Aug. 18, 2022 — The year 2022 marks the 20-year anniversary of the Hubzero project. Initiated as nanoHUB.org by Professor Mark Lundstrom, the inaugural director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) in 2002 at Purdue University, Hubzero has demonstrated staying power beyond that of most academic projects.
As nanoHUB.org realized success, others saw this success and suggested that the Hubzero science gateway cyberinfrastructure should be made available to others in need of a science gateway. Under the guidance of Professor Gerhard Klimeck, the current director of NCN at Purdue, and Michael McLennan, the founding Hubzero director, the team undertook an effort to abstract the underlying cyberinfrastructure from the nano content to go beyond nanoHUB.org. Today, Hubzero has been used to construct more than 70 science gateways serving a wide variety of scientific domains with a combined millions of unique users.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project, the Hubzero and nanoHUB teams will convene in San Diego for the Science Gateways Community Institute’s (SGCI) 2022 conference, Gateways 2022, Oct. 18 – 20, 2022.
Hubzero is a rare example of an academic project creating a path to sustainability that does not rely on commercialization. This allows it to continue serving scientific research and education.
“When we first started this effort, I wanted to create an infrastructure that delivers research-based codes in a user-friendly way to people who would not be able to touch such tools otherwise,” said Klimeck. “The envisioned audience was students, faculty, experimentalists and researchers who are not computational scientists. It wasn’t clear this was the path it would take. Based on the rapid growth of nanoHUB, we knew there was something there that should be pursued as a general concept. It was essential to build up a cyberinfrastructure team that supports many science gateways with a wide set of skills that a single project likely would not be able to afford on its own.”
According to Michael Zentner, co-PI for NCN and director of the Sustainable Scientific Software Division at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)—the current home of the Hubzero project, during the past year he realized with some embarrassment that some of the Hubzero code dates back to the start of the project. “But upon reflection, not many projects can boast that they have been able to sustain 20-year-old code alongside new developments in 2022 that are only weeks old.” Zentner noted.
The project moved from Purdue to SDSC in 2019 to be more closely aligned with the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded SGCI, the directorship of which Zentner assumed from Founding Director Nancy Wilkins-Diehr in that same year.
“The SGCI establishes NSF’s recognition of the importance of science gateways, and highlights that the pioneering efforts of Professors Lundstrom and Klimeck, and others like them, have grown into a legitimate, recognized community of science gateway developers, operators and users,” said Zentner.
Source: Kimberly Mann Bruch, SDSC External Relations