TeraGrid ’11: Extreme Digital Discovery , and a Teacher’s Experience, Before the Dawn of XSEDE

Teachers Touring TACC

Ray Rose , Henry Neeman, Vic Sutton, and Bonnie Sutton sharing the ideas of Teragrid with help from TACC

TACC TourTeachers Exploring TACC

TeraGrid ’11: Extreme Digital Discovery

A Salt Lake City Experience

July 18-21, 2011

I was lucky to get funding to attend the Teragrid Conference in Salt Lake City. My foundation funded me to attend the last conference before it’s change to the new outreach. I have attended many of the Teragrid Conferences, networking with, learning with and being challenged to understand the use of new technologies. These were experiences in which real researchers, collaborators and EOT people created a conference. I usually attended the EOT Track. The rewards have been outstanding to the children , teachers and groups that I am able to share with.

My favorite set of presenters were Jeff Sale, and Diane Baxter.  Jeff is encyclopedic in his knowledge of visualization and other topics , and Diane’s presentations always allowed me to understand, share and teach with people outside of the Teragrid community. She shared liberally her ideas and was always up to thinking about new ideas. At various conferences I was able to do outreach and share the ideas of the gateways.  I also attended two workshops at the cneter in San Diego, In one of the workshops I learned GIS , GPS and was able to attend the ESRI conference. I am teaching those skills in a project in Washington DC to students who may not have access to those learning opportunities in the schools. They come on Saturdays to the JEF Center . ( the center is run by Dr.  Jesse Bemley , another Teragrid participant) It is a minority outreach initiative.

Teragrid Support for Bridging to K-12

One of the ideas we had was to bridge teaching andf learning conferences with the Teragrid. We first did this in Washington , DC prior to the ISTE Conference.  Just the networking that happened at that conference spread ideas, created friendships and enriched the K-12  learning community.  Here were the leaders of Teragrid sitting with us, and sharing their EOT ideas. It was powerful. We learned about various opportunities, internships and curriculum ideas for classrooms. One outstanding resources is Shodor.org Their mission: to improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies — “computational science.”

Shodor, a national resource for computational science education, is located in Durham, N.C., and serves students and educators nationwide. Their online education tools such as Interactivate and theComputational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD), a Pathway Portal of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), help transform learning through computational thinking.In addition to developing and deploying interactive models, simulations, and educational tools, Shodor serves students and educators directly through workshops and other hands-on experiences. But the best part of Shodor I think, is learning feom Dr. Bob Panoff. He is a talented teacher who introduced us to many materials we could use in the classroom.

When you talk about STEM and resources for the learning communities it would be important to understand the connections, the gateways , and the specialized lessons that are a legacy of the initiative.

The Teacher Tech Program at San Diego is a wonderful one. I participated in the Teacher Tech program at Rice University. Here is the web page they let me learn to make. ( http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/bbracey/)

All of the links of that web page are not working, but the ideas of sharing and learning and continuing to progress with other teachers continues you can also see how widely I was able to share the ideas that I learned.  Rice is in Houston, Texas and so we had visits from an astronaut and visits to the space center. There was minority outreach too. It was one of the first workshops that I attended that was very diverse in membership. Dr. Richard Tapia was one of our mentors.

TACC -TCEA- Teachers  Uniting and Sharing Powerful Ideas

. This year a group of us went to the TCEA conference in Austin , Texas to share the ideas of Supercomputing. We took teachers from the conference to a Teragrid Site which is TACC. The Supercomputer at TACC is called LoneStar. A team , including Ray Rose, Henry Neeman, Vic Sutton and I planned to share the ideas of Teragrid with teachers who may not have known much about the Teragrid.  We were nervous as we planned, suppose we got no takers. But we had Henry Neeman’s workshop just in case, and then there was a tour that we did for the teachers with a program planned by the TACC facilty just for them. You will see pictures of the tour attached here.
Faith Singer-Villalobos was the person who helped us create the workshop for the teachers.
It was a great experience for the teachers. We decided to try to expand our outreach. After the exprience with the teachers we created a paper sharing the ideas of Supercomputing.
 Here is our white  paper!!  We claim the TACC opportunity  as a success!!


Scientific Computing Curriculum Outreach for the Future Workforce

To educate the next generation of researchers and computational professional, TACC created a unique curriculum for The University of Texas at Austin which allows students to study supercomputing and earn a Certificate of Scientific Computation. TACC scientists teach five undergraduate and graduate level courses at The University of Texas at Austin, in the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computation. Four of TACC’s advanced computing courses are part of the requirements for the certification, which is the equivalent of a minor. Even better, TACC is going to share resources that will be in the education department ‘s digital center, with the help of Dr. Paul Resta at the University of Texas at Austin. We are planning a workshop involvement for teacher educators from the SITE.org AACE group. That conference will be in Austin next year in the Spring, March 7-9.  We will be able to create a new interface and we are excited about it.
We are the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, and it their our mission to promote research, scholarship, collaboration, exchange and support.

Who is Dr. Resta? I met him in the CIlt.org initiative which was another EOT program from the NSF. Powerful silos are broken and teachers , researchers ,professors and industry worked together on powerful ideas.

What was CILT.org?

The Center for Innovative Learning Technologies (CILT) was founded in October 1997 with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to stimulate the development and study of important, technology-enabled solutions to critical problems in K-14 science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) learning. CILT has engaged the collaborative efforts of a wide range of people, institutions, and organizations including cognitive scientists, computer scientists, natural scientists, engineers, classroom teachers, educational researchers, learning technology industry leaders, and policy analysts. CILT was designed as an inclusive national effort led by five institutions—SRI International, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, Vanderbilt University, and the Concord Consortium. Senior researchers at these five institutions shared in the leadership of CILT. This distributed structure brought together substantial experience in foundational research on learning, technology innovation, and school improvement.

  • Four “theme teams” focused the efforts in areas of highest promise. These areas are Visualization and Modeling, Ubiquitous Computing, Assessments for Learning, and Community Tools. CILT also conducts synergy projects that synthesize important ideas and tools from all themes to create more robust educational programs for use in schools.

Education, Opportunities and Training Teragid to the General Public

General Public

One of the ways that EOT worked  to share with the public was to

generate interest in Science and Technology using Stereoscopic 3D Videos, I PADS with visualization models and other outreach materials

Targetting students in grades 5-12 as well as the general public, each video is approximately five minutes in length and has elements of computer-generated imagery and live-action. The first two have already been shown to thousands of viewers at numerous locations and events throughout the US. A third video is currently under production and scheduled to be released late 2011.

Here are a series of activities for general outreach to the public from the Teragrid AAS Family Days


Teachers used  the research of this group to learn with and participate in specialized workshops and initiatives.

Teacher Resources

Here are PDF’s of special projects from the Teragrid for teachers.

Download a PDF of the TeraGrid 2010 Science Highlights brochure


The  same sort of work—only in more detail, generating more new knowledge and improving our world in an even broader range of fields—will continue with XSEDE.

XSEDE leader John Towns gives an overview of the new project and how it will build on TeraGrid in this short video.

NCSA’s John Towns talks about the NSF-funded XSEDE project