Council on Academic Computing

October 19, 2005

Meeting Summary

PittGrid: Campus-Wide Computing Environment

Hassan Karimi, Professor in the School of Information Science’s Department of Information Science and Telecommunications, discussed PittGrid, an initiative that is designed to link the University’s computing resources.  Professor Karimi is working with Ralph Roskies, Professor in the Department of Physics and Scientific Director at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and staff from Computing Services and Systems Development on this project. 

Grid computing began as a mechanism to link supercomputers, enabling them to share unused resources.  The concept has been extended to include resource sharing across any type of networked environment.  Currently, the University’s computing processors and storage are only available to individuals who are located where the resources reside.  PittGrid would be composed of a set of tools that permit researchers across the campus to access computing resources in other schools, departments, and centers.

The project only requires that software, referred to as middleware, be installed to manage resource availability across the network.  No new hardware is required.  Current partners include the School of Information Sciences, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Computer Services and Systems Development, the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and the Departments of Chemistry, Pharmacology, and Physics.

CAC Seminar Series

Two seminars will be held in the fall and two in the spring.  The first seminar will be hosted by Ralph Roskies and will cover potential uses of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.  Experts in other areas of academic computing will be invited to present at the remaining seminars.


Other issues were also addressed:

  • National preparedness simulation project
  • Interdisciplinary modeling and simulation project