Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 22, 2007


Host: Jose Cardenas

ASU School of Computing Informatics


  • We’ll talk to Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the Arizona State University School of Computing Informatics. The school combines computer and information sciences with other academic disciplines such as geography, anthropology, public health, urban planning and biology.
Guests:
  • Jon Kyl - U.S. Senator, Arizona
  • Ben Miranda - State Representative
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan - Director, School of Computing and Informatics, ASU
Category: Education

View Transcript

Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon" Senator Jon Kyl just got back from Iraq. We'll talk to him about what he saw.

Jose Cardenas:
Another big immigration march is planned for May. We'll learn about what's planned.

Jose Cardenas:
Learn about the A.S.U. School of Computing and Informatics. All that coming up on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas.

Jose Cardenas:
Republican Senator Jon Kyl was on a trip to Iraq with Democratic Representative Gabriel Giffords earlier this week. Kyl said he returned from the trip much more optimistic then before about Iraq. Here now to tell us more about his Bipartisan trip to Iraq is Senator Jon Kyl.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator thank you for joining us.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
And I know you did just get back so we're very appreciative you would take the time to talk to us. As we noted in the intro you're more optimistic then you were before. Why is that?

Jon Kyl:
Because there's a plan now. When I was there before they seemed to be struggling to find a way to go forward successfully. Now, both the Iraqi leaders with whom we talked and our commanders on the ground have a very specific mission, a very specific strategy that they're pursuing. And both are cautiously optimistic that this new strategy can succeed. It involves not just the addition of more Iraqi troops and more American troops though that is a key part of it, but also whole change in the tactical way that the Iraqis are approaching the issue. Before they or we would take an area and leave and then the bad guys would just infiltrate back in. Now the object is to take it and hold and for the Iraqis just to stay there so that the area can remain stabilized over a long period of time. And the early signs are that it's beginning to work.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator before we get to some of your other observations give us some of the details of the trip. We noted that Representative Giffords was with you but I understand there were others.

Jon Kyl:
We had a Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker a Representative from New Mexico, his name is Steve Pierce. We had two other senators who decided to stay back for the vote in Washington so they didn't come. We also went to Israel when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was there with --- It was Bipartisan. It was a visit that a member -- of group of congressmen make to Israel and then they come back to the United States in a reciprocal visit in September, part of an Interparliamentary Congress there.

Jose Cardenas:
The big news regarding Iraq this week is that the British are reducing their troop level commitment. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
In one sense its good news. They have the southern part of the country, Basrah. They have been securing that area. It's much more stable now. They believe with the help of the Iraqis they can begin to draw down their forces. The drawdown is announced for three or fours months from now and small troops. I think it's frankly done for political purposes back home. But it does suggest that they're able to begin that drawdown and turn it over to the Iraqis and have several other provinces in the south part of the country.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, a lot of discussion about evidence that may exist in Iraq of uranium involvement. What can you tell us about that?

Jon Kyl:
We saw it. We visited in General Odiarno's office. He had all kinds of weaponry on the table. He said it all came from Iran. He said here's how we can tell. He showed us different pieces, rockets, for example. Now here's the batch number. Here's the serial number. We can trace it back to Iran. The most interesting thing he showed us was a new kind of I.E. D. They have another name for it now. It is what is blowing up our Humvees and even our Abrams tanks. These 70-ton vehicles that after one of these I.E.D.'s has exploded it looks like a piece of tin foil. They're so powerful. And that is the real concern that infusion of Iranian weaponry into the country has made it much more dangerous not just for the Iraqis but also for our troops.

Jose Cardenas:
What do we do about it?

Jon Kyl:
First of all any Iranians we can find in Iraq we'll deal with like any other terrorist. In addition to, that we've got to put a lot more pressure on the Iranians. It's clear it's coming from high places in their government. It's we believe from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is the primary quasi military unit directly under the leadership. We have to put pressure on them to stop this. And there are a lot of ways we can do that. We heard on the news tonight that economic sanctions closing bank accounts and disinvestment cases that we're taking forward with regard to Iran are beginning to have effect there. So I don't think there's any question that we can put a lot more pressure on Iran. We have to do it because they're killing our soldiers.

Jose Cardenas:
There's concern in some quarters this may lead to a confrontation with Iran.

Jon Kyl:
Dear dear. A country killing our soldiers might lead to a confrontation. We'd better confront them. Nobody's talking about an invasion in Iran. But we'd better confront them and they better stop what they're doing.

Jose Cardenas:
You mentioned your visit to Israel. Of course there's concern about what the Israelis may do because there's a concern about an Iranian nuclear threat. Was there any discussion with them right there?

Jon Kyl:
That's most on their minds. That's an existential threat to Israel. A missile with a nuclear warhead obviously one of those war heads could wipe out Israel. The president of Iran has said that's their goal. So they are very concerned. We visited one of their anti-ballistic missile batteries. They had a test of that February 11. That's a good deal for them to deal with this threat. But clearly they want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We had a lot of discussions about that while we were there. Our government is working on that with our European allies and to some extent with the Russians right now. That might be taken up in a U.N. resolution next week or the security council next week because the I.A.E.A. the Atomic Energy Inspection Agency has come out with a report that Iran has not complied with the U.N. resolution passed a few months ago.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator there was an interesting article in "Newsweek" this week about Iran and their cooperation, their helpfulness right after 9/11 and in the invasion of Afghanistan. The suggestion was that we somehow turned our back and have made things worse because of that. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
Well, in the world things are very complex. Nations help you sometimes and they hurt you sometimes. We've gotten a little bit of cooperation from Syria but mostly we've gotten the back of the hand. Very early on it was in Iran's interests to help us with some elements in Afghanistan. But when it's not in their interest to help us they don't. Most of the time it is not in their interest. Same with some of the other countries in the region. So sometimes to keep us off their back they'll give us a little bit. But most of the time countries like Iran and Syria are being very unhelpful.

Jose Cardenas:
Back at home there were votes in the U.S. Senate and House, both you and Senator McCain missed the Senate vote on a resolution regarding Iraq.

Jon Kyl:
Yes. It was a procedural motion to proceed to debate the issue. We had been debating the issue for two weeks. It was up to the other side to get 60 votes in order to proceed with this particular resolution. We knew they wouldn't get the 60 votes. I declared in advance I would have opposed it. Literally neither my vote nor Senator McCain's vote would have mattered in the outcome. This trip was in the planning for a month. I felt I could be more productive going there, talking to the Iraqi leaders, talking to our troops and the commanders on the ground to try to understand what best I could the situation there and bring that information back.

Jose Cardenas:
Do you see that step by the Democrats a first step towards de-funding the war effort?

Jon Kyl:
Unfortunately I do. I didn't want to bring this up with the troops but they brought it up with me. They watch the news and they're very disappointed with what's going on. They're proud of their mission and what they're accomplished. They don't appreciate the fact that people back here in Washington that they say they support the troops but they've already declared that the mission cannot succeed. And if you stop and think about it, that's a pretty bad message to the troops. It's also a devastating message to the enemy. Because this is much about a test of wills. If the enemy believes that our will is flagging then they're going to hang on for as long as they can. This new strategy that we've begun to implement is a test of wills, too. And when it became apparent that we were moving into the eastern part of Baghdad in a big way, the militias there, the Shiite militia pretty well went to ground. The head of the group has been seen in Iran. He left. And there's a good indication that this test of wills can succeed if the enemy believes we're going to see it through. That's why resolutions like the ones that have been debated are very unhelpful because they cast doubt on whether we have the will to see it through.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, thank you for joining us on "Horizon" tonight. We appreciate you being here.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you, Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
In about a month or so you may see something new run over Tempe Town Lake. The Metro Light Rail will be on a test track. As construction begins now through December of 2008 testing will expand until the whole 20-mile system is complete. One of the light rail vehicles was displayed yesterday. Merry Lucero reports.

Merry Lucero:
As the ribbon was cut and the big metal doors slowly rolled up at the new metro light vehicle operations and maintenance center on 48th street south of Washington in Phoenix, the first much anticipated fully assembled light rail car was unveiled. Visitors toured the facility and were able to see the inside and out of the brand-new light rail vehicle. The cars will soon be going through testing to prepare them for actual operation and help citizens get used to seeing the vehicles.

Rick Simonetta:
Within another month or so we're going to actually start operating trains. This will become, of course, where the trains will originate in the wee hours of the morning. But they will cross a bridge that goes over the railroad and canal adjacent to the 202, then they will enter Washington Street. And they will be operating on a test track between essentially 48th street and 56th street during the evening or the late morning -- early morning hours, generally from about 1:00 in the morning until about 4:00.

Merry Lucero:
Valley mayors were on hand for the unveiling. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says the light rail is the city's best bet for addressing congestion.

Phil Gordon:
We can't build enough roads and freeways to handle all the people that are coming to our great cities and valley. People are going to come here. So we've got to provide the means to move people.

Merry Lucero:
Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the system supports the positive economic growth of the region.

Hugh Hallman:
This is going to help us compete not city against city but region against region across the globe. This will help make our region more competitive globally.

Merry Lucero:
Electricity from overhead wires will power the vehicles. Under its current plan, the line will run through Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Yesterday Metro Light Rail officials also outlined a request for the state to find nearly $2 billion in funding to expand and accelerate construction of the light rail system. The light rail won't be there in time to help get people to the latest march being planned by those fighting for immigration reform. The march is planned for May 1. Here to tell us more about that is State Representative Ben Miranda. Representative Miranda, who's putting together this march on May 1?

Ben Miranda:
This is a loose coalition of immigrant groups, primarily those of service, those that work with and those on a day-to-day basis and in contact with the immigrant community. They came together this past Monday and made a decision to have the march on May 1. As you know, May 1 is a day that's been designated across the nation for the immigrant community, for immigrant rights groups to come forth and show some public demonstration in support of need for immigration reform. This is exactly when Congress is expected to start finalizing its plan.

Jose Cardenas:
I want to talk more about the march and who's organizing it. As I understand it there will be other things leading up to the march that will be talking place over the next few weeks. What are those?

Ben Miranda:
The primary thing is the planning part of it. There is a plan for a March 24 event that commemorates the one-year anniversary of the first significant march and the largest march up to then in the state of Arizona which was the march to Jon Kyl's office from Saint Agnes Church. That march was estimated to include about 50,000 people. We're hoping to put some event together to commemorate that leading up to the march. Between now and then will be ongoing citizenship classes for individuals who wish to study for and prepare for the citizenship exam that's given. Anticipate those. There is a need for and we have not completed plan the full-scale event in terms of immigrant rights and those things that people need to know about what the rights are in terms of being in this country.

Jose Cardenas:
On May 1 how many people do you actually expect to participate in the march?

Ben Miranda: The plan is for 5 to 10,000. But there is an unknown commodity involved here, that is the fact that we just don't know where congress is going to move on it. Congress has -- it's going to be a major factor. Because if Congress moves swiftly on immigration and proposes to finalize this issue before the beginning of the summer, it could have an impact on the degree to which it's supported by the immigrant community. There'll be other elements there. We hope to diversify the march and include people from the African American community, from various ethnic and religious groups. So it's going to be a diverse group that leads it also.

Jose Cardenas:
Now 5 to 10,000 people are significantly less than the first march on Senator Kyl's office or that went there. And of course, much smaller than the 100 to 200,000 that you had for the big march last year. What's the explanation for that?

Ben Miranda:
One is that we hope to plan it much better. And that will also mean that we're going to encourage people to be well-prepared especially in view of the fact that it is May 1, which could present a problem in terms of people being prepared in terms of water and clothing that they wear. The other aspect to it is, frankly we're not in the situation we were a year ago, José. Last year there was a very discriminatory legislation that was before congress, 4437, house bill 4437. That house bill proposed by Representative Sensenberger would have criminalized almost every single immigrant in this country. The reaction across the country was these massive marches that took place. We're not in the same stage now. But we still feel that positive reaction can be one to try to push immigration through congress and encourage that by showing this physical presence in all the cities across the country, but here in Phoenix as well.

Jose Cardenas:
Well, and precisely because the situation is different, some have raised the question why this march now.

Ben Miranda:
Well, because there's a national call for demonstrations across the country from the immigrant community in favor of immigration reform. And second is that we need to do our part. The immigrant community needs to show its face a not being an invisible element in our society. And you and I have spoken about the many problems that we have out there associated with immigration. And we have a powder keg that's blowing here. And it's brewing. And unless immigration reform comes forth, it could have some dire consequences as early as the end of this year. But at this point, the immigration community coming forth and demonstrating their need for immigration reform is the best way for them to participate and the best way to send a message to Congress.

Jose Cardenas:
I understand, though, that there's some difference of opinion among the groups that were involved last time as to whether this is a good idea.

Ben Miranda:
I don't think the differences are whether this is a good idea or not. I think some people would like for this march perhaps maybe to take place on another date, another time much earlier because of weather. It could be a significant factor. But I don't think the differences are very significant that we have right now. We do need to plan better, though. Because there were problems the last time in terms of the logistics.

Jose Cardenas:
What about backlash? That was a stated concern last time. Any concerns about that this time around?

Ben Miranda: No, I don't think so. I think that we've proven that the immigrant community can come out in great numbers, 250,000, and put forth a public display, a petition to the government for immigration reform and do it in a peaceful way. I expect this march to be exactly done in the same fashion in terms of orderliness and peacefulness and cleanliness of the march.

Jose Cardenas:
One of the things that sparked concerns about backlash last time was at least in the first of the two marches last year the prominent display of Mexican flags. Is there anything going to be done to limit that this time around?

Ben Miranda:
As you know, the first march was different than the second march. The second march was virtually -- we had no flags other than American flag displayed. This march is going to encourage people to come out with the American flag. But more important come out in a peaceful way, in a way that can demonstrate to Congress that this is a responsible element of society that's making a contribution to our country and needs to be legalized.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Ben Miranda thanks for joining us on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
The new School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University is producing the next generation of computer scientists, computer engineers, informaticians, software engineers and knowledge workers the school creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. I'll talk to the director of the school. But first I here's more on the school.

Mike Sauceda:
The School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. The school is set up to support the evolution of computing and informatics as discrete disciplines. Informatics is a science of information, information processing, and information systems. The school responds to needs for partnership and collaboration between computer and information sciences and a broad range of disciplinary areas at A.S.U. This integration of computer and information sciences with other academic disciplines such as geology, and throw policy, urban planning -- will provide a -- the school is home to the department of computer science and engineering and the department of biomedical informatics.

Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about the School of Computing and Informatics is the director, Sethuraman Panchanathan. Professor, thank you for joining us on the "Horizon." Let's get some background on the school. When did you open?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
This school has been in development for the last two years. We had a computer science and engineering department prior to that. We were trying to evolve this school into a new school of computing and informatics with a new department of biomedical informatics programs.

Jose Cardenas:
If we were to kind of survey other universities across the country, would we find anything like this?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
There are schools of computing and informatics of the likes. Georgia Tech has one. We have one in Cornell University. The concept at Melon or University of California at Irvine. What we're trying to do here is not only have a few informatics programs within the school but introduce the novel concept of having informatics for everyone in the university. This is I believe probably the only university will do at this point in time.

Jose Cardenas:
It's very unique in that regard.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Yes.

Jose Cardenas:
Tell us about the science of informatics.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
That is basically a science of information. If you look at the techniques, tools for acquiring information, for processing information, for storing information, for accessing or retrieving information or visualizing information, modeling information. And that information can be in any discipline. That basically is what informatics is all about.

Jose Cardenas:
We're not talking necessarily about the hardware but the applications.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Absolutely. It's how well do you use computers, hardware and software together, to achieve things in everyday life. If you wake up in the morning the alarm clock comes on. Behind that is some sort of informatics solution. You open the refrigerator and pick up milk you have information embedded in that. You get in the car; you're surrounded by computer devices everywhere.

Jose Cardenas:
How about the students? Do they have to be in any major to take advantage of these opportunities?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
We're trying to broaden this so students from any discipline can have, for example, informatics literacy and competency possibilities. A student in psychology could take a minor in informatics. If they want to work in google -- not only computer scientists or computer engineers but also folks who are able to understand human user interface design requirements even for a psychology background.

Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about the different elements of this. You have the school of engineering, computer science, biomedical informatics. How do those all coming together?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school is in the school of engineering. It's one of the entities inside the school of engineering. In the school of computing and informatics we have existing computer science and engineering department, which includes -- we also have the new biomedical informatics department in collaboration with the A.S.U. College of Medicine, Phoenix. We have the possibility of incubating a number of other informatics programs. If it is psychology it could be -- if it is biology it's bioinformatics.

Jose Cardenas:
And physically where will the school be housed?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school will be -- we are centrally located right now in the complexion the Tempe campus. But we're going to have a presence 234 in the new Arizona collaborative building right next to the medical school.

Jose Cardenas:
Downtown Phoenix?

Sethuraman Pachanathan: Exactly. We'll have the unique concept of the first two floors of the building being the biomedical and informatics department and the top two floors the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor we have about 45 seconds or so left of the give us real-world examples of what students will be able to do as a result of participating in this.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
For example if you take my own research, we are engaged in a research project where we are trying to help individuals who are blind and visually impaired by designing devices and interfaces for them so they'll be able to function like sighted people. Being able to take a book and read them, being able to recognize people, José is in front of you and smiling at you. These are kind of things that we take for granted as sighted people. How can we help the blind and visually impaired do things like that? You need to work in an interdisciplinary manner with computer scientists working with psychologists, architecture, school of design architecture, engineers, all of them coming together to design devices helps humanity. In general I find informatics is helping humanity and applying computing to help humanity.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor Panchanathan, thank you for joining us on "Horizon."

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Thank you for having me.

Larry Lemmons:
On the same day Metro unveiled its first car for the valley's light rail system; its C.E.O. said it will ask for nearly $2 billion in state money to speed up light rail plans. And the Phoenix area loses out to Pittsburgh in the fight for a new flight operations center for U.S. Airways. The Journalists Roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
That's the Thursday edition of "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. Thanks for watching.

Immigration March


  • Another immigration march is planned for May 1st. State representative Ben Miranda, one of the organizers of the march, will tell us about plans for the march and other events.
Guests:
  • Jon Kyl - U.S. Senator, Arizona
  • Ben Miranda - State Representative
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan - Director, School of Computing and Informatics, ASU
Category: Education

View Transcript

Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon" Senator Jon Kyl just got back from Iraq. We'll talk to him about what he saw.

Jose Cardenas:
Another big immigration march is planned for May. We'll learn about what's planned.

Jose Cardenas:
Learn about the A.S.U. School of Computing and Informatics. All that coming up on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas.

Jose Cardenas:
Republican Senator Jon Kyl was on a trip to Iraq with Democratic Representative Gabriel Giffords earlier this week. Kyl said he returned from the trip much more optimistic then before about Iraq. Here now to tell us more about his Bipartisan trip to Iraq is Senator Jon Kyl.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator thank you for joining us.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
And I know you did just get back so we're very appreciative you would take the time to talk to us. As we noted in the intro you're more optimistic then you were before. Why is that?

Jon Kyl:
Because there's a plan now. When I was there before they seemed to be struggling to find a way to go forward successfully. Now, both the Iraqi leaders with whom we talked and our commanders on the ground have a very specific mission, a very specific strategy that they're pursuing. And both are cautiously optimistic that this new strategy can succeed. It involves not just the addition of more Iraqi troops and more American troops though that is a key part of it, but also whole change in the tactical way that the Iraqis are approaching the issue. Before they or we would take an area and leave and then the bad guys would just infiltrate back in. Now the object is to take it and hold and for the Iraqis just to stay there so that the area can remain stabilized over a long period of time. And the early signs are that it's beginning to work.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator before we get to some of your other observations give us some of the details of the trip. We noted that Representative Giffords was with you but I understand there were others.

Jon Kyl:
We had a Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker a Representative from New Mexico, his name is Steve Pierce. We had two other senators who decided to stay back for the vote in Washington so they didn't come. We also went to Israel when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was there with --- It was Bipartisan. It was a visit that a member -- of group of congressmen make to Israel and then they come back to the United States in a reciprocal visit in September, part of an Interparliamentary Congress there.

Jose Cardenas:
The big news regarding Iraq this week is that the British are reducing their troop level commitment. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
In one sense its good news. They have the southern part of the country, Basrah. They have been securing that area. It's much more stable now. They believe with the help of the Iraqis they can begin to draw down their forces. The drawdown is announced for three or fours months from now and small troops. I think it's frankly done for political purposes back home. But it does suggest that they're able to begin that drawdown and turn it over to the Iraqis and have several other provinces in the south part of the country.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, a lot of discussion about evidence that may exist in Iraq of uranium involvement. What can you tell us about that?

Jon Kyl:
We saw it. We visited in General Odiarno's office. He had all kinds of weaponry on the table. He said it all came from Iran. He said here's how we can tell. He showed us different pieces, rockets, for example. Now here's the batch number. Here's the serial number. We can trace it back to Iran. The most interesting thing he showed us was a new kind of I.E. D. They have another name for it now. It is what is blowing up our Humvees and even our Abrams tanks. These 70-ton vehicles that after one of these I.E.D.'s has exploded it looks like a piece of tin foil. They're so powerful. And that is the real concern that infusion of Iranian weaponry into the country has made it much more dangerous not just for the Iraqis but also for our troops.

Jose Cardenas:
What do we do about it?

Jon Kyl:
First of all any Iranians we can find in Iraq we'll deal with like any other terrorist. In addition to, that we've got to put a lot more pressure on the Iranians. It's clear it's coming from high places in their government. It's we believe from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is the primary quasi military unit directly under the leadership. We have to put pressure on them to stop this. And there are a lot of ways we can do that. We heard on the news tonight that economic sanctions closing bank accounts and disinvestment cases that we're taking forward with regard to Iran are beginning to have effect there. So I don't think there's any question that we can put a lot more pressure on Iran. We have to do it because they're killing our soldiers.

Jose Cardenas:
There's concern in some quarters this may lead to a confrontation with Iran.

Jon Kyl:
Dear dear. A country killing our soldiers might lead to a confrontation. We'd better confront them. Nobody's talking about an invasion in Iran. But we'd better confront them and they better stop what they're doing.

Jose Cardenas:
You mentioned your visit to Israel. Of course there's concern about what the Israelis may do because there's a concern about an Iranian nuclear threat. Was there any discussion with them right there?

Jon Kyl:
That's most on their minds. That's an existential threat to Israel. A missile with a nuclear warhead obviously one of those war heads could wipe out Israel. The president of Iran has said that's their goal. So they are very concerned. We visited one of their anti-ballistic missile batteries. They had a test of that February 11. That's a good deal for them to deal with this threat. But clearly they want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We had a lot of discussions about that while we were there. Our government is working on that with our European allies and to some extent with the Russians right now. That might be taken up in a U.N. resolution next week or the security council next week because the I.A.E.A. the Atomic Energy Inspection Agency has come out with a report that Iran has not complied with the U.N. resolution passed a few months ago.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator there was an interesting article in "Newsweek" this week about Iran and their cooperation, their helpfulness right after 9/11 and in the invasion of Afghanistan. The suggestion was that we somehow turned our back and have made things worse because of that. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
Well, in the world things are very complex. Nations help you sometimes and they hurt you sometimes. We've gotten a little bit of cooperation from Syria but mostly we've gotten the back of the hand. Very early on it was in Iran's interests to help us with some elements in Afghanistan. But when it's not in their interest to help us they don't. Most of the time it is not in their interest. Same with some of the other countries in the region. So sometimes to keep us off their back they'll give us a little bit. But most of the time countries like Iran and Syria are being very unhelpful.

Jose Cardenas:
Back at home there were votes in the U.S. Senate and House, both you and Senator McCain missed the Senate vote on a resolution regarding Iraq.

Jon Kyl:
Yes. It was a procedural motion to proceed to debate the issue. We had been debating the issue for two weeks. It was up to the other side to get 60 votes in order to proceed with this particular resolution. We knew they wouldn't get the 60 votes. I declared in advance I would have opposed it. Literally neither my vote nor Senator McCain's vote would have mattered in the outcome. This trip was in the planning for a month. I felt I could be more productive going there, talking to the Iraqi leaders, talking to our troops and the commanders on the ground to try to understand what best I could the situation there and bring that information back.

Jose Cardenas:
Do you see that step by the Democrats a first step towards de-funding the war effort?

Jon Kyl:
Unfortunately I do. I didn't want to bring this up with the troops but they brought it up with me. They watch the news and they're very disappointed with what's going on. They're proud of their mission and what they're accomplished. They don't appreciate the fact that people back here in Washington that they say they support the troops but they've already declared that the mission cannot succeed. And if you stop and think about it, that's a pretty bad message to the troops. It's also a devastating message to the enemy. Because this is much about a test of wills. If the enemy believes that our will is flagging then they're going to hang on for as long as they can. This new strategy that we've begun to implement is a test of wills, too. And when it became apparent that we were moving into the eastern part of Baghdad in a big way, the militias there, the Shiite militia pretty well went to ground. The head of the group has been seen in Iran. He left. And there's a good indication that this test of wills can succeed if the enemy believes we're going to see it through. That's why resolutions like the ones that have been debated are very unhelpful because they cast doubt on whether we have the will to see it through.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, thank you for joining us on "Horizon" tonight. We appreciate you being here.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you, Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
In about a month or so you may see something new run over Tempe Town Lake. The Metro Light Rail will be on a test track. As construction begins now through December of 2008 testing will expand until the whole 20-mile system is complete. One of the light rail vehicles was displayed yesterday. Merry Lucero reports.

Merry Lucero:
As the ribbon was cut and the big metal doors slowly rolled up at the new metro light vehicle operations and maintenance center on 48th street south of Washington in Phoenix, the first much anticipated fully assembled light rail car was unveiled. Visitors toured the facility and were able to see the inside and out of the brand-new light rail vehicle. The cars will soon be going through testing to prepare them for actual operation and help citizens get used to seeing the vehicles.

Rick Simonetta:
Within another month or so we're going to actually start operating trains. This will become, of course, where the trains will originate in the wee hours of the morning. But they will cross a bridge that goes over the railroad and canal adjacent to the 202, then they will enter Washington Street. And they will be operating on a test track between essentially 48th street and 56th street during the evening or the late morning -- early morning hours, generally from about 1:00 in the morning until about 4:00.

Merry Lucero:
Valley mayors were on hand for the unveiling. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says the light rail is the city's best bet for addressing congestion.

Phil Gordon:
We can't build enough roads and freeways to handle all the people that are coming to our great cities and valley. People are going to come here. So we've got to provide the means to move people.

Merry Lucero:
Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the system supports the positive economic growth of the region.

Hugh Hallman:
This is going to help us compete not city against city but region against region across the globe. This will help make our region more competitive globally.

Merry Lucero:
Electricity from overhead wires will power the vehicles. Under its current plan, the line will run through Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Yesterday Metro Light Rail officials also outlined a request for the state to find nearly $2 billion in funding to expand and accelerate construction of the light rail system. The light rail won't be there in time to help get people to the latest march being planned by those fighting for immigration reform. The march is planned for May 1. Here to tell us more about that is State Representative Ben Miranda. Representative Miranda, who's putting together this march on May 1?

Ben Miranda:
This is a loose coalition of immigrant groups, primarily those of service, those that work with and those on a day-to-day basis and in contact with the immigrant community. They came together this past Monday and made a decision to have the march on May 1. As you know, May 1 is a day that's been designated across the nation for the immigrant community, for immigrant rights groups to come forth and show some public demonstration in support of need for immigration reform. This is exactly when Congress is expected to start finalizing its plan.

Jose Cardenas:
I want to talk more about the march and who's organizing it. As I understand it there will be other things leading up to the march that will be talking place over the next few weeks. What are those?

Ben Miranda:
The primary thing is the planning part of it. There is a plan for a March 24 event that commemorates the one-year anniversary of the first significant march and the largest march up to then in the state of Arizona which was the march to Jon Kyl's office from Saint Agnes Church. That march was estimated to include about 50,000 people. We're hoping to put some event together to commemorate that leading up to the march. Between now and then will be ongoing citizenship classes for individuals who wish to study for and prepare for the citizenship exam that's given. Anticipate those. There is a need for and we have not completed plan the full-scale event in terms of immigrant rights and those things that people need to know about what the rights are in terms of being in this country.

Jose Cardenas:
On May 1 how many people do you actually expect to participate in the march?

Ben Miranda: The plan is for 5 to 10,000. But there is an unknown commodity involved here, that is the fact that we just don't know where congress is going to move on it. Congress has -- it's going to be a major factor. Because if Congress moves swiftly on immigration and proposes to finalize this issue before the beginning of the summer, it could have an impact on the degree to which it's supported by the immigrant community. There'll be other elements there. We hope to diversify the march and include people from the African American community, from various ethnic and religious groups. So it's going to be a diverse group that leads it also.

Jose Cardenas:
Now 5 to 10,000 people are significantly less than the first march on Senator Kyl's office or that went there. And of course, much smaller than the 100 to 200,000 that you had for the big march last year. What's the explanation for that?

Ben Miranda:
One is that we hope to plan it much better. And that will also mean that we're going to encourage people to be well-prepared especially in view of the fact that it is May 1, which could present a problem in terms of people being prepared in terms of water and clothing that they wear. The other aspect to it is, frankly we're not in the situation we were a year ago, José. Last year there was a very discriminatory legislation that was before congress, 4437, house bill 4437. That house bill proposed by Representative Sensenberger would have criminalized almost every single immigrant in this country. The reaction across the country was these massive marches that took place. We're not in the same stage now. But we still feel that positive reaction can be one to try to push immigration through congress and encourage that by showing this physical presence in all the cities across the country, but here in Phoenix as well.

Jose Cardenas:
Well, and precisely because the situation is different, some have raised the question why this march now.

Ben Miranda:
Well, because there's a national call for demonstrations across the country from the immigrant community in favor of immigration reform. And second is that we need to do our part. The immigrant community needs to show its face a not being an invisible element in our society. And you and I have spoken about the many problems that we have out there associated with immigration. And we have a powder keg that's blowing here. And it's brewing. And unless immigration reform comes forth, it could have some dire consequences as early as the end of this year. But at this point, the immigration community coming forth and demonstrating their need for immigration reform is the best way for them to participate and the best way to send a message to Congress.

Jose Cardenas:
I understand, though, that there's some difference of opinion among the groups that were involved last time as to whether this is a good idea.

Ben Miranda:
I don't think the differences are whether this is a good idea or not. I think some people would like for this march perhaps maybe to take place on another date, another time much earlier because of weather. It could be a significant factor. But I don't think the differences are very significant that we have right now. We do need to plan better, though. Because there were problems the last time in terms of the logistics.

Jose Cardenas:
What about backlash? That was a stated concern last time. Any concerns about that this time around?

Ben Miranda: No, I don't think so. I think that we've proven that the immigrant community can come out in great numbers, 250,000, and put forth a public display, a petition to the government for immigration reform and do it in a peaceful way. I expect this march to be exactly done in the same fashion in terms of orderliness and peacefulness and cleanliness of the march.

Jose Cardenas:
One of the things that sparked concerns about backlash last time was at least in the first of the two marches last year the prominent display of Mexican flags. Is there anything going to be done to limit that this time around?

Ben Miranda:
As you know, the first march was different than the second march. The second march was virtually -- we had no flags other than American flag displayed. This march is going to encourage people to come out with the American flag. But more important come out in a peaceful way, in a way that can demonstrate to Congress that this is a responsible element of society that's making a contribution to our country and needs to be legalized.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Ben Miranda thanks for joining us on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
The new School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University is producing the next generation of computer scientists, computer engineers, informaticians, software engineers and knowledge workers the school creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. I'll talk to the director of the school. But first I here's more on the school.

Mike Sauceda:
The School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. The school is set up to support the evolution of computing and informatics as discrete disciplines. Informatics is a science of information, information processing, and information systems. The school responds to needs for partnership and collaboration between computer and information sciences and a broad range of disciplinary areas at A.S.U. This integration of computer and information sciences with other academic disciplines such as geology, and throw policy, urban planning -- will provide a -- the school is home to the department of computer science and engineering and the department of biomedical informatics.

Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about the School of Computing and Informatics is the director, Sethuraman Panchanathan. Professor, thank you for joining us on the "Horizon." Let's get some background on the school. When did you open?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
This school has been in development for the last two years. We had a computer science and engineering department prior to that. We were trying to evolve this school into a new school of computing and informatics with a new department of biomedical informatics programs.

Jose Cardenas:
If we were to kind of survey other universities across the country, would we find anything like this?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
There are schools of computing and informatics of the likes. Georgia Tech has one. We have one in Cornell University. The concept at Melon or University of California at Irvine. What we're trying to do here is not only have a few informatics programs within the school but introduce the novel concept of having informatics for everyone in the university. This is I believe probably the only university will do at this point in time.

Jose Cardenas:
It's very unique in that regard.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Yes.

Jose Cardenas:
Tell us about the science of informatics.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
That is basically a science of information. If you look at the techniques, tools for acquiring information, for processing information, for storing information, for accessing or retrieving information or visualizing information, modeling information. And that information can be in any discipline. That basically is what informatics is all about.

Jose Cardenas:
We're not talking necessarily about the hardware but the applications.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Absolutely. It's how well do you use computers, hardware and software together, to achieve things in everyday life. If you wake up in the morning the alarm clock comes on. Behind that is some sort of informatics solution. You open the refrigerator and pick up milk you have information embedded in that. You get in the car; you're surrounded by computer devices everywhere.

Jose Cardenas:
How about the students? Do they have to be in any major to take advantage of these opportunities?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
We're trying to broaden this so students from any discipline can have, for example, informatics literacy and competency possibilities. A student in psychology could take a minor in informatics. If they want to work in google -- not only computer scientists or computer engineers but also folks who are able to understand human user interface design requirements even for a psychology background.

Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about the different elements of this. You have the school of engineering, computer science, biomedical informatics. How do those all coming together?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school is in the school of engineering. It's one of the entities inside the school of engineering. In the school of computing and informatics we have existing computer science and engineering department, which includes -- we also have the new biomedical informatics department in collaboration with the A.S.U. College of Medicine, Phoenix. We have the possibility of incubating a number of other informatics programs. If it is psychology it could be -- if it is biology it's bioinformatics.

Jose Cardenas:
And physically where will the school be housed?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school will be -- we are centrally located right now in the complexion the Tempe campus. But we're going to have a presence 234 in the new Arizona collaborative building right next to the medical school.

Jose Cardenas:
Downtown Phoenix?

Sethuraman Pachanathan: Exactly. We'll have the unique concept of the first two floors of the building being the biomedical and informatics department and the top two floors the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor we have about 45 seconds or so left of the give us real-world examples of what students will be able to do as a result of participating in this.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
For example if you take my own research, we are engaged in a research project where we are trying to help individuals who are blind and visually impaired by designing devices and interfaces for them so they'll be able to function like sighted people. Being able to take a book and read them, being able to recognize people, José is in front of you and smiling at you. These are kind of things that we take for granted as sighted people. How can we help the blind and visually impaired do things like that? You need to work in an interdisciplinary manner with computer scientists working with psychologists, architecture, school of design architecture, engineers, all of them coming together to design devices helps humanity. In general I find informatics is helping humanity and applying computing to help humanity.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor Panchanathan, thank you for joining us on "Horizon."

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Thank you for having me.

Larry Lemmons:
On the same day Metro unveiled its first car for the valley's light rail system; its C.E.O. said it will ask for nearly $2 billion in state money to speed up light rail plans. And the Phoenix area loses out to Pittsburgh in the fight for a new flight operations center for U.S. Airways. The Journalists Roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
That's the Thursday edition of "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. Thanks for watching.

senator Jon Kyl


  • senator Jon Kyl talks about his recent trip to Iraq.
Guests:
  • Jon Kyl - U.S. Senator, Arizona
  • Ben Miranda - State Representative
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan - Director, School of Computing and Informatics, ASU
Category:

View Transcript

Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon" Senator Jon Kyl just got back from Iraq. We'll talk to him about what he saw.

Jose Cardenas:
Another big immigration march is planned for May. We'll learn about what's planned.

Jose Cardenas:
Learn about the A.S.U. School of Computing and Informatics. All that coming up on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Jose Cardenas:
Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas.

Jose Cardenas:
Republican Senator Jon Kyl was on a trip to Iraq with Democratic Representative Gabriel Giffords earlier this week. Kyl said he returned from the trip much more optimistic then before about Iraq. Here now to tell us more about his Bipartisan trip to Iraq is Senator Jon Kyl.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator thank you for joining us.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
And I know you did just get back so we're very appreciative you would take the time to talk to us. As we noted in the intro you're more optimistic then you were before. Why is that?

Jon Kyl:
Because there's a plan now. When I was there before they seemed to be struggling to find a way to go forward successfully. Now, both the Iraqi leaders with whom we talked and our commanders on the ground have a very specific mission, a very specific strategy that they're pursuing. And both are cautiously optimistic that this new strategy can succeed. It involves not just the addition of more Iraqi troops and more American troops though that is a key part of it, but also whole change in the tactical way that the Iraqis are approaching the issue. Before they or we would take an area and leave and then the bad guys would just infiltrate back in. Now the object is to take it and hold and for the Iraqis just to stay there so that the area can remain stabilized over a long period of time. And the early signs are that it's beginning to work.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator before we get to some of your other observations give us some of the details of the trip. We noted that Representative Giffords was with you but I understand there were others.

Jon Kyl:
We had a Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker a Representative from New Mexico, his name is Steve Pierce. We had two other senators who decided to stay back for the vote in Washington so they didn't come. We also went to Israel when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was there with --- It was Bipartisan. It was a visit that a member -- of group of congressmen make to Israel and then they come back to the United States in a reciprocal visit in September, part of an Interparliamentary Congress there.

Jose Cardenas:
The big news regarding Iraq this week is that the British are reducing their troop level commitment. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
In one sense its good news. They have the southern part of the country, Basrah. They have been securing that area. It's much more stable now. They believe with the help of the Iraqis they can begin to draw down their forces. The drawdown is announced for three or fours months from now and small troops. I think it's frankly done for political purposes back home. But it does suggest that they're able to begin that drawdown and turn it over to the Iraqis and have several other provinces in the south part of the country.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, a lot of discussion about evidence that may exist in Iraq of uranium involvement. What can you tell us about that?

Jon Kyl:
We saw it. We visited in General Odiarno's office. He had all kinds of weaponry on the table. He said it all came from Iran. He said here's how we can tell. He showed us different pieces, rockets, for example. Now here's the batch number. Here's the serial number. We can trace it back to Iran. The most interesting thing he showed us was a new kind of I.E. D. They have another name for it now. It is what is blowing up our Humvees and even our Abrams tanks. These 70-ton vehicles that after one of these I.E.D.'s has exploded it looks like a piece of tin foil. They're so powerful. And that is the real concern that infusion of Iranian weaponry into the country has made it much more dangerous not just for the Iraqis but also for our troops.

Jose Cardenas:
What do we do about it?

Jon Kyl:
First of all any Iranians we can find in Iraq we'll deal with like any other terrorist. In addition to, that we've got to put a lot more pressure on the Iranians. It's clear it's coming from high places in their government. It's we believe from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is the primary quasi military unit directly under the leadership. We have to put pressure on them to stop this. And there are a lot of ways we can do that. We heard on the news tonight that economic sanctions closing bank accounts and disinvestment cases that we're taking forward with regard to Iran are beginning to have effect there. So I don't think there's any question that we can put a lot more pressure on Iran. We have to do it because they're killing our soldiers.

Jose Cardenas:
There's concern in some quarters this may lead to a confrontation with Iran.

Jon Kyl:
Dear dear. A country killing our soldiers might lead to a confrontation. We'd better confront them. Nobody's talking about an invasion in Iran. But we'd better confront them and they better stop what they're doing.

Jose Cardenas:
You mentioned your visit to Israel. Of course there's concern about what the Israelis may do because there's a concern about an Iranian nuclear threat. Was there any discussion with them right there?

Jon Kyl:
That's most on their minds. That's an existential threat to Israel. A missile with a nuclear warhead obviously one of those war heads could wipe out Israel. The president of Iran has said that's their goal. So they are very concerned. We visited one of their anti-ballistic missile batteries. They had a test of that February 11. That's a good deal for them to deal with this threat. But clearly they want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. We had a lot of discussions about that while we were there. Our government is working on that with our European allies and to some extent with the Russians right now. That might be taken up in a U.N. resolution next week or the security council next week because the I.A.E.A. the Atomic Energy Inspection Agency has come out with a report that Iran has not complied with the U.N. resolution passed a few months ago.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator there was an interesting article in "Newsweek" this week about Iran and their cooperation, their helpfulness right after 9/11 and in the invasion of Afghanistan. The suggestion was that we somehow turned our back and have made things worse because of that. What do you say about that?

Jon Kyl:
Well, in the world things are very complex. Nations help you sometimes and they hurt you sometimes. We've gotten a little bit of cooperation from Syria but mostly we've gotten the back of the hand. Very early on it was in Iran's interests to help us with some elements in Afghanistan. But when it's not in their interest to help us they don't. Most of the time it is not in their interest. Same with some of the other countries in the region. So sometimes to keep us off their back they'll give us a little bit. But most of the time countries like Iran and Syria are being very unhelpful.

Jose Cardenas:
Back at home there were votes in the U.S. Senate and House, both you and Senator McCain missed the Senate vote on a resolution regarding Iraq.

Jon Kyl:
Yes. It was a procedural motion to proceed to debate the issue. We had been debating the issue for two weeks. It was up to the other side to get 60 votes in order to proceed with this particular resolution. We knew they wouldn't get the 60 votes. I declared in advance I would have opposed it. Literally neither my vote nor Senator McCain's vote would have mattered in the outcome. This trip was in the planning for a month. I felt I could be more productive going there, talking to the Iraqi leaders, talking to our troops and the commanders on the ground to try to understand what best I could the situation there and bring that information back.

Jose Cardenas:
Do you see that step by the Democrats a first step towards de-funding the war effort?

Jon Kyl:
Unfortunately I do. I didn't want to bring this up with the troops but they brought it up with me. They watch the news and they're very disappointed with what's going on. They're proud of their mission and what they're accomplished. They don't appreciate the fact that people back here in Washington that they say they support the troops but they've already declared that the mission cannot succeed. And if you stop and think about it, that's a pretty bad message to the troops. It's also a devastating message to the enemy. Because this is much about a test of wills. If the enemy believes that our will is flagging then they're going to hang on for as long as they can. This new strategy that we've begun to implement is a test of wills, too. And when it became apparent that we were moving into the eastern part of Baghdad in a big way, the militias there, the Shiite militia pretty well went to ground. The head of the group has been seen in Iran. He left. And there's a good indication that this test of wills can succeed if the enemy believes we're going to see it through. That's why resolutions like the ones that have been debated are very unhelpful because they cast doubt on whether we have the will to see it through.

Jose Cardenas:
Senator, thank you for joining us on "Horizon" tonight. We appreciate you being here.

Jon Kyl:
Thank you, Jose.

Jose Cardenas:
In about a month or so you may see something new run over Tempe Town Lake. The Metro Light Rail will be on a test track. As construction begins now through December of 2008 testing will expand until the whole 20-mile system is complete. One of the light rail vehicles was displayed yesterday. Merry Lucero reports.

Merry Lucero:
As the ribbon was cut and the big metal doors slowly rolled up at the new metro light vehicle operations and maintenance center on 48th street south of Washington in Phoenix, the first much anticipated fully assembled light rail car was unveiled. Visitors toured the facility and were able to see the inside and out of the brand-new light rail vehicle. The cars will soon be going through testing to prepare them for actual operation and help citizens get used to seeing the vehicles.

Rick Simonetta:
Within another month or so we're going to actually start operating trains. This will become, of course, where the trains will originate in the wee hours of the morning. But they will cross a bridge that goes over the railroad and canal adjacent to the 202, then they will enter Washington Street. And they will be operating on a test track between essentially 48th street and 56th street during the evening or the late morning -- early morning hours, generally from about 1:00 in the morning until about 4:00.

Merry Lucero:
Valley mayors were on hand for the unveiling. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says the light rail is the city's best bet for addressing congestion.

Phil Gordon:
We can't build enough roads and freeways to handle all the people that are coming to our great cities and valley. People are going to come here. So we've got to provide the means to move people.

Merry Lucero:
Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the system supports the positive economic growth of the region.

Hugh Hallman:
This is going to help us compete not city against city but region against region across the globe. This will help make our region more competitive globally.

Merry Lucero:
Electricity from overhead wires will power the vehicles. Under its current plan, the line will run through Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Yesterday Metro Light Rail officials also outlined a request for the state to find nearly $2 billion in funding to expand and accelerate construction of the light rail system. The light rail won't be there in time to help get people to the latest march being planned by those fighting for immigration reform. The march is planned for May 1. Here to tell us more about that is State Representative Ben Miranda. Representative Miranda, who's putting together this march on May 1?

Ben Miranda:
This is a loose coalition of immigrant groups, primarily those of service, those that work with and those on a day-to-day basis and in contact with the immigrant community. They came together this past Monday and made a decision to have the march on May 1. As you know, May 1 is a day that's been designated across the nation for the immigrant community, for immigrant rights groups to come forth and show some public demonstration in support of need for immigration reform. This is exactly when Congress is expected to start finalizing its plan.

Jose Cardenas:
I want to talk more about the march and who's organizing it. As I understand it there will be other things leading up to the march that will be talking place over the next few weeks. What are those?

Ben Miranda:
The primary thing is the planning part of it. There is a plan for a March 24 event that commemorates the one-year anniversary of the first significant march and the largest march up to then in the state of Arizona which was the march to Jon Kyl's office from Saint Agnes Church. That march was estimated to include about 50,000 people. We're hoping to put some event together to commemorate that leading up to the march. Between now and then will be ongoing citizenship classes for individuals who wish to study for and prepare for the citizenship exam that's given. Anticipate those. There is a need for and we have not completed plan the full-scale event in terms of immigrant rights and those things that people need to know about what the rights are in terms of being in this country.

Jose Cardenas:
On May 1 how many people do you actually expect to participate in the march?

Ben Miranda: The plan is for 5 to 10,000. But there is an unknown commodity involved here, that is the fact that we just don't know where congress is going to move on it. Congress has -- it's going to be a major factor. Because if Congress moves swiftly on immigration and proposes to finalize this issue before the beginning of the summer, it could have an impact on the degree to which it's supported by the immigrant community. There'll be other elements there. We hope to diversify the march and include people from the African American community, from various ethnic and religious groups. So it's going to be a diverse group that leads it also.

Jose Cardenas:
Now 5 to 10,000 people are significantly less than the first march on Senator Kyl's office or that went there. And of course, much smaller than the 100 to 200,000 that you had for the big march last year. What's the explanation for that?

Ben Miranda:
One is that we hope to plan it much better. And that will also mean that we're going to encourage people to be well-prepared especially in view of the fact that it is May 1, which could present a problem in terms of people being prepared in terms of water and clothing that they wear. The other aspect to it is, frankly we're not in the situation we were a year ago, José. Last year there was a very discriminatory legislation that was before congress, 4437, house bill 4437. That house bill proposed by Representative Sensenberger would have criminalized almost every single immigrant in this country. The reaction across the country was these massive marches that took place. We're not in the same stage now. But we still feel that positive reaction can be one to try to push immigration through congress and encourage that by showing this physical presence in all the cities across the country, but here in Phoenix as well.

Jose Cardenas:
Well, and precisely because the situation is different, some have raised the question why this march now.

Ben Miranda:
Well, because there's a national call for demonstrations across the country from the immigrant community in favor of immigration reform. And second is that we need to do our part. The immigrant community needs to show its face a not being an invisible element in our society. And you and I have spoken about the many problems that we have out there associated with immigration. And we have a powder keg that's blowing here. And it's brewing. And unless immigration reform comes forth, it could have some dire consequences as early as the end of this year. But at this point, the immigration community coming forth and demonstrating their need for immigration reform is the best way for them to participate and the best way to send a message to Congress.

Jose Cardenas:
I understand, though, that there's some difference of opinion among the groups that were involved last time as to whether this is a good idea.

Ben Miranda:
I don't think the differences are whether this is a good idea or not. I think some people would like for this march perhaps maybe to take place on another date, another time much earlier because of weather. It could be a significant factor. But I don't think the differences are very significant that we have right now. We do need to plan better, though. Because there were problems the last time in terms of the logistics.

Jose Cardenas:
What about backlash? That was a stated concern last time. Any concerns about that this time around?

Ben Miranda: No, I don't think so. I think that we've proven that the immigrant community can come out in great numbers, 250,000, and put forth a public display, a petition to the government for immigration reform and do it in a peaceful way. I expect this march to be exactly done in the same fashion in terms of orderliness and peacefulness and cleanliness of the march.

Jose Cardenas:
One of the things that sparked concerns about backlash last time was at least in the first of the two marches last year the prominent display of Mexican flags. Is there anything going to be done to limit that this time around?

Ben Miranda:
As you know, the first march was different than the second march. The second march was virtually -- we had no flags other than American flag displayed. This march is going to encourage people to come out with the American flag. But more important come out in a peaceful way, in a way that can demonstrate to Congress that this is a responsible element of society that's making a contribution to our country and needs to be legalized.

Jose Cardenas:
Representative Ben Miranda thanks for joining us on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
The new School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University is producing the next generation of computer scientists, computer engineers, informaticians, software engineers and knowledge workers the school creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. I'll talk to the director of the school. But first I here's more on the school.

Mike Sauceda:
The School of Computing and Informatics at Arizona State University creates and applies knowledge and computing and informatics through real world research. The school is set up to support the evolution of computing and informatics as discrete disciplines. Informatics is a science of information, information processing, and information systems. The school responds to needs for partnership and collaboration between computer and information sciences and a broad range of disciplinary areas at A.S.U. This integration of computer and information sciences with other academic disciplines such as geology, and throw policy, urban planning -- will provide a -- the school is home to the department of computer science and engineering and the department of biomedical informatics.

Jose Cardenas:
Here now to tell us about the School of Computing and Informatics is the director, Sethuraman Panchanathan. Professor, thank you for joining us on the "Horizon." Let's get some background on the school. When did you open?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
This school has been in development for the last two years. We had a computer science and engineering department prior to that. We were trying to evolve this school into a new school of computing and informatics with a new department of biomedical informatics programs.

Jose Cardenas:
If we were to kind of survey other universities across the country, would we find anything like this?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
There are schools of computing and informatics of the likes. Georgia Tech has one. We have one in Cornell University. The concept at Melon or University of California at Irvine. What we're trying to do here is not only have a few informatics programs within the school but introduce the novel concept of having informatics for everyone in the university. This is I believe probably the only university will do at this point in time.

Jose Cardenas:
It's very unique in that regard.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Yes.

Jose Cardenas:
Tell us about the science of informatics.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
That is basically a science of information. If you look at the techniques, tools for acquiring information, for processing information, for storing information, for accessing or retrieving information or visualizing information, modeling information. And that information can be in any discipline. That basically is what informatics is all about.

Jose Cardenas:
We're not talking necessarily about the hardware but the applications.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Absolutely. It's how well do you use computers, hardware and software together, to achieve things in everyday life. If you wake up in the morning the alarm clock comes on. Behind that is some sort of informatics solution. You open the refrigerator and pick up milk you have information embedded in that. You get in the car; you're surrounded by computer devices everywhere.

Jose Cardenas:
How about the students? Do they have to be in any major to take advantage of these opportunities?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
We're trying to broaden this so students from any discipline can have, for example, informatics literacy and competency possibilities. A student in psychology could take a minor in informatics. If they want to work in google -- not only computer scientists or computer engineers but also folks who are able to understand human user interface design requirements even for a psychology background.

Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk about the different elements of this. You have the school of engineering, computer science, biomedical informatics. How do those all coming together?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school is in the school of engineering. It's one of the entities inside the school of engineering. In the school of computing and informatics we have existing computer science and engineering department, which includes -- we also have the new biomedical informatics department in collaboration with the A.S.U. College of Medicine, Phoenix. We have the possibility of incubating a number of other informatics programs. If it is psychology it could be -- if it is biology it's bioinformatics.

Jose Cardenas:
And physically where will the school be housed?

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
The school will be -- we are centrally located right now in the complexion the Tempe campus. But we're going to have a presence 234 in the new Arizona collaborative building right next to the medical school.

Jose Cardenas:
Downtown Phoenix?

Sethuraman Pachanathan: Exactly. We'll have the unique concept of the first two floors of the building being the biomedical and informatics department and the top two floors the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor we have about 45 seconds or so left of the give us real-world examples of what students will be able to do as a result of participating in this.

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
For example if you take my own research, we are engaged in a research project where we are trying to help individuals who are blind and visually impaired by designing devices and interfaces for them so they'll be able to function like sighted people. Being able to take a book and read them, being able to recognize people, José is in front of you and smiling at you. These are kind of things that we take for granted as sighted people. How can we help the blind and visually impaired do things like that? You need to work in an interdisciplinary manner with computer scientists working with psychologists, architecture, school of design architecture, engineers, all of them coming together to design devices helps humanity. In general I find informatics is helping humanity and applying computing to help humanity.

Jose Cardenas:
Professor Panchanathan, thank you for joining us on "Horizon."

Sethuraman Panchanathan:
Thank you for having me.

Larry Lemmons:
On the same day Metro unveiled its first car for the valley's light rail system; its C.E.O. said it will ask for nearly $2 billion in state money to speed up light rail plans. And the Phoenix area loses out to Pittsburgh in the fight for a new flight operations center for U.S. Airways. The Journalists Roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Jose Cardenas:
That's the Thursday edition of "Horizon." I'm Jose Cardenas. Thanks for watching.

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