This talk will discuss the use of computing to assist research in an academic laboratory environment. Two projects conducted at the MIT BioInstrumentation Laboratory within the framework of the MIT / Microsoft iCampus project will be discussed. These two projects are named iLabNotebook and iDat.
The iLabNoteBook is an experiment in which we attempt to replace traditional laboratory notebooks with Windows XP powered Tablet PCs. This new computing platform offers a multimedia environment for scientists and students to document their work and conduct scientific research. The virtual laboratory notebook empowers researchers not only to record experimental procedures digitally but also to add multiple data-format content to a lab notebook page. In addition these electronic notebooks can be easily searched, backed-up, transported and shared amongst colleagues worldwide. Evaluation of this technology was conducted for a one year period among fourteen scientists at MIT.