RIT Creates New “Cyberinfrastructure” Research Center




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In the early 1900s, when using the term “infrastructure,” people referred to roads, power grids, and telephones in an industrial economy. Now, a century later, computers are the key to a successful infrastructure in an informational economy.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences is unveiling a new research center, Center for Advancing the Study of Cyberinfrastructure (CASCI).

An official announcement was made on Sept. 7 at Digital Rochester’s monthly networking event hosted at the college.

Digital Rochester is a community of more than 3,200 technology professionals and entrepreneurs in upstate New York, making its monthly gathering, the ideal setting to unveil this new research center.

“Because the base of our membership is high-tech companies, this cyberinfrastructure initiative will directly involve many of our members over time,” states Juli Klie, president of Digital Rochester. “Spreading the word about the CASCI initiative is an important part of Digital Rochester’s mission to enhance our area’s standing as a technology center.”

Cyberinfrastructure, as defined by the National Science Foundation, describes the global information technology environments in which the highest level of computing tools are available to researchers and professionals in all disciplines.

The center aims to foster interdisciplinary research, using state-of-the-art computing to make studies in engineering and scientific fields, including social sciences and the humanities, more productive.

Several of RIT’s eight colleges will be participating in CASCI research. “The new center’s strategy for making people more productive and helping them work together in pursuit of interdisciplinary research is to focus strongly on fostering multidisciplinary teams,” says Jorge Diaz-Herrera, dean of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. “Accordingly, the new center is structured to provide the opportunity for faculty members from several disciplines to team up and work together to leverage cooperation from each other.”

These research teams will be made up of Golisano College faculty and students along with faculty and students from the other participating colleges. They will create cyber tools and environments to advance scientific discovery and product development.

CASCI’s mission is defined as follows:

  • Encourage innovation, scholarship, and entrepreneurship in domain-specific informatics
  • Enhance the institute’s computing environment for research in science and engineering
  • Manage, protect and maintain shared computing infrastructure and resources
  • Provide service to the RIT research community in all areas of cyberinfrastructure

CASCI will serve as the cornerstone for RIT’s Ph.D. in computing and information sciences that is currently being developed.

RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences is the largest comprehensive computing college in the nation, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science and information technology and an undergraduate program in software engineering.