News Update July 26, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology


* Wide Range of Education Technology Providers
Exhibit at Syllabus2005

News for Tuesday, July 26

* Gates, Academic Leaders Alarmed By Student Disinterest in IT

* University of Wash. Harnesses Idle ‘Cybercamp’ Bandwidth

* New Agreement Brokers Electronic Medical Admissions Testing

* Internet2 Officials Announce Optical Switch Deal

* Deals of Note Across U.S. Campuses
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Gates, Academic Leaders Alarmed By Student Disinterest in IT

Officials from Microsoft and Princeton University
recently cited a pair of ominous threats looming over
college campuses: school rosters no longer packed with
computer science majors and government officials intent
on slicing funds dedicated to IT research.

At his company’s recent Research Faculty Summit held
in Redmond, Wash., Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software
Architect, Bill Gates and Princeton University Dean of
Engineering and Applied Science, Maria Klawe identified
these worrisome trends.

“One of the biggest concerns of computer scientists in
the United States is the decline in federal funding for
academic research and graduate education,” said Klawe.

She noted specifically that the Defense Department’s
Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) has cut university
research nearly in half. Meanwhile, the other major federal
agency that contributes IT research dollars – the National
Science Foundation – has trimmed its academic funding rate
by about 16 percent.

Dwindling government funding figures, however, may not be
the biggest problem now facing technology leaders at higher
education institutions, suggested Klawe. “Perhaps even more
worrisome, we’re seeing a huge decline in interest in
studying computer science,” she noted.

Klawe cited statistics offered up by the University of
California, Los Angeles’ Higher Education Institute,
which identified between 2000 and 2004 a 60 percent
drop in the number of incoming college students who
declare computer science as a major.

These paltry enrollment figures stand in direct
contrast to the fastest-growing jobs as indicated
by the U.S. Department of Labor. DOL has predicted
that the demand for data communications analysts,
health information technicians and computer software
engineers will soar through 2012.

Gates vowed that his company would do its part to
stem these identified computer science losses,
particularly student disinterest in the field.
“Microsoft is trying to hire every great college
student who has basic computer sciences skills,”
he said. “We’ve got open headcount [and] these are
super well-paying jobs.”

A webcast and details of the exchange between Gates
and Klawe are available at

UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute Website is at

Information on DARPA programs is available at

Information on NSF’s competitively-awarded grants
and cooperative agreement programs for research and
education is available at

Sponsored by
Wide Range of Education Technology Providers
Exhibit at Syllabus2005

Syllabus2005, July 24-28 in Los Angeles, features the latest
products and solutions for campus technology in the conference
Exhibit Hall. In addition to cutting-edge keynotes, more
than 50 breakout sessions and peer-to-peer learning, Syllabus2005
features an interactive exhibit hall with leading technology
vendors. Companies exhibiting include: Tegrity, the rSmart Group,
Thomson Learning, Turning Technologies, Unicon, University of Maryland
University College, VizTech, Xap Corporation, Xythos Software,
Computer Comforts, and Cambridge Computer. View the entire
program and exhibitor list online, and register now for

Distributed Computing Effort Harnesses Idle ‘Cybercamp’

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle
are now making use of distributive computing resources
available during hours when youngsters attending area
technology day camps are not tapping away on keyboards.

Giant Campus–a Seattle-based company which offers
technology-related summer camps–recently teamed with
parallel processing research and development company,
Brain Murmurs to make additional resources available
for large computational processing projects via
distributive computing methods.

Utilizing the program, researchers at the University
of Washington’s Baker Laboratory will spread computational
processing loads across idle computers involved in Giant
Campus’ summer camps. Projects that could benefit from
the effort include advanced biochemistry applications
that will tap the bandwidth of more than 1,300 computers.

Information on Baker Laboratory applications is available at

Giant Campus’ Website is at

Brain Murmurs is at

New Agreement Brokers Electronic Medical Admissions Testing

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recently
inked a $30 million deal with Thomson Prometric, an electronic
testing and assessment services firm in Baltimore, to convert
the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to a computer-based

Electronic methods for administering the popular MCAT tests
are expected to expedite the enrollment process and help
simplify admissions among the nation’s medical schools.

Each year about 60,000 students take AAMC’s MCAT test to
demonstrate proficiency in areas crucial to success in
medical schools. New computer-based tests will be administered
at Thomson Prometric centers around the country.

The MCAT Website is available at

Information about the new agreement is available at

Internet2 Officials Announce Optical Switch Deal

The Internet2 advanced networking consortium composed of
more than 200 U.S. universities announced recently that
Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Switches will provide
packet and optical technology-based solutions to an
evolving Internet2 testbed.

Specifically, Glimmerglass will provide networking products
and services necessary to further Internet2’s Hybrid Optical
and Packet Information (HOPI) project. HOPI is an initiative
dedicated to testing methods of on-demand network provisioning,
an alternative to traditional provisioning, which happens in
intervals that often take weeks or months to activate.

The HOPI nationwide testbed will host advanced network
experimentation and model capabilities that will help it
far out-perform Internet2’s current packet-based network
called Abiline.

Information on Internet2 is available at

Information on the Glimmerglass selection is available at

Deals of Note Across U.S. Campuses

* San Francisco-based Anystream debuted a new WebCT
PowerLink module dubbed “Apreso Classroom,” which
weaves together published versions of a professor’s
remarks with video and visuals, allowing schools to
build interactive records of classroom sessions.

* Meanwhile, California State University, Chico entered
a deal with WebCT to incorporate the company’s Vista
academic enterprise system.

* The Texas State Technical College in an effort to
unify four separate colleges has selected Unicon, Inc.
to deliver its Academus portal system.

* Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY recently brought
on solutions from Proofpoint, Inc., to address spam and
virus issues by deploying the company’s Proofpoint
Messaging Security Gateway.

* Fordham University in NY, NY recently announced that
it is installing a voice automation system developed by
Nuance and Speech Technology Associates, Inc. The new
system will integrate telephony, speech recognition and
other capabilities.

* Finally, University of California, Berkeley hired
Interactive Intelligence Inc. to deliver advanced messaging
capabilities for faculty, staff and students.


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