In cooperation with our membership, GPN engages in a number of projects.
The Data Federation of University Research is a project of GPN in partnership with the Greater Western Library Alliance, the University of Kansas and the University of Arkansas and, originally, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. You can learn more about the DataFOUR project at http://d4.gwla.org.
Enabling Cyberinfrastructure via Training and Engagement is a project funded, in part, by an award from the National Science Foundation to Kansas State University and the Great Plains Network. The state networks of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are partners in this project.
Major scientific breakthroughs are accomplished by teams of scientists working together, remotely, and accessing distributed datasets and advanced tools via the United States and global research networks. As new cyberinfrastructure technologies emerge to meet the growing needs of the science community, campus personnel at U.S. institutions must learn and adopt the new technologies for U.S. scientists to remain competitive. This need extends to smaller colleges and universities where cutting edge expertise may be less readily available.
For this project, the Great Plains Network is partnering with experts to improve knowledge, expertise and research cyberinfrastructure at campuses in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Partners are KanREN, MOREnet, OneNet, Reed Network, Network Nebraska, Internet2, ESnet, University of Chicago and University of Oklahoma.
Project objectives include benchmarking and periodically reassessing progress of campuses in the region toward implementing existing and emerging cyberinfrastructure technologies, developing and delivering an online curriculum to improve expertise, creating opportunities for campus participants to learn from leaders in advanced cyberinfrastructure and network technologies, providing outreach to campuses and building a community of support and encouragement for the implementation of new technologies.
The project measures progress by growth in the number of active campus participants across this project’s lifespan, growth in the number of unique campuses participating in the project, participant mastery of advanced technology concepts covered in training, and an increase in number of campuses implementing these specific technologies.
This project promises to directly benefit scientists in the fields of physics, bioinformatics, climate modeling, and weather forecasting.
Role of Regional Organizations in Improving Access to the National Computational Infrastructure
Agencies like the National Science Foundation have made significant investments in the national computational infrastructure by creating campus and national computation centers throughout the United States. The financial investments are not limited to computer hardware and extend to investments in networks, software, and support personnel to assist campus-level researchers to effectively use these resources to answer challenging scientific questions.
A diverse set of organizations has emerged to support access to the national computational infrastructure. Many of the organizations specialize whereas others provide a range of services. Some of these organizations are self-sustaining while others rely on continued agency support. Organizations that provide similar services are likely to communicate with one another more regularly.
The Improving Access Workshop, supported by this award, will bring together for the first time representatives from campus, state, regional, and other organizations with a vested interest in furthering access to and supporting computational resources by campus researchers. Participants will develop a set of recommendations to assist the community to expand researcher engagement to under-represented communities, to engage in timely and relevant education and outreach efforts to computational researchers over the long term, to coordinate efforts across the diverse set of organizations described above, and to leverage resources across campus, state, and regional boundaries.
The goal of the workshop is to develop a coherent set of recommendations to the National Science Foundation and to the community, at large, which provide answers to a set of strategic questions. A Conference Organizing Committee composed of experts in campus, regional, and national infrastructure has been formed. To accelerate the process of developing a useful set of recommendations, white papers will be solicited in advance of the conference that are relevant to the strategic questions. Based on a review of papers submitted, invitations to participate in the conference will be extended to up to 60 organizations. The one and a half day conference will be held in Kansas City, MO, and facilitated by members of the organizing committee. A final report will be issued in late 2015.
The proposed meeting promises to coordinate efforts that lead to significant improvements in meeting the needs of academic researchers. The meeting will bring the needs of the computational research community to the forefront of organizations that are uniquely positioned to assist in meeting those needs. In situations where a small or medium-sized campus does not have the resources to assist a small number of researchers with advanced computational needs, the next level up – the state or other regional organization – will be in an excellent position to reach out to those researchers. In the long-term, the output from this conference promises to re-focus the efforts of regional organizations and align them with the capacities of the national infrastructure and the needs of campus researchers.
Submitted White Papers
DataQ is an spinoff from the DataFOUR project. DataQ is a collaborative platform for answering research data questions in academic libraries (http://researchdataq.org)
On behalf of our membership, GPN coordinates an exhibit presence at this premier technology showcase. This provides visibility for the outstanding research requiring high performance computing across the GPN region.
Past and present participants in the exhibit include:
- University of Kansas
- University of Missouri
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- University of Arkansas at Fatetteville
- Kansas State University
- University of Nebraska at Lincoln
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
GPN K20 Initiative
GPN together with partners like KanREN, MOREnet, the National Park Service and many others created a range of online educational opportunities for primary, middle and high school students throughout the US. One aspect of K20 was filming at national parks and sharing with students around the country. Here are links to the YouTube videos.