March 16, 2004

Contact: Allison Rose Lopez, KU Information Services, (785) 864-8923.

KU to host local virtual activities for National Internet2 Day March 18

LAWRENCE -- A music professor wants a colleague at a prestigious music school to hear the violin prodigy she is coaching, but the student lives in Kansas and the colleague is in New York. The solution is Internet2, a network exclusively for higher education and national research laboratories.

Advanced networking technologies that universities use to enhance productivity and professional communications and other issues will be explored through nationwide virtual activities of National Internet2 Day on Thursday, March 18. The University of Kansas, a leader in the development of Internet2, will offer the presentations from across the country in its Computer Center auditorium, from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. The sponsor is the Networking and Telecommunications Services department, a division of KU Information Services. For more information, including session titles and presenters, visit events.internet2.edu/2004/Internet2Day/. To reserve a seat or inquire about the event, contact Bill Klein, assistant director of KU Networking and Telecommunications Services, at (785) 864-0351 or klein@ku.edu.

Internet1 is what most people use when they access the Internet. Now a public network largely dedicated to general commercial use, it originally was developed as a private network for the national defense effort. In the 1970s, network engineers began transforming it into an information superhighway to support both university scholarly research and national defense information.

As Internet1 grew in popularity, academic researchers found it decreasingly useful in transferring large amounts of information. This need prompted the National Science Foundation to promote the building of a new Internet, called Internet2, to provide a more stable capacity for education and research purposes and to support research applications that use enormous amounts of bandwidth.

KU received several NSF grants to support the multi-state Great Plains Network, which provides Internet2 services to Midwest institutions. Jerry Niebaum, assistant vice provost for KU Information Services, was instrumental in the building of Internet2 and serves as executive director of the Great Plains Network Consortium, KU's regional representative and access point to Internet2. Along with other partners, KU continues the development of the Internet2 network both on and off campus.

The National Internet2 Day presentations will focus on advanced networking technologies and their practical applications to research and teaching. The special focus areas will include:

-- technologies that enable distance-collaborations
-- enhancing education using streaming technology
-- a science and research overview
-- teaching case studies using Internet2, including applications for international education, team teaching and instruction for screenwriting
-- using Internet2 to support performing arts education, with a special focus on music education

Technology companies such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft and IBM all use the resources available on Internet2 to participate in research, some of which may lead to marketable products and services. For example, researchers are using Internet2 to test videoconferencing applications that eventually may be as easy to operate as e-mail.

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