University of Glasgow eScience hub opening

The National e-Science Centre at the University of Glasgow - the e-Science Hub - will be officially opened by Prof Wilson Sibbett, Director of Research, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, on 17 September. The Centre will provide a focal point for activities in e-Science across the University of Glasgowᅠas well as leading UK-wide e-Science practitioners together with the co-holder of the National e-Science Centre - the University of Edinburgh. ᅠ

e-Science refers to the large scale science that will increasingly be carried out through worldwide collaborations made possible by the Internet. These large scale joint scientific enterprises require access to very large data collections, very large scale computing resources and high performance visualisation for the individual scientist, wherever he or she is located.

As Dr Richard Sinnott, Technical Director ofᅠ NeSC at the University of Glasgow, explains, 'The key driving forces behind e-Science are the need to handle the vast quantities of data - Peta-bytes of information (Giga-Giga Bytes) - which current scientific problems generate together with computational problems that would require billions of years to analyse on standard standalone desk top machines.

While the World Wide Web has given us access to information on Web pages written in html anywhere on the Internet, a much more powerful infrastructure is needed to support e-Science.

The Grid as it is known, is an architecture proposed to bring all these issues together and make a reality of such a vision for e-Science.'

The e-Science Hub itself will make available training facilities to educate scientists in Grid related technologies; offer a next generation multimedia conferencing service for virtual collaborations, and provide a next generation computational resource for compute and data intensive scientific problems (through the extension of the ScotGrid cluster).

The University of Glasgow has especially strong research groups involved in e-Science including internationally recognised centres of excellence in Particle Physics, Bioinformatics, NanoTechnology, Computer Science and Clinical Sciences.

As Dr Sinnott added, ' I see this e-Science Hub as providing an environment where collaborative research between these differing disciplines will be facilitated. The potential for this technology is enormous and pushes the frontiers of a wide variety of scientific areas from new drug discovery, next generation computer chip development through to understanding how fires spread, or how, why and where earthquakes take place.'

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First published: 16 September 2003