Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 25, 2002


Cal Poly Joins Internet2 Consortium - The Internet's Next Frontier

Cal Poly has become the third California State University to hook up to Internet2, a new private Internet system linking 180 member universities and colleges and 60 corporations at speeds light-years faster than offered on the commercial Internet.

The Internet2 connection will allow Cal Poly students and faculty access to expensive equipment, advanced software applications and graphic research databases at other member campuses. Examples of equipment available for 'remote control' operation by Cal Poly faculty and students via Internet2 include the $4 million electron microscope at CSU Hayward; the twin towers of the Gemini Observatory (one in Hawaii and one in Chile); and the nanoManipulator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a network of scanning probe microscopes enabling users to see, feel and manipulate samples ranging in size from DNA to single atoms.

Other university technology available to Cal Poly students and faculty via Internet2 includes the 3-D brain-mapping project at the University of Pittsburgh, the Space Physics and Aeronomy Research Collaboratory at the University of Michigan, and the 3-D medical anatomy database at the University of Chicago.

"Our membership in Internet2 is essential to our continuing role as one of this nation's leading polytechnic universities," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker. "This Internet2 connection will allow our faculty and students access to the latest research and developments across the United States, as well as "hands on" experience with expensive high-tech equipment the university would otherwise not be able to purchase. Our connection to Internet2 is critical to carrying out our educational mission."

The arrival of Internet2 capability at Cal Poly will also benefit local students in grades K-12. Through a partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, K-12 teachers and their students will have access to data, graphics and research available on Internet2.

With the activation of Internet2 on campus in the Kennedy Library computer lab today, Cal Poly joins two other CSU campuses (Hayward and Pomona) and all nine University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz) as Internet2 members.

Initial membership in the Internet2 consortium cost Cal Poly roughly $45,000. The university will pay about that much annually to maintain Internet2 membership and access. Cal Poly spent another $25,000 on equipment to provide a single Internet2 access point in the Kennedy Library and each of the colleges. The initial costs and the first two years of Internet2 fees were paid for by federal grants awarded to Cal Poly with the assistance of U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara).

The Department of Defense grants were awarded to the university for its California Central Coast Research Partnership.

The partnership is being formed to create a technology park on the Cal Poly campus to house public and private partners interested in technology research and ventures. Partners in the planned "C3RP" technology park will have access to Internet2 for their research and development operations, and will pay for that access.

Dean of Research and Graduate Programs Susan Opava explained that the seed funds to stimulate development of the research park and pay for the Internet2 startup costs came from two federal sources: DOD and Housing and Urban Development grants.

"Internet2 was seen as a way to encourage applied research that will be of tremendous benefit to Cal Poly and the Central Coast in general," Opava said.

As funds become available, more classrooms and laboratories on campus will be hooked up to Internet2 for in-class instruction, independent study and lab research. Cal Poly Vice Provost for Information Technology Jerry Hanley said he expects Internet2 connections and applications to become a standard fixture on university campuses. "Fifteen years ago, nobody knew what the Internet was, and it has since evolved to become a part of everyone's life," he explained.

Without an Internet2 connection the campus would run the risk of being left behind when it comes to education and research, Hanley said. The connection to Internet2, he stressed, "will assure we remain on the leading edge of educational technology."

For more details on Internet2, visit the Internet2 Web site at www.internet2.edu.
For press information, including available video clips, visit http://www.internet2.edu/html/infokit.html

Editors: For more information on Internet2, Contact Cal Poly Vice Provost for Information Technology Jerry Hanley at 756-5541, or jhanley@calpoly.edu. For more information on the California Central Coast Research Partnership (C3RP), contact Mike Manchak at 756-5551 or mmanchak@calpoly.edu.


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