High-Performance Computing

San Diego Supercomputer Center Creates Science Gateways Community Institute

A collaborative team led by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego has received a five-year, $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI), a multi-institutional consortium that aims to increase the capabilities, number and sustainability of science gateways.

"Science gateways are user-friendly web portals that make advanced computing, data, networking and scientific instrumentation accessible and easily usable by scientists at all levels," according to the NSF award abstract. Scientists use these gateways to access research tools such as supercomputers, telescopes, sensors and more.

The goal of the Science Gateways Community Institute is "to increase the number, ease of use and effective application of gateways for the greater research and engineering community, resulting in broader gateway use and more widespread engagement in science by professionals, citizen scientists, students and more," stated a news release from UC San Diego.

The Science Gateways Community Institute will draw on the expertise of numerous partner universities, including Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; Indiana University; University of Notre Dame; Purdue University; the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas, Austin; and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The five-component design of the Science Gateways Community Institute includes:

  • An Incubator, led by Michael Zentner of Purdue University, to provide shared expertise in business and sustainability planning, cybersecurity, user interface design and software engineering practices;
  • Extended Developer Support, led by Marlon E. Pierce of Indiana University, to provide developers to support research projects;
  • The Scientific Software Collaborative, led by Maytal Dahan of TACC, to oversee a component-based, open-source, extensible framework for gateway design, integration, and services;
  • Community Engagement and Exchange, led by Katherine A. Lawrence of the University of Michigan with support from Sandra Gesing of the University of Notre Dame, to provide a forum for communication and sharing experiences among gateway developers; and
  • Workforce Development, led by Linda B. Hayden of Elizabeth City State University, to increase the pipeline of gateway developers with training programs.

The principal investigator on the project is Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, associate director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Co-principal investigators are Michael Zentner, Marlon Pierce, Katherine Lawrence and Maytal Dahan.

The development of the Science Gateways Community Institute will begin in summer 2016. Further information about the SGCI can be found on the Science Gateways site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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