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Group-to-Group Distributed Collaboration

Student: Steve Abrams, UCI/ISR

Advisor: Gloria Mark, UCI/ISR

Abstract: Group-to-Group Distributed Collaboration is a growing area of organizational activity.  Distributed "teams of teams," with teams at different geographic and organizational locales, are distinct from distributed teams of individuals because of the extra effort to manage interaction and activity both locally and across the distributed team.  Since 2002, NASA has conducted distributed, concurrent design activities - developing pre-Phase A, conceptual space mission designs - involving teams at three field centers and one non-NASA site, modeled after JPL's highly successful Team X process. Now, NASA is extending the design activity to more NASA centers to establish the NASA Exploration Design Team to address the many mission and technology design and development issues for NASA's Vision  for Space Exploration. Ethnographic and social network analytic methods are applied to understanding the impact of the technologies deployed to support distributed collaboration.


Steve Abrams is a 4th year graduate student at the University of California, Irvine.  He is an alumnus of the International Space University, where he participated in collocated, conceptual space mission design collaborations, and a former technology director for the NASA Academy.  He holds a M.A. in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University and a M.S. in Information and Computer Sciences from UC-Irvine.  In 2003, he received a summer research fellowship with the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science at NASA/Ames Research Center, during which he performed a meta-analysis of 57 aerospace mission failures.