Northeast Cyberteam Initiative Announces Measures to Help Researchers at Colleges and Universities Leverage HPC Resources

February 12, 2018

HOLYOKE, Mass., Feb. 12, 2018 — The Northeast Cyberteam Initiative announced today that it is offering online tools and hands-on technical assistance that will allow researchers at small and mid-size colleges and universities in New England to leverage high performance computing resources, an indispensable part of scientific inquiry today. The program also offers paid opportunities to computer science students to provide technical support to faculty researchers under the supervision of experienced mentors.

This set of supports is being offered through the Cyberteam’s new web portal, which connects researchers, students and mentors while providing a growing set of online computing tools.

“Scientific research today relies on high performance computing. The assistance being made available through the Cyberteam Initiative will significantly increase the research capabilities of small and mid-size institutions, allowing their faculty and students to remain competitive while unlocking their intellectual energy and the economic benefits associated with it,” said John Goodhue, Executive Director of the MGHPCC and Principal Investigator for the Northeast Cyberteam Project. “In short, the Cyberteam Initiative is good for students, faculty, participating institutions and the region’s innovation economy.”

Central to computer-aided research are Research Computing Facilitators (RCFs), who are expert at connecting researchers with appropriate computer systems. RCFs are common at large universities and corporations, but rare at smaller institutions. Recognizing the fundamental role that high performance computing plays in scientific inquiry today, the Cyberteam Initiative aims to fill that gap while creating a pipeline of talent to meet growing academic and industry demand for RCFs.

The Cyberteam portal allows student RCFs, experienced mentors and faculty researchers to connect around specific research projects. Current projects for which researchers are seeking computing assistance involve the tracking of physical assets (University of New Hampshire), genetics (University of Vermont), sea floor mapping (University of New Hampshire), bioelectric tissue stimulation (Tufts), and tailored research computing environments (Bentley University). Researchers in need of research computing facilitator support are invited to participate in the Cyberteam initiative by submitting project proposals through the portal.

In addition to connecting researchers and RCFs, the Cyberteam portal provides access to a Regional Help Desk that is available to any researcher. The Northeast Cyberteam initiative is also in the process of launching a Stack Exchange, which is a question-and-answer site where answers are ranked by the participating community

“Whether researchers need a quick answer to a specific question or more sustained, hands-on support, our goal is to make technology work for them so that they can focus on the science and go about making the discoveries and innovations that will help the region’s economy and all of society,” said Julie Ma, Project Leader, Northeast Cyberteam Initiative.

Other schools represented on the Cyberteam so far in the form of mentor or student RCFS include Harvard University, Suffolk University and Boston University.

The Northeast Cyberteam Initiative is a project of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont and University of Maine System, with support from the University of Massachusetts system and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The Initiative has been funded for three years by the National Science Foundation, with the goal of developing a self-sustaining, regional system of computational support.

Current research projects and Cyberteam personnel are listed below.

Institution Project Researcher Mentor RCF Student RCF
University of New Hampshire Tracking of physical assets Scott Valcourt
University of New Hampshire Sea floor mapping Scott Valcourt Grace Wilson Caudill, UNH
University of Vermont Genetics Dawei Li Katia Oleinik

Boston University

Abigail Waters

Suffolk University

University of Maine System Extreme weather Sean Birkel Larry Whitsel

Chris Wilson

UMaine

Daniel Paradis

UMaine

University of Maine System Forest mapping Kasey Legaard Larry Whitsel

Chris Wilson

UMaine

Noah Howard

UMaine

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Cyberteam Help Desk Siamak Najafi Ermal Toto, WPI

Julie Ma, MGHPCC

Andrew Schade,

Cuong Tri Nguyen Dinh, WPI

Tufts University Bioelectric tissue stimulation Shawn Doughty
Bentley University Tailored research computing environments David Oury David Reitano

Bentley University

Bridgewater State University Chemistry II Course Saritha Nellutla Spencer Pruitt

WPI

Nicholas Colella

Harvard University

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 the University of Massachusetts system and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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 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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