ERN Virtual All Hands – Opening Session

The Eastern Regional Network (ERN) has been very busy since our June 2020 All Hands Meeting and are excited about sharing all of the activities with you, the ERN community. For this reason, we are pleased to announce that this year’s ERN All Hands Meeting will take place virtually from July 13 - 15, 2021. You are invited to join with the ERN community as we come together to discuss current and future ERN projects, collaborations and partnerships, the five ERN Working Groups’ efforts, future funding opportunities, future workshops, and other topics. In addition, we plan to invite several NSF Program Officers to the All Hands Meeting as well as industry partners who have been involved with several of the ERN activities.

ERN Virtual All Hands – Architecture/Federation Session

We propose to build an instrument to access or connect research instruments and data sources through federation, a software and hardware defined “connectome,” designed to simplify multi-campus collaborations and partnerships that advance the frontiers of research and innovation. This session will be a ERN community forum to discuss what the “connectome” might look like from both a hardware and software perspective as well as what federation should like as we strive for an “Eduroam” experience. Another goal of the session is to start identifying a ERN technical team who will lead the architecting/federating/software strategies.

ERN Virtual All Hands – Broadening the Reach Session

The session aims to learn directly from smaller, mid-sized and under-resourced campuses on the research infrastructure capability needs of the institutions – data, supercomputers and/or other research equipment, software, and people. In addition, the
session will explore developing a skilled workforce to support advanced CI and research and
the potential for the Eastern Regional Network (ERN) to provide the broader community access to ACI expertise, resources, tools, events, guidance, data, and collaboration opportunities. The goal is to bring together the community thought leaders to identify challenges, opportunities, collaboration opportunities, and brainstorm on the ERN Implementation in collaboration with RENs to address the needs of smaller, mid-sized and under-resourced campuses. Results of the workshop will also be used for planning the 2021-2022 ERN BTR Working Group workshops.

ERN Virtual All Hands – Policies Session

The vision of the ERN is to simplify multi-campus collaborations and partnerships that advance the frontiers of research and innovation. In order to do this successfully the ERN needs to consider current university policies as well as engage with university administrations (VPRs, CIOs, General Counsel, and IRB directors) in developing a policy strategy to help us bring the vision to reality. This session will give the ERN community a chance to discuss university policies and what considerations need to be taken into account as we create new policies and procedures. What needs to be in place that allows ease of sharing knowledge, data, infrastructure, and people? Sustainability, another important discussion point, as well as compliance requirements and security concerns should also be addressed during this session.

ERN Virtual All Hands – Structural Biology Session

Cryo-EM/ET is one of the research areas where gaining a deeper understanding of the workflows, research computing and data requirements, collaborations, and challenges will enable the ERN to have the broadest impact across multiple research disciplines, pedagogical approaches, senior level college and university administrators, and other organizations within the region and beyond. We estimate that the Cryo-EM/Cryo-ET community in the Northeast comprises nearly 50 centers serving more than 800 laboratories from Pennsylvania to Maine. Single Particle Reconstruction information produced by these centers is producing transformative insights. Given the cost and value of the instruments involved, fast turnaround and efficient use of resources is key. While all centers are well equipped to deliver images from prepared samples, processing and storage of these images can present significant and unnecessary obstacles, especially for labs that do not have easy access to computing resources and expertise. The Cryo-EM/Cryo-ET microscopy labs in the Northeast have formed a relatively tight knit community, allowing for free flow of information and experience, and reducing duplication of effort, and accelerating the adoption of new techniques. This session will explore possibilities for extending this collaboration to include the community of Research Computing and Networking organizations that serve these labs and the broader impacts.

ERN Virtual All Hands – Materials Discovery Session

Materials Discovery is one of the research areas where gaining a deeper understanding of the workflows, research computing and data requirements, collaborations, and challenges will enable the ERN to have the broadest impact across multiple research disciplines, pedagogical approaches, senior level college and university administrators, and other organizations within the region and beyond. Researchers in materials discovery are realizing their traditional data-intensive HPC workflows are reaching the limits of original progress. For this reason, they are looking to new paradigms that include convergence of HPC and Machine Learning (ML) methodologies, algorithm development, and novel ways to access the data distributed across multiple institutions used in training systems as promising approaches to overcome the major computational performance limitations they are faced with. Exploratory conversations with Penn State, Rutgers, SUNY Buffalo, MIT, and others suggest that Materials Discovery offers an attractive testbed for advanced cyberinfrastructure of the sort the ERN can offer through future funding opportunities such as the Mid-Scale RI-1 program. As with Cryo-EM/Cryo-ET, this session will explore possibilities for extending collaborations to include other institutions as well as the community of Research Computing and Networking organizations.

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