Northeast Cyberteam Initiative and XSEDE Campus Champions Program Crowd-Source Name of New Q&A Platform

September 10, 2018

HOLYOKE, Mass., Sept. 10, 2018 – The Northeast Cyberteam Initiative and the XSEDE Campus Champions Program today announced the name of their new Research Computing Q&A Platform for academic researchers – “Ask”.

“Ask” emerged as the winner after a naming contest at a birds-of-a-feather session at the PEARC18 conference in Pittsburgh. It was the simplest of the contenders, which also included “RCAN – Research Computing Answer Network”, “ARC – Ask Research Computing”, “Answers in Research Computing”, “Answers for Research” and runner-up “QueRC – Questions about Research Computing”.

Also announced today was the Platform’s URL — Ask.CI.

“We are encouraged by interest in ‘Ask’ in the research computing community and grateful for their help in naming it,” said John Goodhue, Principal Investigator of the Northeast Cyberteam Initiative and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.  “A crowd-sourced Q&A resource like this one has the potential to accelerate computationally intensive research by reducing duplication of effort and making ‘best in class’ answers to commonly asked questions widely available.”

Reflecting the critical role that high performance computing plays in all fields of scientific inquiry today, the Platform is designed to aggregate answers to a broad spectrum of questions that are commonly asked as researchers utilize advanced computing resources, creating a self-service knowledge base for the community of domain researchers, facilitators, cyberinfrastructure engineers and others.

The Platform began as a project of the Northeast Cyberteam Initiative, which makes high performance computing resources more accessible to small and mid-size colleges and universities through web-based tools, and by connecting researchers with student Research Computing Facilitators (RCFs) supported by mentor RCFs.  However, the Platform project quickly drew support from collaborators outside the Northeast, particularly from members of the XSEDE Campus Champions Program.  The Platform already has participation from volunteers in 34 states representing 70 institutions. 

About the Northeast Cyberteam Initiative

High performance computing has become an in indispensable part of scientific inquiry today.  The Northeast Cyberteam Initiative seeks to build a sustainable system of computational support for researchers at small and mid-sized colleges and universities in New England, who typically lack the computing resources available at larger institutions.  The Cyberteam Initiative offers online computing tools and is developing a regional pool of Research Computing Facilitators (RCFs), who are expert at connecting researchers with appropriate computer systems.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Cyberteam is a collaborative project led by the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, University of Maine System, University of New Hampshire, and University of Vermont, with support from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

About the XSEDE Campus Champions Program

The Campus Champions are a community of practice of campus research computing professionals celebrating 10 years since initiation under Teragrid and support through XSEDE. The Campus Champions have grown to over 470 individuals from over 250 institutions, including 46 Minority Serving Institutions and 70 institutions in Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) jurisdictions. The Campus Champions focus discussion on challenges, opportunities, solutions, and leading practices via an active mailing list and videoconferences. The Campus Champions community promotes and facilitates the effective participation of a diverse national community of campuses in the application of advanced digital resources and services to accelerate scientific discovery and scholarly achievement.

About the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) provides state-of-the-art infrastructure for computationally intensive research that is indispensable in the increasingly sensor and data-rich environments of modern science and engineering.  Computers at the MGHPCC run millions of virtual experiments every month, supporting thousands of researchers in Massachusetts and around the world.  The MGHPCC was developed through an unprecedented collaboration among the most research-intensive universities in Massachusetts (Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts); the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and private industry (Cisco and Dell EMC).  The member universities fund the ongoing operation of the data center, which is open for use by any research organization.


Source: Northeast Cyberteam Initiative

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