close this bookVolume 11: No. 04
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Ford plans to create a $10M driving simulator laboratory to study the dangers of dashboard electronic appliances. Driver distraction contributes to 10% of fatal accidents, according to an NHTSA study. [, 10Jan01. RCFoC, 22Jan01.]

The US DOT's Office of Safety Research and Development has been simulating a car that has a cell phone, forward collision-warning system, navigation system, and Internet-equipped computer screen. They also throw in an occasional math question to test cognitive reserve. Of 36 drivers, six got confused enough to miss their turns, and two or three crashed. "People learn to cope, especially when it involves their lives... The issue is how do you make this stuff work so that it helps and makes driving better and safer -- not worse," says project director Tom Granda. [AP, 22Jan01. NewsScan.]

Robert P. Goldman notes that eye tracking has already been used for detecting sleepy drivers (CW 11.03), in NHTSA-funded research at [most likely] Boeing. Trucking firms are interested in this. [, 24Jan01.]

Hung T. Nguyen from NMSU has been selected as a Distinguished Lukacs Professor in Statistics at the Bowling Green State U. for Spring 2002, said to be one of the world's most prestigious positions in mathematical statistics. Professor Nguyen's work helped make fuzzy and interval methods acceptable to the statistical community, including his 1970s results that fuzzy sets and their operations can be re-interpreted in more traditional statistical terms as appropriate classes of probability distributions. [Vladik Kreinovich ,, 01Jan01.] has a website for intelligent applications in bioinformatics and biocomputing, to support researchers who use Lisp for manipulating and analyzing biological data. Perl is also popular for bioinformatics, but Lisp has advantages for complex systems modeling, knowledge-based annotation, and automated reasoning. Lisp's easily composed high-level functions encourage code reuse, integration of multiple data sources and algorithms, and easy experimentation. Modern implementations provide integrated persistent databases, web servers, and full CORBA connectivity. . [Jeff Shrager , 26Jan01.] (Computist Larry Hunter, Director of the Center for Computational Pharmacology, is a member of's Steering Committee.)

Sciencewise is adding R&D news from Newswise to its premium service, selected by interest keywords. Newswise covers press releases from 450 educational, research, and medical institutions. . [ScienceWise, 25Jan01.]

----- "Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem." -- Henry Kissinger. -----