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News 10-08-2002

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Cornell Opens ‘Theory Center’ in New York City

Cornell University opened a branch of the Cornell Theory Center (CTC) in New York City last week. The solutions center, which was also named a Center for Research Excellence by Dell Computer, is using high-performance computing techniques to help research social problems. CTC is involved in modeling the potential impact of tsunami waves on coastal communities; creating "fingerprints" for bacteria to track outbreaks of food-borne diseases; developing methods for computing risk factors affecting complex financial portfolios; and modeling failures in machine parts that lead to aviation disasters. In doing so, it is using high-performance computing clusters (HPCC), which link large numbers of standards-based servers and storage systems to act as a single resource in solving complex computational problems. Dell chief Michael Dell cited CTC’s "groundbreaking research and … pioneering role in the use of clustering technology" in giving its award.

Early Bird Deadline for Syllabus fall2002 Extended to 10/11

There's still time to receive the substantial 15% early bird registration discount for Syllabus fall2002, the Fourth Annual Boston area conference on Education Technology presented by Syllabus magazine. Held November 3-5 at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, Syllabus fall2002 offers thought-provoking speakers and sessions where administrators, IT professionals and faculty can learn about the latest in technology for higher education institutions in a collegial atmosphere. Keynote speakers are James Oliverio of the University of Florida and Gerard Hanley, California State University. Inspire your thinking and expand your knowledge on technology trends at Syllabus fall2002. Register at Don't delay! The 15% early registration discount expires October 11 -- sign up today.

Higher Ed Leads Women in Computing Confab

Two of the three keynote speakers at the Institute for Women and Technology's 4th annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference are from higher education. The conference, inspired by the legacy of U.S. Navy Adm. Grace Hopper, will feature Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputing Center and professor of computer science at University of California San Diego, who will give an address entitled "A Tale Of Two Positions: Transitioning Through The Glass Ceiling." Leah Jamieson, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University will speak on "Engineering Community, Passion And Balance.” The conference, which takes place Oct, 9th-12th, 2002 at the Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, British Columbia, is the world's largest gathering of women in computing.

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Nurses to Offer Web-based Critical Care Tool

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) last week launched a web-based tool designed to improve the introduction of novice nurses to critical care practice. The online Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO) program is a “ robust tool that offers a variety of learning opportunities yet is user-friendly and easily accessed by clinicians,” Wendy Berke, director of professional practice for AACN. The group described ECCO as an interactive and self-paced program focusing on the fundamentals of critical care nursing. Features provide nurse managers with a variety of options for organizing, tracking and reporting a student's progress. Institutions may purchase an ECCO site license for $1,500 per year plus an individual user registration fee of $250 for one year of unlimited access.

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Professional Development Satellite Service Launched

The Training Systems Network (TSN), a producer of satellite programming on professional development topics, and educational broadcaster Educational Satellite Services, Inc. said they would launch the “Professional Development Channel” to provide business and professional development programming for organizations and corporations in the U.S. and Canada. TSN is in the process of acquiring the channel from its current owners, National Technological University (NTU) and Sylvan Ventures, the investment arm of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. TSN will feature over 100 hours of broadcasting on professional development topics such as leadership, change management, customer service, communications, diversity, stress management, and safety.

eCollege To Offers Off-Line Exam Building

Course management system developer eCollege Inc. said it would partner with Respondus, a maker of offline assessment software, to enable faculty members to build exams offline through Respondus software and upload them into eCollege online courses. The deal is eCollege's first third-party web services agreement since announcing last week its commitment to Microsoft .NET technologies for greater interoperability. The web service approach will integrate Respondus functions with eCollege's Exam Builder Plus, allowing educators to access the same features offline from their desktop. eCollege said this will allow for easier exam creation and management, and will enable faculty to import exam questions from other sources, including other CMS courses.

Awards, Deals, Contracts, in Higher Ed

* E-Learning -- Purdue University signed a contract to make WebCT Vista, an “academic enterprise system,” as its e-learning environment. Purdue will use Vista to supplement traditional classroom courses with Web content and communication tools, and offer pure distance-learning courses. WebCT describes Vista as an enterprise class e-learning system that g'es beyond course management to streamline workflow and academic operations. It is especially beneficial for large, multi-institution deployments, the company said.

* Financial Management -- Washington State University awarded Veramark Technologies, Inc., which develops telecom network productivity programs, a $250,000-plus contract for call accounting, tie-line reconciliation, phone bill consolidation and service order processing services. WSU will use the company’s Quantam Series telemanagement software.

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