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Jetstream team earns 2018 Campus Technology Impact Award

Higher education technology magazine recognizes Jetstream, an NSF-funded cloud platform, for its easy-to-use tools for researchers and educators

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Jetstream cloud system has won the 2018 Campus Technology Impact Award in the category of IT infrastructure and systems. The award honors the work of Principal Investigator David Y. Hancock of Indiana University and other contributors who have made Jetstream a success in reaching underserved colleges and universities.

Jetstream is a user-friendly cloud environment created to give researchers and students access to computing and data analysis resources on demand — from their tablets, laptops or desktop computers. Indiana University’s Pervasive Technology Institute is the lead institution on the $11 million NSF grant to create, implement and operate Jetstream. The service is co-located at IU and the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Jetstream entered full production in September 2016.

Winners' circle
Winners' circle

Jetstream team members include (left to right): Craig Stewart, Therese Miller, David Hancock, Mike Lowe, and Jeremy Fischer.

Campus Technology magazine focuses on technology in higher education. Now in its 14th year, the CT Impact Awards honor “projects both cutting-edge and well established, large and small, that have had the greatest impact on the institution and on the higher education community,” according to the website.

In addition to enabling cloud-based science and engineering research, Jetstream extends the reach of the NSF’s eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project, which supports most of the largest NSF-funded computing systems serving the national research community. There are currently more than 2,400 researchers and educators with allocations on Jetstream, with nearly 900 student users. Notably, more than 80 percent of Jetstream users are people who are using an XSEDE system for the first time, proof that the project is serving an unmet need.

Jetstream gives access to advanced computing systems via an easy-to-use interface that makes it particularly useful for small colleges and universities, including historically black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, tribal colleges, and higher education institutions in states designated by the NSF as eligible for funding via the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR.

Jetstream was designed from the start to focus on science, supported and run by staff who are experienced in supporting researchers and educators already.

David Y. Hancock, principal investigator

One of the best ways to expand the use of new resources beyond the usual researchers and research areas is to use the system to educate other researchers, educators, and students. The Jetstream education, outreach and training team has worked tirelessly with members of partner institutions to demonstrate the platform at domain specific conferences as well as regional workshops and campus-focused events.

“What sets Jetstream apart was the goal to create a different type of resource for research and education,” said Hancock. “Providing on-demand cloud services wasn’t enough to differentiate Jetstream from commercial offerings. Jetstream was designed from the start to focus on science, supported and run by staff who are experienced in supporting researchers and educators already.”

“One very important design goal was to make a more user-friendly research and education cloud,” added Hancock. “That design goal was then implemented under the leadership of the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI), the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Arizona, the University of Texas San Antonio, and Cornell University.”

PTI Executive Director Craig Stewart (the initial principal investigator for the project) said, “Jetstream started with the vision of a managed science cloud—a cloud managed for science. Hancock, his team, and our many colleagues and partners have done a tremendous job doing that. Recent survey results show that Jetstream has the highest approval rating from its users for XSEDE resources with a cloud service component.”