April 2004

Copyright © 2004 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 - US developments

3 - Distance education, technology

4 - Students, faculty, education

5 – Employment

6 – Journals

7 – Meetings


1 - International developments

Japanese Universities free to innovate – A new law has turned Japanese universities into independent public corporations – uncharted waters, according to an article by Dennis Normile in the April 2nd  Science. Although cynics say that the law is simply a way for the government to shed some 115,000 civil servants, it gives the presidents of the 89 national universities more freedom to run their own campuses. They can now set tuition fees, hire lab technicians and other workers as needed, and carry funds over from one year to another. But those freedoms come with additional responsibilities, particularly the need to raise more money from nongovernmental sources and to show that public funds are contributing to better education and research. Each university has drawn up a strategic plan, and the new law says that future funding from the government will be tied to the university’s progress toward achieving its goals. (See

 Reaching out to Iraq’s scientific elite – As the occupying coalition struggles to rebuild Iraq’s shattered scientific community it is putting a high priority on keeping former weapons of mass destruction experts from applying their WMD skills elsewhere, according to an article in the March 12th Science by Richard Stone. With nonproliferation as a goal, three initiatives are being developed to keep weapons researchers busy: a new Iraq International Center for Science and Industry is being established, some key researchers are being sent to the United States to forge international collaborations, and funds are being allocated to renovate Iraq ’s shattered scientific equipment and facilities infrastructure. It is hoped that the rebuilt scientific activities will focus on key national needs: improving public health, cleaning up the environment, and reinvigorating agriculture using suitable seed stocks. (See

French researchers claim victory in battle for support – French science researchers were elated with their success in pushing the government to provide them with increased support.  After defeats in regional elections caused President Jacques Chirac to make changes in his cabinet, including the post of Minister for Research and New Technologies, representatives of the researchers were able to convince the government to support a national conference on the future of French research, to add 1000 new university positions, and to turn 550 positions back to permanent jobs, writes Aisha Labi of the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Realigning South Africa ’s Science – A decade after South Africa ’s first democratic elections, the country’s still white-dominated scientific community is trying to stay internationally competitive and yet be relevant to the changing nation. According to an article by Charlene Crabb in the April 16th Science, researchers in South Africa are being challenged by the government to address the country’s staggering social problems – lack of necessities such as running water, quality education, AIDS drugs, etc. White scientists had ample money to pursue curiosity-driven research under the racist apartheid regime, but such fundamental research now is seen as an extravagance. Yet the new government is seeking to nurture a few areas of basic research, such as astronomy and paleontology, in order to keep some South African research on the world stage and to inspire young people – especially those from disadvantaged communities – to pursue science careers. (See   

Perceived barriers to Israeli-Arab students – The plight of Israeli-Arabs in their quest for higher education is the subject of an extended story in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Reporter Haim Watzman describes a complex set of factors which has resulted in low participation rates in the elite Israeli universities by Arab citizens.  Factors such as the quality of secondary education available to Israeli-Arabs, the dominance of Hebrew (a second or third language to Arabs) in the culture and in the higher education system, a daunting required admission test called the psychometric, the potential of biased advising, the structure of the most prestigious degree programs, when taken together are cited as barriers that conspire against full participation by Arabs in the universities of their homeland.  As a result, numbers of Israeli-Arabs attend universities outside of Israel , for example in Jordan , where private institutions have been established to attract them. There is even important interest in establishing a private Arab language university within Israel itself.  This latter suggestion has met with resistance, partly because of its perceived threat to political stability. (See

Other Asian students soured in Japan – Foreign students from other Asian countries studying in Japan often find it inhospitable, according to an article by Norimitsu Onishi in the March 28th New York Times. To many Asian students, Japan is merely a place to get a degree and earn some money before returning home, often with the opposite impression than that Japan had hoped for. Japan has attained a two-decade-old goal of playing host to 100,000 foreign students at once, but neither Japan nor the visiting students are pleased. The aim was to have foreign students acquire Japanese knowledge, learn the culture, and help mend Japan ’s relations with surrounding countries that have not forgotten its imperial past. But some foreign students have been accused of illegal activities, and the Japanese government has tightened visa requirements. The place occupied by foreign students touches on the question of what kind of society Japan should be: Will it forge closer ties with Asia in order to draw workers for its own shrinking and aging population; or will it accept economic decline rather than bring in more Asians? (See

More support for Spanish research – Spain ’s incoming government has put together an ambitious new agenda for research, according to an article in the April 9th Science by Xavier Bosch. The newly elected Socialist government plans to double the country’s €2-billion R&D budget over the next four years and to create an agency that will fund projects primarily according to merit. Under the previous government there were complaints of inbreeding and influence peddling in the allocation of research grants, and the R&D budget was artificially inflated by inclusion of military construction funds. The new research funding agency should ameliorate such concerns – it will grant funds according to quality, peer review, flexibility and transparency, and will be run largely by scientists. (See 

Textbook piracy encircles the globe – The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a set of five articles on textbook piracy around the world.  The authors of the individual articles, Burton Bollag, Martha Ann Overland, Marion Lloyd, and Jen Lin-Liu, presented an overview of the problem, then looked at the situation in India , China , Latin America , and Taiwan .  The issues are economic, political, and ethical.  The magnitude of the problem, which affects primarily the sale of English language texts written by US and British authors, has been pegged at up to $45 million per year of losses to authors and publishers.  Recent advances in technology permit the duplication of books speedily and at a level of quality that occasionally requires law enforcement agencies to resort to microscopic examination to determine whether the book is legal or an illegal copy. In addition to well-organized piracy “businesses,” the need for texts has also promoted wholesale photocopying at small-scale stores grouped around university campuses. At one end of the scale, Taiwan has begun to take the problem seriously.  With the cooperation of various public officials and the Taiwan Book Publishers Association, they have succeeded in driving many photocopying shops out of business.  In Latin America , piracy runs largely unchecked, except in Colombia , which has cracked down on violators. In China , the government made a major move to limit piracy in 2001, but since then has been, in the eyes of some, backsliding.  India , to many, presents the most serious problem, with its 200 universities and 10,000 colleges.  India is the third largest market for English language books in the world, after the US and the UK . (See

Older scientists funded in Japan Senior scientists, those 50 and older, receive a majority of competitively awarded research grants in Japan , according to an article by Dennis Normile in the March 19th Science. This pattern would seem to work against an informal goal set by Japanese politicians in 2001 – 30 Japanese Nobel Prize winners by 2050. The problem seems to be that the current grants system rewards people for past accomplishments rather than for their potential breakthrough discoveries, so younger researchers entering their prime are given only a tiny slice of the overall funding pie. To try to address this issue, the Ministry responsible for research is establishing a $150-million pot of funds reserved for younger researchers with minimal track records. (See http://www.sciencemag,org)   

Moroccan meeting cancelled because of Israeli presence – A scientific meeting on the migration of dunes in Morocco was cancelled because the organizers claimed they could not guarantee the safety of Israeli participants.  The organizers of the French-sponsored meeting then withdrew their support and declared that they would find another venue for the meeting. Some of those involved say that evidence points to pressure from the Moroccan government stemming from the recent assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas.  Morocco and Israel do not maintain diplomatic relations.  The article was written by Haim Watzman for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Canadian science budget gains – The first federal budget from a new Canadian prime Minister would provide a 6.3% boost for each of Canada’s three granting councils, according to an article by Wayne Kondro in the April 2nd Science. That is less than scientists say they need, but more than was expected in the current government funding crunch there. The new budget adds $15-million to a $171-million a year program to pay for the cost to universities of supporting federally funded research, and promises to invest $38-million over five years in a program aimed at commercialization of university research. (See


2 - US developments

Foreign student tracking information not given to immigration officials – Michael Arnone, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, said that US college officials are angered over the discovery that information from the SEVIS system of tracking foreign students is not available to the first line immigration officials who screen people for security purposes.  The Student and Exchange Visitor Information Service was set up as a security measure, and all colleges and universities have spent large amounts of time and money to implement the measures.  The Homeland Security Department could not give a date by which those first line officers would have access to the data.  (See

US squeezes Cuba travelers, including students - Citing its aim to slash the flow of dollars to Fidel Castro, the Bush administration is putting an increased squeeze on Americans traveling to Cuba. But according to an article by Neil King in the April 13th Wall Street Journal, the policy seems more aimed at swaying the opinions of a key bloc of Florida voters in this tight election year. Since October, the US Treasury Department has filed cases against 454 Americans who allegedly traveled to Cuba illegally, threatening fines to $50,000. Treasury department officials are also banning more approved travel – for example, 70 US medical specialists on comas and death were recently denied a license to attend a conference in Cuba . The most recent offensive is against educational exchange groups that have organized study-abroad programs in Cuba for years. The Massachusetts-based Center for Cross-Cultural Study, which now has 51 US students in Cuba , was recently denied permission to wire money there to pay for their housing, tuition and meals. (See   

Bush White House defends its use of scientific info – The Bush administration responded at length to the February report of the Union of Concerned Scientists, who had accused it of distorting science to its own political ends, writes Jeffrey Brainard of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  John H. Marburger III offered a point-by-point rebuttal of the report, and called it misleading.  Kurt Gottfried, chair of the UCS, stood by his group’s report.  Marburger’s response is available at  (See

Editorial cites need for the scientific creativity of international students – Robert Gates, president of Texas A & M, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on the impact of international students on US college and university campuses.  As former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, he acknowledges that a certain amount of security protection is needed to ensure the safety of US citizens, but he also pleads strongly for an understanding of the important role played by international students in the creative work of science and technology in the US .   This piece was considered important enough for the Institute for International Education to send it to all members of the IIE Interactive network.  (See

US students: more politically active, more opposed to current administration – A survey of US college students shows that they are increasingly committed to voting in the upcoming presidential election, their support for President Bush is falling, they are more disgusted with both political parties, and they are more opposed than before to the Iraq war.  The Chronicle of Higher Education article, written by Elizabeth Farrell, reports on the survey conducted by Harvard’s Institute of Politics .  One of the conclusions which can be drawn from the report is that college students make up a critical portion of the electorate and that the presidential candidates have an interest in courting them. (See

Engineers provide data for study of workplace generosity The Economist recently published an article on a study of acts of generosity in the workplace.  The subjects were 161 engineers working in telecom in the San Francisco area.  Francis Flynn, from Columbia University , asked all workers to self-report their acts of helpfulness with other workers, and asked them to rate their regard for one another.  This information was then correlated with data obtained from the company on the employee’s productivity.  Results showed that those who gave and received the most help were also the most productive.  (See

Prohibition against editing manuscripts lifted – The US Treasury Department recently lifted the prohibition that prevented scholarly publishers from editing articles written by authors in embargoed countries.  Last fall, the department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) had ruled that even correcting the grammar of such an article constituted a valuable service rendered to those countries and thus was forbidden.  The new ruling, although referring specifically to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), will reportedly apply to all publishers using similar procedures, according to Lila Guterman writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Engineering prizes awarded – The National Academy of Engineering has awarded its current round of very prestigious awards, according to an article in the April Engineering Times. The renowned Charles Stark Draper prize has been awarded to Alan Kay, Butler Lampson, Robert Taylor, and Charles Thacker, the inventors of the world’s first networked personal computer. The highest education honor, the Bernard M. Gordon Prize, has been awarded to Frank Barnes, the creator of an innovative, multidisciplinary engineering program at the University of Colorado . (See   

Journal publishers push back on PLoS – The Public Library of Science (PLoS) recently met organized resistance to its efforts to provide free access to scientific and medical knowledge by charging authors to publish in their journals and then providing the material on the Internet.  A group of 48 non-profit publishers met to announce the “Washington DC Principles for Free Access to Science.” Martin Frank, one of the organizers of the resistance, said that they have no quarrel with the goal of making research freely accessible, but that he and his colleagues want to create a different business model which would not put the burden on the researchers and their institutions.  Lila Guterman wrote this article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (

Budget for weaponry soars – The federal budget request submitted to the US Congress by President Bush contains substantial requests for weaponry, such as a missile defense system, according to an article in the April IEEE Spectrum by Stephen Barlas. The proposed military research budget would increase 6.7% to $69.9-billion. The three weapons systems that account for the largest sums in the military’s R&D budget are the Armored Systems Modernization Defense, the Joint Strike Fighter, and the Ballistic Missile Defense Mid-Course Segment. To partially fund increases in these priority areas, the military’s basic research budget would fall 4.5% to $1.3-billion, and applied research would drop 13.5% to $3.8-billion. (See


3 - Distance education, technology

One hundred campuses listed as “most unwired” – Intel has added a twist to its second annual report on the most unwired cities, and created a report on the most unwired campuses.  They used data such as the number of hotspots, the number of computers, and the computer-student ratio.  The top five unwired campuses are Indiana University , Purdue University , The University of Texas at Austin , Case Western Reserve University , and Dartmouth College .  (See

MIT announces new distance ed software – MIT’s Learning International Network Consortium recently announced release of new software designed to help institutions manage their distance education programs. is consistent with MIT’s popular OpenCourseWare project, which currently gives the public free access to materials from over 500 (soon to be 1000) courses. is designed to be used in any country in the world: it includes the capability to be updated with new languages.  Dan Carnavale wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education (See

It’s all in your head, prof – Researchers claim they have evidence that teaching a course on-line takes no more time than teaching it in a classroom, according to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Seven professors who taught the same course both in person and on-line were asked to track the time they devoted to each task.  They were surprised to discover that they spent a total of about three hours per semester more in teaching the on-line version.  The researchers, a professor of information science and a professor of engineering and science, believe that the on-line teaching, with its extend and constant tasks and student interaction, gives the impression of taking more time when compared with the relatively compact nature of student-faculty contact in a traditional classroom-based course.   Dan Carnavale referenced the original article that appeared in The Internet and Higher Education. (See

No wires, no rules – The unlicensed portion of the radio spectrum is turning into a hothouse of technological innovation, according to a special report in the April 26th Business Week by Heather Green. Wi-Fi was the first step into this space, and it is being followed by WiMax, Mobile-Fi, ZigBee, and Ultrawideband – that will push wireless networking into every facet of life. These technologies have attracted $4.5-billion of venture investments over the last five years, and products based on them will start hitting the market this year and be widely available in 2005. (See

US university plans to put all courses on the Internet – The University of Illinois at Springfield (USA) has announced plans to place on the Internet all the courses in the 39 degrees programs it offers.  The work is supported by a $1.21 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as well as internal funds.  Plans call for all degrees to be on line within ten years.  This project differs from that at MIT in that the University of Illinois will provide the entire course on-line, while MIT has pledged to place all instructional materials in their courses on-line.  The Sloan Foundation has an interest in making on-line access a mainstream option for learning.  This article was written by Dan Carnavale for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See


4 - Students, faculty, education

Hispanic institutions seek support from US Department of Education – Bethany Broida, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, reports that the US Department of Education and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities have committed themselves to increased cooperation in order to open the doors of higher education to more Hispanic students.  The agreement, however, does not contain any promises of increased funding or connect with the debate on the renewal of the Higher Education Act.  The Hispanic Association wants $175 million in support for undergraduate programs, and an additional $20 million for graduate programs, both under Title V.  (See

Grads see brighter job prospects – After years of sluggish activity, the job market for college seniors and graduate students finally appears to be looking up, according to an article in the April14th USA Today by Barbara Hagenbaugh. Firms are interviewing more, giving more offers, and even bumping pay up a bit. A sampling of universities across the country suggests that hot areas are health care, accounting, defense, hospitality, insurance, and consulting. Comparing salaries from 2003 and 2004: Electrical engineering, up 0.4% to $50,761; Information sciences and systems, up 10.7% to $44,075; Mechanical engineering, up 0.8% to $49,056; Computer science, up 7.5% to $50,007; Computer engineering, down 0.2% to $52, 573; and Chemical engineering, down 0.3% to %52,038. (See

Harvard, Penn, reduce their input into business schools rankings – In a blow they claim is aimed at simplistic rankings of graduate programs, both Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania ’s business schools announced that they would no longer provide the names and contact information of current students and recent graduates to Business Week.  That magazine then shot back, saying that transparency in information provided to future business leaders was of vital importance.  The schools claim that the rankings assume that all business programs and all students are the same, and stated that they are working with the Graduate Management Admission Council on better ways of informing potential students about their programs. Thomas Bartlett was the reporter for this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Engineering with a conscience – Engineers Without Borders, a program led by Professor Bernard Amadei at the University of Colorado at Boulder , is highlighted in a major review article in the April 2004 issue of Mechanical Engineering Magazine. The program was established to partner with developing countries and to train a new generation of engineers who can serve the developing world. In the process of such training, the program improves the quality of life of people in developing countries by designing and building an infrastructure project that a developing community has identified as a pressing need. The program pairs professionals with volunteer engineering students to carry out projects such as water, wastewater, sanitation or energy systems. Engineers Without Borders – USA currently has about 75 student chapters based at universities across the US , as well as a handful of professional chapters. The group’s projects typically cost from $5000 to $90,000, and are funded by the student chapters and corporate partners. (See

Princeton proposes steps to reduce grade inflation – On April 26 faculty at Princeton University (USA) are scheduled to discuss a proposal designed to tackle grade inflation by imposing departmental caps on the number of A grades allowed to be assigned in undergraduate courses.  The dean of the undergraduate college at Princeton stated that the plan grew out of a desire on the part of department heads to have all programs held to the same standards, writes Eric Hoover in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Adults pleased when kids choose engineering – A recent survey conducted for the American Association of Engineering Societies shows that adults rate engineering high as a career choice for their children, according to a news release from IEEE. Engineering rated above such other highly ranked fields as accounting and the ministry. Respondents explained their choice by saying that engineering “makes a positive contribution to society”, involves “interesting work”, and that engineers “earn a good salary”. More broadly, 77% of the respondents hold engineering in high esteem because they say that engineers are largely responsible for a high standard of living. For an article on results, see, and for the complete survey results see 

New victories for campus unions – The unionization of teaching and research assistants in US universities gained ground in March when elections and rulings went in in favor in California , New York and Washington . The United Auto Workers extended its influence, creating the second largest graduate student union in the US in the California State University system. The report was written by Scott Smallwood for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (See


5 – Employment 

Increased education, research, cited as remedies for off-shoring – Off-shoring of jobs is only part of the threat to work and prosperity in the US , according to John Howard, writing in the March 17 issue of The Wall Street Journal.  The US needs to improve its education system and increase its investment in research if it expects to protect its leadership position in the world economy.  The article cites former members of the Clinton administration such as Charlene Barshefsky and Robert Reich, as well as Carla Hill, who served in the first Bush administration, as warning that steps need to be taken beyond mere protectionism in the face of off-shoring.  Unfortunately, the messages coming out of the presidential election rhetoric on both sides do not illuminate a path forward: Kerry calls CEOs who send jobs overseas traitors, and Bush calls more for tax  cuts than for significant investment in education.  (See

Other professions soon to follow IT in being off-shored – Some observers are predicting that the list of jobs affected by off-shoring will grow longer in the coming years.  According to an article written by Kris Maher on March 23 in The Wall Street Journal, technical writers, architects and drafters, legal and investment researchers and insurance claims processors will soon join the ranks of medical transcriptionists and others lining up for unemployment.  Yet there is hope.  Salaries in places where off-shored jobs land are feeling upward pressure, thus decreasing the advantage to be obtained by off-shoring.  The article cites a situation where an Indian employer gave 80% raises to his Indian employees in order to retain them.  (See

IEEE-USA issues policy statement on off-shoring – The Board of Directors of the IEEE-USA, a unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., approved in March a position paper on off-shore outsourcing.  The Board recommends that: 1) the US government collect reliable data on off-shoring; 2) preference be given in government contracts to firms that avoid off-shoring; 3) job retraining programs be developed to aid displaced workers; 4) H-1B and L-1 visa programs be modified and monitored to avoid their being used to compete with US workers; 5) a national strategy for job creation and technical leadership be developed as a counter force to similar strategies now being employed by other countries to obtain US jobs; and 7) incentives be developed for R & D performed here at home rather than abroad.  Accompanying the position statement is an extended explanation of the background and intent of the recommendations.  (See

Venture capitalists promote off-shoring in new companies – Outsourcing by off-shoring has found an ally in the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley (USA) who are promoting “micro-multinational” start-ups.  These are companies which from the beginning rely on off-shore workers to reduce costs and to create a round the clock work schedule.  An additional advantage is that when US workers are asleep, their colleagues around the world are awake and continuing the work schedule. Ann Grimes, writing for The Wall Street Journal on April 2 mentions the appearance of “in-sourcing,” as well.  This is the return of jobs to the US by overseas companies.  Most off-shored jobs tend to be lower level, and there are those who tell US businesses to keep it that way.  From their vantage point, countries such as China and India, prime destinations for off-shored jobs, are lacking in intellectual property laws and thus are likely to appropriate knowledge delivered to their shores through off-shoring of more highly technical and skilled jobs.  (See

European businesses subjected to off-shoring trends BusinessWeek, in its April 19 issue, assembled a team of writers under the leadership of Carol Matlack to report on off-shoring in Europe .  The article points to a rapidly accelerating number of European jobs being lost overseas.  By 2008, it is expected that over 800,000 jobs will be lost.  Politicians are beginning to take notice, and powerful unions are preparing for battle.  Ironically, even Ireland is affected: in the 1990s it was itself the recipient of tens of thousands of off-shored jobs which migrated from the US .  Now the average salary in Ireland is five times higher than in Poland .  Europe , which is hamstrung by defensive labor rules, will find it more difficult to create new jobs in response to losses.  But the pressure for profits on European companies continues, making more off-shoring appear inevitable. (See

Credible data on off-shoring needed – Any attempt to understand and respond to the off-shoring phenomenon is complicated by a breathtaking lack of data on the topic, according to Jon Hilsenrath writing for The Wall Street Journal on April 12.  Data are scarce, and often imprecise.  For example, it is difficult to pin down which jobs have been lost to off-shoring, and if a job is shifted out of the US by a company that at the same time hires two more people in the US , is that a loss?  John McCarthy of Forrester Research, Inc., attained simultaneous fame and notoriety in 2002 when he predicted a loss of 3.3 million jobs to off-shoring by 2015.  Now, after his figures have been repeated by countless political candidates, media personalities, and other luminaries, Mr. McCarthy is spending his time telling everyone that his numbers were hyped, and points out that fewer than 300,000 white collar jobs have moved out of the US .  On the bright side, there are benefits to outsourcing: lower prices for goods, for example. That benefit is overshadowed, however, by the threat of job losses. More impressive to the average citizen might be the $1.2 billion paid by Indian nationals to US higher education institutions in 2002.  Also to be factored in are other reasons for job loss, including increased worker productivity.  (See

“Near-shoring”: now you’ve heard it all – “Forget India , Let’s Go To Bulgaria,” says the headline in the March 1 cover story to BusinessWeek/online.  Andy Reinhardt wrote this article giving the European view of off-shoring.  For European companies seeking to drive down costs by reducing salaries, “near-shoring,” shipping jobs in Eastern Europe , is the best option.  India ’s much vaunted English-language advantage is devalued in non-English speaking countries.  France finds Romania more linguistically and culturally compatible and Germany finds more German-speaking professionals to the east.  As a result, countries such as Bulgaria and Romania are picking up a large share of European technical jobs, and paying workers lower salaries.  But with the entry of ten additional countries to the European Union in May 2004, this salary differential is likely to diminish.  (See

What goes around comes around – Some Indian call centers are now setting up shop in the US .  The reason cited ss the need to be nearer clients when doing more high-skilled operations, according to an April 1 article in The Wall Street Journal.  (See

New report cites economic advantages of off-shoring – Recently the Information Technology Association of America hired Global Insight, Inc., to conduct a study of the costs and benefits of off-shoring, reports Michael Schroeder of The Wall Street Journal on March 30.  The bottom line of the study is that savings resulting from off-shoring permit companies to expand, and that for every job lost through off-shoring two are created.  Critics of the report say that its focus is too narrow, looking just at computer software and services, and that economists have been poor predictors of job growth over the past several years. An executive summary of the study is available at (See

US Secretary of State Powell pressures India on off-shoring – US Secretary of State Colin Powell, while on an official visit to India, pushed its government to open its markets to more US goods, thus relieving some of the political pressure being placed on the Bush administration in the fight over off-shoring.  At the same time, Powell’s visit created new worries for Indian workers who fear a backlash against off-shoring and thus a potential loss of their jobs, according to David S. Cloud of The Wall Street Journal on March 17. (See


6 – Journals

International Journal of Engineering Education – A special issue on Trends in Electronics Education, edited by Ahmad Ibrihim and Aleksander Malinowski, has been issued as Volume 20, Number 2. The special issue includes some thirteen papers covering issues such as outcomes assessment using multimedia, online testing technology, interdisciplinary learning, virtual labs, and courses for teachers. A second part of the same journal issue contains six papers on varied topics in engineering education. (See  

Issues in Science and Technology – The Spring 2004 issue focuses on “Atoms for Peace after 50 Years.”.  Six featured articles cover nuclear technology’s numerous uses, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and deterring proliferation and terrorism. Additional articles in the issue cover the hype and hope about hydrogen technologies, problems of small cities, and the preservation of the earth’s rivers. (See

Global Journal of Engineering Education – A special edition describes the activities of the UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education and its Satellite Centers , Volume 8, Number 1. UICEE activities are described by its founders, Zenon Pudlowski and Peter Darvall, and its related satellite centres are covered in a series of eleven additional papers. (See


7 – Meetings

International Engineering Education – The annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education will be held by the University of Rhode Island in Providence , from 30 September to 3 October 2004 . The theme of this year’s conference is globalization and its implications for engineering education. For a conference brochure and registration information, see

NCIIA Annual Meeting – The annual meeting of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance was held in San Jose , California , in Mid-March 2004. Its theme, “Education that Works: Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship in Practice”, attracted over 40 papers in sessions structured around topics such as training undergraduates in team skills, leveraging partnerships, paths to successful commercialization, and social entrepreneurship. In conjunction with the conference, the annual E-Team Exhibition of successful student projects was held at the San Jose Museum of Innovation. Highlight of the program was a keynote speech by Carver Mead, who developed the first techniques for designing big, complex microchips. (See


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