A. Lee Graham
The University of Texas at Arlington hopes that a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant helps the school provide computer networking capacity 10 times faster to campus researchers.
The funding, recently awarded from the NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, is expected aid science and engineering investigations.
Among those investigations are linking chronic disease with features of the human genome, building better civil infrastructure through data collection and tracing the path of past climate change events.
“This investment from the National Science Foundation will increase our capacity for collaboration within and outside the university, an advance that is sure to blossom into further discoveries,” said Carolyn Cason, vice president for research at UT Arlington in a news release.
The grant begins on Oct. 1, with campus technology administrators purchasing and installing routers and other equipment to boost network capabilities.
The changes will create a Science DMZ, denoting a portion of the network optimized for high-performance science applications.
“This grant represents a real spirit of collaboration across the university,” said James Bradley, the school’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
“The work that scientists like (physics professor) Kaushik De are doing is world-changing and shouldn’t be limited by our networking capacity,” Bradley said.
De visited the school’s Office of Information Technology wanting to collaborate on achieving something that would fill a great need for our institution, Bradley said.
UT Arlington is home to more than 25 researchers participating in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the particle collider where scientists discovered the Higgs boson, or “God particle,” in 2012. UT Arlington also hosts the ATLAS SouthWest Tier 2 Center, one of 100 data centers around the world where massive amounts of data from the LHC particle collisions is fed and utilized.
De, principal investigator on the new grant and a leader of the High Energy Physics Group at UT Arlington, said network performance is crucial to the success of experiments at the LHC and to UT Arlington’s participation.
Bradley is a co-principal investigator on the new grant. Other co-principal investigators are Jeff Demuth, an associate professor of biology who leads research into evolutionary genetics and genomics; Anand Puppala, a professor of civil engineering who directs a center on Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure at UT Arlington; and Jianzhong Su, chairman of the UT Arlington mathematics department.