CI Days 2014 Draws in 150 Participants!

The third annual Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Days conference was held October 23rd – 24th at Michigan State University. CI Days provides a unique opportunity for faculty, staff and students across campus to come together to gain a better understanding of the benefits that CI can bring to their research. This year's event specifically celebrated 10 years of high performance computing at MSU.

Day one of the conference kicked off on Thursday by providing attendees with six workshop options. Topics included Introduction to High Performance Computing at MSU, Advanced Topics in HPC, Top 10 Productivity Tools in MATLAB, Optimizing Your MATLAB Code, as well as Introduction and Advanced Python courses. All slides presented during the workshops may be seen on the event website.

On Thursday evening, the poster session and social evening allowed participants to showcase their research while exploring what others at MSU are focusing on. Each poster was evaluated by judges based on the author's communication of the project's relevance, the visual aspects of the poster, how the project made use of CI, and how knowledgeable the presenter was with the work presented.

Following are the poster session winners. All posters submitted in this year's session may be seen on the event website.

  • 1st place: Jory Schossau, Department of Computer Science and Engineering at MSU, "Toward the Measure of a Brain."
  • 2nd place: Shujun Ou, Department of Horticulture at MSU, "High Performance Computation Assisted Parameter Refinement in Genomic Scan for Long Terminal Repeat (LTR) Retrotransposons."
  • 3rd place: Matthew Klenk, Materials Science and Engineering at MSU, "Investigating the Local Environment of Li in the Fast-Ion Conductor LLZ Using Molecular Dynamics to Understand Diffusion Mechanics and Phase Transition Phenomena."

Friday was comprised of presentations by guest speakers from on-campus and across the country including:

  • Dr. Dirk Colbry, Director of the High Performance Computing Center at Michigan State University
  • Dr. Adam Phillippy, Senior Principal Investigator at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center in Fredrick, Maryland
  • Dr. Vernon McIntosh, Senior Molecular Biotechnologist at Cargill Inc. in Minnesota
  • Dr. Michael Simeone, Director of Nexus Lab for Digital Humanities at Arizona State University 
  • Dr. Matthew Scholz, Director of the newly formed Bioinformatics Center for Education and Productivity (BiCEP) as well as Research Specialist at the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research at Michigan State University
  • Dr. A. Sean Pue, Associate Professor of Hindi Language and South Asian Literature and Culture at Michigan State University
  • Dr. Jennifer Guiliano, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

During lunch, attendees were able to explore a variety of campus resources and national facilities, with services that can better enable their research. A panel discussion spoke on the topic of "2016 HPC Hardware Funding" providing insight from a range of disciplines on the matter.

Dr. Corey Washington, VPRGS Director of Analytics and Strategic Projects at MSU, gave the conference's closing remarks stating, "We are here to provide resources in order to make people successful. It is a collaboration on this campus."

The event increase in size from previous years drawing in 150 participants over the two days. CI Days 2015 is set for October 22nd – 23rd, 2015