All posts by Aisha Labi


New Automatic Translator Could End Language Barrier in Lectures

Understanding lectures can be a challenge for foreign students, since they may not be fluent in the language used in the classroom. But Alex Waibel, a computer-science professor at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, one of Germany’s leading universities, has helped develop a computer program that could eliminate the problem.

The professor has helped build a simultaneous-translation computer program that allows students to use a laptop to gain access to real-time translations of lectures as well …


Britain Must Support Open-Access Publishing, Report Says

Britain needs to recognize a fundamental cultural shift in how research is being published and disseminated, and should embrace and help accelerate the transition to the open-access publishing of research results, says a government-commissioned report published on Tuesday. The report, “Accessibility, Sustainability, Excellence: How to Expand Access to Research Publications,” makes a series of recommendations for achieving “better, faster access to research publications for anyone who wants to re…


U. of Cambridge Web Site Aids Study of Endangered Languages

The next time you find yourself needing some help brushing up on your Guernésiais, or Guernsey French, the local form of the Gallic language that has been spoken on the tiny Channel Island for centuries and now boasts just 1,327 speakers, there is a new online database to direct you to available resources, including a series of recordings of native speakers and a radio interview with a scholar who specializes in the language.

The Endangered Languages Database, which was unveiled by the Universit…


Exiled Iraqi Professors Lecture at Their Former Universities, From a Distance

Some of the hundreds of Iraqi academics who fled their homeland over the past several years have begun to reclaim a role in their former universities through a new e-learning project, even though they remain in exile.

The unrest following the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 took a severe toll on higher education there, as the violence prompted scores of professors to leave. The exodus of intellectual capital produced a knowledge gap in certain fields that remains unfilled. The new project,…


British University Sends Out 2,500 Acceptance Notices in Error

Cutbacks in public financing for higher education are expected to mean that record numbers of British students will fail to secure a place at a university this autumn, and thanks to a computer glitch, for 2,500 students who had applied to the University of Middlesex, the wait has become a whole lot harder.

The applicants were erroneously notified that they had been admitted to the university, CNN reports. The students had already been conditionally accepted, but the final decision will depend on…


British Student Is Fined Over Controversial Dating Web Site

A British university has fined a student for creating a dating Web site to make love connections between library patrons, arguing that it brought the institution “into disrepute.” The student has disabled the site, saying he feared further punishment if he left it operational.

The site, called FitFinder, allowed students studying in university libraries to flirt online by posting messages proclaiming their attraction. It was an instant sensation. Its debut coincided with the study period for fin…


Matchmaking Site Brings Romance to British University Libraries

University libraries across Britain have become much more fertile flirting zones, thanks to a new Web site created by a computer-science student at University College London.

The site, Fitfinder, allows students to post messages broadcasting their attraction to others they’ve spotted in the stacks.

Its creator, Richard Martell, an avid rugby player, says that for him and many of his teammates, study sessions often turned into texting sessions, as they traded banter about potential partners. “Sur…


British Universities Object to Having to Monitor Open Wireless Networks

Universities in Britain are alarmed about proposed legislation that could require institutions offering open wireless networks to monitor users to ensure that they comply with online copyright provisions, the BBC reports.

The Digital Economy Bill, which is making its way through the British Parliament, “imposes obligations on Internet service providers to reduce online copyright infringement,” a bill summary says. The new measures could result in large fines and network slowdowns or disconnectio…