SDI Seminar

Speaker: Dr. Anita Borg, Network Systems Laboratory, Digital Equipment Corp.

Electronic Mail in an Expanding Universe

Date: February 10, 1994

Abstract: The World Wide Web is here. The National Information Infrastructure is coming. The number of people connected to "the net" is growing at an astronomical rate.

The communication potential is extraordinary, yet, even now there are difficulties. How do I send information to the right person or group of people as their addresses, interests, locations, and functions change? How do I assure that others can get information to me without inundating me with irrelevant messages? How do I assure that whatever mechanism I am using can serve individuals in a wide variety of computing environments on an ever expanding web of networks? In other words, how do I not just communicate, but communicate effectively?

This talk will discuss some of the problems inherent in the task of providing tools for effective electronic communication and will describe a system which is a step in that direction. MECCA, a message-enabled communication and information system, provides a flexible set of tools for managing email communication and accessing information via email. It allows users to easily get information to the right people based on who, where or what they are or on their interests.


Dr. Anita Borg is a Consultant Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation's Network Systems Laboratory. She is currently developing a state of the art email-based communication and information system called MECCA. Dr. Borg received her PhD from New York University in 1981 for work in the area of operating systems synchronizaton efficiency. She went on to work at a startup for 3 years building a fault tolerant Unix-based operating system. In 1986, after a year in Germany turning that into a successful product, she joined Digital's Western Research Laboratory. There she worked on memory system performance analysis. Her experience running the ever expanding systers mailing list, lead her to work in email communication and instigated her move to the Network Systems Laboratory. Dr. Borg is the Western Regional Representative to ACM Council and a member of both the ACM Committee on Women and Minorities and the CRA Committee on Women. She has published in ACM-TOCS and has presented papers at ISCA, ASPLOS, SOSP, and WWOS. She has served on program committees for ISCA, ASPLOS and WWOS and was program chair for WWOS-III. She is also creator and general chair of the upcoming Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.