2016 Update–Welcome from Professor Steve Ruth, ICASIT Director
Welcome to the ICASIT web site. Please take a quick look at the tabs above, which tell our story. We have been operating for over two decades and our primary focus for 2016 is what it has always been: studying policy issues that leverage Information Technology. Our projects and applied research aim at evaluating the implementation of IT (a strategic issue), not simply ownership (an operational concern). With cumulative grants and contracts in the several million dollar range and projects in over 20 countries, ICASIT has developed partnerships with foundations, research centers, and universities around the world. We continue to be very proud of our contribution to the highly successful Nepal wireless project. After starting with only one site, there are now over 100 villages connected along with hospitals and schools in the region. The project leader, Mahibir Pun, won the coveted Ramon Magsaysay award, dubbed the “Asian Nobel Prize”, for his work in community development on the project. There is an article describing Nangi and Mr Pun in more detail and a more recent update which chronicles the continuing growth of the Nepal project. The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s journal, The Voice, also featured Pun and ICASIT. To get another look at the project in more detail you can view the slide show from a report to the Asia Pacific Telecommunity.
If you have time, check out our popular IT research site for 2015-2016. Many researchers find the site useful since it gives over a thousand links to almost a hundred hot topics like cloud computing, social networking, IT legislation, M banking, telematics, etc. Thanks to SPP grad students and ICASIT interns Meizhou Song and Jenna Delgado for their imaginative work on this project.
Our newest and highest priority project is the study of the role of Information Technology in reducing the cost spiral in Higher Education. ICASIT gained some recognition for this in 2012-2013 and we now have the capability of designing MOOCs of our own. See the brief video we did and a recent MOOC article—one of several publications we generated recently. Also we continue to investigate the payoff of telework and some of the challenges of Green IT. An article I wrote on that subject which aims to sort out this topic for the general reader. It won the Saha Award for best ICT article on the environment a few years ago.
ICASIT continues its outreach to our business partners in the region. in Knowledge Management, Electronic Commerce, Distance Learning, and other areas. By more effectively using corporate knowledge and wisdom, many companies have been able to improve collaboration, operations, and mission performance. Also, during the past year I have given seminars to visiting Chinese telecom executives and also a two day telecom seminar for senior tech managers.
Thanks to a generous foundation grant a while back, we added a unique new area of research — developing methodologies to determine the true cost of distance learning processes in a university setting. We have produced a half dozen articles on this potentially trillion dollar issue in the past two years—see them in the Publications section (click on my name below). We continue to conduct practical, results-oriented studies of real-world applications of technology aimed at developing activity-based costing models of distance learning. I’m also grateful to the Provost’s office at GMU for a grant last year for practical studies in the design of online courses.
If you would like to know more about us, contact me at or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBP 710 DL2 Internet and Public Policy: Technology or Tyranny?
(Hybrid Course Taught Mostly On-line)
Excerpts from the Syllabus
This mostly on line, non-technical, non-geeky course examines the causes, effects and manifestations of globalization in the modern era and in parallel presents some of the most significant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issues associated with globalization, like 3 D (and 4D) printing, Electronic Commerce, Broadband Proliferation, Electronic Government, Cybersecurity, Internet Voting, the Digital Divide, Internet Pornography, Electronic Learning, Green IT, Social Networking, Net Neutrality, and dozens of others. Students will be able to concentrate on regions and technologies of their choosing for several of the class projects. For all the many manifestations of ICT we will be equally interested in good and bad outcomes of policy. Was Internet-enabled Arab Spring a net positive or negative? What about social networks, so-called “digital empowerment” programs, Internet voting and dozens of others? We’ll examine them all with an open mind.
Notice about this Hybrid Course:
It is mostly on line with three face-to-face meetings—so both student and instructor are required to have a continuous, productive and content-specific communications on line from beginning to end. In fact, 35 percent of the course’s grade is based on the quality and frequency of participation, both on line and in class. So if being face-to-face is what you like best in a college course, this section of PUBP 710 may not be for you. There will be extensive class participation—far more than in a face-to-face class—but much of it will be Internet-based. Caution: this course requires considerably more original writing than the average course.