Modern cyberinfrastructure holds unlimited potential in research, discovery and industry—from unlocking the deeper secrets of the human genome to designing more effective medicines and more efficient aircraft. Despite the significant benefits offered by advanced cyberinfrastructure, many researchers and scientists still do not make use of these powerful resources, as the technology can be difficult and time-consuming to learn. Making supercomputing—and all advanced cyberinfrastructure tools—more effective for public- and private-sector researchers is a key activity of the Digital Science Center (DSC). The DSC explores new applications related to the most cutting-edge grid and cloud technologies and is working to define some of the most powerful new computational techniques available.
These techniques will drive the future of U.S. industry and scientific research.
The Digital Science Center:
• Leads the effort to define the next generation of national cyberinfrastructure. The DSC’s Geoffrey Fox serves as project director for FutureGrid, a $15 million collaborative project funded in part by the National Science Foundation. FutureGrid is a national grid and cloud computing test bed that will allow numerous scientists to work together at the leading edge of new cloud and grid technologies. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize how business is conducted and how scientific research is achieved, and this research work will be used by the United States government to create a national next-generation supercomputing network.
• Investigates new programming models for parallel multicore and grid/cloud computing. These technologies improve the ability of supercomputers to support scientific research. Efforts such as the DSC’s Service Aggregated Linked Sequential Activities (SALSA) project are creating scalable, parallel algorithms and applications that facilitate
the type of large-scale data analysis that has become essential to modern scientific research and discovery.
• Develops Web services, portal, and gateway technology used to facilitate scientific computing and collaboration. Portals and gateways are online tools that help scientists gain easier access to valuable data and advanced computational resources while participating in a specialized online community dedicated to their area of research. The DSC Community Grids Lab is a leader in the development of open-source technology that enables scientists to create their own portals and gateways through projects such as Open Grid Computing Environments (OGCE). DSC researchers also create specialized Web services and portals to support scientific research in areas such as polar and earthquake science.
• Creates new methods for studying, modeling, and simulating complex networks and systems in nature, technology, and society. The DSC Center Complex Networks and Systems (CNetS) leads projects that find new
ways to spot patterns in complex data sets. These methods are used in a wide range of research areas, including brain science, linguistics, and the modeling of epidemics and pandemics.
• Creates open-source software and tools that optimize the performance of supercomputers. The DSC’s Open Systems Lab is a national leader and participant in the development of open-source software tools and standards, such as Open MPI, that help to supercharge modern supercomputers.