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External Engagement Plan

Strategy 1. Leverage multiple avenues to engage the general public. The Alliance will communicate scientific advances and discoveries to the general public by (1) providing guests to Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) and other television programs; (2) public lectures delivered by Alliance members in computational thinking, parallel computing, and computational materials science; (3) leveraging NSF's other investments, such as education kiosks at the Exploratorium of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) located in Livingston Parish; and (4) lectures on the promises and challenges of multiscale materials modeling offered to local and regional industry, facilitated by an Industrial Liaison Team (ILT). Success criteria: At least one LPB appearance per year by a LA-SiGMA member; at least one public lecture delivered each quarter; at least one lecture delivered to industrial audiences each quarter.

Strategy 2. Create a web portal for distribution of project deliverables. The Alliance will create a web portal to provide (1) archived videos of public lectures, (2) seminars delivered by invited seminar speakers, (3) course material developed by Alliance members, and (4) classroom lectures for the new courses developed for statewide delivery. Success criteria: Web portal created in Y1; traffic increases 20% annually.

Strategy 3. Create a repository and version control system for code development and distribution. The computational tools created by the Alliance will be archived using an integrated SVN, wiki, and Bugzilla (or other bug tracking software) system in addition to annual code releases with accompanying documentation. The Common Component Architecture (CCA) mentioned in Sec. 4.6 of the proposal will also be used to ensure interoperability of code modules. Success criteria: SVN created in Y1; maintained and upgraded in Y2- 5; 100 code downloads per year starting Y3.

Strategy 4. Leverage cyberinfrastructure to facilitate communication. The jurisdiction has invested in IOCOM distributed collaboration systems at all participating campuses, consisting of integrated video conferencing systems that are compatible with the existing Access Grid network. The proposed budget includes funds for HD Polycom stations to supplement existing infrastructure to facilitate extensive communication both within the Alliance as well as international partners. Success criteria: Polycom HD stations purchased and installed at participating institutions in Y1.

Strategy 5. Use Newsletter/Brochures/Highlights to publicize Alliance activities. The LA EPSCoR monthly newsletter highlights the role played by LA EPSCoR in promoting the development of the State's science and technology resources through partnerships involving its universities, industry, and government. The newsletter is distributed by mail to 400 individuals, including State legislators, and electronically to more than 720 email addresses, which includes federal funding agencies. Success criteria: At least two LA-SiGMA highlights featured in EPSCoR newsletter each year; at least one story picked up by regional/national press.

Strategy 6. Create formal mechanisms for engagement with NSF. An annual meeting with representative program officers from NSF and other federal funding agencies will provide a forum for faculty from all participating institutions to learn about institution-appropriate funding opportunities. Michael Khonsari, the State EPSCoR Project Director, will coordinate communication with the NSF EPSCoR office. Synchronous HD video conferencing is available at the EPSCoR office to interact with NSF. Success criteria: Regular interactions with NSF; at least three research highlights reported to NSF annually.

Strategy 7. Establish new national and international collaborations. The Alliance will leverage partnerships with national labs (see Sec. 4.5 of proposal) to promote national collaborations to benefit students and faculty. We will also leverage our extensive collaborations with international partners (Moreno's PIRE program between LSU and seven partners throughout Germany and Switzerland, the collaboration between the Italian National Nanotechnology Labs and LA Tech "Progetto Bilaterale Italia-USA," etc.) to provide educational experiences for our students and faculty. The code distribution (Strategy 3) will also help develop new partnerships across the world. Success criteria: At least one LA-SiGMA faculty and at least one student will visit and work in an international lab for one or more weeks each year.

Strategy 8. Create mechanisms for internal communications. The Alliance will host biannual all-hands "face-to-face" meetings to share information and data. These meetings will provide a mechanism for interaction with the Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC), Industrial Liaison Team (ILT), and External Review Board (ERB) as well. Success criteria: Full participation in biannual meetings.