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News Article | May 16, 2017

Unicon, Inc., a leading IT consulting, services, and support provider specializing in open source for the education technology market, will be leading and participating in a total of 15 technical seminars, presentations, and showcase demos at the upcoming Open Apereo 2017 conference in Philadelphia, PA, June 4-8. Nine open source software developers, architects, engineers, and other technology experts from Unicon will present on a variety of subjects pertaining to open source application deployment, development, and support for the online campus. Open Apereo is the premier conference for open source software in education. Unicon will present on the current state of the Apereo Learning Analytics Initiative, and conduct a showcase demo on how to visualize student course activity and data through Apereo’s OpenDashboard (an open source learning analytics application). Join Unicon’s data integration experts as they present on how organizations are using Student Information Systems (SIS) data, including an update on organizations who are implementing industry standards for rostering (this session also features a compare and contrast of tradeoffs for getting data from the LMS vs. the SIS). Unicon Apereo community members will also present on how to get started with open source webSSO software, Central Authentication Service (CAS), and uPortal, the leading open source enterprise portal built by and for higher education institutions. Hear the current state of the CAS project, and explore the new features in uPortal 5 (the upcoming major release of uPortal). Updates on the latest features in the Sakai LMS will also be shared, including enhancements to the Rubrics and Samigo projects. Unicon has a notable involvement in the Apereo open source projects. Unicon shares its latest progress on open source projects at Open Apereo to help the community keep abreast of project developments and aid in project collaboration. For full descriptions of the Unicon sessions, see About Open Apereo The Open Apereo conference provides participants the opportunity to share their institutional experiences and learn from their colleagues, and to develop an understanding of other areas of the academic enterprise they may not be familiar with. The conference is held every year with the intent to help attendees network, grow, share, and learn from each other. Apereo is still accepting registrations for this conference. Register at About Apereo The Apereo Foundation is a non-profit organization supported by voluntary partner contributions. Apereo provides a rational and improved organizational umbrella for a range of projects and software communities serving higher education. Apereo is dedicated to coordinating activities that foster software development and community health to ensure the long-term viability of the projects they support. The core mission of the Foundation is to "assist and facilitate educational organizations which collaborate to foster, develop, and sustain open technologies and innovation to support learning, teaching, and research.” Learn more at About Unicon Unicon, Inc. is a leading provider of IT consulting, services, and support for education technology and works with institutions and organizations to find solutions to meet business challenges. Unicon specializes in using open source technologies to deliver flexible and cost-effective systems in the areas of identity and access management; student success and learning analytics; learning management systems; portals; mobile computing; and online video. Unicon is a Commercial Affiliate of the Apereo Foundation; a Trust and Identity Solution Provider in the Internet2 Industry Program and an Industry Member of Internet2; a Contributing Member of IMS Global Learning Consortium; an Advanced Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services Partner Network; an Instructure Certified Partner; a Pantheon Gold Partner; and a Solution Partner of Kaltura. For more information, visit: Unicon is a Registered Trademark of Unicon, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace | Award Amount: 202.00K | Year: 2016

The 2011 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Plan cites Accelerating Transition to Practice (TTP) as one of five strategic objectives in the Cyber Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) Program Component Area. TTP remains a strategic objective of Agencies which fund cybersecurity research, including NSF. However, the NSF cybersecurity portfolio contains only a small amount of security research that has been transitioned into operational activities. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the White House defines transition to practice as research that creates measurable improvements in the cybersecurity landscape. NSF encourages security researchers with promising applied research projects to submit TTP (Transition to Practice) projects, and while some researchers take advantage of this opportunity, others lack information about how to identify an early adopter for their technology. Early adoption is a crucial step for gaining valuable feedback about the usefulness and effectiveness of a security technology. This EAGER will serve as an outreach vehicle to cybersecurity technology adopters such as scientific cyberinfrastructure operators and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at university campuses, informing them of the benefits of adopting cutting edge cybersecurity capabilities into their organizations and matching them up with security researchers looking for partnership opportunities.

In 2015, NSF sponsored two workshops which brought together key stakeholders to provide insights on how to improve the TTP process and encourage more TTP adoption, therefore improving cybersecurity for scientific cyberinfrastructure. An important outcome of that workshop was the identification of specific barriers to TTP. This follow-on project identifies specific ways in which NSF can overcome these barriers as they consider how to address TTP for the future. The project establishes workshops for early adopters to learn about specific cybersecurity projects that need adopters, and provides opportunities to engage with the NSF-funded cybersecurity community to foster more transition of cybersecurity research into the hands of the operational Information Technology Community. The expected outcome is that NSF expands the impact of the cybersecurity research it funds by producing more TTP results in the near to mid-term in order to make cyberspace safer.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE | Award Amount: 41.50K | Year: 2016

Workforce development and career pathways of non-faculty IT professionals, scientists, and engineers who are in the support role of the computation and data-enabled scientific research and development enterprises at various universities, supercomputing and other centers and national laboratories are issues of national importance. This project proposes a workshop and related set of activities to explore and report on the status, career pathways, training, and growth opportunities of this community of cyber-practitioners. The workshops results will impact the community itself, and those communities of faculty members, students, domain scientists and administrators it interfaces with. This project will help map the contemporary landscape of cyber-practitioner skills and occupations, help identify professional development opportunities, and suggest better ways of integration into the university structures and other administrative units relevant to this community.

The workshop will bring together a diverse set of stakeholders including non-faculty IT and scientific professionals from universities, computing centers including supercomputing centers and programs such as XSEDE, campus champions, and from national laboratories, and representatives from faculty in computational sciences, and university administration. The project will carry out a career-path analysis survey to document cyber-practitioner career progressions, and prepare a skills inventory of their soft and hard skills. The workshop intends to define the cyber-practitioner profession and address questions pertaining to entry into and exit from the profession, career challenges, typical modes of training and preparations, and growth options and fit within university and other relevant administrative structures.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: INTERNATIONAL RES NET CONNECT | Award Amount: 49.00K | Year: 2016

Consistent with NSFs mission to advance research and education, Research and Education (R&E) partnerships between the U.S. and China have contributed to the global exchange of knowledge in the advanced research/higher education enterprise for over 30 years. Since 1999, the Chinese American Networking Symposium (CANS) has played an integral part in these developments through annual meetings that are held in the U.S. and China in alternate years. The 2016 CANS workshop takes place in Houston, Texas and engages selected participants from both countries to discuss topics of mutual interest that revolve around R&E networks, their engineering, and ways in which network utilization can enhance science and education. In the tradition of prior workshops over the last nearly two decades, CANS 2016 fosters scientific communication between the U.S. and China, and brings together researchers from multiple scientific disciplines with network engineers and campus leaders in Information Technology to explore the most effective mechanisms to foster increased research collaborations. The project has the potential to broaden the dialogue between research and education communities as well as impact the next generation of researchers and network engineers by providing a better understanding of shared science goals, and engaging campus leadership on how best to support those science goals through high performance networking.

Technical areas of exploration include native IPv6 deployment and support end-to-end for driving science applications, as well as performance measurement based on active performance testing with Perfsonar.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: INTERNATIONAL RES NET CONNECT | Award Amount: 461.46K | Year: 2012

This three-year, multi-path collaboration program between U.S. and Chinese researchers, scientists, educators, and leaders in higher education focuses on key issues regarding network deployment, global cyberinfrastructure, and interoperability. The project builds on engagement between Internet2, CERNET, CTSNET, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, ongoing collaborations and remote campus deployments between US universities and China, scientific interaction between the two countries, and findings derived from prior annual meetings of the Chinese-American Network Symposium (CANS) group.

The intellectual merit of this work is based on the international exchange of ideas it will foster. By bringing together network experts and leading researchers, and by building on the momentum established by campuses and the continuum of CANS events, these activities lead to sustainable and ongoing linkages and interactions to foster global cyberinfrastructure. As research and education increasingly acquire more globalparameters, interactions like this are critical. The broader impact results from the global interactions and ongoing collaborations to be translated to multiple scientific disciplines and the continued deployment of US satellite campuses to promote
global exchange of educational findings and methodology.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 49.99K | Year: 2014

The focus of this project is community-driven coordination and support for the 2014 Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Networking, Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE) Principal Investigators (PI) meeting. The workshop, comprising over 80 active award activities in the CC-NIE program, will help the community understand the research and development challenges at the intersection of campus networking infrastructure and innovation, and the science application domains enabled. Activities include community engagement and knowledge exchange generated through CC-NIE project presentations from both main areas of the program, including interactive sessions. Key campus network engineering issues are identified and discussed among networking leaders in research and education. Some sessions focus on the applied research and development elements of the program and funded activities, covering emerging topics in data networking such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and promising research from the GENI project and the Future Internet Architectures (FIA) program.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Secure &Trustworthy Cyberspace | Award Amount: 10.00K | Year: 2016

This End to End Trust and Security Workshop for the Internet of Things is a workshop jointly sponsored by the IEEE, Internet2 and the National Science Foundation. The workshop brings together researchers, academics, government agencies, and standards bodies for a series of panels, presentations and breakout discussions around the unsolved research and operational challenges in developing a security framework for the Internet of Things (IoT). Participants in the workshop, being held at George Washington University in Washington, DC, will range from postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, IT architects, researchers, security professionals, industry leaders and government employees. This grant provides travel support for researchers and graduate students who otherwise would not have the ability to attend the workshop.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 1.32M | Year: 2013

This two-year project enhances campus network infrastructure and external connectivity of colleges and universities having notable research projects, even though the institution may not be primarily research-focused. It offers workshops focused on campus infrastructures and external connectivity to support research and teaching, and Tiger Team campus visits to assist with technical implementation. It builds upon Internet2s track record in campus infrastructure enhancement, campus-focused network performance workshops, and tools to foster intra- and inter-campus collaboration; it also supports NSF efforts on behalf of under-represented institutions and those in states identified in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, to upgrade infrastructures and enhance research and non-research activities. The workshops cover technical, organizational, and administrative aspects of upgraded campus infrastructure and high-bandwidth (1, 10, 40, 100 Gb/s) external connectivity. The Tiger Team visits will include expert advice on technical implementation, and Network Administrator and CIO-level administrative issues. It will result in a Best Practices manual informed by the projects findings. The project broadens the volume of campuses capable of participating in campus cyberinfrastructure-based projects, such as the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) and Campus Cyberinfrastructure-Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE) award collaboration, and uses standard communications mechanisms (including Internet2s website) to broadly disseminate project findings. This will have a broad impact from analysis of solutions to barriers and needs in campus cyberinfrastructure, and the benefit non-research-intensive campuses that would not participate otherwise, including remote instruction.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CISE RESEARCH RESOURCES | Award Amount: 8.40K | Year: 2016

This project supports a two half-day workshop on October 6-7 in Washington, DC, in which the GENI Project Office (GPO) can lead multiple sessions of focused planning for the creation of the Future Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (FCIC). The initial purpose of the FCIC is to provide for the operation, administration, research vision, and governance of the GENI project after the current cooperative agreement between NSF and Raytheon/BBN for the GPO expires in 2017. The intellectual merit of this project is in its goal to coordinate and house a workshop that is the culmination of a GPO-led, ten month long, community-wide inquiry into the future administration and governance of GENI. The workshop will bring together the community of scholars who have committed to participate in continuing the evolution of GENI past the era of the BBN GPO.

The broader impact of this project is in its activities laying the groundwork not just for the continuation of the GENI project, but also for the continued evolution of the ecosystem of consortium, project/administrative office, and physical infrastructure - including network, storage, and computational assets - to a persistent and sustainable national cyberinfrastructure for the support of experimental research in distributed systems, as reflected in the workshops title: Future Cyberinfrastructure Consortium. In addition to its research mission, the Consortium intends to expand the already wide use of GENI as a teaching tool in secondary schools, colleges, and universities, where it makes the art, science, and technology of distributed systems more accessible to all students, including under-represented ethnic groups, women, and the disabled.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ETF | Award Amount: 49.90K | Year: 2016

This project seeks to organize a workshop to address the question of how Cloud Computing is impacting, and potentially disrupting, academic research computing on campuses all across the nation. The workshop will bring together campus researchers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Research Officers, Chief Science Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, and Chief Financial Officers from campuses all across the country to discuss this important question. Through exploration of the evolving nature of academic research computing over time, the workshop will explore topics and challenges in academic research computing in a variety of contexts, including applications, support, data movement, administrative, legal, and financial.

The outcome of the workshop will be a set of white papers which will inform the compilation of a final report. This final report will elucidate key issues and recommendations surrounding Cloud Computing and its research implications, while presenting recommendations on how this activity could be supported by funding agencies moving forward.

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