The 2006 International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Systems (CTS 2006)

In Technical Cooperation with
The IEEE Computer Society
Technical Committee on Parallel Processing (TCPP) and
Task Force on Human Centered Information Systems (TFHIS)
The IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetic Society (SMCS)


Demo I: Demonstration of the NCSA Knowledge Center --cancelled
Steve Downey, Luigi Marini, Andrew Wadsworth, and Tim Wentling html pdf

Demo II: Network-Centric Operations and Situational Awareness with MATRIX
Gary Whitted and Chris Ward html pdf

Demo III: A New Generation Visual Collaboration Solutions for CAD/CAM and CAE Modeling and Simulation Data
Prasad Mandava html pdf

Demo IV: Ten Tips for Online Collaboration
Eric Vidal html pdf

Demo V: Interactive Touch Systems for Remote and Mobile Collaboration
Gerald Morrison html pdf

Demo VI: Multi-user Tabletop Computing to Support Small Group Collaboration
Adam Bogue html pdf


Demonstration of the NCSA Knowledge Center

Steve Downey, Luigi Marini, Andrew Wadsworth, and Tim Wentling

National Center for Supercomputing Applications
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign


NCSA's Knowledge Center is a knowledge management system designed by the Knowledge and Learning Systems Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications located at the University of Illinois. Knowledge Centers are designed to facilitate the sharing of explicit and tacit knowledge and can be customized to fit the needs of a specific user or community of users. Each Knowledge Center is comprised of four components, all of which are integrated together into a single easy to use interface. The four components are: Knowledge Base, Collaboration Space, Knowledge Exchange, and e-Learning Space. By employing one or more of these components at any given time individuals can locate critical information, collaborate with their peers, or conduct sharing/outreach activities to other members of their immediate community and the communities surrounding them.

This demonstration has an associated paper that describes the experimental process of developing NCSA's Knowledge Center and shares some of the lessons learned by the authors. The paper also describes the background and knowledge management drive motivations which prompted development of the Knowledge Center as well as describes the individual tools available within a NCSA Knowledge Center and the iterative development process experienced during its evolution over time.


Dr. Steve Downey,

Research Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of
Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA.
Mr. Luigi Marini,
Research Programmer, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University
of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA.
Dr. Andrew Wadsworth,
Research Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of
Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA.
Dr. Tim Wentling,
Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a Senior Research Scientist
at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at
Urbana Champaign, USA.


Dr. Steve Downey is a Research Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Dr. Downey is a former high school teacher specializing in educational technologies and cultural effects on computer-based learning. In addition to his work at NCSA, Dr. Downey teaches undergraduate courses in information science and graduate courses in education. As part of his research on educational technology and cultures, Dr. Downey lived and taught in Southeast Asia where he conducted cross-cultural research on e-Learning and consults for the Thai government in the area of e-learning.

Mr. Luigi Marini is a research programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Currently, he is engaged in the development of a scientific collaborative environment. As part of his work, he is developing a framework that allows scientists to easily integrate tools used for data manipulation and exploration. As a graduate of mathematics and computer science at the University of Illinois he is interested in issues relating to the integration of software applications in large scale distributed systems and cyberinfrastructures.

Dr. Andrew Wadsworth is a Research Fellow at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Dr. Wadsworth has over seventeen years of teaching experience with specialization in educational technology. He has led numerous technology development teams at the University of Illinois and consultants for multinational e-Learning projects. Dr. Wadsworth's research interests include collaborative environments and human-computer interaction. He also was responsible for the formation of the Web Technology Group, a multimedia development team of over forty specialists involved in Web-based courses, multimedia-based distance education, and numerous graduate credit courses.

Dr. Tim L. Wentling is a Professor of Information Science in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Dr. Wentling is the leader of the Knowledge and Learning Systems Group at NCSA where he heads a team of cross-disciplinary faculty, post docs, and graduate students. Prior to this post, he served as a professor of education and a university Department Head for 10 years where he was responsible for the development and mentoring of faculty, students, and staff. In addition to these administrative duties, Dr. Wentling conducts research on knowledge sharing and education and he consults with the Fortune 100 companies and international organizations, has published seven books, and over one hundred articles and conference papers.

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Network-Centric Operations and Situational Awareness with MATRIX

Gary Whitted and Chris Ward

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
2875 Presidential Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45324


Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is working with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/IFSD) in developing a new cross-platform next generation network-centric collaboration and situational awareness tool called MATRIX. Filling a void found in current COTS collaboration tools, MATRIX is a desktop-based (thick client) presence and instant messenger application that includes an extendable set of tools and capabilities, which promote large-scale team collaboration and coordination. MATRIX supports the Jabber XML-based XMPP standard, while Web-Services handle tool or organizational information to eliminate firewall issues. In addition, MATRIX provides the capability of external resource monitoring, domain specific inter/intra crew tasking, communications, alerting, and presence management in a 24/7 operating environment. Also integrated into MATRIX is Ball's integrated Virtual Meeting Application (VMA) tool that allows users to schedule virtual meetings, conduct video teleconferences, and instant meetings. Both MATRIX and VMA provide open Plug-in architectures and programming interfaces that other developers can use to extend the core services or add domain specific tools.

In this demo, the MATRIX team will provide an interactive demonstration of the current state of MATRIX's tools. Demonstration attendees, with Java 5.0 (JRE 1.5) installed can connect to a MATRIX server wirelessly, download the MATRIX client, and participate in the demonstration. An interactive demonstration of VMA, including video teleconferencing using wavelet compression over HTTP/S, will be shown.


Mr. Gary Whitted,

R&D Program Manager, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ohio, USA.
Mr. Chris Ward,
R&D Software Developer, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Ohio, USA.


Situational Awareness, Human Collaboration, Jabber, Instant Messaging, Presence Awareness, Web-Services, Virtual Meetings (VMA), Video-Teleconferencing, Domain Tasking, Plug-in Architectures, and Java.


GARY WHITTED has over 21 years of engineering management experience. He is experienced in research, development, test and evaluation of large-scale software systems (decision support systems, domain specific applications in embedded weapon systems, modeling and simulation and management information), software architecture, technical design supervision, requirements analysis and project management. Currently, Mr. Whitted is the R&D Program Manager directing and guiding research for Ball's Advanced Decision Environment Technology (ADET) research, Distributed Collaborative Decision Support Technology (DCDST) research, SBIR Partner and IRAD programs. Mr. Whitted earned a Master of Software Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and an MBA from Wright State University in 1989. He also earned a BS in Engineering (Computer and Information Science) from the University of Florida in 1982. Email:

CHRIS WARD is a Software Engineer in the Collaborative Technologies Research and Development Group at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Dayton, Ohio. He has worked on several R&D programs with the Air Force that deal with the application of Ball's K2 product. Mr. Ward received his B.S. in Computer Science from Wright State University. Email:

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A New Generation Visual Collaboration Solutions for CAD/CAM and CAE Modeling and Simulation Data

Prasad Mandava

Visual Collaboration Technologies Inc.
100, West Big Beaver Road#200
Troy, MI 48084


VCollab offers innovative ways to capture, view, share, present, document and collaborate with CAD/CAM/CAE digital data with global teams as well as supply chain in use. This solution revolutionizes the way the current CAx data is being utilized for visual collaboration.

In this demonstration, VCollab's solutions and applications will be shown in the areas of Visualization, Presentation, Documentation and Collaboration. A number of live examples of CAD, CAM and CAE data sets will be used to illustrate the power of VCollab's solution. It will also show how it can improve the efficiency of communication between teams as well as improve the understanding of design intent; thereby improving the decision making process.

Product Development companies and globally dispersed teams will gain greater insight into this emerging technology and how it can positively impact their communication, evaluation and decision making processes.


Prasad Mandava, CEO and co-founder of Visual Collaboration Technologies Inc.


Prasad Mandava is the CEO and co-founder of Visual Collaboration Technologies Inc, a company specializing in visual collaboration solutions. The overall goal of the company is to develop tools "to maximize the utilization of 3D Simulation Data." MR. Mandava holds a MS degree in structural engineering and has had extensive experience in the aerospace industry since 1985. During his time in aerospace, he overcame many technological challenges regarding Virtual Prototyping and Collaboration with product life-cycle data. In 1998 he received the prestigious Sir CV Raman Award from the Government of Karnataka Council of Science and Technology, India. In 2000, Mr. Mandava commercialized his technological developments and co-founded Visual Collaboration Technologies Inc.

Mr. Mandava and his colleagues realize that only a portion of product developers are designers and analysts with the expertise to effectively use complex 3D engineering tools. By using the power of 3D graphics and large data visualization and collaboration techniques, they have developed an easy to use visual collaboration suite of tools called VCollab. VCollab was developed for viewing CAD, CAE, CAM and VR simulation data sets that can be used by all members of the product lifecycle development team, from decision-makers, engineers and scientists, to marketers, financial analysts and suppliers. VCollab offers many innovative ways of maximizing the utilization of the digital data within and across an engineering enterprise.

Currently, VCollab is being used by 3 of the top 5 automotive OEM's as well as GE, CAMI Automotive, Hamilton Sundstrand and many others. Leading Universities such as the University of Pittsburg, BYU, WSU Bio-Engineering, UTA, and UCF also have VCollab in the engineering departments.

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Ten Tips for Online Collaboration

Eric Vidal

Marketing - Enterprise Business Unit
WebEx Communications, Inc.
Santa Clara, California


Live online collaboration and training sessions have become a standard part of business. More people are turning to live online collaboration in order to reach out to more people, more frequently and to rapidly scale training programs.

Join us for an informative session about the Top Ten tips for creating and delivering online collaboration and training events.

You'll learn from online collaboration experts how to:

  • Plan and prepare for success;
  • Deliver your sessions in a concise and interesting manner that will keep your participants
  • Reuse content for anytime access;
  • Document your process and incorporate your own ongoing methodology;
  • How to embed online collaboration into business processes to accelerate business
  • Examples of how successful organizations are accelerating business processes with
    online collaboration.


    Eric Vidal, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Business Unit, WebEx Communications, Inc.


    An e-learning expert, Eric Vidal has spent the last 6 years developing and marketing e-learning solutions for corporate training departments. At WebEx Communications, Eric is responsible for developing key strategies, including synchronous and a-synchronous training initiatives for major WebEx customers. Prior to WebEx, Eric founded and directed the marketing and strategic alliance team at Presedia (acquired by Macromedia in 2003).

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    DEMO V

    Interactive Touch Systems for Remote and Mobile Collaboration

    Dr. Gerald Morrison

    SMART Technologies Inc.
    1207 11th Ave. SW, Suite 300
    Calgary, Alberta


    SMART Technologies Inc. specializes in providing interactive touch systems and productivity software to the business, military, and education markets. Our products assist in facilitating effective training and collaboration between on-site, remote and mobile participants. SMART actively participates in research activities with several organizations which are interested in developing new collaborative technologies. Interactive whiteboards are an ideal platform for sharing, manipulating and presenting information to small groups or large audiences. As a result, their popularity is growing rapidly as more people come to understand the unique capabilities they offer. SMART is the world leader in interactive whiteboards, selling more products in North America and around the world than all other competitors. Through constant research and development, SMART introduced a new exclusive digital touch technology, DViT™, which provides greater functionality in touch-capable collaborative systems.

    In this demonstration, SMART's DViT™ technology is presented as well as Bridgit™ conferencing software. A live remote conference will demonstrate Bridgit's ease of use and allow for audience participation. A research product under development at SMART to improve mobile collaboration will also be shown. Finally, some of SMART's ongoing research projects with external organizations will be highlighted, showing advances being made towards future collaborative systems and technologies.


    Dr. Gerald Morrison, External Research Manager, SMART Technologies Inc.


    Dr. Gerald Morrison is an Electrical Engineer who has worked for SMART Technologies Inc. for more than 10 years. During that time he has held many roles in development, research and management. All of his roles have related to the development of new interactive touch technologies and products. He is currently the External Research Manager and is actively working with individuals and organizations developing interactive and collaborative technologies. Dr. Morrison has published several papers in conferences and journal publications and is listed as inventor or co-inventor on several patents and patent applications.

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    Multi-user Tabletop Computing to Support Small Group Collaboration

    Dr. Adam Bogue

    Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc.
    201 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA 02139


    Researchers at MERL developed DiamondTouch - a muli-user, touch and gesture activated hardware technology - to support small group collaboration. Generally speaking, computers are extremely useful for supporting remote collaboration. Common use of email, remote collaboration tools such as NetMeeting, and even on-line gaming provides evidence that computers enable collaboration between people from different locations. But in the most common of cases where people are meeting face to face, arguably, computers get in the way. The best a computer can do in a small group setting is to allow one user to "drive" while other users watch. In this case, collaborators not in control of the keyboard and mouse become frustrated. Furthermore, the attention of the collaborating team is forced to focus on the computer display rather than on the team members. With a multi-user interactive tabletop display, users can maintain eye contact while the computer supports the team collaboration. And with the use of single-display groupware, all users can interact simultaneously.

    In this demonstration, we will introduce MERL's DiamondTouch table and its capabilities. GIS applications as well as popular Windows office computing applications will help to highlight the multi-user features of the technology. We will also briefly present related MERL research in the areas of tabletop UI, integration of multiple displays, and remote collaboration.


    Dr. Adam Bogue, VP Business Development, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc.


    Dr. Adam Bogue received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT in 1986 and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1990. Adam began work for MERL in June of 2000, and he supports business development efforts, including commercialization plans, 3rd party licensing, market research, and public relations.

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