News Update October 18, 2005

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

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News for Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005

* Blackboard and WebCT Announce Agreement to Merge

* Chicago Finances Tech Park at Illinois Tech Institute

* MIT Joins India’s Birla Institute to Collaborate on iCampus

* Stanford’s “Stanley” Wins $2 Million DARPA Challenge

* University of Colorado Wins 2005 Solar Decathlon

* Santa Clara U. Recruiting with Student-Written Blogs

* Online Resources
http://www.campus-technology.com/resources/index.asp

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Blackboard and WebCT Announce Agreement to Merge

Blackboard Inc., and WebCT, Inc., two of the leading
purveyors of campus course management software,
announced they will merge the companies. The resulting
firm will have 3,700 academic clients, including higher
education, K-12, corporate, government, and commercial
academic institutions, making it the largest company
focusing exclusively on the CMS space.

The deal calls for Blackboard to acquire WebCT for
$180 million. Blackboard's product line consists of
five software applications bundled in two suites,
the Blackboard Academic Suite and the Blackboard
Commerce Suite. WebCT also provides a flexible
e-learning environment.

Executives said the merger will break down barriers
to collaboration across institutions by developers
and end-users. "Both companies are passionate about
the academic market and, alongside our respective
clients, have truly pioneered the category together,"
said WebCT president and chief executive officer Carol
Vallone. "Given the alignment of our visions,
technologies, and overall strategies, the combination
of our two companies will advance the teaching and
learning technology industry, benefiting customers
worldwide."

The combined companies will operate under the Blackboard
name and brand with corporate headquarters located in
Washington, DC.

For more information, visit: http://www.blackboard.com/webct

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Chicago Finances Tech Park at Illinois Tech Institute

The City of Chicago passed a tax financing package that
will pave the way for opening the University Technology
Park on the campus of the Illinois Institute of
Technology (IIT). The park, to be paid for with over
$100 million in public and private funding, will provide
lab space to incubate commercial research and development
projects in information technology as well as life and
biological sciences.

The park will include a business incubator for start-up
companies, which can move into space after graduating
from the program, giving the city a chance “to retain
these companies, and the jobs they create,” said David
Baker, vice president of external affairs at IIT. “Too
often, such companies move out of the area, and out of
Illinois, when they outgrow incubation.”

For more information visit: http://www.universitytechnologypark.com


MIT Joins India’s Birla Institute to Collaborate on iCampus

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology signed a memorandum
of understanding with the Birla Institute of Technology &
Science in Pilani, Rajashtan, India, to collaborate on the
iCampus program. MIT’s iCampus project, sponsored by Microsoft,
is designed to use Web technology to enhance cooperation in
remote lab work and Web-based teaching and learning.

Under the agreement, BITS Pilani becomes the first iCampus
hub institution in India. MIT and BIT will collaborate on
three projects in the iCampus program: iMOAT, iLabs, and Xtutor.

iMOAT, the iCampus MIT Online Assessment Tool, is a service
for Web-based administration and grading of writing examinations.
iLabs are real laboratories accessed through the Internet
designed to enrich science and engineering education. XTutor
is a toolkit for creating online courses with complete set of
lectures captured as audio recordings and transcripts, problem
sets, interactive tutoring agents including assignment tracking.


Stanford’s “Stanley” Wins $2 Million DARPA Race

“Stanley,” a unmanned car built by the Stanford University (CA)
racing team, “drove autonomously” across 131.6 miles in the
Mojave Desert in six hours and 53 minutes, taking first
place and a $2 million grand prize in the “DARPA Challenge,”
a race of robotic vehicles sponsored by the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency.

Stanley finished about 11 minutes faster than the runner up-–
Carnegie Mellon's (PA) "Sandstorm, whose average speed was 18.6 mph
compared to a 19.1 mph by Stanley. Both unmanned vehicles were
the first ever to actually finish the two-year-old military race.

DARPA, the research and development unit of the U.S. Department
of Defense, set out several years ago to foster new technologies
for unmanned vehicles, under a mandate from Congress. The government
has required that 30 percent of Army vehicles be unmanned by 2015
in order to save lives on the battlefield.

Stanley’s team leader was Sebastian Thrun, director of Stanford's
Artificial Intelligence Lab and associate professor of computer
science at Stanford University.

For more information visit, http://www.grandchallenge.org

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University of Colorado Wins 2005 Solar Decathlon

The University of Colorado took top honors in the 2005 Solar
Decathlon held last week on the National Mall in Washington,
D.C. Cornell University (NY) placed second, and California
Polytechnic State University finished third.

The decathlon pitted 18 collegiate teams from the U.S.,
Puerto Rico, Canada, and Spain in a competition to design,
build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient
solar-powered home. Students competed in 10 areas, ranging
from architecture, livability and comfort to how well the
homes provided energy for space heating and cooling, hot
water, lighting, and appliances. Each house also had to
produce enough "extra" power for an electric car.

The sponsor of the event was the U.S. Department of
Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab within the
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Sponsors included the American Institute of Architects,
the National Association of Home Builders, BP Solar,
the DIY (Do It Yourself) Network and Sprint Nextel.

Colorado ended up with 853 points of a possible 1,100.
Cornell earned 826 points, and CalPoly finished with
809 points.


Santa Clara U. Recruiting with Student-Written Blogs

Santa Clara University (CA) has launched a student
recruitment initiative using text and photo blogs
written by five students posting weekly updates of
their life at Santa Clara. The goal is to provide
prospective students with authentic, firsthand
accounts of student life.

"When prospective undergraduate students are
interested in applying to SCU, they want to know
about life at the university: academics, student
life and social activities,” said Susan Shea,
director of communications at SCU. “One element
that has been missing from the search, however,
is the authentic voice of a student who can
describe the 'freshman experience' firsthand.”

The blogSCU entries are written by current SCU
freshman students from Omaha, Neb.; Goshen, Ind.;
San Diego, Orange County, and San Jose, Calif.
"Our blogs discuss everything: from our experience
moving into residence halls and getting through
registration to hanging out and being ourselves,"
the students said. Part of their incentive to join
the year-long initiative was receiving a digital
camera that will allow them to post pictures of
events, student life, and friends at SCU.

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Online Resources

Microsite: Security Solutions for the Campus Enterprise
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Solution Center: Wireless Technologies for the Campus Enterprise
Sponsored by HP
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White Paper: Benefits of Dynamic Signage in Higher Education
Sponsored by NEC
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White Paper: Mapping Information Technology Strategies to Answer Today's Agenda
Sponsored by Campus Management
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More Resources
http://www.campus-technology.com/resources/index.asp

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