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News 03-25-2003

Make Plans Now to Attend Syllabus2003: July 27-31

Syllabus2003 is celebrating its 10th annual summer conference for education technology professionals with five days of don't-miss keynotes, general sessions, break-outs, and more. Monday, July 28, will be spent at Stanford University where you'll see and experience the latest education technology in action. Four days of high-level programming at the San Jose Marriott feature five new tracks on topics of strategic importance. Plus, you'll enjoy networking and exhibits in Syllabus' traditional collegial atmosphere. Don't miss out. Early Bird registration in effect until June 27--Save up to $200 on the Gold Package and attend all five days. For details and to register go to:

India's IIT Wins IBM Linux Open Source Challenge

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, was named the top winner of IBM's Second Linux Scholar Challenge, receiving the highest overall average score among student winners who enrolled in the challenge. A total of 20 individual winners were picked from the 2,871 students who registered from 646 universities in 68 countries. Each of the students developed a project or solution to a problem using the Linux open source software. IBM created the contest in 2001 to put focus on Linux and the workings of the open source community. In the spirit of the open community, students were encouraged to consult with others, research the problem, and use all open source resources to obtain the best results. The projects represented a wide range of Linux applications, from enhancing existing security and monitoring applications, to building a network of Linux-based translation tools to create unified global communications. All of the final projects can be viewed at

UT Links Research Centers with Visualization System

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas-Austin deployed a network-based visualization application at two of its advanced computing centers to facilitate real-time collaborative visualization between them. Installations at TACC's advanced visualization laboratory on its main campus and in the main computing facility at its research campus, separated by approximately eight miles, will enable researchers on both campuses to work together to analyze the results of computational simulations. For example, researchers in the UT Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences will be able to collaboratively analyze data from high performance computing simulations with their colleagues in the UT Institute for Geophysics at the research campus. The university is using Wide Area Visualization Solution from TeraBurst Networks Inc. as the collaboration platform. The company designed the solution to provide real-time connectivity between geographically separate centers that use high-resolution, 3-D stereoscopic graphics and video for visualization applications.

Private U. Offers Degree in Online Game Design

The University of Advancing Technology (UAT), a Tempe, Ariz.-based for-profit school said it will offer via its online division a degree program entirely devoted to designing online games. UAT said students would work closely with instructors having in-depth experience in game design and programming. Students would graduate with an education in multimedia arts and expertise in 3-D modeling and animation, game documentation, interactive story telling, interface development, as well as proficiency in a number of interactive software development platforms. The school said the video gaming industry continues to grow "at an incredible rate [and] finding trained game developers has become a big obstacle for game studios."

New Products: SCORM Simulation Tool for eLearning Market

A simulation software company released what it called the first SCORM-compliant simulation software based on Flash designed for the eLearning market. eHelp Corp. markets RoboDemo, a Flash-based simulation application that enables trainers to create simulations with quizzing and scoring capabilities. The simulations can be integrated with a learning management system, viewed on a Web site or intranet, burned on a CD, e-mailed to an end user, or integrated into a Help system. RoboDemo can record the use of any application or on-screen activity, and creates a movie in Flash format with visible and audible mouse clicks. Simulations can be easily enhanced by adding rollover and transparent text captions and images, audio, interactive text fields and click boxes, eLearning-specific features like quizzing, scoring and branching, hyperlinks, and special effects.

New Deals, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education

3-D DESIGN—The University of Ottawa adopted SolidWorks as the three-dimensional computer-aided design software it uses in its mechanical engineering design curriculum. Students learn how to finalize mechanical product designs in a simulated real-world business climate. Every semester, all fourth-year students spend four months collaborating in teams of three using SolidWorks software to design different aspects of a given product. For the Spring 2003 semester, it's an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that travels over snow, mud, and rocks.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT—Ohio State University's Department of Athletics is using a CRM package from ForeSee Results as a tool for what it calls "online customer satisfaction management." The system helps isolate market factors that will most influence user satisfaction and loyalty, which helps OSU make high-impact, cost-effective content and design decisions. The software helps predict how satisfaction levels with various Web site elements will affect future behaviors such as the likelihood to purchase again or return to the site. It also provides real-time data on what Web site visitors are looking for so changes can take place almost immediately. The system incorporates the methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index.

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