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I2-NEWS: National Science Foundation Releases New Report from Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
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  • Subject: I2-NEWS: National Science Foundation Releases New Report from Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure
  • Date: Tue, 04 Feb 2003 12:27:47 -0500

NSF PR 03-18 - February 3, 2003

Media contact:
David Hart
(703) 292-8070

Program contact:
Peter Freeman
(703) 292-8900


Report envisions a future cyberinfrastructure that will "radically empower" the science and engineering community

ARLINGTON, Va. - The critical needs of science and rapid progress in information technology are converging to provide a unique opportunity to create and apply a sustained cyberinfrastructure that will "radically empower" scientific and engineering research and allied education, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. The committee details its recommendations in a report, released today, entitled Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure.

Like the physical infrastructure of roads, bridges, power grids, telephone lines, and water systems that support modern society, "cyberinfrastructure" refers to the distributed computer, information and communication technologies combined with the personnel and integrating components that provide a long-term platform to empower the modern scientific research endeavor.

Cyberinfrastructure is "essential, not optional, to the aspirations of research communities." For scientists and engineers, the report states, cyberinfrastructure has the potential to "revolutionize what they can do, how they do it, and who participates." The seeds of this revolution are seen in community-driven efforts, supported by NSF and other agencies, such as the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulations (NEES), the Grid Physics Network (GriPhyN) and the National Virtual Observatory (NVO).

"We've clearly documented extensive grass-roots activity in the scientific and engineering research community to create and use cyberinfrastructure to empower the next wave of discovery," said Dan Atkins, chair of the advisory committee and professor in the University of Michigan School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "NSF has been a catalyst for creating the conditions for a nascent cyberinfrastructure-based revolution. We're at a new threshold where technology allows people, information, computational tools, and research instruments to be connected on a global scale."

While identifying the opportunities, the committee warned that the cyberinfrastructure that is needed cannot be created today with off-the-shelf technology. As a result, they called for increased fundamental research in computer science and engineering.

In addition to NSF's support for projects such as NEES, GriPhyN and NVO, the report calls out NSF's leadership in the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program, the TeraGrid effort, the NSF Middleware Initiative (NMI), the Digital Libraries Initiative and the Information Technology Research program as providing a solid foundation for the future cyberinfrastructure.

Its unique breadth of scientific scope and prior investments position NSF to lead an interagency program to develop an advanced cyberinfrastructure for the nation, according to the report. To reach critical mass, an advanced cyberinfrastructure activity would require interagency partnerships as well as collaboration between the physical and life sciences, computer science, and the social sciences.

"On behalf of NSF, I want to extend a strong thanks to the Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure for the excellent job they have done in highlighting the importance of cyberinfrastructure to all of science and engineering research and education," said Peter Freeman, NSF Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering and NSF's coordinator for cyberinfrastructure. "The extensive efforts they have made in bringing together in one place the ideas and visions of all segments of the science and engineering community will be extremely useful to NSF as we move forward to exploit the opportunities they have identified."

The report recommends that a cyberinfrastructure program encompass fundamental cyberinfrastructure research, research on science and engineering applications of the cyberinfrastructure, development of production-quality software, and equipment and operations.

The report emphasizes the importance of acting quickly and the risks of failing to do so. The risks include lack of coordination, which could leave key data in irreconcilable formats; long-term failures to archive and curate data collected at great expense; and artificial barriers between disciplines built from incompatible tools and structures.

The opportunity is evidenced by both progress from developments in information technology and the mushrooming of cyberinfrastructure projects for specific fields, initiated by scientists in those fields. The NSF has a "once-in-a-generation opportunity," according to the committee, to lead the scientific and engineering community in the coordinated development and expansive use of cyberinfrastructure.


Cyberinfrastructure report is available from:

For more on the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure:

NSF is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Receive official NSF news electronically through the e-mail delivery system, NSFnews. To subscribe, send an e-mail message to . In the body of the message, type "subscribe nsfnews" and then type your name. (Ex.: "subscribe nsfnews John Smith")

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Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2003 13:35:50 -0500

From: Mary Fran Yafchak
Subject: Registration open for SURA/ViDe Digital Video Workshop
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Online registration is now available for the 5th annual SURA/ViDe workshop:

The workshop will be held March 24 - 26 at the Georgia Centers for Advanced Telecommunications Technology (GCATT) in Atlanta, GA.

Registration *prior to March 3* is $150; registration after that date is $175. Registration includes continental breakfast, breaks, and lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday, and receptions on Monday and Tuesday nights.

** Keynote address by Gordon Castle of CNN kicks off great content! **

Gordon Castle, CNN Senior Vice President of CNN Technology will give the keynote address: "Building an Integrated Production Environment". Mr. Castle is responsible for the analysis, acquisition and implementation of the technology that CNN employs for the gathering, production and distribution of news and is a leading executive behind the creation of an all-digital production environment at CNN. This multi-year, multi-million-dollar digital project is a cornerstone of CNN's technology plan.

Presentations on digital video "Applications and Adventures" and "Enabling Technologies and Emerging Visions" will provide participants with an opportunity to hear about the latest developments and deployments while breakout sessions such as H.323 Operations and Streaming Media/Video-on-Demand will offer more in-depth coverage of key implementation areas.

** Pre and Post-conference workshops **

In addition to the main workshop this year, the following pre and post-conference workshops are being offered:

- "Using Dublin Core and MPEG-7 to Describe Digital Video", Monday, March 24

- Internet 2 Commons Site Coordinator Training, Thursday, March 27

These workshops require separate registration fees but will take advantage of the main workshop hotel rate and conference facility. See the conference website for additional detail on these events.

** Important note on hotel accommodations **

Due to other events that are taking place in Atlanta at the same time as the workshop, hotel availability is very limited. A special conference rate has been arranged at the Four Seasons Hotel and we strongly encourage attendees to make their hotel reservations as soon as possible.

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From: "Lucy E. Lynch"





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The Phoenix AZ meeting of the North American Network Operators Group will
be source live via multicast February 10-11 in three formats H.261
(384Kb/s), MPEG-1(1Mb/s), and MPEG-4 (1Mb/s). You can look for the NANOG27
session announcements in SDR or join using an SDP-supporting client (IPTV,
RealOne player, Quicktime, MIM) from here:
SSM multicast sources are also available.

The agenda for this meeting can be found here:

Topics include:
- The Spread of the Sapphire/Slammer Worm
- Experiences with Large-scale Network Consolidation
- Impact of BGP Dynamics on Intra-Domain Traffic Patterns
in the Sprint IP Backbone
- BST - BGP Scalable Transport
and more...

Lucy E. Lynch Academic User Services
Computing Center University of Oregon

(541) 346-1774/Cell: 912-7998

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Subject: SDSC Selected as a National Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center
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February 12, 2003

Media contacts
San Diego Supercomputer Center: Rex Graham,
Internet2: Greg Wood,


The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UCSD has been selected by
Internet2 as a national Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC).
The mission of the center will be to test and evaluate leading-edge
technologies for high-performance Internet2 networks¬óworking with
developers to test and refine network hardware and software for optimal
end-to-end network performance up to 10 gigabits per second. Internet2
is a consortium led by more than 200 U.S. universities, working with
industry and government to develop and deploy advanced Internet
applications and technologies.

The ITEC program was created by the University Corporation for Advanced
Internet Development (UCAID), the coordinator of the Internet2 program,
to establish national network-testing laboratories for users of the
nationwide high-performance Internet2 network infrastructure. The three
ITEC sites are located at SDSC, ITEC-Ohio at The Ohio State University,
and NC-ITEC at North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus.

The point of coordination for the California ITEC will be SDSC's Network
Performance Reference Lab (NPRL), which evaluates networking technology,
including 10-gigabit Ethernet, QoS (quality of service), and RMON
(remote monitoring). The NPRL also studies application performance
profiling technologies. Internet2 members deploy advanced applications
in these and other areas on a regular basis. As a result of industry
partnerships and support from such companies as Spirent Communications,
Cisco Systems, Force10 Networks, Foundry Networks, Hewlett-Packard,
NetIQ, NetOptics, NetScout Systems, and others, the NPRL is capable of
testing network technologies at data rates ranging from 10 megabits per
second to 10 gigabits per second.

One area for investigation by the California ITEC will be the end-to-end
network performance between computers using Abilene and other
high-performance networks, which serve academic, government, and diverse
research institutions across the United States. The ITEC will work to
eliminate network problems, software conflicts, and interrupted or
degraded service. The center will address those difficulties by testing
new network hardware, network components, and new software packages and
updates before they are deployed.

"The California ITEC is especially interested in contributing to the
Internet2 End-to-End Initiative," said Kevin Walsh, director of the
California ITEC and the NPRL. Walsh is a network engineer at SDSC, the
lead site of the National Partnership for Advanced Computational
Infrastructure (NPACI), a nationwide consortium of 41 research
institutions that provide open computational resources for scientific
discoveries. "The capabilities we have developed within the NPRL can be
leveraged to support the initiative, which in turn benefits our NPACI
partners. All of the NPACI university partners use the Abilene network
to access SDSC and other NPACI partner sites," said Walsh.

Although advanced networks such as Abilene provide raw bandwidth several
orders of magnitude beyond today's commercial Internet, users still
experience problems with the overall transfer of information from point
to point. The Internet2 End-to-End Performance Initiative was created to
help solve the "Wizard Gap," which refers to the difference in
experiences between people with specialized technical know-how, who can
use a system to its full potential, versus average users who often
endure unreliable service, unnecessarily slow data transfers, and other
problems because they don't how to "tune" the system optimally. The goal
of the initiative is to create a well supported environment in which
Internet2 campus network users can routinely expect successful
experiences in their development and use of an advanced Internet by
focusing resources and efforts on improving performance-problem
detection and resolution throughout campus, regional, and national
networking infrastructures.

"The new Internet2 Test and Evaluation Center at SDSC establishes for
the Internet2 community an important focal point for pushing the
envelope of high-performance, end-to-end networking," said Cheryl
Munn-Fremon, director of the Internet2 End-To-End Performance
Initiative. "The efforts of the ITEC at SDSC will help us understand how
to provide advanced applications with the reliable high-performance
networking they require, but don't always get today."

About Internet2

Internet2 is a collaborative effort by more than 200 U.S. research
universities, in partnership with industry leaders and federal agencies,
to develop a new family of advanced networking applications to meet new
academic requirements in research, teaching, and learning. A project of
the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID),
Internet2 provides leadership and direction for advanced networking
development within the U.S. university community. Its programs are
devoted to network research, technology transfer, and collaborative
activities in related fields such as distance learning and educational
technology. For more information, see

About the San Diego Supercomputer Center

SDSC is a national laboratory whose mission is to develop and apply
high-performance information technologies for science and society. A
research unit of the University of California, San Diego, SDSC provides
leadership both nationally and internationally in high-performance
computing, networking, data management, and numerous scientific fields
that depend on advanced simulations and data analyses. SDSC is one of
the original nodes of the National Science Foundation's new TeraGrid,
the world's largest, fastest, distributed infrastructure for open
scientific research, which will be distributed at five sites across the
United States and linked by ultra-high-speed networks to function as a
unified system. SDSC also is home to several other nationally known
networking research groups, including the Cooperative Association for
Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the National Laboratory for Applied
Network research (NLANR), and the Pacific Institute for Computer
Security. UCSD is home to the California Institute for
Telecommunications and Information Technology [Cal-(IT)2], and the
Center for Wireless Communications. SDSC is funded by the National
Science Foundation, other government agencies, the state of California,
the University of California, and private organizations. For more
information, see

# # #

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  • I2-NEWS: National Science Foundation Releases New Report from Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure, Greg Wood, 02/04/2003

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