Tutorial 1: Interactive Web-Based HPDC Technologies for Distance Education

G.C. Fox, W. Furmanski, M. Podgorny, Syracuse University

This tutorial will provide a broad and comprehensive coverage of the emergent interactive Web technologies, including recent scripted languages and communication protocols such as VRML and Java/HotJava, and their integration with HPDC from the perspective of applications for education. We will outline our vision of the Virtual University for modern education and we will discuss interactive Web, HPDC backends, and agents based communication as three critical enabling technologies in this framework. We will illustrate these concepts in terms of a series of demonstrations of Web spaces and courses developed at Syracuse University such as KidsWeb, Science for the 21st Century, Living Textbook and Computational Science for the Information Age. We will then explain in more detail component technologies such as WebTools and parallel database, video, and computational servers. We will demonstrate current capabilities of WebTools in the area of HTML authoring, Web server management and collaborative email, and we will summarize the ongoing work on WebTools based CASE tools for interactive Web software engineering and content authoring. Finally, we will discuss our concept of WebWindows as an emergent, collectively developed integration framework for the Web-based NII, and we will present early demonstrations of the use of Java/HotJava and VRML for building interactive educational modules in this paradigm. All material presented during the tutorial will be available on-line, and lectures will be taught using the interactive Web pages as viewgraphs.


G. C. Fox is an internationally recognized expert in the use of parallel architectures and the development of concurrent algorithms. He leads major projects such as Parallel Compiler Runtime Consortium and a HPCC technology transfer program, InfoMall. He is also a leading proponent for the development of computational science as an academic discipline and a scientific method, and leads the development of new K-12 applications of HPCC technologies.

Wojtek Furmanski is Research Professor of Physics and Associate Director of NPAC. He is currently working on interactive CGI-based extensions of the Web-server technology - WebTools - and its integration with HPDC technologies.

Marek Podgorny is Associate Director at NPAC where he leads parallel database projects and video on demand projects. He is also responsible for the overall system engineering and integration of NPAC facilities.