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San Diego Supercomputer Center director urges academia to make cyberinfrastructure 'real'
Date:7/29/2008

Comprising the "infrastructure" for the Information Age, cyberinfrastructure the organized aggregate of information technologies, organizations, and human resources is essential for future research advancement and discovery. In this month's EDUCAUSE Review, Dr. Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, makes the case for investment in cyberinfrastructure as part of the "IT bill" for the Information Age.

Just as technology transformed the Industrial Age, Berman writes that cyberinfrastructure, or CI, has the potential to be a key driver of the Information Age, particularly with the explosive growth in digital data that is creating a new set of challenges in information management, storage, and long-term preservation. "Fundamental to modern research, education, work, and life, CI has the potential to overcome the barriers of geography, time, and individual capability to create new paradigms and approaches, to catalyze invention, innovation, and discovery, and to deepen our understanding of the world around us."

The challenge is that in the research and education community, cyberinfrastructure is both a continuous work-in-progress and a stable infrastructure driver for invention and innovation. "The academic community continues to struggle to provision and sustain broad-use community CI within traditional academic frameworks," according to Berman. "Changing this will involve a paradigm shift in the way we think about designing, evolving, provisioning, and learning about CI; new partnerships between academics, the federal government, and the private-sector-focused CI; and new strategies to incorporate CI within academic infrastructure."

While Berman adds that this practice may be "new territory" for faculty researchers, educators, or university and college administrators, forward-looking academic institutions are launching CI-based initiatives, with the goal
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Contact: Jan Zverina
jzverina@sdsc.edu
858-534-5111
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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