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SGCI - Science Gateways: Sustainability via On-Campus Teams


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This talk gives an overview on enhancing the sustainability of science gateways via on-campus teams. It goes into detail for success stories, available funding mechanisms and suggests a roadmap for universities aiming at building centralized on-campus teams.

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SGCI - Science Gateways: Sustainability via On-Campus Teams

  1. 1. Award Number ACI-1547611 Webinar for Campus Champions Science Gateways: Sustainability via On-Campus Teams
  2. 2. Overview •  Motivation •  Gateways as increasingly common component of funded activities by many agencies •  Successful gateways can bring an institution great visibility •  Survey results •  Expertise involved in creating efficiently science gateways •  Evidence that on-campus teams contribute to sustainability •  Opportunities •  ND example •  Funding mechanisms for on-campus teams •  External resources from SGCI services to contractors •  Campus resources from central funding to re-charge models •  Suggestion for roadmap on creating on-campus teams •  Evangelists •  Main steps 2
  3. 3. Science Gateways 3 •  Increased complexity of •  today’s research questions •  hardware and software •  skills required •  Greater need for openness and reproducibility •  Science increasingly driving policy questions •  Opportunity to integrate research with teaching •  Better workforce preparation We need end-to-end solutions that provide broad access to advanced resources and allow all to tackle today’s challenging science questions.
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. Science Gateways Survey 2014 5 •  29,000-person survey •  4957 responses from across domains
  6. 6. Science Gateways Survey 2014 6 What services would be helpful?
  7. 7. Science Gateways Survey 2014 7 34% 36% 20% 17% 31% 26% 42% 16% 30% 18% 45% 44% 14% 15% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Usability Consultant Graphic Designer Community Liaison/ Evangelist Project Manager Professional Software Developer Security Expert Quality Assurance and  Testing Expert Wished  we  had  this Yes,  we  had  this Well-designed gateways require a variety of expertise
  8. 8. Opportunities •  A breadth of interesting topics in the science gateway creation process •  Novel frameworks and web applications •  Inter- and multidisciplinary work •  Contributing to grand challenges, e.g., Malaria eradication •  … •  A breadth of interesting roles •  Designers, statisticians, librarians, machine learning experts, usability experts,… 8
  9. 9. Challenges •  Some topics and roles are only needed for part of the project ⇒ Not fully funded positions via one project ⇒ For diverse expertise, several different people are needed (No “egg-laying, milk-bearing woolly sow”) 9
  10. 10. Typical Lifecycle of a Science Gateway 10 Early adopters Publicity Wider adoption Funding ends Scientists disillusioned New project prototype
  11. 11. Sustainability via On-Campus Teams •  Centralized teams collaborating with diverse researchers and research teams •  Synergy effects between projects •  Experts for the diversity of topics •  Lower learning curves •  Researchers and PhD students can focus on their research 11
  12. 12. Success Stories Many universities have successful centers/groups with centralized services for science gateways •  Center for Research Computing at University of Notre Dame •  HubZero Team at Purdue University •  Science Gateways Research Center at Indiana University •  Science Gateway Group at TACC at the University of Texas, Austin •  … 12
  13. 13. ND CRC in 2006-2008 •  Effort with 7 FTEs centrally funded •  HTC and HPC Computing and basic user support •  One centrally funded cluster plus multiple faculty funded clusters in various cabinets on campus •  Around 300 active users •  80% centrally funded hardware •  No other kinds of research computing services •  Underserved social sciences and humanities for their need on science gateways •  ~1000 faculty, ~12000 students 13
  14. 14. ND CRC Mission CRC engages in computational science, fosters multidisciplinary research and provides advanced computational tools and services. The CRC works to facilitate discoveries across science, engineering, the arts and humanities, social sciences, business and other disciplines. 14
  15. 15. ND CRC Vision To become an internationally recognized multidisciplinary research computing center based upon our reputation for facilitating and accelerating discovery through effective and novel applications of cyberinfrastructure. 15
  16. 16. ND CRC Director’s thoughts on Vision •  “Nice vision, but how we get there?” •  “What should we do first?” •  “Users should tell us what they need…” •  “HPC works fine, so let’s focus on CI Development…” •  “We need portals and other collaborative environments” •  “We need good user support, and good, straight resource usage policies” •  “We need CI and HPC teams working together” •  “How do we fund all these with very limited resources?” •  “What is available out there? •  And so on… 16
  17. 17. Implementation by Jarek Nabrzyski Take the risk and hire people first è train people è generate / bring projects è assign people to projects and focus on getting more projects and more people -> etc... è if not successful then exit, i.e. quit J Fortunately, we had many projects, mostly science gateway projects of various kinds and difficulty. 17
  18. 18. ND CRC in 2017 •  45 FTEs with 70% of the staff salaries supported through grants and services •  HTC and HPC Computing and user support •  26,000 cores •  1,800 active users •  10 HPC engineers and user support staff •  30% of compute nodes are centrally funded •  Cyberinfrastructure development •  ~15-20 CI projects each year with ~35 faculty from various departments including social sciences and humanities •  supported by ~15 research programmers, ~8 computational scientists, some FTE fractions of HPC engineers, and a few (7) grad students and undergraduate interns (4-6) •  ~1000 faculty, ~12000 students 18
  19. 19. Funding Mechanisms – External Resources Get support from SGCI via diverse services 19
  20. 20. Funding Mechanisms – External Resources •  Get support from SGCI via diverse services •  Contractors from mature science gateway frameworks ⇒ Means to create and/or maintain science gateway(s) successfully while working on building up internal resources 20
  21. 21. Funding Mechanisms – Internal Resources •  Funding via involvement of some person months in grants •  Funding on some hard money from universities •  Funding via re-charge •  Funding via NSF for building cyberpractitioner career-paths (under development - models like full funding the first year and increasing responsibility on the side of universities) 21
  22. 22. Suggestion for Roadmap •  Identify existing science gateway projects on campus and contact PIs and/or developers •  Identify evangelist who can push and is enthusiastic about the opportunity for creating on-campus teams – maybe YOU? •  Contact decision makers/funding providers on campus •  Use external resources for creating/maintaining science gateways 22
  23. 23. Suggestion for Roadmap •  Extend centralized IT/HPC teams via computational scientists and programmers or create new team •  Computational Scientists support •  Designing science gateways •  Visualization •  Collaborating on proposals •  … •  Programmers with diverse foci •  Backend •  Frontend •  Usability •  Workflows •  … 23
  24. 24. Suggestion for Roadmap •  Student internships/fellowships for undergraduate and graduate level •  Classes at universities (e.g., Class on Science Gateways at Indiana University) •  Webinars •  Close collaboration with on-campus faculty 24
  25. 25. Suggestion for Roadmap •  Keep the on-campus group sustainable and maintain and/or grow it => A mixture of internal and external resources, funding possibilities and outreach to on-campus faculty 25
  26. 26. Thanks for your attention! 26