Pre-conference will explore 'converging technologies'

May 12, 2004

The Office of Education Outreach at UW-Madison is convening a pre-conference to the 20th Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference on Aug. 2-3 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

The pre-conference, "Converging Technologies: A Unifying Science Application for K-12 Teachers," will show attendees how to use "converging technologies" as a unifying concept in K-12 science classes. "Converging technologies," or CT, refers to the "synergistic combination of four major NBIC (nano-bio-info-cogno) provinces of sciences and technology, each of which is currently progressing at a rapid rate."

The four areas are nanoscience and nanotechnology; biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetic engineering; information technology, including advanced computing and communications; and cognitive science, including cognitive neuroscience.

The National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce have made grant monies available to leading experts from government, the academic research community and the private sector to explore the nature and size of the potential opportunities in converging technologies.

Examples of these opportunities include:

  • improving work efficiency and learning,
  • enhancing individual sensory and cognitive capabilities,
  • fostering revolutionary changes in health care,
  • improving both individual and group efficiency,
  • developing highly effective communication techniques, including brain-to-brain interaction,
  • perfecting human-machine interfaces,
  • enhancing human capabilities for defense purposes,
  • reaching sustainable development using NBIC tools, and
  • ameliorating the physical and cognitive decline that is common to the aging mind.
For more information on the pre-conference, contact Steven Lanphear at (608) 263-5140.