IBM to open infrastructure lab at Carnegie Mellon

Computer giant IBM is teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University on a research lab to develop technologies to help governments better manage their infrastructure, BusinessWeek reports. The collaborative lab announced July 29 is part of the Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator and is expected to open in the fall at the Pittsburgh school’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. IBM Vice President Wayne Balta said university researchers and graduate students will work with IBM experts and “be at the cutting edge of the way people are going to run their infrastructures.” The goal is to develop technologies, including real-time digital sensors and advanced computer systems, that government officials can use to more efficiently maintain and manage infrastructure, like road and sewer systems, Balta said. A sewer system, for example, might be equipped with sensors and computers that can analyze patterns of sewage flow, so that the system could be maintained more intelligently to avoid costly repairs or renovations…

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$20 billion in ed funding slashed from student aid legislation

Funding for an online course program was cut out of the final student aid bill.
$500 million in proposed funding to create open online courses was cut out of the final student aid bill.

In last-minute maneuvering designed to get the measure to pass, lawmakers eliminated $20 billion in proposed education funding from the student aid overhaul enacted by Congress last week—dampening enthusiasm for legislation that K-12 and higher-education officials had lobbied for over the past year. Of that $20 billion, $12 billion was slated for community colleges to boost graduation rates, partly through the development of open online courses, and $8 billion was pegged for an early-childhood education program.

Community college officials cheered the American Graduation Initiative (AGI) when lawmakers introduced the program last fall, but last-minute compromises and worries over the cost of the student aid bill forced legislators to eliminate the $12 billion set aside for AGI, observers said. The program aimed to help community colleges produce 5 million more graduates over the next decade.

AGI had included $500 million for an online skills laboratory modeled after Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI). The free, open internet classes were to be created by the Departments of Defense, Education, and Labor, according to a White House announcement.…Read More

Carnegie Mellon to offer internet safety resources

Ninety percent of children surveyed said they use some form of online social networking.
Ninety percent of children surveyed said they use some form of online social networking.

Carnegie Mellon University will use a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to create and distribute internet safety advice to faculty, teachers, and students in K-12 schools and on college campuses.

The university’s internet safety lessons can be found on a new web site from its Information Networking Institute, called MySecureCyberspace, which also includes tools such as an encyclopedia of hundreds of web terms.

The web-based tools will be sampled at St. Bede School in Pennsylvania, the university announced Jan. 25.…Read More