Pegasus project leader, White House advanced manufacturing adviser to speak at HUBzero conference

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July 27, 2012

Scientists today often link computational tools together and run them in “workflows” thousands of times to simulate on the computer what would otherwise take thousands of experiments in a real laboratory.

The Pegasus Workflow Management System, developed by Ewa Deelman and her team at the University of Southern California, makes workflow building — along with running jobs on grid and cloud computing resources and supercomputing clusters — easier so researchers can concentrate on research instead of computer programming. Now, Pegasus is integrated into HUBzero, a ready-made, Web-based cyberinfrastructure being employed for research and education projects in myriad fields that was developed at Purdue.

Deelman will present her work at HUBbub 2012, the annual users conference for HUBzero aimed at researchers, practitioners, educators and IT professionals engaged in building and using cyberinfrastructure for research and education. The two-day conference is Sept. 24-25 at the IUPUI University Place Conference Center, 850 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis, Ind.

Other speakers set for HUBbub 2012 include the chief White House adviser on advanced manufacturing science and technology and the United Kingdom’s director for digital social research. In 2011, the HUBbub conference attracted more than 100 people from as far away as South Korea and South Africa, along with U.S. institutions spread from New York to Oregon and Florida to Wisconsin. The event includes sessions for both people already using a hub who want to learn more, and for those curious about hubs or interested in employing the new open source release of HUBzero to establish their own.

“Integrating Pegasus into HUBzero makes it available to a large number of scientists who rely on the HUBzero infrastructure to do their work,” Deelman says. “Pegasus in a hub can run workflows on a variety of environments including grids like the Open Science Grid, XSEDE, and clouds like FutureGrid and Amazon. We hope to continue to work with the HUBzero community to enhance the Pegasus capabilities as users become familiar with our workflow tool.”

Michael McLennan, chief architect of HUBzero at Purdue, says Pegasus in HUBzero is like bringing high-performance computing to the masses.

“There are more than 40 hubs based on the HUBzero toolkit serving many areas of science and engineering and other research fields, from nanotechnology to pharmaceuticals to cancer research to biofuels,” McLennan says. “They will all benefit from this huge leap forward in computation.”

Originally developed to power Purdue-based nanohub.org, HUBzero is a software platform used to build websites for scientific and other kinds of research as well as educational activities. Such websites are sometimes referred to as “collaboratories” supporting “team science.” HUBzero calls them “hubs” because the sites become a focal point for user communities. Besides nanotechnology, hubs now support users in fields such as earthquake engineering, global engineering education, microelectromechanical systems, volcanology, professional and research ethics, environmental modeling, and the bonds between humans and companion animals.

A major HUBzero feature is its ability to deploy computational research codes, and visualize and analyze results, all through a familiar Web browser interface. It makes posting tools about as easy as posting a YouTube video. Built-in social networking features help create communities in almost any field or subject matter and facilitate communication and collaboration, distribution of research results, training and education. Moreover, the platform has a growing set of data management capabilities.

Other scheduled speakers at HUBbub 2012:

  • Andy Burnett, CEO of Knowinnovation Inc., a consulting firm with offices in Cambridge, Paris and Buffalo, N.Y. The firm focuses on mechanisms to accelerate scientific innovation. Prior to joining Knowinnovation he was co-director of the Centre for Creativity at the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom.
    • Noshir Contractor, professor of behavioral sciences at Northwestern University. His research focuses on social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including business, translational science and engineering, public health and virtual worlds.
    • David De Roure, the United Kingdom’s national strategic director for digital social research. He’s worked with multiple disciplines including bioinformatics, chemistry, environmental science, social sciences and digital humanities and runs the myexperiment.org social website for sharing scientific workflows.
    • Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, co-principal investigator of the National Science Foundation's XSEDE cyberinfrastructure project and co-director of the XSEDE Extended Collaborative Support Services program, which works to solve challenging science and engineering problems through cyberinfrastructure. She also leads planning for a new NSF-supported Science Gateway Institute.
    • Thomas Kurfess, assistant director for advanced manufacturing in the U.S. President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. He’s responsible for coordinating federal advanced manufacturing research and development strategies and addressing issues related to technology commercialization.
    • Jarek Nabrzyski, director of the University of Notre Dame Center for Research Computing. The center’s Interactive Collaborative Environments team has developed numerous science portals or gateways, including some using HUBzero.

Originally posted: July 27, 2012