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Center for Computational Science and Advanced Distributed Simulation (C2SDS)



MSI-CIEC Demonstrations at Navajo Technical College (NTC)

Navajo College CI day meetingNavajo Technical College (NTC) - being encouraged by their participation in the MSI-CIEC planning meeting and MSI-CI Institute (both held at MSI-CIEC partner San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), as well as the MSI Resource Provider workshop done with another partner, The National Center for Supercomputer Applications) and building on a relationship with partner, The TeraGrid- commenced their building of high-performance networking and cluster and grid computing for NTC and the Navajo nation with the "Internet to the Hogan" celebration. Under the strong leadership of Tom Davis, Dean of Instruction, NTC, and highly regarded national leader in technology for TCUs, NTC is working with the University of New Mexico (UNM), a leading HSI, and the SDSC High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) to connect to the National Lambda Rail and Internet2 at OC-3 (155 Mbps) speeds. HPWREN has trained NTC staff and a talented NTC student who in turn is teaching other NTC staff and students to do the actual building and maintenance of the wireless towers and network connections. Additionally, through Scott Lathrop, TeraGrid education Director and current chair of the Supercomputer '07 education committee, a "Little Fe" supercomputing computer cluster was donated to NTC which is among the first to establish the Diné Grid, part of the Navajo nation's local CyberInfrastructure. NTC will expand their educational degree offerings through the Ph.D. and strengthen the Navajo STEM education pipeline through partnerships with Navajo K-12 schools and other colleges and universities. Jared Ribble, the NTC student who with other NTC staff attended all the MSI-CIEC meetings, is the talented student who will train the other NTC students and together build the Navajo CI. Jared also hopes to pursue his master's and Ph.D. through NTC.

MSI-CIEC Demonstrations in Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)

ECSU graphic

Linking of participating institutions to CyberInfrastructure at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), IU, TeraGrid and (multiple) base and field camps associated with scientific observation expeditions.

The Minority-Serving Institutions CyberInfrastructure Institute (MSICI 2 ) was a NSF CI-Team demonstration project that aimed to broaden participation in CyberInfrastructure (CI) and use CI as a mechanism to enhance the participation of MSIs in leading edge research and education. We learned several lessons that were described in an article for the TeraGrid06 users meeting and embodied in our follow up proposal, MSI CyberInfrastructure Empowerment Coalition (MSI-CIEC). Our project was founded on interactions between the leaders of CyberInfrastructure and the following organizations: the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). These organizations collectively represent MSIs nationally. Here we describe a particular example illustrating our approach. Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), an HBCU in North Carolina, attended our two meetings hosted at SDSC that described how CI enabled new science. ECSU recognized the value of CI for the collaboration they had with the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) which is an NSF Science and Technology center developing new sensors and new models to understand ice sheets.

Linking of participating institutions to CyberInfrastructure at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), IU, TeraGrid and (multiple) base and field camps associated with scientific observation expeditions

This critical project is motivated by recent polar satellite observations that show disintegration of ice shelves in West Antarctica and speed-up of several glaciers in southern Greenland. The great ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland interact with the global climate in a complex manner, and the impact on global sea level of their retreat would be profound. Most of the existing ice-sheet models, including those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), cannot explain the rapid changes being observed. CReSIS work will enable a new-generation of high resolution ice-sheet models with realistic boundary conditions, but it will require distributed CyberInfrastructure to gather and process data and assimilate them with large simulations.

ECSU along with CReSIS and MSI-CIEC collaborators have already taken several steps to develop the PolarGrid CI shown in the picture. A follow up CI-Team proposal has been approved and will develop the PolarGrid Science Gateway linking TeraGrid with CReSIS research. ECSU will offer a CI track in their master's program and their undergraduate and graduate students will be offered CI internships this summer. An ECSU graduate student took the first step with a week at the OGF19 Open Grid Forum meeting during January 29-February 2 of this year. Existing collaborations of ECSU with the Association of Computer/Information Sciences and Engineering Departments at Minority Institutions (ADMI) and MSI-CIEC will bring these opportunities to other MSIs. As a next step, ECSU and Indiana University have proposed an innovative infrastructure that will link intermittently disconnected field and base grids in the polar regions to "lower 48" data and computing resources. This has important hardware and software challenges that will advance CI research and enable new science discoveries. After little more than a year, NSF's MSI CI empowerment program has brought a relatively small HBCU with less than 3000 students to the leadership position in development of CI for an internationally critical science project.

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Last updated or reviewed on 7/22/09

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