Web-based forum focuses on Arabic studies

    The University of California Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching has been awarded a $452,600 grant by the U.S. Department of Education in order to create a long-distance Arabic course. The course, which will be called “”Arabic Without Walls,”” will allow undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a year-long course in the study of Arabic in a Web-based forum focused on developing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

    The program is expected to begin in fall 2005 with about 60 students.

    The class is modeled after “”Spanish Without Walls,”” an online long-distance course which has been offered through UC Davis for three years. Currently, Arabic is only taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. “”Arabic Without Walls”” will be based at UC Berkeley. UC faculty will have to be able to access the course’s supplementary materials, and upper-division graduate students will be offered the opportunity to serve as program teaching assistants.

    The program will be co-authored and distributed over a period of three years by the UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching and the National Middle East Language Resource Center at Brigham Young University. Robert J. Blake, director of the consortium, and Kirk Belnap, of the NMELRC, will lead a team of Arabic experts in producing the DVD-ROM and Web-based materials for the project.

    The UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching was founded in 2000 as a systemwide effort to maximize the University of California’s foreign language resources.

    UCSD Open House to be held Oct. 25

    UCSD will hold its annual open house on Oct. 25. This year’s theme is “”UCSD: Oceans of Fun,”” marking the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s centennial. The open house will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UCSD, with extended hours until 4 p.m. on the Scripps campus.

    No parking will be provided at Scripps, so a shuttle will run continuously from free parking on the UCSD campus to Scripps and back. Attendees will be directed to various activities including tours, workshops, displays, food and entertainment.

    Activities will be located along Library Walk, at Price Center and Warren Mall, and on the Scripps campus, among other areas.

    Preview Day tours directed at prospective students and their parents will begin at 8 a.m. and run every 30 minutes from Library Walk at Center Hall. Admissions office staff will be available to answer questions.

    At Scripps, visitors will be able to tour the 1,084-foot long Scripps Pier. The pier is usually closed to the public. The “”Director’s house”” will also be available for touring, providing a glimpse of what Scripps looked like in the 1900s. Other activities and displays will be available all day.

    On campus, the San Diego Supercomputer Center will offer tours every half hour from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Powell Structural Research Labs will also feature tours with guides from the Jacobs School of Engineering from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Engineering students will present projects ranging from a floating cement canoe to battlebots on Warren Mall. Geisel Library will also run tours with the Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra performing sea and musical theater pirate songs.

    UCSD School of Medicine will provide an opportunity to see the inside workings of an emergency ambulance.

    More than 30 booths throughout campus will offer various food items to visitors. For more information, visit or call (858) 534-6386.

    Associate profs. receive grants for DNA study

    Two researchers from UCSD School of Medicine recently received grants as part of a three-year scientific reconnaissance mission designed to study the human genome and its functions.

    The awards come from the National Human Genome Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

    With a $36 million budget, the new effort, called the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project, will include an international consortium of 14 scientists. The consortium also consists of scientists from different areas of technology, government and industry.

    Dr. Bing Ren of UCSD School of Medicine will receive $3.1 million for a project called “”Mapping Transcriptional Regulatory Elements in Human DNA.”” Ren’s research tests the efficiency of a genome-wide location analysis to discover activities within a gene. Ren is also a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at UCSD.

    Another professor at UCSD School of Medicine, Xiang-Dong Fu, will be awarded $1.4 million for the project called “”A Novel chIP-Chip Technology for ENCODE,”” which will develop technology allowing for the identification of functional DNA elements.

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