Robert J.K. Jacob

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Tufts University
Medford, Mass.

This is the first meeting of the Principal Investigators of projects in the National Science Foundation Interactive Systems Program. Its goal is to take a step toward building a cohesive community of researchers in this multidisciplinary area.

The areas covered by the Interactive Systems Program represent the key bottleneck in expanding the usefulness of computer technology today. Where hardware or software resources were once the critical issues, improved communication with the user has become the most pressing need. The Interactive Systems Program draws researchers from a diverse set of backgrounds and disciplines. This workshop is intended to help investigators within the program to learn about work that is relevant to theirs, but comes from "home" disciplines different from their own, and to begin to build upon each other's work across the disciplines within the program.

This proceedings was conceived as an informal document to help facilitate such connections. Instead of yet another mini-technical report on each project, it contains material that might help the workers in this program find connections to other areas. For each project represented at the workshop, a brief paper gives, first, a summary of the project itself and references to further information about the project. Next, each paper contains an "AREA BACKGROUND" section in which we asked authors to write a brief introduction to their discipline that would be suitable for someone from a different discipline within the program who wanted to understand this area and how it could relate to his or her own work. In AREA REFERENCES we asked each author to provide a few references that he or she would recommend to someone from a different discipline who wanted to start learning about this one. We also asked the authors to start thinking about collaborations that cut across the different areas within the program. Under RELATED PROGRAM AREAS, they list other areas within the program that might form plausible collaborations with their work (using the six program elements of the Interactive Systems Program, which are described below). We've provided an index of projects by these related program areas as well as by keywords, so you can search for projects that might connect to your own area. Under POTENTIAL RELATED PROJECTS, the authors give some ideas for projects or collaborations across program areas within the Interactive Systems Program.

Each project now has a WWW page, and its address is given near the beginning of each paper. Some other relevant WWW pages are:

Finally, I want to thank Gary Strong, the Director of the Interactive Systems Program at NSF, for conceiving this workshop, for asking me to organize it, and for being a delight to work with throughout the process. And I thank my steering committee, which consists of Alan Borning, Susan Brennan, Bonnie John, Johanna Moore, James Pustejovsky, Elliot Soloway, and Victor Zue. I want to thank Carolyn Miner of C. K. Miner and Associates for handling our logistics and arrangements with grace and efficiency; Yvette Landry, Hedwig Sanni, and Mary Lou Vigilante of the Tufts EECS Department administrative staff for all their help, and our three Tufts graduate student workers, Leonidas Deligiannidis, Quan Lin, and Stephen Morrison for their work before and during the conference.