Workshop helps graduate students tap into cyberinfrastructure

10.25.07 -

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows Program provides three years of support to give researchers a boost during the early stages of their careers. On Oct. 17, more than 120 of these young scientists learned about the cyberinfrastructure resources that they can tap into to advance their research thanks to a workshop organized by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). The workshop was held via the Access Grid, with participants joining in from 14 sites across the country.

There are more than 3,000 active NSF Graduate Research Fellows, as well as nearly 2,000 Graduate Research Fellows Honorable Mention recipients who are identified each year. These thousands of highly capable graduate students are some of country's most promising future scientists and they are well positioned to benefit from increased access to state-of-the-art research tools.

Supercomputing resources have been available to the NSF fellows for some time, but only a small number of researchers have taken advantage of this asset. The goal of the Cyberinfrastructure Resources Workshop for NSF Graduate Research Fellows was to introduce these young scientists to the array of NSF-supported cyberinfrastructure resources and the ways in which these resources can transform their research activities.

NSF Director Arden Bement delivered the workshop's keynote address, encouraging attendees to ask themselves how access to cyber-resources can advance their research. "Cyberinfrastructure is and will continue to be vital to scientific research," Bement said.

Other speakers included Bill Hahn, program director for the NSF Division of Graduate Education; Bob Wilhelmson, an atmospheric science researcher and leader of NCSA's Cyberapplications and Communities Directorate; graduate research fellows Rebecca Owston, Purdue, and Lori Burns, Yale; Gerald Labedz, Motorola Laboratories; Tony Rimovsky, NCSA; Dave Hart, San Diego Supercomputer Center; and John Towns, leader of NCSA's Persistent Infrastructure Directorate, which deploys and supports the center's range of high-performance computing, networking, and data resources.

Presentations from the workshop are archived online.

This workshop was supported by the NSF's Directorate for Education & Human Resources, Division of Graduate Education, and the Office of Cyberinfrastructure.

More information on the Graduate Research Fellows Program is available online.