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Updated 11:00 AM March 22, 2004



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Internet2 Day explores future of the Internet

The Internet2 community is addressing advanced networking needs of research and academia, trying to make the Internet more secure and protected from viruses, and exploring what changes need to be made to its fundamental architecture, its president and CEO said.

"We want to deploy and develop advanced networks, applications and technologies which accelerate the creation of tomorrow's Internet," said Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of Internet2 and professor in the School of Information (SI). "That mission is being realized."

Internet2 is an Ann Arbor-based consortium led by 206 universities working in partnership with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies.

The main goals of Internet2 are to create a leading-edge network capability for the national research community, enable revolutionary Internet applications, and ensure the rapid transfer of new network services and applications to the broader Internet community.
“We expect that we’re going to see improvements in performance and improvements in reliability in the networks.”
—Douglas Van Houweling

The speech was delivered as part of National Internet2 Day March 18. More than 35 Internet2 member university campuses participated in the virtual event by hosting local National Internet2 Day activities, with presentations by campus-based faculty to complement the netcast national speakers. Netcasting options ranged from QuickTime and Windows Media streams to HDTV. In addition, the event was telecast live in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area on Comcast channel 18 and will be replayed.

Other presenters from U-M were: Shawn McKee, assistant research scientist in Information Technology Campus Initiatives and Department of Physics, speaking about "High Energy Nuclear Physics"; Tom Finholt, director of the Collaboratory for Research on Electronic Work in SI, speaking on "National Virtual Collaboratory for Earthquake Engineering"; Daniel Atkins, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and SI and director of the Alliance for Community Technology, speaking on "Networks and Middleware for Cyberinfrastructure-enabled Knowledge Communities"; and John Mansfield, associate research scientist and laboratory manager of the Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory, speaking on "Team Teaching."

Van Houweling said advances in optical technology have made it possible to think about changes to the Internet.

"As we do that work, we expect that we're going to see improvements in performance and improvements in reliability in the networks," he said. "Perhaps as important, we hope that we will be able to make the network more cost-effective."

He said Middleware—behind-the-scenes software that provides security, directories and other services required by advanced network applications—will help reduce spam and virus infections.

Van Houweling also spoke later that day about the prospects for the Internet in a speech presented by the Society for Information Management, Policy, Law & Economics.

For more information about Internet2, visit

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