January 4, 2002

HPWREN Collaborates with Palomar College and SCTCA's Tribal Digital Village
Computer Science Class Includes Multicast Technology Experiments

Last semester, the HPWREN team worked with Palomar College and the Southern California Tribal Chairmen's Association (SCTCA) Tribal Digital Village Network to offer a Computer Science and Information Systems course for local Native American reservations. The course was primarily taught in traditional classroom style at the Pala Learning Center for Pala, La Jolla, Rincon, and San Pasqual tribal members.

The HPWREN team and Palomar students also experimented with multicast technology via HPWREN.

The multicast experiments included the use of vic, a multicast video tool, and rat, an audio tool. Meanwhile, Blackboard was the browser interface used for all class lecture presentations, assignments, and on-line discussions.

"The performance using multicast across the 802.11b access links was dismal," said HPWREN PI Hans-Werner Braun. "The tests showed that the loss rate was too high, as multicast traffic is dealt with differently from unicast traffic for 802.11b networks, specifically when there is a need for link-level retransmission. A result of this trial is to more carefully consider the tradeoffs between multicast and multipoint traffic for future classes."

While Palomar College provided instruction funds and administrative support, the SCTCA Tribal Digital Village (which is funded by Hewlett Packard) provided the students with computer equipment and textbooks for the course. Meanwhile, the HPWREN team provided broadband connectivity, instruction, curricula, and technical support for the course.

Additional information about HPWREN's recent education and outreach activities is available at /news/index2.html#education.


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