Challenges In Syber Infrastructure (Spring 2011)

Current Challenges in Cyberinfrastructure, Spring 2011

Instructors: Professor Jim Myers

Meeting Times: Monday and Thursday afternoons, 2:00 pm - 3:20 pm. Lally 02;

Office Hours: After class or by appointment at CII 9013

phone: 276-2858

email: myersj4@

CSCI 6970


This course will explore the breadth of what is meant by cyberinfrastructure and examine the state of the art and open challenges. In addition to discussion of high-performance computing; data, analysis, and visualization; and virtual organizations, the course will touch on the nature of infrastructure, the revolutionary potential of cyberinfrastructure to enable research, education, and societal application, the concept of socio-technical solutions, and designs to provide end-to-end support of the scientific lifecycle. Intended to complement CS 6961 and CS 6962, the course will none-the-less have topics in common with them.

Topics for CCiCyberinfrastructure/ Foundations:

  • Introduction to Cyberinfrastructure
    • CI Definitions
  • CI as Infrastrucuture
  • CI as a socio-technical capability
  • CI Survey
    • Computing, Network, Data Resources
    • Community HPC Codes and Libraries
    • Distributed computing infrastructure: Grids, Clouds, and Webs
    • Data Management Infrastructure
    • Visualization
    • Workflow/Provenance
    • Virtual Organizations and Collaboration infrastructure
    • Cybersecurity
    • Cyberphysical Infrastructure
    • Active Decision Support Infrastructure
  • CI Deployment and Business Models / Sustainability
  • (Inter-)National, Domain, and Local Infrastructure
  • CI vs. CS Challenges


  • To enable an understanding of the meaning of the term Cyberinfrastructure and the current state of the art and open challenges
  • To provide an understanding of the potential for Cyberinfrastructure as a aresearch and competitiveness tool and of the design and implementation factors that influence how well cyberinfrastructure capabilities enable realization of that potential
  • To enable future Cyberinfrastructure Developers, Users, and Stakeholders to contruct/evaluate Cyberinfrastructure R&D, Deployment, and Maintenance arguments.
  • To provide an overview of cyberinfrastructure development and deployment best-practices

Draft Class Topics, Readings, and Assignments

Class 1 Class Intro Slides.
Reading Assignment: The origins of Cyberinfrastructure: Revolutionizing Science and Engineering Through Cyberinfrastructure: Report of the National Science Foundation Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel on Cyberinfrastructure (focus on Sections 1 and 2).

Class 2 CI Definitions and Examples. Assignments Intro.
Reading Assignment: Understanding Infrastructure: Understanding Infrastructure: Dynamics, Tensions, and Design.

Class 3 "Grokking" CI as a Stakeholder, Provider, and User.
Reading Assignment: CI Technology Trends Compute and Data Related Growth Rate Charts, and, for fun: Kurzweil's "Singularity"

Class 4 CI - A Story of Dueling Exponentials
Reading Assignment: Explore the DOE SciDAC projects

Class 5 Realizing HPC Performance
Reading Assignment: NEES 2007 IT Vision

Class 6 Community Planning Example: Earthquake Engineering
Reading Assignment Anatomy of the Grid, Physiology of the Grid

Class 7 Designing Cyberinfrastructure for Communities: Finding the Neck of the Hourglass
Reading Assignments: NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v15, MapReduce: A Major Step Backwards

Class 8 Clouds 101
Optional Reading Assignment: Cloud Computing and Grid Computing 360-Degree Compared

Class 9 Presentations - 10 minutes each Background and State of the Art in your proposal/paper area, ~ 2 page paper section due.
Reading Assignment: The Office of Science Data Management Challenge - focus on the Science Drivers of part 1 and the review of challenges in part 2, skim discussion of funding and 2004 state of the art...

Class 10 The Answer is 42 - Data 101
Reading Assignment: The Fourth Paradigm - Jim Gray article and one other - be prepared to comment on the article in class

Class 11 What are Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact? and Mapping Data Technologies to Research Paradigms (Data 102)
Reading Assignment: Towards Electronic Persistence Using ARK Identifiers, J. Kunze, Proceedings of the 3rd ECDL Workshop on Web Archives, August 2003, and, optionally [ Actional Resource Tags for Virtual Organizations]

Class 12 Data Distribution, Curation, and Preservation

Class 13 Visualization
Reading: NEXT-GENERATION Visualization Technologies: Enabling Discoveries at EXTREME Scale

Class 14 no class, Introduction/Motivation/Intellectual Merit/Broader Impacts Due (1-2 pages)

Class 15 Viz wrap-up and Project Management Interlude
Reading: Workshop on the Challenges of Scientific Workflow
I Think Therefore I Am Someone Else:...

Class 16 Workflow and Provenance

Class 17 Provenance and Workflow (same presentation)

Class 18 Cybersecurity Challenges Von Welch, Deputy Director, Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research), Description Section Due (3-5 pages)

Class 19 VirtualOrganizationsAndCollaboration_Day_19.pdf Virtual Organizations and Collaboration

Class 20 Deliverables/Metrics Due (~2page outline, 20 minute presentations)

Class 21 Deliverables/Metrics Due (~2page outline, 20 minute presentations continued)

Class 22 Cyberphysical Systems

Class 23 no class

Class 24 Active Decision Support Systems,
Assignment Due: Management Plan, WBS, Risk plan (~2 pages)

Class 25 The CI Ecosystem

Class 26 Final Paper/proposal presentations (~ 30 minutes each)

Class 27 Final Paper/proposal presentations (~ 30 minutes each)

Class 28 Review and Final Thoughts
Assignment Due: final assembly of paper/proposal

Reference Material/Readings

Academic Integrity

Student-teacher relationships are built on trust. For example, students must trust that teachers have made appropriate decisions about the structure and content of the courses they teach, and teachers must trust that the assignments that students turn in are their own. Acts, which violate this trust, undermine the educational process. The Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities defines various forms of Academic Dishonesty and you should make yourself familiar with these. In this class, all assignments that are turned in for a grade must represent the student’s own work. In cases where help was received, or teamwork was allowed, a notation on the assignment should indicate your collaboration. Submission of any assignment that is in violation of this policy will result in a penalty. If found in violation of the academic dishonesty policy, students may be subject to two types of penalties. The instructor administers an academic (grade) penalty, and the student may also enter the Institute judicial process and be subject to such additional sanctions as: warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, and alternative actions as defined in the current Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities. If you have any question concerning this policy before submitting an assignment, please ask for clarification.

Assessment Criteria

  • Via written assignments with specific percentage of grade allocation provided with each assignment
  • Via oral presentations with specific percentage of grade allocation provided
  • Via group projects and presentations
  • Via participation in class
  • Late submission policy: first time with valid reason – no penalty, otherwise 20% of score deducted each late day

Attendance Policy

Enrolled students may miss at most one class without permission of the instructor.

Course: Current Challenges in Cyberinfrastructure

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