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Melissa Cragin Joins SDSC’s Research Data Services Group

UIUC Alum Named Chief Strategist to Help Expand Data Service Offerings

Published April 8, 2019

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego announced today the appointment of Melissa Cragin as Chief Strategist for SDSC’s Research Data Services (RDS) group, effective immediately.

Cragin comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she was executive director of the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) since 2016. From spring 2018, she also has an appointment as affiliate assistant professor at the university’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool).

Previously, Cragin was a staff associate at the National Science Foundation (NSF), and a research assistant professor at the iSchool from 2009 until 2011, when she received a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to her Ph.D. from the iSchool, Cragin earned a MLIS from Rutgers University and M.Ed. from Rhode Island College.

“I am excited to partner with Melissa on bringing our shared vision into practice,” said Christine Kirkpatrick, SDSC’s division director of RDS as well as executive director of the National Data Service, a federation of data providers, data aggregators, community-specific federations, publishers, and cyberinfrastructure providers. “We see potential in more research data management and stewardship baked into research computing services, making it easier for researchers to make their data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) and providing closer connections to research library services, data repositories, domain platforms, and national frameworks.”

Cragin will also provide her expertise to help  refine and expand SDSC’s research data services, as well as represent SDSC nationally and internationally, noted Kirkpatrick.

“I am quite excited to join SDSC in this new capacity,” said a Cragin, who specializes in scientific and scholarly production and communication, data curation and stewardship, scientific data collections, and science policy. “There are multidimensional challenges for management, access, and use of research data across the data lifecycle, and I look forward to working with Christine and the RDS team to design resources and services, increase connectivity across the data ecosystem, and improve data access and reuse.”

Cragin will maintain a zero-percent appointment the School of Information Sciences, and with NCSA so she can continue collaborating on new projects and initiatives, including her work on the NSF-funded Open Storage Network.

About SDSC

As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is considered a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, including industry and academia. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible, integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from earth sciences and biology to astrophysics, bioinformatics, and health IT. SDSC’s petascale Comet supercomputer is a key resource within the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program.