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Past Highlights

May 2004

2004

2003

2002

 

Brain Disease Research, Particle Physics Meet in the Middle(Ware); NSF Middleware Initiative proves key for grid-based collaborations in diverse disciplines

 

 
Collage of neuroscience and computing images representing the Biomedical Informatics Research NetworkThe study of Alzheimer's disease and the analysis of particle collisions may not appear to have much in common, but behind the scenes, middleware being developed with support from the National Science Foundation is helping groups of researchers in neuroscience, physics and other fields to apply the power of grid-based computational resources. Spanning 14 universities and 22 research groups, the growing Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) is establishing the cyberinfrastructure, or integrated information technology configuration, needed to facilitate health care research for large-scale data sharing and analysis. The ability to share and compare massive data sets such as MRI brain scans or high-resolution electron microscopy images is essential to participants' research into Alzheimer's disease, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and other disorders.
Image courtesy: Biomedical Informatics Research Network
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/26/04

 

NSF Names Eight Distinguished Teaching Scholars; Agency's top awards for teaching and research cover the "nuts and bolts" to pure theory

 

 
Student and teacher at a computerThe National Science Foundation on May 24 recognized eight special persons to receive the Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars (DTS), the foundation's highest honor for teaching and research excellence. Whether it's showing undergraduate engineering students how to take apart photocopiers to learn about design, teaching calculus through visualization techniques, or providing virtual research and data gathering opportunities on climate change, the new teaching scholars NSF named today are wide-ranging in their approaches. "These scholars have a special distinction in that they influence entire academic cultures. They make students major participants in the process of discovery. They also promote activities that expand the education process beyond the boundaries of the university into local schools and communities," said NSF's acting director, Arden L. Bement, Jr.
Image: Getty Images/PhotoDisc
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/26/04

 

Scientists Discover Undersea Volcano Off Antarctica

 

 
An artist's depiction of the track of the camera array as it is towed over the volcanic cone.Scientists working in the stormy and inhospitable waters off the Antarctic Peninsula have found what they believe is an active and previously unknown volcano on the sea bottom. The international science team from the United States and Canada mapped and sampled the ocean floor and collected video and data that indicate a major volcano exists on the Antarctic continental shelf, they announced on May 5 in a dispatch from the research vessel Laurence M. Gould, which is operated by the National Science Foundation. Evidence of the volcano came as an unintended bonus from a research plan to investigate why a massive ice sheet, known as the Larsen B, collapsed and broke up several years ago.
Image: Trent Schindler / National Science Foundation
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/20/04

 

Distant Mountains Influence River Levels 50 Years Later

 

 
Mountain and river in New MexicoRainfall in the mountains has a major influence on nearby river levels, and its effects can be seen as much as 50 years after the rain has fallen, according to hydrologists funded by the National Science Foundation. Scientists had believed that the downslope distance from a mountain to a river is significant, such that rain falling on a mountaintop doesn't have an impact on a river below, according to Christopher Duffy, a civil engineer at Pennsylvania State University. But Duffy has found that rainfall and snowfall over the mountains, at least in the basin and range area of New Mexico, play an important part in recharge of the water table and the Rio Grande River. "This has huge implications for development," Duffy told attendees at this week's spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Montreal, Canada. "The role of the water table is important."
Image courtesy: U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/18/04

 

President Bush Honors Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

 

 
Some of the  PAESMEM awardees with NSF leadersPresident Bush recently announced nine individuals and eight institutions to receive the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). Each award includes a $10,000 grant for continued mentoring work. Each year the president recognizes the people and institutions that have provided broad opportunities for participation by women, minorities and people with disabilities in science, mathematics and engineering in elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate education.
Image: Jack Hartzman
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/11/04

 

The Cicadas Are Coming, the Cicadas Are Coming: Research on "Brood X" Cicadas Focus of Briefing

 

 
Cartoon of a cicada waking upCicada experts funded by the National Science Foundation will discuss the biology, economic impact, geographic distribution and genetics of the Brood X periodical cicadas emerging from the ground this May. These large, winged insects appear by the trillions across the northeast and mid-west every 17 years. Scientists predict that Indiana alone will be infested with millions of the bugs. A particularly heavy emergence will also occur in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Among other topics, the scientists will discuss how human alteration of forests affects cicadas. Cicadas are drawn to the forest edge; because eastern forests have grown since the last emergence, this year's cicadas will likely emerge deeper in the forest and move to the edge. Tracking the cicadas' relocation is among the researchers' topics.
Image: Alex Jeon, National Science Foundation
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/7/04

 

Television That's Good for You; Targeted content and celebrity voices draw millions to new season of educational children's television

 

 
Three animated characters from PEEP television program.With huge audiences, popular websites and even vocal talent lent from Hollywood, educational programs are major players in the 2004 children's television season. Supported by the National Science Foundation, three of the most-viewed programs –- ZOOM, Cyberchase and DragonflyTV –- now share the airwaves with PEEP and the Big Wide World, a novel show that teaches toddlers to think like scientists. "The response of children and parents to these popular TV programs sends a clear message. They want to watch intelligent, engaging and educational TV," says Barry Van Deman, section head for science literacy in NSF's Division of Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education.
Image: Copyright 2003 WGBH. Usage: This image is limited to editorial use in North America only in conjunction with the direct publicity or promotion of PEEP and the Big Wide World. No other rights are granted. All rights reserved.
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/6/04

 

United States Still Leads in Science and Engineering, But Uncertainties Complicate Outlook

 

 
Cover of Science and Engineering Indicators 2004-National Science Board.The United States remains the world's leading producer of and a net exporter of high-technology products and ranks among the global leaders in research and development (R&D) spending. However, ongoing economic and workforce changes make the outlook for the future uncertain, according to Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators 2004, a biennial report of the National Science Board to the president. "The United States is in a long-distance race to retain its essential global advantage in S&E human resources and sustain our world leadership in science and technology," said NSB Chair Warren M. Washington. "For many years we have benefited from minimal competition in the global S&E labor market, but attractive and competitive alternatives are now expanding around the world. We must develop more fully our native talent."
Image: Cover image reprinted with permission from Science 280 (5360), April 3, 1998, copyright 1998 AAAS.
Read the full story. ... Posted 5/4/04

 

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