Paper Outlines Expansion of Cyberinfrastructure Portal

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Selected as Best Short Paper for Workforce Development, Training, Diversity and Education Track by PEARC21

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HOLYOKE, Mass., July 21, 2021 – A cyberinfrastructure portal developed for the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Northeast Cyberteam (NECT) has found utility in several programs in the research computing and data community, according to a paper chosen by PEARC21 as “Best Short Paper for the Workforce Development, Training, Diversity, and Education Track.” The paper will be featured at the virtual PEARC21 conference that runs July 19th through July 22nd.

The Connect.Cyberinfrastructure.org (Cnct.CI) Portal, formerly the Cyberteam Portal, was originally developed to support the NECT, which aims to make regional and national cyberinfrastructure more readily accessible to researchers in small and mid-sized institutions in northern New England by providing research computing facilitation support and aggregating access to knowledge resources. A pilot was launched in July 2020 to enable additional cyberteams to utilize Cnct.CI among other key aspects of the Portal and to involve broad participation from the community. In addition, in January of 2021, the leadership team of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Campus Champions decided to use the Portal to modernize participant management and onboarding functions. The development team for the portal is primarily made up of students from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with technical leadership provided by the WPI Advanced Research Computing group and by staff at the University of New Hampshire.

In all, nine NSF-sponsored programs have chosen to use and contribute to Cnct.CI. They comprise the Cyberteam to Advance Research and Education in Eastern Regional Schools (CAREERS) covering Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; Texas Research and Education Cyberinfrastructure Services (TRECIS) Cyberteam; Great Plains Cyberteam (Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa Wisconsin and Minnesota); Kentucky Cyberteam; Northeast Cyberteam (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont); Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium (RMACC) Cyberteam covering Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana and Washington; South West Expertise in Expanding, Training, Education and Research (SWEETER) Cyberteam covering Texas, New Mexico and Arizona; Colorado School of Mines Research Computing Group and the XSEDE Campus Champions.

“Cnct.CI started as a tool with the specific purpose of supporting NECT project workflows and aggregating knowledge resources for its constituents. Through the expansion pilot, it has found use in programs that are solving similar problems and appears to be useful in several related areas,” said John Goodhue, executive director of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computer, which hosts the Cnct.CI project.

The award winners were selected by a combination of reviewer recommendations, track chair/co-chair recommendations, and an awards committee jury. The juries deemed the winning manuscripts to be comprehensively well rounded, present a novel concept or apply existing concepts in a compelling manner, advance the state of practice, and to be of very high quality overall. The paper — “The Connect.Cyberinfrastructure Portal – Creating Opportunities for Collaboration and Cohesion in the Research Computing Ecosystem”– will be presented at PEARC21 on Tuesday, July 20, from 10:20am to 10:30am PT. The Portal will also be demonstrated at a Birds of Feather session from 9:45am to 10:45am PT on Thursday, July 22nd.

About Connect.Cyberinfrastructure

Connect.Cyberinfrastructure is a family of portals, each representing a program that is serving a segment of the research computing and data community. Each portal provides program-specific information, as well a custom “view” into a common database. The portal was originally developed to support project workflows and a knowledge base of self-service learning resources for the Northeast Cyberteam. Subsequently, it was expanded to provide support to multiple cyberteams and other research computing communities of practice. We welcome additional communities, please contact us if you are interested in participating. https://cnct.ci/.