Tablet PCs to boost bioinformatics, computer engineering at Cal State L.A.
$120,000 HP grant creates new interactive wireless classroom
To help its students explore the confluence of biology and computational tools, California State University, Los Angeles will create a new interactive wireless classroom with support from Hewlett-Packard (HP), which will equip the University with 42 HP Tablet PCs and accessories, valued at $120,000. Cal State L.A. is one of only 10 two- and four-year colleges and universities in the nation recently selected for the HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Grant.
Slightly larger than a 1-inch stack of notebook paper, the HP Tablet PC is a portable computer with the ability to accept and store handwriting as "digital ink."
Cal State L.A.'s winning project, "Project Based Learning Using Tablet PCs in Computer Engineering and Bioinformatics," follows a previous HP Teaching Initiative Award.
Cal State L.A. faculty Nancy Warter-Perez (electrical engineering), Jane Dong (electrical engineering) and Jamil Momand (chemistry) will be using HP mobile technology to enhance the students' hands-on skills in computer engineering and bioinformatics courses.
According to Warter-Perez, the initial HP award provided 21 Tablet PCs, allowing the electrical engineering professor and her colleagues to integrate hands-on design projects into their lectures.
"This helps students participate in and understand the design process while reinforcing theoretical concepts," she said. "The new award, called a 'Leadership Grant,' allows us to expand our model into our cross-disciplinary bioinformatics course and our Southern California Bioinformatics Summer Institute. The portability and duality of Tablet PCs make them a natural choice for bioinformatics."
The field combines biology, chemistry, computer information science and engineering to develop and use computational tools in the study of biological phenomena. The compilation of DNA data for the Human Genome Project is its most prominent effort.
Bess Stephens, vice president of HP Philanthropy and Education, said, "Through the Leadership Grant, HP offers additional equipment and training so that the excellent work already demonstrated by these educators can be expanded. We are delighted to make these reinvestment grants so that even more educators and students can benefit from innovative applications of technology to improve teaching and learning."
For more information about HP's Technology for Teaching program and the 2006 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership grant, go to http://www.hp.com/go/hpteach.
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