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I2-TEAM  May 2003

I2-TEAM May 2003

Subject:

05/16 Internet2 at the Crossroads

From:

Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

UVM Internet2 Development Team <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 16 May 2003 12:04:58 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (95 lines)

The current (May 16, 2003) issue of the Chronicle of Higher
Education contains "Internet2 at a Crossroads", by
Florence Olsen, (page A-32, ff).  Here are some
excerpts from that article ...

--------------------------------------------------------

Internet2 at a Crossroads

The network has transformed research, teaching, and
daily campus life, but can colleges afford its
ambitions?

By FLORENCE OLSEN
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i36/36a03201.htm

In less than a decade, Internet2 has transformed higher
education. Its ability to transmit enormous amounts of
data in fractions of seconds has opened up countless
research possibilities. Its ability to handle
high-quality videoconferencing -- at a speed that allows
people to converse as comfortably as if they were in the
same room -- is expanding distance education and
collaborative learning.

On several hundred college campuses, students and
professors who don't even know they are using Internet2
have the network to thank for speedier e-mail and Web
browsing.

Despite those successes, Internet2 is at a turning
point. Its organizers see a variety of technical
problems with the network, and the research universities
that created it want to start planning for what could
eventually become, if you will, Internet3 -- an even
faster network, which could cost millions of dollars to
build.

----

Other interesting items:

But even as Internet2 has reached out to a broad range
of institutions, its greatest impact has been on
science-and-engineering research and education. That
influence has been "so pervasive and comprehensive that
it's difficult to actually quantify," says Thomas J.
Greene, senior program director for the
advanced-networking-infrastructure program at the
National Science Foundation.

Using Internet2 and similar research networks around the
world, scientists and engineers are able to start
interpreting huge amounts of data from scientific
instruments almost as quickly as the data are collected.
The alternative has been to wait for a week or more to
get disks and tapes shipped from around the world. When
data are available so quickly, Mr. Greene says, the
researchers' actual "thinking activity" increases -- not
only the quantity of analysis, but also the quality. The
result, he says, is "more science and better science."

For example, radio astronomers at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology are experimenting with Internet2
to move data from radio telescopes to several large
computers at MIT. The researchers want to analyze
signals from explosions known as gamma-ray bursts as
quickly as possible, because the explosions often
disappear within hours.

Internet2 has also changed graduate and undergraduate
education. Using high-speed videoconferencing, Kansas
State University at Manhattan, for example, is able to
offer courses that bring together three experts in plant
pathology. They teach in a virtual classroom that spans
the campuses of Kansas State, the University of Nebraska
at Lincoln, and Oregon State University.

--

Even colleges that are not yet using the technology see
that it could open up possibilities for jointly offered
courses and new distance-education programs. Hundreds of
master classes in music are now taught each year using
digital videoconferencing over the Abilene backbone
network. Nearly 100 health-science applications,
including live demonstrations of hand surgery for
teaching medical students, are transmitted over the
backbone every day. Last month, Abilene was the venue
for a 90-minute transcontinental reading of "Twenty
Poems," a work by the late Kenneth Koch, a professor of
English at Columbia University.

--------------------------------------------------------

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