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Directed by Mary E. Hopper, Ph.D.

Cosma is a “knowledge utility” that provides a systematic top-down inventory of important Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and 3D content. The site has almost a thousand pages, and each page has from 10 to 100 links to resources. Many pages appear at the top of a Google or Bing search for "Cosma+Subject" (e.g. Cosma+Media).

It uses a special scheme for classifying and organizing web resources into over 100 categories. The scheme is a synthesis of a number of other schemes used for organizing knowledge resources, and it is structured around the knowledge cycle. One of the primary purposes of the scheme is to make hundreds of links per page continue to seem reasonably accessible to typical users.

The system also employs an innovative linking strategy to access the "hidden web" and provide content specific links to hundreds of database driven sites (e.g. WorldCat, Library of Congress, Open Courseware etc.).

The 3D portion of Cosma is a relatively well known site in the virtual world SecondLife. It can be found in SecondLife by searching for "Cosma" or "knowledge," and it is designed around fun spatial metaphors (e.g. tropical resort, zoo, amusement park etc.). The site has many thematically organized spaces with fun interactive objects such as animals, vehicles and rides, and they serve as 3D visual interface to both Cosma and SecondLife. This is accomplished with proprietary “3D hyperlinks” called Magic Windows and Magic Doors that support explicitly 3D knowledge navigation. Magic Windows open a browser window to display content specific Cosma web pages, and Magic Doors give landmarks to other sites within SecondLife.
Hopper, M. E. (2009, April). Cosma, Constructing a Kingdom of Knowledge. Media in Transition 6 Conference: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Hopper, M. E. (2008, December). Using Virtual Worlds for Computer Science Education and Research. Computer Science Seminar, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA.

Hopper, M. E. (2008, May). Ok, now what? Ideas from Havok to the Holodeck. Sloan-C International Symposium, Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning, Carefree, AZ.

Hopper, M. E. (2007, April). The Knowledge Gates to SecondLife. Media in Transition 5 Conference: Creativity, Ownership and Collaboration in the Digital Age, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

on the web

Current Cosma Site

© Mary E. Hopper [MEHopper] | MEHopper@TheWorld.com [posted 11/16/06 | revised 12/12/12]