Information Technology Standards Conference Slated For Oct. 3 To Oct. 6 At CU-Boulder

Published: Sept. 16, 2001

The University of Colorado at Boulder's International Center for Standards and Research will host the second international conference on Standardization and Innovation in Information Technology on campus Oct. 3 to Oct. 6.

Sponsored by the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, the conference is expected to draw scores of scholars and government officials from around the world. Attendees will exchange insights into the complex interplay between standards and emerging information technologies, economics, law, society and culture.

The interdisciplinary conference is designed to promote applied and theoretical studies of standardization and innovation, said CU-Boulder's ICSR director and university faculty member Timothy Schoechle. "The conference provides a novel arena for the formulation and resolution of questions vital to 21st century global economic and social growth."

The 2001 conference in Boulder will build on the considerable success of the first SIIT conference held in Aachen, Germany, in 1999 in establishing standards research as an entirely new field of academic inquiry, said Schoechle, also the SIIT general chair. "SIIT has dramatic implications for helping to understand critical issues related to technical innovation and the new global economy," he said.

"SIIT is a gathering place that places CU-Boulder and Colorado in a leadership role as the importance of standards and standardization are increasingly recognized as being key to the global economy."

The International Center for Standards Research, or ICSR, was established in 1998 with funding from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to CU-Boulder's Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. The mission of the international center is to advance the theory and practice of standardization on a worldwide basis through unbiased and innovative research and education, said Schoechle.

The ICSR mission involves many disciplines, including engineering, business, law, economics, social sciences and the humanities, he said. One example is standardizing the interactions of various brands of computers, printers and scanners so they can interact with one another, allowing people to better communicate, he said.

By sponsoring and organizing academic study, research, conferences, workshops, seminars, university courses and publications, the CU-Boulder center engages a cross-section of the standards community.

The 27-year-old ITP at CU-Boulder is the oldest and largest graduate program in telecommunications with an interdisciplinary focus. It is part of CU-Boulder's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The SIIT 2001 conference is being organized by CU-Boulder, Germany's Aachen University and Scotland's University of Edinburgh. It is being sponsored by the IEEE's Microwave Theory and Technology Society, the IEEE Standards Association and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Financial assistance for the conference is being provided by Sun Microsystems of Palo Alto, Calif.; Ericsson, a global corporation headquartered in Stockholm; CableLabs of Boulder; and the European Commission, Directorate General-Enterprise in Brussels.

The conference will feature internationally recognized scholars and professionals, including conference keynote speaker Houlin Zhao, director of the Telecommunications Standardization Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union.

Other speakers include Harvard University Professor Scott Bradner, a leader of the Internet Engineering Task Force; Jim Carlo of the IEEE; Carl Cargill of Sun Microsystems; Veit Ghiladi of the International Federation of Standards Users and Germany's DaimlerChrysler; and Jeff Strauss of Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Additional speakers include Ken Krechmer, co-founder and technical editor of the Communications Standards Review and a research fellow at CU-Boulder's ICSR, and author, columnist and consultant Amy Zuckerman. Zuckerman will present material from her new book, "Tech Trending," published by Capstone/Wiley this year.

Zuckerman was the recipient of the American National Standards Institute Presidents Award for Journalism in 2001.

Further information on the SIIT conference can be found on the Web at In addition, conference coordinator George Minnigh can be reached by e-mail at