CI Compass researchers help lead the national cyberinfrastructure conversation at a number of high profile conferences

Author: Christina Clark

Grouppic 2

Over the last few months, CI Compass center leadership traveled across the United States to share their research and lead conversations on research and cyberinfrastructure.

The leaders engaged in multiple cyberinfrastructure (CI) and research events that continued to shape discussions around knowledge and practices on significant areas of work like artificial intelligence (AI), data governance, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interperable, Reusable) data, and bringing more students into the CI community.

Washington D.C.: Cyberinfrastructure Workshop - NSF 2023 Research Infrastructure Workshop

CI Compass researchers traveled from Texas Tech University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Southern California to lead the Cyberinfrastructure Workshop at the NSF Research Infrastructure Workshop on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 and participate in the Cybersecurity Workshop and poster session on Wednesday, June 28.

Ewariw2023 1
Ewa Deelman, Director of Ci Compass and Research Director, Science Automation Technologies Division at USC Information Sciences Institute, leads a plenary at the 2023 NSF Research Infrastructure Workshop.

During the workshop, Ewa Deelman, director of CI Compass and professor at the University of Southern California, led a plenary session titled “CI Compass: Engaging with NSF Research Infrastructures and the Cyberinfrastructure Community.” Deelman described CI Compass, its mission to provide expertise and active support to CI practitioners at NSF Major Facilities in order to accelerate the data lifecycle (DLC), and to continually support and improve the CI that scientific research and discovery depend on.

“Throughout the data lifecycle, there are also cross-cutting issues that we address, in particular FAIR data and data movement and identity management,” Deelman said. “In terms of things we can do with the data lifecycle, we can evaluate CI plans, help architect new solutions and identify the technologies that are appropriate for a particular stage. We also help figure out which technologies would work best in a particular environment.”

Of particular focus during Deelman’s talk were a CI and network plan review for a Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV), the center’s efforts to bring FAIR data practices to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) and other NSF Major Facilities.

Jarekriw2023 1
Jarek Nabrzyski, CI Compass Co-PI and Director of the Notre Dame Center for Research Computing, moderates a panel discussion at the 2023 NSF Research Infrastructure Workshop.

The moderated discussions included “A Discussion on Different Models of Data Governance,” moderated by Jarek Nabrzyski, CI Compass co-principal investigator (PI) and professor and director of the Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame. Nabrzyski defined research data governance as all of the policies, practices, and processes that guide the management, care, and use of research data throughout its lifecycle.

“It’s been over 10 years since NSF set research data governance requirements, and many research and CI practitioners still struggle with it,” Nabrzyski said. “We need effective data governance strategies because it fosters data-driven research collaboration and helps move research forward.”

On Nabrzyski’s panel were Chad Trabant, of EarthScope (formally SAGE/GAGE facilities); Jim Wilgenbusch, of the Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Minnesota; Christopher Bontempi, of the Network for Advanced NMR (NAN); Amy Pienta, of Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research and the National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program.

Charles Vardeman, CI Compass knowledge engineering and AI expert, and research

Charlesriw2023 1
Charles Vardeman, CI Compass Knowledge Engineering and AI Expert and Research Assistant Professor at the Notre Dame Center For Research Computing, moderates a panel at the 2023 NSF Research Infrastructure Workshop.

 assistant professor and computational scientist at the University of Notre Dame, moderated a separate panel titled “The Expanding Use of AI in Research Infrastructure Applications.” Vardeman introduced “AI as co-pilots.” He presented examples, such as researchers who can use AI co-pilots as computer programmers, and AI co-pilots that can help assist in making data more secure by automating the process.

“We are already seeing examples of AI as co-pilots in Windows 11. We are seeing it in terms of research infrastructure that the AI co-pilots are being used as programmers. It’s being used in terms of security, and the co-pilots can help make your data more secure,” Vardeman said.

On Vardeman’s panel were Pete Beckman of the Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory; Kate Dagon of the National Center for Atmospheric Research; Philip Harris,of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Dan Stanzione, of the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: ACM/IEEE JCDL 2023

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)/Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) was hosted on June 26-30, 2023, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. With the conference’s 2023 theme “Rethinking Digital Records,” two members of CI Compass’ FAIR Data Working Group led a workshop “FAIR Data for Large Research Facilities.” Don Brower, CI Compass FAIR data expert and research assistant professor and computational scientist at the University of Notre Dame, and David Butcher, research faculty at MagLab, facilitated the half-day workshop.

Dondavidjcdl2023 1
Don Brower, CI Compass FAIR data expert and research assistant professor and computational scientist at the University of Notre Dame, stands with David Butcher, research faculty at MagLab, during ACM/IEEE JCDL 2023.

Brower and Butcher brought together their years of experience and forward-thinking research to discuss challenges research facilities are facing with research data and discussed approaches to dealing with them through tools and policy.

“There are increasing calls for data openness and sharing, such as with the (NSF) Nelson memo from last fall, and this is balanced by the complexity to store and manage this amount of research data,” Brower said. “The discussions touched on many topics relevant to data management in large facilities, including strategies for federal open data mandates; data security; and the feasibility of unifying common infrastructure between facilities.”

Joining Brower and Butcher for the workshop were Biran Minihan, engagement lead, global consortia at ORCID, who presented “FAIR Data for large research facilities: Public Access Memo and ORCID;” Christine Laney, data scientist III, at the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), presented “Providing FAIR data from a long-term NSF facility;” and Laurel E. Winter, deputy director, user program director, pulsed field facility at MagLab, presented “Data Management Efforts at the MagLab Pulsed Field Facility.” Butcher presented “Cybersecurity and FAIR Data.”

Portland, Oregon: PEARC 2023

Anirbankerkpearc23 1
CI Compass Associate Director and Assistant Director of RENCI Anirban Mandal (center) and CI Compass Senior Personnel and Virginia and Choc Hutcheson Endowed Professor at the College of Media and Communication at TTU, speak to an attendee at PEARC 2023 about the poster published at the conference.

PEARC 2023, or Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing, was hosted on July 23-27, 2023, in Portland, Oregon. The 2023 conference was themed “Computing for the Common Good,” and was a launching space for researchers’ work in the CI arena.

Several CI Compass leadership and researchers authored “Broadening Student Engagement to Build the Next Generation of Cyberinfrastructure Professionals,” which was accepted and published in the ACM Digital Library after being accepted by PEARC 2023. Angela Murillo, Brower, Sarowar Hossain, Kerk Kee, Anirban Mandal, Nabrzyski, Erik Scott, Nicole Virdone, Rodney Ewing, and Deelman share the authorship of the paper that outlines the CI Compass Fellowship Program (CICF)’s development to broaden undergraduate student participation in CI research, development, and operations. The paper, published after the second CICF cohort completed the Spring program, speaks of the program’s quick growth and strategy of engaging students with NSF MF CI practitioners.

At PEARC 2023, the authors published an accompanying poster to discuss CICF and CI Compass’ work to broaden participation in the CI field with attendees.

Fall Center Research

As CI Compass faculty, researchers, and students returned from the busy summer, the center finalized its Year Three planning with the NSF. Connect for news on engagements with NSF MFs, updates for the CI Compass Fellowship program, and more at

About CI Compass

CI Compass is funded by the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering under grant number 2127548. Its participating research institutions include the University of Southern California, Indiana University, Texas Tech University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Utah.

To learn more about CI Compass, please visit

Contact: Christina Clark, Research Communications Specialist
CI Compass / Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame / 574.631.2665 / @cicompass