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News 03-04-2003

Faculty Best Practices: What are Colleagues Doing?

Discuss key issues and hot topics with the experts and your colleagues in the Syllabus Forums at David Brown of Wake Forest University leads a forum on faculty best practices and how to use technology to improve teaching and learning. How are you using asynchronous discussions? What tips to do you for others? Weigh in with your thoughts and questions and see what solutions your colleagues might have.

MIT Awards Robotics Whiz Student Creativity Prize

MIT has picked Long Island, N.Y.-native James McLurkin as the recipient of its ninth annual $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness. McLurkin, a 30-year-old MIT graduate student in computer science, has helped push the frontiers of microrobotics, said MIT. He has invented the world's smallest robots, measuring a little more than one inch per side, and is currently working on building the largest fleet of autonomous robots that have ever worked together to carry out cooperative, real-world tasks. McLurkin is developing techniques for programming "swarms" of autonomous robots. They are programmed to interact like bees, with their ability to cluster, disperse, follow, and orbit. By simulating the interactions of bee societies, the robots are programmed to accomplish individual tasks to support the goal of the group.

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FSU Med Students Given Clinical Support Tool

Florida State University (FSU) is providing its medical students and clinical faculty with access to a multi-platform, decision-support tool, which links physicians at the point and time of care with information on more than 450 medical conditions, 350 chief complaints, and 400 patient information sheets. The system, PDxMD, made by Elsevier, is designed to be accessible via a desktop or handheld computer and will be used this year by about 70 medical students and 80 faculty members across the FSU system. PDxMD also links users with an online clinical information service called MDConsult, a diagnostic support tool now used by more than 250,000 physicians when more in-depth information is needed.

Online School Awards Dual Canadian-U.S. eMBAs

Canada’s Lansbridge University, one of the first completely online commercial universities, is launching an executive Master of Business Administration program that will award graduates dual eMBA degrees from Landsbridge and the Nashville, Tenn.-based American Graduate School of Management (AGSM). The eMBA program is designed for managers with at least five years of full-time work experience, including at least two years at a management level. The degree program requires about 18 to 20 hours of study per week, and typically takes two-and-a-half years to complete. AGSM was co-founded in 2000 by Lamar Alexander, a U.S. Senator, former U.S. secretary of education, and former president of the University of Tennessee.

Cal State Becomes Biggest Edu Solar Power Producer

In what is thought to be the biggest solar energy project at an American university, California State University-Northridge has finished installing 3,000 photovoltaic panels, a conversion that is expected to save the school about $50,000 a year in electricity costs. The solar panels can generate 75 watts each, producing a peak energy generating capacity of 225 kilowatts. They are installed as canopies that also provide shade in the car park. The power will be fed directly into the electricity grid serving the 353-acre campus, which is located in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, reducing carbon emissions by an amount equal to that emitted by 36 average passenger cars driving 20,000 miles per year. The installation was handled by Shell Solar, which is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

HP iPac Promo Targets Spring Break Merry-Makers

HP is staging a treasure hunt for college students vacationing in Panama City, Fla. this month that will pit teams equipped with wireless iPaq pocket PCs in a timed race against each other. Using the HP iPAQ Pocket PC h1910, 20 five-student teams will receive treasure hunt clues via a wireless infrared signal from another iPAQ. The winning team will receive five new HP iPAQ Pocket PCs and $2,500. The second place team will receive iPAQs. "We wanted to be able to reach college students where they congregate during spring break and to provide a very casual atmosphere in which they can check out the latest in personal computing technology," said Robyn West, vice president of marketing, HP Personal Systems Group.

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