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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, March 9, 2004

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News for Tuesday, March 9, 2004

* Harvard, Simmons Team to Help Devastated Iraqi Libraries
* Al Gore Keynotes AIU Online Graduation Ceremony
* Database Protection Bill Stalls on Capitol Hill
* Drexel Announces Award for Tech Innovation in Nursing
* Columbia Student Wins NYC TopCoder Programming Meet

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Simmons, Harvard Team to Help Devastated Iraqi Libraries

Responding to the devastating effects of war on Iraqi libraries,
the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science and
the Harvard University library system are launching a joint
program to provide training for Iraqi librarians and archivists.
The program will aid in modernizing Iraqi libraries and help to
address Iraq's serious shortage of professional librarians. The
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded Simmons and
Harvard $100,000 for the two-year project. The grant is part of
the NEH program "Recovering Iraq's Past," which funds projects to
help rebuild Iraq's cultural heritage.

The program will begin in May, when a team of Simmons faculty and
Harvard librarians meet with Iraqi librarians in Amman, Jordan,
for a curriculum planning retreat. The Iraqis will identify their
needs for training to rebuild collections and to modernize their
library systems. Training areas may include preservation,
cataloging, collection development and management, and automation
and online information systems. Subsequently, Simmons faculty will
teach graduate library courses for Iraqi librarians. In
collaboration with Harvard librarians, they will oversee a series
of special projects and serve as long-term mentors via the

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Al Gore Keynotes AIU Online Graduation Ceremony

Former Vice President Al Gore gave the commencement address during
the online graduate ceremony of American InterContinental
University (AIU) Online. "Even those of us who have promoted and
believe in this new technology stand in awe of what you have done,"
Gore told the AIU Online graduates during the Web-based event on
Saturday, February 28. In addition to Gore's remarks, the ceremony
included the reading of the names of recipients of bachelor's
degrees and master's degrees.

Mr. Gore said that with the information revolution replacing the
industrial revolution, education is far more important today than
at any other point in human history. "America's gross domestic
product has tripled in value over the last half-century while the
gross tonnage of everything we make and sell actually has declined
slightly. That's because materials like steel and wood and rubber
and plastic are being replaced by ingenuity, knowledge and the
ability to use information in more creative ways.”

Database Protection Bill Stalls on Capitol Hill

U.S. lawmakers last week sharply scaled back an effort to extend
copyright-like protections to school guides, house listings and
other databases, throwing the measure's future into question, the
Reuters News Agency reported. The House Energy and Commerce
Committee approved by voice vote a bill that would protect
publishers of time-sensitive facts, such as stock quotes, from
wholesale copying. The committee also gave a negative
recommendation to a much broader bill that had won approval from
the House Judiciary Committee in January.

House Republican leaders now must choose between two sharply
contrasting bills, a situation that could effectively kill both of
them, several lobbyists opposing the measure said. "While nothing
is ever certain, we feel confident the House is not going to move
on this," said Will Rodger, director of public policy for the
Computer and Communications Industry Association, a technology
trade group.

Database providers have pushed for broader protection for years,
arguing that they have few legal tools to protect themselves from
rivals who copy and resell information that they have painstakingly
assembled. Business, consumer and library groups say database
publishers can protect themselves through existing laws and
terms-of-service agreements.

Drexel Announces Award for Technological Innovation in Nursing

Drexel University's College of Nursing & Health Professions (CNHP)
announced the Bayada Award for Technological Innovation in Nursing
Education and Practice, which includes a $5,000 cash award and
recognition at the CNHP Nursing Education Initiative conference
in June 2004. Drexel said the award is designed to recognize the
importance of advancing technology in nursing in the face of a
surging demand for nursing services, workforce shortages and
technological innovation.

Entries will be judged by the technology's innovativeness, and its
impact on enhancing the clinical competency of students; improving
efficiency of patient care and/or, prevention of errors in patient
care. The technology must be in use six months or longer. A blind
judging will be performed by a panel of Drexel University nursing
and technology faculty.

To apply for the award, visit:

Columbia Student Wins NYC TopCoder Programming Meet

Jason Winokur of Columbia University won a TopConder 2004 Coding
Challenge. The competition was open to all eligible students at
Columbia University and New York University. The tournament was
designed to highlight the competitors' relative skills in the
analysis of complex algorithmic problems and the ability to write
software to solve those problems. Winokur overcame nine other
students representing Columbia and NYU in the final round to claim
the top honors and take home the first place purse of $5,000. The
remainder of the student finalists shared an additional $5,000 in
prize money.

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