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IU network engineers share expertise at Asia-Pacific conference

By leading an Operating Innovative Networks workshop, IU network engineers hasten scientific discovery around the world

HONG KONG—Network engineers from around the globe gathered for a six-hour learning experience at the start of the APAN42 conference in Hong Kong on July 31, 2016. They had come to take part in an Operating Innovative Networks workshop, led by a team of engineers from Indiana University’s International Networks.

"Thanks to renewed NSF funding in support of these workshops, the OIN team was able to work with us as part of TransPAC. Doing so allowed IU to expand OIN’s reach abroad for the first time," said Jennifer Schopf, Ph.D., director of IU’s International Networks. "We jumped at the opportunity to share our networking technologies knowledge and to help our Asian partners advance the science happening on their campuses."

The Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) is an association of Asia-Pacific research and education networks that was co-founded by IU’s President Michael McRobbie in 1996. APAN holds a conference twice yearly for network engineers from around the world to share expertise and discuss hot topics within the worldwide research and education community. APAN’s 42nd meeting took place July 31–August 5, 2016, also marking APAN’s 20th anniversary.

"U.S. work in the region of networking technologies has spurred interest in Asia. The idea was that we take the workshop to interested parties across the Pacific and introduce them to some of these concepts," explained Andrew Lee, network architect at International Networks and co-principal investigator of TransPAC4. "We’re trying to help our Asian partners better utilize the resources that the TransPAC project has put in place."

TransPAC, now in its fourth funding cycle as the TransPAC4 project, supports backbone circuits between the U.S. and Asia and is part of the larger International Networks at IU portfolio. Through this U.S.-Asia partnership, international collaboration within the research and education community is made possible, helping to accelerate international research breakthroughs.

Earlier this year, the OIN workshop series received a new $150,000 funding award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate scientific discovery at higher education institutions around the U.S. The workshops are a joint effort between IU’s Global Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC), the Department of Energy’s ESNet, and Internet2. APAN42’s shortened version of the workshop—they usually span two days—offered presentation material and hands-on exercises designed to encourage immediate, informed adoption of the technologies that attendees wanted to know more about.