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Foreword by Walter Cronkite  
Introduction - The National Science Foundation at 50: Where Discoveries Begin, by Rita Colwell  
Internet: Changing the Way we Communicate
Advanced Materials: The Stuff Dreams are Made of  
Education: Lessons about Learning  
Manufacturing: The Forms of Things Unknown  
Arabidopsis: Map-makers of the Plant Kingdom  
Decision Sciences: How the Game is Played  
Visualization: A Way to See the Unseen  
Environment: Taking the Long View  
Astronomy: Exploring the Expanding Universe  
Science on the Edge: Arctic and Antarctic Discoveries  
Disaster & Hazard Mitigation  
About the Photographs  
About the NSF  
Chapter Index  
The Internet: Changing the Way We Communicate

Mosaic: The Original Browser

By 1992, the Internet had become the most popular network linking researchers and educators at the post-secondary level throughout the world. Researchers at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, known by its French acronym, CERN, had developed and implemented the World Wide Web, a network-based hypertext system that let users embed Internet addresses in their documents. Users could simply click on these references to connect to the reference location itself. Soon after its release, the Web came to the attention of a programming team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), an NSF-supported facility at the University of Illinois.

The history of NSF's supercomputing centers overlapped greatly with the worldwide rise of the personal computer and workstation. It was, therefore, not surprising that software developers focused on creating easy-to-use software tools for desktop machines. The NSF centers developed many tools for organizing, locating, and navigating through information, but perhaps the most spectacular success was the NCSA Mosaic, which in less than eighteen months after its introduction became the Internet "browser of choice" for over a million users, and set off an exponential growth in the number of decentralized information providers. Marc Andreessen headed the team that developed Mosaic, a graphical browser that allowed programmers to post images, sound, video clips, and multifont text within a hypertext system. Mosaic engendered a wide range of commercial developments including numerous commercial versions of Web browsers, such as Andreessen's Netscape and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

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A Constellation of Opportunities
A Public Net
From Modest Beginnings
The Launch of NSFNET
An End and a Beginning
Research on Today's Internet
Expectation for the Internet of Tomorrow
Fuzzball: The Innovative Router
Mosaic: The Original Browser
PACI: Computer Partnerships
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