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IU joins international grid computing organization

Membership in Distributed Organization for Scientific and Academic Research will enable more work with African Grid School

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University is now a member of the Distributed Organization for Scientific and Academic Research (DOSAR), a grass-roots entity focused on international grid computing research and education.

This new partnership will allow IU tech experts to continue to participate in DOSAR outreach activities that target sub-Saharan universities. One such activity is the African Grid School, held in conjunction with DOSAR’s African School of Fundamental Physics and its Application. Held every other year, the event attracts nearly 60 physics graduate and postdoctoral students who want to learn new skills in theoretical, experimental and applied physics.

"Teaching in the African Grid Schools has been an amazing experience for us, and I'm happy that IU's DOSAR membership will allow this good work to continue," said Rob Quick, manager of IU's high throughput computing (HTC) group homed within UITS Research Technologies and the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI). "It’s really gratifying to know that IU is helping students in big data fields adapt to the technology they will use during their graduate and post-graduate work. We’re looking forward to having an increased presence at the outreach events, where we can share ideas and build relationships."

Since 2012, Quick and Kyle Gross, IU HTC operations support lead, have traveled to Africa to serve as instructors in the grid school. Quick and Gross became involved with the project through their work with the Open Science Grid, the largest HTC facility operating in the US. (High throughput computing allows researchers to solve complex computational problems by breaking them down into a large number of individual jobs that can run independently.)

The DOSAR membership does more than just allow IU staff members to be involved in the African Grid School. With more than a decade of experience in HTC, Quick’s group has already been able to make a positive impact on DOSAR’s outreach and education activities. Likewise, DOSAR helps the IU HTC group further its goal of providing potential HTC users with access to researchers with similar computing goals. 

"The DOSAR collaboration will extend our ability to connect users to a wealth of HTC knowledge and a wider diversity of collaborators with increased opportunity to impact future discovery," said Gross.