[AG-TECH] Human factors and AG

Barbara A. Kucera bkucera at ncsa.uiuc.edu
Thu Aug 29 09:06:56 CDT 2002

Hi Julie,

As usual, Jennifer has given a lot of thought to this and responded 
quickly.  However, in reading her points, it brought a couple to my mind.

The first and most obvious is:  What disadvantages does AG-based 
communication have over face-to-face communication, and what can be done to 
overcome them?

As the technology has progressed, the AG is being used for more secure high 
level meetings.  Will this have an impact on who is selected to be a node 
How will it effect the status of the position?

As the role of node operator becomes more automated, at the same time that 
the demand for someone knowledgeable about the technology and managerial 
areas increases, is the title still descriptive, or should the the position 
be renamed to more appropriately describe the role?

Here at NCSA we have a two-person staff with a manager.  Small AG nodes 
often have one person who does everything, perhaps with the help of a 
student.  The sites with which I'm familiar often have limited funds and 
are interested in making this easy for users to be able to operate without 
a full-time operator present.  Has anyone attempted to define the AG 
operator position?

Lots of things to think about.


At 05:08 PM 8/28/2002 -0400, Jennifer Teig Von Hoffman wrote:
>Hi Julie,
>Cool! Here are some ideas, with the big caveat that I'm not a human 
>factors expert (I don't even play one on TV).
>* How does the presence of a node operator affect interpersonal dynamics? 
>Can this be positive? How can it be minimized?
>* What human factors implications come into play when bridging the AG with 
>VR environments?
>* What human factors implications come into play when a given AG session 
>is joined by "regular" AG nodes, PIGs, VRVS clients, etc?
>* What would happen if we gave all session participants laptops and MOO 
>* What advantages does AG-based communication have over face-to-face 
>communication, and how can we make better use of these advantages?
>And of course, since you folks at WPI are close by, I'm happy to drive out 
>to brainstorm sometime if that's helpful (or have her come to visit BU, of 
>- Jennifer
>Julia Shiela Mullen wrote:
>>Hi -
>>We have an undergraduate who is interested in
>>human factors and the Access Grid.  At WPI
>>we require each student to complete a major
>>project which relates technology and society.
>>(This project is a graduation requirement.)
>>The descriptions and content of such projects
>>is fairly flexible.  We are currently at the
>>beginning of her project experience so I am
>>turning to the AG community for suggestions.
>>What is the AG community most interested in
>>with regards to 'human factors and the AG'?
>>Is there a wish list of studies that folks
>>would like to see?   Are there project ideas
>>that we just didn't have the manpower for?
>>I welcome any and all suggestions - I will
>>present them to the student and we will
>>see what interests her.
>>Thanks for your help on this -
>>   Julie
>>   Julia S. Mullen, Ph.D
>>   Academic Computing Application Scientist
>>   Computing and Communications Center
>>   Worcester Polytechnic Institute
>>   Worcester, MA
>>   phone: 508.831.6054
>>   fax:   508.831.5680
>>   email: jsm at wpi.edu

Barbara A. Kucera
Alliance/EPSCoR Liaison
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
(217) 244-0131 * Fax (217) 244-2909

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about
telescopes. - Edsger W. Dijkstra, computer science professor
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