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News 08-14-2001

The Art Institute Online Teams with Adobe On Web Design Certificate Programs

The Art Institute Online, a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, has formed an educational alliance with Adobe Systems Inc. to develop and market certificate programs in Web Design as part of The Art Institute Online Center for Professional Development. The Center for Professional Development will offer intensive, accelerated modules in the Web Design certificate programs in an online format that are specifically designed around targeted professional areas. Two programs will initially be offered: Introduction to Web Design and Web Site Development. Each program consists of five courses in six-week modules and will include: Fundamentals of Design for the Web, Architecture and Information Management, Web Authoring, Defining and Debugging Specs, Design a Web Site, Introduction to Multimedia and Web Design, Interactive Design, Web Authoring Tools, User Interface Design, Develop a Web Site. The Art Institute Online, a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, is a distance learning school offering Internet- delivered education. The Art Institute Online offers courses leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design or Multimedia & Web Design, the Associate of Science degree in Graphic Design or Multimedia & Web Design, and two diploma programs in Digital Design and Web Design. Students may take a demonstration online course by visiting The Art Institute Online at or by calling 1-877-872-8869 for more information.

Maple Wins Educational Software Awards

Waterloo Maple's mathematical software Maple 7 has won the Educational Software Review Award (EDDIE) in the math category, post-secondary level. In addition, Maple PowerTools, a free online resource of Maple application packages and academic course materials, won the award in the educational Web site category for post-secondary mathematics.

The EDDIEs, sponsored by the ComputED Gazette, recognize innovative and content-rich programs for use by educators to augment the classroom curriculum and improve teacher productivity. Winners are selected from titles submitted by software publishers from around the world and are based on academic content, potential for broad classroom use, technical merit, subject approach, and quality of management system.

Skidmore to Expand Internet Class Offerings

Skidmore College received a grant of $460,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop three new baccalaureate distance-learning programs through its University Without Walls. The new interdisciplinary programs in American history and culture, human nature and behavior, and communication and the arts, will be designed so they can be completed entirely over the Internet, said Skidmore President Jamienne Studley. The three-year grant will support new staff, provide funds for faculty to develop 30 new Internet courses and pay for assistance with Web site development, technical support, marketing, travel and other costs related to developing the new online programs.

netLibrary Launches First eBook Tool Kit

netLibrary, provider of eBooks and Internet-based content/ collection management services for libraries, announced that all of its library customers will have access to a newly created eBook Tool Kit, a comprehensive Web-based resource featuring a host of integration, marketing, and promotional tools designed specifically for and by libraries. The eBook Tool Kit encompasses topics such as how to successfully integrate eBooks into the library's OPAC, how to increase usage, and how to develop and implement eBook marketing and PR programs, promotions, or special events. Customers who order netLibrary eBooks will receive a CD with an interactive tutorial which directs users to a regularly updated Web site organized along two main tracks: eBook Fundamentals and Promoting eBooks. For more information, contact a netLibrary representative directly or visit

Atomic Dog Publishing Launches My Backpack 2.0

Atomic Dog Publishing, a Cincinnati-based higher education, online publisher, announced the release of its new online learning environment, MyBackpack 2.0, the platform upon which all of Atomic Dog's online textbooks are delivered. MyBackpack 2.0 presents textbooks in real-time, allowing for a higher level of customization, currency, and multimedia integration. The new learning environment features full text searching, pop-up glossary terms and footnotes, bookmarking, integrated study-guides, integrated video, audio, simulations, and animations, and a hyperlinked table of contents, in full and brief. MyBackpack 2.0 also enables students and instructors to customize their textbooks. Students can now enter personal notes and highlights within any of Atomic Dog's online textbooks. Instructors can also post notes, quizzes, Web exercises, alternative points of view, case studies, current events and critical thinking questions to their students. For more information, visit

Netbriefings Allows Institutions to Produce Webcasts

Internet Webcasting services company Netbriefings announced the availability of two products that, combined, enable education departments to produce and deliver, or Webcast, streaming-media sessions through the Internet, without technical expertise. The two products, one hardware and one software, were developed in response to customers' need for frequent, high-quality, multimedia communication with economy and ease.

The hardware component, the Remote Meeting Unit, integrates the hardware necessary to collect input from video cameras, microphones, and projectors. It also contains a codec that encodes and compresses the data and transmits it to Netbriefings streaming-media servers for immediate distribution through the Internet. The software, the Event Management System, runs on Windows-based PCs, and allows event planners to "design" a communications event, or session, through user-friendly screens running under a standard Web browser. Designing an event enables direct compatibility with Netbriefings' servers and the automatic generation of URLs where participant viewers can register and view the event. The process also captures information about the event that allows the event planner to track event components and later collect data from viewers, such as polling and testing, and subsequently analyze and report the data. It also creates a template from which future events can be created on short notice. More information is available at:

Thomson Learning Offers eTextbooks this Fall

Course Technology, a computer education publishing division of Thomson Learning, is offering flexible textbook content electronically through eBooks. Course Technology will offer a library of more than 50 of their best-selling textbook titles within eBook platforms beginning in September 2001. Course Technology offers a secure system for accessing, annotating and sharing copyrighted content online through its partnership with Rovia. The Rovia-enabled etextbooks, which look exactly like the printed version, integrate the entire offering of materials that accompany a textbook, including interactive quizzes, movies and other multimedia enhancements, into a single platform. Professors and students can customize their content by annotating text, highlighting key passages, inserting "sticky notes," and bookmarking pages.

Rosettabooks Launches First "Timed" eBook

In a demonstration of technology that could revolutionize the publishing industry and help jump-start the eBook market, electronic publisher RosettaBooks is offering Agatha Christie's classic mystery And Then There Were None in a special time-based permit edition. In conjunction Adobe Systems, Inc. and Reciprocal, Inc., the eBook is available for download for $1.00 at Once downloaded, the eBook may be enjoyed for 10 hours, after which the book's "time-based permit" will expire, and the content will no longer be available. Readers access the title via the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader and have the option of renewing the time-based permit or purchasing a "permanent" electronic edition. The permit prohibits the printing of an eBook. This technology could transform commercial transactions in the publishing industry.

Israeli Team Wins TI's DSP and Analog University Challenge

Leveraging programmable digital signal processors (DSPs) from Texas Instruments to build an audio digital watermarking system for protection against copyright violation problems, three students from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology were awarded the $100,000 grand prize for TI's DSP and Analog University Challenge. The competition challenges university students from engineering programs around the world to create innovative and functional applications using one of TI's TMS320 DSPs. (See: ) With this technology, a signature can be embedded within the data of a signal, thus resolving multiple ownership claims to digital media. The digital watermark is inaudible to the human ear and virtually undetectable and resistant to attempts to remove it. Other finalist teams included Rice University of Houston for their application that enables the transmission of real-time audio and video in wireless devices and National Taiwan University for their high-speed transceivers for wireless data communications.TI representatives judged the submissions for their overall creativity, practicality and repeatability, difficulty, operability, completeness and professionalism.

SIGGRAPH 2001 Announces Special Sessions

ACM SIGGRAPH announced July 31 the special sessions for SIGGRAPH 2001, the 28th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, being held 12-17 August at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California. The five special sessions are Virtual Stars, Masters of the Game, Web3D RoundUP, Sensapolooza: A Guided Tour of the New Silicon Senses, and 2001 in 2001: How a Film Inspired Our Future. A comprehensive technical program and special events focusing on research, art, animation, and interactive technologies are also planned. For more information on the SIGGRAPH 2001 Special Sessions, see

The Mathworks Launches Virtual Reality Toolbox 2.0

The MathWorks, Inc., announced the availability of Virtual Reality Toolbox 2.0, 3-D animation software that adds virtual reality visualization and simulation to MATLAB and Simulink. This new animated view of system simulations provides engineers a look at their dynamic models, while helping to demonstrate complex designs. The Toolbox connects MATLAB and Simulink with a VRML-enabled browser that lets users display a virtual 3-D representation of the modeled system. Engineers can view and interact with simulated virtual worlds on remote computers running MATLAB and Simulink, enabling true global access. To provide a complete working environment, Virtual Reality Toolbox 2.0 includes a VRML plug-in for Web browsers and a VRML authoring tool for creating and customizing virtual reality worlds. Visit for more information.

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