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Distributed Instrumentation And Computation: A Look At What's Out On The End Of The Internet

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.222.1 - 3.222.5



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Paper Authors

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Suresh Muknahallipatna

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Jerry Hamann

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3620

Distributed Instrumentation and Computation: A Look at What’s Out on the End of the Internet Jerry C. Hamann, Suresh Muknahallipatna University of Wyoming


This paper provides an overview of some emerging uses of the internet in engineering education and research. Included are descriptions of unique instrumentation and laboratory facilities made available to the world community by way of the ubiquitous web.

1. Introduction

The internet is truly becoming commonplace in education, industry and commerce. It provides a channel for entertainment, advertisement, education and even some good old-fashioned work. The fluid nature of the beast we refer to as “the net” or “the web” is becoming ever more apparent in the form of just precisely what is sitting out there at the end of the connection. The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is taking on nearly universal proportions with potential targets being everything from the University Computer Center Server (we used to say “mainframe”) to the COKE machine on the first floor of the Residence Hall. For educators and researchers, the internet is providing a vast communication channel for distributed efforts through collaboration with colleagues at remote locations as well as sharing unique resources such as instrumentation, data archives and laboratories.

In this paper, we examine some of these emerging uses of the internet. The authors have recent experience with placing instrumentation, data logging, and data base retrieval resources on the web to distribute and integrate research findings associated with various projects undertaken at the University of Wyoming. We also discuss changes being introduced in undergraduate curricula to support student and faculty utilization and development of networked resources.

2. The Menagerie Hiding Behind the URLs

While many resources available via the hypertext transfer protocol (http, the web) of the internet consist of static, slowly changing text and image files, the growth of dynamic web sites is reaching a fevered pitch. Rather than retrieving fixed information (which can be valuable in its own right), many web surfers are caching in on the availability of dynamic resources: e.g.,

Up-to-the-minute stock quotations from net-savvy investment houses [1]

Regularly, if not immediately, updated weather and climatological data for their local setting or one or more locations around the world [2]

A real-time video perspective of current freeway conditions [3].

Institutes of higher education entered this game quite early, with perhaps the most infamous examples being the networked COKE machine projects which sprang up in the mid 1980’s and

Muknahallipatna, S., & Hamann, J. (1998, June), Distributed Instrumentation And Computation: A Look At What's Out On The End Of The Internet Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7056

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