Since PRAGMA membership is at institutional level, benefits include:
- setting future directions of research and development,
- testing new software and technologies,
- accessing resources for development and application,
- providing students opportunities for research and leadership opportunities,
- hosting workshops,
- building longer-term collaborations
and much more. The following statements are a few examples of the membership benefits.
University of Hyderabad (UoHyd)
The University of Hyderabad (UoHyd) is a founding member of PRAGMA and an initial member of the PRAGMA Steering Committee. PRAGMA serves as a mechanism through which information and resources can easily be exchanged. It is playing the catalytic role of promoting collaborations. We found that with its participative sessions, PRAGMA encourages people to connect with each other quickly and seamlessly. Networking is easier and fruitful partnerships are being initiated in a relatively short time. PRAGMA has a focus and a mission to accomplish tasks and test new ideas. Recent efforts of UoHyd have centered on exchanging students under the PRIME program, which provides undergraduates at UCSD with hands-on, full-time research experiences in internationally collaborative settings. Several of our own students have benefitted by interacting with them. This has helped us to evolve a very vibrant academic and research group here in our department (Computer/Information Sciences) where every year several students register to work on problems related to grid and cloud computing. PRAGMA has been providing a great opportunity to connect to the grid research community and landscape of cultures as it moves from one location to another.
National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC)
The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) is a statutory government organization under the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Ministry of Science and Technology. Our main responsibilities are to undertake, support, and promote the development of electronics and computer technologies through research and development activities. The range of our applications spans from supporting agriculture, healthcare, ecology and environment, manufacturing and the service industry, to bridging the digital divide, cultural preservation, disaster mitigation, and development of R&D human resource. We also play role in the development of IT related research infrastructure.
NECTEC has been an active member of PRAGMA since 2002. We have found that the collaboration with PRAGMA is very beneficial to our missions. Close relationships with the Resource Working Group have given us good technical support for our computing resource setup. This has been one of our strengths in building the computing infrastructure for computational research in Thailand. Collaborations within PRAGMA led us to become a member of APGrid PMA, which became a significant component in our development of the Thailand National e-Science Infrastructure Consortium. Our development of an environmental information portal called "Environment Informatorium" has become part of a GEO Grid collaboration. This is a result of the interaction within the GEO Working Group. Participation in PRAGMA's Telescience Working Group has led to recent collaborations on coral reef monitoring with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), NCHC, NECTEC, Walailak University (WU), and UCSD. Researchers from collaborating partners and a student from PRIME have visited the study site at Racha Island, Southern Thailand; Michael Nekrasov, PRIME 2009, returned there to help with setting up the site. The equipment and software system have been set up and the site has already been registered as the fourth CREON coral reef site. A paper on this will be presented by the lead author, Professor Mullica of WU at the upcoming Environmental Information Management (EIM) conference.ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Kasetsart University (KU)
During our engagement in PRAGMA activities, Kasetsart University (KU) has gained many benefits from our interactions. First, the experiences in the building of a large international cyberinfrastructure help deepen our understanding of how large and complex infrastructure can be built and operated reliably. As we collaborate in building a monitoring infrastructure called SCMSWeb, there are many technical challenges that enable us to gain many valuable insights into the monitoring technology. Moreover, the exchange of ideas and culture that has happened throughout these years prepares our researchers to be ready to work in a new globalized world. We look forward to more future work with PRAGMA members in the move towards large-scale deployment of cloud and virtualization technology. This is an exciting transition and will create new potential for many areas of application and we hope that we can be a part of this effort.
Konkuk University (Konkuk U)
Konkuk University (Konkuk U.) has been participating in PRAGMA since the 3rd PRAGMA workshop in Fukuoka, Japan in 2003 and officially joined PRAGMA as an institute member during PRAGMA 12. Through both the participation in workshops and a number of collaborative efforts together with other members, Konkuk U. has been developing its experiences and strength in interdisciplinary research and global collaboration. Based on experiences and lessons from Working Group (WG) activities in PRAGMA, Konkuk U. established an interdisciplinary graduate program called the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion in 2006, which addresses a wide range of scientific disciplines: information technology, environment technology, biotechnology and intelligent microsystems. The program was selected as one of eleven graduate programs of excellence in interdisciplinary science and engineering in 2006 and has been financially and administratively supported by the Ministry of Education and Science. Largely due to this graduate program, Konkuk U. is now considered as one of a few universities leading interdisciplinary research and education.
In 2008, based on the Department of Advanced Technology Fusion, Konkuk U. founded a research institute focused on information technology-based interdisciplinary research: the Institute for Ubiquitous Information Technology and Applications (UBITA). UBITA has been doing large-scale interdisciplinary research projects.
Through activities with the Biosciences WG, Konkuk U. and KISTI have jointly developed a grid computing system for molecular simulation called MGrid which is considered one of the few successful grid computing projects in Korea. The system is now available in the Korea shared supercomputing infrastructure called PLSI. PLSI consists of twelve high performance computing centers in Korea and currently provides three computing services; MGrid is one of these services.
In 2011, an interdisciplinary research collaboration network for ecology, meteorology, and information technology, the Korea Ecological Observation Network (KEON) was founded in Korea. KEON consists of government and university research institutes, as well as individual members in Korea. UBITA is one of the founding institute members. The vision and organization of KEON is largely inspired by PRAGMA and the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON). GLEON is a grassroots organization of more than 300 members that draws its origins to the NCHC Ecogrid projects. One specific component of KEON is the Korean Lake Ecological Observatory Network (KLEON, see next story).
For the last decade, PRAGMA has given Konkuk U. opportunities for global collaboration with excellent research groups in the world. Due to such opportunities, Konkuk U. has become one of the leading institutes in interdisciplinary education and research in Korea.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Department of Advanced Technology Fusion, Institute for Ubiquitous Information Technology and Applications (UBITA), PLSI: www.plsi.or.kr and mgrid.plsi.or.kr/portal, Korea Ecological Observation Network (KEON), GLEON.
Osaka University and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)
We have been developing technologies for cyberinfrastructure. By actively participating in a large community such as PRAGMA, we can contribute our technology to real-world use in science. For example, the OptIPlanet infrastructure becomes an example for future cyberinfrastructure with applications to telescience, geoscience and e-culture. Sensor networks are also foundations for cyberinfrastructure in environmental monitoring such as GLEON and urban monitoring. An educational component is mandatory for international collaborative science. PRIME is one of the key components of our lab in terms of Japanese students as well as international collaboration. Because we valued this PRAGMA effort involving education, we initiated a sister program, PRIUS, which sends our students to PRAGMA institutes. The large-scale international collaboration that happens in PRAGMA is unique. Therefore, for students especially, joining this international collaboration team is a real value.
National Applied Research Laboratory (NARL) and the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC)
The National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC) has been a member of PRAGMA since 2002 and has continuously participated in PRAGMA workshops and associated activities. NCHC is one of the eleven national laboratories affiliated with the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL). Learning from the PRAGMA collaboration, NCHC has built grid application platforms which have led to extensive involvement from NARL. For example, in addition to NCHC, both the NARL headquarters and the National Space Organization (NSPO) have been deeply involved with the GEO Working Group and have achieved the Aster/Formosat-2 image federation with PRAGMA colleagues at AIST. The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) participates in the Telescience Working Group, and through this PRAGMA alliance, NCREE strengthened its relationship with the US NSF Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) program. The Taiwan Ocean Research Institute (TORI) - following the path of the PRAGMA Telescience Working group - with technical support from NCHC, has deployed a coral reef observatory site at Orchid Island that is able to support marine biology research studies in Taiwan, as well as across the globe. In the near future, we anticipate more institutes under NARL with research interests in earth observations will take part in PRAGMA activities and collaborations.
College of Computer Science & Technology (CCST), Jilin University
Jilin University (JLU) is a leading national university under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education of China. The College of Computer Science & Technology (CCST) of JLU became a member of PRAGMA at the PRAGMA 9 workshop, held in 2006. Since then, PRAGMA has provided CCST with many opportunities to participate in international grid activities and build close collaborations with other PRAGMA members.
CCST joined both the Biosciences and Resource Working Groups of PRAGMA. Each group has a specific focus and projects that enable people to work together and make progress. Through working group activities, CCST is able to feel the pulse of technology development in the high-performance computing (HPC) arena and is able to better know how scientists in other areas use HPC to conduct their research.
CCST is involved in the Avian Flu project, an international project in the Biosciences Working Group, which is aimed at building a comprehensive grid platform to use simulations and in silico screening to support the fight against avian influenza virus. The Avian Flu project provided specific usage scenarios for meta-scheduling; this pushed CCST to develop a number of useful features in meta-scheduler CSF4, including the following: array job, working flow, data staging in/out, and application aware scheduling.
CCST has established close relationships with the Opal team, Gfarm team, and other research groups in the PRAGMA community. Several CCST faculty members and graduate students have become short-term visiting researchers at UCSD. In turn, UCSD researchers have visited CCST on several occasions. In the last few years, CCST has co-published approximately ten papers with PRAGMA researchers in international journals and conferences, such as New Generation Computing, e-Science, Grid and Cloud Computing (GCC), Parallel and Distributed Processing with Applications (ISPA), Grid Computing and Applications (GCA), Grid and Distributed Computing (GDC), and others.
Above all, PRAGMA brings great value to CCST in terms of broadening international collaboration, engaging applications, publishing scientific papers, and cultivating student.
Monash University has benefited from involvement in PRAGMA since its inception in 2002. The Monash e-Science and Grid Engineering (MeSsAGE) Lab specializes in the development of software tools and techniques for programming e-Science applications. e-Science is characterized by computationally intensive modeling and/or large data processing requirements. Due to the scale of computing required to support e-Science it is usually carried out across distributed environments such as grids and clouds, which requires high levels of collaboration between application scientists and distributed-computing specialists.
PRAGMA provides a unique incubator for this kind of collaborative science. Researchers in various disciplines from leading institutions provide a diversity of expertise, ripe with scientific opportunity. MeSsAGE Lab focuses on application development motivated by underlying scientific goals, rather than on technology for its own sake. This is why PRAGMA involvement is so important for us - there are always PRAGMA members working on interesting problems ready to push the boundaries of what we do.
In 2010, MeSsAGE Lab had the pleasure of hosting five students participating in the PRIME program, all of them working on projects related to e-Science. PRIME is another great PRAGMA opportunity for engagement, plus it has the added benefit of bringing some new friends to the Lab each year. At the PRAGMA 18 Workshop in March 2010, we identified and embarked on a collaboration with the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, modeling ash fallout from volcanic eruptions (please see NG-TEPHRA in the Key Collaborative Successes section). Early work has already been accepted for international publication, with full-scale modeling and a data visualization workflow to follow.