The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards $110 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 18 partner institutions to continue and expand activities undertaken through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). A virtual organization that has reportedly become the cornerstone of the nation's cyberinfrastructure ecosystem, XSEDE accelerates open scientific discovery and broadens participation in advanced computing by lowering the barriers for researchers, engineers and scholars to use and access computing resources. Under the new five-year award, called XSEDE 2.0, the organization will maintain existing services to its large user community and add elements in response to evolving user demands and supporting technologies.
The project aligns with the objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) – a whole-of-government effort that fosters a coordinated federal strategy in high-performance computing (HPC) research and deployment. NSF serves as one of the initiative's three lead agencies.
XSEDE 2.0 supports NSCI's goals, according to the organization. These include holistically expanding the capabilities and capacity of a robust and enduring national HPC ecosystem and contributing the educational and workforce development necessary to prepare current and future researchers and technical experts.
Last year, XSEDE reportedly provided computational and data services to more than 6,000 scientists, engineers and students. Through its web portal, it supported more than 20,000 users. In the first four years of the project, users acknowledged support by XSEDE and its related computational resources in roughly 14,000 publications, according to NSF. Among these XSEDE-supported studies were efforts that:
- Confirmed the discovery of gravitational waves.
- Developed high-resolution maps of the Arctic.
- Uncovered the structure of HIV.
- Helped prevent injuries from car accidents.
For more information, visit: www.nsf.gov