Cypress, CA — September 10, 2007 — The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and Pepperdine University today announced the connection of Pepperdine University to the high-performance, fiber-optic based California Research & Education Network (CalREN), run by CENIC and one of the most advanced such networks in the world.

With a 50 Mb/s metro Ethernet connection between the university?s West LA Graduate Campus to CalREN?s LA hub site, Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff now have the
ability to collaborate with colleagues throughout California and the world on cutting-edge research and education projects. The addition of this circuit increases Pepperdine?s
overall bandwidth capacity from 45 Mb/s to 95 Mb/s and also provides a critical redundant link to the Internet.

?Pepperdine University is well-known for its international programs as well as for its undergraduate and graduate programs offered in Malibu and at graduate campuses throughout southern California. The installation of this circuit at our West LA Graduate Campus marks the completion of the first phase of our wide-area-network upgrade. In subsequent phases, circuits to our graduate campuses will be upgraded, providing in some cases a 10x increase in bandwidth. Our London, UK center is also undergoing a network upgrade through a partnership with Imperial College that will provide access to the UK?s advanced, high speed network known as JA.NET,? said Dr. Timothy M. Chester, Chief Information Officer at Pepperdine.

?We couldn?t be happier to see Pepperdine University come on board the CalREN network. The university has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, and we?re certain that their students and faculty researchers will benefit tremendously from the new connectivity,? said CENIC President and CEO Jim Dolgonas. ?With it, they can look forward not only to advances in worldwide collaborative research but also to enhancing their students? experience through distance education and rich media. After all, broadband networking is a basic requirement for education in the 21st century at all levels.?

?We will leverage our CalREN and JA.NET connections to implement cutting-edge voice and video collaborative technologies between these local and international campuses,
including connections to our high-definition distance education classrooms that will be completed in Malibu by 2009. Our partnership with CalREN and Imperial College will have a very significant impact on our faculty?s ability to teach and conduct research, resulting in enhanced learning experiences for our students,? noted Dr. Chester.

CalREN which has been in operation since 1998 and is owned and operated by the nonprofit corporation CENIC consists of 2,500 miles of optical fiber spanning the length and breadth of the state of California, and to which all of California?s K-20 public education connects. This high-performance network is dedicated to research and education only; and its bandwidth is such that research collaborations previously unthinkable are now possible for the California research and education community. Major achievements in the fields of big science, distance education, and digital media occur every day via the CalREN network, thanks to the researchers and educators throughout California and the world.

Among the institutions connected to CalREN are:

  • California?s Community Colleges
  • California?s K-12 System
  • The California Institute of Technology
  • The California State University
  • The Naval Postgraduate School
  • Stanford University
  • The University of California
  • The University of San Diego
  • The University of San Francisco
  • The University of Southern California

    Thanks to CalREN, these sites have the capability to engage in research that was previously impossible due to the sheer amount of data that would have to be exchanged very rapidly. Disciplines such as astronomy, oceanography, meteorology, physics, and seismic studies, for example, often involve enormously expensive and remotely located
    observatories that must be operated by collaborative teams distributed all over the globe. These observatories also generally collect vast amounts of data that would tax the best
    commercial network, creating a bottleneck that hamstrings the science that can be done using them. Via CalREN, such mountaintop and deep-ocean observatories can be
    reached and reach back to researchers worldwide, allowing for the orchestration of complex experiments that can address revolutionary research questions in whole new ways.

    Education itself in California has also undergone radical changes thanks to CalREN, with the creation of international virtual classrooms by faculty members throughout the state.
    CalREN has enabled students of all ages to experience telepresence and the educational and social benefits of working closely together with distant experts and students from
    varying cultures. This new educational paradigm delivers increased value particularly to remote or rural areas the isolation of which makes such possibilities difficult to implement in person.

    About Pepperdine University
    Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university enrolling approximately 8,300 students in five colleges and schools. Seaver College, the School of Law, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the School of Public Policy are located on the University?s 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.

    About CENIC
    California?s education and research communities leverage their networking resources under CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, in order to obtain cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support their missions and answer the needs of their faculty, staff, and students. CENIC designs, implements, and operates CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, a high-bandwidth, high-capacity Internet network specially designed to meet the unique requirements of these communities, and to which the vast majority of the state?s K-20 educational institutions are connected. In order to facilitate collaboration in education and research, CENIC also provides connectivity to non-California institutions and industry research organizations with which CENIC?s Associate researchers and educators are engaged.

    CENIC is governed by its member institutions. Representatives from these institutions also donate expertise through their participation in various councils designed to ensure that CENIC meets the needs of its constituencies and that the network evolves as technology advances. For more information, please visit http://www.cenic.org/.

  • About the Author:

    eSchool News