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Serving on boards, both corporate and non-profit, is a very rewarding experience. Not financially — but in the sense that you have been able to help with a new idea, or to share an experience that can be helpful. I am privileged to have many affiliations including a number of boards.

This past week I joined the board of Knovel Corporation. It is a very interesting e-business — here is a link to the press release. knovel Corporation provides productivity tools for scientists and engineers. It makes hundreds of reference databases available online and makes it possible for those databases to become dynamic and interactive. For many years, reference texts have been crucial and fundamental for scientists and engineers to do their work. I can remember, as an engineering student, using such manuals and putting a paperweight on them to keep them open to a particular table I needed to use.

The next step would be to copy information onto a piece of paper and then use a sliderule to make calculations. In many cases, it was necessary to first convert the information in the reference tables to a different unit of measure — for example, from feet to meters. Knovel Corporation provides an interactive tool which allows the user to not only easily find the appropriate reference information but also to dynamically convert them to the proper unit of measure and then lift them from the web page and insert them into a spreadsheet for integration with the project at hand. I see a lot of potential in this is capability. Stay tuned.