ASEE Prism Magazine - Oct 2001



Excitiing Times

Frank Huband - ASEE Executive Director Almost 15 years ago, as director of NSF's electrical engineering division, I created the Emerging Technology Initiation Program to jump-start nascent technology areas that seemed to have great potential. One of the first two areas we funded was tissue engineering (the other was MEMS—micro-electro-mechanical systems). Both of these areas have grown dramatically in the intervening years, and our cover story this month highlights where tissue engineering is today and what researchers hope to achieve in the future. These are exciting times!

Irwin Jacobs and Qualcomm (with assistance from Korea's Daewoo) created the CDMA (code division multiple access) digital cell phone technology, which is superior to the then-standard TDMA (time division multiple access) digital technology. With remarkably effective marketing by Qualcomm, CDMA has become a major player in the second-generation (digital) cell phone market, and will totally dominate the third generation. But there are two CDMA options, and although Qualcomm will earn license revenue from both, it will get more if its version becomes the standard. Read about this former engineering faculty member's exciting life on page 32.

The article “Staying Home” charts the different routes three American universities have taken to India. Illinois Institute of Technology, at the suggestion of Motorola, set up shop in Bangalore and offers master's degrees in engineering to top performers from companies in India, such as Motorola, Oracle, Lucent, and Honeywell. The select performers, chosen by their companies, are young people who cannot come to the U.S., but deserve an American graduate degree. Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is taking a grassroots approach, and recently signed a five-year partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB). The two institutes will swap faculty to teach classes, set up undergraduate and graduate student exchange programs, and collaborate on research projects. Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab has involved itself in high-tech research such as wearable computers and interactive cinema. In June, MIT signed a one year contract with the Indian government for an exploratory project to create Media Lab Asia, which will based outside Bombay.

As always, I am interested in your reactions and thoughts.

Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher