How To Build a Cyberinfrastructure

UB is leading a $10 million project to advance the performance of supercomputers around the world.

wires from a server.

The U.S. government has chosen UB to lead a massive five-year project aimed at building a global supercomputing cyberinfrastructure.

The $10 million project, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, aims to develop software that industry, academia and government agencies can use to manage high-performance supercomputer systems.

Besides UB, already a leader in supercomputer technology, the project involves six additional institutions, including Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. Its goal: to promote U.S. leadership in science and engineering, increase the nation’s economic competitiveness and strengthen national security.

‘Worldwide impact’

“This project will have a worldwide impact, as partners in academia, private industry and government agencies utilize the tools we’re creating to better manage their advanced cyberinfrastructure assets,” says the grant’s principal investigator, Thomas Furlani, chief information officer at Roswell Park.

Furlani is also a research associate professor of biomedical informatics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. He will coordinate the work of a team of researchers from UB, Roswell, Case Western Reserve University, Indiana University, the University of California San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin and Tufts University.

Peering into the cyber ecosystem

The grant will further support work that has been underway at UB’s Center for Computational Research for the past 12 years. Researchers there—including Furlani, who formerly led the center­­­­­—have been developing a software program that, among other things, automatically identifies poorly performing hardware and software. It is currently being used by more than 450 supercomputing facilities worldwide.

The grant supports development of a number of new features, including a simulator to predict how the national cyberinfrastructure ecosystem will respond to proposed new systems or changes in existing systems. Additionally, the project will train future cyberinfrastructure workforce members in an inclusive manner that promotes diversity and equity.

Positioning Buffalo as a supercomputing leader

Venu Govindaraju, UB vice president for research and economic development, said the award illustrates that UB and Western New York are well positioned to continue the region’s trajectory toward becoming one of the nation’s premier hubs of technological innovation.

“The University at Buffalo has strategically recruited top faculty members in areas poised for significant federal investment, and we have continually refurbished our infrastructure to enable world-class and cutting-edge research,” he said. “This grant is reflective of these efforts.”