HUBbub 2010 workshop attracts international attendance

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April 20, 2010

More than 100 people from as far away as Korea, South Africa and Quebec, along with U.S. universities spread from New York to Oregon and Florida to Wisconsin, attended HUBbub2010, the first international workshop focused on the HUBzero Platform developed at Purdue.

The workshop held April 12-14 marked the open source, “hub-in-a-box” release of HUBzero’s core software. HUBzero is a platform developed at ITaP for creating powerful Web sites supporting research, education and collaboration in science, engineering and other fields.

The two days of workshop sessions at the IUPUI University Place Conference Center in Indianapolis included hands-on training for new users interested in starting a hub with the open source release, hub administrators, scientific application developers, and Web developers working with hubs.

Attendees also discussed the future of HUBzero and a road map for advancing the technology with the advent of the open source release, which is available at http://hubzero.org/getstarted.

Video of all sessions, along with a panel discussion and the speakers at the workshop, will be viewable through the HUBzero.org Web site in May.

The workshop included a panel discussion by representatives from existing hubs for fields such as nanotechnology research and education, earthquake engineering, pharmaceutical product development, and clinical and translational sciences.

“That went over very well, they gave their experiences, talked about how they’re using a hub currently and answered questions from the workshop attendees,” said Beth Schroeder, HUBzero project deputy director.

Schroeder said attendance at the conference was split almost evenly between people who have hubs and were looking to learn more about using them and those who hope to use the open source release to create a hub.

Speakers at the gathering included representatives from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, who talked about ways of using HUBzero to facilitate research projects and to meet grant requirements for cyberinfrastructure. John Smith, co-author of the book “Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities,” and Gerry McCartney, Purdue’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, were featured speakers as well.

HUBzero is the YouTube of simulation tools--sort of a Swiss Army Knife for deploying and accessing computational research codes, almost as easily as YouTube videos, and visualizing and analyzing results, all through a familiar Web browser interface. HUBzero also facilitates connecting tools to supercomputing clusters and other grid resources while largely avoiding complexities of grid computing. Built-in social networking features akin to Facebook create communities of researchers and educators in science, engineering, medicine, almost any field or subject matter and facilitate online collaboration, distribution of research results, training and education.

The HUBzero platform powers nanoHUB.org, an international resource for nanotechnology research and education with more than 100,000 users, and 19 other sites delivering hundreds of research tools and seminars to nearly a half million users each year.

Writer: Greg Kline, science and technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8167 (office), 765-426-8545 (mobile), gkline@purdue.edu

Originally posted: April 20, 2010