News Update June 7, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology


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News for Tuesday, June 7, 2005

* Midwestern School Uses RFID to Track Student Attendance
* NASA and University of North Dakota Sign DC-8 Agreement
* U. Washington Students Recognized for Innovative Design
* Duke Installs Wireless Tracking System in Visualization Room
* University of Florida Advances Chip Manufacturing Process
* Southern U. Picks Blackboard E-Commerce System

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Midwestern School Uses RFID to Track Student Attendance

A Midwestern college is using Radio Frequency I.D. technology
to automate student attendance records required for financial
aid funding. The school will use credential IT tags from
Axcess International Inc. as a unique student ID card to
record their attendance. The school said the system will
reduce student attendance records by up to 80 percent.

"The method for verifying student attendance for financial
aid was very cumbersome for the professors and paperwork
intensive for the staff," stated Dr. William Dunbar,
president of Midwest College of Oriental Medicine (WI and IL).
"We needed a system that would free the professors from
submitting the attendance records required for governing
financial aid funding and allow them to concentrate their
time on their students.”

Network receivers located throughout the campus query the
RFID tags once an hour and log the identification number
of the tag. The tag ID number is linked to the attendance
database and automatically records which students are
currently in class. The reporting is mandatory for
students receiving financial aid that has funds
electronically transferred to the school.

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NASA and University of North Dakota Sign DC-8 Agreement

NASA has signed a cooperative agreement with the
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, to house
and operate the agency's DC-8 jet aircraft, and to
create a National Suborbital Education and Research
Center at the university with the DC-8 suborbital
laboratory as the centerpiece. The agreement is
intended to expand the science conducted using the
DC-8 and enhance hands-on educational opportunities
for students. The deal is valued at $25 million over
a five year period. Transfer of the aircraft to the
university is targeted for fall 2005, pending completion
of a safety review. The aircraft will be housed at the
Grand Forks Air Force Base.

The DC-8 has been part of NASA science programs since
1986. It has supported satellite validation, Earth
science studies, and the development of remote sensing
techniques for space-based observing systems. It has
operated from several NASA centers and deployed worldwide
to support research including ozone depletion, tropical
rainforest ecology, hurricane studies, and ice sheets.
Its most recent campaign was to New England last January
to support arctic ozone studies and validation of NASA's
Aura satellite.

U. Washington Students Recognized for Innovative Design

A team of engineering students from the University of
Washington in Seattle, WA, has won the fourth annual
College Design Engineering Award, sponsored by Ansys Inc.,
a developer of simulation software for optimizing product
development processes.

Under the supervision of Professor Dr. Fred Forster,
engineering students Adrian Gamboa, Jone Chung and Chris
Morris were recognized for their work in refining the
design of a piez'electric-driven micropump incorporating
unique no-moving-part valves and a compact one-square-inch
footprint for applications where space is limited and
reliability is essential.

The students worked on the project using engineering
simulation technology. The award was made based on
project scope, engineering problems encountered and
solved, uniqueness of solutions, potential for
commercialization and impact on the engineering
community. The award for the winning project is $10,000
in cash to the student team and a $10,000 scholarship
grant for the school's engineering department.

Duke Installs Wireless Tracking System in Virtual Reality Room

Duke University (NC) has installed a wireless,
inertial-acoustic motion tracking system in its virtual
reality environment known as the -C-. The VR environment
was built by the school’s Visualization Technology Group
(VTG), founded in 2001 with the mission of enhancing the
effective use of visualization technologies at Duke

The IS-900 tracking system, developed by Intersense Inc.,
is used in flight simulation, mission training systems,
oil & gas exploration, 3D visualization rooms, and other
immersive display applications. The system uses inertial
components integrated into small wireless tracking devices,
to track the head, hand, or interactive hand-held wand of
a researcher in the VE environment.

Rachael Brady, Duke University's VTG Director, called the
C “the ideal system for fully immersive simulation and
cognitive studies, and for verifying 3D structure between
data models and experimental data.”

University of Florida Advances Chip Manufacturing Process

The University of Florida has created the first double-gate
transistor model, engineered to pack more computing power
into less space and reduce power consumption using existing
semiconductor manufacturing processes. The transistor was
created in collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor.

“For the first time, the worlds of silicon technology and
circuit design for the new breed of transistors have been
successfully bridged," said Jerry Fossum, professor at the
University of Florida. Freescale Chief Technology Officer
Claudine Simson said the technology “could enable customer
applications such as smaller, lighter portable devices with
longer battery life, as well as faster computing devices
that can handle growing graphic, video, voice and data
processing requirements.”

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Southern U. Picks Blackboard E-Commerce System

Historically Black Colleges and Universities member Southern
University and A&M College (LA) will license the Blackboard
Transaction electronic commerce system. Students, faculty,
and staff will use the system for access to campus buildings,
paying for meals, printing, copying, vending, laundry machine
use and other point-of-sale devices.

The system is part of the Blackboard Commerce Suite, a package
of three enterprise software applications supporting cashless
transactions on-campus, off-campus and online and allowing for
identification and security access. “The Blackboard Transaction
System will allow us to provide a valuable service to our students,
which is convenient and secure, and allow us to efficiently manage
revenue in an easy streamlined manner," said LaTonya Green-Jones,
the Director of Auxiliary Services at Southern University and
A&M College.

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