UTW Column Archive: December 2007 Archives

An edited version of this column appeared in the December 26, 2007, issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. The published version is no longer online. Posted on September 10, 2017.

Pray Tell
by Michael D. Bates

Recently it was reported that area ministers are being excluded from offering a prayer at the opening of Tulsa City Council meetings if their prayers fail to conform to the form and content prescribed by a local religious group.

Rev. Danny Lynchard, Chief Chaplain of the Tulsa Police and Fire Chaplaincy Corps and the pastor of Fisher Baptist Church west of Sand Springs, schedules a rotation of local religious leaders to offer a prayer at the opening of each Tulsa City Council meeting. In the absence of someone to voice a prayer, the meeting begins with a moment of silence.

(Lynchard, like everyone on the Chaplaincy Corps, is an unpaid volunteer.)

According to news reports, it's Lynchard who is imposing this doctrinal standard. Any minister whose prayer fails to conform is "removed from the rotation."

The ironic thing is that this religious conformity is being imposed in the name of religious tolerance and diversity. And it has been done without the knowledge or approval of the City Council.

The "unpardonable sin," as it were, is to pray in the name of Jesus.

It is not clear whether the banished clergymen were made aware of the connection between their offensive words and their exclusion from the prayer rotation.

This policy was put in place at the urging of Karl Sniderman, described by the daily paper as a board member of the Tulsa Interfaith Alliance and a member of the Humanist Association of Tulsa.

Sniderman's goal seems to be to have religious leaders from a wide variety of religious beliefs come before the council to offer one homogenous, bland, generic sort of prayer.

Humanists with a capital H deny the supernatural. The HAT website says, "We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside of nature for salvation."

It's hard to figure how someone with no faith in the supernatural becomes a board member of an "interfaith alliance." Or how someone who doesn't believe in prayer wields such influence over how public prayer is conducted at City Council meetings - more influence than the city councilors, evidently.

This is not the first time this issue has come up. On December 17, on 1170 KFAQ, attorney Bill Kumpe recalled a similar controversy in 2000, when he "represented a police chaplain who was in hot water for praying in Jesus' name before the council."

Rev. Ken Farnham, filling in for a few weeks that June, offered the opening prayer in Jesus' name his first two weeks before the council. He said at the time that he had been given a city brochure with guidelines on what phrases were generic and therefore acceptable for public prayer.

Kumpe points out that such a policy amounts to government specifying the content of prayers. "We have a thing called the establishment clause in our constitution which says that the government cannot tell us how to worship our God or how to pray to him." He cited the Supreme Court's ruling in Engel v. Vitale (1962), in which the court struck down a generic school prayer specified by the New York state legislature. "The bottom line is you cannot have government composing prayers and telling people how to pray them."

Even without a brochure, Lynchard's practice of dropping ministers whose prayers don't conform from the prayer rotation seems to amount to the same kind of unconstitutional government control over religious expression.

Constitutional issues aside, generic prayer in the name of inclusion and diversity actually excludes and suppresses diversity. Real diversity would be served by allowing a variety of clergyfolk to offer up prayers each according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

Each person listening could choose to agree and pray along with the prayer, to offer a silent prayer according to the dictates of his or her own conscience, or to maintain a respectful silence for the brief duration of the invocation. How hard is that?

If a prayer is going to be offered for the sake of our city and its leaders, I'd rather have the one praying do so as fervently and sincerely as he would offer a prayer for his own family, in the way that he believes valid and acceptable to the one to whom he prays, even if his way of prayer is not mine.

If a Pastafarian prelate were to offer an invocation, I would expect him to implore the Flying Spaghetti Monster to stretch forth his Noodly Appendage of Blessing upon our fair city. (And all the people said, "RAmen.")

Prayer is not merely an exercise in mumbling lofty words. Although the word is rarely used in this way any more, "to pray" can mean to make a request of anyone in a position to help you.

In the religious sense of the word, prayer is beseeching a powerful supernatural being - in monotheistic religions, the All-Powerful Supernatural Being - for help, for mercy, for the necessities of life, for protection, for wisdom.

When you're making a request to a powerful leader or official, you follow a certain protocol to ensure that your petition is not rejected out of hand. Most religions teach their adherents to approach the deity in a certain way in order to receive a hearing and to earn the deity's favor.

Muslims are taught to perform certain washings before prayer, to face the Kaaba in Mecca, and to surround their personal petitions within a certain form of words.

A polytheistic pagan may have a different method for every deity he must petition and propitiate - incense for one, sprinkling of blood for another, an offering of fruits and vegetables for yet another, with certain verbiage to invoke each god or goddess.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes advises care and deliberation when approaching God in prayer:

"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."

Christians, whether Orthodox or Catholic or Protestant, pray in the name of Jesus because He told us to. We believe that Jesus is the mediator between sinful humans and a holy God. It is through Him and Him alone that we can approach God's throne with confidence, "that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Jesus promised His followers, "Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you."

In place of the ablutions and oblations of other faiths, Christians believe that we can approach a holy God because of the purity of Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf. Jesus' name is central to the notion of Christian prayer.

A policy that genericizes prayer is not religiously neutral. It advances a system of belief that finds adherents in many different Christian denominations - particularly in the mainline Protestant churches - and in other religious traditions. This system of belief posits that God, if He exists, isn't actively involved in human affairs. Prayer may serve some psychological or social need, but it isn't real communication with a power beyond ourselves. It is this religion that a policy of generic prayer acknowledges as our official faith.

We've seen the same homogenization in the mashing together of winter-time holidays with very different purposes and meanings into a vanilla something someone has labeled Hanuramakwanzamas.

Wouldn't it be more exciting to have everyone celebrating their own holiday and their own traditions to the fullest extent, rather than dumbing everything down into generic Winter Holidays?

Now that they're aware of this policy that has been adopted and enforced without their input, I would hope that the City Council will pass some sort of resolution affirming the freedom of each person who offers an invocation at Council sessions to do so as he or she sees fit. Based on some of their public comments, I expect that will happen.

An edited version of this column appeared in the December 19, 2007, issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly, in the wake of a severe ice storm that knocked out power for many Tulsa residents for a week or more. The published version is no longer available online. I expanded on an idea in this column in a 2011 blog entry: Bates's Law of Creeping Techno-Slavery. Also relevant: A 2009 item on how the Amish decide which technologies are acceptable. Posted online September 9, 2017.

The Amish are laughing at us
By Michael D. Bates

As winter power emergencies go, this one could have been a lot worse. The temperature broke freezing within a day of the ice storm and stayed above freezing (or not far below it) until Saturday night, by which time most PSO customers had had their electrical service restored.

The roads were drivable. Trucks continued to bring food and other supplies to Tulsa, including generators and chainsaws. Except for the rain on Tuesday (which helped to melt the ice from the trees and avoid further damage), the weather was no impediment to PSO and the many out-of-state power company employees who came to town to assist in the cleanup.

Tulsa's Mohawk water plant lost power for a time, but the A. B. Jewell plant stayed online, with plenty of capacity to meet the city's needs.

Even with power out at home, it was possible to spend most of one's time where there was power. Our two big malls stayed open. Plenty of restaurants were open for business. QuikTrip had all of their stores up and running on generator power, so people could buy gasoline to make their way to the restaurants. Downtown never lost electricity, thanks to underground power lines.

Imagine if after the ice storm temperatures had dropped and remained below freezing. Or if the ground had been cold enough that the ice had stayed on the roads, preventing travel and preventing help from reaching us. Or if the outage had covered the entire region.

As I drove through Amish country west of Chouteau last week on a cold and grey Thursday, I caught sight of a line of clothes flapping in the cold wind - bib overalls and simple dresses. The clothesline was behind an unremarkable white two-story house, identifiable as Amish only by the lack of any wires leading to it.

I laughed out loud at the thought of anyone having to dry laundry in the cold winter wind, instead of using a toasty gas dryer.

Less than a mile later, I realized that the joke was on me. I had a gas dryer but for three days had had no electricity to make it work. Like a lot of midtowners, I have a couple of clothesline poles in the backyard, but the wires have long since been taken down.

The Amish, unlike us "English," know how to eat and stay warm, how to wash and dry clothes, how to preserve food, how to live comfortably in all seasons without any connection to the power grid.

It wasn't that long ago that our ancestors lived like the Amish do today. A hundred years ago at statehood, few Oklahomans had electricity, telephones, or automobiles. They depended on local sources of food. They depended on horses and mules and their own two feet to get around. The railroad and the telegraph connected them to the outside world.

Building design was adapted to work with, not against, the local climate. In the north, you'd want a roof steep enough to shed heavy snows. Shutters - real shutters big enough to cover the window - would be important to keep out bitter winter winds, but you'd also want window placement that would allow breezes to cool the house in summer.

In the south, a big porch gave you a shady, breezy place to cool off in the summer.
Trees were an important part of regulating a home's temperature - with leaves, the tree would provide cooling shade in the summer; without leaves, sunlight could pass through to warm the home in winter.

Building interiors were designed to allow the home to be heated with fireplaces, floor furnaces, gas space heaters, or radiators.

If you look at the footprint some of our older office buildings, you'll notice that, rather than a solid rectangle, many were T or U shaped so that every office had a window to let in light and air. Transoms over each door could be opened to allow airflow across the building.
Since the advent of central heat and air, many of those buildings have been squared off to maximize enclosed space. Modern office buildings don't even have windows that can be opened, and those buildings quickly become uninhabitable when the power goes out.

When electricity was first widely available, we used it to supplement natural lighting on cloudy days and in place of oil lamps and candles after dark. Later we used it to run ceiling fans and window unit air conditioners. In place of small ice boxes that used a real block of ice to keep food fresh, we installed electric refrigerators. Electric washers and dryers replaced washboards, wringers, and clotheslines.

New electrical appliances made possible other technological developments. Can you imagine wall-to-wall carpeting in a world without electric vacuum cleaners?

I've noticed that new technologies pass through three stages. At first, a new technology is a luxury, then it becomes a convenience, and eventually it becomes a necessity.

For example, in the early days of automobiles, few people had them, and most folks went about their business as if automobiles didn't exist. When automobiles first became affordable to the general public, most families got by with a single car, still able to accomplish many everyday tasks without it.

Eventually, it became possible for businesses and homebuilders to assume that everyone always had a car at their disposal. With the help of zoning laws that segregated homes from shops from industries from offices, our cities reorganized themselves to make a normal life nearly impossible without two or more cars in the family.

When a technology is in the convenience phase, there's still a backup, and the sudden loss of the technology is a mere inconvenience.

Once the technology becomes a necessity, its sudden absence is a disaster. The older technology that used to fill the same need has largely disappeared. The outdated devices can't be found, and the skills and knowledge to make them work begin to die off with the last generation that had to rely on them. Tried to buy a clothes wringer lately?

We have evolved a way of life which is unsustainable without the ready availability of ever-increasing amounts of electricity. We have no emergency backup.

Last week only three things in my house worked without electricity: The gas log in the fireplace, the gas water heater, and the plumbing system. And even those systems are ultimately dependent on electricity: the treatment plants, pump stations, and lift stations for the water and sewer systems, and the control system for natural gas delivery.

The phone system worked, but as in many homes, all of our phones are cordless and dependent on AC power to work.

My gas furnace was useless without an electric blower to push the warm air around the house.

Some people believe that a lengthy power outage like the one Oklahoma just endured is a preview of things to come. They say we've passed the peak of global oil production and domestic natural gas production, and the economic growth of China and India mean more competition for those declining resources.

In his recent book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler predicts that we are in for a period of painful readjustment, made more difficult by the way we designed our homes and our cities during this period of cheap, plentiful energy. Kunstler debunks as wishful thinking the idea that biofuels or hydrogen fuel cells or increased energy efficiency will allow us to continue to live as we do today indefinitely.

I'd like to believe that isn't true. I'm not a survivalist, and I don't want to become one. When massive disruptions were predicted for the turn of the millennium because of the Year 2000 software bug, the only precaution I took was to get back from a business trip before midnight GMT on January 1, 2000. It's far more comfortable to assume that life will go on forever as it does today.

Each of us ought to start thinking about how we would feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves and our families in a world without plentiful electricity. When we build houses and buildings, we ought to consider whether the design would be livable when the power is out. As our city revisits its comprehensive plan, we ought to consider how well our development policies would work in a world where energy is far more expensive.

If last week's power outage was a wakeup call, maybe we shouldn't just reach out from under the electric blanket and hit the snooze button.

An edited version of this column appeared in the December 12, 2007, edition of Urban Tulsa Weekly. The published version is no longer available online. Posted online on September 10, 2017.

Make the School Year Better, Not Longer
By Michael D. Bates

Last month a task force urged Oklahoma's State Board of Education to require all school districts to extend the school year. If the legislature approves the recommendation, the minimum number of school days would increase from 175 to 190. The national average is 180 days.

The idea is being pushed by longtime State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, who also wants to increase the length of the school day from six to seven hours.

The idea is that more time is necessarily better, and it's just not possible to fit in all the required instruction in the time available.

The push for more time in school is not limited to Oklahoma. A longer school year is just the latest public school reform idea to spread across the country.

Proponents point to the success of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), a nationwide network of charter schools. Students in KIPP schools are at school for at least nine hours a day, for four hours on alternate Saturdays, and for three extra weeks in the summer. Tulsa has a KIPP middle school, which began operating two years ago in the former Woods Elementary Building near Washington High School.

According to the website of KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory Middle School, KIPP students spend 62% more hours in school each year than students at neighboring public schools. In 2006 the school outscored all but three Tulsa middle schools (Carver, Edison, and Thoreau) on the state's Academic Performance Index (API).

But is it just a matter of more hours at school? Deborah Brown Community School, a K-5 charter school located downtown and primarily serving the north Tulsa community, follows a traditional school schedule and calendar. In 2006 DBCS scored a perfect 1500 API, with every student performing satisfactorily in math and reading.

Despite the difference in hours, KIPP and DBCS have several things in common: High standards for teachers, parents, and students, a structured learning environment, and a focus on mastering basic skills and knowledge. As charter schools, KIPP and DBCS are not allowed to screen students based on intelligence or academic record, so they are achieving these results with children with a wide range of abilities.

While some students may benefit from longer hours and more school days, there won't be any benefit if that time is squandered on everything but academic achievement.

Our grandparents and great-grandparents went to school fewer days per year, for fewer hours, without the benefits of computers and DVD players as learning tools, and were often beset by poverty and disease, and yet they were better educated and better prepared for a lifetime of learning after eight years in school than most of today's high school graduates are after 13 or more years.

Their schools succeeded in part because they focused on imparting basic skills and a fundamental body of knowledge - phonics, grammar, spelling, arithmetic, historical names and dates.

Rather than focus on achieving a simple mission, today's public schools are expected to meet every need in a student's life. Federal and state legislators add more and more topics to the list of "essentials" that need to be included in the curriculum. Too frequently, special programs and special speakers disrupt the daily routine.

And the education industry itself seems to prefer spending time on anything but drilling students in the basics.

Activity-based learning is one of the culprits. Gilbert T. Sewall, writing in the Summer 2000 issue of American Educator, reported a growing preference for using skits and special projects to fill up the school day, justified on the grounds that some children aren't naturally geared toward verbal learning.

The problem is that learning activities are a very inefficient way to impart knowledge. Building a papier-mache volcano to learn about the eruption of Vesuvius is fun, but too much time, energy, and attention must be devoted to the mechanics of the activity. You may be spending hours on an activity to teach a fact or idea that could be explained verbally in a few minutes.

Sewall writes, "No one contests some legitimate place for projects and activities in classrooms. But lost in the whirlwind, this doing and doing, is a sense of where the real action should be - in the minds of students. Activities enthusiasts are right not to want passive students. But they have made a dangerous error. They have substituted ersatz activity and shallow content for the hard and serious work of the mind."

While it's important to try to accommodate children with differing learning styles, there's no substitute for memorizing facts and using repetition to teach the rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and arithmetic. There are creative and fun ways to drill and memorize, but learning is hard work.

So is teaching. Growing up with a teacher in the house, I saw the long hours of lesson preparation at home over and above the long hours spent at school. Teachers and students alike are already flirting with burnout by the end of the current school year. Adding three weeks to the school year won't help.

A state mandate to lengthen the school year and the school day would be missing the point. School districts have the right to lengthen the school year if they feel it would be beneficial and if their patrons are willing to fund the extra days.

There's already plenty of time to accomplish the task of learning what's needful. Before we add more time to the school year, let's make better use of the time we have.

An edited version of this column appeared in the December 5, 2007, issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. The published version is no longer available online. Posted September 9, 2017.

Simulation: It's the real thing
by Michael D. Bates

How often do the stars line up this auspiciously for Tulsa?

Congress has identified a certain industry as a national critical technology.

The federal government is already spending hundreds of millions a year on this industry, with plans to spend much, much more. A pending bill in Congress would fund creation and expansion of college degree programs in this industry.

Although the industry isn't well known locally, the Tulsa metro area already has a critical mass of companies and skilled employees working in this industry and winning international recognition for technological innovation.

This industry involves cutting-edge computer technology - not boring, under-the-hood stuff, but technology that engages sight, sound, and motion with spectacular realism.

We're talking about modeling and simulation, and, with a little bit of initiative on the part of local leaders, Tulsa is well-positioned to see dramatic growth in an industry that is already well established and thriving locally, providing hundreds of high-tech engineering and skilled manufacturing jobs.

Modeling and simulation involves creating a computerized representation of the real world (that's the modeling part) for the purpose of testing real-world scenarios (that's the simulation part). With a simulation you can train someone to handle a hazardous situation, but without putting anyone in harm's way. With simulation you can test preparedness for emergency conditions that, God willing, will never occur in real life. You can learn lessons that would be too dangerous and too expensive to learn any other way.

If you've ever played Microsoft Flight Simulator, you've had a taste of what simulation can do. The PC game lets you fly over a variety of cities, experiencing a range of wind and weather conditions. You can fly a Lear 45 luxury jet, a Piper Cub, a Bell 206B helicopter, or a Boeing 747 and experience the different handling characteristics of each aircraft.

Flight simulation on a much grander scale is used to train pilots for military and civil aircraft. Instead of a keyboard and a computer screen, student pilots sit in a perfect replica of the cockpit. Out the window is a high-resolution visual scene projected onto a wraparound screen. The cockpit sits atop a platform supported by six extensible legs which allow the cockpit to rear back, shudder, and bounce in response to the movement of the simulated aircraft. High-fidelity sound systems reproduce engine and wind noises and radio communications.

Sitting behind the copilot, an instructor uses a touchscreen to subject the student pilot to a variety of challenging conditions - a hydraulic system malfunction, jammed landing gear, an engine fire, sudden windshear. Rather than just reading about emergency procedures in a book or experiencing them for the first time in real life, the simulator-trained pilot has the correct responses ingrained in his reflexes, and those reflexes are tested in an immersive environment of white-knuckled, sweaty-palmed, heart-racing realism.

There's more to simulation than pilot training. Modeling and simulation are used in petroleum geology, civil engineering, and transportation and urban planning, and it's becoming increasingly important for homeland security. Computer models of the nation's food supply system, for example, can be tested against a variety of attacks and accidents to see if adequate safeguards are in place to protect American consumers.

In 2007, a homeland security exercise called Noble Reserve was conducted using modeling and simulation. It involved 140 personnel and cost $2 million to develop over five months. A comparable live exercise in 2002 cost $250 million and involved 14,000 personnel over five years. With simulation, joint exercises can happen more frequently and more economically.

For nearly seven decades, Tulsa has been a center for the flight simulation industry, starting in 1939 with a company called Technical Training Aids, Inc., renamed Burtek after acquisition in 1955 by Cincinnati-based Burton-Rodgers. Burtek's presence spawned other locally-owned companies in the training and simulation industry, which attracted the interest of international firms.

Today, metro Tulsa's simulation industry is headlined by FlightSafety Simulation Systems, with nearly 800 employees locally. The Broken Arrow facility designs, programs, and manufactures high-fidelity flight simulators and other flight training devices for use in FlightSafety's 43 learning centers around the world. The plant has produced simulators for everything from a twin-engine Beech Bonanza to a Boeing 777. They also build training devices for aircraft maintenance technicians and flight simulators for military aircraft.

In September, FlightSafety was recognized by the National Training and Simulation Association for their technical achievement in the development of the first successful heavy all electromechanical motion system for flight simulators. The system, developed here under the leadership of control systems expert Dr. Nidal Sammur, who earned his master's at TU and his doctorate at OSU, eliminates the need for noisy, power-thirsty, high-maintenance hydraulics to provide the sensations of flight to the simulator cockpit. The new technology was a key factor in FlightSafety's successful bid to build 34 helicopter simulators for the U. S. Army's Flight School XXI program.

FlightSafety isn't the only area company building simulators and flight training devices.
Safety Training Systems, incorporated in 1979, has a workforce of about 100 and 100,000 sq. ft. of factory space with plans to expand both by 20 to 30% this year. The company builds major hardware components for military flight simulators. For commercial airlines, STS builds cabin simulators, used by airlines to train flight attendants to efficiently evacuate an aircraft amidst the smoke, darkness, and confusion of an emergency.

CymSTAR is a fast-growing small business, founded in 2003, that modifies existing military aircraft simulators and maintenance training devices to meet new training needs. Earlier this year, CymSTAR landed an $8 million contract for modifications to simulators for the U. S. Air Force's KC-10 aerial refueling tanker. CymSTAR also builds a device called the Badger, used to accustom Marines to the sounds of live fire on the battlefield.

These companies in turn buy components and services from a number of local suppliers, such as AMI Instruments, Aeroweld, Aviation Training Devices, Newton Design and Fabrication, Bennett Engineering, and Shen Te Enterprises, to name a few.

Oklahoma's four major military installations - Altus AFB, Tinker AFB in Midwest City, Vance AFB in Enid, and Fort Sill - make heavy use of simulators for training tanker and transport pilots, artillery, and AWACS crewmembers. Altus is the main "schoolhouse" for C-17 cargo plane crew and KC-135 tanker pilots and boom operators. Vance provides initial pilot training for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

These businesses bring in tens of millions of dollars in new money into the Tulsa-area economy every year. Nevertheless, the simulation industry isn't well known to Tulsans, probably because these companies are selling to customers everywhere but here. The executives of these companies are focused on growing their own businesses and haven't been players in chamber of commerce politics.

Tulsa's simulation industry could be even bigger than it already is. There's plenty of work to be done. Rising fuel costs, a wave of pilot retirements in the airline industry, and the need to train pilots for military service overseas all mean more demand for simulators.

Networked simulation is the next big thing, allowing our armed forces to rehearse complete missions and to practice crucial battlefield coordination and communication.

At a recent industry convention in Orlando, an airman stood in a quarter-dome looking out
over a projected image of an airfield in the Arizona desert, training for his role directing close air support from the ground. A simulated mortar attack on the airfield, perpetrated by computer-generated forces, was underway. Using his radio, the airman called in an air strike from two real F-15s flying over that Arizona airfield. As the real F-15s flew in to target the simulated mortar sites, the soldier could see images of the fighters flying into his simulated field of view.

Enabling this kind of training experience will involve a massive effort to build new training devices and modify existing simulators.

The biggest challenge is finding enough people who are capable of getting the job done. Local simulation companies are looking for mechanical, electrical, aerospace, avionics and computer software engineers, as well as technicians, welders, fabricators, and machinists.

Six years ago, U. S. Rep. Ric Keller (R.-Fla.) convened a summit of Florida simulation firms, which identified the need for education focused on preparing professionals for the industry. That led to the creation of a Modeling and Simulation Department at Orlando's University of Central Florida. (You know, the guys that beat TU last Saturday.)

The Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus actively promotes the industry on Capitol Hill. Earlier this year, the U. S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 487, designating modeling and simulation as a National Critical Technology. H. R. 4165, now in the Education and Labor Committee, would authorize $40 million in the first year of a five-year program to fund the creation and expansion of modeling and simulation degree programs, matching every local dollar with three federal dollars.

In other hubs of the simulation industry - central Florida (Tampa, Orlando, and the Space Coast), the Tidewater region of Virginia, Huntsville, Ala., the DFW metroplex - modeling and simulation businesses have banded together with elected officials and educators to raise the industry's local profile and to address common concerns, particularly the need for more engineers.

The same sort of collaboration needs to happen here in Tulsa. We ought to be shouting from the rooftops about an industry that provides hundreds of high-quality jobs and has an enormous economic impact. OSU-Tulsa would be a natural home for a modeling and simulation program; the school's leadership should lay the groundwork to pursue any federal funding that materializes.

For both companies and individuals, there are plenty of fascinating technical challenges to solve and a lot of real money to be made in simulating reality.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the UTW Column Archive category from December 2007.

UTW Column Archive: November 2007 is the previous archive.

UTW Column Archive: May 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Contact

Feeds

Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
Atom
RSS
[What is this?]