The University Record, January 25, 1993

Collaboratory a way to address rapid intellectual changes

The concept of a collaboratory was discussed by President James J. Duderstadt last fall in an address to the Senate Assembly on “Redrawing the Boundaries.”

In his address, he explored ways in which “we can provide an environment on this campus that responds adequately to the dramatic intellectual changes occurring in the nature of teaching and scholarship...”

Duderstadt suggested that “perhaps we should pay far more attention to evolving new structures more appropriate for the evolving information technology. At an NSF workshop in 1989, Joshua Lederberg proposed an alternative structure for teaching and research: the ‘collaboratory.’”

Duderstadt explained that a collaboratory was envisioned as a structure that “would use multimedia information technology to relax the constraints on distance, time and even reality. It would support and enhance intellectual teamwork in both research and teaching. In fact,” he added, “there is a growing consensus that the next major paradigm shift in computing is in the direction of the collaboratory and that not only research but a vast array of human team activities in commerce, education and the arts would be supported by variants of this vision.”