News Update :: Tuesday, March 14, 2006

CT News Update:
An Online Newsletter from Campus Technology

News for Tuesday, March 14, 2006

1 ] U.C. Schools, Stanford, Form Institute to Pursue ‘Spintronics’
2 ] OSU Joins Rapidly Expanding Student-Only Television Network
3 ] European Consortium Unveils Mobile Multimedia Standard
4 ] Survey: Alarming Lack of Girls Interested in Engineering Careers
5 ] Students Share Awards for 3-D “Extreme Design” Competition
6 ] U. Maryland Profs Unveil “Anti-Collusion” Piracy Software


1 ] U.C. Schools, Stanford, Form Institute to Pursue ‘Spintronics’

UCLA, the University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford are teaming up to form the Western Institute of Nan'electronics. The four universities said they would focus their collaboration on the field of “spintronics,” which is attempting to find ways past the limits in size and performance of conventional chip technologies. Spintronics relies on the spin of an electron to carry information, while current processor technology relies on charge-based devices. Conventional microchips move electric charges without tapping the potential of spin to work.

UCLA Engineering Professor Kang Wang will serve as the director of the Institute, working with professors David Awschalom at UCSB, Jeff Bokor at U.C. Berkeley and Philip Wong at Stanford. The institute's mission is to explore and develop advanced research devices, circuits and nanosystems with performance beyond conventional devices, which are based on the current industry standard, CMOS. “Researchers in this institute want to not only look at physics and materials, but also explore devices, circuits and systems,' says Wong.

The Institute’s headquarters will be located at UCLA Engineering, with scientific and technical responsibility distributed across all four campuses.

For further details, please visit:

2 ] OSU Joins Rapidly Expanding Student-Only Television Network

Ohio State University, with over 50,000 students, faculty, and staff, became the latest major university to join the Open Student Television Network (OSTN), a rapidly expanding network of campus television stations that carries only student-produced programming. The OSTN will now be available on Ohio State’s Buckeye TV, which joins a network that includes the University of Southern California, MIT, Yale University, Brown University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. OSTN’s programming is distributed via Abiline, Internet2's high-speed backbone network to about 3 million users at its 208 university member campuses, and 34 state education networks.

Buckeye TV general manger Paul Forsgren said OSTN “will be an amazing resource for aspiring student producers, directors, technical crew, and talent to have their hard work seen by a national audience on college campuses throughout the U.S.”

For further details, please visit:

3 ] European Consortium Advances Mobile Multimedia Standard

A consortium of seven European universities and technology firms unveiled an interface to provide unified access to all mobile multimedia terminals, including cell phones, laptops or other wireless electronics devices.

The Generic Open Link-Layer API for Unified Media or GOLLUM would provides an embedded, open, application programming interface (API) to unify different methods for accessing both wired and wireless terminals. Consortium partners said the API would simplify wireless access programming and increase options for mobile multimedia applications such as software defined and cognitive radios.

Also, end users would not have to perform any operations to detect bandwidth-changing events, thus enabling context sensitive applications. The partners in the project are RWTH Aachen University, STMicr'electronics, European Microsoft Innovation Centre, MATERNA, Telefonica, Toshiba Research Europe, and the University of Cantabria.

For more information, please visit:

4 ] Survey: Alarming Shortage of Girls Interested in Engineering

Survey results released last week by the Society of Women Engineers showed that 75 percent of girls surveyed do not plan on pursuing a career in science, math or technology, and only 10 percent of those have considered engineering as a career option. SWE's survey also found that while 95 percent of girls said that careers in science fields are 'cool,' 66 percent of them claimed these careers are 'not for them.” Careers in entertainment (49 percent), fashion (46 percent), and cosmetics (48 percent) would be more interesting, the said.

To counter the perception, SWE is helping sponsor a series of events that demonstrate that such popular careers also depend on engineers and technologists. The series called 'Wow! That's Engineering?' honors the achievements of women and girls in technology. Events are scheduled to take place in Japan, Austin, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh, and San Francisco throughout the spring. The series kicked off last week at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

'With today's multi-media, multi-influence culture, young women in the United States are continuing to drift away from careers in areas that are vital to the country's economic future,' said Ronna Robertson, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “We have a real opportunity to right previous wrongs and show young women what engineering is all about and give them a chance to change the future.'

Please visit for more information.

5 ] Students Share Awards for 3-D “Extreme Design” Competition

Designs for a spherical calendar and an electric tooth-brush wall mount were co-winners of a student international “extreme design” competition sponsored by Dimension Printing, a company that makes systems for three-dimensional printing, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Gabi Ritter, a student at the University of Art and Design Halle/Saale, Burg Giebichenstein, Germany, won First Place for “Kalendar,” a three-dimensional calendar that can be used in perpetuity. Co-First Place went to Bruce Cherry, a student at Lake Washington Technical College, Mountlake Terrace, Wash., for his design for an electric toothbrush wall-mount. The design allows for the toothbrush to be drained downward into a glass cup instead of down the toothbrush handle. The design was modeled in Autodesk Inventor v10 using hybrid surface & solid techniques.

To view the winning designs and a description of the projects, visit:

6 ] U. Maryland Profs Unveil “Anti-Collusion” Software

Researchers at the University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering are developing digital fingerprinting technology that could help thwart a form of digital piracy called “collusion” attacks. In a collusion attack multiple users electronically steal and distribute copyrighted or classified material and then dilute or erase the original digital ID or fingerprint to avoid implication. The Clark School's Min Wu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and K.J. Ray Liu, professor in ECE, are developing anti-collusion codes (ACC) which protect multimedia content without compromising the quality of the multimedia or inhibits legitimate uses.

The researchers say the technology could help content distributors who want to protect products without resorting to controversial methods that add programs to computers or alters them in other ways.

For more information, please visit:


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