News Update Tuesday February 14 2006

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

News for Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006

* Five Midwest Schools Form Transportation Research Center

* Report: Shrinking Class Sizes Will Prompt Enterprise CRM

* SMS Messaging Endorsed as Campus Security Measure

* Georgia Tech Supercomputer to Focus on Drug Discovery

* Indiana U. Health Clinic Moves to Electronic Health Record

* Events: College Coders to Converge for Programming Finals

* Drexel EE Prof Will Be 'Team Thailand' at Turin Olympics


Five Midwest Schools to Form Transportation Research Center

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $2 million
to five Midwestern universities to create a University
Transportation Center. UTC will have a national focus
to 'advance U.S. technology and expertise in the many
disciplines comprising transportation through the
mechanisms of education, research and technology
transfer at university-based centers of excellence,'
its sponsors said.

The center will combine the resources of the University
of Detroit Mercy, the lead university for the consortium,
Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University
in Michigan and the University of Toledo and Bowling Green
State University in Ohio. UTC will leverage 'transportation
as a vehicle for economic development' in its three key
focal areas: infrastructure usage, supply chains, and
infrastructure usage.

The emergence of supply chains and sophisticated
distribution systems is placing new demands on
transportation, which is stretching current infrastructure
capacity and increasing dependence on fossil fuels,
according to Leo Hamlin, Dean of the College of
Engineering and Science Dean of the University of
Detroit Mercy, who has been named director of the

Georgia Tech Supercomputer Cluster to Focus on Drug Discovery

The Georgia Institute of Technology said it will build
a supercomputer cluster to power its new Center for the
Study of Systems Biology, devoted to studying disease
and drug therapies. The 1000-node cluster will run on
the Linux operating systems and be a built around IBM Corp.
blade systems and AMD Inc. processors. The system will be
designed to perform more than 8.5 trillion calculations
per second, placing it among the top 50 fastest computers
in the world. The new supercomputing cluster will be hosted
in a BellSouth Inc. facility in midtown Atlanta. Students
and faculty will use the Center to analyze complex DNA and
proteins to determine the biological and chemical processes
of human cancer genes and proteins, to aid in the development
of more targeted drugs to treat such diseases.

Research will be directed by Dr. Jeffrey Skolnick of the
Georgia Research Alliance, which along with the State of
Georgia and the National Institutes of Health contributed
the $8.5 million in grants to launch the Center. 'Systems
biology integrates mathematics, physics, chemistry and
biology with advanced, high performance computing and
engineering,' said Skilnick, adding that the new tech
will enable 'drug developers to reduce the number of
compounds they must screen by a factor of 10.'

Report: Shrinking Class Sizes Prompting Enterprise CRM

Declining numbers of graduates will prompt higher education
institutions to extend the use of customer resource management
(CRM) strategies beyond single solutions in their admissions
and alumni offices to enterprise-wide programs, according to
an analysis by research firm Research and Markets. Student
retention programs will be an especially productive area for
future CRM deployment, says the firm.

The firm concluded that the line will blur between CRM, ERP
and LMS as institutions seek to integrate the functions of
these systems. The need for competitive differentiation will
also drive an appetite for data, reporting tools and more
sophisticated analytics, the company said. In preparing the
study, Research and Markets said it looked at CRM strategies
in use at Case Western Reserve University, DePaul University,
and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. It also touched on
technologies from Jenzabar, LiquidMatrix, Oracle, SunGard SCT,
and Talisma.

SMS Messaging Endorsed as Campus Security Measure

The executive director of Security On Campus, a non-profit
campus safety organization, endorsed SMS messaging and similar
notification technologies as an effective way to help protect
college students from crimes. Messaging devices can help meet
the terms of the Clery Act, which requires crimes to be reported
to the public, said Catherine Bath. She called electronic
notification systems 'a practical way to protect students on
or off campus by issuing a Clery Act Timely Warning. It is the
most effective way to reach a broad base of students when a
crime occurs that can involve additional victims. The Clery
Act is more than just a requirement to report crimes. It is
intended to help protect students everyday by raising the
awareness of crimes committed on campus.'

Security On Campus was founded in 1987 by Connie and Howard
Clery, following the murder of their daughter at Lehigh University.
For more information visit

Indiana U. Health Clinic Moves to Electronic Health Record

The Indiana University Health Center is instituting an electronic
health record system to connect data and processes among different
clinical departments of the facility. Hugh Jessop, the director of
the Center said the greatest beneficiary of the move toward EHR will
be the patients. The center is 'focused on protecting patient safety
and delivering the highest quality care,' he said. The center will
use Workflow EHR from, a platform that can be customized
to the clinic's requirements to manage patient documentation, including
handwritten treatment notes, prescription orders, and paper forms. Using
the technology, physicians will have 'the ability to instantly retrieve
patient health records whenever and wherever they are needed,' Jessop said.

Events: College Coders to Converge for Programming Finals

The finals of the Association for Computing Machinery's annual
International Collegiate Programming Contest will be held April 9-13, 2006,
in San Antonio. The competition featured more than 5,600 teams representing
1,733 universities from 84 countries on 6 continents. The top 83 teams have
qualified for positions at the 2006 ACM-ICPC World Finals championship.

The teams will be asked to solve eight or more complex, real-world
programming problems -- a semester's worth of curriculum - in under
five hours. Programmers will tackle problems such as determining the
best travel routes to minimize traffic and ensure cost-effectiveness,
or developing a network strategy to determine the optimal placement of
cell phone towers to cover as many customers as possible. This year's
competition will also feature open source programming skills. 'Open
source and open standards are driving the next great innovations in
the industry, and this contest challenges students who will be responsible
for that innovation for decades to come,' said Doug Heintzman, a director
at the IBM software group, a sponsor of the competition.

For more information, visit the contest Web site at

Drexel EE Prof Will Be 'Team Thailand' at Turin Olympics

Forty-seven-year-old Drexel University electrical and computer
engineering professor Prawat Nagvajara will compete in the cross
country skiing competition at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
A native of Bangkok, Nagvajara will be the sole representative of
Thailand at the 2006 games and will carry his country's flag during
the opening ceremony.

Nagvajara never skied until his college years in the U.S. He said
that after seeing the devastation the tsunami caused in Thailand,
he felt an obligation to participate in the 2006 games to help raise
his homeland's morale. With his competition date approaching, Nagvajara
says he feels ready after an average of 14-15 hours of training weekly.
'For average athletes like me, it's a dream just to be able to compete
in the Olympics,' he said.

Video of Nagvajara training, at home, and in the classroom
can be downloaded at


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