29 September 2003

Copyright © 2003 World Expertise LLC – All rights reserved

A periodic electronic newsletter for engineering education leaders,

edited by Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., with Bethany S. Oberst, Ph.D.


1 - International developments

2 - U.S. developments

3 - Distance education, technology


4 - Students, faculty, education

5 – Employment

  6 – Journals



  1 - International developments

Hong Kong Universities to merge? – The government of Hong Kong is exploring the possibility of merging the young Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) with the older and larger Chinese University of Hong Kong , according to an article by Dennis Normile in the September 5th issue of Science. The world class faculty members at the 12 year old HKUST are concerned that such a merger would threaten the qualities that have allowed the school to excel – a tightly focused research agenda and education of a small but selective student body. But government officials are facing a financial crisis, and feel that combining the schools would concentrate limited resources on a smaller number of institutions. Begun in 1991, HKUST is an attempt to bolster Hong Kong ’s historically weak system of higher education and minimal presence in research. The Chinese University of Hong Kong , established in 1963, has strengths in the humanities and social sciences. (See

Welcome mat out in Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education recently announced that they welcome proposals for foreign universities to establish programs in their country.  With a severe shortage of places in existing Saudi universities, foreign institutions would help meet current demand.  The Ministry expressed a distinct preference for American or American-style institutions, which are already familiar to many Saudis. The report was written by Daniel del Castillo for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Effects of Bologna reforms – The Bologna Declaration, signed in 1999 by officials from 29 European countries, has prompted wholesale efforts to change the way higher education is organized in Europe . The content and length of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, the relative value of individual courses,  the assessment of quality, the portability of degrees across national borders, the competitive status of European higher education in the world market, the languages of instruction, teaching styles, the relationship between education and the world of work, tuition levels, all these and more are being challenged in their present form, according to Burton Bollag writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education.  This detailed article points out some of the driving forces behind the Bologna progress – a desire to increase student mobility and an interest in permitting students to enter the labor market more quickly. The main victories for the Bologna process so far have been a convergence around a system of three year bachelor’s degrees and two year master’s, and wide acceptance of the standardized European Credit-Transfer System.  Many other reforms are still being questions, resisted, or openly fought by students or faculty or both.  It is clear to everyone that these reforms are not cosmetic, and if adopted, will alter long-standing notions about academic autonomy, the purposes of higher education, academic pecking orders, and the value of some traditional areas of study.  (See

Unified European research enterprise developing – New developments in European science and technology policy indicate movement toward a unified European research enterprise, according to Donald Kennedy writing in the August 29th issue of Science. Top researchers in Europe are calling for a massive restructuring that would double support for science and technology research, and fund centers of excellence that are regional rather than national. The growth of research collaboration across national boundaries in Europe is encouraged by the Sixth Research Framework Program, which provides a grant mechanism to support work throughout the European Union. One driving force for increased European research support is stemming of a brain drain of young researchers to the US . Research policy is still primarily set by nations in the EU, however, and issues such as the balance between basic and applied research support and research area priorities remain to be resolved. (See

Laotians pedal their way onto the Internet – An international team of 25 engineers, programmers and others have volunteered their time and expertise to bridge the digital divide for a village in Laos , according to an article in IEEE Spectrum by Ashton Applewhite. Rural villagers in Phon Kham -- a poor village of 440 inhabitants with no electricity, no phones, and no running water -- can now pedal onto the Internet via a bicycle-powered computer and an over-the-mountain Wi-Fi network. The system built to bring modern communications to the remote village utilizes a hand built bicycle powered PC to send signals to a solar-powered mountaintop relay station, which sends the signals to the nearest town with phone service and electricity, and from  there to the Internet and the world. The system has global possibilities, and project leaders have already fielded inquiries from 40 countries. (See

Reform measures in Israeli universities create tensions – With the academic year in Israel scheduled to begin at the end of October, the Israeli cabinet has proposed two contentious policy changes.  The first would link budget support for public universities to their compliance with administrative reform measures advocated by a public commission on university governance.  These measures propose, for example, concentrating more authority into the university presidency by eliminating the faculty senate elected position of rector, and giving the presidents authority to appoint deans.  The Inter-Senate Committee has opposed the change.  The second policy change reverses a decision taken three years ago to gradually lower tuition by 50%.  Instead, it proposes to increase tuition by 10%. Students threaten to boycott classes if this is not reversed, according to Haim Watzman, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See


2 - U.S. developments

Damaged US space program examined – The report on the catastrophic failure of the space shuttle Columbia calls for NASA to replace the aging shuttle fleet, and takes the White House and Congress to task for not providing the vision and funding for a robust human space exploration effort. According to an article by Andrew Lawler in the September 5th Science, the document cites a ‘failure of national leadership’, and puts pressure on the politicians to respond with clear goals and funding targets. The 13 member panel investigating the accident went far beyond a technical accident analysis, calling for a review of the entire US human space program and laying out their own set of recommendations. One important recommendation is to replace the remaining fleet of three orbiting shuttles, designed and built in the 1970’s and 1980’s. But the President and the Congress seem unwilling to take bold steps to significantly increase funding for manned space exploration, given other pressures on the federal budget. One congressional staffer has said “The path of least resistance is to make marginal changes to the shuttle, support the space station, and make incremental investments in new technologies”. (See

Air Force Academy abuses ignored – A civilian commission investigating sexual abuse at the US Air Force Academy has reported that top leaders there disregarded persistent warnings over the last decade that frequent and unpunished sexual assaults were undermining the academy, according to an article in the September 23rd New York Times by Diana Jean Schemo. The commission said that sexual assault had been a problem at the academy throughout the last decade, and possibly since women were first admitted in 1976. It criticized an internal Air Force report on rape at the academy, saying that it was an effort to shield Air Force Headquarters from public criticism. Citing repeated warnings to the highest levels of Air Force leadership since at least 1993, the Commission concluded that the Air Force has known of serious sexual misconduct problems at the academy but has failed to take effective action. Air Force official said that they had yet to study the report, but that they were “committed to ensuring the culture at the academy reflects the core values and high standards we expect from each of our members in the Air Force”. (See

White House mandates more peer review – The Bush Administration is proposing to require agencies to peer review all scientific evidence that shapes a major regulatory decision, according to an article in the September 5th Science by Jocelyn Kaiser. According to a White House spokesman, the new guidelines should raise the quality of federal rulemaking and lower the chances that the rules will be overturned in court. Some scientific experts support the new approach, saying that while peer review will not eliminate controversy, it can defuse criticism. But others worry that the change will make it harder for government agencies to issue new regulations. The new guidelines state that for some documents publication in a peer-reviewed journal might be sufficient, while for “especially significant information” an agency might need to assemble outside experts. (See

Pork-barrel projects scrutinized – To the surprise of some observers, directed, non-competitive appropriations, (aka academic earmarks, or pork-barrel projects) grew this year and exceeded the former high of $2 billion.  The new total represents a 10% increase over such funds made available to universities by the US Congress, an increase in the number of institutions receiving such funds, and an increase in the total number of earmarks.  The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology received the largest single earmark ($21 million for an optical astronomy observatory) and the most money in total (approximately $56 million).  The authors of the extensive analysis in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey Brainard and Anne Marie Borrego, point out that there is little evidence that the quality of scientific research has been improved by earmarks, and that ironically, this surge in additional support began in earnest in the late 1990s, when universities had a lot of money of their own to invest in such projects.  While many of the earmarks will be directed to security related projects, some will go to a wide variety of other activities favored by the universities and their local representatives in Congress.  The authors also detail the spread of money across institutions: the rules of the game indicate that if you already have received large federal support, you will receive more earmarks, and that you benefit from being in a state whose representatives serve on appropriations committees.  As the federal deficit expands, and the costs of the recovery of Iraq escalate, perhaps this will rein in the escalating earmarks, or not. (See

States struggle to meet education plan – Many states are struggling to meet the standards of the No Child Left Behind Law, according to an article in the September 17th Wall Street Journal by June Kronholz. In Florida , for example, 2600 schools have failed to meet the benchmark the state set to comply with the law – 87% of the schools in the state. Gauging schools’ performance, the goal of the No Child Left Behind Law, is complicated because states negotiate different standards for what makes their schools proficient. States have begun reporting required student test results only this month, with little good news. In Delaware , 57% of the schools did not meet the federal law’s yearly progress goals; half of Missouri ’s schools and 45% of West Virginia ’s missed their targets. Red faced, the US education department dropped the “failing” label, and instead dubbed them “in need of improvement”. The pressure on states is likely to get even worse as other parts of the law kick in. The law requires the states to raise the grading bar over the next 11 years until everyone is proficient in reading and math. In addition to its student testing provisions, the law requires that states hire only teachers who can prove that they are competent in the subjects they are to teach. The added costs that states predict they will have to pay to implement the law’s provisions has some state legislators discussing opting out of the federal program, and losing the funding that gives Washington its leverage over their schools. (See

More NSF funds proposed for underserved groups – The scientific underprivileged moved up in priority as a Senate panel took its first crack at the 2004 NSF budget, according to an article in the September 12th Science by Jeffrey Mervis. Programs to serve minority students and institutions received especially favorable treatment in the Senate bill – for example $30-million earmarked to help minority serving colleges to purchase computer equipment and train faculty and students to use wireless and other advanced communications technologies. Legislators also told NSF to enlist more minority and women volunteers to review grant proposals. The Senate panel also wants NSF to show progress on its two-decade old effort to help researchers from ‘have not’ states compete with elite universities for NSF funding. (See

Updating C. P. Snow’s ‘Two Cultures’ – Washington has its own version of the type of cultural divide described by C. P. Snow in his 1959 treatise “The Two Cultures”. Snow decried the divide between scientists and literary intellectuals. In an article in the September 18th Washington Post, Rick Weiss states that the current Washington version is a cultural divide between scientists and politicians. He asks ‘how can the nation craft policies in such scientifically complex areas as embryonic stem cell research, global warming, agricultural biotechnology, and star wars missile defense when so many politicians know so little about science and most scientists are clueless about how policy is made’? The writer suggests that the Science and Technology Fellows Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is one major effort to bridge this gap. The 30-year-old AAAS program places about 60 PhD scientists in congressional and executive branch offices each fall for one-year stints. The program gives scientists a chance to explore the world of policy and politics while allowing lawmakers and administration officials to take advantage of the fellows’ technical expertise. One measure of the success of the program is the ubiquity of former fellows inside the Beltway today. For example, ten of the 50 staff members of the House Science Committee are former fellows. The program now attracts ten times as many applicants as it can take in. (See

Managing a $100-billion investment – The US government has established a new panel to improve how it manages its $100-billion a year investment in basic and applied research, according to a note by Jeffrey Mervis in the August 29th Science. The interagency panel, headed by a longtime grants administrator, will examine whether the current system of grants increases collaborative and interdisciplinary research, whether agencies can adopt common practices, and whether the administrative burden can be eased without a loss of accountability. Workshops will be held this fall to gather information from the research community. (See


3 - Distance education, technology

The wireless last mile – In several local instances, broadband service to Internet customers is now being provided via wireless technology, for the critical last mile. As described by Steven Cherry in the September 2003 issue of IEEE Spectrum, wireless metropolitan area networks (MANs) are beginning to do for neighborhoods and villages what Wi-Fi is doing for homes, coffee shops, airports and offices. The technology being used allows Internet connections and end users to bypass their telephone companies. This is yet a third approach to getting broadband service the last mile – competing with DSL and cable. (See

California vs. spam – The state of California has enacted a law that outlaws sending most commercial e-mail messages to anyone in the state who has not explicitly requested them, according to an article by Saul Hansell in the September 24th New York Times. The law is the most wide-reaching of any of the 35 other state laws meant to regulate spam, or any of the proposed bills in Congress. The law, which also prohibits companies inside the state from sending unsolicited e-mail to anyone outside the state, imposes fines of $1000 for each message, up to $1-million for each campaign. Most other state laws, and the proposed federal law, allow unsolicited e-mail until the recipient asks to receive no more. The law is scheduled to take effect on January 1st, but it faces several hurdles. Many of the bills pending in Congress would pre-empt tougher state laws; and it is bound to be challenged on constitutional grounds. But if the law survives such challenges, it could have a significant effect on spam. (See

IT outlays returning -   Corporate IT outlays are at their strongest since early 2000, according to an article by Peter Burrows and Steve Hamm in the September 15th Business Week. According to the Commerce Department, second quarter spending on information-processing gear rose 7.6% over the previous year. It seems as if the long-awaited tech rebound may have arrived at last. Corporate profits are up, and chief information officers report higher spending. Consumer demand for PCs and digital cameras has been brisk for some time, now corporate buyers are starting to weigh in. (See

Voice communications over the Internet – Internet telephony is growing in use, according to an article by Adam Bauman in the September 1st New York Times. Software technology that enables the Internet to route traffic has matured to the point that voice quality is virtually indistinguishable from that of a conventional phone call. Setups that use Internet Protocol technology route voice communications over the same lines as e-mail messages and other data traffic. About 2% of US businesses were using some form of Internet telephony at the end of last year, and projections are that one in five companies will be doing so by 2007. Industry analysts say that the equipment costs of an Internet telephone system are lower than those of a conventional PBX and its handsets. (See

Korean broadband explosion – While the US has supplied a meager form of broadband to 20-million households (about 20% of the total), South Korea has connected some 11-million households (73% of the Korean total) with real multimegabit pipes, according to a Gilder Technology Report printed in Forbes magazine. With that capacity, Koreans now run one-third of their economic transactions through the Internet, from stock trades to banking transactions to retail orders. While most of the technology has originated in the US – digital subscriber lines, cable modems, optical carriers, wireless systems, etc. – the Koreans and Japanese, and increasingly the Chinese, are now rapidly taking over the broadband industry. Korean broadband traffic is up a hundredfold in three years, a nonlinear surge comparable to the US surge in 1995 and 1996. (See

Blackboard in China – Blackboard, a relatively new electronic-learning company, has won a deal in China that has eluded many more seasoned companies, according to an article by Brian Knowlton in the September 1st New York Times. Blackboard has entered into a partnership with a Chinese education company which provides services to more than 1000 universities in China , to create a software platform that will allow professors to post course materials, conduct discussions, and administer tests online. It will furnish Chinese-language versions of the same educational software platforms it has provided to more than 3000 clients to date – 600 of them outside the US , in five different languages. The Chinese partner in the arrangement, Cernet, says that 50,000 to 100,000 students in China will use Blackboard this year, with the number likely to rise to 5 to 10 -million within 5 years and possibly reach 20-million within 10 years. (See

New online MBA program underway – Universitas 21 Global enrolled 27 in its inaugural semester this fall.  The students from around the world are studying online, in English, for their MBA.  Universitas 21 is a consortium of 17 research universities located in 10 countries.  While faculty come mainly from the participating institutions, course development is done through Thomson Learning, a 50% shareholder in Universitas 21 Global. Developing countries are the primary recruitment targets for the new endeavor.  While the leaders of this effort state that they have every intention of building their program slowly and deliberately, some questions whether the online MBA field is already crowded with programs offered by strong and reputable institutions which can be accessed now by interested students around the world.  The author of this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Florence Olsen, admits that it is difficult to compare Universitas 21 Global’s tuition to other programs, although she calculates that a student in one of the 10 countries represented in the consortium can expect to pay 80% less than they would have had they enrolled on campus at the participating university. (See

Asia ’s answer to Windows – The threat to Microsoft from the free Linux operating system could intensify with the help of a powerful Asian triumvirate, according to an Overseas Security Advisory Council distributed AP story on September 22nd.  Japan and China are prodding China to join an effort that promotes alternatives to Windows. Japan has earmarked $8.6-million to boost research on Linux, including versions that better handle Asian languages. Foreign government critics of Windows are wary of having their government computers and networks dependent on an operating system that they say is too prone to computer viruses and hacking. Microsoft has identified Linux as one of the biggest threats to its success, as businesses, governments and others around the world try out or switch to open-source software. (See In a related story, Hewlett-Packard Company, one of the biggest backers of the Linux operating system, has moved to protect its clients against potential Linux suits. The move is in response to potential legal actions brought by SCO Group Inc., which contends that Linux includes programming code that it owns from a predecessor Unix operating system. H-P will indemnify its Linux customers by taking over any litigation to protect them from such suits. (See an article by Pui-Wing Tam in the September 24th Wall Street Journal, at

New consortium builds on Internet2 – National LambdaRail Inc. is the name of a new, nonprofit consortium that plans to build an infrastructure for research on optical networks and other types of advanced projects. Internet2 members are involved, as are various other universities and consortia.  The new network will be four times faster than Internet2, and will belong to the institutions, thus differentiating itself further from Internet2, which is a network leased from Qwest Communications International, according to Florence Olsen in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  The investment required over the first five years should amount to between $50 – 100 million.  No one expects a cash return to participating universities.  (See

Students shall not download – When it comes to downloading music or movies off the Internet, students compare it with underage drinking, illegal, but not immoral, according to an article by Kate Zernike in the September 20th New York Times. Students have had the Internet for as long as they can remember, and have grown up thinking of its content as theirs for the taking. According to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life project last spring, 56% of college students download music, compared with about 25% of nonstudents. Some observers compare student attitudes about downloading to that on Internet plagiarism, which has risen steadily over the past few years. Universities are trying to convince students that both practices are wrong. (See

Faculty and students involved in illegal downloading – Scott Carlson, for the Chronicle of Higher Education, writes on the results of a survey conducted by the Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group, seeking information about the downloading of software by students, faculty and administrators.  The practice is becoming more prevalent, and such software is frequently not paid for.  The involvement of faculty and administrators in illegal downloading is particularly interesting, since the survey is intended as a first step in an educational program attempting to prevent software piracy using peer-to-peer networks.  Faculty and administrators would presumably be involved with teaching students that this practice is illegal.  While currently not as hot an issue as downloading music, it may loom larger on the horizon as the industry presses its case. (See


4 - Students, faculty, education

Engineering degrees as steppingstones – With the decline in demand for engineering graduates, engineering degrees are now increasingly being touted as stepping stones to other professions. Writing in IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer, George Zobrist points out that engineering graduates automatically have a foundation that can be applied to most other professions. Engineering graduates have usable knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry, software, humanities, English, speech, social studies, history and economics as well as in engineering, giving them more breadth and depth of knowledge than most other disciplinary educations. That diversity can help engineering graduates migrate to other professions, such as medicine, law, business management, and computer science. (See

Oversight of Title VI recipients raises concerns – The US House of Representatives voted unanimously for legislation which will increase federal oversight of international studies programs in colleges, including foreign language programs and area studies.  Under this legislation, programs receiving Title VI money will be subjected to monitoring in order to receive recommendations on program improvement.  Opponents of the original bill voiced strong concerns about the authority the federal government would have over programs and scholars.  The wording of the legislation was subsequently modified in response to those objections.  Even with the changes in language, some college officials are still very concerned that the legislation will be used as a means of restricting these programs to approved content, according to Stephen Burd for the Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Educating future scientists and engineers – Writing in the September 12th issue of Science, Nancy Sung et al argue that the most exciting science and technology of the 21st century is likely to evolve among, not within, traditional disciplines. Writing from the perspective of biologists, the authors state that physical scientists, mathematicians, and engineers concerned with understanding complex systems will offer valuable viewpoints and approaches to biological developments – and that conversely, biological systems will catalyze technology developments in engineering and computer science. But the education of scientists and engineers has historically been constrained by disciplines – and that must change. The authors believe that bright young scientists will gravitate toward the rich opportunities at disciplinary boundaries, and that that productive movement can be enhanced if their mentors, institutions and funding agencies work at lowering institutional and cultural barriers to interdisciplinary work. (See

Suit filed on behalf of illegal immigrants seeking higher education – Seven Virginia universities have been accused of illegally refusing to admit illegal immigrants.  Last year, Virginia ’s attorney general, Jerry W. Kilgore, advised universities to reject applications from these prospective students. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund is challenging the actions of the seven institutions.  According to Will Potter, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, a spokesman for the attorney general now claims that decision making resides in the individual institutions, who could decide whether or not to admit illegal immigrants.  It is unclear what specific cases of rejection have led to this suit.  (See

E-mentoring network for women – MentorNet, the E-mentoring network for women in engineering and science, encourages women to pursue careers in engineering and science by providing connections between students and practicing professionals in those fields. Mentors and students communicate entirely by e-mail, with an average commitment of only 20 minutes per week by the practicing or retired professional. The program has proven effective by providing real world information, encouragement, advice and access to networks that are otherwise often unavailable to women in the male dominated fields of engineering and science. The program pairs women students in engineering and science at community colleges, undergraduate and graduate levels, and postdocs with female or male professionals as mentors for one-on-one e-mail based mentoring relationships. MentorNet has matched nearly 20,000 protégés and mentors to date, with good results. It is currently seeking more mentors. (See

What is an MBA worth? – The cover story of the September 22nd issue of Business Week attempts to answer the question of what an MBA is really worth by surveying the class of 1992 B-school alums for their opinions on salaries, satisfaction, and alumni networks. As described in an article by Jennifer Merritt, the B-school class of ’92 gives the degree high marks. Starting out with salaries in the mid $50,000 range, male MBAs report yearly salaries of $168,000 a decade later, plus other compensation of $273,000. Females lag with yearly salaries averaging $117,000 and other compensation of $84,000. The alums rate their jobs as satisfying – 58% say their current job is great, 29% say it is good, 7% ok, and only 3% problematic. Some observers question whether the good experiences of graduates from a decade ago can be expected by current MBA graduates. (See


5 – Employment

A shortage of engineers and scientists? – Michael S. Teitelbaum, a demographer at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recently published an extensive article, “Do we need more scientists?” in The Public Interest. In it he dismantles current claims that a shortage of scientists and engineers in the US calls for vigorous policy intervention. Instead, he argues that what is really needed are efforts to make careers in science and engineering more attractive, relative to other employment opportunities. Teitelbaum points to a history of false cries of impending shortages, conflicting data about supply and demand, and the pitfalls in projecting future needs based on available information and current markets.  He lists the constituencies who have a vested interest in endorsing claims of shortages, including universities, companies, immigration lawyers, and government funding agencies. Job prospects for scientists and engineers are frequently not attractive, in terms of remuneration over a lifetime, the lengthening of essential postdoctoral experience and the tendency to award grants to older applicants.  What is needed, he concludes, is attention to the quality of available career paths and better use of education and continuing education to more easily fine tune the workforce in response to the rapidly changing needs in science and engineering fields.  (See

Paring a foreign guest list – Three years ago technology companies lobbied hard to expand a program that allows skilled immigrants to enter the US with a temporary work permit, the H-1B visa. But now, according to an article in the September 18th Washington Post by Ellen McCarthy, with the number of such visas allowed by the government slated to decline dramatically, the technology industries are largely quiet on the issue. The cap on H-1B visas, expanded to 195,000 annually in 2001, will fall to 65,000 this October 1st, under a sunset provision. Industry representatives say that the cut will not be a problem for information technology companies now, because hiring in that sector has slowed significantly in the past several years. Groups representing American technology workers have lobbied to reduce the cap, and want further protection for domestic US workers. (See

Global issues cloud job market – Although the employment market may not be in an upturn, at least layoffs have slowed, according to an article by Terry Costlow in the September 2003 IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer. But unemployed and underemployed engineers are concerned about the impact that changes in the global marketplace will have on what is now being referred to as a jobless recovery. There is growing concern that the high-tech job market is changing significantly, with globalization leading to professional jobs moving offshore similar to the departure of manufacturing jobs in the l980s. Some predict that offshore outsourcing will grow because companies need to cut costs. Others argue that a company cannot save itself into prosperity, and that it instead needs innovation – which requires the right talent. There is a difference between jobs that move offshore to save costs and those that help create revenue, with many of the latter staying in the US . Engineers who survive and thrive are those who figure out what kind of work can only be done in the US , and then pursue that kind of work.  (See

The Administration’s blue-collar blues – President George W. Bush has presided over the biggest loss in US manufacturing jobs since Herbert Hoover, according to an article in the September 15th Business Week by Richard Dunham. Since President Bush took office, 2.5-million factory jobs – 16% of the total – have been lost. One major factor is that China , by pegging the yuan to the dollar at an artificially low rate, is flooding the US with cheap goods. The Administration is pressing the Chinese government to allow its currency to float. It is also pushing for tougher enforcement of trade pacts, including an assault on dumping and on export subsidies. Economists are doubtful that such measures will have much impact on the systematic decline in factory jobs, pointing out that rising productivity means that manufacturers can maintain their share of gross domestic product – currently about 16% -- with fewer workers. (See


6 – Journals

New IJEE approach to papers – The International Journal of Engineering Education is now publishing papers in animated interactive form online as well as in hard copy. The first paper being published in this way, “Computer-Based Instructional Media for Mechanics of Materials” is currently posted for review at


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