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News Update 05-06-2003

Sponsor: Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Presentation Products

There's never been a better time to purchase an award winning Mitsubishi projector. Whether you're considering a microportable, desktop or installation model, Mitsubishi has a product and promotion that's right for you. For more details, visit us at

Harvard to Market Med School Course Management System

Harvard Medical School will market a course management system it designed that incorporates the special requirements of a medical school program. Harvard is working with technology consultant Sapient Inc. to offer the platform, called MyCourses, to the medical school market. Harvard Med CIO John Halamka, M.D., waxed futuristic in describing the software: "Imagine a day when medical school students never miss a lecture, and they have access to course materials and medical references from anywhere." Developers say the system provides the "framework for a centralized, customizable portal platform that aggregates intellectual property" and distributes it via the Internet or PDA. The system filters medical course content, allowing students to locate the information they need faster. It also provides instant online course evaluations and real-time, student-teacher feedback.

Sponsor: Improving Education through Integrative Design

Brenda Laurel, Ph.D., and Chair of the Media Design Program at the Pasadena Art Center College of Design, an accomplished designer, researcher, and writer in the field of human computer interaction and the cultural aspects of technology, is one of the featured keynotes at Syllabus2003. Dr. Laurel will present her ideas on how connections among students, between students and faculty, across disciplines and between the academy and the community may be enhanced through technological infrastructures. Syllabus2003, July 27-31, offers five days of outstanding keynotes, panels, breakout sessions, networking, and more! Don't miss the opportunity to participate in this summer's 10th annual conference at the new San Jose Marriott, with a special day of programming at Stanford University. For complete conference details and to register, go to Register before June 27 and save up to $200 with the Early Bird discount.

USDLA Presents 2003 Distance Learning Awards in Higher Ed

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presented its annual awards acknowledging instructors, programs, and professionals who it feels have achieved excellence in the field of distance learning. USDLA gave the Award for Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching in the Higher Education category to James Theroux, Ph.D. of UMassOnline and The University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Denise B. Freeman, D.P.M, College of Podiatric Medicine, Des Moines University won an excellence award in the Telehealth category.

The Award for Excellence in Distance Learning Programming in Higher Education went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Master of Engineering Professional Practice Degree Program; and to the University of Delaware-Dietetic Internship Program in Telehealth. Awards for Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual included Curtis J. Bonk, Ph.D., Indiana University, School of Education in the Higher Education category. Dr. Chere Campbell Gibson, Professor, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in distance education.

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B'eing Donates Lightning-Effects Technology to Villanova

B'eing Corp. donated a software program designed to predict the effects of lightning on aircraft to Villanova University. The software, known as "Blitzen," can accurately model the effects of lightning strikes on the electrical wiring and electronic components of composite aircraft. The application has been validated through instrumented lightning testing and will be further developed by students at Villanova Antenna Research Lab. In addition to the software, Villanova University will receive the test data, a draft version of a user's manual, and 80 hours of technical assistance. Their goal is to write a detailed manual, extend the software's intended frequencies, publish papers describing theories and operations, and develop plans for future commercialization of the project.

U. North Carolina Begins Construction of New Science Complex

Construction has begun on a new science complex at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. All the old and new science buildings will be physically connected via bridges to promote more interdisciplinary research. The first two new buildings will be constructed to house the Department of Marine Sciences and the Department of Chemistry so that the old chemistry building, Venable Hall, can be demolished. By early 2006, the university expects a new Venable Hall will be in place, as well as an addition to Sitterson Hall, which houses the Department of Computer Science.

To see a scale model representation of the new complex,

To view the project via live Web cam, visit:

Carnegie Mellon Robo Soccer Laces Up for World Cup 2050

The International RoboCup Federation's first American Open was held last week at Carnegie Mellon University, a venue where 150 researchers and their autonomous, soccer-playing robots take part in various competitions. Making an appearance was ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility), whose creator Motor Co. has touted as the world's most advanced humanoid robot. ASIMO is on tour in part to encourage students to study math, engineering, physics, and computer science. RoboCup is an international research and sports initiative founded to push the boundaries of science in artificial intelligence and robotics. The ultimate challenge: to create a team of autonomous soccer-playing robots that will beat the human world champion soccer team by the year 2050. Carnegie Mellon, a pioneer in the development of soccer-playing robots to investigate team learning, has participated in the International RoboCup competition since its inception in 1997 and the university's soccer-playing robots have won world titles in several leagues.

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