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IU researchers awarded $2.1M to streamline computing research environments

National Science Foundation’s Cybershuttle project to create seamless system to share data, tools with collaborators, national resources

Research and discovery Nov 8, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University will contribute to the study of how spike proteins in viruses work, how the brain functions during sleep, how artificial intelligence techniques can be applied to modeling engineering materials, and more thanks to a new award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The five-year, $5 million grant from the NSF to the Pervasive Technology Institute will provide $2.1 million to IU, along with awards to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of California San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the Allen Institute, to aid in the continued development and research of the Cybershuttle project.

Cybershuttle is an innovative take on the popular notion of science gateways.

Beth Plale

Comprised of biophysicists, neuroscientists, engineers, and computer scientists, the open-source project aims to create a secure and highly usable scientific research environment that integrates a scientist’s research tools and data while enabling the seamless use of diverse computational cyberinfrastructure resources across contributors and devices.

“Science is an ever-shifting landscape,” said Suresh Marru, deputy director of IU’s Cyberinfrastructure Integration Research Center (CIRC) and the principal investigator. “It depends on accessing scientific and engineering software, data repositories, storage resources and more, all of which must be integrated into a cohesive scientific research environment. And that’s exactly what the Cybershuttle does.”

Additionally, the system can be used as a training ground to educate students in concepts of open-source software development and applied distributed systems and will foster a globally competitive workforce who can move easily between academic and nonacademic careers.

“Cybershuttle is an innovative take on the popular notion of science gateways,” Beth Plale, executive director of the Pervasive Technology Institute at IU and a co-principal investigator on the award, said. “It extends the gateway with new tools for the researcher and educator to seamlessly move from desktop to the cloud and HPC center.”

CIRC has also recently received almost a million dollars from three subawards in the NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure for Sustained Scientific Innovation program. These awards will support the advancement of scientific research and collaboration.

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About the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University

The Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) is both engine and hub for use-inspired basic research and education in compute- and data-driven challenge areas. Drawing together teams of academic researchers, educators, and technical professionals, the projects shaped within its centers and labs go on to find immediate utility in science and engineering research and education in the state of Indiana and the nation. PTI was established in 1999 by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment. PTI is part of the Office of the Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer for Indiana University.

About the Cyberinfrastructure Integration Research Center

The core mission of the Cyberinfrastructure Integration Research Center (CIRC) is to accelerate research, discovery and collaboration through the creation, integration and operation of user-centric cyberinfrastructure that benefits scientific communities. This includes science gateways, which are designed to help entire communities of researchers use high-performance computing resources and advanced cyberinfrastructures to pursue common scientific goals. CIRC is part of the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University.

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