DATE: Thursday , November 8, 2001
TIME: Noon - 1 pm
PLACE: Wean Hall 8220

Mirjana Spasojevic
HP Labs, Palo Alto

Cooltown: A Web-Based Infrastructure for Nomadic Computing

The convergence of Web technology, wireless networks and portable client devices provides new design opportunities for computer/communications systems. In the HP Labs' Cooltown program we have been exploring these opportunities through an infrastructure to support "web presence" for people, places and things. We put web servers into things like printers and put information into web servers about things like artwork; we group physically related things into places embodied in web servers. Using URLs for addressing, physical URL beaconing and sensing of URLs for discovery, and localized web servers for directories, we can create a location-aware but ubiquitous system to support nomadic users. On top of this
infrastructure we can leverage Internet connectivity to support communications services. Web presence bridges the World Wide Web and the physical world we inhabit, providing a model for supporting nomadic users without a central control point.

These concepts and technologies have been used as a basis for the Electronic Guidebook, a tool which we are building and deploying in collaboration with researchers at the San Francisco Exploratorium museum. This project explores use of handheld computing devices to support a richer learning experience for science museum visitors. Through an extensive set of user studies, the goal is to develop a knowledge base on how this infrastructure allows individuals and groups to take part in a continuum of activities before, during and after a museum visit that support a deeper engagement with the exhibits and educational materials.

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Mirjana Spasojevic is a project manager in Cooltown Program at HP Labs, focusing on pilot deployments of nomadic computing systems. She leads a research collaboration with the Exploratorium museum and manages Cooltown's developers program.

In the past, Mirjana has been involved in research on wide-area files systems (AFS, DFS), storage systems and distributed system. Prior to HP Labs, she has managed a research team at Transarc Corp. and has been an assistant professor at Washington State University. She holds MS and PhD in Computer Science from Penn State University and BS in mathematics from the University of Belgrade.

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