Monday, August 03, 2009

Reports from the Congressional Research Service

Dan Mulhollan, director of the Congressional Research Service and a member of our Board of Visitors, passed a couple recent CRS reports on to me as an expression of the type of studies they do to inform Congress on policy areas of interest. One is entitled "Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges" ( This paper gives a very approachable tutorial to the importance of GIS, a bit of the technologies deployed, and the massive policy issues that government must address. The second paper is "The Evolving Broadband Infrastructure: Expansion, Applications, and Regulation" ( This paper tracks the rapid growth in broadband infrastructure and services, devoting much of its space to issues related to the regulatory framework. Both are relatively quick reads that give good insight to the type of work that CRS does for the Congress, and both are of interest to SIS faculty. CRS anticipates topics of interest to the Congress about a year in advance and sponsors selective university capstone courses to explore some of these topics. The courses typically last a full academic year, engage 12-15 students, and require a committed faculty member.

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