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bridges vol. 28, December 2010 / OpEds & Commentaries

1.    OECD. "Education at a Glance: 2010: OECD Indicators." 2010.
<http://www.oecd.org/document/52/0,3343,en_2649_39263238_45897844_1_1_1_1,00.html >

2.    College Board. "Education Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society." 2010.
<http://trends.collegeboard.org/downloads/Education_Pays_2010.pdf >

3.    College Board. "The College Completion Agenda: 2010 Progress Report." 2010. <http://completionagenda.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/reports_pdf/Progress_Report_2010.pdf >

4.    Lumina Foundation for Education. "A Stronger Nation through Higher Education." 2010.
<http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/A_stronger_nation.pdf >

5.    Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "Help wanted- Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018." 2010. <http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/FullReport.pdf >

6.    State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO). "State Higher Education Finance FY 2009." 2010.
<http://www.sheeo.org/finance/shef-home.htm >

7.    The White House. "Remarks of President Barack Obama - As Prepared for Delivery. Address to Joint Secession of Congress. Tuesday, February 24th, 2009." (accessed September 13, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-barack-obama-address-joint-session-congress >

8.    The White House. "Making College More Affordable." (accessed November 8, 10) <http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education >

9.    The White House. "Remarks by the President in Conference Call with College and University Student-Journalists. September 27, 2010." (accessed November 17, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/27/remarks-president-conference-call-with-college-and-university-student-jo >

10.    The White House. "Remarks by the President on Higher Education and the Economy at the University of Texas at Austin. August 9, 2010." (accessed November 26, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/08/09/remarks-president-higher-education-and-economy-university-texas-austin >

11.    The White House. "Investing in Pell Grants to Make College Affordable." (accessed December 10, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/investing-in-pell-grants-to-make-college-affordable >

12.    The White House. "Ensuring That Students Loans are Affordable." (accessed December 11, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/ensuring-that-student-loans-are-affordable >

13.    The White House. "Building American Skills Through Community Colleges." (accessed December 10, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/building-american-skills-through-community-colleges >

14.    The White House Blog. "Get The Facts on the DREAM Act." (accessed December 10, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/12/01/get-facts-dream-act >

15.    The White House Blog. "Make Higher Education Available to 100% of Americans." (accessed November 17, 10)
<http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/10/01/make-higher-education-available-100-americans >

16.    Forbes.com. "Obama's Goal for Higher Education. November 8, 2010." (accessed November 9, 10)
<http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/01/america-education-reform-opinions-best-colleges-10-duncan.html >

17.    U.S. Government Printing Office. "Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (accessed December 15, 10)
<http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ152/content-detail.html >

18.    The Chronicle of Higher Education. "High-School Dropout Rate is Cited as a Key Barrier to Obama's College-Completion Goal. May 25, 2010." (accessed November 26, 10)
<http://chronicle.com/article/High-School-Dropout-Rate-Is/65669/ >

19.    The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Obama's Higher-Education Goal Is Ambitious but Achievable, Leaders Say. February 26, 2009." (accessed November 8, 10)
<http://chronicle.com/article/Obamas-Higher-Education-Goal/1551 >

20.    The Chronicle of Higher Education. "America Falling: Longtime Dominance in Education Erodes. October 5, 2009." (accessed November 29, 10)
<http://chronicle.com/article/America-Falling-Longtime/48683/ >

21.    The Chronicle of Higher Education. "Almanac Issue 2010-11."

22.    College Inc. "Adults with ‘some college' key to Obama's graduation goal." (accessed October 1, 10)
<http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010/09/adults_with_some_college_key_t.html >

23.    The Chronicle of Higher Education. "In Interview, Education Secretary Cites Need for Improvement in College Completion and Cost Control. May 1, 2009" (accessed October 1, 10)
<http://chronicle.com/article/In-Interview-Education/47227 >

24.    U.S. Department of Education. "The Vision of Education Reform in the United States: Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France. November 4, 2010" (accessed December 10, 10)
<http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/vision-education-reform-united-states-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-united-nations-ed >

25.    U.S. Department of Education. "Education and International Competition: The Win-Win Game. Secretary Duncan's Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City.
October 19, 2010" (November 9, 10)
<http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/education-and-international-competition-win-win-game-secretary-duncans-remarks-council >

26.    U.S. Department of Education. "The Linchpin: The New Mission of Community Colleges. Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the White House Summit on Community Colleges." (accessed December 7, 10)
<http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/linchpin-new-mission-community-colleges >

27.    U.S. Department of Education Blog. "Ensuring Your Success." (accessed  November 17, 10)
<http://www.ed.gov/blog/2010/09/ensuring-your-success/ >

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bridges vol. 26, July 2010 / Feature Articles

virtual_vehicle_small.jpgThis K2 research program constitutes an integrated and systematic approach to exploiting the full optimization potential in all areas of vehicle development. It concentrates its competencies on the development of new technologies, methods, and tools concerning the full-vehicle system.  
The essential goal is the combination of different disciplines with an integrated engineering approach.

Five research areas cover the required fields of knowledge:
1) System Design & Optimization
2) Thermodynamics
3) Noise, Vibration, Harshness & Friction
4) Mechanics
5) Vehicle Electrical Systems/Electronics & Software.

The goals of this K2-Center are:
- Innovative vehicle concepts, focusing on lightweight design, high safety standards, and reduced emissions
- Full-vehicle optimization and multidisciplinary co-development
- Development of integrated verification methods and new testing strategies
- Addressing the need for new, efficient, fast, and realistic evaluation and calibration methods
- Evaluation and optimization of full-vehicle E/E architectures
- Comprehensive analysis of mechanical, electrical, and electronic vehicle systems.

The K2 Project was put into action by a single company as a merger of the two leading research companies VIRTUAL VEHICLE Competence Center ("ViF," founded in 2002, 100 staff) and Acoustic Competence Center ("ACC," founded in 1999, 20 staff), including additional topics from the research consortium "Knet VKM der Zukunft" in close cooperation with the Graz University of Technology as well as national/international industry (more than 40 partners) and research (more than 30 partners). Shareholders in this venture will be TU Graz, AVL, MAGNA Steyr, Siemens, and Joanneum Research.

Company partners include:
Audi AG, AVL List GmbH, BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Porsche AG, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, MAGNA STEYR Fahrzeugtechnik AG, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG, Mecanica Solutions Inc., Siemens Transportation Systems GmbH,  and voestalpine Stahl GmbH.

Scientific partners include:
TU Graz, TU Wien, Karl-Franzens University (all Austrian), TU Kaiserslautern, and TU Munich (Germany).

International partners include:
Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Royal institute of Technology/M. Wallenberg Lab (Sweden), Illinois State University/ ACRC (USA), and Concordia University (Canada).
The planned number of personnel is 210-225 full-time equivalents; at present, K2 mobility has 131 staff members. The total budget for the first funding period was €63,531million, the leader of this consortium is Rector Univ. Prof. Dr. Hans Sünkel from TU Graz.

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bridges vol. 26, July 2010 / Feature Articles

language_weaver_small.jpg Within a period of two years, the company "Language Weaver" has developed a fully functional commercial software product from a novel, statistics-based, translation technology brought to a research prototype by the company founders - professors and researchers at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute.
The translations of documents, newscasts, and other source materials for defense and commercial purposes include Arabic, Farsi, Somali, Hindi, Chinese, French, and Spanish.
The company founders are still professors at the university. The company now has about 35 employees, many of them attracted from the university's Infor¬mation Sciences Institute.


The machine-based software uses computational algorithms and probability statistics to learn from existing translated parallel texts, analyze words and word groupings, and build translation parameters that will afford the highest statisti¬cal probability of providing a correct translation. Language Weaver's technology offers societal benefits in several ways: First, it reportedly achieves a significantly higher level of accuracy in translation than counterpart rule-based machine translations, delivering greater value to customers. Second, it is able to provide translation systems in languages for which there is a shortage of available translators and a considerable demand for translations, particularly for defense purposes. Third, it can be more cost-effective than human translators for translation of large volumes of information. Fourth, the technology may offer a faster means for obtaining needed translations by its ability to process large volumes of data quickly. For example, it reportedly can process in one minute what a human translator would take several days to produce.  


Funding sources for the company are federal government grants, venture capital, and licens¬ing revenue.

In 2001 the founders submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF), and received an SBIR grant the following year. The technology was thought to be interesting and subsequently the company was able to obtain venture capital funding as well.

At the end of 2002, the company was incorporated when it got the first STTR grant. Language Weaver was then given a chance to convert the STTR into an SBIR grant, which was accepted, because the SBIR offered more advantages.

Since its founding in 2002, Language Weaver has received a total of $150,000 in Phase I SBIR grants and $1,500,000 in Phase II grants. The SBIR grants were given by the NSF and the US Army.

In addition to its SBIR grants, the company received a multi-year grant from the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) for a large-scale syntax-based system, expected to bear fruit several years out. The ATP funds amounted to $1,972,557 for the period 12/1/2004 -11/30/2007.

For the detailed case study, please visit this link .

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bridges vol. 26, July 2010 / Feature Article

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