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July 31, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-07-31

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday,_July 31, 1996

Higher education will have a different meaning as advances in technologv will enable students to obtain an education with-
out having to sit in a traditional classroom. Students will be able to access a varietr of technological tools tofurther their edit-
cations. Web sites, electronic mail and virtual-reality devices are only several of the technological advances that have boost-
ed education to a new level of complexity and possibility
In recent months, the state of Michigan and the University have displayed a new, strengthened commitment to technologi-
cal advancement in higher education.
New 'U' technological resources offer
options, opportunties to students

Yesterday Governor John Engler was
on hand as the University accepted a $22
million donation of equipment and intel-
lectual property to the new Center for
Display Technology and Manufacturing
(DTM) that will strengthen the center's
leadership in flat panel display technolo-
gy.
"We're pushing ahead to the next cen-
tury and doing it in impressive fashion,"
Engler said at the acceptance ceremony.
"We've got all the action right here"
Engler said.
Flat panel displays are the newest
applications in image generation technol-
ogy. The displays consist of hundreds of
individual transistors or tiny switches that
create one large integrated circuit. The
transistors produce pixels on thin video
display panels, the kind already used on
laptop computers.
Engineering students will benefit from
the new technology, how able to partici-

pate in one of the world's leading
research centers dealing in flat panel dis-
play technology. DTM was established in
1993 as a focal point for research and
development within the flat panel display
manufacturing industry.
Former University President James
Duderstadt led the University's merger
between education and technology,
adding computers to campus and initiat-
ing other technological advances during
his tenure as president.
Since he ended his term as president
June 30, Duderstadt has continued to lead
the University's march in advanced tech-
nology.
Duderstadt is working on two major
projects, the Millenium Institute and the
Virtual University project. In a recent
interview with The Michigan Daily,
Duderstadt said he is working hard to get
both projects underway.
Engler asked Duderstadt to head the
Virtual University project. Duderstadt
said the project will foster long-dis-
tance learning, offering online courses
in the field of automotive engineering,
which will be available to all Michigan
residents.
Duderstadt said he expects the first
virtual courses to be accessible in
January 1997. He said the courses will
include higher-level computer engi-
neering courses and engineering busi-
ness management courses, although a
wider-range of courses could be added
to the virtual course list.
Duderstadt said the Virtual
University courses will probably be
taught by professors here and at
Michigan State University, with the
help of some small start-up funding
from the state. He said it will eventual-
ly be self-funding.
Duderstadt said the affordability of
the Virtual University courses will be
one of the project's greatest advantages.
He said he expects the cost of the cours-
es to be comparable to community col-
lege prices. "It depends on market
size" he said.
Duderstadt is also heading ip the
Millenium Institute. "We'll be explor-
ing futures for universities, alternatives
to the classroom'" he said. "It's really a
research laboratory to stimulate think-
ing about higher education"
Duderstadt said he and others partic-
ipating in the Institute are looking for

extensive student
involvement in
the project, which
will kickoff with
a lecture series in
September.
While DTM
and Duderstadt's
projects are engi-
neering-specific
efforts, students
from all the
U n ive rs i ty's
schools and col-
leges can access
numerous techno-
logically .,
advanced ,.
resources at the
University.
Many of the
University's tech-
not og i cal
resources are
housed in the new
Media Union on
North Campus.
The Media
Union is a $40
million facility,
boasting more At the Media Union d
than 500 comput- gering video images.
ers, virtual-reality
laboratories, a video conference room,
and studios specifically for electronic
music and video performance.
"The Media Union adds another
world-class dimension to this already
world-class University," Engler said at
the building's ribbon-cutting ceremony in
June. "It's a building that bets on the cre-
ativity of man and woman. It's a testimo-
ny to vision and confidence about the
21st century."
Students can also utilize the services
provided by the University's Information
Technology Division, including e-mail,
Internet access, file storage and laser
printing from any of more than 1,300
computers housed at Campus Computing
Sites.
"(The University is) known to be on
the forefront in computing technology in
higher education," said Lisa Lebowitz,
marketing coordinator for ITD.
In the fall, all rhsidence hall rooms will
be equipped with Ethernet connections,
allowing residents with their own com-
puters to have direct access to the campus

edication, a dancer interacted with switches on the floor, trig-

network.
In addition to monitoring Ethernet ser-
vices in the residence halls, the
Residence Halls Computer program
(ResComp) will continue to provide per-
sonalized computing services at the com-
puter labs located in every residence hall.
Recently, the University announced the
addition of national dial-in services
which allow members of the University
community to access the campus network
from around the country. Lebowitz said
the service has only been available for a
month. She said dial-in access has been
available on a local level for several
years.
ITD also provides hundreds of short,
noncredit workshops each term, covering
everything from word processing to web
page construction. The workshops are
usually free to students. This summer,
computing workshops have been added
to the Orientation and Welcome to
Michigan programs.
- Daily Newss Editor Katie Wang con-
tributed to this report.

*I

BOHDAN DAMIAN CAP/Dai
Chemistry Prof. Brian Griffen broadcasts his office hours in
the residence halls, using video conferencing technology.

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