This Week in the News…

Posted: October 18, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Oct. 11, CNNfn

Tough Call: Are Lie Detectors All that Honest?

Kathryn Laskey, professor of systems engineering, George Mason University: “The study concluded that the results of polygraphs are substantially better than chance but also substantially less than perfection. And we did not make a recommendation about whether federal agencies should continue to use polygraphs or in what respects they should continue to use polygraphs. That is up to the people in charge of making those decisions for the agencies.”

Friday, Oct. 11, BusinessWeek Online

Nobel Laurels for an Odd Couple

“Perhaps to strike a balance, Stockholm awarded the other half of the 2002 Nobel to a strong believer in free markets, 75-year-old Vernon L. Smith. Smith, an economist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., pioneered the use of experiments to test economic theory. He concluded from his experimental auctions that people do behave rationally in buying and selling situations, as standard theory would predict.”

Sunday, Oct. 13, New York Times

White House Debate on Smallpox Slows Plan for Wide Vaccination

“Biologists say growing the smallpox virus would be easy for Iraq or any group familiar with basic microbiology. It multiplies readily in chicken eggs and can be harvested on a large scale. Any state or group proficient in germ warfare could turn it into a weapon. ‘There are no significant hurdles,’ said Ken Alibek, a former top Soviet germ warfare official now at George Mason University. ‘Iraq would be able to do it.'”

Sunday, Oct. 13, Tampa Tribune

Congress Tries Its Hand at Fixing Elections

“By 2006, localities are supposed to have voting machines that allow voters to check their votes and correct errors before they submit a ballot. ‘That would be a huge change, and I question whether it can be done,’ said Jon Gould, a George Mason University elections analyst. ‘It means big changes in training for election staff, not to mention a great scramble among companies who want to make a quick buck to market new machines.'”

Wednesday, Oct. 16, NewsFactor Network

New Markup Language Challenges Rich-Media Leaders

“‘Netomat has identified a problem and a need,’ George Mason University software engineering professor Jeff Offutt told NewsFactor. ‘Most of our electronic communication is now stuck in text mode. We would like to be able to easily send pictures, voice, et cetera, as well as text.’ Netomat, Offutt explained, seems to focus on ‘usability, which is certainly a crucial problem. Sending sound and pictures through the Internet is quite difficult right now. The user has to have a fair amount of technical knowledge to make the tools work, and most users will not bother.'”

Thursday, Oct. 17, Washington Post

Budget Troubles Cut a Wide Swath; Agencies and Services Prepare for Pain

“At George Mason University, one of several public colleges grappling with cuts in the area of 10 percent, President Alan G. Merten said the school probably would raise tuition by ‘multiple hundreds of dollars’–on top of a $600 increase this fall–to make up $25 million in state-ordered reductions. About 150 staff positions will remain unfilled and 10 to 15 people would be laid off, Merten said. ‘We are making cuts at a point in time when demand is greatest,’ Merten said. ‘That’s the scary part in all this.'”

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