Press Archive

SDSC Announces Formation and Inaugural Workshop or Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly for International Collaboration

Published 03/11/2002

San Diego, CA - March 11, 2002 - The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), today announced the formation and inaugural workshop of the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA), an international initiative to establish sustained collaborations and advance the use of the computational grid among a community of investigators at the leading research institutions around the Pacific Rim.

The first PRAGMA workshop, chaired by Phil Papadopoulos, SDSC program director for Grid and Cluster Computing, is being held March 11-12, 2002, at SDSC with representatives from 10 countries and 15 institutions and international technology organizations. Peter Arzberger of UCSD, who initiated the PRAGMA effort, leads the National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that supports PRAGMA activities. Through this initiative, Pacific Rim institutions will collaborate more formally to develop grid-enabled applications and share data, computing, and other resources throughout the Pacific region.

"SDSC and the other founding PRAGMA institutions want to bring together the individuals who develop the technology with those who wish to exploit it to make the grid easier to use for collaborative and integrative science," said Fran Berman, director of SDSC and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure. "Many isolated approaches have been used to build software and other components of the grid, but it will take a global effort to make the global infrastructure usable."

PRAGMA has been formed to address the critical needs that must still be addressed to realize the full potential of the grid. First and foremost is the need to make the grid usable on a daily basis by the vast array of scientists. Current grid application efforts are limited to large consortia of researchers and institutions, and the barriers to daily grid use for single researcher and small groups of researchers are enormous.

"U.S. participation in international science and engineering collaborations, as recognized by the National Science Board, is increasingly important to keep abreast of new insights and discoveries," said William Chang, senior program manager in the National Science Foundation's Office of International Science and Engineering. "Making the grid more commonplace for a more diverse set of applications groups is essential. Just as research funding agencies have a diverse portfolio of project size, Grid-enabled resources need a similar diversity."

SDSC, in conjunction with the NSF, UCSD's Center for Research on Biological Structures, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (a joint venture of UCSD and UC Irvine), is helping launch this initiative to build strong and sustained collaborations among domain scientists and computing specialists who are building and using grid infrastructure. Based on existing collaborations, PRAGMA partners will work to diversify the number and focus of grid-enabled applications and to conduct applications and infrastructure research of common interest. PRAGMA will enhance connections among individual investigators by promoting visiting scholars' and engineers' programs, building new collaborations, formalizing resource-sharing agreements, and continuing trans-Pacific network deployment.

The following institutions and organizations have joined PRAGMA or been invited to participate in the inaugural workshop:

  • Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing and its partners, including Monash University and the University of Sydney
  • Bioinformatics Institute of Singapore
  • Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Global Scientific Information and Computing Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Grid Technology Research Center and Tsukuba Advanced Computing Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
  • Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information
  • National Center for High-Performance Computing, National Science Council
  • Research Center for Ultra-High Voltage Electron Microscopy and the Cybermedia Center, Osaka University
  • STAR TAP/StarLight initiative, supported by NSF and organized by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory
  • Thai Social/Scientific Academic and Research Network (ThaiSARN-3), National Electronics and Computer Technology Center
  • TransPAC initiative, supported by NSF at Indiana University
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • University of California San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (a joint venture of UCSD and UC Irvine), and Center for Research on Biological Structures
  • University of Hyderabad

About PRAGMA

PRAGMA is an open, international initiative to establish sustained collaborations and advance the use of the computational grid among a community of investigators at the leading research institutions around the Pacific Rim. PRAGMA is supported by the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the National Science Foundation, and participating institutions. For information on participating in PRAGMA activities, contact Phil Papadopoulos, phil@sdsc.edu, 858-822-3628, Peter Arzberger, parzberg@ucsd.edu, 858-822-1079,or visit the PRAGMA Web site at http://pragma.ucsd.edu/.

About SDSC

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is an organized research unit of UCSD and the leading-edge site of the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). SDSC's mission is to develop and use technology to advance science, and SDSC provides leadership both nationally and internationally in computing, data management, biosciences, and other areas. As a national laboratory for computational science and engineering, SDSC is funded by the National Science Foundation through NPACI and other federal agencies, the State and University of California, and private organizations. For more information, see www.sdsc.edu or contact David L. Hart, SDSC Communications, 858-534-8314, dhart@sdsc.edu.


Media Contact: David L. Hart, SDSC dhart@sdsc.edu 858-534-8314