Intercom Online......October 29, 1998

Internet2 Day

When: Nov. 6

Where: The Penn Stater

What: Features speakers and demonstrations

To register:

Internet2 to change the way we work

By Heather Herzog
Special to Intercom

A portion of the new superfast computer network known as Internet2 is now operating at Penn State and the increased capabilities of this system, expected to be 10 times faster than the current Internet, are changing the way teaching and research are done.

To showcase these new abilities, Penn State will celebrate its first Internet2 Day on Friday, Nov. 6, at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel with a daylong event to allow the University community to experience first-hand how emerging academic needs are being supported by this high-speed networking technology. Internet2 will allow faster transfer of information and better connectivity to other colleges and universities, national laboratories and research institutions.

The Internet2 Project was developed by a consortium of 132 member universities -- including Penn State which has been a leader in this initiative. Government and industry partners are also part of the mix.

New applications have emerged in higher education which involve faculty transmitting extensive amounts of data among institutions or sharing visual images with colleagues across the globe. Increased bandwidth (a bigger "pipe" to carry more data) is the key feature contributing to higher education enthusiasm for the new tool. Since it enables the transport of large, complex volumes of data, the capability translates to a variety of "real world" applications. For example:

-- teaching hospitals using Internet2 can visually transmit a medical team's procedures to hospitals in other locations and collaboratively perform surgeries.

-- scientists from different parts of the country studying environmental concerns can investigate the same ecosystem simultaneously, actually manipulating and moving around within a virtual scientific landscape.

-- training and distance education technologies will significantly improve in quality because the larger bandwidth transfers multimedia easily and quickly.

Hosted by the Office of Computer and Information Systems, Penn State's Internet2 Day will offer live demonstrations by Penn State faculty who are successfully engaged in using networks to expand and improve their research efforts. In one demonstration, a virtual reality experience with Penn State's newly acquired "Immersadesk" is planned for participants. Researchers here will show how Internet2 can enable them to collaborate with their colleagues at other institutions by using the Immersadesk to "fly" through virtual space and explore computer-generated worlds. Demonstrations will be held from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at designated sites around campus.

Before the demonstrations, national leaders of the Internet2 project will join President Graham B. Spanier to talk about Internet2. Those speaking will include Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development; Ted Hanss, director of applications development, Internet2; and Jim Ferguson, senior program manager of the distributed application support team, National Laboratory for Advanced Network Research. Speakers, who will be featured from 8:30 a.m. to noon, will focus on current and future plans for Internet2, and will offer insight on cutting-edge Internet2 research practices and future developments in the Internet2 infrastructure.

Refreshments will be served throughout the event. For more information, e-mail to or call (814) 863-8930. Seating is limited for the talks; early registration via the Web is encouraged. To register, go to the Web at . Individuals may also register by calling: (814) 863-9522.

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