Interregional Cooperation at Scientific Computing .. (ICOSCIS)
Interregional Cooperation at Scientific Computing in Interdisciplinary Science
Start date: Feb 27, 2012,
End date: Feb 26, 2014
Simulations in science are nowadays considered an integral part of research methodology. Natural Sciences have long used them to replace costly experiments and repetitive problems. Today, even fields such as Economics and Social Sciences rely on computers to study problems with huge datasets. Foreseeing the increase of computing needs, EU has implemented actions resulting in the creation of the European Grid Initiative (EGI). Unfortunately, several less developed regions like Southern Bulgaria were left out of the effort to both build a Grid Computing cluster and receive the know-how on its use. To correct this mishap we will build a network of four partners, the Department of Physics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the South-West University (SWU), the Department of Economics of the University of Macedonia (UoM) and the Department of Computer Science of the American University of Blagoevgrad (AUBG). Our primary goal will be to introduce a core group of Bulgarian scientists to advanced computational methods. Our project will also focus on the transfer of knowledge on complex science methods (AUTh) and their application in other sciences, such as Economics (UoM). Experience and know-how on scientific computing and parallel algorithms will be passed on through a series of educational, scientific exchange, activities. To adapt such techniques on problems relative to the interests of SWU and AUBG we will form a joint bilateral supervising committee (JBSC). Additionally, to achieve our goal, we will create two Grid computing clusters based on AUTh and SWU, tailored to each partners needs. We will take steps towards the integration of this facility in EGI. JBSC, will form teams of SWU and AUBG scientists that represent in the best possible way both their departments and research interests. We will emphasize on the ability of trainees to act as student educators themselves. Opting for gender convergence and non-discrimination we will encourage women and people with disabilities to participate in the project. The teams training will focus on scientific computing and applications of complex science. To achieve this, exchange visits and e-courses, will be organized over a period of several months. At a later stage, courses on Grid computing will be held by AUTh in order to fully exploit the vast opportunities offered by EGI. Additionally, throughout the project, SWU students will follow a series of courses tailored to their needs and best students will receive honorary awards. Upon returning to their institutions they will be assigned a semester long project with the goal of performing early stage research. This action will ensure the formation of a strong basis of collaboration between the partners involved and provide a jump start in the research potential of future young scientists. Expected Results: This project is an investment in an interdisciplinary scientific field (Complex Science) which is continuously expanding. By training eager young scientists in using this knowledge, as well as providing them the tools to do it, we will enhance the future scientific output in the region by a large degree. Our scope is to form a basis of several Inter-Institutional collaborations and promote true interdisciplinarity between the various departments. Additionally, we expect to create several new networks. I) A solid one between all partners, ii) a stronger core network between SWU and AUTh, iii) a network between the SWU and AUBG, iv) strengthen the existing bond between AUTh and UoM and v) a solid connection with regional businesses. Overall, we believe that more than three networks of collaborations will be formed. The project is based on equal opportunities and fair competition for all. To achieve the first we will not discriminate in any of the selection procedures on either sex, physical health, or ethnicity. All teams of trainees formed, best student awards and access to the computing facilities will be judged solely on the basis of their scientific track. Our estimates are that the number of women participants will be more than 30%, although our goal and most actions will be to reach 40%. To verify the existence of fair competition, we will make public announcements for the procurements of the two Computing clusters to be purchased and the preparation of the room facility in SWU. They will be listed in newspapers and the projects website and all interested parties will be able to submit bids according to our minimum specifications. All these provisions will ensure that, compared to our previous Interreg project, the current one will produce results with greater impact, due to its broadened partnership and better funding. By building on top of it, and at a larger scale, we will build the foundations for a long standing regional development.
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