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IEEE-USA: Today's Engineer
IEEE-USA, a unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, maintains this monthly Webzine to inform industry workers and professionals about issues relevant to their careers. Business trends, ethics, public policy, engineering performance, and management are just a few of the focus areas addressed in Today's Engineer. Reader polls provide insight into thoughts and values of engineers around the country. The Web site also keeps archives of both career and policy feature stories th
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Causes of Color
One of the latest from Webexhibits.org (last mentioned in the March 21, 2000 Scout Report for Social Sciences is the Causes of Color site. The activity attempts to answer the question, "Why are things colored?" by covering things such as the eye, made light such as lightbulbs, lost light as in water, moved light as in a rainbow, and other light related topics such as colorblindness and animal sight. A very unique collection that includes material for students from introductory to advanced levels
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ATM Technology: The Foundation for Broadband Networks
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), one of the key technologies in the transition to broadband telecommunications, is used to transmit "data, video and voice at ultra high speeds." This home page for the ATM Forum is a good place to learn about the technology and its many applications. For people unfamiliar with ATM, the Beginner's Guide to ATM explains some of the basic principles involved in digital communication. More informed readers can download specifications, white papers, case studies, or
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GEOROC: Geochemistry of Rocks of the Oceans and Continents
Maintained by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the Geochemistry of Rocks of the Oceans and Continents database (GEOROC) contains about 70,000 sample analyses. These include whole rock, mineral, and inclusion data from seven tectonic settings such as convergent margins, oceanic plateaus, and ocean islands. The database can be queried by several criteria including a handy precompiled file compilation, which can be downloaded for further examination.
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Observational Science Branch
The Observational Science Branch (OSB), working within the Laboratory for Hydrospheric Processes of the Earth Sciences Directorate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, conducts research in the oceanic, atmospheric, and terrestrial sciences. "We design, fabricate and operate both remote and in-situ sensing instruments for aircraft, balloons, and rockets. We plan and conduct laboratory and field measurements to improve the fundamental knowledge of earth sensing and to evaluate sensor systems as
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Engineer's Edge: Solutions by Design
Engineer's Edge is a great reference for a wide variety of engineering, design, and manufacturing information. Most of the material is in the form of online calculators and equation charts, which save users time that would otherwise be spent flipping through books. Other resources such as part specifications (e.g., drill sizes, gauge charts) and material properties are also available. Interactive conversion tools, beam statics analyzers, and calculators for many different applications are free a
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Fear of Physics
The Fear of Physics Web site contains more than twenty interactive physics related activities. Everything from things that spin, sound, atoms, collisions, and the Doppler effect are included. The Speed and Acceleration link teaches about movement by allowing users to choose two vehicles and change their position, speed, and acceleration. After pressing the GO button, the program runs, and students get to see how the chosen variables affect the vehicles' movements. A great collection of online le
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NOVA: Sinking City of Venice
First aired on November 19, 2002, the Sinking City of Venice is a fascinating episode of the NOVA television series that focuses on the threat of rising tide levels for the exposed Italian city. Venice has many historical treasures and centuries-old architecture, which is forcing the government to turn to engineers for possible solutions to safeguard the city. A very ambitious proposal that is currently being considered involves massive underwater gates that rise in times of dangerously high tid
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Stem Cell Task Force
This Web site from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides an overview of the activities of an NIH task force established to move the stem cell research agenda forward. The section titled Scientific Research may be of particular interest to researchers in this area. It provides links to the Web sites of stem cell-related research at a number of NIH institutes, as well as an extensive information index, a FAQs page about stem cell research, information on funding opportunities, and much
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incits: Technical Committee T10
This organization's Web site is a repository of information about computer input/ output (I/O) interfaces. The T10 Technical Committee works to oversee the development of voluntary standards for low-level interfaces, specifically "the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)." A large collection of these standards and related technical reports is provided on this site. Many variations of SCSI are documented, as well as other interfaces, such as IEEE 1394 and fibre channel. The standards cover arch
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ANWR Technology
Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska has been a topic of debate for many years. Although initial exploratory drilling has not yet been authorized by the government, this site presents some technologies that could eventually be used to find and extract oil without damaging the land. Nine articles describe different drilling methods, spill prevention tactics, exploration techniques, and more. One topic is 3D reflective seismic technology, which is used to help a
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X Prize: 2003 Team Updates
The X Prize is an international competition that seeks to develop an economically efficient space vehicle capable of carrying three people into space twice in two weeks. On December 15, 2003, the X Prize website released an update on the status of thirteen privately owned teams competing in the remarkable event. The document describes the fundamental design and operation of each team's vehicle. With participants from six countries highlighted in the progress report, the competition certainly see
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Computer History Museum: Timeline of Computer History
The Computer History Museum offers this outstanding online timeline, which ranges from the first proposal of electronic data storage in 1945 to the birth of the World Wide Web in 1990. "Each year features illustrated descriptions of significant innovations in hardware and software technology, as well as milestones in areas such as commercial applications and artificial intelligence." There is also a focus on the portrayal of computers in pop culture. With nearly 120 entries, the timeline serves
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Education Module: Space Technology is Used to Observe and Measure Tectonic Motion of the Earth's Sur
This educational resource, provided by the Southern California Integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) Network, provides instruction, exercises, and projects that illustrate how space technologies are used to predict and measure earthquakes. Using these resources, students can learn about plate tectonics, earthquakes, and satellite technologies. These resources are intended for secondary school or undergraduate students, but the explanations are simple enough that educators of younger childre
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TranStats: The Intermodal Transportation Database
Provided by the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, this site for researchers and analysts, which is aimed at providing "one stop shopping" for transportation data, allows users to search over 100 databases, download data, complete online statistics, and view online maps pertaining to data. Data subjects related to physical science includes energy use statistics, a pollution database, air quality data, emission trends, toxics inventories, greenhouse gases, and more. Although a newer browser
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Australian Biological Resources Study: Flora Online
The Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) provides a bounty of biological and taxonomic information regarding Australian plant and fungi species. Acting as a clearinghouse for online information about plants and fungi, ABRS connects to such resources as the Flora of Australia Online, Checklist of Australian Lichens, Interactive Catalogue of Australian Fungi, Census of Freshwater Algae in Australia, and the Australian Plant Name Index. The site also provides a collection of glossaries that
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Mount Sinai Hospital: Blueprint
Led by Dr. Christopher Hogue of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital the Blueprint Initiative "develops, hosts and maintains public biological databases and Bioinformatics software tools such as BIND, SeqHound and Distributed Folding." The Blueprint research program also has a sister node located at the National University of Singapore. In addition to providing access to a variety of databases and software, the Blueprint website offers links to a number of downloadable
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Plants in Motion
Roger P. Hangarter of Indiana University's Department of Biology has created this wonderful collection of time-lapse photography that allows us "to see the movements of plants and clearly demonstrates that plants are living and capable of some extraordinary things. " The videos available show a broad range of plant growth phenomena, including germination, circadian responses, phototropism, and much more. The movies are fun to watch in and of themselves, but don't miss out on the informative desc
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The Mitochondria Project
The Mitochondria Project (MITOP), "a database for mitochondria-related genes, proteins, and diseases," is a joint project of the Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences and the Institut f�r Humangenetik in Germany. MITOP provides a synthesis of all available information "concerning genetic, functional and human-pathological aspects of the central role of mitochondria in the organism, with an emphasis on nuclear encoded proteins," and offers a number of search options organized by or
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National Wetlands Research Center: Library Digital Collection
The National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) "is a source and clearinghouse of science information about wetlands in the United States and the world for fellow agencies, private entities, academia, and the public at large." The NWRC Library Digital Collection contains an abundance of technical reports in pdf format spanning the last couple decades from such institutions as the US Fish and Wildlife Service; the USGS Biological Resources Division; and the National Biological Service. The site also
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