<<April 6, 2000>>

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP <daj@utk.edu>

Dr. Gayle D. Cooper <gcooper@knoxville-notes.ips.utk.edu>

Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D. <alex_mau@argo.com.br>

Dear David:

(1)  Albeit rather long, I hope this will do the job.

(2)  In my following msg, I will send you its ClarisWorks version with the
     letter head of our GLOSAS/USA.

Best, Tak


April 6, 2000

To Whom It May Concerned:

This letter supports the travel grant application which the University of
Tennessee/Knoxville (UTK) is now submitting to the US National Science
Foundation (NSF).  This travel grant is to enable Americans to attend the
epoch-making international interactive workshop and conference on "Technology
and Distance Education for Sustainable Development of the Amazonia" in Manaus,
Amazona, Brazil from May 31st to June 2, 2000.

The reasons of our support are followings in chronological order:

1.   GLH from UTK in July of 1994:

By the kind invitation of Professor David Johnson of UTK, we held a  Global
Lecture Hall (GLH)" multipoint-to-multipoint, multimedia, interactive
videoconferencing from the UTK.  It connected several universities around the
US and with an international conference on distance learning in Moscow,
Russia, with the use of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) and ShareVision on
desktop computers, ISDN with videoconferencing units, and analog satellites.

One of the highlights of this event was the first public introduction of
 Friends-Partners" program in cooperation of its founders at the UTK and in
Moscow.  Sun Microsystems kindly donated its Solaris software to the Russian
counterpart at this occasion.  Thanks to their subsequent effort, the program
received a substantial fund from the NSF for their establishing MirNet, a
broadband Internet connection between the UTK and Moscow, Russia.

Dr. Gayle D. Cooper (PI of this application) and Dr. Alexandre Rivas (then a
graduate student at the UTK and the General Chairman of the Manaus workshop)
witnessed its highly successful conduct.

2.   GLH from Manaus in October, 1998:

Dr. Rivas invited me to conduct a GLH from Manaus in October, 1998 to enact a
similar one as he saw at the UTK.  This was at the occasion of the conference
on  New Technologies and Distance Education."  It was an extraordinary
historical event in the middle of rain forest Jungle, with panelists located
from Tokyo, Japan to Lviv, Ukraine, spanning almost 18 time zones.

Tokyo team presented Medical Information Network by Communication Satellite
for University Hospitals (MINCS-UH) which connects about thirty hospitals
around Japan with two-way, broadband digital satellite channels for medical
diagnosis with HDTV -- return for question uses C-band analog channel

Ukrainian team demonstrated the cutting-edge audio/video streaming technology
via Internet to those Amazonians, in spite of mere 1.5 Mbps Internet linkage
from Lviv to Warsaw, Poland.  Amazonians also broadcasted the video of our
event via Internet throughout the world.

The most significant finding at this event was the clear audio of NetMeeting
videoconferencing on distance learning from Houston Community College via mere
56 Kbps Internet line.  This was thanks to EMBRATEL's installing four of 34
Mbps digital satellite channels between the US and Brazil -- in the previous
year, my test use of Internet telephony from Florianopolis, Brazil was
complete failure, though there were 15 lines of 2 Mbps Internet connections
between Brazil to the north America.

The above hard track experiences prompted us to emulate NSF's program of
extending broadband Internet to overseas countries (e.g., MirNet, etc.) with
advanced global broadband wireless and satellite Internet with Global Service
Trust Fund (GSTF) which is an emulation of the Universal Service Fund of the
US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

3.   Tampere workshop and conference:

We then held a highly successful International Workshop and Conference on
"Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning (EGEDL/'99)" from August 9th to
13th at the University of Tampere in Finland, with financial support from the
World Bank, the NSF, USIA, British Council, Soros Foundation, Finnish Ministry
of Education, etc. -- see <http://www.uta.fi/EGEDL> for the compilation of the
conference materials.

This event brought together approximately 60 education professionals,
decision-makers and leaders in distance learning and telemedicine from 14
nations.  They discussed practical ways to establish a Global University
System (GUS) with prominent groups in the major regions of the globe, e.g.,
Asia-Pacific, North/Central/South Americas, Europe and Africa.  The GUS is to
harness the emerging technologies to provide learners of all ages with
affordable global distance learning across national and cultural boundaries.

We subsequently invited Dr. Rivas to participate in this event who then
submitted us his draft pilot project proposal for the international distance
learning and telehealth/telemedicine.

4.   Manaus mini-workshop:

Thanks to the introduction of UNAMAZ (a consortium of 77 universities in 8
Amazonian countries) to Dr. Rivas by Dr. Marco Antonio Dias (Former Director,
Division of Higher Education of UNESCO and one of our board members), Dr.
Rivas and UNAMAZ officials decided to pursue the proposed pilot project

They are now committed to succeed this event as the first example to other
regional activities.  We also intend to make this occasion for securing close
partnership between universities in Amazon areas and the universities of the
Tennessee Virtual University System and in the US to ensure students'
learnability.  This partnership will not only initiate export of US distance
learning courses and telemedicine services, but also will be the educational
exchange among them in the near future -- i.e., "the 21st century version of
the Fulbright exchange program."

I am certain that the above historical backgrounds warrant the NSF's granting
the requesting travel funds.

Sincerely yours,

Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D.
Vice President for Technology and Coordination
Global University System
43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.
Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email)
Email: utsumi@columbia.edu
                      List of Distribution

Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP
Board member of GLOSAS/USA
Former President of Fulbright Association
Professor Emeritus, School of Planning
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tenneseee
108-I Hoskins Library
Knoxville, TN 37996-4015
Tel: +1-423-974 5227
Fax: +1-423-974 5229

Dr. Gayle D. Cooper
Associate Vice President
Statewide Continuing Education
Public Service and Continuing Education
The University of Tennessee
Suite 109 Student Services and Administration Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0212
Fax: 423-974-9014

Alexandre Rivas, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences
University of Amazonas - Brazil
C.P. 4208, Manaus 69053-140
+55-92-644 23 22
Fax: +55-92-644 23 84

* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA                  *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education  *
* Founder of CAADE                                                   *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education)      *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of     *
*   Global University System (GUS)                                   *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.               *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
* Email: utsumi@columbia.edu;  Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676             *
* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/                            *
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