LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2022) — The University of Kentucky will collaborate on a five-year, $10 million National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative led by the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) to transform cyber infrastructure user support services and delivery to Academic scientific researchers keep up with the evolving demands.
The initiative – Multi-Tier Assistance, Training and Computational Help (MATCH) – is part of a larger program called Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services and Support (ACCESS). ACCESS replaces the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which has been the premier NSF-funded US cyber infrastructure program for the past 11 years.
According to NSF, ACCESS will establish a set of cyber infrastructure services “to support a broad and diverse range of needs, researchers and modes across all fields of scientific and engineering research and education – established as five independently managed but closely collaborative service tracks that be supported by a coordination office.”
MATCH – one of the five ACCESS tracks – is led by CU Boulder’s Research Computing group. MATCH proposes a new model for cyber infrastructure support services that reflects significant changes in the size and composition of the user group community.
“CU Boulder and our MATCH staff will lead this groundbreaking effort nationally, leveraging existing tools, interfaces and community experts to help researchers using the NSF-funded cyber infrastructure to conduct their research as effectively as possible.” said Shelley Knuth, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Computing at CU Boulder and MATCH Principal Investigator.
MATCH participants include CU Bolder, the University of Kentucky, the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute.
The MATCH project includes the design and development of the Pegasus workflow management system, the advancement of the Connect.CI portal currently led by Northeast Cyberteam, and the design and development of OSC’s Open OnDemand. MATCH will also develop new documentation and training materials, leveraging the expertise of the UK’s Center for Computational Sciences to support ACCESS users with the attribution process, help with the transfer of big data and build on recent advances in natural language processing to interactive interfaces to help guide users to solutions quickly.
“The explosive growth and availability of big data combined with powerful data analysis techniques such as AI and machine learning are transforming all areas of research,” said Jim Griffioen, Ph.D., professor of computer science who leads the UK Center for Computational Sciences and is a co-investigator at MATCH. “The scale and complexity of today’s national research cyber infrastructure ecosystems requires that we rethink and redesign the way we support and assist users to help them use these systems effectively and the time to to shorten discovery.”
The MATCH project has three goals:
- Leverage modern information delivery systems and simplify user interfaces to provide cost-effective, scaled support to a broader community.
- Leverage community experts to develop training materials and instructions that can shorten the user learning curve for a growing range of systems, applications, and computing techniques.
- Employ a matchmaking service that maintains a database of specialized mentors and student mentees who can be matched with projects that provide the domain-specific expertise needed to leverage ACCESS resources.
The effort will be discussed at the 2022 Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC) conference July 10-14 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 2138286. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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