Purdue nurtures cyber infrastructure

Purdue University has started a new cyber infrastructure program to link all of its computer resources and enhance research, university officials announced today.

The program -- the Cyber Center -- will beef up Purdue’s networks and research computing, said Ahmed Elmagarmid, a professor of computer science and the center’s director.

The center will also serve as an incubator for new technologies that will help the economy, Elmagarmid said.

The center “will take advantage of two important developments: the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research and the use of information technology for the discovery process,” said James Bottum, Purdue’s vice president for IT, in a statement.

A key focus will be collaboration to improve sensor technology and wireless sensor networks, Elmagarmid said. Through the center, Purdue scientists intend to work on improved radio-frequency identification, sensor and wireless technologies that could be used for homeland security and other purposes, he said.

Purdue created the center on the recommendation of its cyber infrastructure advisory committee, formed two years ago to help the university determine how to improve its cyber infrastructure, Elmagarmid said.

One-quarter of a $10 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will pay for the center’s first three years of operation, Elmagarmid said. The university aims to acquire $25 million in outside funding for the center over the next three years.

In related news, the National Science Foundation announced that it is creating an advisory committee to advise its Cyberinfrastructure Council.

The Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure will advise the council on what the NSF is doing to create and maintain cyber infrastructure that fosters cutting-edge developments in science and engineering, the Federal Register reported Aug. 10.

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