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Christine Fitzpatrick

Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2002

Indiana University researchers present new tools at supercomputing conference

Indiana University information technology experts working with others from the state's leading educational institutions presented several new tools in high-performance computing, networks and visualization this week to colleagues at the international Supercomputing2002 conference in Baltimore, Md. Among the tools demonstrated were a system that can track the physical location of wireless devices and a powerful mapping application.

The contributions of IU and its Research in Indiana ( partners, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, were displayed at the Baltimore Convention Center.

"Once again we have demonstrated that collaboration among some of Indiana's top universities is possible and beneficial to all involved," said IU Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Michael A. McRobbie. "The Research in Indiana booth is the only research exhibit organized by a consortium of universities working together to promote their state as a venue for high-tech research, development and industry."

One of the new tools, GeoMapper, has an innovative tabletop display and allows groups of people to get information about businesses or other points of interest from a map of the world. By placing a small physical marker over a location or area, visitors to SC2002 could study geography at scales ranging from the entire earth's surface down to locations within walking distance of the convention. The system was developed by Polly Baker, director of the Visualization and Interactive Spaces Lab, and Senior Technical Lead Rob Stein. The Visualization and Interactive Spaces Lab in Indianapolis is one of five IU Pervasive Technology Labs (

Also on display was the wireless network Warscope, which uses a rotating antenna to locate, identify and display the physical location of network devices by detecting their wireless connections. Developed in Pervasive Tech Labs' Bloomington-based Advanced Network Management Lab by Director Steven Wallace's research group, Warscope has a number of potential applications, such as identifying hackers who are using mobile computing devices for malicious purposes.

"The response to the technology developed by Pervasive Technology Labs has been just phenomenal," said Dennis Gannon, chair of the IU Computer Science Department and science director of Pervasive Technology Labs. "This really demonstrates the importance of the cutting-edge information technology being developed at Indiana University by Pervasive Technology Labs."

Members from the other three Pervasive Tech Labs -- the Knowledge Acquisition and Projection Lab, directed by Donald F. McMullen; the Open Systems Lab, directed by Andrew Lumsdaine; and the Community Grids Lab, directed by Geoffrey C. Fo -- also presented new technologies to conventioneers.

Craig Stewart, University Information Technology Services (UITS) director of research and academic computing, lauded Research in Indiana's support of inter-institutional research. "In addition to the national exposure we have received, the Research in Indiana display has provided many benefits within the state of Indiana," Stewart said. "This collaborative display is now in its third year, and in that time we have seen several research collaborations develop between the universities as a result, thus enabling new and innovative research."

Since its inception, the IU Pervasive Technology Labs have brought over $4.5 million in out-of-state funding into Indiana. IU's other IT-related research and development efforts have brought $35 million in out-of-state monies to the state since 1998.

Research in Indiana images and multimedia, including descriptions of the research projects displayed, are available at