Researchers will now operate with an Internet2 connection, allowing for faster transfer of information and easier collaboration with other campuses, Vice President of Information Technology Gary Allen announced Thursday at the first Cyberinfrastructure Day.
With research projects requiring large amounts of data space, researchers often find themselves waiting on data transport rather than putting their findings into practice. Internet2’s connection runs tens of thousands times faster than the university’s current cyber-infrastructure, allowing faster movement of data, Allen said.
“Right now there are still faculty on this campus who find it easier to burn their data sets onto DVDs and Fedex them across the country to a supercomputing system so they can be analyzed,” Allen said. “Instead of having to do that, you're going to be able to do it in seconds or minutes.”
Allen said a faster cyber-infrastructure will make communication easier for researchers.
“It is a direct significant accelerator of the speed at which research can be performed and enables researchers to easily have a connection over the network to a piece of instrumentation in somebody else’s lab,” Allen said.
Cyberinfrastructure Day featured tours of the iLab, a virtual reality simulator that allows users to do anything from capture 3-D images to create interactive buildings.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to use the program, placing virtual humans into architectural designs.
The iLab features Oculus glasses, which gives users the feeling of standing in the building they are designing.
In addition, Cyberinfrastructure Day consisted of multiple talks and seminars covering computing technology and research. The main goal of the day, Allen said, was to increase awareness of the necessity of investing in technology to aid research.
“It is the way that we can make the university more competitive — it is the way that we can be doing state-of-the-art research that will attract better students, better grad students and better faculty,” Allen said. “It is the way that research is being done, so it’s an important consideration for research nowadays regardless of what discipline you're in.”