Cooperation with the University of Kentucky


image: 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 keep up with the developing needs of academic scientific researchers.
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Photo credit: Adobe Stock | Vin fan

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.

Increasingly, the University of Kentucky is the premier choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and professional goals. For the last two years, Forbes has named the UK one of the best places to work for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity has named us Diversity Champion four years running. The UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the country for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The UK has been rated a Great College to Work for for three consecutive years, and the UK is one of only 22 universities in the country on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers. We’re among the top 10 per cent of public institutions for research spending – a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discoveries that transform lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare is five years in Consequence was named the best hospital in the state.Awards and Honors But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is our mission, not just the University of Kentucky, but to be the university to the Kentucky.

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