MAILED: July 30, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- With a new computer lab in Schneider Social Science Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, faculty will be able to incorporate the newest software and better computer technology into their curriculum.
Morton Sipress, associate professor of political science, plans to use the new computer lab for several of his classes. Sipress was a part of the committee that decided what equipment to purchase and ran tests on an improved software called "Statistical Package for the Social Science."
SPSS is the leading statistical analysis program in the social sciences and is becoming increasingly important in the business world and other fields, Sipress said.
"Students majoring and minoring in political science need some familiarity with this program and statistics," he said.
A major resource which Sipress will make use of in the classroom is the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Resource. UW-Eau Claire's membership in this organization of several hundred universities gives it access to the largest archive of social data in the world and will be used to analyze political, social, demographic and behavioral data, he said.
"Students will get the information firsthand," he said, noting that otherwise it may take two or three years before 1996 election and other survey information will be in journals and books.
The lab will allow for faster response time, Sipress said. A procedure that used to take five minutes will take about a minute and a half, which is important in terms of class time, he said.
"It (the new lab) offers some very exciting equipment to teach with," Sipress said. "By the time students graduate they will be at the front for their jobs or graduate schools."
Another major use for the lab will be access to the World Wide Web with graphic, audio and full motion video capabilities. To help ensure an effective listening and viewing environment, each station will have a headphone for students to hook to the computers to receive sound and motion from the Web, he said.
"This lab is an example of the university moving technology to the front rather than waiting two years to see what other schools have done and being two years behind," Sipress said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 30, 1997