Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
March 2007, Issue #112



NSDL Engineering Pathway Highlights Women in Science and Engineering
Engineering Pathway PI Alice M. Agogino, the Roscoe and Elizabeth Hughes Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, co-authored the 2006 National Academies Press report Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering with Donna E. Shalala, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and President of the University of Miami. Dr. Agogino will give a keynote talk about the report for the American Physical Society Annual Meeting to be held April 14-17, 2007 in Jacksonville, FL

Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, NPR,and even Rush Limbaugh. This attention has made the report the most commented-on Engineering Pathway resource with 55 comments so far--add your opinions and comments at

In honor of Women's History month, the Engineering Pathway has also focused attention on Gender Equity resources and the Women in Information Technology sub-collection. Add your comments here:

Notes From a Digital Libraries Go To School (DLGTS) Participant
On March 10 Cornell Physics and Astronomy Librarian Pat Viele participated in an NSDL Digital Libraries Go To School (DLGTS) training session offered by Sarah Giersch at the OCM BOCES training center in Syracuse, New York.

Participants in DLGTS in-service and pre-service, science and math, middle and high school workshops are introduced to the National Science Digital Library ( with a tutorial, and then receive instruction on assembling NSDL resources into web-based learning activities using the Instructional Architect (IA) tool

Ms. Viele serves on the Professional Concerns Committee for the American Association of Physics Teachers. Last summer the committee held "cracker barrel sessions" for high school teachers to learn about what they needed for classroom instruction. Having access to useful collections of lesson plans and professional development opportunities were two of their concerns. She attended the workshop because the Instructional Architect tool offered a good intermediate step in making these types of resources available to teachers until a more formal structure can be established.

Ms. Viele created projects (or collections) of web sites and shared them with fellow librarians at Cornell. If you go to this link,
click on "browse teacher projects," and type in "Viele," you will find descriptions of three projects attributed to "pat the librarian" about professional development, science careers, and lesson plans. Ms. Viele subsequently suggested to her colleagues that they forward lesson plans for her to add to her projects. She also uses Connotea to collect these materials

Related Link:

FOR TEACHERS: NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar 9: Teach Engineering
Create more dynamic and interactive lessons through the real-world application of science and mathematics in your classroom on Thursday April 10, 6:30-8:00 ET! The NSDL Engineering Pathway provides a host of free K-12 lesson plans, hands-on activities, and interactive's with detailed instructions and simple-to-follow ideas that demonstrate ways to develop your students' problem solving and critical thinking skills. Engineers have a hand in designing, creating or modifying nearly everything we touch, wear, eat, see and hear. By introducing engineering into the K-12 classroom through hands-on, inquiry-based approaches, you connect science and math concepts to the everyday engineering that surrounds youth. This seminar will showcase resources and show participants the value of utilizing digital collections specifically designed to help teachers incorporate quality engineering content into traditional science and math curriculum.

Related Link:

Save the date: NSDL Annual Meeting 2007
The NSDL Annual Meeting will be held November 6-8, 2007 at the Westin in Arlington, Virginia. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information.



Librarian of Congress Testimony
On March 20, 2007 Dr. James H. Billington, The Librarian of Congress, offered testimony before the House Subcommittee on Legislative Branch of the U.S. House of Representatives. He outlined the overall vision and strategy with which the Library of Congress has been addressing the challenge of digital technology and described both the goals and challenges ahead. Add your comments here:

Related Link:

NSF's New Cyberinfrastructure Vision Document is Available
Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery is a sweeping call to reimagine: 1) Cyberinfrastructure resources, tools and related services such as supercomputers, high-capacity mass-storage systems, system software suites and programming environments, scalable interactive visualization tools, productivity software libraries and tools, large-scale data repositories and digitized scientific data management systems, networks of various reach and granularity and an array of software tools and services that hide the complexities and heterogeneity of contemporary cyberinfrastructure while seeking to provide ubiquitous access and enhanced usability, and; 2) The preparation and training of current and future generations of researchers and educators to use cyberinfrastructure to further their research and education goals, while also supporting the scientific and engineering professionals who create and maintain these IT-based resources and systems and who provide essential customer services to the national science and engineering user community. The vision document was developed by the National Science Foundation's Cyberinfrastructure Council.

Second Annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration Announced
The 2007 MATC Awards site is now accepting nominations at
Note the much earlier deadline this year, of April 16.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced the second annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC).The Mellon Awards, in values of $50,000 and $100,000, honor not-for-profit organizations for leadership in the collaborative development of open source software tools with particular application to higher education and not-for-profit activities. More information on the awards, including a listing of last year's winners and the 2007 online nomination form, is available at

The awards will be presented at the Fall Task Force meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, DC on 13 December 2007, by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and the inventor of the World Wide Web. The recipients will be selected by the MATC Award Committee, which included Berners-Lee, Mitchell Baker (CEO, Mozilla Corporation), John Seely Brown (former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp.), Vinton G. Cerf (Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, Inc.), John Gage (Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, Sun Microsystems, Inc.), and Tim O'Reilly (Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media). For more information, please contact Christopher J. Mackie at

Related Link:

Free Web Seminar: Practical Implications of New Research on Earthquake Engineering
The Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) have teamed together to offer a free online webinar that addresses how to mitigate earthquake risk in woodframe construction. "The NEESWood Project: Performance Based Seismic Designs for Mid-Rise Woodframe Construction" will focus on NEESWood research implications including:

--What happened when a two-story townhouse, mounted on twin shake tables, was subjected to earthquake simulations
--How new earthquake engineering analysis software will influence earthquake damage evaluation
--What types of performance-based seismic designs are proving effective for woodframe buildings
--Next steps for research, including six-story building shake table tests

Each topic will be presented from the research angle by John W. van de Lindt, Colorado State University, and then Kelly Cobeen, Cobeen & Associates, will address how each topic and the project as a whole may influence earthquake engineering practice.

You may participate live via WebEx on Wednesday, April 4 at either 12 - 1:30 Eastern or 12 - 1:30 Pacific time, in person at NEES headquarters in Davis, CA at noon Pacific time, or you may download it after April 4. To register for any of these options, please visit

Related Link:

First International Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Scholarly Publishing Conference, July 11 - 13, 20
The conference will provide opportunities for those involved in the organization, promotion, and study of scholarly communication to share and discuss innovative work in scholarly publishing, with a focus on the contribution that open source publishing technologies can make to improving access to research and scholarship on a global and public scale.

John Willinsky, the founder of PKP will provide the opening keynote address. Raym Crow from SPARC will speak on publishing cooperatives and the various forms they might take for nonprofit publishers, including societies, university presses, and universities themselves. We are also pleased to welcome Anurag Acharya, Google Scholar's founding engineer. Michael Geist will close the conference with his thoughts on the changes and challenges that lie ahead in the fields of communications, knowledge creation, and intellectual property.

Related Link:

In the NSDL Whiteboard Report 111, March 15, 2007, "Now in NSDL: MIT Opencourseware Materials" news item Brandon Muramatsu was incorrectly identified. He is the Associate Director, Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL) at Utah State University.


Best Geek Hotels,br> You won't hear Johnny Paycheck crooning "It's Motel Time Again" in the background at the Tribeca Grand, or in any of "Hotel Chatter's" good geek picks. You can, however, plug your iPod into a bedside Bose Sound Dock, borrow a pre-loaded version from the front desk, or perhaps mash-up your own tracks in the fully equipped "iStudio."
Related Link:

Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain