Theme 4: Information Science and Technology: Scientific Innovation and the Information Society
  Number of abstracts currently posted to this Theme: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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  (Last updated: September 2nd, 2005)
 
 
 
 
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  Modern ICTs in Contemporary Science: New Opportunities and Challenges  
  Elena Z. Mirskaya, Professor  
  Russian Academy of Science, Institute for the History of Science and Technology RAS  
  Moscow, Russia  
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Extensive use of modern ICTs in contemporary science has generated enormous new opportunities for scientific investigation but also not the little issues for science policy. The science policy principles and institutional arrangements of the past fifty years were questioned and called upon to meet new and demanding challenges. The most pressing challenges in the sphere of science are provoked by a contradictory mixture of new technological potentialities and old political regulations.

 
     
 

The proposed paper analyzes augmented capabilities and illustrates them with original empirical data of Russia's science monitoring. But main attention will be concentrated on such untoward effects of ICT uses as:
a. further decrease of the institutional attachment and loyalty of researchers,
b. fostering the fragmentation of research networks into less diverse and ever more selectively homogenized research specialities,
c. increasing the degree of stratification and inequality of access to scientific resources.

 
     
  In all national sciences, the aim of scientists is the optimal use of ICTs. Therefore, the aim of science policy-makers should be the modernization of science functioning according to new challenges of the information society. The progress of science depends on harmonization of both these groups' efforts.  
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  Process Reengineering through ICT Interventions in Haryana Board of School Education, India  
  Rakesh Gupta , Deputy Commissioner  
  District Magistrate, Haryana, India  
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Abstract ‘BPR’, the hot new management buzzword, has its relevance in Government too, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) plays a vital role in reengineering any organization.

 
     
 

Before the start of the reengineering exercise in HBSE in the year 2003, there was rampant corruption with a nexus operating between scheming schools, officials of the education department & the board and teachers which made the state of Haryana infamous for widespread copying. Accuracy was uncertain, human drudgery was involved in various branches of the board due to use of obsolete methods & procedures and the clients (about 1.1 million candidates & 7600 schools) were provided sub-standard services.

 
     
  At this stage, fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of various value stream processes was carried out using liberal doses of ICT interventions, keeping client-focus as the ultimate objective. The emphasis was on activity elimination, process simplification/ rationalization/ improvisation, computerization and outsourcing.  
     
  All these initiatives and many other non-ICT interventions in the examination system ensured that copying was eradicated to the extent of 95% from the state. The board has been vitalized and its public image has undergone a drastic change for the better.  
     
  The most important achievement of the reengineering has been that the new processes have been accepted by all and sundry. The work culture has improved drastically and the new processes are less cumbersome. The changes have been largely institutionalized and the board today is on the very top in the country in terms of its efficiency and over-all image of its performance-profile.  
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  Civil Engineering Education for Information Society: A Case Study  
  Satya Pal Bindra, Director  
  R&D, International Energy Foundation  
     
  Muheddin S. Tughar  
  Civil Engineering Department, Margeb University  
     
  Libya  
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  The paper is an outcome of a reflection exercise on the main trends, role, and challenges faced by civil engineering educators in Middle-eastern & North African (MENA) countries responsible for examining the relevant issues and considerations pertaining to the information revolution and knowledge society. The goal is to find solutions, share best practices and experiences with a view to help device strategy and launch new action programs in the region. It is designed to address questions stemming from the problems like: What constitutes Information & Communication Technology (ICT) skill requirement for knowledge society related civil engineering education for an undergraduate civil engineering (CE) curriculum? How can we mitigate the impact of disasters? How do we link disasters with development? What do employers expect from a CE undergraduate? How should the courses be developed? How can we better addresses the needs of a relatively large number of CE students who in all probability do not foresee the possibility of pursuing further studies in civil engineering?  
     
  After reviewing the outcome of a UNESCO-UNIDO sponsored Graduate Resource Integration Program (GRIP) & Promoting Responsible Industrial Design Merit through Enterpreneurship (PRIME), it presents salient views from a running debate in some case study MENA countries about what to include in the required CE courses. The paper outlines preliminary results from an on-going comprehensive survey of professors teaching civil engineering in general and structural engineering in particulars in case study MENA countries. The objective is to determine the content of ICT related structural analysis and design courses that should be included as a requirement in a civil engineering curriculum. Finally it highlights in brief summary of general observations, views and suggestions with respect to civil engineering education for information society in general and enriching required courses in structural engineering in particular to meet the challenges of change and development for MENA countries situation.  
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  Towards Usability Evaluation of Flash Websites  
  Pilun Piyasirivej, Lecturer  
  Faculty of Information Technology, Dhurakijpundit University, Thailand  
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  Macromedia Flash technology has been used for Web publishing for several years. It was first intended to be just an add-on to standard HTML, which has limited capabilities in handling animated/interactive content. However, the use of Flash tends to be increasingly favoured by Web developers, so that it is becoming a replacement for HTML. This situation imposes doubts on several accessibility and usability aspects because Flash Web sites usually require higher hardware specifications and faster Internet connection speed, and it also offers different interaction schemes from standard HTML. Furthermore, several Web sites offer both Flash and HTML versions to their visitors, thus incurring higher maintenance costs and inconsistencies. This paper discusses relevant research issues and emphasises the need for usability evaluation of Flash Web sites. Results of a preliminary qualitative study suggest that there are more users who like Flash than those who detest it. However, further research needs to be undertaken to confirm the significance of these results.  
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