BLACKSBURG, Va., July 8, 2008 -A team of collaborators involved in a cyberinfrastructure education and outreach project led by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech met for a summer workshop on June 17-19 in Reston, Va.

2009 CIBRED workshop
2009 CIBRED workshop

The workshop was designed to support the CIBRED (CI-Team Implementation for Biological Researchers, Educators and Developers) project, which is part of VBI's education and outreach program in Cyberinfrastructure - Training, Education, Advancement and Mentoring (CI-TEAM). Cyberinfrastructure, a research environment that combines high performance computational resources with scientific work, has become an important tool for researchers working on projects involving large amounts of data. CIBRED has allowed VBI to form collaborations with researchers from different scientific disciplines, as well as high school and college educators from several institutions nationwide, to build an educational program for the next generation of scientific researchers. One of the main goals of CIBRED is the development of sustainable, scalable cyberinfrastructure courses within a research-focused interdisciplinary learning environment that is flexible enough to be integrated into the curriculums of different institutions, yet has a common theme of preparing a cyber-ready future workforce.

Educators from National University Research Institute, Howard University, Virginia Tech, Oakwood University, and the Cyber-Infrastructure Education, Recruitment, Retention, Advancement (CIERRA) group attended the workshop, which provided them with the opportunity to showcase complete cyberinfrastructure models developed within the CIBRED course framework and discuss various aspects of the project, including the CIBRED website and other possible methods of course material dissemination.

According to Oswald Crasta, project director of VBI's Cyberinfrastructure Group (CIG) and the principal investigator of the CIBRED project, "The workshop provided a platform for all participants involved in this virtual organization to make presentations on the progress they have made in developing a sustainable and scalable educational program nationwide. It also provided a forum to discuss the challenges we have faced, the lessons learned and the timelines for deploying, assessing and disseminating the courses."

VBI was awarded a $918,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of the CIBRED project for the years 2008 through 2010. CIBRED is building upon the CI-TEAM Demonstration Project that was developed in collaboration with Galileo Magnet High School and Bluefield State College. The project was funded through a $287,000 grant from NSF in 2006 and 2007. Crasta and co-principal investigators Stephen Cammer and Daphne Rainey, also of VBI, are collaborating with scientific researchers and high school and undergraduate educators from several institutions nationwide to build an educational program that will help prepare students for research environments where cyberinfrastructure systems, tools and services are used effectively to fuel a knowledge-based economy. Students and researchers involved in the CIBRED project will focus on the development of solutions for specific scientific projects in an environment that removes the boundaries between different disciplines. For more information and to view the presentations from the workshop, visit the CIBRED website at http://www.cieducation.net or http://cibred.vbi.vt.edu.  The presentations will be available on the site on or before July 29, 2009.

 

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Published by Susan Bland, July 07, 2009