Preface


This issue of the IEEE Transactions on Education is the third November issue to include a Rapid Publication Supplement, which contains eighteen contributions on an accompanying CD-ROM. Only the summaries of the contributions on the CD-ROM appear in the printed portion of this issue, so the reader may easily select papers to view from the CD-ROM. This approach grew out of experience gained in publishing the August 1996 special issue on the application of information technologies to engineering and science education by guest editors Marion O. Hagler and William M. Marcy. The IEEE Education Society embarked on this experiment believing that technology offered a unique opportunity to present multimedia material through this unique publication medium. We have continued this effort to afford our authors a forum to present innovations in education using multimedia presentations and the Internet. Details about the publication process are given in the August 1996 issue in a contribution entitled The Making of the Special Issue on the Application of Information Technologies to Engineering and Science Education and in the November 1997 issue in a contribution entitled Publication of Archival Journals Accompanied by CD-ROMS. At this time we plan to continue the yearly CD-ROM supplement to our November issues and have plans to include special features by guest editors. Information for authors about the November 2000 CD-ROM appears in this issue. Between October 1, 1999 and February 1, 2000, the CD-ROM portion of the November 1999 issue can be viewed on the WWW at http://coeweb.engr.unr.edu/Nov99/Begin.htm.

We would like to thank the many reviewers worldwide who responded to our call for reviews of papers. The ability to provide reviewers from all countries with papers electronically greatly facilitated rapid reviews of many of the papers contained on the CD-ROM. Review forms were also returned electronically, edited and mailed to the authors for a rapid turnaround for publication. Unfortunately, there were a few papers that were not reviewed because of a lack of volunteer reviewers. In some cases, reviews came in after the deadline for formatting and sending the CD-ROM to the publisher. These papers will be reviewed and ready for the next CD-ROM issue.

We would like to encourage all potential authors to review this CD-ROM as well as past authors to note some of the excellent examples of how this publication medium can be used to present material which would be impossible using conventional print on paper publishing. This issue includes a paper entitled Attracting Women into Engineering - a Case Study by Malgorzata S. Zywno, Kimberley A. Gilbride, Peter D. Hiscocks, Judith K. Waalen, and Diane C. Kennedy, which makes effective use of video to provide student assessment of the program. A second contribution making effective use of multimedia capabilities is entitled A Spherical Pendulum System To Teach Key Concepts in Kinematics, Dynamics, Control and Simulation by Fathi Ghorbel and James B. Dabney. This paper presents a computer-based teaching aid developed at Rice University that takes students through the kinematic analysis, simulation and animation of the Rice Spherical PENDUluum Laboratory APparatus (SPENDULAP). A third paper of particular interest from the standpoint of use of multimedia is entitled TransNet: The Transportation Research Internet Cooperative by Randall Guensler, John D. Leonard II, and Johnny Dunning, Jr. This paper is interesting because it illustrates the variety and number of resources available through the Internet to both the instructor and the student. Other papers such as In Learning Signal Processing Using Interative Notebooks, by Richard Shiavi describes an interactive software tool that helps students relate theoretical concepts in signal processing to real effects upon signals.

The CD-ROM for the Rapid Publication Supplement is best viewed with WWW browsers that support HTML 4.0, such as contemporary versions of browsers from Netscape and Microsoft. Routine installation of HTML 4.0 browsers does not necessarily install all fonts required to view the Greek and mathematical characters that are part of HTML 4.0. In Windows, some of the necessary fonts are included, for example, if the "Multilanguage Support" components are chosen in "Windows Setup". You can test your browser with sample files available on the WWW, for example, at http://www-dsed.llnl.gov/documents/WWWtest.html. While the CD-ROMs for the August 1996 and November 1997 issues complied with the cross-platform ISO 9660 format to allow them to be read by browsers running on any of the popular operating systems for desktop machines, the CD-ROM for this issue moves beyond ISO 9660 to allow the long file names necessary for Java Applets. The special hybrid format relies on the Joliet File system for Windows, the rock Ridge Extension for UNIX and the HFS for Macintosh operating systems. As with the ISO 9660 standards, each file is visible on each platform although there are not multiple versions of each file on the CD-ROM. Windows 3.x views the hybrid CD-ROM as a simple ISO 9660 disk and truncates the long file names. With Windows 3.x, therefore, links to files with long names seem broken, and Java applets will not function. With UNIX systems that do not recognize the Rock Ridge Extension, a default setting when the CD-ROM drive is mounted may cause all UPPER CASE file names on the CD-ROM to be converted to lower case automatically. The resulting inconsistency in case with the upper case file names in the HTML documents causes links to fail. The remedy is to add a "nomaplcase" switch to the UNIX "mount" command. Refer to UNIX references for details.

We suggest that you begin exploring the CD-ROM by opening the file BEGIN.HTM that resides in the root directory. This file presents a table of contents that includes the title, authors, key words and requirements for best viewing of the manuscript. In some cases, the reader will want to be connected to the Internet when viewing a manuscript so that hyperlinks can be activated. The titles are hyperlinked to the initial HTML document for each contribution on the CD-ROM. The names of authors are hyperlinked to their contact information, which appears below the table in this document. The contact information for authors includes hyperlinks to personal home pages, institutional home pages and personal e-mail address.

You can use the Find function in your browser to search the table of contents document for a particular word, whether that word is the name of an author, a keyword, a word in a title, or a word in the address or affiliation of an author. Because a search with the browser Find function can span only a single HTML document, the browser cannot conduct a full-text search of the CD-ROM. If you find such a search important, you must use platform-specific tools to search for particular text strings on the CD-ROM. In Windows, for example, the Windows Explorer offers such capability.

The files for each contribution are located in a separate directory or folder on the CD-ROM. The numbers of the directories correspond to the order of the papers in the printed portion of the Rapid Publication Supplement and are listed in the table of contents document. An alternative approach to viewing the files on the CD-ROM is to open the file BEGIN.HTM that appears in the directory corresponding to a contribution. This file is the starting page suggested by the author for viewing the files in that directory. A link Return to the Table of Contents lies near the top and bottom of each such page, as an aid to navigation of the CD-ROM. By clicking on the directory number hyperlink in the table of contents, all files in that directory, including BEGIN.HTM, should be displayed in a file and directory listing. Thus, you can open any file type that your browser is configured to accommodate by clicking on the file name.

The editors express our sincere appreciation to the contributors and reviewers for their patience, suggestions and understanding as we struggled to compile this issue. A special note of thanks is extended to the IEEE Transactions on Education office assistants who helped put this together. Mr. Lee Tze Meng spent many hours working with authors to help load electronic manuscripts onto our server and in writing the code for the CD-ROM. Alta Sly sent numerous emails to people, who had reviewed for us previously, new lists of reviewers provided by AdCom members, and to names provided by past reviewers and authors. Follow-up emails were then sent at regular intervals to remind reviewers of deadlines. Finally, she was the proofreader to ensure that all hyperlinks were operational and formatting was uniform.

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James J. Sluss, Jr.
Associate Editor for Rapid Publication Supplement
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Oklahoma
sluss@ou.edu

Ted E. Batchman
Editor-in-Chief
IEEE Transactions on Education
batch_t@unr.edu

Tim Skvarenina
Associate Editor for Rapid Publication Supplement
Electrical Engineering Technology Department
Purdue University
tskvaren@purdue.edu