I-CHASS and OAS/ARTCA Release PASI Program Description

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 | No Comments

I-CHASS is pleased to announce the following program description for its upcoming session in computation-based discovery, a summer program supported by the National Science Foundation’s Pan-American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI) program:

The objective of this PASI is to introduce young researchers to Methods in Computation-Based Discovery (CBD). In quest of solutions to major problems (e.g., biodiversity, modeling of natural systems, water ecology, and so on), researchers across the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities and arts are generating massive and/or highly complex data sets that extend well-beyond humans’ capacities to perceive or analyze without sophisticated technological augmentation. CBD allows researchers to gather, transform and analyze data from a range of sources, including, for example, sensors, video archives, telescopes, and supercomputers. Researchers today need both access to advanced computational resources and sophisticated skills in data acquisition, management, transformation, visualization, analytics, and preservation. For example, sophisticated visualization tools and techniques enhance human understanding of extreme, complex and/or abstract data sets, making it easier to see patterns and relationships and to form or test hypotheses.

The Institute will be offered over a ten-day period at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, East of Guatemala City, from July 15 through July 26, 2013 through a joint effort of five umbrella organizations: (1) the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE); (2) the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), including the Blue Waters Petascale Supercomputer project, the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS), and the Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL); (3) the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA); (4) the Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (RedCLARA); and (5) the Organization of American States (OAS). These organizations believe collaboration to be essential to build strong international partnerships that will be fostered by course presenters and participants. OAS, ARTCA, NCSA and XSEDE have already made a commitment to establish a strong Latin America-US partnership with RedCLARA. This summer course is among the key elements in building a partnership that reflects growing interest in international, collaborative research between Latin American and US research teams, as well as among high performance computing centers.

The Institute will focus on CBD technical and analytical methods and help about 40 researchersapply these to their own research. Our key goals are to (1) expand participants’ knowledge of high performance computing (HPC) and specialized tools and techniques that support CBD involving massive or complex data sets; (2) provide hands-on experience in exploring large and complex data sets using easily accessible desktop open source tools; (3) bring researchers from underrepresented populations into the CBD field; and (4) foster new collegial friendships that stimulate both national and international co-operative partnerships among the presenters and attendees.

2013 CBD Institute Design

The Methods in Computational Discovery Institute will include a number of features to support both learning and building new partnerships.

  1. Foundations in Data Science will be a daily lecture series presenting the necessary mathematical concepts needed to understand computational tools and methods. Daily homework assignments and practice sessions will offer self-assessment opportunities to ensure mastery of the concepts.
  2. Lectures and hands-on exploration of sample data sets will introduce specific tools and techniques of data acquisition and management, transformation and visualization, as well as analytics, scale and preservation. Morning lectures by research scientists on applications of CBD will broaden participant understanding of how CBD can be implemented and what outcomes to expect.
  3. Afternoon or evening hands-on sessions will provide opportunities for participants to explore computational discovery tools and techniques using provided sample data sets and open source tools. Presenters will provide specific hands-on experiences in practical techniques and offer performance tips and tools that can broadly benefit diverse research interests of attendees.
  4. Roundtable discussions over lunch will allow participants to share ideas, specific research concerns, and network.
  5. The schedule will be structured with ample breaks for mentoring and/or social activities to enhance relationships and seed long-term partnerships. Some hands-on sessions will be in the evening, some in the afternoon, in order to allow time for participants to take a break from rigorous thinking and learning activity and enjoy the culture of Guatemala.
  6. All presenters will be expected to participate in the full ten-day Institute to mentor participating graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty.
  7. Course organizers and/or presenters will provide learning objectives for each session and will use evaluations to assess impacts.
  8. Extra-curricular outings will be organized and scheduled to allow people to enjoy the area as a group and to help foster community building.

Research Focus Areas

To further support collaboration building, we will primarily focus on recruiting participants with interests in data challenges and problems identified by RedCLARA and OAS as high priority areas of focus, such as tracking biodiversity; predictive modeling of natural systems (e.g., hurricanes, water ecology); biotechnology to promote health; knowledge mapping (image and text-based) and natural and social systems simulations. Selecting participants around these research areas will help to provide points of convergence among participants and facilitate stronger mentoring relationships. Participants will be pre-clustered during the application process into teams and in the hands-on sessions team members will work together to explore sample data sets. Thus, recruiting participants with interests in areas such as health, modeling/predicting natural disasters, astronomy, biotechnology, and/or biodiversity are a priority. A hands-on team approach will also help to foster interdisciplinary and international partnerships. The institute will help expand and diversify the pool of researchers equipped to engage in computation-based discovery.

Preparation by Attendees for the Summer Course 

In advance of the Summer Institute, project organizers and presenters will recommend on-line tutorials and reference materials to help participants prepare. Applicants will be advised of recommended foundational knowledge, such as basic mathematics, basic knowledge of advanced computing capabilities and basic knowledge of computing for modeling, simulation, or visualization.

Proposed Syllabus

The syllabus is designed to provide a broad introduction to the capacities, skills, and methods needed in computation-based discovery through both lectures and hands-on/lab activities. Opportunities for round table discussions will be a feature of the daily lunches. Lectures/tutorials will feature 2-3 days on each of the following topics:

  1. Data acquisition and management (including a ‘math foundations for data science’ course every morning)
  2. Data transformation and visualization
  3. Data analytics, scale and préservation

Keynote speakers:

  1. Santiago Nuñez-Corrales, Director of Digital Technology at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Costa Rica
  2. Dr. Rosa María Amaya, former National Secretary of Science and Technology,Guatemala

Lectures / lecturers:

The following reflects lecturer commitments to participate in the Institute as well as topics to be presented. We have asked presenters that in the event that they need to withdraw from participating that the withdrawing presenter help to identify an appropriate replacement.

Materials prepared for the Institute will be made publicly available to benefit both those who attend and those who are unable to attend the Summer Institute.

Cinda Heeren, PhD.

Foundations of data science:

We intend to draw from the following topics, and we will cover as many as possible within the time allocated for instruction.

  1. Probability review
  2. Conditional probability and Bayes theorem
  3. Maximum likelihood and Bayes’ estimation
  4. Markov processes
  5. Entropy, mutual information, and KL divergence
  6. Hidden Markov models
  7. Linear algebra review
  8. Principle component analysis
  9. Min-hashing
  10. Expectation maximization (k-Means)

Donna Cox, PhD.

Transforming numerical data into digital representations for visual insight and analysis:

Lecture will discuss advanced visualization techniques for geoscience and astrophysics simulations and digital methods to convert complex, multi-dimensional 3D datasets into meaningful visual representations that help researchers locate significant areas of interest and communicate research findings.

Creating Movies from Dynamic Computational Data:

Lecture will discuss computational scientific data as snapshots of the evolving underlying physics in natural phenomenon. Time-evolving movies enable researchers to better understand complex dynamics in geoscience and astrophysical simulations. Applied research techniques used to create visual sequences of scientific simulations, including interactive viewport manipulation; digital rendering, recording and playback of scientific data; and stereo approaches to movie creation.

Jose Castro, PhD.

Application of supervised learning algorithms for Non-supervised clustering of complex patterns.

Clustering of patterns is a current field of interest in many areas as diverse as computational biology and Social Sciences. The most common clustering algorithm is the K-means clustering, which is fast and efficient, but linear, so it’s performance is usually poor when clustering of complex patterns is required. This lecture/workshop will dwell on how complex supervised learning algorithms can be applied for non-supervised clustering tasks, this methodology permits unleashing the power of complex supervised algorithms on a new area of applications, improving the quality of current clustering results.

Scott Poole, PhD.

Data-Driven-Discovery and Theory-Driven Discovery in the Social Sciences:

This workshop will deal with how data-intensive scientific methods can be employed in the social sciences. The vast majority of quantitative social scientific inquiry has traditionally been designed around theories that specify hypotheses to be tested on data, rather than induced ground-up from data. Traditionally, ground-up inquiry has been qualitative in nature. New HPC technologies and the availability of huge databases such as those from online games, the census, and video observations make quantitative data-driven inquiry feasible and essential as a tool for social science. This workshop will address the following topics: How theory-driven and data-driven social science operate; the relationship between theory-driven and data-driven social science; a conceptual scheme for linking data-driven and theory-driven inquiry; a model of the process of inquiry; exemplary projects; issues and challenges in data-driven inquiry in the social sciences; the future.

 

Vetle Torvik, PhD.

Data Mining Applications in Large-scale Bibliographic Databases:

Lecture will use example large-scale freely accessible bibliographic databases to demonstrate a range of opportunities for multidimensional data mining with a particular focus on (1) global patterns of scientific activity and (2) computer-assisted generation and assessment of novel scientific hypotheses.

Richard Marciano, PhD.

Creating, Managing, and Visualizing Very Large Record Collections:

The topic builds on the “Cyberinfrastructure for Billions of Electronic Records (CI-BER)” project, joint agency (National Science Foundation and National Archives and Records Administration) sponsored testbed notable for its application of a multi-agency sponsored cyber infrastructure and the National Archives’ diverse 100+ million file collection of digital records and information now active at the Renaissance Computing Institute. This testbed can be used to evaluate technologies and approaches to support sustainable access to ultra-large data collections. It is built on top of the open-source iRODS middleware used in a number of national cyberinfrastructure scientific data collaborations. See http://sils.unc.edu/news/2012/ci-ber-big-data

Dan Roth, PhD.

Using machine learning methods for data analytics on natural language text:

Lecture will discuss the foundations of machine learning; how to build and use basic classifiers, and how to put together multiple classifiers to address more involved problems. The focus will be on dealing with natural language text.

Alan Craig, PhD.

Novel Methods of Display and Interaction With Complex Data:

This lecture and demonstration will address the continuum between physical and digital representation of phenomena. As computational scientists, many of the phenomena we study are represented in the digital world. However, as human beings, we (and the phenomena we study) exist in the physical world. This session will demonstrate techniques that can be used to interact with digital data that is situated in the physical world in ways that step beyond the keyboard and the display screen. By physically engaging with data we can gain new insight, and share that insight with others in novel and compelling ways.

This course explores the continuum between physical and digital, how the physical can become digital and vice versa, and the interesting things that happen at the border between the physical and digital realm.

Mauricio Carrillo-Tripp, PhD.

Novel methods for molecular structural data visualization and analysis:

Lecture will discuss new computational strategies to transform, manage and analyze multi-dimensional structural information of biomolecules, taking advantage of non-conventional open-source application programing interfaces to display information in data bases. Focus will be given to pattern discovery in protein-protein interactions based on spatial and evolutionary criteria.

Luis A. Núñez, PhD.

Data Exploration Through Federated Repositories:

This workshop will present a panorama of cooperation in Latin America and how Virtual Research Communities are playing an emerging role in the Region.  The workshop will explore CLARA’s advanced network application and infrastructure projects for implementation and management of federated repositories. The workshop will include components of the use and promotion of Open Access philosophy, conducting training and needs assessment, and data intensive program design to support learning outcomes, method, type and extent of content development.

Jaime E. Forero-Romero, PhD.

Using large databases to understand the structure of the Universe:

In this session the basic physics behind the current paradigm of galaxy evolution and cosmology will be described along with the most robust computational techniques used in numerical cosmology. This will serve as an introduction to showcase one of the largest public databases (http://www.multidark.org/MultiDark/) giving access to simulated data describing numerical universes.

This course will present specific examples of how cutting-edge research problems in astrophysics can be tackled by mining available simulations.

Alvaro de la Ossa, PhD.

Using Multi-agent Systems to analyze and discover hidden patterns in physical and social processes:

The foundations of multi-agent systems will be described along with the main design issues, and several scientific-oriented examples will be provided of modeling continuous and discrete processes using computational agents. A special emphasis will be given to the agent’s model contents considerations, and the representation languages appropriate for developing efficient inference mechanisms. Examples will be provided from the computational sciences, in particular Physics, Chemistry and Biology, but also some other in the Social Sciences.

Each participant will be assigned a mentor from among the presenters and support staff. Mentors will spend time with their mentees to advise and offer advice for conducting their research, help them connect with others in their field, and suggest strategies for pursuing their professional careers. Additionally, there will be graduate research assistants available to work one-on-one with the attendees during hands-on labs.

The following is a basic template of how the days will be structured:

Morning

Late morning

Lunch

Afternoon &/or Eve (alternating)

Foundations of data acquisition & management (every day)

Topical lectures

Roundtable discussions

Tutorials and Hands-on labs: (graduate assistants will help facilitate)

Lecturers and Organizers Biographies

Dr. Marshall Scott Poole is Director of the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Professor in the Department of Communication, and Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Current research foci include team behavior in massive multiplayer online games, utilization and implementation of communication and information technologies, study of the use of information technology in emergency response, and integrating theories of small groups and social networks in the explanation of large, dynamically changing groups and intergroup network. Scott is the author of over 150 articles, book chapters, and proceedings publications and has co-authored or edited eleven books. He has led several projects applying computational methods to social scientific questions. The Virtual Worlds Exploratory Project (VWE) is a multi-university collaboration investigating behavior in massive multiplayer online games through analysis of large-scale databases capturing anonymized data on hundreds of thousands of players from several games. It investigates questions related to behavior in the games (e.g., How do players help and mentor each other? How do networks evolve in online game communities?) and tests hypotheses relevant to the “real world” using game data (e.g., What factors lead to high performing teams?).  The GroupScope Project is developing computational techniques for the analysis of large corpuses of observational data (video, audio, computer records, sensors) for large groups such as emergency response organizations and children on playgrounds. He has also worked on theorizing how data driven discovery from large scale databases relates to traditional social scientific theory-driven research.

Dr. Donna Cox is the Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) at NCSA, Director of the Illinois Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute (eDream), and Professor in the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois. She is a recognized pioneer in scientific visualization and the interdisciplinary collaborative method called ‘Renaissance Teams.’ Cox’s novel visualization schemas and advanced virtual tools have provided a long-term resource for the HPC community since the establishment of NCSA.

Dr. Kevin Franklin is a Senior Research Scientist at NCSA, Executive Director of I-CHASS, a principal co-founder of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) and founder of the HASSgrid, a distributed Cyberinfrastructure supporting humanities, arts and social science data preservation and archives. He leads a number of international research activities including the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA), which he co-founded in 2007. Dr. Franklin is a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) working groups on Innovation, Technology Development and Human Resources and Training.

Dr. Dan Roth is is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a University of Illinois Scholar. He is the director of the DHS funded Center for Multimodal Information Access & Synthesis (MIAS) and also holds faculty positions in the Statistics and Linguistics Departments and the graduate School of Library and Information Science. Roth is a Fellow of the ACM and of AAAI, in recognition of his contributions to the foundations of machine learning and inference and for developing learning centered solutions for natural language processing problems.

Dr. Alan B. Craig is the Senior Associate Director for Human-Computer Interaction at the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) and a Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). He is also the Humanities, Arts, and Social Science Specialist for the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). His work centers on the continuum between the physical and the digital.  He has done extensive work in virtual reality, augmented reality, and personal fabrication, as well as educational applications of data mining, visualization, and collaborative systems. He has authored three books and holds three patents.

Dr. Cinda Heeren is a lecturer in Computer Science,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; since 2008 she has been the lead instructor for the Data Sciences Summer Institute, teaching a course she designed entitled “Foundations of Data Sciences.”

Dr. Jose Castro has worked on the development of the Costa Rican interuniversity cluster and grid initiative. He has been director of the computer engineering school and the computing research center of the Costa Rican Institute of Technology. He is currently a researcher at the Computing Research Center of the Costa Rican Institute of Technology and is currently developing a Volcano Ash simulation for hazard assessment of the Irazú Volcano in Costa Rica. His interests are cluster computing, numerical simulation, and pattern recognition in large databases.

Dr. Vetle Torvik is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he teaches courses and conducts research on text/data mining, informetrics, information processing, literature-based discovery, and bioinformatics.

Dr. Richard Marciano is Professor in the School of Information and Library Science at UNC, Chapel Hill; Director of the Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies (SALT) lab. He leads projects on development of preservation environments for projects funded by NARA, NHPRC, IMLS, NSF, DHS, and the Research Triangle Park (RTF) Foundation; he is PI for the NHPRC-funded Distributed Custodial Archival Preservation Environments (DCAPE) initiative, and the NARA/NSF CI-BER project (CyberInfrastructure for Billions of Electronic Records).

Dr. Mauricio Carrillo-Tripp is an Associate Professor at the National Genomics for Biodiversity Laboratory from Cinvestav, México, where he leads the Computational Biophysics and Bioinformatics Lab. He is a member of the National Science Network of the Mexican Science Council since 2008. His research has focused on the molecular function of biological systems employing theoretical and numerical methods and by developing novel numerical analysis and visualization tools.

Dr. Luis A. Núñez is a full professor in the School of Physics at Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia.  He concurrently holds the position of Manager of Academic Relations for the Cooperación Latinoamericana de Redes Académicas, RedCLARA.  Previous to these posts, he worked for 30 years at the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela. His research areas of interest are Astrophysics and Information Technologies. He has also been involved in significant IT projects in Venezuela as well as throughout the Latin American Region.

Dr. Jaime E. Forero-Romero is assistant professor in the Physics Department of the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota (Colombia). His researches use massive computational techniques to study galaxy formation and understand the evolution of the Universe. His research and teaching philosophy places a strong emphasis on reproducibility, open science practices and free access to research tools and products: https://github.com/forero.

 Dr. Alvaro de la Ossa is Executive Director of the Costa Rican NREN and chair of the National Collaboratory for Advanced Computing (CNCA), part of CeNAT (National Center for Advanced Technology Studies), an interuniversity program to Foster government+academy+industry collaborations. He is also Associate Professor in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), and chair of Red CONARE (for the National Rectors’ Council), within the EU-funded ALICE2 EU-Latin America cooperation program, which is focused on the Goals of the Millenium, EU’s FP7 priorities, and OAS’s priorities, to develop Advanced research and education networks gobally (advanced internet) and regionally (Red CLARA).

Dr. Michael Simeone is the Associate Director for Research and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) housed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA). His past research includes cultural studies of science and technology as well as the use of computer vision in the digital humanities. His current work explores the intersection of humanities research procedures with high-performance computing.  He received his PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mr. Jorge Duran is Chief of the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Organization of American States, where he previously served as Senior Advisor in Technology for Development and as Senior Manager for Municipal Development and Capacity Building. Over his career at the OAS, he has been responsible for projects such as telecenters for development; micro businesses promotion through ICTs; teacher training via satellite; rural schools-based telecenters; municipal development in e-government; scientific journalism and university curricular improvement. For over 20 years, Mr. Duran worked with the governments and private sector of the Americas in the design and implementation of technology driven development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, establishing many successful alliances. Previously, Mr. Duran was Director of Regional Cooperation and then Vice-President of International Affairs at the Latin American Institute of Educational Communication (ILCE) in Mexico City. Other positions include Advisor in Science and Technology Policy for the Presidency of Mexico and Special Assistant to the Mexican Ambassador at the U.N. Mr. Duran has also been an Associate Professor at the Tecnológico of Monterrey and the Universidad Iberoamericana where he designed and taught classes on Latin America’s Political Economy and History.

 Ms. Aryanne Quintal is the Project Coordinator of the Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas (ARTCA) with headquarters at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C. Piror to being a Project Coordinator, Ms. Quintal worked as a Consultant at the OAS in the Department of Human Development, Education and Culture, with a fellowship from the Ministry of International Relations of Quebec, Canada. She previously served as a Public Relations Officer at the Embassy of Canada in Montevideo, Uruguay. She also worked for many years as a freelance journalist in Montreal, Canada. Her fields of interest include ICTs implementation and social and economic changes in developing countries; citizenship education through the Internet; and media interactions with public opinion and governance in Latin American countries.

Logistics

The Universidad del Valle de Guatemala will be the site for the July 2013 Institute. All Institutions involved in the PASI will jointly create and administer a website that will include reading material, biographical information about each participant, including descriptions of their research, which will facilitate opportunities for attendees and presenters to share information, expand their network of colleagues, and initiate new collaborations. Institute organizers will take advantage of social networking tools to further build community among attendees and presenters before, during, and after the ten-day session. We expect participants and support staff to continue to use these after the formal Institute concludes and to continue to share information and new opportunities of general interest to the group. Travel, housing, and meals for all US and Latin American participants and presenters will be covered.

Selection Criteria and Application Process

Participants interested in applying must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a citizen of one of the 34 OAS Member States.
  2. Be affiliated to a University, Research Center, International Organization or Governmental Agency promoting research.
  3. Be currently conducting a research dealing with large scale data sets.

Priority will be given to young researchers, graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty from under-represented groups. To apply, candidates are asked to send the following materials toinfo@artcaonline.org:

  1. An abstract of the applicant’s research, including the type(s) of data he/she works with and a short description of the challenges being encountered around data acquisition or management; data transformation or visualization; and/or data analytics and scale.
  2. A short description of the applicant’s experience with computation-based discovery and a demonstrated basic understanding of computational science.
  3. A short description of why the applicant wants to participate in the Institute, what he/she expects to learn, how he/she plans to apply CBD methods.
  4. A letter of support from a faculty member or research advisor.
  5. Information that identifies the applicant’s gender, ethnicity, and/or disability status, which will be used to achieve the diversity goal of the Institute.

Each application will be reviewed by at least three people from the participating Institutions.

Selected candidates will be contacted at least 12 weeks prior to the Institute, to allow attendees time to secure the least expensive flights.

Our goal is to create a diverse Institute that includes a broad cross-section of disciplines, a broad cross-section of institutions across the US and Latin America and is diverse in gender, ethnicity, race or disability. Individuals will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation of how the applicant is expected to benefit from learning about CBD, based on their research abstract.
  2. A compelling statement of the applicant’s reasons for attending the Institute.
  3. Faculty recommendation.

The deadline to apply to the PASI is April 10, 2013.

*****

About OAS-ARTCA: The Advanced Research and Technology Collaboratory for the Americas was co-founded in 2008 by I-CHASS, the Costa Rica Center for High Technology (CeNAT), and the Costa Rica – United States of America Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA); it charts new ground in interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and international research and education, to address pressing problems that arise in the natural sciences, health, technology, and the human sciences. Through the creation of both learning environments and spaces for digital discovery, OAS-ARTCA presents groundbreaking computational approaches, resources, tools and educational programming to showcase the future of collaborative research in service of society across the Americas.

About OAS: ARTCA’s headquarters, the Organization of American States (OAS), is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the 1889-1890 First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C. The OAS was established in order to achieve among its member states—as stipulated in Article 1 of the Charter—“an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.” Today, the OAS brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 67 states, as well as the European Union (EU).

About RedCLARA: ARTCA and OAS’s strategic partner is the Cooperación Latino Americana de Redes Avanzadas /Latin American Cooperation of Advanced Networks (RedCLARA), which is a non-profit International Law Organization that gained legal status on December 23, 2004 when it was legislated as such by Uruguay. RedCLARA’s vision is to serve as a Latin American collaboration system by fostering telecommunications advanced networks for research, innovation and education and developing. It operates the only Latin American advanced Internet network, which was established in 2004 to support regional interconnection and links to GÉANT2 (the pan European advanced network) via the ALICE Project (which, until March 2008 was co-funded by the European Commission through its @LIS Programme). Fifteen Latin American countries currently constitute the membership of RedCLARA, all of which are represented in its Assembly.

About NCSA: Three teams within NCSA are contributing collaborators: The Blue Waters Petascale Supercomputer project, I-CHASS and AVL. The Blue Waters petascale computer is capable of sustained performance of one petaflop, on a range of real-world science and engineering applications. It is one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The Blue Waters project also includes a far-reaching educational and workforce development program focused on K-12 through postgraduate education and geographical areas and communities that have been historically underrepresented in supercomputing. The Blue Waters team is helping researchers around the country to prepare their codes to run on Blue Waters, as well as other petascale computing systems. These multi-year collaborations include help with porting and re-engineering existing applications. In some cases, the teams will build entirely new applications based on new programming models. Petascale computing resource allocations from the National Science Foundation allow research teams to work closely with the Blue Waters project team in preparing their codes.

About I-CHASS: charts new ground in high performance computing and the humanities, arts, and social sciences, by creating both learning environments and spaces for digital discovery. It presents path-breaking research, computational resources, collaborative tools, and educational programming to showcase the future of the humanities, arts, and social sciences. With an emphasis on identifying, creating, and adapting computational tools that accelerates research and education, I-CHASS engages visionary scholars from across the globe to demonstrate approaches that interface next-generation interdisciplinary research with high-performance computing and provides these researchers with world-class computational resources, both human and technical, to enhance their knowledge discovery and exploration.

About UVG: The Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (University of the Valley of Guatemala) is a private, not-for-profit, secular university located in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It was founded in 1966 by a private foundation, which had previously overseen the American School of Guatemala. Its distinctive curriculum combines the broad, liberal arts approach of U.S. Colleges with specialized training in the applied sciences. For almost 40 years, UVG has led the way in designing courses and conducting researches tthat provide the knowledge and skills necessary for Guatemala’s economic and social growth. In fact, UVG was the first private university to give a strong emphasis to the field of science and technology and to provide technical background in the country. In July 2013, UVG will be the host of the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) on Methods in Computation-Based Discovery.

About AVL: develops applied research visualization methods and tools for analysis and rendering of large-scale scientific data, and works directly with NSF peer-reviewed PRAC recipients on the Blue Waters grant. AVL develops visualization cyberinfrastructure to support the special requirements of scientists using NCSA’s high-performance computing (HPC) systems. The Advanced Visualization Lab is a leader in collaborating with scientists’ to create 3D high-fidelity, high-resolution, data-driven scientific visualizations for public outreach to millions of viewers. The team specializes in visualization challenges of extremely large, complex data. Their advanced scientific visualizations provide an important contemporary tool for discovery, enabling scientists to gain insight and understanding of phenomena through large, complex computer models and simulations. Their custom 3D visualization techniques–including multi-scalar perspectives, isosurface reconstruction, and flow and direct volume rendering–have helped scientists find new knowledge in their data. AVL has developed a special expertise in applied visualization research methods, especially within the domains of astrophysics and earth sciences. The team develops original software and augments off-the-shelf and open-source software for three-dimensional spatial and temporally evolving data-driven applications and movies. AVL’s visualization expertise supports interactive exploration of time-evolving computational models and remote collaboration within these 3D visualizations.

About XSEDE: The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world. It is a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. More than 10,000 scientists used the TeraGrid to complete thousands of research projects, at no cost to the scientists. Scientists and engineers around the world use these resources and services — things like supercomputers, collections of data, and new tools — to make our lives healthier, safer, and better. XSEDE and the experts who lead the program will make these resources easier to use and help more people use them. XSEDE lowers technological barriers to access and use of computing resources. Using XSEDE, researchers can establish private, secure environments that have all the resources, services, and collaboration support they need to be productive. The XSEDE partnership is led by the University of Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

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