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News Update 06-24-2003

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* Best Practices, Innovative Solutions at Syllabus2003

Click & Gown: Web Commencement Exercises Are Here

Two predominantly online universities have gone all digital: from registration to—now—commencement exercises. Strayer University, which focuses on post-secondary education for working adults, has put together a full graduate ceremony online. The ceremony includes Pomp and Circumstance audio, speaker biographies, and closing remarks. During the degree presentations, each of the 2003 online graduate names will be read and the diploma along with their area of concentration will appear on the screen. Macromedia Flash and RealNetworks RealAudio and Streaming Media technologies were used to create the ceremony. More than one-third of Strayer students take 100 percent of their courses online.

In another commencement Web cast, Capella University, an online university headquartered in Minneapolis, conferred more than 550 degrees in an online ceremony. "But we really encourage people to come to Minneapolis and walk across the stage," said Capella president Michael Offerman. "There's no substitute for the feelings of success and accomplishment that a graduation ceremony evokes."

The Strayer commencement is available at; Capella's can be viewed at

SPONSOR: Time is Running Out for Early Bird Savings—Don't Miss the June 27 Deadline!

This summer's 10th annual Syllabus Conference offers five days of not- to-be-missed keynotes, general sessions, breakouts, and more for education technology professionals. Join us July 27-31 at the San Jose Marriott and enjoy five new program tracks on topics of strategic importance. Plus, a special day on the Stanford University campus will allow you to experience the latest technology innovations first hand. All this, including networking and exhibits, in Syllabus' traditional collegial atmosphere. Only 3 days left to take advantage of Early Bird discounts! Register today and save up to $200.

For details and to register go to:

Grant Fights Shrinking Enrollment of Women in Technology

According to the National Council for Research on Women, the percentage of women enrolled in undergraduate computer science programs has drastically declined over a 15-year period. In 1984, the percentage of science degrees earned by women was 37 percent. The percentage dropped to less than 20 percent in 1999, when 90 percent of high school students taking advanced placement tests for computer science college credit were male. To help redress the balance, AT&T announced $100,000 in grants to three Chicago-area universities to provide elementary through high school girls with hands-on experiences in math, science, and technology and to encourage them to pursue careers in those fields. The College of DuPage, Loyola University Chicago, and Roosevelt University each will receive $25,000. A fourth partner will be announced later.

U. of Miami Named Third Best Workplace for IT Professionals

Computerworld magazine ranked the University of Miami (UM) third in its list of the best 100 workplaces for IT professionals. UM was ranked first last year and is the only educational institution listed and one of only three corporations that made the list from Florida. The list is based on a survey of more than 11,500 IT workers who were asked to rank organizations in the areas of benefits, diversity, career development, and training and retention, another others.

The list is posted online at:

Wharton Online Partners with on Seminars

Knowledge@Wharton, an online business and research journal of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and are partnering up to launch a series of Web-based briefings on business topics of the day. The seminars will be accessible from both the and Knowledge@Wharton Web sites, and will reside in a new section of both Web sites to be called The Global Business Report. Each online seminar will feature Wharton faculty, journalists from Economist magazine, and other industry experts. The format will include audio interviews, readings, and online panel discussions. After each seminar, Knowledge@Wharton will produce a conclusions paper highlighting findings from the event.

Birthdays: Dotcom, Mathematica

The Domain Name System, or DNS, as the structure of ".com," ".edu," and others is known, turned 20 on Monday. On June 23, 1983, the now- familiar navigation system was tested for the first time at the University of Southern California School of Engineering's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in Marina del Rey. Two ISI computer scientists, the late Jon Postel and Paul Mockapetris, created the system as part of the pre-Internet ARPANET project. Postel gave Mockapetris an assignment to develop a stable system that translated the numerical codes that identified Web addresses into names that were easy for people to use and remember. Mockapetris, now chairman and chief scientist at Nominum Inc., and Postel, who died in 1998, worked out a plan for a system, which Mockapetris developed and coded. On June 23, 1983, the system was implemented and had its first test. It passed with flying colors.

In other birthday news, Wolfram Research celebrated yesterday, June 23, the 15th anniversary of Mathematica software with the release of high-performance Mathematica 5. Mathematica 1.0 was designed as a single system that could handle all the various aspects of technical computing in a unified way.

Grants, Awards, Contracts in Higher Education IT

Oracle Corp. announced it would award five information technology grants ranging in value from between $250,000 and $500,000 to institutions in higher education interested in developing a campuswide portal. The grants will be used to underwrite all external costs associated with the implementation of the CampusEAI Oracle Portal system, including software and services necessary to install and operate the portal.

For more information, visit:

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