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Second Java Day at MIT Hosted by Sun

By Karen Robinson

The second MIT Java Day Symposium took place at the Marriott Hotel in Kendall Square Sept. 25.

Coordinator Norm Koo described the event as "Phase two of Java promotion," focusing on applications of Java and deployment in industry.

Phase one was a round of symposia including one at the Marriott two years ago. That symposium, which, like this year's, was co-sponsored by InformationSystem's Academic Computing branch, cost Sun several hundred dollars, and was attended by over 100 people.

This year's symposia took place at three institutions: MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of California. Attendees were estimated to be 50 percent university students and 20 percent faculty, with the remaining 30 percent representing area industries.

A big difference between this year's Java Day and the one in 1996 is that industries have begun to extensively use Java technology in the interim period.

In 1996, the symposia focused more on language and development techniques than concrete applications. This year's symposia focused mostly on applications and networking.

Recruiters were also present this year to answer students' questions about employment opportunities.

One purpose of the event was to promote Java technology and educate the MIT community about current developments.

Another important focus was what Koo called the "two-way discussion" taking place between Java representatives and students. This included the question and answer periods at the end of each talk, but speakers also encouraged audience members to visit Java web sites and voice their questions and opinions.

There is a community of 450,000 Java developers who answer such questions, with at least 1,000 of them being MIT affiliates, said Lew Tucker, director of the Java developer connection, in one of the talks.