Rather depressing that there isn't a single word about this on NWU's
press releases, Engineering school pages, nor Computer Science
Department pages. I think it says a lot that the article doesn't
quote anyone from NWU, either... and the closest hit at ibm.com is
their customer-training Advanced Business Institute:
tp://ibmpnyx1.palisades.ihost.com/ .. and then, finally, 15 minutes
later, I found the real press release and a domain name: icair.org.
Bottom line: Northwestern is rebranding a lot of Illinois network
*engineering* research under a single banner and hoping synergy and
sponsorship will result. They can probably pull it off: they're
bringing relatively successful projects together. But it's not
research, not scientific research as I see it -- there's only a
little bit at the margins.
I've included a related $600k wireless center Motorola set up at NWU, too.
No sign of $$ figures yet.
> "Nothing Is As Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come."
> Mission: To Accelerate Leading-Edge Innovation and Enhanced Global
> Communications through Advanced Internet Technologies,
> in Partnership with the International Community.
Apparently, they'll have two IBM SP's on an OC-12 ATM link to play
with (mostly I2 funded).
They'll have a snazzy demo room: Advanced Internet Technology Showcase
http://www.icair.org/projects_frames.html lists Advanced
Applications, Advanced Middleware and Metasystems , Advanced
Infrastructure, Policy Studies
From the way they list their events, their historical roots are
clearly in the HPCC/Internet2 space: workshops on Globus, Middleware,
QBone (QoS), etc. http://www.icair.org/main_news_events.html
In particular, their two Middleware workshops last December seem
rather good work, and a prototype for their future role if they play
their hands correctly: jointly industry and NSF sponsored, with
participation from academics (Ian Foster), standards (Brian
Carpenter),network operators (SURAnet, NSFNET), government (Orman,
DARPA; and Bouroumand, NSF), and commercial vendors (AT&T, Cisco)
In fact, their list of "initiatives" does justify the "no new
research" pledge, ironically: NSF CISE ,NGI/NGIX ,IETF ,IEEE ,MREN,
STAR TAP, EVL ,NCSA/PACI ,ECT Division, ANL MCS Division,ANL ,GRIDs
,cGRID and, rGRID, iGRID , UCAID, vBNS,,Telematics and SURFnet, APAN
IBM, Northwestern Launch Research Project
By Joe McGarvey
April 6, 1999 3:12 PM ET
Northwestern University and a group of corporate backers led by IBM
today unveiled the International Center for Advanced Internet
Research, a research project dedicated to the development of
next-generation electronic business applications.
The charter of the new project, which will be based at Northwestern's
campus in Chicago and IBM's facility in Schaumburg, Ill., is to
create a high-speed network for testing and developing applications
that will enable corporations to leverage the Internet for conducting
electronic business and communicating with branch offices, partners
"This is not research for research's sake," said John Patrick, vice
president of Internet technology at IBM. "This project is designed to
enable electronic businesses in the future to rely on a much more
responsive, reliable and robust network."
Some of next-generation applications the International Center for
Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) researchers will be working on
include global multiparty videoconferencing, virtual reality,
collaborative engineering, telemedicine and full-screen, interactive
The idea behind the project is to develop these next-generation
applications in a laboratory setting and then transfer the technology
to the commercial sector as high-speed technology becomes more
commonplace across the Internet. Although it is not clear how the
technology will transfer from the labs to corporate entities, Patrick
said IBM and iCAIR researchers will be working with Fortune 500
companies to adopt these new applications.
In addition to IBM, Ameritech and Cisco Systems also contributed to
the project. Ameritech is contributing a portion of its high-speed
network in the Chicago area, and Cisco is supplying some of the
infrastructure equipment, according to iCAIR officials. The combined
contribution of all three companies is approximately $10 million.
Much of the rationale behind the new research project, which Patrick
said is more application-oriented than similar university-centered
projects, such as Internet 2, is that the Internet is advancing at a
rapid pace and extensive research is needed to harness future
breakthroughs in bandwidth and speed.
Stephen Wolff, executive director of advanced Internet initiatives at
Cisco, said iCAIR will provide the commercial sector with a model for
managing an Internet that will be radically different from the one
that exists today. "The Internet of 10 years from now will not be
anything like the Internet of today," he said. "We have no way of
simulating or modeling an Internet of the size that it will become in
a few years."
In addition to transferring a team of about eight engineers to the
iCAIR facilities to Northwestern's Chicago campus, IBM also announced
that it will establish a similar facility in the Netherlands to serve
the European business community.
Shaping the future of e-business: see our new Advanced Internet Projects
On April 6, IBM announced new Advanced Internet Projects to help
customers radically transform the way they do business by leveraging
the power of emerging, high-speed networks. IBM will focus on
developing advanced technologies and applications that take advantage
of bandwidth-rich networks. These projects are the newest in a broad
range of IBM projects designed to help shape the future of advanced
networking and e-business.
"The Internet of tomorrow isn't just about bigger, faster pipes, it's
about what you are able to do because of that increased bandwidth,"
said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of IBM's Internet
Division. "IBM's goal is to help customers exploit the full potential
of e-business by delivering business applications and services that
take full advantage of this era of emerging, high-speed networks." (A
full transcript of Wladawsky-Berger's remarks at a press conference
at Northwestern University is available online.)
* International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR)
IBM, Northwestern University and other partners have launched the
first global project for creating advanced Internet applications.
Located at the crossroads of the world's most advanced
high-performance networks, the International Center for Advanced
Internet Research (iCAIR) enables collaboration among researchers
around the world. iCAIR will leverage advanced research projects to
rapidly deploy breakthrough, interactive applications with enterprise
customers such as global multi-party videoconferencing to virtual
reality-enabled manufacturing and design, collaborative engineering
and full-screen, interactive distance learning.
IBM advanced technologies and expertise will play a key role in the
projects iCAIR is undertaking including digital video networks,
collaboration tools and ways to improve network performance so that
the commercial Internet will soon be able support new media-rich
applications. IBM facilities in Schaumberg, IL will be home to part
of the iCAIR center. IBM also is providing a dedicated staff for
iCAIR's Northwestern University location.
* European Advanced Internet Applications Center
IBM announced that it will establish a European Advanced Internet
Application Center in the Netherlands in partnership with the
Telematics Institute and SURFnet. Expected to be operational in the
second half of 1999, this center will extend IBM's technologic
innovation and expertise to European customers who are ready to
deploy advanced Internet technologies, include videostreaming,
collaboration tools and learning spaces. This center also will focus
on ways to maximize distributed storage technology to enhance network
performance. With this center, IBM supports the GigaPort project of
the Dutch Government to develop one of the world's most advanced
On a global scale, IBM is involved in a number of Advanced Internet
Projects to ensure that the future Internet can be fully leveraged
for e-business. In addition to independent work in IBM's worldwide
research labs, IBM plays a leading role in many industry initiatives
including Internet2. As part of the Internet2 project, developers
from IBM labs are collaborating with academic researchers on new
high-performance technologies that meet the needs of higher education
and the research community. IBM will help migrate these test-bed
technologies and applications to the public Internet for commercial
use. In addition, IBM was the first corporate partner to be approved
as a collaboration site on the new Abilene research network.
Additional IBM involvement in Internet2 research includes:
* Internet2 Digital Video Network: IBM's advanced supercomputer
and video technologies are being used exclusively in this project
designed to build next generation video network services. This
project, led by iCAIR, is focused on developing easy-to-use
applications that can deliver live or on-demand streaming and
interactive digital video.
* Internet2 Distributed Storage Infrastructure: IBM's
state-of-the-art, high-speed storage technologies being used in this
project designed to test new network services that optimize the
performance and delivery of video applications such as collaborative
research and distance learning.
* Internet2 University Research Grants: IBM has provided more
than $5.6 million to leading universities to speed the development of
applications and technology that will help enterprises leverage the
power of high-speed networks. IBM expects to announce additional
grants later this month.
* QBone Project: IBM, a member of the QBone Consortium, is
providing technology, services and expertise for this cooperative
international effort to build a test-bed for new network quality of
service (QoS) technologies. This work is critical to the ability to
guarantee levels of service on the next-generation Internet, which
will be essential for certain real-time video applications, such as
Advanced Internet Standards
With the emergence of high-speed networks, new standards are needed
to ensure reliable, high-quality and secure delivery of Internet
services. IBM is leading the development of these standards on
several fronts. IBM serves as co-chair on both the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group for Differentiated
Services (DiffServ) and the IETF working group for Policy Management.
IBM also is active in related work in the Desktop Management Task
Force (DMTF) and chairs the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). These
efforts are in addition to IBM's Internet standards work in other
areas such as Java, XML, P3P, PKI and LDAP.
Advanced Internet Policy
In order for companies to fully exploit the power of the future
Internet for e-business, governments need to ensure that the free
market prevails. IBM is involved in several public policy initiatives
to ensure that the Internet continues to grow for the benefit of
commerce and society. IBM chairs the Global Internet Project, a group
of 13 senior executives from companies around the world educating key
decision-makers about the nature of the Internet to help them make
informed public policy decisions. The members of the Global Internet
Project are meeting in Washington, DC, on April 19, when they plan to
announce a number of new initiatives and policy statements. IBM also
is a member of the recently-created Global Business Dialogue on
E-commerce, which brings together 24 CEOs from companies around the
world to help governments properly address e-commerce issues as the
Motorola And Northwestern Announce New Telecommunications Research Center
September 2, 1998
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A $600,000 grant from Motorola will fund research
in the design of wireless multimedia devices and protocols in a new
Northwestern-Motorola Center for Telecommunications in Northwestern's
Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The grant, according to Motorola vice-president Jim Mikulski, is
intended to strengthen Motorola's relationship with Northwestern and
to develop technologies that are important to the university and that
Motorola can draw upon.
"The projects will be collaborative and will also involve Motorola
researchers," said Mikulski, who is senior director of Motorola's
corporate research laboratories.
The goal of several of the projects, according to Aggelos K.
Katsaggelos, Ameritech Professor of Information Technology,
department of electrical and computer engineering in the McCormick
School, is to develop the technology needed to extend hand-held
wireless communication beyond just speech and alphanumeric data as is
now used for cellular phone calls and paging.
"We would like to be able to transmit over wireless channels
multimedia data that could include audio, images, graphics and
video," said Katsaggelos, who will be director of the new center. "To
do so, we need to devise ways to efficiently compress and encode the
data and present it to the wireless channels with error protection or
Some projects will also have applications for wired networks.
Katsaggelos's own project is to develop efficient coding algorithms
to compress video signals for transmission over a wireless channel
but also over the Internet, so that users will receive video at
quality levels appropriate to their connection speed and the
resolution of their TV or computer screen.
The other Northwestern investigators, all in electrical and computer
engineering, and their projects are:
Professor Majid Sarrafzadeh will design application-specific
processors for image and multimedia signals that combine high quality
with small size, low power consumption, fast design time and speed of
Professor Chung-Chieh Lee, with Abraham H. Haddad, the Henry and
Isabelle Dever Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will
investigate efficient means of allocating wireless channel resources
to multimedia network traffic including voice (phone calls), packet
data (e-mail and Internet access) and video (video conferencing).
Professor Horace Yuen, with Srikanta P.R. Kumar, associate professor,
will investigate the use of physical rather than mathematical-based
systems for encryption of data for security and privacy.
Professor Michael Honig, with Katsaggelos, Lee and Scott Jordan,
associate professor, will investigate methods for supporting wireless
multimedia communications. Their work is aimed at enhancing the
capabilities of current wireless technologies, such as Code-Division
Multiple Access, which is now used for mobile cellular voice services.