Press Archive

UCHRI Launches Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Published 10/12/2005

IRVINE: The University of California Research Institute (UCHRI) today announced the launch of the HASS Grid, a major cyberinfrastructure initiative to strengthen research support for the humanities, arts and social sciences.

The HASS Grid will provide a home for digitized artifacts including 3-D, audio, video and text collections vital to research in the HASS communities. Dr. David Theo Goldberg, director of UCHRI, explains: "The HASS Grid provides a base platform for integrating the full range of multimedia cyber-tools in support of accessing and analyzing large databases across the humanities, arts and social sciences. It will prove crucial for future work in cultural representation, the understanding of material culture, their historical conditions and social implications. But it will also offer opportunities to a broader range of intellectual communities to revisit older interests such as the analysis of medieval manuscripts."

In July 2005 UCHRI began the construction and deployment of cyberbricks. These bricks or storage computers enable access to aggregated, integrated, data-storage systems. Through this system, UCHRI will provide a low-cost, scalable, long-term archive for HASS data collections. UCHRI intends to bring 25 terabytes of storage space online by January 2006.

Initially the HASS Grid will be a test-bed for HASS researchers throughout the University of California. Starting in spring 2006, the system will be released to a wider audience.

UCHRI is working with the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Berkeley and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego to create the systems for storing, accessing, analyzing, and manipulating the data collections crucial to HASS research. Together UCHRI, CITRIS and SDSC are building an interface between the CITRIS Digital Gallery Builder, a 3-D virtual world space for presenting and collaborating on digital collections, and SDSC's Storage Resource Broker, a client-server middleware designed to manage file collections in heterogeneous, distributed environments.

The term "cyberinfrastructure," coined by a National Science Foundation blue-ribbon committee, describes new research environments in which advanced computational, collaborative, data acquisition and management services are available to researchers through high-performance networks. To date, the great majority of these new integrated computing environments have been targeted at the sciences.

Grid technology is coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in multi-institutional virtual organizations. Data and computational grids consist of advanced computer technology for sharing resources more effectively. They are part of cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure development that is paving the way for the next generation of information and communications technology and management tools by combining individual desk-top computers into a seamless networks.

The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) is a multicampus research unit of the UC Office of the President. UCHRI is based on the UC Irvine campus and serves all ten campuses in the UC system. Recognized nationally and internationally, the Institute promotes collaborative work by teams of researchers representing different fields and institutions both within and beyond the University of California.

The University of California Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) was established to sponsor collaborative information technology research that will ultimately provide solutions to challenge social and commercial problems affecting the quality of life of all Californians. The set of applications includes energy efficiency, transportation, environmental monitoring, seismic safety, education, cultural research and health care.;

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is a world leader in using, innovating and providing information technology to enable innovation in science, engineering, technology development and their applications. SDSC has assumed a leadership role as a national cyberinfrastructure center, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Kevin D. Franklin, Deputy Director
UC Humanities Research Institute
(949) 824-4858