Press Archive

SDSC to Host 'Summer Institute' for Geosciences August 8-12

Event to Explore Large-Scale, Data Intensive Computing Applications

Published 06/07/2011

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, will host the 8th annual Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists (CSIG'11) on August 8-12, with the theme this year being "Big Data and Big Computing in the Geosciences."

The theme for CSG'11 underscores the need in the geosciences to effectively manage extremely large and heterogeneous data that originate from a wide variety of sources, including sensor networks and observing platforms, as well as simulation data produced by large-scale integrative models running on large computing platforms.

"The exponentially increasing amount of digital information, along with the resulting challenges of processing and analyzing all of that data, are changing the architecture of today's newest supercomputers as well as how researchers across numerous disciplines will use them to accelerate discovery," said Chaitan Baru, a distinguished scientist at SDSC and principal investigator for CSIG. "This poses very specific challenges within geosciences, which is a field that has first-hand experience with a wide variety of data types, from sensor data to analytical and simulation data."

Baru is also helping coordinate database benchmarking efforts for SDSC's Gordon supercomputer, scheduled to debut late this year as the first high-performance, data-intensive supercomputer to use large amounts of flash-based SSD (solid state drive) memory.

CSIG'11 is designed for researchers interested in the area of geoinformatics and the use of cyberinfrastructure in the geosciences. The program welcomes advanced graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and researchers. Prospective attendees are required to complete an online application form available at the CSIG'11 website. The deadline for application submission is June 24, 2011. Funding for the Institute will cover local expenses for all accepted participants. However, attendees are expected to cover their own travel to the UC San Diego campus.

CSIG'11 will include presentations from geosciences experts involved in projects that are tackling large-scale data and computing challenges including, integrative three-dimensional and four-dimensional geophysical modeling; processing and analysis of observational data from remote sensing platforms; and management and processing of streaming data from terrestrial sensors.

Additional topics to be covered in the geosciences context include end-to-end data management, visualization and analysis, distributed computing, cloud computing, and high-performance computing. CSIG'11 will also feature presentations on big data/big computing challenges from the perspective of agencies such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

This year, CSIG'11 will coincide with the "Get Ready for Gordon - Summer Institute", also to be held at SDSC during the second week of August. The program schedules for both institutes have been designed to promote interaction between participants of both events, and will include a common introductory session on the first day that will provide an overview on SDSC's Gordon, which is the result of a five-year, $20 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). More information on the Gordon Summer Institute event can be found online.

Since 2004, the CSIG has been funded each year by a grant from the Earth Science Division (EAR) of the NSF. This year, CSIG is once again funded by EAR/NSF, as well as by the NSF Geosciences Program for Education and Diversity.

About SDSC
As an organized research unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is a national leader in creating and providing cyberinfrastructure for data-intensive research, and celebrated its 25th anniversary in late 2010 as one of the National Science Foundation's first supercomputer centers. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible and integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC is a founding member of TeraGrid, the nation's largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.

Media Contacts:
Jan Zverina, SDSC Communications
858 534-5111 or

Warren R. Froelich, SDSC Communications
858 822-3622 or

Related Links

San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC):
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National Science Foundation: