John Patterson  John Patterson photo       

contact information

Manager, Collaborative Environments Research
Cambridge Research Center, Cambridge, MA USA



John Patterson is a Distinguished Engineer (DE) in the Collaborative User Experience Research Group. He joined the Research staff in September of 1994. John received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1979. Since then he has worked at Decisions & Designs, Inc., Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, and SunSoft, Inc. on both research and development projects. These efforts included videodisc-based prototypes of mapping and surrogate travel, an application generator for phone-based applications, prototypes and experimental studies of pictorial browsing, a shared windowing system, a system for implementing multi-user synchronous applications, and human factors support for the development of system administration applications.

As an individual contributor,
John's research at Lotus/IBM has embraced a wide variety of groupware projects. John was one of the principle designers and developers on the Notification Service Transfer Protocol (NSTP) project, an Internet-based state synchronization capability for synchronous groupware. On the OverViews project, John and Steve Rohall developed a set of alternative viewers for Notes, so that Notes data could be viewed via Scatterplots, Maps, and other vizualizations. In the Carlisle Community Center project, John developed and operated a community Web site for the town of Carlisle, MA. This case study was designed to assess the value of the Internet for promoting Social Capital within a community.

In 2003, John joined the ranks of management and formed the Collaborative Environments research group. Our first effort was the Jazz research project led by Li-Te Cheng, which introduced collaborative tooling into the Eclipse application development environment. Numerous other projects followed from Jazz, including ActivitySpaces, Bloom, and Waypoints. Most recently, the Ensemble project led by Kate Ehrlich has continued this emphasis on using collaborative technologies to support application development.

The Zipper project led by Steve Rohall allowed John to renew his interest in synchronous groupware. In this effort, we investigated replicated approaches to application sharing beginning with techniques to retrofit existing applications.

Most recently, the work that began with Collaborative Development Environments and Synchornous Groupware has"morphed" into two major thrusts. The Collaborative Reasoning project led by Steven Ross is an effort to use semantic technologies (e.g. ontologies) to support teams and organizations that conduct intellectually difficult investigations. The current use case for this work is detection of network and computer intrusions, but other applications such as mergers and acquisitions, forensic examinations, and market research are anticipated by this project.

The second thrust is an effort to understand the business value of virtual worlds. Li-Te Cheng and Steve Rohall began this work with Bluegrass, which focused on how to associate a virtual world with Eclipse in support of application developers. The second and most recent effort is Olympus, which associates a very simple Flash-based virtual world with a Unyte eMeeting in an effort to understand how avatars might improve online meetings.