The National Science Foundation has announced the formation of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS). The effort, which involves New York University, Cornell University, Polytechnic University of New York, and the University of Southern California, links professional activities related to what Richard E. Schuler, director of the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs, calls a fragmented industry. "The institute will link engineering and the applied social sciences to develop better solutions for the myriad of infrastructure problems facing the nation," Schuler adds. Institute projects include: expanded use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by the electric, gas, and water utility industries, workshops and white papers on improved public and private cooperation, use of art to develop community participation in local projects, telecommunications to educate K-6 graders about the infrastructure, and programs to reduce the institutional barrier to new technology. E-mail bpf2@. edu.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.