Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence
2020 Cyberinfrastructure/Cybersecurity Workshop
August 18 and August 20, 2020
CI CoE pilot provides leadership, expertise, and active support to cyberinfrastructure practitioners at NSF Major Facilities and throughout the research ecosystem in order to enable ongoing evolution of our technologies, our practices, and our field, ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of the cyberinfrastructure upon which research and discovery depend.
Platform for knowledge sharing and community building
Key partner for the establishment and improvement of Major 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
Overall, the CI CoE was very proactive in enabling and advancing constructive conversations during the development of the NCAR-NEON cyberinfrastructure technical plan and in providing feedback that improved the quality of the plan. The CI CoE facilitated weekly telecons among NCAR, NEON, and the CI CoE to discuss the proposed project and to provide guidance. Discussions during the telecom were mostly high level, helping to identify needs and priorities for the cyberinfrastructure collaborations, but also identifying gaps in the technical plan as well as providing overviews of various alternative implementation strategies. The discussions were always constructive, collaborative, and respectful of all participants. The CI CoE also undertook written feedback on the technical plan at several stages of development. Again, the comments were constructive and improved the quality of the final document. The CI CoE’s engagement was critical to preparing the final technical plan, in part because of the CI CoE’s familiarity with NEON’s data cyberinfrastructure, but also as external computer science experts familiar with the computational needs of the modeling (NCAR) and the data (NEON) and serving to bridge the two different areas of expertise.– Gordon Bonan, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
The CI CoE had four types of profound influence on NEON developers. First, as we transitioned from construction to operations, our developers benefited from greater awareness of the wider NSF CI community practices. Second, deep engagement with CI CoE experts produced three major technologies insertions into NEON CI, remarkably within 6 months. Third, open dialog and prototyping with CI CoE experts affirmed our workflow-based sensor message handling strategy and built our confidence to invest in this novel method. NEON's CI and Data Sciences team mission includes advancing methods and ecological science; interaction with CI CoE nudged our efforts ahead significantly through community workgroup involvement, presentations and publications.– Tom Gulbransen, NEON
NSF's major multi-user research facilities (major 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. Major 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 major 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.