IU presents workshop on advanced cyberinfrastructure at prominent national science conference
Bloomington, IND January 23, 2008 -- Indiana University technologists will inform some of the nation's top research scientists about advanced cyberinfrastructure at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) being held next month in Boston. IU is sponsoring a tutorial and workshop at the event titled "The TeraGrid: An essential tool for 21st century science" on Sunday, February 17, from 10:30-noon.
Founded in 1848, the AAAS is one of the oldest professional scientific organizations in the US. It is publisher of the leading scientific journal Science and serves 10 million individuals. The TeraGrid is a national cyberinfrastructure, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which supports advanced research. IU is one of eleven resource providers offering facilities and services to the nation's researchers via the TeraGrid.
"The AAAS meeting is among the largest gatherings of the best scientific minds in the world. This workshop provides a tremendous opportunity to inform scientific researchers across a wide spectrum of disciplines about the TeraGrid, and to show how it can help accelerate innovation and enable new discoveries" said Craig Stewart, Associate Dean for Research Technologies and principal investigator on IU's grant from the NSF to provide resources via the TeraGrid.
Workshop attendees will learn how IU and the TeraGrid can support virtual organizations -- distributed teams and communities of scientists that share common interests or needs for data and computing resources. Noted Stewart, "The NSF is promoting the concept of virtual organizations as a way of responding rapidly to today's scientific, medical, and security challenges. The TeraGrid's combination of computing power, storage capability, and science gateways offer an unparalleled mechanism for enabling virtual organizations to solve some of the most challenging problems facing scientists today."
What is cyberinfrastructure?
According to IU's definition, cyberinfrastructure consists of computing systems, data storage systems, advanced instruments and data repositories, visualization environments, and people -- all linked together by software and high performance networks to improve research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible.
The TeraGrid is one of the world's largest cyberinfrastructure systems, and includes more than 750 teraFLOPS of computing capability. (TeraFLOPS is a measure of calculating speed, with one teraFLOPS equal to one trillion mathematical operations per second.) TeraGrid resources include IU's Big Red supercomputer, as well as Ranger -- the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science research located at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The TeraGrid also includes more than 30 petabytes of online and archival data storage. (One petabyte is equivalent to more than 1.5 million CDs of data.)
TeraGrid: a resource for all scientists
Researchers in basic scientific disciplines such as astronomy, physics, biology, or chemistry, who are also computer science experts, have long understood the value of supercomputers. This workshop will show how the TeraGrid is becoming more accessible to all scientists - even those without computer science expertise - through Science Gateways, tools that make it easier to access and use supercomputers.
"Any scientist whose research is slowed or inhibited by limitations on computer power or storage capabilities will find this workshop and tutorial valuable," said Stewart. "We hope this workshop will enable US scientists across many disciplines to transform their research capabilities using the TeraGrid."
The TeraGrid is made possible by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). IU's participation in the TeraGrid is supported in part by grants from the NSF; the Lilly Endowment, Inc. through support of the Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University, the Indiana Genomics Initiative, and the Indiana Metabolomics and Cytomics Initiative; IBM Shared University Research Grants; and grants from other sources. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF) or other agencies that have supported the TeraGrid and IU's involvement in it.