Monday, March 4, 2024

Trusted CI Webinar: Lessons from the ACCORD project, March 18th @11am Eastern

Ron Hutchins and Tho Nguyen are presenting the talk, Lesson from the ACCORD Project, on March 18th at 11am Eastern time.

Please register here.

The ACCORD cyberinfrastructure project at the University of Virginia (UVA) successfully developed and deployed a community infrastructure providing access to secure research computing resources for users at underserved, minority-serving, and non-PhD-granting institutions. ACCORD's operational model is built around balancing data protection with accessibility. In addition to providing secure research computing resources and services, key outcomes of ACCORD include creation of a set of policies that enable researchers external to UVA to access and use ACCORD. While the ACCORD expedition achieved its technical and operational goals, its broader mission of broadening access to underserved users had limited success. Toward gaining a better understanding of the barriers to researchers accessing ACCORD, our team carried out two community outreach efforts to engage with researchers and computing service leaders to hear their pain points as well as solicit their input for an accessible community infrastructure.

In this talk, we will describe the ACCORD infrastructure and its operational model. We will also discuss insights from our effort to develop policies to balance accessibility with security. And finally, we wil share lessons learned from community outreach efforts to understand institutional and social barriers to access.

Speaker Bios:

Ron Hutchins: In the early 1980’s, Ron worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology to create a networking laboratory in the College of Computing teaching data communications courses there. After moving to the role of Director of Campus Networks in 1991, Ron founded and led the Southern Crossroads network aggregation (SoX) across the Southeast. In 2001 after receiving his PhD in computer networks, he took on the role of Chief Technology Officer for the campus. In August of 2015, Ron moved into the role of Vice President of Information Technology for the University of Virginia, working to build partnerships across the campus. Recently, Ron has moved from VP to research faculty in the Computer Science department at UVA and is participating broadly across networking and research computing in general including work with the State of California building out the broadband fiber network backbone across the state. 

Tho Nguyen is a computer science and policy expert. He served as project manager for the ACCORD effort from 2019-2021, and continues to support the project implementation and growth.  Nguyen is currently a Senior Program Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  From 2015-2021 Nguyen was on the research staff in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Virginia where he worked on compute-in-memory and developing HPCs for research.  Prior to UVA, he was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation where he worked primarily on the Cyber Physical Systems program. Nguyen holds a PhD in Systems & Controls (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Washington. 

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