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

The Whiteboard Report
July 2001, Issue #8



Education System 'Discover Our Earth' for High School, College Students
July 2001--Cornell University's 'Collection and Distribution of Geoscience (Solid Earth) Data Sets for the National Science Digital Library Project' has developed a prototype web-based interactive geoscience education system: DISCOVER OUR EARTH now available for public viewing. DISCOVER OUR EARTH pages utilize the most common earth science data sets available within Cornell's Geoscience Information System, and are being developed around the theme of plate tectonics. The system is currently being evaluated and updated. It provides basic knowledge for educators and students, and two java-based learning modules, QUEST (Quick Use Earth Study Tool), and GEOID (Geoscience Interactive Data Sets). An Instructor's Guide provides scientific information for educators including suggested teaching scenarios of QUEST in classroom studies. Simple descriptions, pictures, and mpeg movies allow students to interactively query, analyze, and visualize data and selections. Targeted users are high school and early college students as well as the general public.

E-print Archive arXiv Comes to Cornell
July 2001--Dr. Paul Ginsparg will join the Cornell University faculty this fall bringing arXiv with him. In establiishing the arXiv e-print archive in 1991 Dr. Ginsparg has led the transformation of scientific publication and the understanding of the potential for information technology to revolutionize scientific communication. Research associate Simeon Warner will complete the archive transition by December with assistance from the Faculty of Computing and Information and the Cornell University Library. The British science journal Nature will publish an article about Dr. Ginsparg's move to Cornell later this month.

National Engineering Education Delivery System (NEEDS), a SMETE.ORG Partner, Announces the 2001 Premier Award
July 2001--National Engineering Education Delivery System (NEEDS), a SMETE.ORG Partner, Announces the 2001 Premier AwardNEEDS and founding sponsor John Wiley & Sons are accepting submissions for the 2001 Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education. This national award recognizes outstanding, high-quality courseware designed to enhance engineering education. The Premier Award uses criteria developed with the help of national experts to evaluate courseware. Now in it's fifth year, the Premier Award seeks submissions for the 2001 competition.

Museum Collections and the NSDL
July 2001--On June 1 representatives from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Digital Library Program (NSDL) projects met in Washington at the ILMS Digital Library Forum to discuss strategies for cooperation around how IMLS collections might integrate and collaborate with the NSDL. Discussion notes can be found at plus links to background materials.The IMLS/NSDL discussion continued at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) sponsored by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE CS) June 24-28.

House Science Committee Passes Math and Science Education Improvement Bills
July 2001--On June 13 The House Science Committee passed two bills that create programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen K-12 science and math education. Colleges, universities and businesses will be encouraged to bring their extensive resources and expertise to bear in public schools and the legislation seeks to ensure that the nation's classrooms have the brightest and best-prepared teachers. Both bills, H.R. 1858, National Mathematics and Science Partnerships Act; and H.R. 100, National Science Education Act, passed by voice vote.Chairman Boehlert introduced H.R. 1858, which would authorize Mathematics and Science Partnerships, similar to those proposed by President George W. Bush; create new scholarships to attract top college junior and senior math and science majors into teaching; and establish four new university centers for research into teaching and learning.H.R. 100, introduced by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), passed the Committee without amendment. Ehlers praised the passage of the bill saying, 'There is a huge need for improvements of K-12 math and science education. This bill will provide the opportunity and funding for a master teacher program that will also help improve math and science education to all school systems in the U.S.'

NSDL Meeting Scheduled
July 2001--The second NSDL all-projects meeting is planned for the weekend of September 21-23 in Washington,DC. Gerald Hanley from the MERLOT project will chair an organizing committee for the meeting. More details will be available from him and his team as planning progresses.

Java Building Blocks Collection for Interactive K-12 Mathematics Education
July 2001--Visit The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for Interactive Mathematics.These Java applets and other virtual manipulatives cover mathematics appropriate to grades K-12, with a special emphasis on K-8. Users may browse by grade band or by math topic: number and operations; algebra; geometry; measurement; and data analysis and probability.Each activity is linked to the corresponding National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards it addresses. Investigative questions related to each activity, and a teacher information page for each activity featuring lesson plans and tips on how to implement the applets in the classroom are being developed.Utah State University developers, Lawrence Cannon, James Dorward, Joel Duffin, Leo Edwards, E. Robert Heal, and Richard Wellman have been working with NSF's Instructional Architect project to provide IMS compliant metadata.

Born Digital
July 2001--Wired News, June 18--'This Library's 'Born Digital',' by Katie Dean highlights Cornell's scaleable technology model for the National Science Digital Library Project (NSDL) 'SITE for Science.'SITE for Science features include: Library sections of interest to a variety of visitors; easy navigation to essential services; exhibits of interest: What's New in SITE for Students, SITE for Teachers, and News; Library tours: SITE for Science and NSDL Partners; Tools and services: contribute a resource, search across collections, browse collections; and 'My SITE,' a portal personalization environment that guides users through entering, storing, retrieving, and editing up to four pages of information.



Scirus 'For Scientific Infomation Only'
July 2001--'Scirus distinguishes itself from existing search engines by concentrating on scientific content only and by searching both Web and membership sources. It enables scientists, students and anyone searching for scientific information to chart and pinpoint data, locate university sites, and find reports and articles in a clutter-free, user-friendly and efficient manner,' A visual analysis of Elsevier's Scirus by Peter Jasco is online at . Full text of article is in Information Today, June 2001.

Towards a Global Digital Library
July 2001--In May researchers and practitioners in the field of digital libraries from around the world met at the 12th International Conference on New Information Technology in Beijing, China marking the beginning of the collaborative development of a global digital library. Dr. Andy Dong, Dir. of Technology Research for SMETE.ORG, moderated a session on digital library development and presented a talk on the mission and progress of the Alliance and the NSDL core integration projects. Other NSDL and DLI-2 program representatives who presented were Ed Fox, Virginia Tech, Reagan Moore, San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Terry Smith, Alexandria Digital Library Project.

Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Report on 'Scholars Portal'
July 2001--Members of the ARL working group Sarah Thomas, Cornell University Librarian, and Brian Schottlaender, UC San Diego University Librarian, each presented papers on June 18 at the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services President's Program at the American Library Association Annual Conference. Both argued for the need to develop a single access point to a wide array of information sources.

July 2001--According to the Department of Education American schoolchildren have faster internet connections and spend more time online than Japanese students.
July 2001--News, tutorials, interviews, classifieds for people who believe that every single pixel should go out looking good.

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