GPN and Kansas State University Receive Award to Improve Access to National Computational Infrastructure

August 7, 2015

GPN and Kansas State University received funding for a workshop proposal on The Role of Regional Organizations in Improving Access to the National Computational Infrastructure. Greg Monaco of GPN is the principal investigator and Jim Bottom of ACI-REF and Clemson, Jen Leasure of the Quilt, David Swanson of UNL and OSG, and John Towns of XSEDE are co-PIs.

Purpose of the Project

This award will enable representatives of campus, state, regional and other organizations with a vested interest in furthering access to and support of computational resources by campus researchers. 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.

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.
The Process

We have been funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a set of community-supported recommendations for filling the gaps and to more effectively coordinate education and training from campus to state to regional to national levels.

We intend to use the following process:

  • Solicit white papers from interested parties and organizations.
  • Select among the papers and send conference invitations to a selected group of authors.
  • Hold conference in October/November timeframe in Kansas City, MO.
  • Development of a final report and a set of recommendations to funding agencies and the community, at large.

Who Should Submit a White Paper

We would like to encourage the broadest audience, possible, to consider submitting these papers to the Conference Organizing Committee.

In particular, we would like to hear from

  • State and regional networking organizations
  • Other organizations that are interested in data and/or computation
  • Minority serving institutions
  • Researchers
  • Campuses

Questions to Be Addressed

We would like to hear about strategies for engaging researchers to use computational infrastructure (e.g., XSEDE, OSG), about needs that are may not currently being met, about local models that are successful and that could be applied on a broader scale.

We would also like white papers to address a subset of the following strategic questions:

  • What is the role of regional organizations in providing broader support to computational researchers?
  • How can these organizations expand researcher engagement to under-represented communities?
  • How can these organizations sustain timely and relevant education and outreach efforts to computational researchers over the long term?
  • How can efforts across these organizations be effectively coordinated?
  • What is an effective collaboration environment and structure?
  • How can these organizations leverage sharing of resources across campus, state, and regional boundaries?

Due Date

Paper Format

Each paper should be 1.5 to 2 pages in length and single spaced. Please include the author name and affiliation. These papers will be published at the conference website.
Conference Organizing Committee

  • Stan Ahalt RENCI
  • Joni Blake GWLA
  • Jim Bottum Clemson/ACI-REF
  • Gary Crane SURA
  • Wendy Huntoon KINBER
  • Tim Lance NYSERNet
  • Jen Leasure The Quilt
  • Rick McMullen Internet2
  • Greg Monaco GPN/Kansas State University
  • Henry Neeman XSEDE Campus Champions/University of Oklahoma
  • Paul Schopis OARnet
  • David Swanson OSG/University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • John Towns XSEDE
  • Taieb Znati University of Pittsburgh