From June 1-8, 2008 XV Regional Representation Scientific-Educational Network Conference "RELARN-2008" took place. For the third time the conference was held aboard steamer "George Zhukov" on route: Nizhny Novgorod - Kazan - Chistopol - Perm - Chaikovsky - Nizhnekamsk - Nizhny Novgorod. Alongside RELARN and RIPN, this year the conference was sponsored by Applied Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Multi-phase Systems Mechanics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. General sponsorship for the conference was provided by the Internet Development Fund. Other sponsoring organizations were RU-CENTER, CVKS "MSK-IX", TransTeleKom, RU Domain Coordination Center, AMT-Group and US Education and Science Information Support Welfare Fund.
208 attendees from 33 cities of Russia and Honolulu (USA) represented by 83 organizations took part in the conference.
Break-out sessions, presentations and round-table meetings were held aboard the steamer. The conference attendees discussed the issues for development of computer networks for the science and education as part of the following workshops:
- Infrastructure, technologies and scientific and educational network services.
- Computer-aided modeling of nano-systems.
- Technology and information services in Internet.
- Use of information technologies in the education and science.
- Round-table meeting "Internet Address Space Layout Randomization: tendencies of 2008".
- Pedagogical capabilities for information educational systems and social services.
This year conference "RELARN-2008" started with the three-hour round table meeting. The attendees addressed most live issues for domain industry development in Russia. The achievements and problems of Russian national domain RU were expressed by Alexey Platonov - RIPN Director, Vladimir Molchanov - RIPN Deputy Director for "RU and SU Domains Technical Center" project, a member of the RU Domain Coordination Center Council, Pavel Khramtsov - RU-CENTER lead analyst, and Andrey Vorobiev - RU-CENTER Public Relations Department Manager.
Round table participants expressed a high opinion of the activity of the National Domain Technical Center that provides stable and continuous functioning of the Russian Internet. Alexey Platonov made a detailed speech about RIPN project for development of RU domain root server nodes, with its primary target to optimize DNS traffic run. Whereas setup of these nodes was initially planned in all seven RF Federal Districts and in some European countries, this program has a broader outlook up to date: as provisionally scheduled, Secondary DNS-servers of RU domain will appear on US Western and Eastern coasts and in Asia (assumingly in Hong-Kong and Tokyo).
The reasons for boosting .RU domain and a potential to register domain names therein in Russian became another subject of the round table encouraged by the attendees. Alexey Soldatov - Chairman of Internet Development Fund Board acting as SU registrant gave a brief summary of the domain history and outlined its outlook.
Alexey Platonov, RIPN Director, conducted conference workshop "Infrastructure, technologies and scientific and educational network services". RIPN experts together with Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences and Information Systems Institute of Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" addressed the report "Lambda-Grid for exchange, analysis and visualization of research data". The attendees noted that state-of-the-art telecommunications market features large-scale upgrade in network infrastructure. In 2007 a number of special connections between Russia and USA was set up - "lightpath"(1 Gbps) for high-speed data transmission experiments, including very large data bases and video streams. The result of the experiment allowed to gain record speeds: Large 3.5 Tb SDSS star catalogue with the Russian mirror (SkyServer) installed in Moscow was obtained from USA for 4 hours. The analogue connection was set up with European Research Center CERN. It enabled to debug data exchange process as part of well-known international project "Large Hadron Collider".
RIPN engineers presented a keynote report on participation in international program EVO. As part of this program in 2008 RIPN set up a special forwarding server of information streams generated by EVO technology (reflector Panda - "RIPN_RU"). EVO is a web-oriented system of videoconferencing through IP-networks. EVO project paved further way of VRVS project developed in collaboration with CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and Caltech (USA) to provide for collaborative work in videoconferencing environment of the scientists, engaged in CERN and the specialists collaborating with them. RIPN is engaged in the project since 2005.
As part of the conference workshop "Computer-aided modeling of nono-systems", "Technology and information services in Internet network" and "Use of information technologies in education and science", the issues for development of computer networks for the science and education gained a broader discussion.
The report on development of resource management technology applications in Intranet of Belgorod region educational establishments prepared by the representatives of Shukhov Belgorod State Technology University has been addressed in Workshop "Technology and Information Services in Internet " managed by Alexandra Sharova, Director of Applied Physics Information Technologies Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The city segment of the corporate network of educational institutions developed as part of the pilot project in collaboration with the administration of Belgorod now assumes the efficiency of technology projects for setting up ACS (Automated Control Systems) by power objects of educational establishments. Svetlana Vlasova, library employee for the natural sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences described state-of-the-art network technologies in literature order system by inter-library exchange system and development of special search engines, enabling the users to search the required articles through standard Internet browsers.
The following issues were addressed at the "research" part of workshop "Use of Information Technologies in Education and Science" presented by Igor Ivanov, Director of RELARN Association:
- Technical and economic aspects for the development of Software Russian Market with the open source code (stable, safe and scalable operational system Linux serving millions of computers in different countries);
- Information protection in information systems;
- Development of GRID infrastructure for medical applications...
as regards "higher education":
- Educational laboratory complex on subject "Physics. Wave quantum properties of micro-particles" in Omsk State University;
- Automation of the courseware for Tver State University;
- Quality and availability assurance methods for E-education in the Kazan State University;
as regards "secondary education":
- remote training of physics teachers;
- educational sites for astronomy;
- use of ICT-based modeling practices on geography as a prerequisite to improve quality of the natural science education of the schoolchildren;
- school subjects for the information century schools.
It has been noted that for the recent decades the idea of "proper" outfit of schools with ICT facilities has been changed several times. The concept of the computer room, where informatics is the principal subject with concurrent use of ICT in educational process has become outdated. Today "proper" understanding of ICT intensive educational environment management includes:
- "teachers' automated workplaces" (the computer with Internet access, projector and digital board),
- "digital teacher's room" with workplaces for teachers and automated workplaces for the school administration,
- automated workplaces for laboratory work, issuance of the results of the design work, etc.,
- free-access areas to the computers in school (for example in digital library).
52 statements were addressed at workshop "Educational Capabilities of Information Educational Systems" by school teachers, university and teacher's training college pedagogues, scientists, regional participants of ISO (NFPK) program and other international and all-Russian information programs, sponsors and tutors for Intel programs "Training for future", "Manage your knowledge" of "Cyril and Methodius" company and other education workers.
Among the key issues presented at workshop "Information Educational Systems for Educational and Training Purposes" the attendees displayed most keen interest on:
- experience for management and holding educational programs and projects (international, all-Russian, inter-regional, regional, etc.) associated with informatics;
- capabilities of social services Web 2.0 for educational and pedagogic process;
- remote training and other types of remote support for students and teachers;
- organization models for digital training of pupils and students.
Workshop attendees participated in trainings, practical courses and master classes.
The workshop outcome document is located on the following conference site: http://www.relarn.ru/conf/conf2008/decision.html
As part of the conference cultural program, the attendees went for a sightseeing guided tour in Chistopol to visit the district museum, Nickolaevsky cathedral, secular fame alley, Skaryatinsky garden; excursion to Kungurskye caves - the unique nature sanctuary steeped in many legends (the age of caves is about 10-12 th. years); bus tour to Votkinsk city to visit house-museum of P.I. Chaykovsky. The conference attendees went to the concerts of "Nizhny Novgorod soloists" and duet "Violin and guitar".