The LONI Institute (LI) was created with several success indicators in mind, for which we summarize the progress, notably:
→ Hiring of new researchers. The LI has hired six full-time faculty, four computational scientists, and a development coordinator. The LI has also funded six graduate students in year 1, and will be funding six students in year 2.
The expertise of the LI faculty includes parallel numerical algorithms for large scale engineering applications, electromagnetic theory and its applications, the physics of strongly correlated electronic materials, cellular biomechanics, biophysics, biofluid mechanics, multiphase and non-Newtonian flow, computational drug design and lead optimization, modeling of biomolecular interactions and solvation, and the design of algorithms to analyze genomic data. Their start dates vary from July 2008, to January 2009.
The expertise of the LI Computational Scientists is on computational efficient simulations of fluids in channels, developing complex codes in serial and parallel platforms, as well as developing tools to analyze data such as CT images, providing on-demand access to cyberinfrastructure for disaster management, reliability modeling, workflow modeling and analysis of distributed systems, design and simulation of TCAD/polymer TCAD, microelectronic, and microfluidic devices, semiconductor device fabrication and characterization, high performance computation algorithms, software design, ab initio plane wave and full potential material simulation, and bioinformatics: 3D structure alignment, protein structure searching form the Protein Data Bank, haplotype reconstruction from SNP matrices with incomplete and inconsistent errors, and genome comparison based on non-breaking similarity.
In year 1, six graduate students were supported through the LI grant. These students used the resources of the LONI Institute and LONI. The results of their research have been presented in conferences, invited papers and peer-reviewed journals. For year 2, five graduate students have been selected to receive the fellowship, the sixth fellowship will be filled this Fall semester.
→ Creation and implementation of statewide, interdisciplinary research projects. Even though there are no projects that are exclusive to the LI yet, there are a significant number of projects that involve the researchers associated with the LI and the LI Computational Scientists (CSs). We have recently begun to look for new projects that will involve the LI CSs. We also expect more projects to arise once the LI Faculty are fully in place. We expect the collaborations developed will be strengthened and enhanced as the LI gains new members in year 2 and beyond. The most important of the ongoing projects from the point of view of infrastructure for the state, is the $12M CyberTools project, which we expect will provide advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) for the entire state, not only for the LI members. The $2.7M NSF HPCOPS brings the LONI infrastructure to the TeraGrid, which is the NSF''s national backbone for advanced CI. This award funds 7 staff positions to better develop and support the LONI environment, while integrating this national environment with the state. This makes it much easier for all state researchers to take advantage of the national CI. Together, these two awards lay a strong foundation for future projects.
→ Developing corporate partnership programs. LSU is currently building towards joint projects with corporations. LSU also has a research partnership with NVIDIA. At ULL, there are a number of partners of the NIMSAT Institute that are all candidates for the use of the LI''s technical and intellectual assets.
→ Education, outreach and training programs. LI partners have offered and participated in HD courses, such as "High-Performance computing: Models, Methods and Means", and a video game design course, and in workshops and tutorials on HPC and Computational Sciences. Over 200 people attended the tutorials, and over 150 people attended the workshops in year 1. LA Tech also hosted the week-long "CyberCamp" for High School students this Summer 2008. In year 2 and beyond, the LI Computational Scientists will also work with LONI staff and its member campuses to develop and hold training workshops on the use of LONI and its advances cyber-services, as well as annual conferences and workshops. Themes will be based on overlaps between various partnerships, such as application- and tool-based workshops.