A Guide to the Spring 2003
Coalition for Networked Information
Task Force Meeting
by CNI Executive Director Clifford Lynch
The Spring 2003 CNI Task Force meeting, to be held in Washington, DC, at the Capitol Hilton on April 28-29, 2003, offers a wide range of presentations that advance and report on CNI’s programs, showcase projects underway at Task Force member institutions, and highlight important developments at a national and international level. This provides the customary roadmap to the sessions at the meeting, which includes both plenary events and an extensive series of breakout sessions focusing on current developments in networked information.
As usual, the CNI meeting begins with an optional orientation session for new attendees at 11:30 AM and refreshments at 12:15 PM on Monday, April 28. The opening keynote is at 1:15 PM and will be followed by two rounds of parallel breakout sessions. Tuesday, April 29, includes additional rounds of parallel breakout sessions, lunch and the closing keynote, concluding around 3:30 PM. Along with plenary and breakout sessions, the meeting includes ample time for informal networking with colleagues and a reception on the evening of April 28.
The CNI Spring Task Force meeting is followed by the EDUCAUSE Net 2003 meeting, covering policy issues related to networking in higher education; CNI is a co-sponsor of this meeting. There has been a great deal of activity on the network policy front recently in areas as diverse as security and privacy, intellectual property, broadband competititon, and infrastructure to support future research needs; Net 2003 offers a timely look at these developments. Unlike some previous years, Net 2003 will not begin until the morning of April 30, so there will be no overlapping sessions with the CNI Task Force meeting. Information and registration materials for Net 2003 can be found at www.educause.edu; separate (paid) registration is required for Net 2003.
As always, the CNI meeting agenda is subject to last minute changes, particularly in the breakout sessions, and you can find the most current information at http://www.cni.org/tfms/2003a.spring/index.html.
The Opening Plenary Session
Computer games are fascinating and valuable for several reasons. They are an important genre of digital authorship; they also hold enormous promise for education as well as entertainment. In the last decade or so, the development of network-based games and more recently of the so-called “massively multiplayer” games has added new and rich social dimensions. We are fortunate to have J.C. Herz, one of the keenest observers and analysts of these developments, to share her insights with us.
J. C. Herz is the principal of Joystick Nation, Inc., a research and design practice that applies the principles of game design to products, services, and learning systems. Drawing from an understanding of ecology, online social dynamics, complex systems, and information theory, Herz focuses on human-human interaction design and systems that leverage the intrinsic characteristics of networked communication.
J.C. sits on the National Research Council’s Committee on Creativity and Information Technology, and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s study group on patterns of emergent behavior in massively multiplayer persistent worlds. In addition to teaching a graduate course, “The Anthropology of Massively Multiplayer Online Games,” at NYU, she has lectured at Carnegie Mellon University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, the University of California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, the Annenberg Center for Communications, and Yale. She is the author of two books, Surfing on the Internet (Little Brown, 1994), an ethnography of cyberspace before the Web, and Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds (Little, Brown 1997). J.C. wrote 100 essays on the grammar and syntax of game design as a New York Times columnist between 1998-2000 (archived online)
I’ve been following J.C.’s work since she wrote Joystick Nation, and for those unfamiliar with her ideas I would also particularly commend the fabulous paper that she did for the 2001 Forum on the Future of Higher Education; her paper can be found online in PDF (5.0) format.
The Closing Plenary Session
Tim Lance is the CEO of NYSERNet; he is also a professor of mathematics at University at Albany, State University of New York, and is someone who has been thinking about the networked information revolution in all its richness—from how we build and operate the physical networks that make it all possible to how these networks change scholarly communication—for a long time. Although many people haven’t yet realized it, the fundamental nature of high-performance networks is changing as networking technologies become more optical. Tim has been exploring how the economics of networking for the research and higher education community may be shifting given both technology changes and the post-telecomm-bubble business environment, and has developed some of his thinking in a paper for the EDUCAUSE Net@EDU group. In his closing plenary Tim will explain why we may be at a point of unprecedented opportunity in advanced networking, what the stakes are, and the implications for higher education. This should be a compelling and important synthesis of technical, economic and policy developments.
Highlighted Breakout Sessions
I cannot cover all of the many breakout sessions here. However, I want to note particularly some sessions that have strong connections to the Coalition’s 2002-2003 Program Plan, and also a few other sessions of special interest. We have a packed agenda of breakout sessions, and as always will try to put material from these sessions on our Web site following the meeting.
We will have a number of breakout sessions dealing with new technology developments: Judith Klavans from Columbia will lead a session on applications of computational linguistics; Ray Denenberg and Ralph Levan will report on the next generation of search and retrieval protocols; Betsy Humphreys from NLM will cover advances in linking biomedical information resources; a group from NITLE will cover applications of latent semantic indexing; and we will have an update on OAI metadata harvesting and on the Shibboleth distributed authorization system. New or newly enhanced information services featured in breakout sessions include ARTstor, the Electronic Cultural Atlas project, LibQUAL+, the Vanderbilt Television News Archive, the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), and RLG’s RedLightGreen Union Catalog on the Web. On the standards front, we will have an update on the METS metadata work and on cross domain networked reference.
Work in digital preservation will be well represented, with updates on the LOCKSS project at Stanford, the effort to develop a PDF standard oriented towards the needs of archiving, implementation strategies for preservation metadata, the development of virtual university archives at the University of Wisconsin, and an analysis of economic incentives in digital archiving by Brian Lavoie of OCLC.
As part of the continuing examination of repositories and related topics in institutional digital asset management, there will be presentations on the Fedora- based repositories, on the DigitalWell project for video content at the University of Washington, ongoing work at Michigan State University, and on digital content asset management systems and their relationship to repositories. In addition, several sessions will explore connections between learning management systems and digital libraries, including a presentation from Raymond Yee of U.C., Berkeley on mappings between digital library and learning management metadata structures, and a report on work by IUPUI, Indiana University, ExLibris, and JISC. I will lead a session on the joint CNI-IMS work on digital libraries and learning management systems.
Sustainability and economic models continue to be a key focus. We will have breakouts from Columbia University on online publishing use and costs, from AMICO on digital art resources, and the CIC on library-university press collaborations.
We will also have sessions exploring collaboration themes in teaching and learning from Vanderbilt and the University of Chicago, policy developments in security and privacy, and a session from George Brett of Internet2 focused on user experiences with high performance networks.
I look forward to seeing you in Washington this April for what promises to be another extremely worthwhile meeting. The snow that is falling in the DC area as I write this (on 30 March) should be long gone, and we can hope for beautiful spring weather. Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Joan Lippincott, CNI’s Associate Director (email@example.com) if we can provide you with any additional information on the meeting.