News 12-27-2002

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Stanford Facility to Examine Nano-Tech Structures

Stanford University has established an advanced "nanocharacterization facility," part of its Advanced Materials Initiative to create a set of shared research facilities to provide micro-instrumentation to faculty in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and computer science. Key technology for the project will be provided by FEI Co., a maker of systems for advanced three-dimensional metrology and structural analysis for management of sub-micron structures, including those found in integrated circuits, high-density magnetic storage devices, industrial materials, chemical compounds, and biological structures. "The quality of imaging we can obtain on these systems is one or two orders of magnitude better than what our users could see on the previous instruments we had available," said Robert Sinclair, Professor of materials science and engineering, and director of the new facility.

Sponsor: Syllabus Radio is on the Air!

This new feature from Syllabus allows you to log on and listen to education technology experts from around the country. This week, Steven F. Tello, Ed.D. and Jacqueline Moloney, Ed.D., University of Massachusetts-Lowell, speak with Judith B'ettcher about critical areas of online development, sharing advice from their six years of experience with UMass Lowell Online.

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WebCT to Support Shibboleth for Higher-Ed

Course management system developer WebCT Inc. said it would support the "Shibboleth" access and authorization technology across its entire product line. Shibboleth—an Internet2/MACE (Middleware Architecture Committee for Education) initiative—is an emerging open source standard to enable seamless sharing of multiple Web resources that are subject to access controls such as user IDs and passwords. Shibboleth uses "Clubs" to specify a set of parties who have agreed to a common set of policies. This allows different systems, such as course management systems and library databases, to access one another securely without requiring manual integration or users to log in separately for every system they wish to access. WebCT proved its software's ability to accept and transmit Shibboleth data in a demonstration with Ohio State University last fall.

AOL, Virginia Schools Discuss Common Interests

Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, a state-chartered nonprofit corporation that acts as the state's technology extension service, hosted a meeting with technologists from America Online Inc. last month to begin dialogues with state university researchers working in fields of interest to the company. Clayton Lewis, vice president of AOL's Innovation Center, applauded the benefits of infusing AOL's process of innovation with ideas from the universities. "This program helps us continue to build lasting and productive relationships with Virginia's research community," he aid. "[The meeting] is about exploration and discovery that d'esn't end when we leave the building." Schools represented at the meeting included: George Mason University, George Washington University—Virginia Campus, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, the Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech.

Corinthian Colleges to Acquire Learning Tree

Corinthian Colleges Inc., which operates 65 colleges providing career-oriented education, said it would acquire the assets of training course supplier Learning Tree University Inc. and LTU Extension Inc., in a deal worth $5.3 million. Learning Tree and LTU offer continuing professional education, short-duration certificate programs, corporate training, and customized learning at two campuses in Southern California, seminars in 40 cities, and instructor-led training online. Corinthian CEO David Moore said the deal would enable the company to "expand into the multi-billion dollar corporate training market." The company also wants to move into the short-duration and continuing professional education market.

GMU Health Center Unveils Self Check-In System

George Mason University Health Center in Fairfax, Virginia, has launched a student self check-in module. The system, which is completely integrated with the Medicat healthcare information system, helps streamline the check-in process, shows arrivals at remote terminals instantly, automates intake forms so all required medical forms are filled out prior to the student's visit, and makes the information electronically available to providers at the point of delivering care. The system was developed by Nuesoft Technologies Inc. "Efforts to deliver health-care services to an increasing number of students and to deal with the ever increasing health-care needs of those students, complicated by limited budgets, and a shrinking pool of qualified personnel, made it obvious that we had to look to technology for the solution to these dilemmas," said Mary Ann Braun, associate dean for university life.

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