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Educating Cyberinfrastructure-Savvy Researchers

NSF Announces Cyberinfrastructure Experience for Graduate Students at SDSC

Published 10/11/2006

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world the ability to make real-time decisions in a global manufacturing and service enterprise requires integrating vast amounts of data and computation through the use of cyberinfrastructure. The computational and data demands grow even larger when researchers incorporate risk and uncertainty into their decision models.

As engineering graduate students carry out thesis research to address these challenges, they can benefit from cyberinfrastructure tools, which integrate high performance grid computing and applications, networking, data storage and management, visualization, and other tools and services into user-friendly resources.

To build these critical skills for 21st century engineering and expand the community of researchers who can conduct sophisticated research using cyberinfrastructure, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a new initiative, Cyberinfrastructure Experiences for Graduate Students (CIEG). Organized by the Division of Design and Manufacturing Innovation in the NSF Directorate for Engineering, CIEG will support 10-week summer visits by graduate students to the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego. Prior to the summer program, students will make a preliminary week-long training visit to SDSC in the spring.

The summer training at SDSC will be related to the research objectives of the students, and promote the ongoing use of cyber tools in students' current Ph.D. research and later careers. Students will learn how to use SDSC's cyberinfrastructure facilities with supervision by a mentor who provides guidance in each student's particular research questions. In addition to helping the students, the visits will also help SDSC by giving staff greater insight into the types of computational problems that arise in design and manufacturing research.

The pilot program is designed for graduate students in the design and manufacturing field of engineering, and similar programs are expected in the future for additional science and engineering disciplines, which will benefit from greater understanding and use of cyberinfrastructure tools.

Proposals for the summer of 2007 are due by December 1, 2006. For more information see the NSF website.

Additional information about the importance of cyberinfrastructure in science and engineering can be found at and . -Paul Tooby.