October 1999

 

            In The Ipcress File (Great Britain, 1965), actor Michael Caine portrays a Cockney crook turned Cold War counterespionage agent who is called upon to investigate the kidnaping and brainwashing of British scientists.  Compared to the James Bond movies, it is a film that is decidedly low-tech.

            Not so with Indiana University’s IPCRES (Indiana Pervasive Computing Research).  This high-tech project will develop devices that would make even typical James Bond gadgetry look amateurish.

            On Tuesday, September 21, N. Clay Robbins, president of the Lilly Endowment announced that IU will receive a five-year $29.9 million grant, one of the largest grants in support of research that the Lilly Endowment has ever made, to develop the IPCRES initiative.  Pervasive computing applications involve the development of high-speed microprocessors, or miniaturized computers, that could be used in devices ranging from scientific instruments to home appliances to digital libraries, all interconnected by wired and wireless networks, accessible anywhere in the world.

            In announcing the award, Robbins said, “Through its IPCRES Initiative, IU will create a critical mass of intellectual capital that should significantly enhance Indiana’s prospects for prosperity in a future where high tech will be critical.”

            Three of the six labs established will be at IUPUI, and three at IU Bloomington. Both labs will be run by distinguished scientists of the highest international standing in theoretical and applied research.  IPCRES will build on IU’s already formidable infrastructure for information technologies, including our new School of Informatics; Internet2 Network Operations Center, and  collaborations with Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco. 

 


A key feature of the Lilly Endowment’s interest in the project is that it will help lead to the retention of more highly trained Indiana graduates in the state. Health care and home safety, manufacturing and design – all these areas and more will be transformed as we expand research capabilities in microprocessing and integrate new technologies into day-to-day life.  Furthermore, to advance Indiana’s potential for “e-business,” one of the key IPCRES staff appointments has already been made.  In November 1999, William B. Stephan, currently chief of staff and special counsel to Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, will become an IU assistant vice president for information technology and special assistant to the president.  As such he will be the director of the IPCRES Economic Development Office, which will leverage IPCRES activities to create new business, infuse new technologies into existing business, and attract new companies to Indiana.

            The Lilly Endowment also announced that the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will have $29.7 million over three years to finance its Center for Innovation Economy, which will promote engineering education and help students and researchers market new technologies.

***

            In addition to information technologies, we have often said that Indiana University’s health schools are key to advancing Indiana’s economic well-being and quality of life.

            Thus, we were delighted to learn this month that the Indiana University Cancer Center has been recognized as a premier national center for the study of cancer and cancer treatments by the National Cancer Institute. As an NCI-designated clinical cancer center, the IU Cancer Center will receive a five-year, $6.3 million grant. The grant bolsters the $33.3 million annual funding currently received for cancer research projects at IU.

            The NCI designation places the IU Cancer Center in an elite group of research entities that focus on the rapid translation of research discoveries to directly benefit people with cancer.  It will enhance the collaboration throughout Indiana of physicians and scientific investigators in applying laboratory findings to new patient treatments.

            Members and collaborators of the IU Cancer Center are on the faculties of the

Indiana University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, and Allied Health Sciences, as well as the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI.

            The NCI designation is both a recognition of IU’s research strengths and a resounding vote of confidence in the physicians, laboratory scientists, nurses, social workers, behavioral scientists, dentists, nutritionists, radiation therapists, imaging technologists, pharmacologists, physical therapists and others involved in caring for cancer patients and their families.


***

            Governor Frank O’Bannon has appointed a nine‑member Board of Directorsrepresenting research,  finance, and business leadership in Indiana — to implement and manage the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund authorized earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly.   It is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Joseph Kernan.  Other board members include Indiana University Dean of Medicine Robert W. Holden, M.D., and Purdue University (West Lafayette) Vice President for Research Gary Isom.

            Indiana University was a catalyst in promoting the establishment of the $50 million fund as a way for the state to help Indiana compete for private and federal research and development funding and to expedite the transfer of new products and technologies from research colleges and universities to Hoosier companies, particularly in the fields of biomedicine, health, technology, agriculture, and science.  

            The 21st Century Research and Technology Fund board is now receiving letters of intent and has set a deadline of November 1 for receiving proposals.

***

            IUPUI’s learning communities, part of our effort to improve the first-year experience for beginning college students, are the subject of a chapter in a new guide produced by the Council on Library and Information Resources titled Innovative Use of Information Technology by Colleges (August 1999). 

            Each learning communities course has an instructional team consisting of a faculty member, librarian, advisor from the University College, and student mentor.  Most learning communities are organized around the academic discipline in which the student plans to major.  As such, they provide students — early in their academic career — a  link to the school in which they wish to major.  The courses, such as “Windows in Science,” for example, typically address college life and adjustment issues as well as general skills development in the discipline.

            The article describes our learning communities concept as a “remarkable endeavor . . . at the cutting edge of contemporary thinking about technology and pedagogy in higher education.”  “In these times,” the authors conclude, “it is rare to find a university that would put a team of four trained instructors in a classroom for beginning students.”


***

            In a related development having to do with undergraduate education, IUPUI was among 10 universities that received a $200,000 Pew Charitable Trusts grant for course redesign that uses technology to improve learning in large enrollment courses.  IUPUI’s grant will be used to combine the Introduction to Sociology class with the Elementary Composition class in a single course, using a common format, online learning modules, interactive research, and computer-based testing. The reduction in cost of offering the course will be passed along to students, who will be charged only a five-credit-hour tuition rate for six credits of study. 

***

            The Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing segments of Indiana’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, increasing in the last eight years from fewer than 100,000 to more than 145,000.  IUPUI’s Hispanic Heritage Month gives our students a chance to explore and celebrate the cultural contributions that people of Hispanic descent have made.

            Among the remaining activities planned are these:


            ·  “The Legend of the Vejigante — A Mask-Making Experience” led by Paul Wandless of the IU Herron School of Art at IUPUI (October 7, 12 noon, University College, Lower Level)

            ·  Presentation by George Mendoza, Jr., a world-class runner who has been blind since age 15 (October 12, 6 p.m., University College, Room 115)

            ·  Dance Fiesta (October 15, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Union Building Cafeteria)

***                   

            IUPUI teamed up with several arts organizations and museums for “Bridge to the Arts,” Saturday, October 2.  A day-long “paint-out” on and around the Old Washington Street Bridge gave area artists of all ages an opportunity to enter paintings or sketches depicting scenes from the downtown area and compete for awards.

            This unique event, an idea promoted by George W. Rapp, M.D., chair of the IUPUI Board of Advisors Committee on the Arts, was made possible with funding from the Indiana Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Byron and Sons Galleries.

            The first annual “Sculpture in the Park” exhibition at White River State Park, along the Old Washington Street Bridge, is on display through October.

            What a great way to enrich the senses while enjoying a mild fall day and a walk in the park!

 

 

Gerald L. Bepko

Chancellor