UT System Commits $23 Million to Improve Cyberinfrastructure at All 15 Institutions

The University of Texas System Board of Regents has unanimously approved $23 million for improvements that will increase connectivity and computer capacity for all 15 University of Texas institutions, support research projects and foster stronger collaborations among scientists in Texas and around the world.

"We are pleased the regents authorized this effort, as it allows our 15 institutions to leverage all the research, financial and technical advantages of UT Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) so that all our campuses can develop their information technology infrastructures," said System Chancellor Francisco D. Cigarroa, M.D.

TACC Director Jay Boisseau said, "Discoveries at the leading-edge of science require increasingly powerful computational technologies and are increasingly collaborative. This project will greatly enhance the ability of researchers at UT System institutions to address the most challenging computational problems, and to work together to make breakthrough discoveries."

The computing upgrades will enable system institutions to transmit and receive data at a rate of 10 gigabits per second through an intra-system connection. These enhancements will improve collaborations among investigators in Texas and with researchers in other states and countries as well.

"This boost in computational, networking and storage resources, accompanied by associated technical expertise, creates opportunity for researchers at UT System institutions who are constrained by limited access to such high-end resources," said Pat Teller, professor of computer science at the University of Texas at El Paso. "Such an investment by the UT System clearly will facilitate entry of faculty and students into computational engineering/science, advances in these disciplines and the emergence of new research-extensive universities in Texas."

The improvements will allow institutions to conduct projects using shared data storage. This will enable researchers from different sites to access a single data source, aiding collaboration. A UT Data Repository prototype will be developed to provide disk storage and data collection management software for open science and clinical research data.

"The promise of personalized medicine -- where individual genomic profiles will be associated with other valuable clinical samples and combined to build comprehensive genomic profiles, and where medical information is transferred through interactive media for the purpose of consulting, teaching and remote medical procedures -- will also benefit significantly from this investment," said Brian Herman, vice president for research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

The proposal will provide funding for support staff to ensure that researchers across Texas can effectively use all of the advanced computing capabilities, including networking, central storage, data collection and high performance computing.

"Providing seamless access to the world-class computational resources at UT Austin to all institutions in the UT System will significantly impact research productivity, competitiveness and innovation across all System's institutions," said Juan M. Sanchez, vice president for research at The University of Texas at Austin. "This initiative is an important step towards ensuring that Texas continues to be a leader in the highly competitive arena of advanced computing."