CIARA Receives $875,000 Grant from the National Science Foundation as sub-contract on $3,500,000 Award to the University of Chicago

Open Science Data Cloud (OSDC); Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)

April 15, 2011 Miami, FL. – The NSF has awarded a 5-year grant to the OCC Open Science Data Cloud project. Florida International University has been selected as a participant and will be sending students to Brazil this summer to conduct research for the OSDC-PIRE program.

The international PIRE project aims to narrow the growing gap between the capability of modern scientific instruments to produce data and the ability of researchers to manage, analyze, and share those data in a reliable and timely manner.

The emerging technology of cloud computing is a step forward from the current cyberinfrastructure. Cloud computing involves clusters ,the “clouds”, of distributed computers that provide potentially less expensive, more flexible, and more powerful on-demand resources and services over a network, usually the Internet, while providing the scale and the reliability of a data center.

Scientists at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Florida International University will collaborate with six international research groups located in Europe (Amsterdam and Edinburgh), Asia (Seoul and Beijing), and South America (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo). The team includes experts in cloud computing, high-performance networking, e-Science, education and outreach.

Renowned astronomer, Dr. Alex Szalay of Johns Hopkins University, is working with the OSDC for developing cloud computing infrastructure for managing and analyzing the Sloan Digital Sky Survey astronomical dataset. Dr. Kevin White from the University of Chicago is partnering for developing cloud computing infrastructure for analyzing biological data

This PIRE team intends to help develop a large-scale system of distributed computing capabilities – the Open Science Data Cloud (OSDC) – to provide long term persistent storage for scientific data and state-of-the-art services for integrating, analyzing, sharing and archiving scientific data.

In addition to the research dimensions of this project, OSDC-PIRE will conduct workshops in the use of the cloud cyberinfrastructure aimed at many domain scientists and their students. Graduate students and early career scientists can apply to work with our OSDC foreign partners.

“The Open Science Data Cloud will contain over 1 PB of persistent scientific data from a variety of fields. It will not only store the data but also allow scientists to compute over it,” said Dr. Robert Grossman, Chair of the Open Science Data Cloud. “This is the first time that such a large amount of scientific data has been made available to the scientific community in this way. We are expecting lots of surprises in how the OSDC will be used.”

Dr. Heidi Alvarez of FIU-CIARA, is a Co-Principal Investigator of the project.

“Our vision is to load diverse datasets that have been available but separate within the next five years,” said Dr. Alvarez. “This project will create storage systems that can withstand the test of time.”