Northeast Cyberteam Initiative, XSEDE Campus Champions Program to Launch National Research Computing Q&A Platform at PEARC18

July 11, 2018

HOLYOKE, Mass., July 11, 2018 — The Northeast Cyberteam Initiative, in partnership with the XSEDE Campus Champions Program, announced today that it will launch a national Research Computing Q&A Platform for academic researchers at the PEARC18 conference being held in Pittsburgh from July 22 through July 27.  The team will present an overview of the project, walk through the site, and invite conference participants to name the Platform at a Birds of a Feather session.

Reflecting the critical role that high performance computing plays in all fields of scientific inquiry today, the Platform will 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 at universities in California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

“We are delighted to see such interest in the Q&A Platform because it both demonstrates that we are filling a need in the research community and ensures that it will be a robust research tool,” said John Goodhue, Principal Investigator of the Northeast Cyberteam Initiative and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.

“Our hope is that this site will become a platform for sharing frequently asked questions, comparing solutions, and generally leveraging each other’s work pertaining to research computing. Making this knowledge readily available frees up time for facilitators and engineers to focus on more advanced subject matter, thereby elevating the practice,” said Julie Ma, Project Leader of both the Northeast Cyberteam Initiative and the Research Computing Q&A Platform.  “We continue to reach out to engage with others in the community, and PEARC is an ideal setting to continue this effort.”

“The Q&A platform is a great example of what groups can accomplish when working together toward a common goal,” said Dr. Dana Brunson, Assistant Vice President for Research Cyberinfrastructure,Oklahoma State University High Performance Computing Center, and co-leader of the XSEDE Campus Champions. “It will provide research computing facilitators a new way to learn and share knowledge with each other. “

The PEARC18 conference is for scientists, engineers, scholars, planners, artists, students and teachers who depend on the efficiency, security, reliability and sustainability of increasingly complex and powerful digital infrastructure systems.  The conference will provide a forum for discussing challenges, opportunities and solutions among directors, managers, computational scientists, end users, students, educators, system administrators, user support staff, as well as industry and government agency representatives from around the world.

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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