The iPlant Foundation API

Project ID
Project Categories
Non-Life Science
NSF Grant Number
The iPlant Collaborative (iPC) is a new type of organization ? a cyberinfrastructure collaborative for the plant sciences - that enables new conceptual advances through integrative, computational thinking (i.e. thinking at multiple levels of abstraction using a systems-level approach to problem-solving). The iPC is fluid and dynamic, utilizing new computer, computational science and cyberinfrastructure solutions to address an evolving array of grand challenges in the plant sciences. It is community-driven, involving plant biologists, computer and information scientists and engineers, as well as experts from other disciplines, all working in integrated teams. The iPC brings together strengths in plant biology, bioinformatics, statistics, computer science and high throughput computing, as well as innovative approaches to education, outreach, and the study of social networks.   Several key principles guided the development of the iPC. Specifically, the iPC:   ? is a cyberinfrastructure collaborative rather than purely a cyberinfrastructure,   ? will enable multi-disciplinary teams to address grand challenges in plant science,   ? will be an entity that is by, for and of the community,   ? will train the next generation in computational thinking, and   ? is designed to be able to reinvent itself as needs and technologies change.   The driving force behind the iPC is the nature of the grand challenge questions in plant sciences, and all facets of the collaborative are organized around those selected questions. The act of selecting these questions will be community-driven, and to facilitate that, the Collaborative will host a series of workshops, each focused on a specific area of plant biology, but with participants cutting across the spectrum of the computational and biological sciences. The goal of each workshop will be to identify the grand challenge questions in that field, as well as the necessary strategies and approaches that will be needed to solve the question(s). Self-forming Grand Challenge Teams from the community will then work with iPC personnel to develop a ?Discovery Environment? (DE), which will be a cyberinfrastructure for open-access research and education focused on a grand challenge question. Over time, the DEs designed for different grand challenges will overlap and coalesce into a comprehensive cyberinfrastructure for discovery and learning.
Use of FutureSystems
As a runtime for several research codes as well as a research testbed for the use of cloud technologies in the iPlant Foundation API.
Scale of Use
A few VMs for an ongoing experiment as well as cycles on the Alamo HPC cluster as available.