Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing part of collaboration recognized with HPCwire Readers' Choice Award

Author: Kisielewska, Lara

A broad coalition of collaborators including the Arecibo Observatory, the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence Pilot (CICoE, now CI Compass), which includes Indiana University, Texas Tech University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Southern California, and the University of Utah; the Engagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) (which is a collaboration between Indiana University and Esnet), Globus at the University of Chicago, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and the University of Central Florida (UCF), received the HPCwire Readers’ Choice award for Best HPC Collaboration across Academia, Government, and Industry at the 2021 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC21).

Speaking about Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing’s involvement in the project, Jarek Nabrzyski, co-principal investigator for CI Compass, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing, and concurrent professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said, “This annual award is a way for the high performance computing community to recognize the best and brightest innovators and collaborators within the computing community. I am proud that the CRC was part of this important national collaborative  effort.”

Within weeks of the Arecibo telescope’s collapse, the collaborators convened to transfer petabytes of irreplaceable observation data to a safe place in proximity to capability-class computing to foster analysis. These data represent over 50 years of astronomical observations from the telescope, which until 2016 was the world’s largest telescope.

"I am proud that our team was able to contribute its expertise to the transfer and preservation of data from the Arecibo Observatory,” said Ewa Deelman, Principal Investigator for CI Compass, and research professor of computer science and research director at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute. “In the wake of the tragic collapse, the team came together quickly in order to assist in delivering cyberinfrastructure solutions to protect Arecibo’s essential work. I am thankful to everyone who participated in this response team and our ability to provide cyberinfrastructure support when it was needed most."

The collaborators worked together with UCF, who has led the consortium that manages the Arecibo Observatory, which is owned and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Together the collaborators planned and moved the data to TACC’s Ranch system. The EPOC team provided the infrastructure skills and resources that were needed, and the CICoE Pilot/CI Compass team helped evaluate the data storage solutions and designed the future data management and stewardship experience to make Arecibo’s data easily accessible for further scientific research and discovery. Globus provided the managed transfer service to move terabytes of data daily, while carefully monitoring the transfers to ensure that no data was lost. The data migration was executed in coordination with Arecibo’s IT department, with assistance from the University of Puerto Rico and Engine-4, a non-profit coworking space and laboratory, who shared their internet infrastructure.

“This group of collaborators spanning across academia, government and industry, preserved decades of priceless data, and will enable us to achieve many new and exciting scientific discoveries,” said Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire. “Our readers understand the significance of this accomplishment, and we are proud to present this award to this esteemed group of research institutions.” 


About CI Compass

CI Compass is funded by the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering under grant number 2127548. Its participating research institutions include Indiana University, Texas Tech University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Southern California, and the University of Utah. The pilot effort, CI CoE Pilot, was funded by CISE/OAC and the Division of Emerging Frontiers in the Directorate for Biological Sciences under grant number 1842042. To learn more about CI Compass, please visit

About the Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame
The Center for Research Computing (CRC) at the University of Notre Dame is an innovative and multidisciplinary research community that supports collaboration through advanced computation, data analysis, and other digital research tools. Facilitating discoveries in science, engineering, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences, the center is comprised of four groups: high performance computing, cyberinfrastructure development, research software development, and data science. To learn more about the center, please visit

About HPCwire

HPCwire is the #1 news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. With a legacy dating back to 1986, HPCwire has enjoyed a legacy of world-class editorial and journalism, making it the news source of choice selected by science, technology and business professionals interested in high performance and data-intensive computing. Visit HPCwire at

Originally published by Kisielewska, Lara at on November 16, 2021.