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First Personalized Alert Service for Preprints
“Enlist the latest technology and keep up with preprints in your scientific discipline! PrePRINT Alerts is a new personalized alert service for the PrePRINT Network. This is the first alert service that harvests information from the Deep Web, whereby the underlying content of multiple Web databases is searched rather than only surface pages.
PrePRINT Alerts is a feature of the PrePRINT Network, which offers a single-query portal to 340,000 preprints on 1,500 preprint servers in disciplines related to DOE research. PrePRINT Alerts allows patrons of the Preprint Network to register, create one or more personalized search profiles, and automatically receive notifications of new preprint information fitting the profile. As new servers are added to the Network, or as researchers add new preprints to servers already on the Network, PrePRINT Alerts sends an e-mail message calling your attention to all the new material that meets your profile. To register your search profile, follow the instructions linked to the PrePRINT Network home page.
OSTI is a component of the DOE Office of Science and the Director is Dr.Walter L. Warnick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 903-7996.
60,000 DOE Scientific and Technical Reports Online
For the first time ever, each of 60,000 full-text scientific and technical reports sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) is directly accessible on the Internet using a unique URL. These reports reside on the DOE Information Bridge which provides to the public at no charge the capability to search every word of all the reports. A Persistent URL (PURL) allows educators, students, scientists, and engineers to directly access individual documents and to easily direct others to them. The collection is DOE's report literature output since January 1995.
The Information Bridge also has other new capabilities, including a variety of search-result sorting options, extensive date-range searching, and an option to view or download full-text documents in Web or native formats.
Scientists and researchers are encouraged to share these reports with colleagues and others. If you have written a DOE technical report since January 1995, your document with its unique PURL should be available on the DOE Information Bridge, which now offers almost 5 million full-text report pages that can be searched and downloaded. This ever-increasing report collection is the product of an extensive collaboration among DOE Programs, Operations Offices, Laboratories, and other DOE contractors.
The Information Bridge is one of DOE's trilogy of Internet services that make up the three main ways through which scientists communicate their research findings – report literature, published literature, and preprint literature. OSTI's two other sites making up the trilogy are PubSCIENCE (http://www.osti.gov/pubscience) providing searchable access to more than 2 million abstracts in 1790 journal titles, and the PrePRINT Network (http://www.osti.gov/preprint) which provides access to over 340,000 preprints at 1500 sites.
OSTI is a component of the Office of Science. Send comments to Dr. Walter L. Warnick at email@example.com, or (301) 903-7996.
Computer Science Technical Reports
These are complete texts of academic technical reports (45,720 of them, including Ph.D. theses) downloaded from 296 selected sites on the Internet. The reports are mostly in English and every word of them is indexed. Search by word or browse by Web site.
World Environment Library
A collection of “400 publications (45,000 pages) of ideas and solutions in the fields of Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Impact Assessment, Energy, Health, Natural Resources, Policy, Sustainable Development, Waste Management and Water.” Search by word, title, subject, or organization. Allows various interface and search preferences.
Collection on Critical Global Issues
Presented here are 210 publications (32,000 pages) about agriculture and land management, development, environment and sustainability, food and nutrition, natural resource development, and science and technology. Search by word or browse by title, subject or organization. Allows various interface and search preferences.
This is a library of over 500 documents relating to indigenous peoples throughout the world, including Native American tribes, the Maori, Australian Aborigines, the Sami, and others. Search by word or browse by title. Unfortunately, a lack of subject browsing limits access. Allows various interface and search preferences.
(From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Recently launched by Imagitas, this site is designed as a one-stop source for government forms and information for consumers. Considerably more user-friendly than FirstGov (see the September 22, 2000 _Scout Report_), the site is organized by topic (Auto, Business, Moving & Mail, Military & Veterans, etc.) and searchable by keyword. For relatively straightforward information or documents, such as a form for registering a new car, an application for a social security card, or a zip code directory, the site is hard to beat. Instructions and related links and information are also provided for each topic. A list of most-requested forms is available from the main page. While the site is probably not much use to anyone seeking detailed or obscure government information or documents, ordinary consumers will find it easy to use and very helpful. When FirstGov undergoes its inevitable redesign, let's hope they take some notes from this site. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
“Beyond Discovery: The Path from Research to Human Benefit is a series of articles that trace the origins of important recent technological and medical advances. Each story reveals the crucial role played by basic science, the applications of which could not have been anticipated at the time the original research was conducted.” This site from AAAS is also available in German and Chinese. Articles include internal links, a timeline, and additional links. Some of the current topics include: When the earth moves, Disarming a deadly virus, Sounding out the ocean's secrets, Polymers and people, and the Global positioning system. (Thanks to BriefMe)
Popular Science: The Best of the Web
“The venerable editors of Popular Science have spoken – these 50sites are the top of the heap, the creme de la creme, the top guns of science sites. They divided their picks into 10 categories: visual science, science learning, health and medicine, the universe, inventions and labs, news and answers, earth and environment, moving science, high technology, and eclectic science. Naturally, we opted for eclectic science first, where we were delighted to find our old friend Soda constructor, as well as a great site on Bad Astronomy. Warning: the Scanning Electron Microscope may induce a serious attack of the creeps.” (From Yahoo's Picks of the Week)
Selections from Science: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [.pdf]
Science has recently placed online a selection of papers by Paul Greengard and Eric R. Kandel that have appeared in the journal. Greengard and Kandel, along with Arvid Carlsson, were awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their “pioneering discoveries concerning one type of signal transduction between nerve cells, referred to as slow synaptic transmission.” Nineteen papers on related topics are available in both HTML and .pdf formats. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
“A large collection of photographs of European butterfly and moth species, arranged by genus. Each has multiple images, some with both male and female wing shots, description, flight periods, and larval host plants. A section illustrates metamorphosis for a few species. There are also photographs for tropical butterflies and those of southern France. Additionally, there are related links. Also available in German with a few of the descriptions only available in that language. - dl” (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
DNA Patent Database
“The DPD, a joint project of the Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics and the Foundation for Genetic Medicine, allows free public access to the full text and analysis of all DNA patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).”
Replicators: Evolutionary Powerhouses
“This interactive exploration of evolutionary and cultural biology was created by three high school students (Russian and American)and their coaches as a Thinkquest project. The premise, the theory of replicators, was developed by biologist Richard Dawkins and described in his popular writings. Replicators are ‘anything in the universe of which copies are made’ – DNA sequences and MP3files being two distinct examples. We were mesmerized by an activity module called Breed Your Own Text. It took the replication simulation318 attempts to arrive at target word ‘shakespeare’ from ‘monkey typists,’ but only 217 to attain ‘serendipity’ from ‘monkey barrel.’ ” (From Yahoos Picks of the Week)
The homepage of this website created by the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics links you to current news stories with impact on topics in bioethics. Other pages discuss bioethics for beginners, cloning & genetics, ER bioethics, assisted suicide and other topics. The pages are well organized. You can find everything from information on careers in bioethics to a spell checker for biotechnology terms and one for medical words.
“Marvelous Web site to accompany the PBS documentary that chronicles the history and clash of egos that resulted in the discovery and development of the transistor. Includes a description of the science, people, and organizations involved in its development; a timeline of significant events; Quicktour; and useful teacher resources including lessons, interactive games, audio clips (RealPlayer), video clips (QuickTime), and teacher guide. Biographical material on John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, William Shockley, and other individuals may be found using the site map. Searchable. - nbh” (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
This website (supported by the National Science Foundation and others) is being developed by The Department of Mechanical Engineering and The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. On a plain vanilla interface, it offers short, well written tutorials, interactive and static examples of problems, tables, resources, and links. A variety of thermodynamic topics are covered. Not fancy, but offers good, solid content. (Thanks to EEVL)
“Do you want students to experience CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting and Design), but don't have a lot of time and money to set up a program? Try using the lesson ideas from this ThinkQuest entry, which uses authentic NASA technical drawings and includes a link to free, lite-CAD software. Tutorials, slide shows, interactive quizzes, and design projects are linked to the history of the NASA manned space program, including many color photographs. Lessons are also available in Spanish and French.” (From Blue Web'N)
World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE)
This is an extensive website, supported by German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. It includes a huge amount of information or links to information on all aspects of renewable energy, including news stories, conference proceedings, educational websites, components, software, statistics, images and more. One stop shopping! (Thanks to EEVL)
Codes and Ciphers in the Second World War
A look at a fascinating bit of historical technology – the codes and ciphers used in World War II. Images, lectures, and detailed explanations of Enigma and the Lorenz cipher, and the methods used to break the codes.
LSU Patents and Trademarks Webliography
Patently Absurd is another site displaying weird and useless patents, these from the UK patent office. The ingenuity of mankind can never be overestimated!
Definitely useful is the second site from the librarians at Louisiana State Univ. This is an excellent resource for information on the web in the topic of patents and trademarks, and includes sources for FAQs, patent offices, patent searching, invention marketing fraud, and more. Worth a look!
Atmospheric Disturbance Climatology – USFS
Provided by the US Forest Service, this page on Atmospheric Disturbance Climatology offers multiple series of spectacular color figures depicting geographic distributions of the major abiotic factors influencing biota in the north central and northeastern US. For instance, daily maximum and minimum temperature data from the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) are displayed as color maps, showing average monthly max/min temperatures and occurrences of ‘extreme’ max/min temperatures. Also shown are color maps of Precipitation (averages and extremes), Spring Freezes, Fire Weather patterns, Ozone Concentrations (in the Great Lakes region), and Pine Shoot Beetle Outbreaks (1992-1998), as well as explanations of the methods used to summarize the data. For ecologists seeking broad summaries of abiotic conditions at the intermediate landscape scale, this Website will serve a valuable purpose. For others curious about medium-scale climatic processes, the numerous color images offer a wealth of information. Two additional sections on Winds and Winter Thaws are under construction and will be launched shortly. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
Urban Rivers Awareness
The Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia) hosts this page on Urban Rivers Awareness. Offering information both general (e.g., the importance of water and watersheds) and specific (e.g., Manatwany Creek dam study), the site introduces viewers to urban river issues via an ecological study on the removal of a dam in Pennsylvania. Site content is directed towards raising awareness of urban rivers and is educational in flavor. Also at the site is a series of links to other Academy projects, external resources, and related articles. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases
EPA's Global Warming Website
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
The first of these is a paper published in EOS with an overview of the problem of greenhouse gases. EPA's Global Warming website provides overviews of the various aspects of the problem of global warming, and also has links to news stories, upcoming conferences, publications, slides, FAQs, and additional links. The site is well organized and easy to surf. The NOAA Site is more challenging to surf, but contains a wealth of information on climate in general and climate extremes and weather events in particular. The best first stop is the “contents” link, which guides you through the otherwise complex page layout, but it is complex partially because so much is offered. There are data sets, news stories, maps, charts, reports, on every aspect of climate, including droughts, floods, and indicators of global change. The IPCC is made up of MWO and UNEP members and assesses their research and decision making. Their website offers a host of reports and summaries of reports. Finally, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change “is a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change.” Their website provides news stories and publications, but also summaries of what various CEO's are saying about climate change. In addition, you can get a screen saver or send an e-postcard! (Thanks to Chad Tolman)
1. Deserts Threatened By Climate Change
2. “Elevated CO2 increases productivity and invasive species success in an arid ecosystem”
3. What is Photosynthesis?
4. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
5. US Global Change Research Program
6. Stanley Smith (Lab) Group – University of Nevada
7. Nevada Desert FACE (Free-Air-Carbon dioxide-Enrichment) Facility
8. Brookhaven National Laboratory – North Carolina
Through a series of chemical and ecological processes, new research shows that climate change will likely result in detrimental shifts in desert plant communities. The process through which desert plant communities will shift is complex, involving increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and precipitation – two fundamental ingredients of photosynthesis. Due to human industrial activity, concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased markedly in the atmosphere, and are expected to double relative to pre-industrial times by the year 2050. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide helps plants use water more efficiently. Simultaneously, climate change models predict a higher frequency of extreme weather events, such as the powerful El Nino of 1998. Through a series of experiments, ecologist Stanley Smith of the University of Nevada and colleagues have demonstrated that plant species respond differently to the combination of wet weather and high carbon dioxide concentrations. Their results, published in the November 2 issue of Nature, show that invasive species benefit more from these conditions, thus unsettling the balance by out-competing native desert plants. Additionally, the increase in plant matter boosts the amount of fuel for fires, an effect which could magnify over time since exotic species tend to recover faster than native species, after a blaze. This week's In The News describes the new findings and offers links to several educational and research Websites.
The first site, from ScienceNow, describes the new findings and their implications (1). To access the abstract of the recent article in Nature, search by author name in the November 2, 2000 issue (2). For a thorough and well-written introduction to photosynthesis, see this metapage (3) from Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis. To learn about desert environments and how plants cope with desert conditions, see the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum site (4), which provides information with an educational bent. Some results from climate change research conducted by this governmental agency are outlined at the US Global Change Research Program Website (5). For further information on the research group that conducted the recent study, see Dr. Stanley Smith's lab group homepage (6). Furthermore, the research facility at which the study was conducted is the Nevada Desert FACE Facility (Free-Air-Carbon dioxide-Enrichment). The FACE Website offers background information on FACE and relevant research that is underway there (7). Finally, for links to additional research using FACE, see the Brookhaven National Laboratory Website (8), which offers a host of research-related information as well as links to other sites. [LXP] (From the Scout Report)
The Geography Network is a global network of geographic information users and providers. It provides the infrastructure needed to facilitate the sharing of geographic information between data providers, service providers, and users around the world. The Internet is used to deliver geographic content to the user's browser and desktop. Through the Geography Network, you can access many types of geographic content including live maps, downloadable data, and more advanced services.
“Ace adventurer Paul Sereno leads a crack team of scientists into the heart of the Sahara to find ‘600-toothed giant plant-eaters, flying reptiles, massive crocodiles, and more.’ Well, at least their bones. The group recently made some discoveries of then on-fossil variety that are still pretty darn impressive. Would-be criminals take note: to protect these precious fossil beds from looters, no exact locations have been disclosed.” (From Yahoos Picks of the Week)
Blue Ice: Focus on Antarctica
“This is aninteresting and beautifully photographed virtual field trip to Antarctica for 9 to 13-year olds. There are two basic units: food webs (life science) and weather/climate change (earth science). Students can learn about the geography, weather, history, geology and wildlife of Antarctica, and begin to consider the role people play in stewardship of the earth. It's possible to merely browse but teachers might like to co-ordinate a class sign-up to get the most out of the virtual field trip. DB” (From New Scientist Planet Science)
Online Macromolecular Museum
“The Online Macromolecular Museum (OMM) is a site for the display and study of macromolecules. Macromolecular structures, as discovered by crystallographic or NMR methods, are scientific objects in much the same sense as fossil bones or dried specimens: they can be archived, studied, and displayed in aesthetically pleasing, educational exhibits. Hence, a museum seems an appropriate designation for the collection of displays that we are assembling. The OMM's exhibits are interactive tutorials on individual molecules in which hypertextual explanations of important biochemical features are linked to illustrative renderings of the molecule at hand.” The files are sometimes large and plug-ins are required, but the graphics are great, and animated. If this site whets your appetite for more, or to possibly constuct some of your own models, start with the recent HMS Beagle article (free registration required) “Molecular Visualization for the Masses” at http://news.bmn.com/hmsbeagle/90/reviews/insitu
2000 Report on the Status of Women in Physics
The American Institute of Physics has published this report, available for download in .pdf format, on the number of girls and women in physics and related fields. Results discussed include the percentage of girls taking high school physics from 1987-1997, women's enrollment and degrees (Bachelor through Ph.D.) granted in physics and other selected fields from 1975-1997, the proportion of women teaching physics by academic rank, and a comparison of mean salaries between males and females in physics (for government, industry, academia, and federally funded research). The report is sixteen pages and contains thirteen color figures and five tables. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
Discovery of Companion Asteroids
Trick or Treat it's Toutatis!
This site displays the first-ever images of a large, double asteroid once assumed to be a single asteroid called Antiope. The images were recently released by the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI). Each asteroid in the pair is approximately 50 miles across, separated by about 100 miles. This discovery was made using the W.M. Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Images of another discovery, that of a small moon orbiting the large asteroid Pulcova, is featured at this site. In addition to still images, movies show the motion of the asteroids. The second page, from NASA, describes the recent near-Earth approach of the asteroid 4179 Toutatis. Toutatis is one ofthe largest known “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids” (PHAs). A three dimensional model of Toutatis' orbit and an .mpeg animation of the asteroid in motion are highlights of the site. [HCS] (From the Scout Report)
“Subtitled a rare inside view of the next frontier in space exploration, this complementary site for a PBS documentary ‘follows engineers, scientists, managers and astronauts from sixteen nations, led by NASA, as they navigate the financial, technical and political challenges of creating the International Space Station’ beginning with the station's origins in the cold war Reagan era. Station has information about the station, including assembly, a detailed diagram, and backgrounds about the international partners. See and Do includes an interactive map allowing tracking of the station in the sky and a tour of the station. Resources contains annotated links. - dl” (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
“This site contains a wealth of knowledge and is a must for anyone who wants information on manned and unmanned space flight. With the keen use of links and cross-references across the site, browsing through the enormous database is simple and appeals not only to the professional, but also to anyone with an interest in space flight or who simply wants to explore. For the more serious researcher, there is an extensive reference list as well as articles on special topics and hundreds of graphics. Highly recommended. MDM” (From New Scientist Planet Science)
“Mir Space Station to Be Brought Down to Earth in February” – SPACE.com
“Date Set for Mir Destruction” – BBC
Mir Space Station Home Page
Space Research Institute (IKI)
Space Station Mir – New York Times [Hypercosm]
“Mir to Be Deorbited Into the Pacific” – The Moscow Times
“Mir Space Station to Fall to Earth” – Washington Post
Space Chronicle: Mir – Houston Chronicle
“Pacific ditching for Mir in February” – CNN
The Russian space agency officially announced yesterday that they would dump the aged Mir space station in the Pacific Ocean this February. Launched in 1986, Mir was originally designed for a three-year mission. Despite numerous repair missions, time has taken its inexorable toll on the space station, and many regard it as a safety hazard. In addition, Russia's space program has to contend with a drastically reduced budget in comparison to the golden age of Soviet space exploration. Russia's partners in the International Space Station have long urged that the space agency abandon Mir and concentrate its resources on the new space station. At present, the plan is to send a cargo ship to Mir in late January which will push the station toward the atmosphere over the Pacific. While all precautions will be made to ensure a safe re-entry, Russian officials conceded that they cannot make any guarantee that all sections will fall into the ocean.
SPACE.com's coverage of the decision includes a Mir chronology and an interactive tour of the doomed space station. The BBC's report also offers links to related stories, archived reports, and other sites. Comprehensive information on the history and design of Mir, as well as information on research projects and commentary on the recent decision, are available at the Mir Home Page. Official information on Mir can be found at the Space Research Institute (IKI) site. The New York Times's (free registration required) Mir section includes newand archived stories, some 3D animations, photos, general information, additional resources, and a forum. Additional coverage is provided by The Moscow Times, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, and CNN. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Regional Economic Conditions – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regional Economic Condition (RECON) was created to help the FDIC analyze the risks facing financial institutions by providing economic information and statistics at one of three levels: state, MSA(Metropolitan Statistical Area), and county. Users begin by selecting a state; along with viewing state information, users may also choose to specify their information by state, county, or MSA. Data are provided by both government and private sources and include a wide array of maps, charts, and graphs. A special “shopping cart” allows users to mark a collection of data and view them at one time. RECON also offers a helpful tutorial slide show, user notes of data updates, and a data availability chart. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms
Created by The Animated Software Company, the Internet Glossary of Statistical Terms offers definitions for terms via a standard alphabetical listing or in an innovative “Suggested Learning” order. In this latter list, users start with basic terms such as “Population” and “Histogram,” before grasping more difficult ideas such as “Regression” and “Confounding Factor.” In addition to the standard definition of each term, every glossary entry provides examples, visual aides, and links to related terms. [EM] (From the Scout Report)
Vikings: the North Atlantic Saga
A site about the Scandinavian discovery of North America over 1000 years ago. “Presented through a spectacular array of artifacts and archeological finds, the exhibit explores a previously unknown chapter in the history of North America.” View the voyage in standard or enhanced versions (enhanced requires Macromedia Flash, Apple QuickTime, Cult 3D, and Real Audio). Sections for points along the journey include Archaeology, Sagas, Environment, and History. From the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. - dl (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation
Provided by the Griffith Institute at the University of Oxford, “the largest specialized Egyptological archive in the world,” this site will gradually make available the complete records of Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. At present, content includes images and transcripts of field cards with descriptions, copies of texts, sketches of details, and notes on conservation, as well as photographs taken by Harry Burton during the excavation of the tomb. These are browsed by Carter number (originally assigned by Carter himself) with a brief description and note on number of cards and photos. While the content is still limited, some of it is simply excellent. Of special note is number 256a, Gold Mask of the King. Future offerings include additional photos, the complete notebooks and diaries (October 28, 1922 to May 31, 1923 currently available),maps and plans, and additional records. This promises to be an outstanding resource for Egyptologists or anyone interested in one of the most famous expeditions in the history of the field. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 1999
The 27th edition of the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics was recently placed online by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics. Compiled from more than 100 sources, the Sourcebook is presented in six sections (system characteristics, public opinion, offenses known, arrests, judicial processing, and corrections), containing almost 700 tables. “Nearly all the data presented are nationwide in scope and, where possible, they are displayed by regions, States, and cities to increase their value for local decision-makers and for comparative analyses.” Additional resources include a subject index, an annotated bibliography, technical appendices, and a list of source publishers with contact information. [MD] (From the Scout Report)
Political Cartoons from the Historical Graphics Gallery
In the last newsletter, the historic political cartoons uploaded by the Library of Congress American Memory website were highlighted. If this has whetted your appetite for more of these historical treasures, try this website as well.
“Judged on the basis of influence per square inch, it would be hard to find a match for the political cartoon in the history of modern American journalism.”
The Sentencing Project
This organization is “an independent source of criminal justice policy analysis, data and program information for the public and policy-makers [which has] become a national leader in the development of alternative sentencing programs and in the reform of criminal justice policy.” The site includes policy report summaries and publications (full reports may be ordered); briefing/fact sheets (with statistics about prisons and prisoners); events; and current related news articles. - ha (From Librarian's Index to the Internet)
NewsReport – National Academies [.pdf]
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture – Cornell University
Curtis Botanical Magazine – antique botanical prints from the National Library of Agriculture
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UNIVERSITIES STRUGGLE TO KEEP QUALITY GRADS IN THE PIPELINE
Many schools are reviewing their curricula in order to offer engineering training programs that address the modern marketplace without frustrating students. “Because of the rate of change in technology today, the need for better university-industry links is stronger than ever,” notes Robert Prieto, Parsons Brinckerhoff chairman. Today's engineering graduates are expected to demonstrate knowledge in economics, computers, communications, and business, and achieving this goal requires a more holistic approach to education that includes logic and philosophy, says Steve Preszler of the Department of Public Works in Shasta County, Ca. The lack of women and minorities entering the industry is also a serious concern. Schools, agencies, and industry professionals are making numerous attempts to improve the situation. Partnerships between practitioners and teachers are also being fostered by efforts from agencies such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
(ENR, 30 October 2000 via Edupage)
TO IMPROVE INSTRUCTION, SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES MUST FIND WAYS TO COOPERATE
The National Research Council recently issued a study proclaiming that America's schoolchildren would be more literate in science, math, and technology if K-12 schools could coordinate programs with colleges. The report suggests that science, math, and technology education be “seamless” from kindergarten through graduate school. The $300,000 study, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, also suggests that teachers of these subjects be continually educated and trained through the course of their employment; that colleges and universities be held more responsible for the training of their teachers; and that teachers be taught by scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. The report cites a program between Kansas State University and three school districts, in which teachers and college professors create a curriculum together and work on teacher training and research. The NEA is currently working with 14 universities to create similar programs.
(eSchool News, October 2000 via Edupage)
INTERNET2 IS NEW LAB FOR RESEARCH
The Internet2 research network is generating a number of new technologies that will eventually bring vast improvements to the commercial Internet. Over 180 universities and roughly 70 companies are participating in the project, creating new applications in areas such as medicine, computer science, and communications. Researchers at George Mason University and Georgetown University are working together on a project that Will produce 3D images of the brain using MRI scanners. Meanwhile, George Washington University (GWU) is working on video conferencing technology that allows users in separate locations to communicate over a 768K connection. GWU's Jerald Feinstein says the project could eliminate the need for business travel by allowing geographically separated users to see each other's facial expressions and body language.
(Potomac Tech Journal, 30 October 2000 via Edupage)
EVERY UNIVERSITY HAS E-LEARNING IN ITS FUTURE
Gerald Heeger, president of the University of Maryland, University College in College Park, Md., does not believe that online universities will replace the traditional brick-and-mortar institution. However, he says the rising number of adult students, so-called lifelong learners, will necessitate a fundamental change in how universities deliver services. Heeger foresees online learning transforming the traditional undergraduate as well, as more classes will feature online components, and some will go entirely online. Some students may eventually study for two degrees at two universities simultaneously – one degree at a bricks-and-mortar institution, the other online. Heeger does not worry too much about the profit motive driving many of the new online universities or established institutions' online ventures. Without outside capital, Heeger argues, many universities may not be able to afford the necessary technology. Furthermore, Heeger argues that higher education in the U.S. has never been completely removed from for-profit notions.
(Christian Science Monitor, 31 October 2000 via Edupage)
CHIEF OF TOMORROW
Washington State officials do not have to look hard to find the main reason for the state's remarkable e-government success. CIO Steve Kolodney is the force behind the state's numerous initiatives and has recently been chosen as one of Governing Magazine's “Public Officials of the Year.” Washington Gov. Gary Locke credits Kolodney's “vision, focus, and hard-driving tenacity” for a number of awards that Washington State's Web site has won. Washington has made 240 services available over the Internet and has established a high-speed, high-bandwidth network for the state's schools and universities. A new initiative, TransactWashington, will provide confidential medical records to health-care professionals online. It will incorporate digital signatures as a security measure and should be available next year. Kolodney benefits from the independence accorded to his agency, which generates $120 million in revenues a year and can spend much of that without outside approval.
(Governing, November 2000 via Edupage)
M.I.T. MEDIA LAB AT 15: BIG IDEAS, BIG MONEY
Controversy surrounds MIT's famed Media Lab as it celebrates its 15th birthday. While investors question whether they should give more money to the lab – which wants $250,000 per year from each company and is currently planning a $100 million expansion – students wonder if they should continue to sacrifice potentially valuable intellectual property rights. Meanwhile, professors are pondering the conflict of interest that may arise should they accept corporate positions or start their own businesses. The lab receives money from 160 companies and in return gives them exclusive license to new technology developed there. However, the companies cannot claim that the new technology is their own, and this has led to some friction between the lab and its sponsors. The lab must also defend itself from criticism that it does not offer much useful technology. The head of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science points out that his department has produced substantial technology such as computer time-sharing and Ethernet connections. However, the lab's directors admit that keeping its mission free of corporate demand is difficult in an era when corporations have replaced the federal government as the prime source of academic-research funding.
(New York Times, 9 November 2000 via Edupage)
GOING TO CLASS IN A 3-D LECTURE HALL, GRAVITY NOT INCLUDED
A recent conference highlighted the potential of three-dimensional classrooms. The attendees of VLearn 3-D selected virtual characters to represent themselves as they participated in chat-based lectures and discussions online. The characters were able to walk around the classroom and interact with other characters. The proponents of this new technology, which is usually available through a special 3D Web browser or as a plug-in download, say it increases the personal element of online education. Participants are able to express their attitudes toward subjects or speakers through body language, while speakers feel greater confidence when they can see the people who are listening to them, say educators who have tried the technology. The technology also allows online teachers to redefine the classroom space, designing 3D environments that model famous places or events or even objects such as the inside of a microcomputer.
(New York Times, 9 November 2000 via Edupage)
STATE OFFERS $1.5 MILLION TO BOOST ONLINE LEARNING
Kentucky is providing $1.5 million in venture capital for colleges and professors in the state to create profitable online learning programs for the Kentucky Virtual University (KVU). The program is believed to be the first in the country to help universities launch for-profit online ventures. KVU is reviewing three proposals and will select loan recipients in a few weeks. The interest-free loans must be paid back within three years as the online venture brings in revenue or cost savings. A University of Kentucky English professor has applied for a$10,000 loan to replicate the campus writing center on the Internet. A second proposal from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System requests a $170,000 loan to create an information technology associate degree program on the Internet. Meanwhile, the dean of Eastern Kentucky University's College of Justice and Safety submitted a proposal that would develop an online master's degree in loss prevention and safety.
(Courier-Journal, 15 November 2000 via Edupage)
COLLEGES SHOULD VIE FOR STUDENTS TAKING COMPANIES' COURSES
Community colleges could provide better IT training than the private sector but are not doing enough to attract students, said San Mateo College director of new media John Avakian at the Conference on Technology of the League for Innovation in the Community College. Community colleges can teach students to analyze, communicate, and research – valuable skills that private industry training does not provide, Avakian said. In addition, private industry training is not geared to some types of students, for example, 19- to 25-year-olds trying to move from welfare into the workforce. IT training is also an appropriate match with the community college's goal of promoting economic development, Avakian said.
(Chronicle of Higher Education Online, 16 November 2000 via Edupage)
LIBRARIES AROUND THE WORLD TEAM UP FOR NET SERVICE
A group of libraries from around the world began testing the Comprehensive Digital Reference Service, a free service that will help users find information on the Internet by directing inquiries to the appropriate library. The Internet often provides too many search results or questionable information, and the libraries hope to bring a higher quality of information online by providing access to their wealth of research collections and specialized catalogs. A network will route questions to the library best suited to provide an answer, based on the libraries' expertise, hours of operation, and other considerations. Although the group will initially focus on answering questions in English, the service should eventually accommodate up to 20 languages. The group, which expects to launch its Web site officially by June, has about 60 members, including Yale, Harvard, the National Gallery of Art, the National Library of Australia, and the Duke University Divinity School.
(Baltimore Sun, 20 November 2000 via Edupage)
TURNING TO ONLINE SCHOOLS FOR ADVANCED DEGREES
Students seeking advanced degrees in business or law are increasingly turning to online classes to obtain those degrees. Online classes are convenient and affordable, allowing those who have full-time jobs and other responsibilities the opportunity to further their education, students say. Carla Wright-Jukes, for example, expects to save tens of thousands of dollars by earning her M.B.A. from the online school Jones International University. Larry Pereira says the classes are ideal for him because he is always traveling on business. Despite the rising popularity of these classes, educators caution students to investigate choices thoroughly. Educators say many students are disappointed when they discover the lack of interaction among themselves, other students, and professors. Also, employers may not look upon a degree from a for-profit or an unaccredited university with much consideration. Educators say a strong online program, involving a limited number of students interacting frequently with a professor from an accredited university, will still require students to be serious and self-starting if they expect to succeed.
(New York Times, 19 November 2000 via Edupage)
IT FIRMS COMPETE TO COMPUTE THE GENOME
IT companies are turning their focus toward a growing IT market for life sciences, a field requiring an increasing amount of processing power to make sense of rapidly growing stores of genetic information. IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer, 1,000 times more powerful than the Deep Blue computer that defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov, processes a seemingly simple protein-folding process. The $100-million investment in the computer reflects the strong business opportunity--10 percent of the research and development budget of the 12 largest life sciences companies will be spent on IT this year.
(Reuters, 27 November 2000 via Edupage)
NAVY PICKS INSTITUTIONS FOR ONLINE-LEARNING EFFORT
Internet-based courses will be an integral part of a pilot program in which the U.S. Navy has partnered with 16 colleges to offer sailors an opportunity to complete full degree programs through distance learning. However, not all submarines and aircraft carriers provide Internet access, so participating colleges will offer video- and print-based distance-learning courses as well. Susan Woodward, a Navy commander who helped develop the pilot, says “not only is the number of distance-learning courses offered important, but also a variety of distance-learning formats.” Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado will participate in the program and offer a degree in criminal justice. Other pilot participants include Dallas County Community College District, George Washington University, and University of Maryland University College. The online learning project is scheduled to begin in January, and the Navy plans to expand the program to other colleges over the next few years. The Navy hopes working with colleges will help it recruit and keep its sailors.
(Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 November 2000 via Edupage)
WARNING TO BLAIR OVER “DIGITAL POVERTY”
The Institute of Public Policy Research believes that British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to bring the UK online by 2005 will worsen the digital divide, the think tank intends to announce. The Institute's report will caution that those who have some or no Internet access will become a “digital underclass” under the government's online initiative, which will in turn hinder the development of the UK's Internet economy. In addition, a former senior government advisor recently said that UK Online will miss its 2005 deadline to get government services onto the Internet because the civil service does not have enough resources. The Institute plans to argue that Blair's target does not go far enough by placing IT facilities in schools and libraries. Report author Damian Tambini will contend that universal access should mean access from the home for everyone.
(Independent [London], 26 November 2000 via Edupage)
The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program at the American Memory Web site,
announces the release of an online collection of selected materials to celebrate the
inaugurations of the presidents of the United States. – I Do Solemnly Swear &hellip
–: Presidential Inaugurations, consists of approximately four hundred items from each
of sixty-two inaugurations, from George Washington in 1789 to William Jefferson Clinton in
1997, and will include items relating to the sixty-third inauguration of 2001, all
This collection includes selections from diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. It is expected that numerous related inaugural Web sites will link to this Library of Congress site, among them those of the Smithsonian Institution, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York. Some items in this presentation from records of early sessions of Congress to early films of Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt are already online in American Memory. An important component is a collaboration with the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, which permits the site to offer online presentations of the inaugural addresses from Presidents Washington to Bush with associated searchable text transcriptions.
This site will feature a live broadcast of the presidential inauguration of 2001.
Censored – Wielding the Red Pen
This online exhibition from the University of Virginia Libraries looks at challenges to free speech and freedom of information as protected by the First Amendment. There are examples of all types of censorship: the 785 dirty words counted in The Catcher in the Rye, the birth control advocacy of Margaret Sanger, and controversial rock, rap and raunchiness. We learned about Thomas Bowdler, creator of the (bowdlerized) Family Shakespeare, who lent his name to the expurgation process by omitting those words “which cannot with propriety be read aloud … ” (From Yahoo's Picks of the Week)
All items from the Scout Report are copyright Susan Calcari, 1994-2000. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the Scout Report provided the copyright notice and this paragraph is preserved on all copies. The InterNIC provides information about the Internet to the US research and education community under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation: NCR-9218742. The Government has certain rights in this material.
Blue Web'n is a searchable library of Blue-Ribbon Web sites categorized by grade level, content area, and type. Visit Blue Web'n online at http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the participants (authors), and do not necessarily represent the official views, opinions, or policy of the National Science Foundation.