ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition — March 2003

In This Issue
Walking the Talk: An Interview with Chris Richardson
Looking Toward the Future
Ask the PowerPhrase® Expert

 

Features

AQP Connections
Our Readers Say
The Help Desk
Articles in Brief
News Bites
What’s Up?
Out of Context
Book Nook
March 2003 News for a Change—Home Page

NFC Index

AQP Home

News Bites
Information of interest from other publications related to quality, participation, change, and leadership

 

Report Envisions a Future Cyberinfrastructure That Will “Radically Empower” the Science and Engineering Community
The critical needs of science and rapid progress in information technology are converging to provide a unique opportunity to create and apply a sustained cyberinfrastructure that will “radically empower” scientific and engineering research and allied education, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. The committee details its recommendations in a report, entitled “Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure.”

Like the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges, power grids, telephone lines, and water systems that support modern society, “cyberinfrastructure” refers to the distributed computer, information, and communication technologies combined with the personnel and integrating components that provide a long-term platform to empower the modern scientific research endeavor.

Cyberinfrastructure is “essential, not optional, to the aspirations of research communities.” For scientists and engineers, the report states, cyberinfrastructure has the potential to “revolutionize what they can do, how they do it, and who participates.” The seeds of this revolution are seen in community-driven efforts, supported by NSF and other agencies, such as the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulations (NEES), the Grid Physics Network (GriPhyN), and the National Virtual Observatory (NVO).

“We’ve clearly documented extensive grass-roots activity in the scientific and engineering research community to create and use cyberinfrastructure to empower the next wave of discovery,” said Dan Atkins, chair of the advisory committee and professor in the University of Michigan School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “NSF has been a catalyst for creating the conditions for a nascent cyberinfrastructure-based revolution. We’re at a new threshold where technology allows people, information, computational tools, and research instruments to be connected on a global scale.”

Pilot Project Approved for Good Works Initiative
Late last year the ASQ board of directors approved a series of pilot programs over a two-year span for the Community Good Works initiative. The initiative is aimed at providing matching grants and knowledge transfer to not-for-profit, community-based organizations.

The city of Kingsport, TN, was selected as the first recipient of matching funds of $5,000 to support the city’s drive to reduce costs and improve the service reliability of trash collection.

According to Danny Duhan, chairman of the Good Works Committee, “The committee members and I were very impressed with the city of Kingsport’s approach, which relies heavily on the Six Sigma DMAIC—define, measure, analyze, improve, and control—process. We are excited this project has the potential to improve local communities and create a body of evidence that documents the efficacy of quality.”

The pilot is to be completed this spring, with an analysis and recommendations presented to the ASQ board in November. The city of Kingsport will participate in the May 2003 Annual Quality Congress (AQC), which will feature a track on not-for-profit organizations.

For more information about the initiative, contact Danny Duhan at dduhan@northropgrumman.com . For information about the not-for-profit track at AQC, contact Heather McCain at heathermcc@aol.com .

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