Published August 2022

Dear SDSC Staff, Collaborators, Partners, and All Friends:

A new academic year means new students to teach and mentor, new faculty and university researchers to welcome, and lots of new opportunities for our SDSC community to translate innovation into practice.

Among the activities I personally look forward to most in the coming year are launching the National Research Platform, seeing the first science results to come out of Voyager, starting projects with the first industry collaborators of the Advanced Technology Lab, successfully transitioning the Research & Education Community from the outgoing NSF project XSEDE to the newly NSF funded ACCESS projects, and our continued engagement through the NSF Convergence Accelerator initiatives.

The year ahead will no doubt bring some surprises, but we are anticipating new opportunities with industry partners, the proposed School of Computing, Information and Data Sciences (SCIDS), the growth of our Data Center—as well as our programs and events capacities—and the many academic, training, and conference activities in which we regularly participate. All this activity folds into our commitment to support diversity across ethnic, gender, and geographic boundaries, particularly through our leadership in democratizing access to cyberinfrastructure.

In this issue of Innovators, we feature another division in our SDSC feature series—you’ll meet the Business Services Division, the administrative and financial hub of our center, led by Fritz Leader. You will also see some of our news highlights, including a story about a call from a group of national and international researchers for a national policy in support of an integrated and accessible organized research commons. There is also a highlight about an article by SDSC-research affiliate Tim Mackey published in the journal Cell about using blockchain to help protect Indigenous data sovereignty.

This issue also features several SDSC researchers who have earned awards or appointments: Chaitan Baru, Amit Majumdar, Peter Rose, and Bob Sinkovits. There is also recognition of a Hubzero® milestone.

A big thank you to the many SDSC researchers and staff members who mentored 383 students this summer and throughout the academic year through our Education, Outreach and Training programs. Bob Sinkovits, Mary Thomas, Ange Mason, Kim Bruch, Susan Rathbun and Cindy Wong are at the heart of many of these programs, helping to boost the next generation of computer and data scientists. Interns from the Research Experience for High School Students (REHS) program gave final presentations earlier this month, and you can read a couple of research news stories written by students and edited by our External Relations science writers in the News Highlights section. It is no small undertaking to translate scientific research into digestible public content, so kudos to the students on their new bylines. 

Additionally, our Research Data Services (RDS) Division operates a dynamic internship program, under the leadership of Christine Kirkpatrick and Ryan Nakashima, aimed at mentoring and training students for professional careers at places such as SDSC. Our Cyberinfrastructure and Convergence Research and Education(CICORE) Division, under the leadership of Ilkay Altintas and Melissa Floca, also proactively engaged with students through a collaboration with the Design Lab on campus and programs such as the Design-a-Thon, a pitch-style challenge for participating students. Multiple researchers across SDSC participated as mentors in ENLACE, a summer research program for high school students, university students and researchers/teachers in science research and engineering that promotes cross-border friendships between Mexico and the U.S.

As we ride out the remainder of summer and the ever-shifting currents of the pandemic (which reminds me—one of the students’ stories is about the study of ocean currents and fish), I encourage you to stay safe, enjoy the warmth and sunshine of southern California and/or other locations where you might be, and look forward, as I do, to the possibilities of the coming year at SDSC.

Thank you all for your part in making SDSC the special place that it is.

Best wishes,  
Frank Würthwein
SDSC Director