Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship

The Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS) was established at Brown in 1983 as a self-supporting institution with William Shipp as director, its goal the finding of new ways for computing technology to help scholars in their daily work. Funded by part of an IBM grant for hardware and a $1.5 million grant from the Annenberg Corporation for Public Broadcasting for software development and project administration, the Institute began the development of “Intermedia,” an application of computer technology to organize on the computer screen a compilation of educational materials including texts, resource materials and illustrations, a project of Norman Meyrowitz ’81, associate director of IRIS, and Nicole Yankelovich ’83, project coordinator. In 1986-87 the new technology was applied to two courses, George Landow’s “English Literature from 1700 to the Present,” and Peter Heywood’s “Plant Cell Biology.” The latter course used a graphics program designed by IRIS to manipulate three-dimensional simulations of cells. The next year six courses participated, including “Sounds and Symbols: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology” by William Beeman, associate director for programs analysis for IRIS, and “Intermedia” began to revolutionize the way in which teaching is done.