Tech supports research improvements at HBCUs – Tech

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Last summer, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Tech’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) a $995,500 grant to work with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta and Alabama to improve multi-institution computing and networking.

These improvements will facilitate the sharing of equipment and databases between institutions, enhanced cloud connectivity and faster computing, among other benefits, to the research-conducting capabilities of these institutions.

The principal investigator (PI) on the grant proposal was OIT Chief Operating Officer (COO) Cas D’Angelo, who was excited about the project, saying, “It was my personal mission to do this.”

Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Spelman College, Tuskegee University and the Robert W. Woodruff Library were all included in the initial proposal submitted by OIT.

Morehouse College, which is separate from MSM, later added an additional award to the list of endowment beneficiaries.

With the exception of Tuskegee University, all of these entities are part of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium, a historic and continuing African American institution of higher education in southwest Atlanta.

“It’s possible to connect to equipment on another campus — so there’s all kinds of scientific equipment on the network,” D’Angelo said, noting the many benefits of having these institutions connected on the same high-speed network. It may be accessing a data store on another network. It may be to calculate. [computational resources] It’s on another network.”

The benefits of these resources are not only aimed at researchers – science-based learning outcomes are also targets for these enhanced resources.

In addition to D’Angelo serving as PI for the project, each of the institutions has a named co-PI: Charles Cooper from Clark Atlanta University, Reggie Brinson from MSM, John Wilson from Spelman College, and Abraham George from Tuskegee University. Greg Pride from Woodruff Library serves as a relevant staff member.

Each of these institutions bring their leaders to the project. In addition to the project proposal, each participating institution had to contribute at least one “science driver”, a designated researcher or teacher who works in a scientific field and can describe specific ways in which they can improve their work through the development of the network. Presented in the gift.

“On the order of 10 science drivers have been enrolled as part of the project,” explains D’Angelo; He also said, “There are some additional things that we didn’t have room for.”

The people running the project intend to revisit known science drivers, whether or not they were included in the proposal, and follow up on them if their work can measurably benefit from the improved network capacity.

Southern Cross, or SOCS, is a technology-enabled network infrastructure driver for the southeastern United States, and currently supports network participants of about twenty institutions of higher learning and a half-dozen other organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and other organizations. Prevention (CDC). SoX is serving as the lead private coordinator for this newly funded project.

“It’s the Southern Light Rail Corporation, and the project is Sox, or Southern Junction,” D’Angelo said in detailing Sox, adding, “For all intents and purposes, South Junction is the majority of South Light.” It operates a train, and Southern Light Rail is a Georgia Tech corporation.

In addition to his position at OIT, D’Angelo also serves as the current president of Southern Light Rail. The project is on a two-year schedule for completion.

“There’s an annual report due to NSF every year during the project, and then there’s a final report when we close,” D’Angelo said.

“The award for fiber infrastructure is going to be held at Georgia Tech, because that’s benefiting different universities,” D’Anglo said.

As for the equipment that will be brought onto the campus itself, “the funding for this award will go to the affiliated PIS,” said D’Angelo, naming the four schools included in the proposal, formerly Woodruff Library and Morehouse College.
It is classified differently.

“Due to some limitations of NSF how many sub-awardees we can have, we had to place the equipment only on the Georgia Tech award, but the equipment is installed on their premises and works for them,” D. ” said Angelo.

“I’ve been trying for a long time to find a way to get them connected to this network, so it was my personal mission to make this happen,” D’Angelo said of the member institutions of the MEAD Consortium. I am very excited.”

More information about this initiative is available at gtri.gatech.edu/hbcu.

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