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Jetstream’s jet-setting EOT team

Jetstream, an NSF-funded national science and engineering cloud, focuses on ease of use and broad accessibility of its services for its users. Jetstream offers on-demand, interactive computing and analysis, as well as persistent gateways. To make this happen, the Jetstream Education, Outreach, and Training (EOT) team travels around the United States connecting with researchers and software creators who need to create customized virtual machines and workflows. In the last two years, the team has visited 33 states, and Washington, D.C., and plans to visit another 6 in 2019.

The EOT team’s presentations take a variety of different shapes, depending on the needs of their constituents. For new users, often at universities, the team offers an overview and often a tutorial showing Jetstream’s capabilities. At conferences, like that of the International Society for Computational Biology and at the American Geophysical Union, both attended in 2018, the team offers a deeper dive into particular areas through informational booths and presentations.

David Y. Hancock, PI Jetstream

At one notable event, last year’s conference on Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC18), the Jetstream team’s contribution was visible on many fronts. Team members led tutorials, researchers presented work they performed while using Jetstream in their work presented posters and gave papers, and Jetstream Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students also presented posters. In total, 11 events engaged Jetstream explicitly, demonstrating the breadth of the projects Jetstream serves. As one might expect, these included projects in computer science and biology; it also included collaborations with researchers in economics, political science, and the humanities.

The team is currently gearing up for another Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) cohort this summer. Students will spend the summer working to increase access to cloud computing resources for researchers in a variety of disciplines. They will also work with IU researchers and staff on mentored projects using Jetstream. Research topics for past REU students have included using Jetstream for data analytics tasks, minimizing energy consumption through dynamic load balancing, and best practices with big data and compute-intensive humanities projects.

The team still has several events to come in 2019, including a workshop at the Research Bazaar in Tucson, AZ; an outreach event for system administrators at the SEA Software Engineering Conference in Boulder, CO; a hands-on event at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts; and a workshop at the Earth Sciences Information Partners Summer meeting in Tacoma, WA. Jetstream EOT will also participate in the CyberCarpentry Workshop at UNC Chapel Hill for the second time, this time for multiple days. The event involves Jetstream, CyVerse, iRods, the Odum Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Renaissance Computing Institute, along with faculty from UNC Chapel Hill, and University of Virginia in a two-week-long workshop aimed at helping participants learn all aspects of the data-intensive computing environment, and to foster collaboration between domain scientists and computer and information scientists.