Cyberinfrastructure is at the heart of modern science endeavors. This is particularly true for what’s known as the National Science Foundation Major Facilities that encompass sophisticated and unique instruments, distributed data collection infrastructures and capabilities to simulate earthquake and stand-up responses to natural disasters.
The Major Facilities (MF), also known as “Large Facilities,” span a great number of science domains including astronomy, climate research, ecology, natural hazard engineering research, ocean science, physics, and seismology as well as leadership-class computing systems.
These facilities rely on sophisticated cyberinfrastructure to transform raw data into more interoperable and integration-ready data products that can be visualized, disseminated, and transformed into insights and knowledge. The amount of data collected and disseminated by these entities is continuously growing in complexity and size, the available platforms are continuously evolving, and new software solutions are being developed at an increasing pace.
Conceptualizing, developing, deploying, and operating this cyberinfrastructure requires considerable knowledge, experience, and effort. This is where experts like USC Information Sciences Institute’s Ewa Deelman comes in.
In 2018, Ewa Deelman, Research Director at the USC Information Sciences Institute, and a group of colleagues were funded to pilot a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence with a goal of modeling and planning for a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence. The result of this three- year effort is the recently funded center CI Compass: An NSF CI Center of Excellence for Navigating the Major Facilities Data Lifecycle. The five-year, $8 million award from NSF is a collaborative effort between Deelman at USC, Anirban Mandal, Ilya Baldin and Laura Christopherson from the Renaissance Computing Institute at UNC, Angela Murillo from Indiana University, Jarek Nabrzyski, Charles Vardeman, and Mary Gohsman, from the University of Notre Dame, Valerio Pascucci and Robert Ricci from the University of Utah, and Kerk Kee from Texas Tech University. Together, these individuals have deep expertise in a number of areas including data management, data processing, visualization, identity management, systems and infrastructure that will enable the team to focus on the “Major Facilities’” data lifecycle, from data collection to processing to dissemination to the scientific and engineering community, and the public.
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