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News 06-18-2002

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Foreign Students Dominate GIS Competition

Foreign university entries swept most of the top awards in a competition for best GIS technology practices and posters sponsored by the Integraph Corp. The competition recognized projects and programs based on Intergraph's GeoMedia and MGE technology. Students were invited to display their creative and innovative use of GIS software in the classroom by submitting posters. Educators were asked to submit entries that illustrate groundbreaking GIS programs in the classroom.

In the poster competition, open to community colleges, technical schools, universities, and distance-learning programs, the winners were:

-- Thomas Hilker, first-place, Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany
-- Russell Bigley, second-place, Northern Illinois University, U.S.A.
-- Doria Tai Yun Tyng and team members, third-place , University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

In the best practices competition, the winners were:

-- Michal Kucera and Jiri Machacek, first-place, Masaryk University of Brno, Czech Republic
-- Rainer Ketteman and Dietrich Schr'eder, second-place, Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany
-- Catharina Riedemann and Werner Kuhn, third-place, University of Muenster, Germany

For biographies and abstracts of the winning entries, visit:

Phil Long, MIT senior strategist for academic computing, to lead panel at Syllabus2002

Leadership, timing, advocacy, serendipity and a touch of intellectual insight...all requirements for achieving consensus on software specifications on campus. Join MIT's Phil Long in a panel discussion on learning systems specs, and share the panels' insights on and frustrations with the process of developing and publishing standards in a university environment at Syllabus2002. The ninth annual conference on education technology will be held July 27-31 in Santa Clara, Calif. Joining Professor Long is Ed Walker, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium.

Courseware Firm Seeks Life as National Brand

Academic Systems, a provider of interactive instructional programs for college students, has licensed a national commercial retail company to distribute its content for national retailers. The deal calls for Topics Entertainment, the 10th largest software publisher in the nation, to bundle and distribute select Academic System titles for outlets such as Walmart, Costco, Best Buy and CompUSA. Titles include CollegePro Mathematics, a four-CD set containing algebra, calculus and statistics; CollegePro Science, a five-CD set including microbiology, genetics, chemistry, and biochemistry; and CollegePro Business: a five-CD set with economics, statistics, and operations management. Jim Dredge, CEO of Academic, a subsidiary of Lightspan Inc., said the deal would "allow us to tap into a sizeable new market outside of the campus environment and significantly extend the Academic Systems brand."

Kettering U. Lays Out Wireless Campus Vision

Kettering University in Flint, Mich., is laying the groundwork for a wireless area network to give students, faculty and administrators campus-wide information via wireless kiosks, as well as network access for wireless PCs. The infrastructure is being launched with a $107,000 gift from HP Inc. The gift will fund a wireless deployment design, the two wireless kiosks, and three wireless access devices. In the future, the school plans to add interactive campus maps and an infrared download capability for hand-held PCs. "Ultimately, faculty and students will have access to administrative systems and academic systems including online course content anywhere on campus without tying them to specific physical locations," said Don Guthrie, Kettering's vice president for technology.

For more information, visit:

U Memphis Gets Campuswide IT Training

The University of Memphis signed a three-year agreement with Element K, which markets electronic training programs for information technology and business skills, to give 2,500 students, faculty, and staff access to desktop training. The school said the tool will be used as an adjunct to its business and engineering curriculum and to supplement staff IT training. It will also be rolled into the university's Advanced Learning Center, a campus-wide initiative to accelerate the faculty's use of technology in the curriculum, set to kickoff on July 1. Jim Penrod, CIO and vice president of the university, said the deal would "ensure that the Memphis educational experience moves into the 21st century."

For more information, visit:

Educaid Starts Internet Transaction Processing

Student loan provider Educaid said it implemented an Internet-based transaction processing system that will let schools process student loans in real-time, even when a borrower has multiple lenders or guarantors. The system, which uses ELM Resources ELMNet system, is in Beta test with the University of Nevada, Reno, and Linfield College. Paul Arietta, vice president of systems and technology at Educaid, said the firm could process loan certifications with turnaround times of less than 30 seconds. ELMNet will ultimately support real-time transaction processing and loan status reporting directly on Educaid's current loan processing system. It will not be necessary for the loan data to be stored by ELM, rather ELMNet will send school-initiated updates and changes directly to Educaid via XML messages.

Awards, Deals, Contracts in Higher Education

-- Virginia Tech deployed 600 seats of MSC.Software Corp.'s Adams virtual prototyping software. It is the largest installation of Adams in the world, and was granted through Mechanical Dynamics' association with Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education (PACE) initiative headed by General Motors, EDS and Sun Microsystems. Since 1999, the PACE program has donated more than $200 million in computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering software, hardware and training to academic institutions in North America to integrate 3-D modeling and simulation technologies into their curricula.

-- The University of Maryland Medical System signed a multi-year content licensing agreement with A.D.A.M., Inc., a publisher of interactive health content. Among the products included in the agreement are A.D.A.M.'s proprietary Health Illustrated Encyclopedia, a reference source on 3,700 medical topics, and A.D.A M.'s Well-Connected Patient Reports, which provide greater detail on symptoms, diagnostic tests, risk factors and treatment options for over 100 health conditions.

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