Innovations in Networking Awards are presented each year by CENIC to highlight the exemplary innovations that leverage ultra-high bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to transform the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment of broadband in underserved areas. The first awards were given in 2003 and were called the "On the Road to a Gigabit Awards". In 2006, with gigabit connectivity rapidly becoming the new standard, the titles of these awards were changed, as below. Read more about our 2017 awardees here. >
2017 Innovation Awards
Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications: Christina DiCaro & Michael Dillon
For over thirty years, Michael and Christina have shown unparalleled dedication to California libraries. From protecting the privacy rights and circulation records of library patrons to drafting and securing passage of library construction bond legislation, they have tirelessly advocated for libraries and the communities they serve. Their efforts to preserve library funding have improved the lives of generations of California libraries, librarians, and, most importantly, library patrons.
Michael and Christina’s ability to understand and articulate the needs of public libraries was critical to a statewide effort to make the case to the California Legislature that high-speed broadband is essential for libraries to fulfill their missions. When a 2013 needs assessment showed that 52% of California’s public libraries had slower broadband connections than many Californians have in their homes, they ably guided the advocacy efforts needed to secure funds to address this critical need. As a result of their efforts, California libraries will truly be Gigabit libraries, with more than 90% of main libraries connecting at 1Gbps or higher. www.cla-net.org
Innovations in Networking Award for Broadband Applications: Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC)- Steven Huter, Director of NSRC
The mission of the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) is to improve network infrastructure, facilitate collaboration, and build professional capacity in countries around the world. It is comprised of a distributed team of network engineers and trainers living in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, Europe and Latin America, with the core group of staff and student employees based at the University of Oregon. Launched with a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1992, the organization has received continuous NSF support.
Among its many accomplishments, NSRC helped to establish the first TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet) connections in more than 20 countries around the world.. Since that time, tthe organization’s work has broadened to focus on deploying and strengthening research and education networks in developing nations around the globe, benefiting communities worldwide.
One of NSRC’s guiding principles is the importance of investing in people as well as infrastructure. Director Steven Huter describes the work of the organization as “cultivating collaboration among a community of peers to build and improve a global Internet that benefits all parties. NSRC facilitates the growth of sustainable Internet infrastructure via technical training and engineering assistance to enrich the network of networks. Our goal is to connect people.”
The Network Startup Resource Center • www.nsrc.org
Innovations in Networking Award for Experimental Applications: Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS)
- Wendy Huntoon
- Marla Meehl
- Katherine Mace
- Lauren Rotman
- Jason Zurawski
Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) fosters gender diversity in the field of technology, a critical need. By funding women IT professionals to participate in SCinet and to attend the Supercomputing Conference, the program allows the next generation of technology leaders to gain critical skills. Participants grow immeasurably through their involvement with this high-capacity network that supports revolutionary HPC applications and experiments. By joining volunteers from academia, government, and industry working together to design and deliver SCinet, they acquire skills and experiences they can use in their daily work at their home institutions.
WINS is funded jointly by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and direct funding from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) ESnet. WINS awardees are selected from a competitive application process which includes review by an external committee of leaders in the research and education networking community. www.women-in-networking.net
Innovations in Networking Award for Educational Applications: California Community Colleges Technology Center
- Tim Calhoon
- Lou Delzompo
- Patricia Donohue
- Roberto Fuentes
- Jeff Holden
The 2.1 million students who annually attend California’s Community Colleges enjoy enhanced convenience, security, and privacy thanks to the work of the Technology Center, which provides a unique student data identifier through a federated identity system.
This innovation has not just benefitted students, but has made possible significant institutional innovations. These include the re-envisioning and release of a new common application for admission, system-wide student success initiatives such as a common assessment for placement and education planning, and a common course management system. With a system-wide student identity to tie student data together, the stage is now set for data-driven decisions and machine learning technologies to support student outcomes and institutional improvement. This is path-breaking work in the largest system of higher education in the country, and will be a model for others to emulate. www.cccco.edu
California Community Colleges Technology Center • www.ccctechcenter.org
Innovations in Networking Award for Outstanding Individual Contributions: Tom DeFanti
Tom DeFanti is an internationally recognized pioneer in visualization and virtual reality technologies at Calit2, University of California San Diego, and is well known for his work to develop next generation networks, advance the mission of Calit2, and shape collaborations across organizations. Tom was instrumental in developing Calit2’s new Media Arts Wing—one of the most advanced facilities of its kind, where high-end visualization and virtual reality experiments engage students, researchers, and faculty members and provide a real sense of what the future can hold.
From his work with GreenLight Instruments, enabling scientists from diverse disciplines to measure and then minimize energy consumption, to his work with National Lambda Rail, a 12,000-mile high-speed national network infrastructure owned and operated by the U.S. research and education community, Tom’s contributions to the development of next-generation networks and applications to advance science have been profound. His commitment to advance both technology and the common good is evident to all who are fortunate to work with him. http://www.calit2.net/people/staff_detail.php?id=67
Innovations in Networking Award for Research: Wide-Area Visualization Environment (WAVE) system at UC Merced
- Greg Dawe
- Rachel Hadley
- Nicola Lercari
- Jeffrey Weekley
The Wide-Area Visualization Environment (WAVE) system at UC Merced enables members of the UC Merced community to conduct research, experience the world, and deepen their learning through an immersive environment. Individuals critical to the development of WAVE and named in the award include Greg Dawe, Principal Development Engineer, CalIT2, UCSD; Rachel Hadley, Senior Administrative Analyst, Design and Construction, UC Merced; Nicola Lercari, PhD, Assistant Professor of World Heritage in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, UC Merced; and Jeffrey Weekley, Director of Cyberinfrastructure and Research Computing, Office of Information Technology, UC Merced.
The WAVE at UC Merced is one of many projects enabled by the Pacific Research Platform. This massive display, consisting of twenty 4k resolution screens, provides student and faculty researchers at UC Merced to work with the cutting-edge of virtual reality hardware. It is an exciting example of a tool that can reduce the gap between data collection and interpretation and the dissemination of that data to researchers and the public. The WAVE grows out of a multi-school collaboration, and aspires to draw wide participation across disciplines not historically served by this kind of infrastructure, especially humanities disciplines. This virtual reality system also provides opportunities for community engagement, and is currently being used by teachers and students in the Mariposa County Unified School District. prp.ucsd.edu | The WAVE at UC Merced - http://worldheritage.ucmerced.edu/WAVE
Founders Award: Stuart Lynn
As a part of a distinguished career in computing and information technology spanning four decades, Stuart Lynn led the creation of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC)—now among the world’s most heavily used research and education networks. In addition to being the catalyst for the formation of CENIC, Stuart served as Principal Investigator for a multimillion-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that provided start-up funding for the organization.
The CENIC community is only one of the many beneficiaries of Stuart’s talent and vision. He served as the CIO for the University of California’s Office of the President, as well as President and Chairman of the Board of CENIC until his retirement in 1999. Emerging from retirement in 2001, he took on the role of President and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In addition to ICANN and UCOP, he has held positions at Cornell University, UC Berkeley, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, IBM, and Chevron.
Innovations in Networking Award for Corporate Partnership: Sunesys
Sunesys, a Crown Castle Company, and Alan Katz, its Vice President, understand the importance of cost-effective high-speed broadband for California’s research and education communities. With their vision and commitment, Sunesys and CENIC have been able to move forward on numerous initiatives in support of these communities. Their responsiveness to K-12 Requests for Proposals has enabled CENIC to serve some of the hardest to reach schools in California.
Synesys recently collaborated with CENIC and the University of California Santa Cruz to develop a successful application for California Advanced Services Funding to construct new fiber in the Salinas Valley. The successful application for California Advanced Services Funding and the construction of new fiber in the Salinas Valley, scheduled for completion at the end of March, will provide enhanced connectivity for two CENIC member institutions: UC Santa Cruz and Hartnell College. Equally important, this connectivity provides local ISPs the capacity to provide Internet services to underserved areas in the Salinas Valley, which, in turn, helps communities that have not had adequate (or any) Internet services, as well as CENIC constituents, particularly K-12 students in their schools and in their homes. http://sunesys.com/
2016 Innovation Awards
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Dr. Christine M. Haska
Christine Haska, Ph.D., recently retired Vice President of Information Resources and Chief Information Officer at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), has made extraordinary contributions to the deployment of high-speed broadband within NPS, across Department of Defense organizations, and throughout the Monterey Peninsula.
Dr. Haska led the development of two five-year strategic plans for Information Technology, established the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, and worked with colleagues at the Naval Academy and Naval War College to set up the Navy Higher Education IT Consortium. She also oversaw the Monterey Peninsula DoDNet, a regional infrastructure linking five local Department of Defense organizations, and worked with colleagues at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center to connect them to the CENIC network.
Most recently, Dr. Haska led an initiative to connect the major health care institutions in Monterey County to the CENIC network, working on behalf of Community Health Innovations, an organization dedicated to advancing highly reliable, evidence-based healthcare delivery in Monterey and surrounding counties.
Educational Applications: The Mix at SFPL
The Mix at SFPL, a 4,770-square-foot teen digital media center and learning lab located within the San Francisco Main Library, provides 21st-century technology and teaching. Developed under the leadership of Library Director Luis Herrera, The Mix at SFPL offers teens a state-of-the-art recording studio, a Hollywood-worthy video production space, a bank of high-end digital equipment, and a maker space with many of today’s leading fabrication technologies. In addition to a physical location at the San Francisco Main Library, other youth-focused digital media programs take place throughout SFPL’s 27 branch libraries in a program called The Mix on the Move.
To help deliver quality workshops and classes to teens using the new technologies, the Library has formed partnerships with many leading San Francisco program providers, including the Bay Area Video Coalition, which excels at training at-risk youth in emerging media technologies; Blue Bear School of Music, leaders in providing music education to underserved communities; and Ninth Street Independent Film Center, which is transferring its youth media program, TILT (Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools) and digital media equipment, curricula, and youth media archive to The Mix. https://themixatsfpl.org
Outstanding Technical Contributions: Rodger Hess
Rodger Hess has been a member of the CENIC networking community since its inception and was a significant contributor to the original backbone design for CalREN. Early in the development of the CENIC backbone network, he was instrumental in acquiring the first point of presence (POP) in downtown Sacramento, which served as a hub for connecting UC Davis Medical Center, UC Davis, and UC Davis Health Sciences. This POP later became a core component in the long-term CENIC North-South backbone. Rodger also participated in efforts to redesign the high-performance and experimental and developmental tiers of CalREN: CalREN-HPR and CalREN-XD.
Rodger also served as chair of CENIC’s High-Performance Research Technical Advisory Council in 2009 and again in 2011. CENIC’s Technical Advisory Councils are composed of volunteers from member institutions and are the means by which the infrastructure expertise of California’s research and education communities is aggregated and used to design, implement, and advance the 3,800-mile, fiber-optic-based CalREN.
Research Applications: The Levantine and Cyber-Archeology Lab at UC San Diego
Thomas E. Levy
The Levantine and Cyber-Archeology Lab develops and deploys new software, hardware, and systems for reconstructing the archeological record, using digital technologies for imaging, analysis, and visualization. Professor Levy and his colleagues are innovators and leaders in cyber-archeology, pioneering methods to create “a new and objective future of the past.” Responding to the increasing use of digital technologies to document ancient artifacts and sites for research, conservation, and presentation to the public, Professor Levy, and his colleagues have developed an advanced workflow for data acquisition, curation, analyses, and dissemination.
The Levantine and Cyber-Archeology Lab is among the innovative data-intensive science domains launching the Pacific Research Platform (PRP), winner of this year’s Innovation in Networking Awards for Experimental Applications. The PRP creates a robust and seamless research platform that encourages statewide, regional, and even worldwide collaboration. The PRP supports a broad range of data-intensive research projects that will have wide-reaching impacts on science and technology worldwide. The Levantine and Cyber-Archeology Lab: http://levlab.ucsd.edu/ | Professor Levy: http://anthro.ucsd.edu/people/faculty/faculty-profiles/thomas-levy.html
Broadband Applications: Tribal Digital Village Network
Matthew R. Rantanen
The Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA), a multi-service non-profit corporation supporting 19 federally recognized Indian tribes in Southern California, is addressing the lack of Internet access for its tribal communities, taking wireless broadband network to the next level of support for 17 reservation communities in San Diego County. The Tribal Digital Village Network (TDVNet) currently serves the communities of 14 of the 17 sovereign nations in San Diego County and is a “commercial” network for the purpose of sustainability, not financial gain. Its goal is to provide broadband access to the 3,000 homes and more than 8,900 people on reservations, to the approximately 2,500 adjacent homes also unserved by commercial broadband companies, and to “anchor institutions” and businesses.
As Director of Technology for SCTCA, Matthew assists tribes with technology development, working on everything from radio station applications to tribal administration technologies, to technology policy development. He serves on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Native Nations Broadband Task Force and is co-chair of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Technology and Telecommunications Subcommittee and the Technology Task Force at NCAI.
Matthew has been called a “Cyber-Warrior for Tribal Broadband,” and is a well-known advocate for net-neutrality and tribal priority for spectrum over tribal lands. https://sctdv.net/
Broadband Applications: California Telehealth Network
The California Telehealth Network (CTN) is California’s leading agency focusing on increasing access to healthcare—including telehealth, telemedicine, and health information exchange—through the innovative use of technology. CTN is a product of an unprecedented coalition of stakeholders, including healthcare and technology organizations and, government agencies. CTN and this large and diverse group of partners are working together to create a telecommunications infrastructure that allows California’s rural and medically underserved urban communities—with a combined population of more than two million people—access to a broad range of technology-enhanced services to improve the quality of healthcare services.
In 2015, CTN sites reported over 13,000 live virtual telemedicine consultations, enabling patients to receive specialty care not available in their local communities. During the past year, CTN provided subsidized broadband connections to more than 250 safety net clinics and hospitals. These subsidies have generated more than $5 million in annual broadband savings for safety net sites. http://www.caltelehealth.org/
Corporate Partner: CISCO - State, Local, and Education (SLED) Western Operation Team
Mark Ronaldson & Koby Kumasaka
Operations Director Mark Ronaldson, Higher Education Account Executive Koby Kumasaka, and the entire SLED team understand the importance of high-speed broadband for California’s research and education communities and are committed to working to support these communities as they upgrade their broadband service. Cisco’s newest initiative, the Sponsored Pricing Discount Program for CENIC Associates, enables public libraries—CENIC’s newest segment—to purchase Cisco equipment and services at significant savings, easing the transition from their previous megabit networks to the CENIC CalREN gigabit network.
Numerous K-12 Schools participating in the State’s Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants (BIIG) program have also taken advantage of Cisco’s generous discounts. These schools, most of which had the slowest connection speeds in the state’s K-12 system, now move to the front of the class, with some of the fastest connections to the CalREN network. With Cisco’s encouragement, other CENIC segments may participate in future discount programs. The SLED Western Operation team’s enthusiastic and imaginative engagement with the CENIC community has had an enormous impact in California.
Experimental Applications: Pacific Research Platform
Larry Smarr, Camille Crittenden, Tom DeFanti, Frank Würthwein, Phil Papadopoulos, John Graham, Eli Dart, John Hess
From biomedical data to particle physics, researchers depend heavily on high-speed access to large datasets, scientific instruments, and computing resources. To meet the needs of researchers in California and beyond, the National Science Foundation awarded a five-year grant to fund the Pacific Research Platform (PRP). The NSF proposal investigators include Larry Smarr, Tom DeFanti, Frank Würthwein, Phil Papadopoulos, (UC San Diego), and Camille Crittenden (UC Berkeley), with essential technical support from John Graham (UC San Diego), John Hess (CENIC), and Eli Dart (ESnet). The PRP’s data sharing architecture, with end-to-end 10–100 gigabits per second connections, will enable region-wide virtual co-location of data with computing resources and enhanced security options.
The PRP supports a broad range of data-intensive research projects that will have a wide-reaching impact on science and technology worldwide. Projects on cancer genomics, human and microbiome integration, biomolecular structure modeling, galaxy formation and evolution, telescope surveys, particle physics data analysis, simulations for earthquakes and natural disasters, climate modeling, virtual reality, and ultra-resolution video development are just a fraction of the work already benefiting from the use of the PRP. The PRP will be extensible across other data-rich domains as well as other national and international networks, potentially leading to a national—and eventually global—data-intensive research cyber-infrastructure. http://prp.ucsd.edu
2015 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: SFJAZZ: Mount V. Allen III and Team
SFJAZZ connected to CalREN just a little over a year ago, in February 2014. In their innovative and inaugural use of high-speed broadband, they created a cyber-symposium on the work of pianist and jazz legend Mary Lou Williams. Subsequent symposia and performances over CalREN and Internet2 have built upon this foundational event.
SFJAZZ and the Exploratorium (a previous winner of CENIC’s Innovations in Networking Award) lead the way in showing how cultural organizations in San Francisco and around California can take advantage of CENIC’s broadband network. The collections, research, artists, scientists, performances, staff, and facilities of these institutions constitute a vast and unique resource, one that can be used to enrich and educate people around the globe. The possibilities are endless, from museum curators as virtual guest lecturers in arts administration classes at a state university, to opera singers conducting master classes for high school choirs, to plays for children broadcast into K-12 classrooms across California and beyond. www.SFJAZZ.org
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla
Assemblywoman Bonilla is being recognized by CENIC for her leadership and commitment to broadband access and digital learning in California’s K-12 schools, which serve nearly six and a half million students and employ more than quarter-million teachers. Her work on Assembly Bill 2319, which called for the creation of an innovation, training, and technology block grant for schools, paved the way for improving broadband infrastructure upgrades in California’s public schools. Assemblywoman Bonilla was also instrumental in helping secure $26.7 million in last year’s budget for the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) program, which will enhance broadband infrastructure for school sites with the most severe infrastructure deficits.
Since 2010, Assemblywoman Bonilla has represented California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County. She is also the past chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, and currently, chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of STEM Education in California K-14 Schools. Susan Bonilla: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Bonilla
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: CA Department of Finance Director Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen has worked tirelessly to improve broadband access for millions of Californians at their schools, libraries, colleges, and universities. Through his work at the Department of Finance, he helped shepherd the Governor’s high-speed broadband initiative for public libraries, the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants (BIIG) program for K-12, and additional information technology upgrades for community colleges through last year’s budget.
In September 2013, Cohen was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown as the Director of the Department of Finance, where he had been serving as the Chief Deputy Director of Budget. Prior to this appointment, he served in a variety of roles with the Legislative Analyst's Office, including deputy legislative analyst, director of state administration, and local government finance analyst. Michael Cohen: http://www.dof.ca.gov/about_us/executive_staff/michael_cohen/
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: CA State Superintendent Tom Torlakson
Superintendent Torlakson has worked to enhance K-12 schools’ high-speed broadband connectivity and has supported the incorporation of technology in education. He advocated for modernization of the federal E-rate program, which provides discounts of up to 90% to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and internet access. He also secured $1.25 billion in funding for Common Core State Standards implementation, and $26.7 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG) program, which will enhance broadband infrastructure for school sites with the most severe infrastructure deficits. In 2014, Superintendent Torlakson released his Empowering Learning: California Education Technology Blueprint, 2014–2017, which focuses on harnessing 21st-century tools to improve teaching and learning so that no child is left offline. Without information from reports such as this, and support from programs like E-rate and BIIG, students, faculty, and staff at schools with severe deficits risk being permanently left behind.
Since 2011, Superintendent Torlakson has served as California’s 27th State Superintendent of Public Instruction. As chief of California’s public school system and leader of the California Department of Education, he applies his experience as a science teacher, high school coach, and state policymaker to fight for California’s students and improve the state’s public education system. http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/
High-Performance Research Applications: ESnet 100-Gigabit SDN Testbed
The ESnet 100G SDN Testbed provides network researchers with a realistic environment for testing 100G application/middleware experiments. It also supports several 10G paths for SDN experiments and will be significantly enhanced this summer with new OpenFlow v1.3 hardware.
100-Gigabit per second (Gbps) networking is fast becoming the new standard for advanced networks, and with the advent of software-defined networking, these ultra-high-performance networks can become even more responsive and powerful.
ESnet is a remarkable network and organization. Its many contributions over the years—the On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System, perfSONAR, the Fasterdata Knowledge Base, and the Science DMZ, to name but a few—have been major contributions to research communities around the world, and to research and education networks like CENIC. ESnet: www.ES.net
Corporate Partner: AT&T Government/Education West: Chris Congo AT&T Executive Director and Team
Members of AT&T’s Government/Education West team, headed by Chris Congo, understand the importance of high-speed broadband for the research and education communities in California. Their commitment to working with CENIC and other partners has resulted in the development of many initiatives to support communities across the state. They have a long history of supporting all CENIC segments, including K-12, libraries, and higher education, and have recently collaborated on network technology upgrades for the California Community College system.
Outstanding Individual Contribution: John Haskins, UC Santa Cruz
John Haskins has been a member of the CENIC networking community for many years. While at Santa Barbara City College, he was involved with the original 4CNet, the precursor for CENIC’s California Research & Education Network (CalREN). Transitioning to UC Santa Barbara in 1998, he became engaged with CENIC during its very early history. He was a significant contributor to the original backbone design for CalREN, and was asked to serve on the committee overseeing the redesign of the high-performance and experimental/developmental tiers of CalREN, CalREN-HPR and CalREN-XD.
During the recent process of upgrading the backbone of CalREN-HPR to 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps), Haskins’ leadership and expertise were again invaluable. He is also active in CENIC’s work on the integration of Software-Defined Networking with the CalREN infrastructure, and the community is certain to benefit from his participation.
2014 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: Technology Resources and Internet Literacy (TRAIL): JobScout
JobScout began as a collaborative effort of the LINK AMERICAS Foundation (LAF), California State Library, and the TRAIL team (Technology Resources and Internet Literacy). Launched in 2011 as a pilot project in the California Digital Literacy Initiative, JobScout is now operational in more than 900 public libraries statewide and is also being used in school districts and community organizations. Using gamification, badge awards for skills acquisition, and accessible learning modules, JobScout tracks the proficiencies and skills acquired by users.
Following the successful pilot, LAF and its TRAIL team members founded TRAIL, Inc., focusing on digital literacy skills and bringing the internet experience to “the next billion users.” TRAIL, Inc. now provides services in English and Spanish to libraries, schools, social services offices, workforce development locations, and other trusted public institutions, offering individuals free, online digital literacy skills training. TRAIL’s platforms, JobScout and HealthScout, enable thousands of learners to become Internet savvy. www.myjobscout.org.
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Connie Stewart and the California Center for Rural Policy at Humboldt State University
Connie Stewart is the Executive Director of the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University. CCRP fosters rural research for and by rural communities, working to improve the health and well-being of rural people and environments. The organization was instrumental in the development of the Redwood Coast Connect project, a consortium of six member organizations representing a diverse range of stakeholders, and working with representatives from each of county boards of supervisors in the region to make affordable, ubiquitous broadband available to each rural communities in the Redwood Coast region.
Over the course of her career, Connie has represented numerous groups in support of high-speed broadband access in northwestern California. She has organized efforts to expand service to those in low income and rural unserved and underserved communities and has been successful in securing grant funding and working with county officials to build broadband connections. California Center for Rural Policy: http://www2.humboldt.edu/ccrp/
High-Performance Research Applications: Exploratorium Bay Observatory Wired Pier
In designing its new Bayside location at Piers 15 and 17, the Exploratorium created the Bay Observatory Wired Pier, with state-of-the-art sensors and scientific instruments to provide data on on San Francisco Bay and the local landscape. These instruments, placed in the Bay and attached to Pier 15 and the Exploratorium roof, provide live data in real time. A growing data archive allows assessment of short and long-term changes, from recent weather history to seasonal phytoplankton blooms.
Inside the Exploratorium Bay Observatory is the Wired Pier station and the Hypermedia Wall, displaying real-time data and data visualizations, imagery, and video streams from remote research locations, along with satellite images, information on real-time environmental conditions, and news. These oceanographic and atmospheric instruments allow scientists, museum educators, and visitors to track ever-changing bay and ocean environments over time, and to suggest ways to validate predictive models from the sensor data. Exploratorium Bay Observatory Wired Pier: https://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/bay-observatory-gallery/environmental-field-station-project
Experimental/Developmental Applications: The University of Southern California’s Trojan Express Network (TEN-II)
The Trojan Express Network project (TEN-II), at the University of Southern California, is deploying a research network in parallel to its existing “commodity” internet. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the network is designed to address the needs of researchers who transfer massive amounts of data between collaborators or between their laboratory and a computational facility. National and Regional Research and Education Networks (RENs) such as Internet2 and CENIC have recognized the challenges in this kind of data transfer, and are deploying 100Gbps backbones that have the ability to dynamically allocate virtual circuits to support high data-rate flows.
As one of the first CENIC campuses to establish a 100-Gigabit connection to CENIC and Internet2’s Innovation platform, USC has created a “Science DMZ” to allow high-performance connections from its high-performance cluster and mass storage facilities to the national and international research network infrastructure. A variety of early tests determined the project’s viability and set the stage for further developments, such as the expansion of the TEN-II infrastructure to other research facilities and laboratories.
Trojan Express Network project (TEN-II): https://hpcc.usc.edu/research/ten/
Source for this summary: Internet2 website: http://www.internet2.edu/about-us/community-awards/rose-award/2012-rose-award-winner-jim-dolgonas/
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Jim Dolgonas
Jim Dolgonas served as president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) from 2004 until 2012, providing extraordinary leadership during a critical period of CENIC’s development. After stepping down, Dolgonas continued to work with CENIC on initiatives critical to the future of high-speed broadband in California. Most recently, he collaborated with a consortium of small telecommunications carriers and community groups to win $46 million in federal stimulus funds to expand CENIC's fiber path in the underserved areas of the Central Valley. The Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project will improve the availability of broadband networking infrastructure to schools, colleges, and universities in 18 counties, as well as anchor institutions such as county and main libraries, public safety answering points, and healthcare providers.
Prior to joining CENIC, Dolgonas served for 25 years in various technology leadership positions within the University of California system, including as system CIO. He has been active in EDUCAUSE, serving on its Administrative Systems Advisory committee, and has been a member of Internet2’s External Relations Advisory Council. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA from UCLA.
2013 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: iLabs: the Remote Online Lab Network at Northwestern University
iLabs enables a paradigm shift in the delivery of science lab experiences for students and teachers. By using Web browsers to virtually place expensive laboratory equipment in the hands of students, iLabs provides early exposure to real scientific laboratory environments. Unlike conventional facilities, iLabs can be shared and accessed widely by audiences across the world who might not otherwise have the resources to purchase and operate costly or delicate lab equipment. And because iLabs are available outside of regular school hours, students can carry out their assignments from any location with Internet access. To date, over 5,800 students and teachers have used the iLab Network, running over 8000 experiments. A number of these participants are located at institutions receiving network connectivity from CENIC.
Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP) at continues to develop and expand the iLab Network, working with researchers and teachers to develop curriculum for use in high schools and offering professional development for teachers. The iLabs Remote Online Lab Network: http://ilabcentral.org
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Sunne Wright McPeak, CETF President and Chief Executive Officer and the California Emerging Technology Fund
The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is a statewide non-profit organization that works to close the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband to unserved and underserved communities and populations. CETF accomplishes this mission by making investments in broadband programs and projects to improve access, affordability, applications, accessibility, and assistance. Sunne Wright McPeak was named President and CEO of CETF in December 2006, after serving for three years as Secretary of the California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency. Her focused leadership and drive for results over the past six years have positioned California as a national leader in closing the Digital Divide, with groundbreaking projects and programs that include Get Connected! (to drive adoption), California Telehealth Network, Digital Literacy programs, Smart Housing Policy, and School2Home (to improve education). The California Emerging Technology Fund: http://www.cetfund.org
Sunne Wright McPeak: http://www.cetfund.org/aboutus/board/McPeak-Sunne
High-Performance Research Applications: The University of California, Santa Cruz Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub)
UCSC built CGHub, a 5-petabyte database, to store tumor genomes sequenced through National Cancer Institute projects. Through this effort, CGHub is tackling the significant computational challenges posed by storing, serving, and interpreting cancer genomics data.
CGHub facilitates the work of scientific researchers and is designed to be a fully automated resource, appearing to the user as an extension of the home institute’s computing system. It was built to support all three major NCI cancer genome sequencing programs:
The Cancer Genome Atlas: a collaborative effort led by NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute to map the genomic changes that occur in at least 20 major types and subtypes of adult cancer;
Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments: a related effort focusing on the five most common childhood cancers, and;
Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative: a project to make available genomic data from HIV-associated cancers and certain lymphoid and childhood cancers.
Cancer Genomic Hub: cghub.ucsc.edu
The Cancer Genome Atlas: https://cancergenome.nih.gov/
Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments: https://ocg.cancer.gov/programs/target
Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative: https://ocg.cancer.gov/programs/cgci
Experimental/Developmental Applications: Project ADAMANT
Workflows, especially data-driven workflows and workflow ensembles, are becoming a centerpiece of modern computational science. However, scientists lack tools to integrate workflow-driven scientific applications with dynamic infrastructures linking campus, institutional, and national resources into connected arrangements targeted at solving specific problems.
Project ADAMANT (Adaptive Data-Aware Multi-domain Application Network Topologies) brings together researchers from RENCI/UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and USC/ISI. It employs the Pegasus workflow management system and ORCA resource control framework to enable powerful, application-driven and data-driven virtual topology embedding into multiple institutional and national substrates (providers of cyber-resources, like computation, storage, and networks).
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Ken Lindahl
Ken Lindahl has been an energetic and influential member of the CENIC community throughout his career. At UC Berkeley, he helped expand the campus computing system into a 40,000 node, multiprotocol network. He was also instrumental in the design, development, and deployment of CalREN, being a vital force in the creation of its original infrastructure and contributing untold hours to network design and implementation. Ken's contributions have ranged from personally configuring equipment on the nascent network to spearheading the deployment of advanced technologies and providing leadership for the optical design team. Through his insights and humor Ken has been a cohesive and welcome force throughout the years. It is no exaggeration to say that CalREN would not exist in its present form without Ken's contributions and expertise.
2012 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) Academic Network Partnership
The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) have established a new regional academic network, enabling students to leverage modern technologies. The NPS helped migrate the Army language school from the traditional .MIL military network to a more academic .EDU domain. . In addition to providing more access, giving resident students a robust connection like CENIC’s enables quicker response, with speeds up to 40 times faster than what was available on the legacy network. The 15–30 minutes of saved class time each day results in the equivalent of extending the resident program by two weeks.
NPS President Dan Oliver praised the effort, calling it a critical step toward a consistent, active partnership among local DOD institutions. This is a notion local Congressman Sam Farr (D-17) has emphasized with his Team Monterey concept. “As the DoD and leadership of our country shift the defense strategy, it is going to become increasingly important to streamline operations at local levels to ensure that we are collectively good stewards of the taxpayer’s money,” said Oliver. “The Team Monterey Academic Network is a perfect example of how operational efficiencies can be achieved through strategic partnerships.” https://web.nps.edu/About/News/NPS-Assists-Nearby-Defense-Language-Institute-in-Migration-to-.EDU-Network.html
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Senator Alex Padilla
Alex Padilla represents the 20th Senate District, which includes most of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, and Vice Chair of the California Broadband Council, Padilla has authored several bills to promote universal broadband access in California to bridge the digital divide:
Senate Bill 1193 (2008), which established the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to help fund broadband infrastructure in areas of California without high-speed Internet access;
Senate Bill 1040 (2010), which expanded the CASF to add a revolving loan program for broadband infrastructure and grants for urban and rural broadband consortia;
Senate Bill 1462 (2010), which established the California Broadband Council to increase state agency coordination of broadband deployment and adoption;
Senate Bill 493 (2011), which provided public computer centers access to surplus state computers; and
Senate Bill 3 (2011), which reauthorized California’s universal service programs.
His leadership has been essential to providing high-speed broadband access across California. http://www.sos.ca.gov/administration/about-alex-padilla/
High-Performance Research Applications: Enhancing Mexican/American Research Collaborations
Until recently, the lack of high-speed networking between California and Mexico was a serious impediment to collaborations in many data-intensive fields. To address this obstacle, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) worked with CENIC and its counterpart in Mexico, the Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo de Internet (CUDI), to expand available bandwidth linking researchers in the two research hubs. Improved bandwidth from UCSD to Tijuana was enabled by the AmLight project’s NSF International Research Network Connections (IRNC) award for 10 Gbps upgrades to CENIC networking equipment in the Tijuana Bestel POP. As a result, CENIC and CUDI have improved cross-border bandwidth to 10 Gbps from the current 1 Gbps, and have implemented a new 10 Gbps connection between Tijuana and Ensenada.
Experimental/Developmental Applications: Digital Cinema Microscopy
During the Tokyo International Film Festival’s CineGrid session in October of 2011, live streaming digital cinema and the sharing of high-resolution scientific imaging were combined with microscopy at 4k/60P for the first time. Microscopic images of living microorganisms were captured and streamed live from the University of Southern California (USC)’s School of Cinematic Arts across the Pacific Ocean to an audience in Tokyo. Network connectivity provided by USC, CENIC, AboveNet, CineGrid, CISCO Cwave, Pacific Wave, and Japan’s JGN-X formed the 10 Gigabit trans-Pacific path enabling this event. USC Cinematic Arts and CineGrid, an international digital media research consortium, had demonstrated simultaneous 4k microscopic image capture and live HD streaming along the US West Coast and across the Pacific in 2009. With the additional collaboration of members from the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) Network Innovation Laboratory, the 2011 demonstration increased the resolution from HD to 4k/60fps, achieving a fourfold increase in the number of pixels and a doubling of the frame rate.
USC’s School of Cinematic Arts: http://cinema.usc.edu/
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Catherine McKenzie
Catherine McKenzie began working at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) in 1998. As Director of the Technology Unit, she oversaw the Telecommunications and Technology Infrastructure Program (TTIP), which distributes technology-related funds to the California Community Colleges and oversees and funds several system wide projects, such as 3C Media Solutions (video streaming and web services), CCC Confer (e-conferencing), CENIC services (networking and videoconferencing), and the California Virtual Campus (CVC).
In her work with CENIC, Catherine consistently sought opportunities to engage in joint efforts between CENIC and the CCCCO. She was instrumental in transitioning CENIC’s video services to K20video.org, a collaborative effort that combined CalREN Video Services with K12video.org, lowering the cost of video services for CENIC members.In 2008, Catherine drew upon her knowledge of technology, her former elementary teaching experiences, and her knowledge of classroom teachers’ needs to create the K20 California Educational Technology Collaborative (CETC). California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office: http://www.cccco.edu/
2011 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: Virtual Computing Lab Initiative
The California State Universities are developing virtual computer labs (VCLs), with a library of software available online anytime from any computer with Web access. These labs make it easy for students to log on at any convenient time and place, whether at the Learning Commons on campus or at a neighborhood coffee shop. Software available in the labs provide students with tools to do everything from performing statistical data analysis and charting complex computer systems to building Websites, designing engineering and construction projects, and creating artwork online.
Begun as a pilot program at the Cal State East Bay and Northridge campuses, the VCL Initiative allows students 24/7 access to the software applications their coursework demands. State-of-the-art software need only be installed once, with the lab scaled to make it available to users in many locations. The VCL enables significant cost savings and performance improvements for California State Universities. News Release: http://www.csueastbay.edu/news/2010/04/virtual-computer-lab-041510.html
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Digital 395 Project
The California Broadband Cooperative’s Digital 395 Middle Mile Project aspires to close the “digital divide” separating the most connected Californians from their fellow citizens in un- or underserved areas. The region east of the Sierras between Nevada and Barstow, along Interstate 395. is dependent on decades-old infrastructure and has limited, insufficient broadband middle-mile capabilities, leaving wide swaths of the Central Valley and eastern California underserved.
The project will build a new, 553-mile, 10 Gbps middle-mile fiber network, mainly following US Route 395 between southern and northern California. In addition to 36 municipalities, the project’s service area encompasses six Indian reservations and two military bases. More than 230 community anchor institutions will be provided access to 10Mbps broadband connectivity, with 2.5 Gbps and higher-capacity fiber-based services offered to the region’s last-mile providers to expand or enhance service to households and businesses. http://digital395.com/index.html
High-Performance Research Applications: Tele-Immersion for Physicians
UC Berkeley and UC Davis have developed a tele-immersion project to empower medical professionals to extend their reach to one another and to their patients. The project also enables real time access to data so that multiple doctors and patients can access the same health data, such as medical imaging, at the same time. This project seeks to unite the Tele-Immersion Lab at UC Berkeley with the W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES) and the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization (IDAV), both at UC Davis. It comprises three components: tele-immersion infrastructure, real-time video capturing systems, and the algorithms needed to capture, visualize, and transmit such data. Successful experiments have been performed, and a proposal has been submitted for a tele-immersion node at the UC Davis Medical Center Department of Sports Medicine. Funding has been received from Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the National Science Foundation. http://citris-uc.org/health/project/tele-immersion-for-physicians/
Experimental/Developmental Applications: CineGrid@Disney
CineGrid is an international collaborative digital and rich media organization that empowers the production, use, preservation, and exchange of very high-quality digital media over photonic networks. On October 13, 2014, CineGrid presented multiple demonstrations of remote collaboration for cinema post-production to an audience of nearly 100 executives at the Frank G. Wells Theatre on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank, CA.
The CineGrid@Disney Demonstration was the result of a nine-month effort involving more than 50 participants from seven CineGrid member organizations: Disney Studios, NTT Network Innovation Laboratory, Skywalker Sound, Digital Domain, UCSD/Calit2, UIC/EVL, and Pacific Interface. The demonstration included a 4K/60p telepresence virtual conference room, critical viewing of digitally restored archival film elements at 4K and 2K resolutions, Digital Intermediate (DI) color grading, critical viewing of 3D HD stereoscopic visual effects, and collaborative audio editing and mixing. The Demonstration relied on the active cooperation of five of CineGrid’s network members—CENIC/CalREN, JGN2, GEMnet, PNWGP, and StarLight—who provided 1GigE and 10GigE connectivity to the geographically separated participants.Relevant Links: https://cinegrid.org/
UCSD press release: http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/general/01-20CineGrid.asp
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Greg Scott
Greg joined CENIC in 2001 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. During his tenure at CENIC he coordinated the physical connections of the CalREN network, working in a myriad of rented co-location facilities spread throughout California—each presenting unique challenges. This work was extraordinarily complex, requiring an understanding of fiber, optical equipment, power, cooling, and space needs. Significantly, it also involved the ability to interact and negotiate with a variety of companies and organizations on behalf of the communities CENIC serves, from commercial firms to facilities managers at campus, college, and county office locations. Greg's efforts have been critical to the implementation of CENIC's fiber backbone network, to its ongoing operation, and to many other projects that have improved the connectivity of research and education organizations across California. http://publications.cenic.org/publications/cenictoday/20101102CT.html
2010 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: eTranscript California
eTranscript California is a secure, streamlined electronic transcript exchange supporting the request and delivery of electronic transcripts across all of California's postsecondary systems. With a statewide transcript system in place, it is possible to translate large numbers of transcripts into national standards, track transcripts, combine transcripts into a single Composite Transcript, interface with high schools, facilitate academic planning, and conduct longitudinal studies on student success. In addition, use of electronic transcripts brings both significant cost savings and environmental benefit. At the time of this award, the California Community College Chancellor's Office estimates that the transcript-related costs for eTranscript California member colleges will drop from an average of seven dollars per transcript to less than fifty cents per transcript. http://etranscriptca.org
California Community Colleges: http://www.cccco.edu/CommunityColleges
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Rachelle Chong, California Advanced Services Fund (CASF)
The CASF provides incentives for companies to bring broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of California, many of which are rural, remote, or socio-economically disadvantaged communities. As the California Public Utilities Commission commissioner assigned to the CASF proceeding, Rachelle Chong was instrumental in both the creation of the CASF and in defining workable processes for implementation.Thanks to her leadership, California is closer to its ultimate goal of ubiquitous broadband services. The California Public Utilities Commission: http://www.cccco.edu/CommunityColleges
California Advanced Services Fund: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Information+for+providing+serv
High-Performance Research Applications: Enhancing Student Exchange Experiences with High Definition Video Conference
Monash University in Australia and the University of California, San Diego, use high-definition video conferencing in their exchange programs, creating transformative experiences for students and faculty that would not otherwise be possible. Seminars and student projects are presented concurrently to audiences at both locations. Students receive feedback from mentors at both institutions, significantly enhancing their learning. In addition, they attend virtual seminars by leading experts from around the globe. The quality of the video conference is so high that participants feel that they as if they “are all in the same room.” Monash University : http://monash.us
University of California, San Diego: http://www.ucsd.edu
Experimental/Developmental Applications: Scalable Energy-Efficient Datacenters (SEED)
Enormous amounts of data are generated every day, and much of it must be stored in data centers. With major drivers such as Google and others entering this arena, the proliferation of data centers promises to challenge researchers developing models for interconnectivity, robustness, and sustainability. In response to this, Scalable Energy Efficient Data Centers (SEED) are being developed by a UCSD-led team of computer scientists and optical interconnection systems technologists in the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN). These centers use novel optical interconnection technologies for a multi-stage network topology. The goal is to build SEED as an integrated solution encompassing physical layer hardware, protocols, and topologies—while offering tomorrow's data centers greater scalability, bi-sectional bandwidth, fault tolerance, and energy efficiency. Center for Integrated Access Networks: http://www.cian-erc.org
Outstanding Individual Contribution: Tom West
Tom West is a former president of CENIC and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National LambdaRail (NLR). With more than four decades of executive management experience in research and higher education, he has served as president of a small college president, vice chancellor for administration in a public university system, and Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO)at two large public university systems—Indiana University (1973–1981) and the California State University (1981–1999).
West served as CENIC’s President and CEO from March 1999, through June 2004—a time of great expansion for the organization. Both CENIC and the communities it serves have benefited tremendously from his extraordinary vision and his ability to turn that vision into reality.
2009 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: Alternate Endings
On September 15, 2008, as part of a showcase of high-bandwidth demonstrations using CalREN’s experimental and high-performance networking tiers, an audience in the highly networked Atkinson Hall on the UC San Diego campus was treated to the remote premiere of Alternate Endings, a high-definition comedy-mystery movie that allows its audience to choose the direction of the plot through one of 16 separate paths. The movie itself, streamed from the Trojan Vision television studios in the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, was merged at the various decision points with remote hosts located at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, and sent via CENIC’s CalREN to the audience waiting 120 miles away in Atkinson Hall. Audience feedback was solicited by means of applause, sent back along the CalREN fiber-optic backbone to USC, and used to guide the characters' decisions. Characters’ guilt, innocence, and even survival were determined by audience feedback, and the experience was a smashing success, with all technology performing flawlessly.
High-Performance Research Applications: iWarp-Based Remote Interactive Scientific Visualization
Sending frame after frame of high-definition video reliably from one place to another, possibly located on another continent, is enough of a challenge to merit its own recognition. When the individual on the far end of the fiber-optic cable expects to rotate, grow, shrink, and otherwise manipulate the video images in real time and experience no latency, that challenge becomes even more daunting. And yet this is precisely what Scott Friedman of UCLA’s Office of Information Technology achieved with iWarp-Based Remote Interactive Scientific Visualization. As part of the project, cluster-based high-performance interactive visualization resources are made available to remote researchers by leveraging the latest high-speed wide-area networking technologies. This has been accomplished by extending the Infiniband-based visualization cluster with a 10Gbps iWarp-capable remote visualization bridge node. Remote users connect to this node, establishing an interactive visualization session. The system supports multiple, simultaneous high-definition (HD) quality interactive visualizations by sharing the capabilities of the back-end cluster.
Experimental/Developmental Applications: Project GreenLight
According to the Climate Group’s Smart 2020 report, released in June of last year, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry’s carbon footprint is equal to that of the airline industry. Wise application of ICT across all sectors, however, could create a reduction in our overall carbon footprint by as much as five times the ICT industry’s own footprint. Such news sounds a call to action for everyone, but for researchers at Calit2, it’s also a unique call to innovation. They have initiated Project GreenLight to discover creative ways to ensure that the next generation of data centers supports a sustainable lifestyle and that the research sectors using these centers are aware of the issues surrounding carbon-thrifty computing. Not only will the hardware and software itself be studied to determine how best they can be optimized, but the equally crucial factors of cooling and structural engineering will be studied in depth, along with applications from a myriad of data-intensive disciplines. Project GreenLight will also analyze how best to share resulting insights, working to benefit as many researchers as possible. http://greenlight.calit2.net/
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Redwood Coast Connect
The exhaustive Redwood Coast Connect study was carried out by Redwood Coast Rural Action, a regional network of community leaders in partnership with the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). The study aimed to provide broadband providers, telecommunications carriers, service providers, elected officials, and other interested parties with hard data on people, places, and technology needed to propose and implement effective solutions to the unique networking challenges facing the rugged and often heavily forested California Redwood coast. By means of, online, telephone, and business mail-back surveys, the study examined factors influencing both supply and demand and looked at the broadband policy climate that impact plans to provide the residents and businesses on the Redwood coast with broadband service. For those who would design or implement such plans, the insights gathered through Redwood Coast Connect will prove invaluable. http://www.humboldtgeospatial.com/rcc/?content=home
Outstanding Individual Contribution Award: Russ Hobby
Russ served as the first chair of CENIC’s Technical Advisory Council (TAC) and continued to serve in this position from 1997 to July 2001. As TAC chair, he provided the leadership required to build camaraderie across institutions within California. He was instrumental in conducting design efforts for the original CalREN-2 network, and coordinated efforts to set technical policy and future directions for the new network—vital foundational work that will benefit California’s research and education community for years to come. Russ also led CENIC’s Optical Network Initiative (ONI) architecture team as it developed the first CalREN optical network, which is now the underlying framework for CalREN’s DC, HPR, and XD network tiers.
Russ Hobby received a B.S. in Chemistry (1975) and an M.S. in Computing Sciences (1981) from the University of California, Davis, where he currently works as Director of Advanced Network Applications in Network Technology. He also represents UC Davis as a founding member in the Bay Area Regional Research Network (BARRNet).
2008 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: The California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE): Stepping into your future
CAHSEE represents the state’s most recent attempt to improve education by tying graduation to a single standardized measure of competency. Given limited funds, students in roughly forty counties were unable to access community college programs. Even with sufficient funds, many 18 and 19-year-old students would not be able to participate due to the need to work or meet the needs of young children. That reality drove the Butte-Glenn CCD, the Lake Tahoe CCD, and their partners to conclude that online opportunities for students were sorely needed.
Teachers, faculty, and staff from the state’s K–20 education community, public libraries, and nonprofit community technology centers have worked together to develop two highly engaging hybrid courses that prepare students across the state for the CAHSEE. This CalREN-enabled program includes online interactive exercises as well as “face time” with instructors via web-based collaboration tools and/or videoconferencing.
High-Performance Research Applications: Pac-10 Internet Video Exchange Project
Video of athletes’ performance is critical to today’s coaching, and all teams analyze their opponent’s previous performance. To prevent wealthier schools from having an unfair advantage, NCAA rules disallow in-person scouting of opponents. Instead, and with the NCAA’s blessing, each team videotapes its own games and exchanges these video files with its next opponent one week before a given game.
Prior to the 2005 season, these video transfers consisted of exchanging physical media via courier services such as Federal Express. Many of the video coordinators at the 110 division I-A NCAA schools realized there must be an electronic solution, but attempts to use FTP (the Internet-based File Transfer Protocol) were deemed failures due to extremely long and unreliable file transfer times. A pilot program was launched involving four conference schools (UCLA, USC, Stanford—all CalREN-connected CENIC member institutions—and the University of Washington), plus a site outside the Pac-10 conference, Notre Dame. Based on the success of this pilot, all ten video coordinators for the Pac-10 voted unanimously to move to full electronic exchange for the 2006 season, and the new technology was an unqualified success.
Experimental/Developmental Applications: CineGrid @ Holland Festival 2007
The international nonprofit CineGrid promotes research, development, and deployment of ultra-high performance digital media—sound and picture—over advanced networks, using grid computing technologies for networked collaboration. CineGrid has organized a number of experimental projects designed to showcase what advanced networks can support in the world of digital media, and to test those same networks, pushing them as far as they can go in the pursuit of the most immersive possible experience. CineGrid @ Holland Festival 2007 certainly did that, and more.
On June 20–21, 2007 CineGrid live-streamed a performance of the opera “Era la Notte” from the Holland Festival in Amsterdam, transmitting it over CalREN and partner IP networks to the University of California, San Diego, where it was viewed in 4K on a large screen, with surround-sound, by an audience in the 200-seat auditorium of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). People in the audience in San Diego reported that they felt as if they were actually in the concert hall in Amsterdam.
Experimental/Developmental Applications: UltraLight
First recognized with a CENIC award in 2004, the UltraLight collaboration has continued to develop. Comprised of an international team of researchers, Ultralight is developing advanced global systems and networks to meet the needs of experiments due to begin at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in 2008. In a demonstration at the SuperComputing 07 conference held last November in Reno, NV, seven individual 10-Gigabit fiber paths (six provided by CENIC and one by Internet2) were used bi-directionally at high efficiency to move vast files of scientific data at blinding transfer rates of 80 Gigabits per second of bi-directional transfer. This is the equivalent of twelve full-length Hollywood movie DVDs in one second!
This achievement relied in part on one of the 2006 Innovations in Networking Award Winners, MonALISA. Developed over the last six years by Caltech and its partners at CERN and the Universitatea Politehnica Bucharest, MonALISA is a globally scalable framework of services to monitor, manage. and optimize the operational performance of computing grids, networks, and running applications in real time. This framework is ideal for creating and dynamically managing dispersed collaborative environments over Internet networks.
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's California Broadband Task Force
Over the past several years, concerns have been expressed regarding the equal availability of broadband services in California, especially in rural areas. Efforts such as CENIC’s own Gigabit or Bust initiative and the California Public Utilities Commission report on the status of broadband in California sought to raise the visibility of networking needs across the state.
In October, 2006 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an Executive Order calling for the creation of a Broadband Task Force to identify steps toward increasing broadband deployment in California. The Task Force brought together public and private stakeholders to identify barriers to broadband deployment and approaches for reducing them, to identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and to enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies. An accurate snapshot of areas in the state that lack adequate access to broadband services is one of many valuable outcomes of the task force’s efforts. The final Task Force report was released on January 17, 2008. The ongoing attention given by Governor Schwarzenegger and his staff to broadband technology issues is admirable. Through his leadership and his willingness to elevate the importance of broadband deployment and usage in California, the Governor has contributed to a more technology friendly climate in the state, paving the way for additional advancement in this area.
Outstanding Individual Contribution Award: Jerry Keith
During times when good leadership was critical, Jerry Keith provided years of leadership in two highly visible areas of interest to the CalREN community. As chair of the CENIC Conference Committee in 2004 and 2005, he ensured that every detail was addressed, leading to a successful and well-run conference. In addition to the myriad conference issues, he also provided the wireless equipment and technical resources to create a backup network connection when he realized that previous conferences had not included a backup link. Two years later, as the 2007 Conference Chair, he again provided much-needed guidance after the departure of the in-house conference coordinator just two short months before the event. Jerry also took over the role of BAC Chair at a pivotal time. In 2004–2005, amid spirited discussion related to the transition of CENIC’s funding model, Jerry led the successful effort to establish a new fee schedule for member institutions.
2007 Innovation Awards
Educational Applications: EduStream.org
Like districts everywhere, the San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) enhances its educational offering with rich media, including telecourses. Such courses can sometimes confront limitations, with face-to-face class time is taken up by testing rather than quality interactions. Solving this problem with video-on-demand can be costly. The solution developed by the SBCCD is EduStream.org, an educational rich media application that empowers colleges to offer video content to enhance course offerings while addressing producers’ authentication and copyright concerns. The application was created with support from SunGard’s Higher Education Web Development Services.
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Connecting Coachella Valley to the World
Robert Webb and the Webb Foundation aspired to bridge the digital divide in their local community. As a first step, the foundation began an annual “Heads Up” technology seminar with local network administrators, where they discussed advances in computers, networking, and local infrastructure needs.The Webb Foundation subsequently provided a planning grant to CENIC to identify opportunities for improving networking in the region. As a result of this work, and with the help of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, CENIC, and its grantees, a 400-mile, $3.4 million fiber path now extends the CalREN backbone through the Coachella Valley. The area now enjoys state-of-the-art broadband Internet connectivity, which promises to both educate and benefit the community at large for many years to come. Already, the University of California Riverside and the California State University San Bernardino’s Palm Desert campuses, as well as the College of the Desert, enjoy world-class connectivity to their colleagues in California and around the world.
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: The Kings County Last Mile Project
As a rural county faced with unique networking challenges, Kings County required an innovative and visionary solution to bring the benefits of broadband to its K–12 students, faculty, and staff. Thanks to the Kings County Office of Education, the county now has high-capacity wireless microwave connections for all 54 schools. Eleven wireless cells utilizing Motorola’s Canopy product provide educational-use-only connectivity for students and faculty at home.
High-Performance Research Applications: iAnatomy
Using the Gigabit connectivity between CalREN and the Canadian research and education network CA*net4, via Pacific Wave (a joint project of Pacific NorthWest Gigapop and CENIC), Stanford University has collaborated with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to create iAnatomy. The project allows faculty and students to interact with Stanford’s Bassett Collection of high-resolution medical images, including 3-D images, during classroom presentations. As an illustration of the benefits of broadband connectivity for distributed medical learning, the iAnatomy project is particularly valuable. Not only does it offer an example of how to make expert resources available to the research and education community worldwide, but it functions quickly and seamlessly, without a prohibitively steep learning curve.
Outstanding Individual Contribution Award: Jack McCredie
Jack McCreadle provided extraordinary leadership to CENIC during its first five years of existence. In the fall of 1997, McCredie was appointed Charter Director at the University of California, a position he held until June 2002. During his tenure, he served as Vice President of the CENIC board, and in 1998 he chaired the search committee for CENIC’s first CEO. His outstanding contributions and visionary leadership helped shape CENIC’s success.
2006 Innovation Awards
Outstanding Individual Contribution: David Wasley
David was instrumental in initiating discussions that led to the formation of CENIC, and served as CENIC’s first Director of Projects. His extensive technical expertise was of immeasurable value to the CENIC community as it worked to meld different types of networks into one cohesive architecture. David also brought his organizational skills to bear on tasks critical to CENIC’s formation, such as finalizing bylaws and helping form the first CENIC board and related committees.
Educational Applications: ACME Animation
Fostering innovation, creative leadership, and 21st-century skills, ACME Animation provides experiential learning and mentoring by peers and professionals to students and teachers of arts, animation, computer technology, digital media, humanities, and technology programs. Using IP-based video conferencing, ACME connects students in California schools with experts in digital animation at major studios such as Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers, and Sony. Through virtual discussions with professional animators, students learn digital animation skills and lessons about working in the animation industry. ACME uses technology to break down barriers to learning and equalize opportunity across the state. http://www.acmeanimation.org/
High-Performance Applications: MonALISA
MonALISA—Monitoring Agents using a Large Integrated Services Architecture—was developed over the last four years by Caltech and its partners at CERN and the Universitatea Politehnica Bucharest. It is a globally scalable framework of services to monitor and help manage and optimize the operational performance of computing grids, networks, and running applications in real-time. The framework is ideal for creating and dynamically managing dispersed collaborative environments over Internet networks. http://monalisa.caltech.edu/monalisa.htm
Gigabit/Broadband Applications: Loma Linda Connected Community Program
Thanks to its Connected Community Program, Loma Linda has become one of only 40 cities nationwide to provide fiber directly to homes and businesses and to include such specifications in their building laws. Residents now enjoy a level of connectivity previously offered only to universities and top business parks in the US. Live since 2004, the network allows both City utilities and outside service providers to utilize the network to provide amenities such as state-of-the-art broadband data services, high-speed Internet access, VoIP, video on demand, alarm system monitoring, and safety systems to area residents and businesses. Using Allied Telesyn's iMAP Multiservice Access Platform, iMG intelligent Multiservice Gateways, Layer 3 switches, and routers, the majority of the infrastructure was deployed in less than one year. http://www.alliedtelesyn.com http://www.lomalinda-ca.gov/
Experimental/Developmental Applications: iGrid 2005
Larry Smarr, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
iGrid’s co-chairs, Maxine Brown of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Tom DeFanti of UIC and Calit2.
iGrid 2005, the fourth community-driven biennial International Grid event, is a coordinated effort to accelerate the use of multi-10Gb international and national networks, to advance scientific research, and to educate decision makers, academicians and industry researchers on the benefits of these hybrid networks. In 2005, iGrid showcased more than four dozen real-time application demonstrations from 20 countries, as well as a symposium with 25 lectures, panels, and master classes on applications, middleware, and underlying cyber infrastructure.
At its core, this cyber infrastructure has new architectural approaches to next-generation Internet design and development using optical networking. A single optical fiber can carry multiple wavelengths of light, or lambdas, enabling multiple networks to run in parallel. New middleware technologies enable applications to dynamically manage these lambda resources just as they do any grid resource, creating LambdaGrids of interconnected, distributed, high-performance computers, data storage devices, and instrumentation. http://www.startap.net/igrid2005/
2004 On the Road to a Gigabit Awards
Biggest, Fastest in the West: On Demand Infrastructure: A Basis for High Performance Grid Computing
San Diego Supercomputer Center and IBM
As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is considered a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community—both industry and academia. SDSC was established in 1985 as one of the nation’s first supercomputer centers under a cooperative agreement by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and in collaboration with UC San Diego and GA Technologies.
SDSC and IBM worked to together to create a shared parallel file system with high-speed data throughput. This on-demand infrastructure allows data to be shared efficiently, seamlessly, and effectively between sites on a Grid computing system.
At the recent SC2003 supercomputing conference, the team demonstrated the power of this General Parallel File System (GPFS) technology by accessing an 80-terabyte GPFS file system located in San Diego from forty nodes in Phoenix. Using a data link that sent messages at 10 billion bits per second (10 gigabits), they showed a sustained bandwidth of more than one billion bytes per second over a 90-minute session, allowing researchers to create in real time a visualization of complex seismological data representing the spread of earthquake shock waves. http://www.sdsc.edu/News%20Items/PR030804.html
Community: Behind the Redwood Curtain-The Power of Community Activism in Broadband Deployment
Redwood Technology Consortium (RTC), Tina Nerat, Director
Humboldt County, on the North Coast of California, was a poignant example of the digital divide, a place where an at-capacity microwave link was the only way to move data. The work of RTC, established in 1997 to bridge the digital divide through advocacy and outreach, illustrates the power of what a community can accomplish when it unites behind a common goal. By galvanizing local government, businesses, and individuals, RTC worked with CENIC and others to encourage Pacific Bell to complete a 21-mile fiber gap and bring advanced telecommunications services to this remote, rural area. http://www.times-standard.com/article/ZZ/20071204/NEWS/712049680 | A history of the work of the Consortium: http://www2.humboldt.edu/ccrp/projects/rccbc/
Education: Educational Telecommunications Network
Los Angeles County Office of Education
The Educational Telecommunications Network is owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The COE provides staff development and other educational programming via satellite. Their content now is being transmitted over the CalREN-DC network— providing more reliable and accessible programming for educators, students, and the general public. ETN allows educators to reach learners through a combination of traditional broadcast media production, digital technology enhancements, and the ongoing exploration of new digital technologies.
Desert Sands Gigabit Ethernet: Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD)
Supporting a student population of more than 26,000 at 28 school sites, DSUSD, located in La Quinta, partnered with providers of service, equipment, and infrastructure to provide Gigabit connectivity to all schools in the district. With a gigabit-capable network within the boundaries of its territory now providing gigabit-to-the-desktop for every teacher and student, educational opportunity has greatly expanded.This project serves as a model for the deployment of technology in the mid-size K–12 environment. https://www.dsusd.us/
Innovation: Fontana Advanced Community and Educational Services Network
Janice McClintock, City of Fontana
The City of Fontana, in San Bernadino County, has embarked on a process to build out an advanced communications services network to leave no part of the city behind, regardless of economic level or zoning. Owned by the City, like the sewers and roads, the network will link all businesses, schools, hospitals, and homes with a fiber optic infrastructure. https://www.fontana.org/391/Information-Technology
Partnership: Ultralight Partnership
California Institute of Technology, CERN, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
UltraLight is the first of a new class of integrated information systems to support the decades-long research program at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Developed by teams of physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers at Caltech, CERN, SLAC, LANL, Fermilab, Florida International University, University of Florida, University of Michigan, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the MIT Haystack Observatory, the system is now being deployed. The UltraLight infrastructure enables incredibly fast networks to efficiently move data from place to place. The project has profound implications for integrating information sharing and on-demand audiovisual collaboration in our daily lives, with a scale and quality previously unimaginable. https://www.livescience.com/7341-ultralight-project-moving-huge-amounts-data.html
2003 On the Road to a Gigabit Awards
Biggest, Fastest in the West: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
R. Les Cottrell, Assistant Director, SLAC Computer Services
Scientists at Caltech, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), SLAC, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory set up a high-performance trans-Atlantic network testbed with a 10 Gigabit per second link between Sunnyvale, Calif., and Chicago. The network utilized the 2.5 Gigabit per second DataTAG link between Chicago and Geneva. As a result, the team saw a significant increase in data transmission speed, with a terabyte of data transmitted in just under an hour from SLAC near Sunnyvale to CERN in Geneva. https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/
Community: Inteleconnect, Inc.
Stephen Mayo, President/Owner
Inteleconnect designs and implements next-generation telecommunications technology for business, education, and planned communities. The company recently designed a 100 Mbps fiber-to-the-home network, which was deployed in a new community of 3,800 homes in Lake Elsinore, Calif., and gave upgraded connectivity to the elementary and middle schools. The company also created a community intranet, which has led to improved communications.
Stephen Mayo is one of the leading technology consultants focusing on “last mile” strategies for residential and campus environments including education, commercial, retail, and mixed use, master-planned communities. Over the past 29 years, he has implemented and managed large-scale networks for a variety of developers, service providers, companies, institutions, and communities. Steve’s commercial telecommunications knowledge is strengthened by his experience with government agencies and higher education. http://inteleconnect.com
Education: Center for the Teaching of Social Justice:
Judith Green, UC Santa Barbara; and Gail Desler, Elk Grove Unified School District
K–12 students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District served as tour guides during a virtual tour of artifacts from the Henrietta Marie, a slave ship that sank off the Florida coast nearly 300 years ago, and that was on exhibit at the Karpeles Library at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The students toured the exhibit themselves, then served as virtual tour guides, interacting face-to-face with their peers in Sacramento’s Elk Grove School District using the resources of the Digital California Project’s high-performance network. In a follow-up session, also conducted over the network, the Sacramento students shared knowledge gained in a recent project on life in migrant camps. This project is a model for peer-to-peer distance learning. http://linc.education.ucsb.edu/people/prof-judith-l-green-phd/ | http://www.melfisher.org/pdf/HMPropectus.pdf
Education: Imperial County Office of Education:
Todd Finnell, Director, Learning Technologies
The Imperial County Office of Education, working with other community and governmental agencies, has developed a ubiquitous countywide Gigabit Ethernet fiber-optic network. The network connects public schools and public agencies throughout this remote and underserved region. https://www.icoe.org/about
Innovation: Dandin Group
Dewayne Hendricks, CEO
As part of the National Science Foundation’s program for Advanced Networking with Minority-Serving Institutions (AN-MSI), the Dandin Group has deployed Motorola's wireless, unlicensed Canopy solution on three Indian Reservations. Motorola's Canopy solution set a distance record for wireless products of this class, reaching 27 miles and delivering 20 megabits of bandwidth. https://www.wired.com/2002/01/hendricks/
Partnership: El Monte Union High School District and SBC Communications
Garett McKay, Director of Information Services Technology, El Monte; Ken Mills, Technical Sales Engineer, SBC Communications
The El Monte Union High School District is an economically disadvantaged school district in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles. The district worked with network equipment vendors and SBC Communications to deploy Gigabit bandwidth on demand to all of the district’s high schools. The availability of high-speed broadband service has enhanced both teaching and learning, as well as helped to streamline administrative functions. https://www.emuhsd.org/