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NEWS
SDSC Director Hopes to Make Cyberinfrastructure "Real"
August 22, 2008

Comprising the “infrastructure” for the Information Age, cyberinfrastructure – the organized aggregate of information technologies, organizations, and human resources – is essential for future research advancement and discovery. In this month’s EDUCAUSE Review, Dr. Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, makes the case for investment in cyberinfrastructure as part of the “IT bill” for the Information Age.

Just as technology transformed the Industrial Age, Dr. Berman writes that cyberinfrastructure, or CI, has the potential to be a key driver of the Information Age, particularly with the explosive growth in digital data that is creating a new set of challenges in information management, storage, and long-term preservation.

The challenge is that in the research and education community, cyberinfrastructure is both a continuous work-in-progress and a stable infrastructure driver for invention and innovation. While Dr. Berman adds that this practice may be “new territory” for faculty researchers, educators, or university and college administrators, forward-looking academic institutions are launching CI-based initiatives, with the goal of advancing their own research capabilities and educational expertise on campus, and gaining a competitive edge at the national/international levels in the private and commercial research sectors.

In her EDUCAUSE Review article, Dr. Berman notes that there is potential for Cyberinfrastructure to be a “new kind of educational discipline” that could easily form the basis of curricula, courses offered in universities and colleges in the same way that computational science became a discipline during the 80’s and ’90s.

For Dr. Berman’s full EDUCAUSE Review article, please visit online.


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