2nd RFD: comp.sys.mac.scitech

Michael Duncan scitech at ra.nrl.navy.mil
Mon Apr 12 15:31:16 EST 1993

2 n d   R E Q U E S T   F O R   D I S C U S S I O N

This is a the second Request For Discussion (RFD) for the 
creation of a newsgroup for the discussion of issues regarding
the use of the Macintosh in science and engineering disciplines.






comp.sys.mac.scitech (unmoderated) will be a newsgroup
for the discussion of practical and innovative applications
of the Macintosh in a variety of scientific and engineering
disciplines.  Some, but not all, of the fields expected to
be included within the scope of the newsgroup are:

* Acoustics
* Astronomy
* Biochemistry
* Biology
* Chemistry
* Computer Science
* Electrical Engineering
* Geology
* Geophysics
* Materials Science
* Mathematics
* Mechanical Engineering
* Medicine
* Optics
* Physics
* Psychology

There are a number of technologies that are common to many
of the above scientific fields.  This newsgroup will also be
for the discussion of advances in and applications of those
technologies.  Some, but not all, of the technologies of
interest are:

* Computer Aided Drawing/Computer Aided Engineering
* Digital Signal Processing
* Data Acquisition
* Image Processing
* Modeling
* Process Control
* Simulation
* Technical Graphing
* Technical Publishing
* Visualization

Since many scientists and engineers develop technical
programs on the Macintosh computer, this newsgroup will also
be for the discussion of topics in programming that relate
to the use of programs in a science or engineering
environment.  It is assumed that this newsgroup will also
include discussions of the Macintosh computer as it is used
in the higher level education of scientists and engineers.  


The Macintosh has become a very widely used computer in
scientific and engineering fields.  Many techniques for
solving research or design problems are common over widely
diverse fields, but there exists no forum for the general
discussion of those techniques specifically on the Macintosh.
A new, non-profit, user group/professional association, the
Macintosh Scientific and Engineering Users Association
(MacSciTech), has been created to enhance the effective
utilization of the Macintosh computer within the scientific
and engineering communities, but that group has very limited
electronic communication capabilities.  The creation of a
newsgroup that specifically addresses the needs of a large
class of Macintosh users (scientists and engineers) would
allow rapid dissemination of useful information.  And, with
the ever-increasing connectivity that is occurring between
institutions that employ a large number of scientists and
engineers, the time is right for the creation of this new

No current newsgroup is the natural place for the group
proposed here.  The current groups in the comp.sys.mac
hierarchy are focused, in general, on other topics. 
Messages in those groups would either overwhelm or exclude
the discussion of the topics proposed here.  The group
sci.comp-aided is not appropriate because by it's very
hierarchy it stresses science first, and computer methods
second.  The creation of this group as one in the computer
hierarchy assures that the common element is the computer
techniques that are used in science and engineering to solve
similiar problems.  In addition, by being in the mac
hierarchy the group is assured of a common computer
platform.  This is important since scientists and engineers
seem to be oriented towards only one computer and tend to do
most of their work with one type of computer. 


The science and engineering disciplines have historically
been the leaders in using high-end Macintosh computers. 
But, because of the natural division along scientific and
engineering disciplines, workers in different groups have
had to solve common problems over and over again.  Except
for general purpose forums for the discussion of programming
languages, utilities, or general productivity programs for
the Macintosh, there has never been one place where
scientists and engineers can go to gather information
specific to their problems.  The MacSciTech organization,
with over 1500 members, is one solution to the problem. 
That group also keeps an archive of shareware and public
domain software and information at ra.nrl.navy.mil.  


This RFD was issued on March 31 and will last for 30 days.
If this RFD is approved, a CFV will be issued on April 30, and
the voting period will end at 11:59 (EST), May 30.

NOTE:  Discussion on the creation of this newsgroup will
take place in news.groups.
Michael D. Duncan
Research Physicist
Code 5640
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington, DC  20375
(202) 767-2507
scitech at ra.nrl.navy.mil

Chairman, communications committee

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