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Release: Sept. 10, 2002

Instructional computer innovators to demonstrate work Sept. 12

Winners of the University of Iowa's 2001 Innovations in Instructional Computing Awards will demonstrate their work from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in Room 301 of Lindquist Center South.

The awards program was launched last fall by the UI Provost's Office and the Academic Technologies Advisory Council to support significant and innovative instructional computing projects that have the potential to improve the education provided to students throughout the university. In addition to recognition, the awards carry with them financial rewards in support of the winning projects. The money can be used for, among other things, hardware, software and personnel.

"Instructional innovation awards enable experiments on the cutting edge of technology-assisted teaching,” said Lola Lopes, associate provost for undergraduate education. “We hope that the future will see these innovations picked up and used in settings all across campus."

The Academic Technologies Advisory Council selected five of the 12 proposals submitted last fall, awarding a total of $84,817 to the projects. The winners were:

* A Dentistry Surgical Simulator with Haptics. Award: $38,000. Professor Geb Thomas, College of Engineering and Professors Clark Stanford and Lynn Johnson, College of Dentistry. This project seeks to build and evaluate a surgical simulator that uses force feedback – referred to as "haptics" -- to teach and assess the tactile skills of dentistry.

* DVD as Art Portfolios. Award: $25,762. Professors Dorothy Johnson, Steve Thunder-McGuire, Susan Hettmansperger, Christopher Roy, Visiting Professor Russell Nordman, and Steven Strait, a computing consultant, all of the School of Art and Art History. This project seeks to establish a DVD initiative in the School of Art and Art History that will enable students to author, publish and exchange portfolios and other scholarly works on DVD-R medium.

* Master Music Classes via Video Conference. Award: $11,375. Professors Katherine Eberle and Tadeu Coelho School of Music. The project calls for the use of IP video conferencing to allow students in Clapp Recital Hall and Harper Hall to both deliver and receive music instruction to and from other similarly equipped institutions.

* Language Corpora for the Teaching of French Grammar in the department of French and Italian. Award: $7,680. Professors Downing A. Thomas and L. Kathy Heilenman, department of French and Italian. The project seeks to revise the existing 9:112 French Grammar course, putting authentic language corpora -- databases of written or spoken language-- and discovery-type activities at its center.

* PDAs and Pharmacy Education. Award: $2,000. Professor Ronald Herman, College of Pharmacy. This project seeks to develop software for personal digital devices that will allow pharmacy students to use pharmacokinetic calculations to individualize drug therapy.

For more information about the 2001 winners and about submitting proposals for the 2002 awards, visit