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

The Whiteboard Report
April 2003, Issue #29



Top Teen Scientists Honored At Intel Science Talent Search
April 2003-- Ten of the nation's brightest high school seniors received scholarships as high as $100,000 at the Intel Science Talent Search (STS), America's oldest science competition. Projects among this year's Top 10 winners include identifying factors that contribute to the increase in cockroach allergy-induced asthma observed in inner city areas and a study that discovered a previously unidentified plateau on Venus that could lead to better understanding of the planet's formation. Jamie Rubin, 16, of Canterbury School in Fort Myers, FL, won top honors and a $100,000 scholarship in the Intel STS, often considered the "junior Nobel Prize." Rubin identified small molecules that could be useful as targeted treatment for infections caused by Candida albicans. This yeast can cause severe infections, especially in patients with compromised immune systems such as those with AIDS or cancer. Rubin was inspired by her volunteer work with patients at Hope Hospice in her hometown. "Many Intel STS finalists will go on to have distinguishing science careers, perhaps one day solving a fundamental scientific challenge or making a scientific breakthrough that helps improve people's lives," said Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive officer. "Intel STS students, their teachers, schools, and parents exemplify what the country and our businesses need -- a passion for science and math." For more information on Science Service and the Intel STS, visit --Triangle Coalition Electronic Bulletin, March 9, Number 11
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Controversial Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Provision Up For Review
April 2003-- The U.S. Copyright Office is currently conducting a "rulemaking proceeding" to examine whether the Librarian of Congress will exempt certain classes of works from the one of the most controversial aspects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA): section 1201, which prohibits the circumvention of encryption protections on copyrighted works. But after a previous prescribed rulemaking proceeding in 2000, librarians say they know what to expect this time: nothing. The proceeding is mandated by the DMCA, offering the Librarian of Congress the opportunity to tweak aspects of the legislation that appear to have negative effects. In this case, that could mean exempting libraries from section 1201. Although librarians and their allies have posted a wide array of comments opposing the anti-circumvention provision of the DMCA, Miriam Nisbet, ALA legislative counsel, said such an exemption was unlikely. "We're expecting little to come of it," she said of the forthcoming hearings. Nisbet said that, while Librarians of Congress James Billington has signaled some sympathy with librarians' arguments on the matter, Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights, appears to favor a more narrow view of section 1201, one that would not allow an exemption. Since the law's inception, librarians have vigorously opposed section 1201, arguing that it gives content owners the right not only to dictate how one can use a piece of intellectual property but also the format of that property. Librarians say that the provision could one day force libraries to consistently purchase software or hardware to view content they have already bought. Despite the unlikely prospect that libraries will be exempted from section 1201 during the current rulemaking process, Nisbet was upbeat, citing the introduction of the Digital Media Consumers Rights Act, (see LJ Academic Newswire 10/08/02), co- sponsored by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA). That bill would make it legal to break encryption for personal, non-infringing copying of digital media. In addition, On March 4, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) introduced the Balance Act of 2003, a bill that would allow consumers and other owners of digital media to make copies of their content--from including, music, books, and movies--for their own use. Nisbet said that suggested that library community has slowly but surely been making headway on copyright issues. "Many more people are talking about these issues than were in 2002, and many more since 1998 when the DMCA was passed," she said. To view the comments posted on behalf of the library community for the upcoming rulemaking proceeding, visit Journal Academic News Wire, March 25, 2003
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Children's Internet Protection Act Case in the Supreme Court
April 2003-- A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments March 5 on the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) of 2000, which has been blocked by legal challenges by the American Library Association (ALA) and others. CIPA would require public and school libraries receiving federal E- rate telecomm discounts or Library Services and Technology Act funds for computers to filter all Internet terminals. U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, representing the government, attempted to liken filtering the Internet to classic book selection, saying libraries should have the right to control what comes into their premises. Paul Smith, on behalf of ALA, argued that, unlike with the limited selection of books, the Internet at the library is a "public forum"--as can be streets or shopping malls--where one type of content can't be disfavored. Smith also stressed the unreliability of filters. At one point Olson claimed that only 1/200th of one percent of Internet was blocked; later, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminded the audience that the lower court in the case, which found for the ALA, used the term "substantial overblocking." A decision is expected by July.--Library Journal Academic News Wire, March 6, 2003

Harvard-Smithsonian Digital Video Library
April 2003-- The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061, will establish a library of 350 hours of digital video materials supporting STEM education. These video clips will include clinical interviews of student ideas, demonstrations of phenomena, case studies of instruction or research, and interviews with experts. We are currently mining our entire collection of over 3,500 hours of video and tagging the materials according to their applicability to the NRC National Science Education Standards, AAAS Benchmarks, and state and local standards. An advisory board meeting is scheduled to convene May 1, 2003 for review of a prototype. For more information, please see our website at
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Project News from The Data Discovery Toolkit and Foundry
April 2003-- The Data Discovey Toolkit and Foundry invites all NSDL collections and services that offer data and/or model resources to NSDL users to explore the potential for creating user applications that bring these data/models to their users. A new user-friendly portal to the Foundry is under construction. All NSDL projects are welcome to join the Foundry. All Foundry code is open to NSDL use.
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Announcing the Launch of the Innovative Curriculum Online Network (ICON)
April 2003-- International Technology Education Association's (ITEA) standards-based national digital library for technological literacy. ITEA is partnering with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) on this NSF-supported project. ICON is a collection of carefully selected standards-based resources that enhance the teaching of technology. It is more than an electronic card catalog. The number of resources will continue to grow. Please consider contributing to the collection by suggesting resources at the link provided at the ICON home page. ICON takes the user directly to the digital resource. This library can be searched by technology concepts, grade levels, or key words. ICON (> was officially launched at the ITEA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, March 13-15, 2003. There was a special interest session on Thursday, March 13th that was received with overwhelming positive feedback and commitments to contribute to the collection. ITEA, in collaboration with ENC, sponsored a booth in the conference exhibit area featuring a hands-on experience with ICON. For more information about ICON contact Quentin Briggs at ENC, (614) 292-3438, fax: (614) 292-2066,, or Len Sterry at ITEA, (703) 860-2100, fax: (703) 860-0353,
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The Collaboration Finder Wants You!
April 2003-- About 30% of NSDL projects have entered their project data in The Collaboration Finder located at Have you completed your entry? Projects are encouraged to complete their entries--it takes less than 15 minutes! Through its "Friend-Get-A-Friend" program, the Collaboration Finder also encourages each project that completes information to contact another project and encourage that project to complete its project information. Remember, The Collaboration Finder is *searchable* and you can browse and search the entries for other projects as well as share information about your own. We're hoping to get as many projects as possible to complete their entries by April 14. For more information, please contact Marcia Mardis (, Collaboration Bureau coordinator. Your contribution is important to and appreciated by the NSDL community.
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NSDL Communications Portal Revamp Underway
April 2003-- Efforts are underway to revamp the Communication Portal (> CI staff are currently working with Bruce Caron, Art Clifford, Kaye Howe, Chris Klaus, Cathy Manduca, Flora McMartin, Brandon Muramatsu, Rajul Pandya, Frank Settle, Sebastian Uijtdehaage, Chris Walker, and Dave Yaron to determine NSDL community requirements and needs in updating portal functions. We have completed a review of potential software, expect to complete user requirements gathering soon, and move on to selecting software and prototyping the user interface within the next month. Our goal is to replace the current SourceForge environment by fall. The CI team includes Dean Krafft, Elly Cramer, Alex Chaux, Casey Jones, and Susan Jesuroga.
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Project Management
April 2003-- In order to create a successful NSDL program, we are all challenged to leverage our efforts on the strengths and accomplishments of many groups. A major task for the CI team is to integrate the work of these many groups, which currently includes over 100 NSF-funded projects. To help coordinate these diverse efforts, including CI team members, as well as NSDL project efforts, CI management has assigned Susan Jesuroga to perform project management to track various requirements, development, and integration activities. Susan will continue her work with projects to understand their specific needs in becoming a successful partner in NSDL.

NSDL Targets K-12 Educators with New CD-ROM and Brochure
April 2003-- NSDL Core Integration has developed several new promotional items designed to provide K-12 educators with an introduction to the NSDL and its partner projects. NSDL Collections Sampler, Volume 1: Earth's Atmosphere, is the first in a series of CDs featuring collections and resources around a central topic. Developed in partnership with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC), the CD spotlights the multimedia resources and lesson plans of the Atmospheric Visualization Collection from Argonne National Laboratory. In addition, this disk includes a flash tour of the NSDL, links to other NSDL collections and items related to atmospheric science, and information for educators about the relevancy of NSDL in the K-12 classroom. Special thanks to ENC and Chris Klaus at Argonne for their inspiration and assistance. The brochure provides a general overview of the NSDL and its vision for science education. Please contact Susan Van Gundy ( or 303-497-2946) if you are interested in receiving copies of the CD or brochure for your review, or for redistribution at conferences, etc.

Library Journalfeatures NSDL in "Science Portals"
April 2003-- 'The Internet offers a wide range of materials to help teachers and students with science education. The problem is finding them. Anyone seeking science information must either search an index such as Google or browse a large number of individual web sites. Both strategies are problematic, as Google can return false drops or links to nonauthoritative sites, while browsing is extremely inefficient.' Read the article at Click on "Digital Libraries." -- Roy Tennant, Science Portals, Library Journal, March 15, 2003.
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Systems Watch at
April 2003-- Dean Eckstrom joined the NSDL Core Integration team in March. He hails from Cornell University Computer Science Systems Administration where he was instrumental in building and troubleshooting a vast server farm. His initial focus will be on expanding and improving many aspects of the systems environment at Dean can be reached at

Whiteboard ReportNews
April 2003-- The May issue of Whiteboard Report will introduce a new "NSDL Profiles" section of the newsletter. Each month Whiteboard will highlight one or two different NSDL projects. "NSDL Profiles" will be cataloged and available through Project leaders as well as participants from the NSDL Community are encouraged to send research news and notes of interest of 100 words or less with web links to additional information to Whiteboard Report. Please send your submissions to
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NSDL Annual Meeting Planning
April 2003-- The Fourth Annual NSDL Meeting 2003 is October 12-15. The 2003 Annual Meeting Planning Committee is currently in the process of creating strands and sessions for the meeting. Feedback from the 2002 Annual Meeting demonstrated a community desire for more "Birds of a Feather" sessions. The Planning Committee wants to provide these sessions but would like more feedback regarding groupings. That is, what are the "Birds of a Feather" groupings? Please go to the URL below to elaborate more on how such sessions should work, what sorts of groupings you would like, and any other relevant information. We appreciate your input in helping us plan this year's meeting. For your information the Capital Hilton, at 1001 16th Street NW in Washington, has been selected as the site of the Fourth Annual NSDL Meeting. The Capital Hilton, which has agreed to the $150 government rate, has 16 meeting rooms totaling 24,000 square feet of meeting space, all on one level. The hotel is in downtown Washington, close to the Metro and a variety of restaurants and other amenities.
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Invitation to Participate in the MERLOT International Conference 2003
April 2003-- Hosted by eduSource ( Canada, the MERLOT International Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, British Columbia, August 5 - 8, 2003 and will focus on "Meeting Today's Challenges through Collaboration, Community and Concrete Approaches to Academic Technology." The Conference provides forums for learning about shared content, peer reviews, learning objects, standards, and online communities. We welcome participation by the entire international higher education community. MERLOT is endorsed by NLII/EDUCAUSE, and is partially sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Individuals are not required to be affiliated with a MERLOT institution to attend or present at the conference. Nor do presentations need to address MERLOT specifically. Presentations from those engaged in the faculty development issues surrounding the MERLOT collection, use and evaluation of digital learning materials in the context of other projects are encouraged and welcomed. Important Merlot Conference links: 1. Submission Information: Deadline, April 18, 2003 Call for Presentations: Submission Guide: Available March 10, 2003 2. General Conference Information: 3. Registration Information: Available March 31, 2003 4. Hotel and Travel: 5. Vancouver, B.C.:
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The Whiteboard Report
April 2003-- The 6th NKOS Workshop will be held in connection with the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in Houston, TX on May 31. This workshop will focus on the transformation of traditional knowledge organization systems (KOSs), such as classification schemes and thesauri, to new forms of knowledge representation such as ontologies, topic maps, and semantic Web components, where relationships between concepts are richer and more extensive and in which the requirements of computer processing are met. The session will include discussion of the contribution of principles from more traditional practices to the design of new knowledge organization systems and exploitation of the extensive intellectual capital available in traditional KOSs in the development of new forms of KOSs. Registration information and program details is available at
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2003 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) WebShop? Conference and Exposition
April 2003-- You are invited to participate in the NOAA WebShop, 2002 Conference and Exposition to be held at the Raintree Hotel and Conference Center in Longmont, Colorado, from June 3-6, 2003. Please refer to the website,, for specific participation and registration information. For the past three years, NOAA Research has hosted this conference to provide a collaborative forum for a national network of web developers, designers, managers and contributors. This year, NOAA Research has extended the program participation to all NOAA employees and partners. The program is structured into two tracks, Content & Presentation and Technical & Administration, as well as General Sessions to address global issues affecting all web professionals, including national E-Government initiatives, and a panel discussion with the NOAA CIO Council. Content for these sessions is based on the talents and experiences of the participants and is formulated through a formal Call for Presentations and Tutorials. The final program agenda will be posted on the website in early May.
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Getting linked makes a difference.
April 2003-- A news story about NSDL was featured in eSchoolNews at on March 1, 2003. This created a noticeable traffic increase bringing many visitors to during the week of March 15-22:
Day Visits Pages Hits
03 Mar 2003 252 2491 8630
04 Mar 2003 247 2358 8074
05 Mar 2003 252 2559 9660
06 Mar 2003 251 2454 9623
07 Mar 2003 216 2348 8045
08 Mar 2003 88 1683 2824
09 Mar 2003 120 1903 4991
10 Mar 2003 347 3076 12658
11 Mar 2003 419 2357 12936

Several webcrawlers such as "Googlebot" have been spotted at recently. Dynamic portal page construction causes most webcrawlers to harvest data unproductively, and can waste considerable processing resources for both NSDL and the webcrawler. For the interim 'robot.txt' instructions have been placed on the server to discourage webcrawling.
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NSF Cyberinfrastructure Report Released
April 2003-- In January, the National Science Foundation Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure released a report on "Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure." Dan Atkins (Michigan) chaired the panel, which recommended that NSF "establish and lead a large-scale, interagency, and internationally coordinated Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Program (ACP) to create, deploy, and apply cyberinfrastructure in ways that radically empower all scientific and engineering research and allied education." The panel characterizes its recommendation to NSF as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the revolution in science and engineering." The [May ARL Membership Meeting program] will include a discussion of the report and its implications for research libraries by David Messerschmitt, Roger Strauch Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Blue-Ribbon Panel.
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Ag Science Youth Outreach
April 2003-- The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is working with other Federal agencies through the Office of Science and Technology Policy presented activities for "Excellence in Science, Technology and Math Education" (ESTME) Week during the week of March 16-22, 2003. The ESTME Week launched a nationwide initiative to inform and excite K-12 students about the wealth of opportunities for discovery and exploration afforded through math and science education. On March 21, National Ag Day, Secretary Veneman recognized three young people who were the national award winners from the USDA-CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) sponsored Essay Contest. More than 840 middle school students throughout the nation submitted essays last fall on the "Boundless Science for Bountiful Agriculture" theme.
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Textbook Publishers Try Online Education
April 2003-- "Two of the leading publishers of educational textbooks have bolstered their digital efforts by launching online learning networks in the past six months. But the differences between their two strategies demonstrate that it may take years before education companies discover the best way to extend their franchises online in a way supported by a viable business model." -- Cybertimes Education By Susan Stellin, [], March 8, 2003.
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One Community's Approach: Information Environment Issues
April 2003-- The final report of the National Institute of Mental Health workshop on "Data Archiving for Animal Cognition Research" has been published in the journal _Animal Learning & Behavior_ (2002, vol. 30., pp. 405-412). As different scholarly communities engage the potential of the networked information environment for data sharing and data archiving they need to address a wide variety of complex questions ranging from the technical (such as data interchange standards) to the cultural (attribution, provenance, privacy, appropriate use, etc). Here is a report of one community's consideration of the issues; it may be of value either for the specific disciplinary issues it considers, or just as a example of how one community has approched the issues. -- Clifford Lynch, Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).
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Pay by the Drink
April 2003-- Cornell University officials have developed a new "pay by the drink" billing system that will charge students and employees incrementally for Internet use as a way of controlling what officials call "irrational consumption" of bandwidth.--Daily Report fromThe Chronicle of Higher Education, March 6, 2003.
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Online Learning Daily This website, authored by Stephen Downes, is intended to represent the next generation of learning, a generation in which we move beyond the idea of "taking classes" or "enrolling in courses" and make the transition in to what might be called, in the full meaning of the term, "continuous professional development." Subscribe at
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Triangle Coalition Electronic Bulletin
April 2003-- The mission of the Triangle Coalition is to foster collaboration among leaders in education, business, and government to improve science, mathematics, and technology education. The Triangle Coalition membership includes business, labor, education, science, mathematics, technology, and engineering organizations, and community and state-based alliances.
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Oprah Picks
April 2003-- Oprah Winfrey has delivered a bit of good news to the slumping publishing industry: Winfrey plans to start a new book club, this one devoted to the classics. Tentatively titled 'Traveling with the Classics,' the new program will probably include three to five authors per year, Winfrey said. The show will travel to authors' places of origin, and Winfrey, who said she would likely pick several books from the same author at one time. The announcement, which elicited enthusiasm from those gathered for the Association of American Publishers' annual meeting, also saw Winfrey stressing the importance of books and reading in her life. With her original book club, an Oprah pick virtually guaranteed a bestseller. -- Library Journal Academic News Wire, March 6, 2003.
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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