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NSF awards IU $3.82 million for Open Science Grid Operations Center

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy have renewed funding for the Open Science Grid project, providing $27 million from 2012 to 2016. Indiana University will receive $3.82 million of the award to continue running OSG's Operations Center, highlighting IU's noted expertise in grid computing and ability to deliver a reliable, secure, easy-to-use environment.

OSG is a network of supercomputers tackling critical scientific problems in fields such as high-energy physics, nanoscience and structural biology. OSG fosters scientific innovation and collaboration by giving researchers access to a grid of interconnected supercomputers designed to break problems into a large number of individual jobs that can run independently. IU's proficiency in the support of science and technology is essential to the overall success of the project.

"The Open Science Grid showcases IU's expertise in advanced computing and pioneering science," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer. "IU is pleased to renew this valuable collaboration with leading institutions and federal agencies."

The IU-managed Operations Center provides a single point of operational support for OSG users, resource providers and collaborators. The seamless infrastructure helps scientists work on next-generation problems and cutting-edge research, such as the search for the Higgs boson particle. Physicists are currently using the Large Hadron Collider to search for Higgs boson, which is expected to explain why all other particles have mass.

The Operations Center is staffed by a core team of top grid computing service developers, support professionals and systems analysts. Rob Quick, OSG operations area coordinator and manager of IU's high throughput computing group, manages the Operations Center. High throughput computing refers to the use of many computing resources with large amounts of processing capacity over long periods of time.

"It's satisfying for our team to have a hand in enabling exciting, and potentially transformative, scientific discovery by giving researchers and scientists the tools they need for high throughput computing," Quick said.

Originally published June 20, 2012.