Computerworld Honors Program 2001 Finalists

One winner in each category will be announced June 4 at a ceremony in Washington.

Business & Related Services

  • Ask Jeeves Inc.: A natural-language interface makes customer inquiries more natural and effective, encouraging customers to use this lower-cost, more immediate way to learn what they need to know.

  • Autoweb.com: A comprehensive one-stop Web shopping site allows customers to compare and configure cars and finance options, guiding them to the right vehicle at the right price.

  • Lands' End Inc.: Real-time human assistance via online text-based chat or immediate call-back allows shoppers to co-browse with trained personal shoppers.

  • Monster.com: The leading global online careers network connects progressive companies with qualified career-minded individuals, helping to bring valuable jobs and valuable employees together.

  • Sendmail Inc.: The de facto implementation standard for e-mail on the Internet continues to power more than 60% of all domains, 20 years after its invention stimulated the dramatic growth of e-mail itself.

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc.: Retailer uses collaborative vendor forecasting and planning to smooth the flow of goods from 4,000 vendors through 51 distribution centers to 2,500 stores, reducing distribution costs by 30% compared with competitive organizations.

Education & Academia

  • The Bridge School: Individuals with severe speech and physical disabilities receive intensive training in the use of assistive technologies that will allow them to return to their home school districts as full participants.

  • J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.: Installation of computers in the homes of every student in a middle school where 92% live at the poverty level leverages the resources of a corporate partner to engage the community, strengthen school performance and help students.

  • Microsoft Corp.: A free, online professional development community offers educators instructional resources, lesson plans and online seminars, helping them improve student learning and stay up to date.

  • Newark Unified School District: Hundreds of thin-client student stations, supported by powerful servers, equip students in a multiethnic and financially strapped school system to thrive in the employment marketplace.

  • Technology Access Foundation: A four-year technical education program, culminating in a demanding summer internship, helps underserved minority teens find the means and incentive to pursue higher education.

Environment, Energy & Agriculture

  • Hydro One Inc.: Intense real-time computer gaming drives cultural change into a formerly bureaucratic government-owned electrical utility, preparing its managers to act on full commercial principles for the first time.

  • The Office of Marine Programs: Students and citizens around the world can make virtual visits to the diverse, ecologically important coastlines of Rhode Island. In this way, they can experience an environment that they aren't able to visit directly on a regular basis.

  • The Ward Melville Heritage Organization: Two-way videoconferencing and wireless technologies enable students to "visit" and study a delicate saltwater marsh while reducing harmful foot traffic in the ecosystem.

  • VNG-Verbundnetz Gas AG: Precise monitoring of conditions throughout a 5,000-mile gas pipeline network in real time assures a consistent product flow to customers while providing immediate alerts to unusual situations.

  • Walker County Schools (Georgia): Promoting social responsibility through Internet-based environmental science is the goal of this Web-based environmental science teaching module, which enables students and teachers around the world to participate in environmental studies, collaboratively conduct research and implement action plans to address local and global environmental problems.

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

  • Charles Schwab & Co.: A single point of reference supplies the wide array of knowledge that employees need to do their jobs and manage their careers, enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction.

  • Oatfield Estates (Oregon): Biosensors wired into assisted living units gather the information needed to ensure the safety of residents and limit corporate liability while allowing residents to maintain autonomy, choice and personal control over their daily lives.

  • PeopleFirst.com Inc.: Online car-loan applicants receive approved loan funds within minutes, allowing them to buy a car either from a dealer or by private sale, making it easier and less expensive to choose the right car.

  • Prudential Financial: A single aggregated data source provides complete information about life at a new location to potential transferees and members of their families, increasing the success of employees who decide to move to take a job.

  • Wells Fargo Internet Services Group: The first online person-to-small-business payment service offered by a financial institution provides secure payment options to the eBay Inc. trading community, giving buyers a choice of payment methods while assuring sellers of reliable funds.

Government & Nonprofit

  • Highmark Inc.: Health care providers and medical office staff handle insurance claims, referral submission, access coverage and benefits information in real time via the Web, reducing costs and improving care.

  • New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: Online creation of death certificates within 24 hours reduces administration costs and ensures that government benefits go to the proper recipients.

  • Second Harvest: Businesses with excess goods or transport capacity are matched online with charities that can get those goods to needy people, expediting the process for items with short shelf lives like food.

  • The Daughters Sisters Project: Web sites, e-mail lists, databases, digital cameras and scanners become integral tools in a program that's helping girls turn their lives around and successfully navigate their teenage years.

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Rapid capture and analysis of 175,000 annual reports of adverse drug reactions allows a government agency to quickly assess potential threats and ensure ongoing drug safety.

  • U.S. Postal Service: Sophisticated analysis systems sniff out 600,000 money orders that are likely to involve money laundering from a $28 billion annual flow of money order transactions, aiding proactive law enforcement.

Manufacturing

  • Dell Computer Corp.: A build-to-order computer company automatically converts sales orders to material requirements, transmits them to suppliers and receives delivery confirmation, maintaining supply chain coherence in a business whose factory schedules are refreshed every two hours.

  • Delphi Automotive Systems: Leading-edge information technologies automate a plastic injection molding facility, enabling leaner and more agile operation and worldwide access in real time.

  • NTT DoCoMo Inc.: The iMode mobile phone service allows customers to access the Internet through a mobile phone device, enabling continuous access to e-mail, business transactions, news and information, and database and directory information.

  • The Boeing Co.: A Web-based system for ordering, acquiring and paying for $3.5 billion of nonproduction items each year shortens acquisition time, saves money and empowers employees.

  • Tiqit Computers: A complete PC roughly the size of a book of matches allows the huge body of existing desktop software to be run on a device that fits in a pocket or handbag.

Media, Arts & Entertainment

  • Gutenberg 21st Century Association - I2S Co.: Ultrasensitive scanning techniques allow irreplaceable documents such as the Gutenberg Bible to be scanned at high speed under low light, preserving these treasures in easily disseminated digital form.

  • OnlineConservatory.com: Music students who would otherwise have to travel long distances to lessons now interact with their teachers online using MIDI-compatible keyboards and microphones, dramatically widening access to musical expertise.

  • OnRamp Art: An innovative digital arts facility and program in which disadvantaged youths ages 9 to 21 learn hands-on skills in digital imaging, multimedia and Web production.

  • Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre): Digital Asset Management speeds access to two centuries of unique historical artifacts and increases the global impact of one of the world's most famous cultural institutions.

  • The Jim Henson Co., Division of the Creature Shop: Puppeteers control 3-D computer-generated characters that perform in real time, even conversing live with people, reducing costs while fully preserving the spontaneity of a traditional puppet performance.

Medicine

  • Chicago Airport System: Installation of public-access defibrillators, much like fire extinguishers, throughout Chicago airports saves lives and proves that bystanders with no medical training can, with the right equipment, save those lives.

  • eSmartHealth Inc.: Digitization of more than 30 million of the medical records currently stored in file rooms of health care providers helps ensure that this information will be instantly available when needed.

  • Medtronic Inc.: Implantable cardiac devices communicate with physicians over the Internet, providing critical information that results in better patient care and peace of mind.

  • Middlewire Inc.: Innovative algorithms move large files across the Internet much faster than e-mail or file transfer protocol, making possible the routine sharing of very large files like high-resolution medical images.

  • University of Western Ontario: Computer-enhanced robotic microsurgery makes it possible to perform cardiac bypass via pencil-size incisions, lessening pain and reducing months of recovery time to days.

Science

  • Berkeley Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab: Supercomputer simulation of the microstructure of bones helps doctors understand and treat degenerative bone diseases, improving quality of life, particularly for seniors.

  • Broadcom Corp.: A single, highly sophisticated signal processing chip dramatically increases the capacity of cable TV cables, making true broadband economically viable.

  • CERN: A dynamically reconfigurable computing system architecture allows a world-renowned physics center to simultaneously upgrade and match its resources to the constantly changing needs of its experimenters.

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory: A common spacecraft design environment. Using one set of 3-D description files, it shrinks the time required for a vehicle's early design phases by factors of four and more while improving design quality.

  • Princeton University: A massively parallel computer simulation that uses a cluster of 140 processors to simulate the ebb and flow of the Earth's mantle as it sculpts mountains and digs out ocean floors.

  • University of Kentucky: Dramatic new network architecture created by genetic algorithms allows linked PCs to work together as one of the world's most powerful and cost-effective supercomputers.

Transportation

  • Delta Air Lines Inc.: Making high-quality home computers available to every employee at minimal cost improves the quality of workers' lives and equips them, and their families, to thrive in the Digital Age.

  • Ford Motor Co.: Offering home computers to company employees creates a new and more empowered culture and provides inspiration similar to the company's breakthrough $5-per-day wage plan in the early 20th century.

  • Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate Inc.: High-speed weigh-in-motion sensors embedded in state highways combine with in-truck transponders to identify and weigh trucks in motion, maintaining compliance while keeping trucks moving.

  • Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore: E-commerce automation speeds the processing of shipping documents and ordering of supplies in the world's busiest port, where a ship arrives or departs every two minutes.

  • OnStar: Drivers access personalized Web-based information, including e-mail, stock quotes, news, weather and traffic, using a hands-free, voice-activated interface to control output through the vehicle's sound system.

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