Artists Bring Ancient World Alive With Cutting Edge Technology at 21st Century Tech Road Show

Boston University Hosts Alliance Chautauqua

(Boston, Mass.) - This September, tourists will be able to explore the ruins of an imaginary ancient palace, bringing to light the artifacts of a long-lost civilization, interacting with kinetic sculptures and chatting with other visitors to this virtual world. The magical 3-D world of Spirited Ruins is the latest creation of the Boston University-based consortium, High Performance Computing in the Arts (HiPArt), where researchers and artists work in close collaboration and visitors connect and interact through the Internet with other virtual laboratories around the country.

The virtual tour is only one of the highlights of a four-day conference previewing how a new computer backbone, the Alliance Grid, being built by National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance), will change the way business, education, and research are conducted in the 21st century. Sponsored by the Alliance, the conference, or Chautauqua, will be held at Boston University September 13 - 16.

Chatauqua is a Seneca Indian word for meeting or gathering adopted during the Industrial Revolution to describe the traveling educational meetings that crossed the country promoting new technology. The Chautauquas, with demonstrations and seminars originating at sites across the country linked via the Alliance Grid, will bring together researchers, teachers, students, journalists, and entrepreneurs for a preview of how this dynamic new interactive environment will work.

The Grid integrates multiple sites and multiple computer capabilities, including streaming audio, video, PowerPoint presentations, shared whiteboards, chat rooms - anything that can be done on a single computer can be done collaboratively from multiple sites via the Grid. The new technology supports activities such as distributed meetings, remote visualization, and distance education. It also facilitates tele-immersion - where people at different sites work together in virtual environments - a group of surgeons at sites across the country collaborating on a new surgical procedure or a group of artists developing a new film project, would be able to work together in ways never before possible.

While this interactive participation is currently available through high-priced, proprietary telecommunications technologies, the Chautauquas will showcase emerging technologies that offer readily accessible and affordable alternatives.

“The Chautauquas will give new audiences the chance to experience the possibilities of the Grid, including remote collaborative tutorials and seminars that allow for group interactions,” said Larry Smarr, director of the Alliance and the National Center for Supercomputer Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The Grid is really a preview of the work and educational environment of the 21st century.”

The Alliance’s three Chautauqua 99 sites (the University of New Mexico, August 9-10; the University of Kentucky, August 22-23; and Boston University, September 13-15) are among the early nodes on the Access Grid, giving researchers, educators, students and the general public entry points into this new system of online collaborative work environments.

A schedule of conference highlights is attached. Further details about the Boston event can be found at For information about the other Chautauquas, visit the Alliance web site at

“We expect the Chautauqua to stimulate a new level of creativity in the nationwide digital research community,” says Glenn Bresnahan, director of Scientific Computing and Visualization at Boston University. “Our meeting in Boston is an opportunity to involve larger groups of researchers, teachers, students and company representatives in the development of future technology that will soon be as accessible as the Internet is today.”

Please contact Joan Schwartz, 617/353-4626, for complimentary press registration.

Selected Highlights of
September 13 - 15, 1999
Innovations in Science, Computing and Grid Technology

Monday, September 13
9 AM - noon Regional Networking: A framework for understanding high-performance networking initiatives in the US, with a focus on Internet 2.
4 - 6 PM Technology Demonstrations

Tuesday, September 14
9 AM - 5 PM: Main Conference, Alliance Chautauqua 99: Day One

  • Keynote: A preview of the work and educational environment of the 21st century: Larry Smarr, Director, National Computational Science Alliance and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  • “How to get on the Grid: " Glenn Bresnahan, Boston University
  • Clusters - The Most Rapidly Growing Architecture of High-End Computing: David A. Bader of University of New Mexico, lead for the UNM Roadrunner Linux-based Supercluster, on the “next wave” in high performance computing.

Noon - 2 PM Technology Demonstrations
6 - 9 PM Dinner at Boston University School of Management

Wednesday, September 15
9 AM - 5 PM: Main Conference, Alliance Chautauqua 99: Day Two

  • Keynote: Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation, remote from the Access Center in Arlington, VA
  • Education, Outreach, & Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure Roscoe Giles, Boston University, on reaching out via education, outreach, and training to make the Alliance Grid accessible to all.
  • Applying Computational Resources to Research: Greg Bryan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology on recent advances in computational resources for research.
  • Visualization - Adding a New Dimension to Research: Donna Cox, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois.

5 PM - 9 PM Opening Reception for Boston University’s New Virtual Reality Environment, “Spirited Ruins.”

Thursday, September 16
9 AM - 5 PM High Performance Computation and the Arts, hosted by HiPArt, panel discussions and talks which explore the relevance of high-end technologies for artists, the importance of engaging artists in the process of technology development, how art and technology influence each other, and current work by artists and technologists actively engaged in this field.
9 AM - noon Supercomputing Clusters Tutorial: clusters provide easy-to-use high performance computing systems at reasonable prices by connecting PCs via high performance systems.

David A. Bader
David A. Bader
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Data Science

David A. Bader is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New Jersey Institute of Technology.