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Internet2 Announces Winners of Fifth Annual IDEA Awards

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  • From: Lauren Rotman <>
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  • Subject: Internet2 Announces Winners of Fifth Annual IDEA Awards
  • Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 08:48:41 -0400

Internet2 Announces Winners of Fifth Annual IDEA Awards

Awards recognize innovative and influential advanced network applications, Projects to be honored at Internet2 Spring Member Meeting   

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -  April 23, 2010  – Internet2 today announced the 2010 winners of its Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) Award. Four applications share the award this year. They include: EchoDamp, a multi-channel audio mixer and echo controller for videoconference-based musical and other collaboration; the Research and Education Data Depot network (REDDnet) Data Logistics Toolkit and model for storage facilities supporting data-intensive collaboration; Worldview, a real-time 3-D network monitoring and visualization system; and Shibboleth, a federated Web-based single sign-on software that manages authorized access to protected online resources.

“This year's winning applications have two things in common: all have applied advanced networking technology to enable transformational progress in research, teaching and learning, and all promise to increase the impact of next-generation networks around the world,” said Tom Knab, CIO of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and chair of the IDEA award judging committee. “The winning submissions were selected from an exceptionally strong nominations pool and represent a cross-section of the wide-ranging innovation that is occurring within the Internet2 member community.”

Each application was nominated by a member of the Internet2 community and judged by a member–based committee on innovation in advanced network applications for research, teaching, learning and collaboration, the depth of each project’s positive impact on primary users, its technical merit, and its likelihood to be broadly adopted by its community of potential users.

The winning projects will be presented their award on April 27, 2010 during the First General Session of the Internet2 Spring Member Meeting at 10:30am EDT. Each winner will also provide a short presentation or demonstration of their project during a special meeting track session to be held on April 27, 2010 at 4:30pm EDT. For more info on the session or to view the webcast of this session, visit:

The winning projects are:

EchoDamp, created by Brian Shepard, Assistant Professor of Pedagogical Technology, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, is a software multi-channel audio mixer and echo controller designed primarily for the high-performance network, musical videoconferencing environment. It features intuitive, easy-to-use controls, and supports numerous hardware audio interfaces on both Macintosh and Windows computers. A perennial "show-stopper" for live performance videoconferencing is audio feedback—where sound from the remote site feeds back into the originating site’s microphones, creating an annoying loop—which can make effective communication nearly impossible. Unlike currently available echo-canceling microphones, which cancel out too many important frequencies to be acceptable for musicians, EchoDamp listens for the directionality of a sound’s source, using that information to prevent echo from entering the audio chain in the first place. If echo does enter the signal, it is gracefully damped in an unobtrusive and musical manner. EchoDamp allows users to fully participate in high-bandwidth, live-streaming, bidirectional content without the constant annoyance and distraction of echo.

“Since getting involved with Internet2 more than a decade ago, my goal has been to make sure our ‘global village’ has a great concert hall and conservatory.  A critical element in reaching that goal is controlling the echo that is inherent in high-bandwidth, musical videoconferences. The concepts in EchoDamp started as just my own personal solution to echo control, and I’m delighted that their evolution has become so useful for others. After seeing this year’s other IDEA Award recipients, I am both thrilled and humbled for EchoDamp to be counted among them,” said Shepard.

Shepard collaborated with several Internet2 community members to help test and trial EchoDamp to ensure the system’s readiness for its production rollout. Critical testers included: Scott Deal, Professor and Associate Director of Music Research Programs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; Ben Fineman, System Administrator, Internet2; Dan Nichols, Head of Recording Services and Internet2 Multimedia Specialist, Northern Illinois University; and Justin Trieger, Internet2 Systems Manager, New World Symphony.

The Research and Education Data Depot network (REDDnet) is an NSF-funded infrastructure project that provides a large distributed storage facility for data-intensive collaboration among the nation's researchers and educators in a wide variety of application areas including high-energy physics. The underlying software distribution called the Data Logistics Toolkit (DLT) provides a powerful platform for campuses looking to create bridges for data intensive collaboration with national or regional infrastructure. 

The REDDnet model provides "working storage" to help manage the logistical factors in moving and staging large amounts of data across the wide area network—not just fast transport, but enormous data volumes, globally distributed data, asynchronous data access and data preprocessing. To solve these problems, REDDnet integrates high-performance networking with a unique form of storage technology specifically designed for both deployment scalability and fast data transfer within wide area networks. Users include collaborating researchers who are trying to move data from one collaborator (person or institution) to another, or researchers who want share large data sets for limited periods of time (ranging from a few hours to a few months) while they work on it. Technology creators believe it will provide a powerful platform for campuses to create bridges with national or regional infrastructure for data-intensive collaboration.

“Network storage resources are critical to big science projects like the Large Hadron Collider which require the ability for scientists to house both raw and processed data. This data also needs to be available at well connected end sites so that it can be accessed easily or stored for backup purposes,” said Paul Sheldon, Professor of Physics and Director of the Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education at Vanderbilt University and REDDnet Principal Investigator. “REDDnet provides a streamlined solution tailored to researchers to facilitate the scientific output across a wide range of disciplines. Our team is grateful for the IDEA award honor and for the recognition of the impact that this project has brought to the community.”

REDDnet collaborators include Paul Sheldon, Professor of Physics and Director of the Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education, Vanderbilt University (nominating applicant); P.R. Blackwell, Director, Columbia Regional Geospatial Service Center, Stephen F. Austin State University; Micah Beck, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Terry Moore, Associate Director, Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and Martin Swany, Professor, Computer Science and Information Sciences, University of Delaware.

Worldview, developed by Indiana University’s Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC), the premier operations and engineering organization supporting advanced international, national, regional and local high-performance research and education networks. GlobalNOC engineers sought an improved way to make sense of the more than 3,300 interconnects between 1,700 routing/switching devices supported by GlobalNOC across the globe, and to communicate network information to non-expert audiences. Their solution was Worldview, a highly sophisticated, hands-on network visualization system that lets users search for real-time or historical network information using an intuitive, multi-touch interface where they can zoom, pan and tilt with simple hand gestures. The system can create visualizations of any geographic scope—from the entire globe to a small campus network segment.

Worldview not only helps network engineers monitor the end-to-end paths research data travels in support of global, cutting-edge science, but is becoming a much sought-after tool for educating the public about advanced networking. Users have already imagined numerous ideas for other applications and additional data layers. For instance, Worldview can be used to track the impact of the nation’s broadband stimulus projects, overlaying collected census block data to show unserved and underserved areas and how those areas change over time as broadband becomes more pervasive.

“Network visualization can be difficult even for experts,” said IU Vice President for Information Technology and CIO Brad Wheeler. “With Worldview even the most non-technical people can immediately grasp what’s going on in a network by using common maps, colors, real-time data feeds, and touch-based navigation to explore and see results.  The future for this kind of mashup-based tool is extremely bright, and IU is pleased to share it with others.  We are grateful for the IDEA award from our colleagues at Internet2”

Worldview collaborators include David Jent, Associate Vice President, Networks, Indiana University GlobalNOC (nominating applicant); Luke Fowler, Manager, Systems Engineering, University Information Technology Services, Indiana University; Ed Balas, GlobalNOC Software Architect, University Information Technology Services, Indiana University.

Also honored this year is Shibboleth® Federated Single Sign-On Software, developed and supported by a growing international community. Nominated by Jack Suess, Vice President of Information Technology and CIO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, an institutional user of the software, Shibboleth is a standards-based, open-source solution for Web-based single sign-on across and within organizational boundaries. Implementing widely used federated identity standards, principally OASIS' Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), Shibboleth simplifies the management of identity and permissions by allowing sites to make informed authorization decisions for individual access of protected online resources in a privacy-preserving manner.

As more universities, companies, government agencies and national labs collaborate and offer services online, users struggle to manage a ballooning set of user IDs and passwords and organizations struggle to close security holes and manage service change requests. Shibboleth was created specifically to address these and other issues related to sharing information securely both within and among organizations. The Shibboleth infrastructure, together with related policies, processes, standards and tools, has had significant impacts, and is deployed in thousands of sites spanning academia, research, government and industry.

“Shibboleth has evolved to become a community source project that’s supported worldwide," said Steven Carmody, Shibboleth Project Lead and IT Architect at Brown University. "In the beginning, our goal was to develop software that supported higher-ed's complex and varied use-cases.  Along the way, we influenced identified standards to make sure they supported the community’s needs and provided built-in inter-operability with commercial products. We came out the other side with not only the Shibboleth code, but also a solution for a national federated identity infrastructure that’s being adopted worldwide.”

The initial Shibboleth design team included Steven Carmody, Project Manager, Brown University; Scott Cantor, Lead Developer, The Ohio State University; Walter Hoehn, formerly from the University of Memphis; Ken Klingenstein, Internet2; and R.L. Bob Morgan, Lead Technical Architect, University of Washington. Chad La Joie, Software Engineer, formerly from Georgetown University and the Swiss Education & Research Network (SWITCH); and Ian Young and Rod Widdowson, Edina/JISC.

Brent Putman, Middleware Systems Analyst at Georgetown University; Jim Fox, Software Engineer at the University of Washington; and Nate Klingenstein, Internet2 were then added to the early core development team.

The 2010 IDEA award judging committee includes:  Tom Knab, CIO of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (chair); Michael Ackerman, Assistant Director, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Dennis Elwell, National Director, Marketing Services, Verizon Enhanced Communities, Verizon Communications; David Gift, Vice Provost for Libraries, Computing & Technology, Michigan State University; and Alan Whitney, Associate Director, MIT Haystack Observatory.
Additional information about the Internet2 IDEA Awards can be found at

Media Contact:
Lauren Rotman


  • Internet2 Announces Winners of Fifth Annual IDEA Awards, Lauren Rotman, 04/23/2010

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