is being driven by researchers at the University of
Michigan, and Howard University, and is sponsored by
the National Science Foundation.
Throughout history scientists and engineers have taken
advantage of state-of-the-art communication technologies
to facilitate long-distance collaborations. In the past
few decades the need for collaboration has increased
markedly as problems have required large multidisciplinary
teams, complex instrumentation, or vast amounts of data
from multiple sources. Fortunately, this same time period
has seen a dramatic increase in the power and variety
of communication and computational technologies available
for long-distance collaboration.
In 1989 William
Wulf coined the term collaboratory to refer
to the use of such technologies to support geographically
dispersed collaborative research. For more than a decade
a number of collaboratory projects have been carried
out in a variety of scientific and engineering fields.
Most collaboratories have been built as one-off, hand-crafted
projects. We seek to change this. The Science of Collaboratories
project is devoted to understanding the technical and
behavioral principles that can lead to better, more
successful design of collaboratories in the future.