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University of Hawaii partners on $5.3-million cyberinfrastructure award

David Lassner

UH Interim President David Lassner in UH’s new Information Technology Center where the high-performance computing cluster will be located.

The University of Hawaiʻi is one of the founding partners of a new initiative led by Clemson University to enable a national network of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators (ACI-REFs) that will broaden the research and education impacts of advanced computing resources at campuses across the country.

Advanced cyberinfrastructure refers to high-performance computing systems, massive data storage systems and visualization environments, all linked together by software and high-performance networks to enable human collaborations that improve education and research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible.

The National Science Foundation awarded the group $5.3 million over two years to broaden cyberinfrastructure education and outreach through this network. Besides Clemson and UH, the other collaborating institutions are theUniversity of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Wisconsin and Harvard University.

IT Center

The new high-performance computing cluster is the first to leverage the capabilities of the Information Technology Center at UH Manoa.

The project, called the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure—Research and Educational Facilitation: Campus-Based Computational Research Support, is a consortium that brings together education and research institutions that are committed to the vision of advancing scientific discovery by creating a national network of advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators.

The project staff will be located on the collaborating campuses. They will be fully embedded in their local technology support environments so they can both extend the reach and impact of the campus as well as make national research computing infrastructure available for local students and faculty.

Gwen Jacobs, UH director of cyberinfrastructure in Information Technology Services, will lead UH participation in the project. UH will be able to hire two advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitators for two years under the initial project grant.

UH is an international research leader in astronomy, earth, atmospheric and ocean sciences, and biomedical research – all disciplines that generate massive amounts of data,” Jacobs said.  “With access to a wealth of computational resources and professional expertise, UH researchers will be able to apply new methods in big data analytics to their research programs, speeding scientific discovery and innovation and creating new educational opportunities for UH students.”

The consortium is forging a nationwide alliance of educators to empower local campus researchers to be more effective users of advanced cyberinfrastructure. In particular, the project seeks to work with scholars and faculty members who traditionally have not benefitted from the power of high-performance computing but who recognize that their research requires access to more computational power than can be provided by their desktop machines.

“Data-intensive science and engineering is a major thrust for the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2), and the advanced cyberinfrastructure facilitator capability that will be supported is exactly what we need to help many of our gifted faculty and students take their scholarship to the next level by leveraging local and national cyberinfrastructure and collaborations,” said David Lassner, UH interim president.

Read the news release for more on the project.

Data Center

The Information Technology Center includes a hardened, 8,000-square-foot, raised-floor Data Center with state-of-the-art, energy efficient, water-cooled equipment racks, backup battery, and generator power.

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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) was established in 1907 and its campuses are all fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The UH System now comprises all public higher education in the State and provides a rich array of associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and professional degrees and certificates to about 60,000 students through seven community colleges, two baccalaureate campuses and a major research university that holds land-, space- and sea-grant designations. For more information, visit www.hawaii.edu.

ABOUT THE HAWAI‘I INNOVATION INITIATIVE  (HI2)

The University of Hawai‘i is working in partnership with the private sector and government to build a thriving $1-billion research enterprise in Hawai‘i that will develop a third major economic sector for the State, create thousands of high-quality living-wage jobs, and address the challenges and opportunities that face our communities and the world to improve our quality of life.  More information about the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative is available online at http://hawaii.edu/innovation.

Source:  University of Hawaii System

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