Syracuse University’s Convergence Center announces a new interdisciplinary partnership
Syracuse University’s Convergence Center announces a new interdisciplinary partnershipApril 24, 2002Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
In an era where mega corporations like Time Warner are scrambling to merge with Internet service providers like AOL, and where newspapers and broadcast news networks alike are taking advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web, the lines between entertainment, telecommunications, and print and broadcast media are blurred.
In an effort to better understand the implications, applications and power of digital media, the School of Information Studies’ Convergence Center has formed a new partnership with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. To celebrate the partnership, the Convergence Center will host a reception for members of the University community at 4 p.m. April 24 in the Newhouse Lounge, NCCI.
The reception will include discussion and comments by the center’s co-directors Milton Mueller from the School of Information Studies and Stephen Masiclat from the Newhouse School, as well as comments by Raymond von Dran, dean of the School of Information Studies, and Beth Barnes, assistant dean in the Newhouse School.
“Convergence refers to the power of digital media to combine voice, video, data, text and money in new applications, devices and networks,” Mueller says. “The center’s new mission is to understand the future of digital media and to engage students and faculty in the process of defining and shaping that future. The research and development activities we undertake in the Convergence Center will be interdisciplinary and primarily applied rather than basic.”
“I think it’s a given that convergence technologies will extend the public communication enterprise into new areas and new situations,” Masiclat says. “That means we must understand how the production, design, management and consumption of news information will evolve to meet the technological capabilities and constraints, and changing needs of the public. A center like this is crucial to understanding the ways news and new networks interact and affect each other.”
Research programs the Convergence Center is currently involved in include
? A Bob Magness Cable Institute Research Grant to study the economic and policy implications of the ENUM protocol, which translates E164 telephone numbers into domain names, allowing (in theory) a single identifier to be used to access many different media and services. The grant is supporting a study of the application of ENUM to the problem of delivering Internet telephony, and its signaling and IN (Intelligent Network) services over cable television networks;
? A Markle Foundation grant to develop and implement an automatic system to track domain name decisions made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is an international method of resolving disputes over Internet domain names;
? Research on the use of metadata in digital imaging, supported as part of the Kodak Digital Imaging Laboratory; and
? A grant from Martin Edelman and Bertelsmann AG to explore a means to create news documentaries on demand and to deliver this new form of interactive news to convergence devices.
The new Convergence Center includes an advisory council that is comprised of SU faculty members and industry leaders. Members include James Savage, director of global corporate communications for Philips Broadband Networks Inc., the broadband technologies division of Royal Philips Electronics, located in Manlius; William P. McKenna, director of external technology, Kodak Research Laboratory, located in Rochester; and faculty members Junseok Hwang, Abby Goodrum, Michael Nilan, Bud Carey, Dennis Kinsey and Steve Davis.