UCSD Wins Support for Information Technology
Projects that Will Bring Over $22 Million to Campus
In the latest round of awards from the National Science Foundation's
Information Technology Research (ITR) program, UCSD is partnering with
universities nationwide on eight new projects. The ITR awards earmark
$22 million to UCSD, for research on fundamental advances—from development
of a new architecture for optically-based computer networks, to novel
ways to use information technology (IT) in the study of earth sciences.
|Using IT to further earth sciences
is a focus of the four largest ITR projects.
Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Professor and Cal-(IT)²
director Larry Smarr is the principal investigator on the largest ITR
project approved by the NSF this year. The $13.5 million award will fund
development of the “OptIPuter,” a new type
of distributed cyber “infostructure” to support advanced scientific
research and collaboration. Researchers—most of them at UCSD and
the University of Illinois at Chicago—will design and deploy techniques
for tightly coupling computational, storage and visualization resources
over parallel optical networks using the Internet Protocol (IP) communication
Jacobs School faculty are also teaming up with San Diego Supercomputer
Center researchers on three other ITR projects bringing $10 million to
UCSD. The GEOscience Network, dubbed GEON, will create
a modern IT framework for the earth sciences. The IT research at UCSD
will be led by SDSC’s Chaitan Baru, with support from researchers
in the CSE department. SDSC and CSE investigators will also team up on
the Science Environment for Ecological Knowledge (SEEK)
project, to develop tools and capabilities to help researchers address
global research, management, and policy issues in environmental biology.
And work by CSE Professor Fan Chung Graham and SDSC’s Amarnath Gupta
is slated to develop a framework to analyze, model and design robust,
complex networks using biological and computational principles.
Other awards to Jacobs School faculty include: $2.1 million for a project
led by Structural Engineering Professors Ahmed Elgamal and Joel Conte,
to develop an integrated framework for health monitoring of highway
bridges and other civil infrastructure; and $400,000 to Electrical
and Computer Engineering Professors Paul Siegel and Jack Keil Wolf. The
and former directors (respectively) of the Center for Magnetic Recording
Research will study the informationtheoretic limits of storage
densities and data transfer rates in magnetic recording, and
develop techniques to achieve those limits.
Also approved: a new center that will cross-fertilize ideas and methods
from biology and biochemistry with the physics of complex systems. The
Center for Theoretical Biological Physics is led by UCSD
Physics Professors Jose Onuchic and Herbert Levine. Total NSF funding
for the center is $10.5 million, with half of it coming in the form of
an ITR award; $3.7 million of the ITR portion is allocated to UCSD.