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iSGTW Feature - Leading digital data research group moves to UNC

Feature - Leading digital data research group moves to North Carolina

DICE and the distributed data deluge

For more than 10 years the DICE group's Storage Research Broker (SRB) data grid has been used by research teams worldwide to automate all aspects of manipulation of large, distributed data files, including discovery, access, retrieval, management, replication, archiving and analysis.

DICE most recently developed iRODS, the open source Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System, which introduced user-settable rules that automate complex management policies, helping users tame today's mushrooming collections of digital data.

The team has worked on national and international projects, providing data management systems for major grid and distributed research projects, including the Southern California Earthquake Center, the TeraGrid, the Worldwide University Network, California Digital Library-Digital Preservation Repository, the Laboratory for the Ocean Observatory Knowledge Integration Grid, the Biomedical Informatics Research Network and the Geoscience network.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now home to the world-renowned Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) group (formerly known as Data Intensive Computing Environments group), long of the San Diego's Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego.

The research team will hold appointments in Carolina's nationally recognized School of Information and Library Science with research space in Chapel Hill's Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) . The award-winning research group brings expertise in development of digital data technologies, publication of data in digital libraries, and preservation of data in persistent archives, along with a research portfolio exceeding $10 million.

"The opportunity to recruit an entire group of active researchers with an international reputation for vision, innovation and accomplishment is rare, perhaps even unprecedented in information and library science," said Chancellor Holden Thorp. "Their work is closely aligned with the school's efforts in the areas of digital libraries and archives, databases, institutional repositories, information retrieval and information management. Our students and many others across campus will have an extraordinary opportunity to learn from and collaborate with this world-class research team."

Focus on teaching and research

The group will interact with colleagues in the school and other campus units on academic digital library and preservation research efforts, initially focusing on current collaborations such as the National Archives and Records Administration Transcontinental Persistent Archive Prototype and the National Science Foundation Software Development for Cyberinfrastructure project, along with others such as the Library of Congress Video Archiving project.

DICE research team leaders clockwise from upper left: Richard Marciano and Arcot Rajasekar, Reagan Moore

Images courtesy of www2006.org and SDSC

"The DICE group has years of experience and an international reputation for developing innovative systems for managing distributed digital data," says Alan Blatecky, RENCI's interim director. "This will be a huge advantage for Carolina as the wave of new data rapidly becomes a tsunami. We will have the opportunity to extend our leadership nationally and internationally in managing, sharing, publishing and archiving research data."

"The DICE group, in collaboration with the School of Library Science, will pursue development of undergraduate, master's and doctoral level courses on data grids and preservation environments," says Reagan Moore, one of the research team leaders. "The opportunity to teach academic courses strongly influenced our decision to move. We are also interested in pursuing collaborations for the creation of campus cyberinfrastructure and participating on data management projects in support of education, patient medical records and emergency preparedness."

-Karen Green, RENCI

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