News Update May 31, 2005

News for Tuesday, May 31, 2005

* Computer Science Showing Popularity Slide in Higher Education
* Universities, Firms Showcase 911 System for VoIP
* UC Irvine Starts Embedded Systems Engineering Cert Program
* Santa Clara Prof Helps Honor Creator of Magnetic Disk Drive
* Note to Admissions Departments: Recruit These Students!
* Datatel Foundation Awards More Than 300 Scholarships

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Computer Science Showing Popularity Slide in Higher Education

High tech may be losing its popularity as an undergraduate
concentration, according to several new polls.

The number of newly declared computer-science majors
dropped 32 percent from 2000 to 2004, according to
the Computing Research Association. Also, a survey
from the Higher Education Research Institute at the
University of California at Los Angeles shows the
percentage of incoming undergraduates indicating
that they would major in computer science has
declined by over 60 percent between the 2000 and 2004.

Freshmen interest levels at any given point have
been an accurate predictor of trends in the number
of degrees granted four to five years later. It
therefore seems likely that there will be a sharp
decline in the number of bachelor's degrees granted
in CS in the coming decade, according to the UCLA

For more information, visit:

Also, there is an audio discussion on the causes
of this trend featuring Joanne McGrath Cohoon,
a sociologist and professor of science, technology,
and society at the University of Virginia, and
Stuart Zweben, chairman of the computer science
and engineering department, at Ohio State University.

To listen to it, visit:

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Universities, Tech Firms Showcase 911 System for VoIP

Researchers from leading universities and technology
companies last week provided the first-ever
demonstration of a next-generation 911 (NG9-1-1)
prototype. The solution was developed to locate users
of Internet-based phones and other Internet-enabled
communication applications to ensure they receive
help they need when they need it.

The existing circuit-based 911 system is limited in
its ability to support new technology like VoIP
telephone calls in which a user's IP address is
not specifically assigned to any one geographic
location. This makes it challenging for 911
dispatchers to accurately identify a caller's location.

The demo highlighted the capabilities of an
Internet-based emergency call delivery system for
nomadic and mobile VoIP users to an IP-capable
PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point).

The NG9-1-1 technology was developed by researchers
from the Department of Computer Science at Columbia
University and the Internet2 Technology Evaluation
Center at Texas A&M University in partnership with
University of Virginia, Internet2, the National
Emergency Number Association (NENA), the states of
Texas and Virginia, as well as with technology firms
Nortel and MapInfo Corp.

For more information, visit:

UC Irvine Starts Embedded Systems Engineering Cert Program

UC Irvine Extension launched a certificate program in
embedded systems engineering in response to what it sees
as a growing demand for professionals skilled in developing
embedded systems. The courses are available during the
summer 2005 quarter and are designed for hardware and
software programmers, tech professionals and engineers.

The school noted that the proliferation of embedded
devices in recent years has resulted in a wave of products,
including cell phones, PDAs, televisions and appliances.
Use of the devices is also commonplace in the military,
space agencies, and the automotive and medical device
industries as well. "Embedded device designers must be
tenacious due to the inherent resource constraints in
the design process, and they must also know the intricacies
of hardware and software interaction," said Rich Newman,
a member of the UCI program's advisory board and technical
account manager at Wind River Systems.

For more information, visit:

Santa Clara Prof Helps Honor Creator of Magnetic Disk Drive

Santa Clara University engineering professor Al Hoagland
has established the "Magnetic Disk Heritage Center," to
honor the accomplishments of Reynold B. Johnson, credited
with inventing the computer disk drive. Due to efforts
by Hoagland, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE) unveiled an IEEE Milestone plaque last
week, honoring the invention for revolutionizing computer
architecture, performance, and applications.

Hoagland, who compares the invention to the creation of
the printing press, said: “People take magnetic disk
storage for granted. But if you look at technological
history, you may not find anything more important.
Magnetic disk storage made random access of data possible,
allowing technological advances that were previously
impossible with the old methods of using magnetic tape
or punched cards. Without the ubiquitous storage devices,
there would be no World Wide Web as we know it. No Google.
No TiVo. No ATM's. No iPods."

For more information, visit

Note to Admissions Departments: Recruit These Students!

A team of students from the Dakota County 4-H Federation
in Farmington, Minn. took the Team America Rocketry
Challenge last week, attaining a nearly perfect score
to beat out 99 other squads. Eric Eid, Joseph Kamen,
Theodore Kamen, Benjamin Pangerl, Julia Nelson and Nicole
Nelson made up the team, which included students from
several different schools. They will share the top prize
of $8,000 in savings bonds and cash while their school
will receive an additional $1,000.

The team launched its rocket and had it safely return to
earth in 59.9 seconds, just 1/10 of a second from the
target of 60. It also returned the payload of two raw
eggs safely with no cracks.

Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO John
Douglass said the contest was once again a huge success.
"All 100 teams showed amazing cooperation and knowledge
and should be very proud of their
Douglass said. "We expect to see many of these young
people in our aerospace companies in the future, perhaps
helping launch actual rockets into space." TARC is
sponsored by AIA and the National Association of Rocketry
in partnership with the NASA, the American Association of
Physics Teachers and 34 AIA member companies.
For more information visit


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Datatel Foundation Awards More Than 300 Scholarships

The Datatel Scholars Foundation has awarded 316 scholarships
totaling $521,200 to students for the 2005-2006 academic year.
This marks a 12 percent increase in scholarship awards over
last year, reflecting the consistent rise in scholarship

The software firm awards four types of scholarships: the
Datatel Scholars Foundation scholarship, the Returning
Student scholarship, the Nancy Goodhue Lynch scholarship,
and the Angelfire scholarship.

Returning Student scholarships were awarded to 50 students
who recently returned to pursue higher education degrees
after an absence of five years or more. In addition, two
$2,500 scholarships honoring former long-time Datatel
employee Nancy Goodhue Lynch were awarded to two
undergraduate students majoring in technology-related fields.

This year, new broader eligibility requirements allowed
more students to qualify for the Angelfire scholarship.
Honoring soldiers who have served in the military during
combat, this scholarship now provides scholarships to
soldiers who have served in Operation Desert Storm,
Operation Enduring Freedom, and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Veterans who served in the Asian theater (Vietnam, Laos, or
Cambodia) between 1964 and 1975, spouses and children of
Vietnam veterans, and refugees from Vietnam, Laos, or
Cambodia are also eligible.
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