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October 09, 2008 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-09

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 9, 2008 - 7A

With economy weak,
some opt to go where
dollar pays for more

ABROAD From Page 1A
"With the current U.S. eco-
nomic difficulties, concern over
finances at home is certainly
contributing to student worries,"
LeBlanc wrote in an e-mail inter-
Still, even in the wake of the
recent domestic economic trou-
bles, LeBlanc said place like
Spain, France and Great Britain
have remained popular destina-
tions for students on campus.
"The specific exchange rate is
not necessarily the main concern
we address with students," LeB-
lanc said. "Some of their specific
concerns often focus on the cost
of the entire experience, not just
the exchange rate (which fluctu-
For LSA senior Jamie
O'Malley, who traveled to South
Africa last winter - where $1
buys 9.22 rand, the country's
national currency - the afford-
ability of the trip helped her
make the decision to study
abroad, she said.
"(Cost) was a major factor that
made it easier for me to go there,"
O'Malley said. "The cost of liv-
ing is lower compared to the U.S.
and especially low compared to
Europe." Paying $350 a month
for housing and $8 for an upscale
dinner, O'Malley said her day-
to-day expenses during the five
months she spent abroad were
For LSA senior Kendra Wil-
liams, who traveled to London
during her semester abroad in

Russia last winter, the nearly
two-to-one value of the pound to
the dollar left her looking to save
money wherever possible.
"I can safely say that I'm not
going back to England anytime
soon unless someone's paying
me by the pound," Williams said.
"That was probablythe worstcity
I was in during my travels."
During her four-day trip
to London, Williams said her
expenses ran upwards of $600 -
a figure she thought was half that
much until she accounted for the
exchange rate.
"It's really mind boggling
how the exchange rate contorts
the price of things," Williams
According to Economics Prof.
Alan Deardorff, the disparity in
exchange rates reflects the price
of goods and the value of assets
like stocks and bonds interna-
tionally relative to their value in
the U.S.
Though Deardorff said those
factors explain the dollar's
weakness relative to the cur-
rency of developed nations, he
added that it would be virtually
impossible for students to pre-
dict exchange rates for future
trips abroad.
"You can look at what it's
done, but as far as predict-
ing the future, it's just like the
stock market," Deardorff said.
"There's so many players in this
market all the time betting on its
rising and falling, so the price
right now is probably the mar-
ket's best guess of what it's going
to be in the future."

From Page lA
ers are designed in comingyears.
"The power that comes from
that shift that will allow us to
move the level of support that the
computer can provide for people
up to a much higher level," Mundie
He said computers would be able
to anticipate users' needs based on
their past activity.
"In the future, it might be the
case that as you explore or study in
a particular domain, the computer
may gooutand do some searches on
your behalf, gather up the results,
do a semantic analysis, correlate
that with what you're studying or
what your study group is doing and
then present them to you ina color-
coded way that says these are most
likely to be useful, these are less
likely to be useful, but you'd still
have choice," he said.
Mundie was quick to clarify
that his example wasn't artificial
intelligence, saying the computer
would have to be programmed
and wouldn't learn anything on its
"I don't want people to walk
away thinking that we're somehow
at the doorstep of (artificial intelli-
gence)," he said.

Mundie said a student could use
this technology to create interac-
tive learning tools from textbooks
and professors' studies that would
allow students studying anatomyto
view three-dimensional models of
the body and its different systems
and organs.
The technology would prioritize
information based on a student's
previous patterns of use, among
other factors.
Mundie also showed other
innovative pieces of technology,
including a flexible, portable com-
puter monitor less than a millime-
ter thick.
In an interview before his
presentation, Mundie said the
goal of the tour is to more broad-
ly demonstrate what Microsoft
does and show how technology
will help people in certain disci-
plines like education and health
"These were all framed to
show what it might be like to be a
student sometime five to 10 years
in the future, when you have a lot
more support from your infor-
mation technology than you get
today," Mundie said. "These
won't be the exact products, but
the idea here was to show people
a glimpse of the future using pro-
totypes of things we think will

Craig Mundie, the chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, speaks before
300 students and staff at The Stamps Auditorium on the future of Microsoft tech-
nology and the role it will play in everyday life.

From Page 1A
keep the program similar to how it
was before.
"We're not doing any kind of
massive overhaul because the fun-
damentals of New England litera-
ture are going to stay the same,"
he said, adding that only three
people have led NELP in the last
34 years.
Knuth said NELP participants
typically like spontaneity in their
coursework, making the program
more enjoyable.
"They kind of rose up and said
to the lecturers that were teaching,
'We don't accept this pre-planned
curriculum that you're giving us.'
I think that's a big part of the way
5 I think about NELP today and the
involvement of students."
Knuth said NELP founder Wal-
ter Clark, who passed away this
summer, has heavily influenced

the way he runs the program.
Knuth said Clark stressed creat-
ing an environmentwhere students
and teachers were equals. Because
of that outlook, students and staff
at NELP take equal responsibility
when it comes to chores like clean-
ing and cooking meals.
"When you and me are scrub-
bing toilets together, there's not
much distinction in our lives in
what we're doing and who we
are," Knuth said. "In that way,
there is more of a level playing
Even when NELP participants
aren't doing chores, they still don't
have access to many of the things
other University students have
with them all the time. The pro-
gram forbids use of computers,
telephones, iPods and all other
electronic devices for the six-week
Their only form of communi-
cation with the outside world is
handwritten letters.

From Page 1A
Greenlee said that after he got
approval from the McCain cam-
paign, he rented trucks and drove
with Zatkoff and two other volun-
teers to county headquarters, hop-
ing to pick up the boxes of literature
and distribute them by end of this
past Tuesday.
Greenlee said that when he and
the other volunteers were more than
halfway done loading the boxes, he
received a call from the Michigan
Knuth said leaving these elec-
tronic devices behind is hard for
students, but it's an integral aspect
of the NELP experience because
it forces them to concentrate on
their personal relationships with
other participants.
"I think probably most people
today will never really have a sig-
nificant opportunity to put that
stuff aside in their lives for a short
period of time and to feel what it's
like to live - to not be plugged
in," he said.
LSA junior Jessica Perszyk,
who participated in the program
last spring, said NELP's isola-
tion was different than anything
she'd ever encountered.
"It ended up being, honestly,
a life-changing experience," she
said. "It just makes you think
about your life as an individual
and as a member of society and
as a student at Michigan in a
completely different way."
Perszyk said most classes at

Republican Party executive direc-
tor, JeffTimmer,informinghimuthat
the Michigan GOP did not authorize
picking up the campaign materials.
"(Timmer) then noted that it did
not matter what the McCain cam-
paign said, as these were property of
the Michigan GOP and they would
distribute them when they were
ready," Greenlee said. "He said ifI
took even one brochure he would
call the police, have me arrested,
and that I would be prosecuted."
Nowling said the state GOP had
plans to distribute the leftover lit-
erature in the final 72-hour push

before Election Day.
Afterthe incident, Zatkoffsentan
e-mail to the state GOP and numer-
ous media outlets to draw attention
to the matter.
In response, Larry Ward, the
political director of the state's
Republican Party, sent a message
to the group, calling Zatkoff a "dis-
gruntled former employee." He
then said "several individuals -
including some disgruntled former
employees - who have tried to take
advantage of the situation by steal-
ing cell phones and other electronic

NELP are held outdoors, and stu-
dents are required to have their
journals with them at all times
throughout the program.
"You have your journal - it's
basically attached to your hip," she
said. "Wherever you go, your jour-
nal goes. So if you get dirty, your
journal gets dirty."
LSA junior Katelyn Sedelmyer
said her experience at NELP made

it hard for her to return to the Uni-
"I have a renewed interest in my
education," she said. "It's taught
me a lot about how I really want
to make my education myself. It's
kind of strange being back here,
having had such a different kind of
Knuth said it's hard for him to
separate his NELP experience

from his job at the University.
"Going to NELP and teach-
ing there from the time I was 21
on, certainly was the thing that
trained me to be a teacher more
than anything else," he said.
"Because of NELP, and because of
the teaching at NELP, it's my style
of teaching to almost entirely learn
collaboratively and learn through

Greenlee said he didn't know
whythe MichiganRepublicanParty
responded the way it did, calling it
was "one of the strangest things I've
ever seen in politics."
Zatkoff, a former member of the
University's Young Americans for
Freedom chapter, was the focus
of an April story by The Michigan
Review that alleged, among other
accusations, that Zatkoff had vio-
lated state campaign finance laws.
The story also claimed that under
Zatkoff's leadership, the Michigan
Federation of College Republicans
had "effectively crumbled."

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