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National Science Foundation grant to benefit computing resources

USC and Harvard are members of research consortium

USC is one of six universities supported by a $5.3 million National Science Foundation grant to fund a collaborative project in advanced cyberinfrastructure and computational research.

The grant will fund a team of facilitators who will expand and deepen the implementation and use of advanced computing resources at their home institutions. At the same time, the team will engage in national collaborative research and education efforts involving advanced cyberinfrastructure.

The consortium of six institutions includes Clemson University, which is managing the project, as well as Harvard University, the University of Hawaii, the University of Utah and the University of Wisconsin.

“We are in the era of big data,” said Peter Siegel, USC’s chief information officer and vice provost for information technology services. “This initiative will help USC faculty, students and research staff fully utilize the significant capabilities of our cyberinfrastructure.”

Maureen Dougherty, director of the USC Center for High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC), will oversee the project at USC as the university’s co-primary investigator on the grant. HPCC is a part of USC’s Information Technology Services.

“By leveraging existing USC cyberinfrastructure and internal expertise, USC’s facilitator will provide the outreach to address growing challenges faced by USC research faculty and students who seek to use advanced cyberinfrastructure resources optimally and efficiently,” Dougherty said.

USC’s facilitator will engage with faculty from disciplines across the university’s campuses and will also connect internal experts in scientific workflow applications, such as Globus and Pegasus — originally developed at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute — with both USC researchers and researchers at consortium institutions.

The USC facilitator will also collaborate with consortium experts in their areas of expertise. Doing so will allow the facilitator to form unique partnerships locally as well as across multiple institutions and will therefore provide opportunities for bigger science for partnering researchers.

In addition to local expertise, the consortium facilitator will provide collaborative expertise to aid in the success of scientific research. These support efforts will be targeted to address the needs of the traditional users of advanced cyberinfrastructure as well as to engage research disciplines that do not typically take advantage of it.

“Through outreach, best practices and collaborative efforts, this program promises to broaden the impact of advanced computing resources at USC, providing the opportunity for increased scientific discovery,” said Randolph Hall, USC vice provost of research.

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National Science Foundation grant to benefit computing resources

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