Promoting Internet2 at Teaching Institutions
When Cal Poly-SLO joined the Internet2 consortium in 2001, it established a
group of Internet2 champions-faculty representatives from each of the colleges,
as well as from the Information Technology Services (ITS) team (http://www.i2.calpoly.edu/).
The I2 champions met on a regular basis, and conducted activities like presentations
at department meetings, brown bag lunches, and explorations of opportunities
for specific disciplines and interests. That group started what continues to
be a culture of support for faculty use of Internet2 at Cal Poly.
With help from Cal Poly’s Graduate and Research Office and ITS, some
mini-grants were awarded in Spring and Summer 2003 to projects proposed by members
of the Cal Poly community (See sidebar). The amount of money awarded was relatively
small (a few thousand dollars), but enough to enable the investigators to buy
some specific networking equipment, and mainly to pay students to work on the
project. A second round is underway for the current academic year.
Outreach and Internet2 @ Cal Poly Class
During the Spring 2003 quarter, we conducted a seminar-style class on the Internet2,
which included guest speakers from Cal Poly, CENIC, the Internet2 consortium,
and a field excursion to the CENIC member meeting in Santa Barbara. This class
provided an opportunity for students (and other interested parties) to get familiar
with topics related to Internet2, while at the same time utilizing the Internet2
infrastructure in the class. A video documentary on "Internet2@CalPoly,"
was produced by computer science students Jordan Small and Aaron Peckham.
The students in the Internet2 class clearly enjoyed the opportunity to be
in close contact with people directly involved in Internet2 and related efforts.
Together with the students working on the projects funded by mini-grants, there
is a sizable group of students who already have raised the awareness of a considerable
number of their peers. One of our unstated intentions was to get students to
encourage more faculty to examine the capabilities provided via Internet2. Some
faculty members have indeed requested further information, leading to some additional
project proposals for the current round of mini-grants.
Our outreach effort through the Internet2 champions so far has been a reasonable
success. Since there are no incentives for the champions in the form of financial
support or release time, any activities effectively are performed in addition
to their regular duties. The most successful activities were individual contacts
with people who are working in areas or on projects that can utilize high-bandwidth
Overall, our efforts to promote the use of Internet2 at an institution with
a strong focus on teaching has been a success. Considering the limitations in
resources like time and funding, the establishment of a group of Internet2 champions,
the mini-grants for utilizing Internet2 capabilities, and the Internet2 class
allowed us to reach a substantial portion of faculty, staff, and students.
Franz J. Kurfess (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor in the
Department of Computer Science at the California Polytechnic State University-San