The University Record, October 9, 2000

2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program

Eighteen University of Michigan projects nominated for the 2000 Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program have been recognized as part of the “Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The “2000 Information Technology Innovation Collection” was formally presented to the Smithsonian Institution earlier this year. The laureates, as the Smithsonian recognizes them, and their projects are:

Architecture Research Laboratory (ARL),

Harold Borkin,

Three decades of development of leading edge architectural design tools have progressed from simple floor plans, to three-dimensional visualizations and to the ability to understand the performance of structures in such areas as acoustics. The ARL is involved in the research and development of computer aids for architecture, and has developed integrated design systems, geometric modeling algorithms, simulations and a variety of design applications for building planning, site design, economic analysis, mapping and visualization. The software and concepts developed have provided a basis for many of the current CAD applications and functions libraries used in architectural practice, research and education. They are central to the research of students in the doctoral program in Architecture who are interested in computer-aided design and have been used in more than 20 dissertations that focus on such areas as integrated databases for design, spatial or geometric modeling, simulation, knowledge-based design, optimization and design education.

Center for Highly Interactive Computing in

Education (Hi-ce), Ron Marx,

Hi-ce makes possible a university-school district collaboration that leverages emerging computational technologies to help every child do authentic inquiry and develop a deep understanding of science content and process. Hi-ce’s technology is unique: it is designed from a learner-centered perspective, in concert with teachers and students, leveraging the emerging such technologies as hand-held computing, wireless communications and graphics, making it accessible and effective. Through these efforts, those associated with the Hi-ce project feel that the exciting and empowering world of science and technology is now open to many children who, in the past, were condemned to the drudgery of memorizing terms from textbooks and excluded from the wonders of scientific inquiry and discovery.

Comprehensive Treatment Planning Internet Site, Dennis Fasbinder,

Replacement of 35mm slides of patient dental problems with fully detailed Internet-based virtual patient dental records improves student preparation for actual patient treatment and results in more efficient and timely patient treatment. The Comprehensive Treatment Planning Internet Site is a didactic course reference on treatment planning as well as a database of “Virtual Patients.” The didactic information details the sequence and format for creating a comprehensive treatment plan. “Virtual Patients” are designed to provide students the same information contained in a patient’s dental chart, as well as a visual record of the patient. Students have the opportunity to apply their treatment planning skills with the “Virtual Patients,” which results in better prepared student dentists.

Interactive Communications & Simulations (ICS), Fred Goodman,

The ICS Web space activities focus on using computers as tools to accentuate and improve classroom learning, often in the form of games and simulation activities. Thousands of students from more than 400 public and private schools in 36 American states and 25 other countries have been involved in ICS exercises. In networking far-flung classes of students and their teachers, ICS creates “global classrooms,” that, while they may be comprised of hundreds of students, are manageable because of the structure of the exercises. Realistic simulations, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict and improvisational theater, played out by worldwide groups of K–12 students over the Internet, provide educational experiences not possible with traditional media.

Interactive Simulation of Business Processes Using the Internet, Michael Gordon,

The “Interactive Simulation of Business Processes Using the Internet” is a Web-based simulation that allows students to study a complex, messy business problem, forcing them to make choices about who to interview and what data to access. The course, called MAP, is an all-consuming seven-week course for M.B.A. students. Students work in small teams to apply which they have learned during their first year coursework to solve a real life business problem. For the most part, students live out of town near the company that sponsors them and gives them their assignment. The participating companies help the student team gain access to dozens or hundreds of people—both within and outside their firms—who can help students understand the complexities and nuances of the problem at hand. In addition, companies help obtain mountains of data on which students base their conclusions and recommendations.

Law School Wireless Network, John Schafer,

When a network infrastructure was being designed for the Law School, special considerations had to be taken into account. Constructed on the exterior with limestone, the Reading Room at the Law School is 240-feet-long by 45-feet-wide and 30-feet-tall. It has built-in bookcases and 12-foot-tall oak paneling lining the perimeter and stained glass windows above the paneling. The new network had to be deployed in that location. Wireless technology provided pervasive network connections without disturbing the esthetics and tradition of the 70-year-old limestone and Gothic-style reading room. Initially, the network was designed to connect laptop computers for a Web-based career planning system for law students. It was later expanded to nearby rooms because the wireless local area network turned out to be such a good match for a distinguished, but difficult-to-wire building.

Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review (MTTLR), Elizabeth Stephan,

The MTTLR was one of the first online law journals. It quickly and widely makes available high-quality legal articles on the issues arising as technological change challenges existing laws, policies and institutions in society. These issues are often interdisciplinary, consisting of interrelated legal, social, public policy and business concerns that emerge from technologies and their use and application. The online medium is particularly well-suited to such a rapidly changing area of law and society. It allows for a more flexible, timely and dynamic exploration of issues as they arise, and makes these discussions available to an eager audience—one that is much broader than just those individuals commonly having access to scholarly journals. MTTLR continues to serve this need, publishing articles online and in print as new issues arise.

Neuro-Logic, Douglas Gelb

Neuro-Logic is an interactive tutorial designed to teach a systematic approach to localization. It consists of 35 cases, each with a different combination of neurologic symptoms. For each case, students are asked to identify all the levels of the central nervous system where a single unilateral lesion could produce all of the listed symptoms. Students who give the correct response are allowed to proceed to the next case; those with an incorrect response are drilled on the routes of the specific pathways within the nervous system corresponding to each symptom listed in the case. They are then taught to localize the lesion by identifying all sites where the pathways are near each other. The individual symptoms are repeated in various combinations scattered throughout the tutorial, so students learn the pathways corresponding to each symptom. The general reasoning approach—identify the pathways and then find the sites where all the pathways are near each other—is reinforced with each new case.

New Interactive Learning Experiences (NILE) Initiative, Sherrie Kossoudji,

The NILE is a college curriculum for a diverse and distributed student body carried out without a separate “distance learning” structure by integrating all students and faculty, whether on-campus or not, into a single Internet-based community. The NILE initiative creates as many means of communication as possible between students and instructors, among instructors and among students. Students and instructors within a learning community then choose strategies for fulfilling a course’s requirements. While the physical classroom still exists, the course Web site is the location of many of the course’s activities, and is a repository for all of the course’s resources. Students can access the syllabus, assignments, data sets, lecture notes, presentations and many other resources anytime through the Internet. They submit assignments and take quizzes on the Web. More important than its archival capabilities is the fact that the course Web site itself is a lively “locus of activity,” including discussions, study groups and office hours.

One Sky, Many Voices, Nancy Songer,

More than 11,000 largely urban middle school students and teachers can collaboratively study current storms, hurricanes and other atmospheric science events through the help of the One Sky, Many Voices project. Now in its eighth year, the project team works locally with the Detroit Public Schools and hundreds of other schools nationwide to better understand which science content, models of learning environments, teacher support and state-of-the-art technologies help classrooms embrace the study of current scientific events. Software tools include a director-created Internet browser for retrieving current visualizations, archived imagery and movies, and Web-based message boards. The tools allow customized viewing of a variety of real-time images and message board conversations with peers and experts. Student activities include: tracking and predicting current hurricanes with National Hurricane Center scientists; studying current fronts and having collaborative discussions about another school’s weather; collecting, sharing and critiquing weather data; and developing content-rich explanations for a variety of weather phenomena.

Refugee Caselaw Site, James Hathaway,

The Refugee Caselaw Web site enables transnational analysis of substantive refugee law by advocates, decision-makers and policy-makers committed to the effective implementation of international standards. The site collects, indexes and publishes selected court decisions since 1987 that define the status (i.e. who qualifies for refugee status) of refugees. It contains cases from the highest national courts of five English-speaking common law jurisdictions, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand.

Research Laboratory for Electronic Commerce (e-Lab), Michael Gordon,

The e-Lab at the Business School provides a broad perspective on the way work and commerce are being transformed by electronic technology. It is dedicated to the study, conduct and teaching of commerce and electronic business. Participants in e-Lab are studying ways in which organizations are harnessing computer and information technology to invent new business models, better serve customers and interact more effectively with each other. The e-Lab allows research on Web-based technologies that enable business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce, as well as complementary technologies closely linked to these endeavors, such as enterprise resource planning systems, database and telecommunication technologies, and technologies that augment or replace decision making.

Sports Biomechanics Cyber Learning Option, Christine Brooks,

The Sports Biomechanics Cyber Learning Option is a multimedia interactive learning environment designed to cultivate an appreciation of the physics of sports by future physical education teachers, coaches and athletic trainers. Learning takes place by means of visual, interactive, audio and participation activities. The software design applies the constructionist theory of learning to empower students so they can overcome their fear of physics and thus become better physical education teachers, coaches and athletic trainers.

The Challenge—CARDIAX, Richard Judge,

Multi-media simulation ensures that each medical student has direct contact with a core set of important cardiovascular health problems, and knows how to use basic examination skills to properly select more extensive tests. Clear that clinical competency in cardiovascular diagnosis requires practical skills as well as information. Skills grow only with practice and only when performance is accompanied by adequate feedback. Currently, there is evidence of insufficient skills. The discrepancy between the possible and the actual (for clinical cardiovascular skills) is important. It affects both cost and quality. Computer technology has the potential for remediation, since it can provide practice with adequate realism and with feedback. Cardiax was designed as a step to address this problem.

The Medical Readiness Trainer (MRT), Dag Von Lubitz,

The MRT concept has been developed to provide comprehensive answers to the challenges of modern medical education and training of medical novices, senior clinicians and multi-specialty medical teams. The highly realistic functions of the MRT incorporate the critical aspects of clinical medicine—integration of the observed clinical facts with the body of theoretical knowledge as the basis for appropriate diagnosis; diagnosis-based treatment of the illness and its modification based on progression, complications or unexpected events. The MRT is capable of introducing elements of stress, such as time limits, environmental distractions, fatigue, etc. The “teach or treat dilemma” of training in the treatment of life-threatening diseases may result in the inadequate exposure of the trainees (both senior students and residents) to an adequate level of the “hands-on” practice. In order to perform highly complex functions and satisfy all requirements of the modern medical training, the MRT combines human patient simulators and fully immersive virtual reality. Fusion of these superficially incompatible technologies recreates the “real life” world of clinical medicine and most of its “adrenaline discharging” challenges.

The Social Work Virtual Classroom, Brett Seabury, and

The nation’s first Internet-based doctoral course in social work teaches not only the core curriculum, but includes techniques on how to deliver that core content remotely, preparing the students to use technology aggressively when they become teachers. Twelve graduate students enrolled in this course on social work education to learn and simultaneously experience how information technology can be employed in social work education. The course employed a number of information technologies so that students in cyberspace could experience all aspects of the in-class presentations and discussions. They also could interact with each other and their instructor outside of the classroom. The components of the virtual course included a course Web page, conferencing tools, links to other Web sites and electronic resources, classroom PowerPoint presentations, audio-video segments shown in the class session and a “chat” tool.

Web-Based Nursing Administration Program, Terri Adams,

The program is designed to prepare nurses to manage and coordinate patient care services across the continuum of health care delivery. The curriculum, which integrates knowledge and research from the disciplines of nursing, management and business, offers students opportunities to study and apply concepts and techniques that address the pressing issues and challenges in today’s managed care environments. Students work with outstanding nurse managers and executives in a variety of organizational settings, and are mentored by highly regarded faculty through Web-based activities. Clinical experiences are individualized to build on the background and prior experiences students bring into the program as well as the career goals they are planning to achieve. The curriculum provides demanding material in managed care and case management, and integrated delivery systems to students unable to travel to the main campus.

Web-Based Quizzes in Therapeutic Sciences, Rosemary Berardi,

The Web-Based Quizzes in Therapeutic Sciences uses U-M quizzes to assess student understanding of material before class so that instructors can focus on the most relevant material in class. Therapeutics builds on the basic biological, pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences. Emphasis is placed on the development of pharmaceutical care plans that enable the student to recommend therapy and to evaluate and monitor the efficacy and safety of medications. The quizzes help achieve the goals for a newly-designed course—goals include increasing class preparedness and student responsibility for learning without overwhelming students, encouraging the participation of all students and developing problem solving skills.

For more detailed information on these projects, click on the “search” tool and the “2000 Collection” at the Smithsonian Web site,