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Last modified: Thursday, September 6, 2007

IUPUI's Jafari achieves second campus-to-marketplace venture

Sept. 6, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- For the second time in his career at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, a professor's laboratory research has gone commercial.

In late August, the first of Ali Jafari's commercial ventures, ANGEL Learning, Inc., announced plans to more than double its workforce to about 200 programmers, analysts and sales/marketing personnel and relocate to new offices in Indianapolis' INTECH Park.

Today (Sept. 6, 2007), The New York Times introduced an online initiative that allows college and university faculty to pair The Times articles, graphics, videos, webcasts and other content with course materials and make them available online to students. The innovative program is a significant expansion of The New York Times Knowledge Network that has provided copies of the paper, accompanied by curriculum guides, to faculty for several years.

Educators and students will access The Times content via the Epsilen™ Environment (, the second of Jafari's research-turned-commercial ventures.

The Epsilen™ Environment is a web-based software package with a wide range of tools and services, including ePortfolios, group collaboration, object sharing, blogs and messaging.

The software is the result of more than six years of research on the part of Jafari, students and interns at Cyberlab, a research and development laboratory of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

As director of Cyberlab, Jafari was the architect of both Epsilen™ and the ANGEL course management, the flagship product of ANGEL Learning.

"IUPUI faculty are committed to translating their research into practice," said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. "Ali Jafari takes his university work out into the field by creating new products that provide better online tools for teachers, better learning environments for students, and better access to The New York Times resources for millions of readers."

The New York Times Company is an equity investor in BehNeem, LLC, which holds a long-term exclusive license to the Epsilen™ Environment. BehNeem, headquartered in Indianapolis, is soon to move into new offices at the IU Emerging Technology Center which houses start-up companies engaged in commercializing technology developed in IU research laboratories.

Jafari, a professor of computer and information technology, co-founded both BehNeem and ANGEL Learning Inc., which started in 2000. Both companies are spin-offs of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation. IURTC is a non-profit agency which facilitates industry-Indiana University research and technology collaborations.

The professor is optimistic about BehNeem's prospects.

"This is a high-tech company which will bring higher paid professional and technical jobs to Indianapolis," Jafari said. "With The Times' backing, BehNeem should prove to be as successful as ANGEL Learning."

Jafari is also creator of Oncourse, an open source Web-based software package for learning and collaboration that is used on all eight Indiana University campuses.

To access the Epsilen Environment go to:

The New York Times press release announcing the expanded Knowledge Network is available for downloading at and