Pilot Study for a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence
Goal: Develop a model and a plan for a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence
Platform for knowledge sharing and community building
Key partner for the establishment and improvement of Large Facilities with advanced CI architecture designs
Grounded in re-use of dependable CI tools and solutions
Forum for discussions about CI sustainability and workforce development and training
NSF's major multi-user research facilities (large facilities) are sophisticated research instruments and platforms - such as large telescopes, interferometers and distributed sensor arrays - that serve diverse scientific disciplines from astronomy and physics to geoscience and biological science. Large facilities are increasingly dependent on advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) - computing, data and software systems, networking, and associated human capital - to enable broad delivery and analysis of facility-generated data. As a result of these cyber infrastructure tools, scientists and the public gain new insights into fundamental questions about the structure and history of the universe, the world we live in today, and how our plants and animals may change in the coming decades. The goal of this pilot project is to develop a model for a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence (CI CoE) that facilitates community building and sharing and applies knowledge of best practices and innovative solutions for facility CI.
The pilot project will explore how such a center would facilitate CI improvements for existing facilities and for the design of new facilities that exploit advanced CI architecture designs and leverage establish tools and solutions. The pilot project will also catalyze a key function of an eventual CI CoE - to provide a forum for exchange of experience and knowledge among CI experts. The project will also gather best practices for large facilities, with the aim of enhancing individual facility CI efforts in the broader CI context. The discussion forum and planning effort for a future CI CoE will also address training and workforce development by expanding the pool of skilled facility CI experts and forging career paths for CI professionals. The result of this work will be a strategic plan for a CI CoE that will be evaluated and refined through community interactions: workshops and direct engagement with the facilities and the broader CI community.