Campus Briefs


Andries van Dam

Penning at Brown: Van Dam to direct
new pen-centric computing research.


Brown University (RI) and Microsoft Research have joined forces to revolutionize pen-centric computing for the academic environment. Microsoft will provide $1.2 million to establish the Microsoft Center for Research in Pen-Centric Computing at Brown, and fund three years of research into new ways to use pen-like styluses in the operation of tablet PCs, PDAs, electronic whiteboards, and conventional desktop PCs. Researchers, faculty, and students at Brown will also create and test new software to recognize, interpret, and process handwritten input, including various notational styles in fields like mathematics, chemistry, and art/design. Andries van Dam, Brown’s VP for Research, will serve as director of the center.


IT managers at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business are getting more out of existing storage components while simplifying administration. In an industry first, they’ve paired their storage-area network (SAN) from Compellent with a network-attached storage (NAS) gateway appliance from ONStor, to automate tiered storage based on usage patterns and policies. IT administrators can dictate rules for the integrated SAN and NAS storage system to dynamically move less frequently used data to lower-cost storage tiers. The system works at both the block and file levels and scales easily to achieve the greatest economy.


With the frustration of text searching on common names or terms in mind, a team at Tufts University (MA) recently implemented a text-mining tool within the university’s Perseus Digital Library that will provide context and limit ambiguity for searches on people, places, and dates in its updated 19th Century American collection. The computer not only searches for the indexed term, but also scans documents for natural language connections within the text. It’s the first time the “named entity analysis” process has been applied to a digital library of historical documents.


The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), overseeing 19 higher ed institutions and 26 technology centers, is finding vendors through the SunGard Higher Education Collaborative, a network of 50-plus third-party providers that complement SunGard’s software, services, and technologies. “The Collaborative offers us a collection of vendor applications with proven interfaces to SunGard Higher Education products,” Thomas Danford, CIO of TBR explains, “yet we only need to interact with one vendor.”


The City University of New York (CUNY) has standardized its messaging security platform across its 19 university locations, to protect some 200,000 mailboxes against spam and malicious e-mail. Says CUNY CIO Brian Cohen, “Everyone in the organization, including our uppermost administration, instantly noticed the absence of spam,” thanks to the new Proofpoint Protection Server.


A successful online program for years, UMassOnline has reported an upswing. In March, the University of Massachusetts’ online division reported a 20 percent increase in enrollment and a 29 percent jump in program revenue for the 2006 fiscal year.


South University (GA) launched three online master’s degree programs this spring. As of April 3, the university is offering new MBA, MBA in Healthcare Administration, and MS in Criminal Justice degrees.

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