Headlines @ U.Va.
TECHNOLOGY HELPS PEOPLE LEARN TO COMMUNICATE
Technology developed at U.Va. is helping researchers at the University of Maryland’s Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic figure out what can help stroke victims the most. The teaching clinic ... is testing the Eye-gaze Response Interface Computer Aide (ERICA) system developed by Thomas E. Hutchinson, U.Va. professor of systems and information engineering. The goal is to determine ERICA’s potential to help others — for example, one stroke victim recently tested it to see if it would help him get a job. With their eyes alone, ERICA users can select letters, works or commonly used phrases from on-screen displays. They can instruct the computer to write e-mails or text files, to surf the Internet or to speak. (Deluth News Tribune, Feb. 19)
UNIVERSITY TOWNS: A ONE-STOP SHOP
After you pick up your diploma from College Town, U.S.A., perhaps you should think about sticking around to get your first job, too. Turns out that college towns have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ report on unemployment rates in metropolitan areas, as of last December, 107 cities had rates below 4 percent. The four lowest are: Bryan-College Station (Texas A&M), with a 1.8 percent rate; Charlottesville, with a 1.9 percent rate; Gainesville, Fla. (University of Florida), with a 1.9 percent rate; and Madison, Wis. (University of Wisconsin), with a 2 percent rate. Many of these cities have thrived because professors and researchers have taken their knowledge base and stretched it to commercial development. Also, university towns are major suppliers of health care and medical research. (Christian Science Monitor, March 7)
HACKERS CRACK U.VA.’s COLLEGE AT WISE BOOKSTORE
A computer hacker or hackers breached the bookstore computer at the U.Va. College at Wise in January, putting those who have made credit card purchases since December 2003 at risk of fraud. During that period, the bookstore logged 3,000 computer transactions on 1,500 credit cards, some from people who used multiple cards, according to college spokesperson Jane Meade-Dean. College officials stressed that there is no evidence that identity theft has occurred, but recommend that those who used credit cards contact the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on credit files and monitor their accounts. The majority of the transactions were made by faculty, staff and students, she said. (Bristol
Herald-Courier, March 1)