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Research IT partners with units, researchers, and IT Professionals to provide the best possible collaboration on technologies to elevate your research. Research IT formed in response to the discoveries made during the Year of Cyberinfrastructure and aims to enable the pre-eminent research university in the modern digital age. Do you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share with the team? Send us an email and a member of the team will contact you.

Research IT will distribute a monthly email newsletter to keep you informed on progress and opportunities.

The past year has given the Research IT team opportunities to collaborate with many areas across campus including the OVCR, Library, NCSA, iSchool, Computer Science, Engineering IT, IHSI, and the College of Medicine. The Research IT team successfully completed its first Quarterly Service Review at Technology Services and is currently refining its Vision/Mission/Goals and setting area metrics for the coming year.

Research IT team members will lead multiple presentations and workshops at the Spring 2017 IT Professionals Forum in June. Hope to see you there! 

If you would like to help your researchers find campus-wide research resources, please let us know how we can help and we look forward to continued partnership.

 

Social Media Analytics

The Social Media Analytics team partnered with the Illinois Data Science Initiative (iDSI) to host a Social Media Analytics Summit on May 2nd. Summit information and presentation slide decks are available on the Research IT websiteThe Social Media Analytics team is moving forward with plans for a cross-campus partnership with Indiana University on the Social Media Macroscope.

 

Compute

As the Illinois Campus Cluster Program (ICCP) enters its 6th year of production operations, it has come time to bid adieu to the oldest parts of the system: the initial cluster, dubbed Taub, will be retired on June 1, 2017. The program will forge ahead with operations and growth as new investors come on board and others reinvest as their equipment ages out. Additionally, users can now buy only the compute time they need with Research Computing as a Service (RCaaS), or rent storage on a month-by-month basis with the Active Data Storage (ADS) service. Keep an eye out for more new options for computing and storage later this year. Watch for more information on High Throughput Computing (HTC) soon!

 

Marketing and Communications

Research IT has a newly designed website including a list of available resources, news and events pertaining to research at Illinois. Over the past year we have focused on the development of an overall Marketing and Communications Strategy and subsequent actionable monthly plan aimed at connecting researchers with the resources, training, and support that they need. These efforts support the highest priority from the Year of Cyberinfrastructure effort: to raise awareness of available services.

 

Cloud Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently released a number of technical updates

Research IT worked with the Beckman Imaging Center to connect their MRI processing workflow to Amazon Web Services to reduce the amount of time it takes to process MRI images from three months to three days. 

The Technology Services Amazon Web Services (AWS) team is positioned to assist you with the AWS Cloud Credits for Research Program. Through this program, Amazon directly awards researchers credits for the use of AWS to enhance cloud-based research. Working with the Technology Services AWS team can help increase the chances for researchers to be awarded AWS credits.

 

Simplifying HIPAA-Related Processes

A cross-campus working group collaboratively drafted questions to be used in faculty interviews to assess their sensitive data needs. The working group also identified opportunities to improve the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, as it pertains to HIPAA, by populating the form with choices and reducing, if not eliminating, free-form text boxes. Faculty welcomed the suggestion for simplifying the IRB form.

In an effort to finalize HIPAA-related workflows and processes, Applied Health Sciences identified a project that could be used as a sentinel effort. AHS staff are currently working with NCSA staff to pilot the local HIPAA-compliant environment.  

Efforts are underway to build HIPAA-compliant environments in Amazon Web Services (AWS). As necessary processes are defined for working with sensitive data in AWS, early adopters will be identified to pilot the new processes and environment.

 

 
Project Updates
 
Portal Project

The Portal project team has been refining technical requirements and evaluating systems for the future Research IT dashboard. Work continues on gathering data for all research related services across campus along with identifying the best data structure to make these services available. The team plans to start development work on the new dashboard this summer.

 

Training Project

Over the past few months, the Training project team has consolidated research-related training courses and modules from across campus. A few students from Mech SE are developing training programs over the summer. The team continues their efforts towards identifying and developing training options for the benefit of all researchers throughout the University. During the Spring 2017 semester, the team provided 550 student hours of training in MATLAB, Python, Abaqus, Fluent, HPC, and Software Carpentry.

 

 
Opportunities to Engage
 
USIgnite

USIgnite, a nonprofit organization that fosters the development and deployment of next-generation gigabit applications, created a national network of Smart Gigabit Communities, which includes Urbana-Champaign. The USIgnite team is interested in working with students, faculty and researchers to showcase innovative applications. A number of efforts are already underway.

 

UC2B

UC2B, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband, is a community broadband project that was funded through a federal grant. A non-profit group, UC2B-NFP, oversees the operations of the network service provider and seeks ways to enhance community involvement with an objective of expanding digital literacy. Research IT, in partnership with UC2B-NFP, is building a gig-minded ecosystem that presents opportunities for individuals and organizations to give back to the community with a goal of elevating digital literacy.

 

CU Hack Night

CU Hack Night is a group of civic-minded individuals who seek to find solutions to community challenges. Hack Nights began as a community group in January 2017. The weekly Tuesday night meetings include dinner, technical presentations, and breakout sessions focusing on projects ranging from bee pollination to mass transit and public health. Hack nights locate publicly available data with the goal of addressing challenges in local communities. The group focuses on having fun with new and old friends to create new solutions.

 

 
 

 To contact us visit the Research IT website or email research-it@illinois.edu.