latest digital technology in less than 48 hours. Project Pioneer - 2880 invites student directors from 10 film schools to take a scenario and produce a DVD short, including finalizing the script, recruiting talent, identifying locations, shooting scenes, and editing the DVD all in a 48-hour window. The winning school will receive a $10,000 grant. Editing and post-production of the movies will be done on Pioneer recordable drives, which will be donated to the universities. The competition and preliminary judging will take place this month; final judging will take place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 9, 2003. For more information, contact: Aaron Levine at [email protected].

Arkansas College Makes Microsurgery Breakthrough

Using a second-hand electric pump and food coloring from a grocery store, neurosurgeons in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have created a breakthrough teaching technique for microsurgery. Emad Aboud, Ossama Al-Mefty, and M. Gazi Yasargil use the $1 pump to push colored water through the vessels and arteries of an anatomical specimen—the head of a cadaver—so neurosurgeons in training can experience life-like blood flow as they learn. While the technique was developed for brain surgery, physicians can use it to instruct students in many surgical procedures, including angioplasty and abdominal procedures that involve the use of an endoscope. "Many sources are available for training in neurosurgery, but none of them reliably mimic the anatomy …," said Al-Mefty.

RISD, Harvard Design Try New Modeling Tool

A modeling software developer has awarded the Rhode Island School of Design and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design licenses for ArchiCAD, a virtual building application that renders architectural designs in three dimensions. Each school was given a 50-seat academic laboratory license from Graphicsoft Inc. At RISD, students are using ArchiCAD as part of an advanced-level design studio in which students are exposed to a wide array of technology for architecture and building trades. Peter Tagiuri, head of the architecture department at RISD, said the software helps "raise the level of computer literacy among students by insisting that they not be limited to a single program like AutoCAD."

Awards, Deals, Contracts in Higher Education

POWER TECHNOLOGY—The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business has picked a rechargeable battery system from Valence Technology Inc. to supply students and faculty a power source for mobile computing. The company's Lithiom-ion polymer rechargeable technology, the N-Charge Power System, will help address "continuous connectivity and availability of power, [the] key issues with our students, most of whom rely on their notebook computers," said Larry Leibrock, chief technology officer of the school.

NETWORK SECURITY—The St. Louis College of Pharmacy has purchased network monitoring appliances from NetBotz Inc. to help manage the physical security of its IT infrastructure. The NetBotz system, which integrates built-in environmental sensors and camera technology that can capture and store "motion events," will be used to ward off threats such as inadequate airflow, extreme temperatures, high humidity, water damage, and amperage fluctuations. "Monitoring environmentals is critical to high availability," said Chad Shepherd, chief information officer of the college. "And so is securing assets. Our computer rooms are stocked with laptops. Those tend to sprout legs. We have a NetBotz pointed at the door to prevent those laptops from walking out."

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