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CT at the Show

From high-end collaborative computing to super-eProcurement, higher ed reaches for new heights.

Sun: Worldwide Ed and Research

Next-generation developers

With more than half international attendees, about 600 education leaders met in San Francisco in February for Sun Microsystems’ Annual Worldwide Education and Research Conference. Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy spoke about the company’s student developer community program (, donations of processing and storage capabilities to education institutions, and grants of more than $1 million to build school labs—all efforts aimed at reducing the digital divide. “Nowhere is the digital divide wider or deeper than in the area of education,” McNealy said. “We must encourage and train the next generation of developers to think big and act boldly no matter what side of the divide they’re on.”

Research is key

A central theme of the conference was supporting innovation and research. After he addressed the conference University of California System President Robert Dynes told Campus Technology, "As a research university, we have to teach young people how to be creative; only if they are creative will they be the next-generation leaders. The only way to do that is to engage them in research, because that is the creative effort. And technology is the platform by which you create the innovators.

Get ready for the optiputer

Reflecting on Sun's famous assection that "The Network Is the Computer," Larry Smarr, UC-San Diego's IT director, introduced his work (with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology) on an optical network computing framework that could remove bandwidth as an obstacle to high-end collaboration. "Bandwidth is getting cheaper faster than storage. Storage is getting cheaper faster than computing. The exponentials are crossing," he said.

SciQuest NextLevel 2005

Overcoming eProcurement w'es

At SciQuest's annual meeting in February, keynote Tim Minnahan, a senior VP of Supply Chain Management for the Aberdeen Group, prescribed a holistic, total cost management approach to eProcurement in higher ed. Referring to Aberdeen's recently released study, "The E-procurement Benchmark Report: Less Hype, More Results" (Aberdenn Group, December 2004; ( Minahan offered best practices and strategies to secure successes in a market where "many efforts to maximize eProcurement return on investment stall before they reach full potential."

Blending in with ERP

Moderated by SciQuest's VP for Higher Education Dorrian Porter, procurement powerhouse panel members discussed how they've leveraged technologies from PeopleSoft/Oracle and SAP into their overall eProcurement strategy. (Left to right: Chris Mihok, Yale University (CT); Jerry Fuller, University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston; Tom Hoole, MIT; Dorrian Porter, SciQuest.

RSA 2005 Security Conference

Studied presentations

Amid the hustle-bustle of exhibits and packed keynotes at RSA 2005, track sessions homed in on a range of security interests--from identity management and secure Web services, to blended threats. Several presenters from higher ed participated in panels. Andrea Matwyshyn, an assistant law prof from Northwestern University (IL), joined a track on privacy law, and policy.

Security? On Windows?

A serious Bill Gates topped the keynote lineup, offering the short-list version of Microsoft security development efforts--stronger built-in security for Internet Explorer and v.1 of "the ultimate mail virus protection" for Windows users that should be delivered by year's end. Microsoft spends about $6 billion of its R&D budget on security products, Gates noted, adding that Microsoft software is now running on 90 percent of the worlds PCs.

Security expo packs 'em

For five full days, attendees crowded the Moscone Center in San Francisco during February's 14th annual RSA Security Conference and Expo.

International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society

From theorists to practitioners

Keene State College's Homer Stavely provided his "Reflections on the Nature of Information." Most presentations, like Stevely's, were highly technical--conference organizers say that next year, they will boost the number of practioner sessions, giving educators a chance to show technology applications in action.

Scholars on technology

The small February gathering of international scholars on UC Berkeley's Clark Kerr campus marked Common Ground's ( second annual Technology Conference, featuring multi-faceted discussions of the impact of technology on society and knowledge systems. In his plenary session, McGill University's (Canada) Darin Barney talked about education's role in the changing knowledge economy.

2nd Annual Graduate Cohort for Women

Mentors and netowrks

February's Graduate Cohort Program of the Computer Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W;, brought together in San Francisco 220 first- and second-year female grad students from 73 universities, plus 26 researchers who came to share experiences. With support from Microsoft, Google, and Lucent Technologies, the program's goal is to increase success and reduce attrition of woman in the career path leading from graduate study into computing research.

Sharing the knowledge

Presentations covered skills for surviving graduate school, how to build a solid foundation in the research process, networking and professional interaction, working with mentors, and more. Mary Jean Harrold, a professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology . Offered students advice on getting established in the research process.

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