Gigabytes into the future

The National Science Foundation has awarded The Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VT EPSCoR) at UVM a one million dollar grant to build high-speed Internet connections between UVM and Vermont State College system in Waterbury, according to University Communications. This connection will allow scientists to more easily engage in collaborative research and will have an immediate impact on two projects already underway. “[There are] two pilot projects that make use of large data sets; the Little Skate genome sequencing project and a metagenomic study of blue-green algae in fresh water lakes and ponds of the northeast,” Biology professor James Vincent said. “The ability to easily move very large data sets to national computing centers and regional shared data centers increases our ability to utilize resources external to UVM and to improve collaborations,” he said.   In addition to accommodating current projects, the new speed will allow for even more data-intensive projects in the future. “Building new networks is time consuming. We have planned for future growth by implementing excess capacity now so that growth in demand will not outstrip our capacity for some time into the future,” Vincent said.   Students should also see some benefits from the increased speed. “The real benefit to students for this increase in capacity is the ability to make new connections for research and education,” Kelvin Chu, UVM physics professor said.   “For example, we will be offering a new course in bioinformatics, he said. “The classes will be taught by experts in Maine, Delaware and Vermont, called Data Intensive Computing for Applied Bioinformatics.”