Collaboration Systems Design: Lessons Learned and Challenges


Dr. Atul Prakash

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor






Many systems have come out of groupware research community that are targeted for diverse applications such as scientific collaboratories, teaching, and group meeting support.  An important question that arises but is usually not answered by researchers in the community is what are the larger lessons learned from our experience with collaboration systems design over the past decade?  Based on my experiences with several collaboration systems at the University of Michigan, I will provide my list of major lessons learned, including pitfalls to avoid.  The collaboration systems area is beginning to show some signs of maturity, with many key ideas beginning to move into commercial products or available in off-the-shelf systems.  Nevertheless, significant research challenges remain and I will point out some of those in my talk. 


Instructor's Biography:

Dr. Atul Prakash is a Professor in the Department of EECS at the University of Michigan.  He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1982 and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.  His research interests include computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), computer security, and middleware systems.  His research work has formed the basis of several systems, including DistView and Collaboratory Builder's Environment, which have been used for supporting large-scale collaboratory efforts, including the Upper Atmospheric Research Collaboratory (UARC) and Space Physics Aeronomy Research Collaboratory (SPARC).  He has also led the design of the DARPA-funded Antigone project, a system that supports flexible security policies in secure group communication systems.  A precursor of Antigone has been used to support secure video multicasts of an Internet2 workshop to the participants.  He has been supported by funding from NSF, DARPA, IBM Watson Research Center, Microsoft, Intel, and National Security Agency, among others.  He has served on several program committees, including several ACM and European groupware and CSCW Conferences.