Texas A&M will lead network to support cyber expertise

With a grant from the National Science Foundation, Texas A&M University will lead a multi-institution network to promote cyber expertise among research universities, community colleges, minority-serving institutions and other organizations in the southwestern United States.

The SWEETER (SouthWest Expertise in Expanding, Training, Education and Research) network will provide training and personnel to support and encourage collaboration across the invisible boundaries that often separate disciplines and institutions, said Dhruva Chakravorty, associate director for user services and research at Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing (HPRC).

“The effectiveness of a multidisciplinary research team is often limited by a researcher’s ability to draw together a cohort of collaborators with needed scientific expertise,” said Chakravorty, who will lead the new network. “SWEETER will help to address that gap in our region.”

Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau said, “Here at Texas A&M and across most of the global scientific community, multidisciplinary research has evolved into the primary approach for conducting projects that take on great challenges and provide ground-breaking solutions. We are proud to serve as the lead institution for this vital collaboration with our partners across the Southwest.”

SWEETER will bring together partners from across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The SWEETER collaboration will leverage its partners’ expertise in computational sciences and large-scale computing to address long-standing bottlenecks that can constrain the sharing of resources across institutions. The network also will increase accessibility in data science, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, visualization, cyber security and bioinformatics.

Units participating from Texas A&M are HPRC, Texas A&M Institute for Data Science (TAMIDS), Laboratory for Molecular Simulation in the College of Science and Texas A&M AgriLife Genomics and Bioinformatics Service. Nick Duffield, director of TAMIDS, will serve as SWEETER’s educational coordinator. Dilma Da Silva, professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, College of Engineering, will join the project’s evaluation team. Jian Tao, research scientist with HPRC and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, will serve as a senior investigator.

In addition, SWEETER includes West Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, University of Texas at Austin and its Texas Advanced Computing Center, University of Texas at San Antonio, University of Arizona, and New Mexico State University. Also participating are industry affiliates Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services as well as the non-governmental organizations Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), and the National Center for Genome Resources.