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News 11-29-2002

Sponsor: Announcing Syllabus Radio!

Log on to and listen to audio interviews with established leaders and creative thinkers in higher education as they discuss the good, the better and the best uses of IT on campus. This week, Judith B'ettcher speaks with Michael Giordano, Instructional Designer and Manager of the Instructional Development Center at the University of New Hampshire, on using technology to create collaborative workspaces.

U. Buffalo Bolsters Research Computing Cluster

The University at Buffalo added a 300-node high-performance computing cluster to its Center for Computational Research (CCR). The increased capacity will support scientific research projects, including groundwater modeling and computational chemistry. It is the second Dell Computer Inc. cluster at the university, adding to a 2,000-node cluster deployed earlier this year. "Many of our scientists need to exploit a large number of processors operating in a coordinated fashion to jointly solve leading-edge scientific problems that could not be solved in a reasonable amount of time on smaller systems," said Russ Miller, director of the CCR and a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. "Efficient, massively parallel processing techniques can be applied to many scientific problems in order to provide cost-effective solutions via clusters based on standard components."

Duke Meets Key Medical Imaging Benchmark

Duke University Medical Center said it has performed 15,000 scans on a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, imaging technology that allows physicians to detect serious health problems in oncology, neurology, and cardiology. The 15,000th patient scan was performed with a GE Advance PET scanner. PET differs from X-ray because it creates images of high metabolic activity that represent changes in cells and variations in metabolism even before anatomical changes can be detected. The image helps physicians determine if a cancer disease is present, its location and extent, and how rapidly it is spreading. Edward Coleman, M.D., director of the Duke division of nuclear medicine, said the system has helped "make this technology more widely available to patients throughout North Carolina and the United States."

Firm Markets Campus Homeland Security App

A firm that specializes in Web infrastructure software unveiled an application to help colleges and universities meet the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information Service (SEVIS) operated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to manage information on international students with education visas. Mountain View, Calif.-based SynergyLink Inc. said its SEVISLink application will help universities meet an aggressive SEVIS compliance deadline early next year by seamlessly linking to relevant campus information systems. The company also said it had made a deal with Oracle Corp. that made the application compatible with Oracle database and application service products.

Vanderbilt Holds MBA eHealth Strategy Contest

Vanderbuilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management opened its 2003 eStrategy Contest last week, a competition to award $25,000 to a team of MBA students which develops the best eHealth care strategy based on a select case. The contest, co-sponsored by Roche Diagnostics, an Indianapolis company specializing in diagnostic systems, is open to graduate students around the world. The winner will be announced during the final round of competition in Nashville in February 2003. Bill Christie, dean of the Owen school, said eHealth was chosen as the focus on the contest this year, "due to the rapid speed with which the Internet is transforming the healthcare industry. We believe the healthcare industry can benefit from the strategic insights from graduate students who truly understand the future of the Internet."

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"Buckeye Bullet" Takes on eCar Speed Record

Ohio State University students are attempting to break the world speed record for electric vehicles with the "Buckeye Bullet." The student-engineered car is the result of a joint project by OSU's Center for Automotive Research and Intelligent Transportation and Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. The car was tested recently at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, where it reached a top speed of 241 mph—less than five miles short of the 245.5 mph speed record. The vehicle, driven by professional driver Craig Taylor, had the fastest speed registered in an electric vehicle engineered by students. Ashland said it was drawn to the project because it combines its work on composite materials that deliver high strength-to-weight ratios with "green vehicle" technology.

Awards, Deals, Contracts in Higher Education

SUPERCOMPUTING—The University of Tokyo's Human Genome Center purchased an SGI Inc. Origin 3900 server. The system, which is scheduled to begin operations in January, will be used for human genome analysis and computational chemistry applications. It has 512 CPUs and 512GB of memory, and 5TB of storage.

INFRASTRUCTURE—Seattle University signed a five-year agreement with higher-ed infrastructure provider Collegis Inc. to update the Jesuit school's campus information systems. Initial plans include the upgrade of a student, financial, human resource and institutional advancement system; Web services, including the creation of a convenient, online student information portal; and additional academic computing and network services. Collegis said the University of Seattle is the 13th Catholic higher-ed institution it serves.

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