IU gets $4.4 million from NSF for national Internet-based science tool


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will receive a $4.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to help improve TeraGrid -- a network of advanced computing, storage, visualization systems and instruments connected by high speed conduits. The grid allows scientists across the nation to share data, collaborate and accomplish difficult computing tasks.

"This award recognizes Indiana University as one of the leaders in the development of a national cyber-infrastructure for scientific research," said Michael A. McRobbie, IU vice president for research and information technology. "Participation in the TeraGrid Project is a tremendous opportunity for Indiana University to contribute to cutting edge research, particularly in life sciences and data-intensive computing, and help shape a national computing environment that will enable exciting new possibilities for investigation and collaboration."

The TeraGrid promises scientific breakthroughs that would not be possible using single supercomputing facilities, and it creates a national cyber-infrastructure that supports thousands of scientists. IU is one of nine institutions receiving grants totaling $150 million in support of the project.

Since it went into full operation in October 2004, researchers have used the TeraGrid to study genomes, brain function, the diagnosis of disease, weather forecasting and -- no small computing task -- the constitution of the entire universe. Among future projects slated for the TeraGrid, engineers will use the tool's powerful facilities to improve aircraft design. The next phase of the TeraGrid's development will make it more accessible to a wider range of scientists.

As a TeraGrid resource provider, IU will provide computing, storage and visualization facilities to the scientific community and create new software gateways that researchers across the nation will use to access the grid.

Indiana University has been involved in the TeraGrid project since 2003, when IU and Purdue University jointly received $3 million from NSF to create the Indiana-Purdue Grid, or I-P Grid. Since its completion in 2004, the I-P Grid has improved data transfer between Purdue and IU campuses and has become a key component of the TeraGrid's national network. The next phase of IU's activities will be led by Craig A. Stewart, associate vice president for research and academic computing, and University Information Technology Services TeraGrid Site Lead D. Scott McCauly.

The TeraGrid's eight resource providers are IU, Purdue University, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. NSF will provide the University of Chicago with $48 million to provide overall architecture, software integration, operations and coordination of user support. NSF will also give the University of Chicago $100 million to provide operation, management and user support of the TeraGrid.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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