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CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
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Release: Immediate

UI professor's team wins NASA software award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A five-member team led by University of Iowa assistant professor David Eichmann has won a Space Act Award from NASA in recognition for the development of software called MORE. The award "provides recognition for inventions and other scientific and technical contributions that have helped NASA to achieve its aeronautical and space goals," according to a letter Eichmann received from Duane L. Ross, a NASA awards officer.

Eichmann and the four other members of his development team won $2,800 each as the monetary prize accompanying the Space Act Award. The software allows industries, libraries and other organizations that must organize and maintain a large volume of information in digital form, to create customized, Web-based catalogs of data. MORE stands for Multimedia-Oriented Repository Environment. Eichmann's team had earlier won a NASA Group Achievement Award for this software project.

"NASA has an amazing amount of information, from programs through images and video," Eichmann said. "In trying to support NASA's information diversity, we ended up with a tool that was generally useful to a broad spectrum of information providers on the Internet."

MORE has already proved successful and flexible enough to meet the distinct needs of some very different companies. For example, some pharmaceutical companies have used the software as a means of sharing laboratory notebook information, and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review uses the software to provide on-line classified ads. The Department of Defense also has adopted the system as its standard repository for software distribution.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said she is proud to know that Eichmann's work is so highly regarded in his field. "I am pleased that Dr. Eichmann has brought his considerable talent to the University of Iowa," she said. "He has earned the respect of his colleagues, and this recognition reflects well on our college and on the university as a whole."

Eichmann, who came to the UI in August 1997, holds a joint appointment in library and information science and in computer science. He developed MORE as part of the Repository Based Software Engineering Program, which was funded by NASA and supported a number of projects in increasing their ability to reuse and re-engineer software systems to meet current needs. The program is based at the University of Houston--Clear Lake, where Eichmann was a faculty member before coming to the UI.

12/4/98