CENIC’s 2017 Annual Conference, The Right Connection 2.0, took place on March 19-22, with more than 320 registrants and 15 sponsors taking part. Held in La Jolla at venues including UC San Diego’s Calit2 Qualcomm Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the event drew members of the research and education community from across California, the US, and abroad. Planned by a program committee of leaders representing all segments of the CENIC community, the goal of the conference was to deepen understanding of existing communities and discover ways to build new communities among CENIC’s diverse segments.
With CENIC completing its 20th year of operation, CEO Louis Fox began the conference by reflecting on the past and laying out goals for the future. He showed a video about the history of CENIC, which was accompanied by a newly released book, CENIC: 20 Years of Connecting California.
The 32 sessions that comprised the conference dealt with topics as diverse as global scientific and cultural exchange, promoting gender equity in the technology workforce, enabling public access to data, bringing high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities, and optimizing network security while finding a balance between openness and secure networks.
There were several plenary sessions over the three-day conference. Plenary sessions included the following:
David Lassner, President of the University of Hawaii, spoke about recent progress fostering research and education network capacity to interconnect Pacific Islands with each other and to the global R&E network fabric by building on previous projects and relationships. Read more on our blog. >
Global leaders in research and education networking — Cathrin Stover, Vice President, GÉANT; Carlos Casasus, Director General of University Corporation for Internet Development (CUDI); and Meoli Kashorda, Executive Director of the Kenya Education Network (KENET) — described how their networks enable science, education, cultural expression, and preservation across the globe. Read more on our blog. >
After two years of implementation, 129 out of 176 of the eligible library jurisdictions in the state are either connected or in the process of connecting to CalREN, most at gigabit speeds. This initiative was discussed by librarians at the forefront of this effort, including Paula MacKinnon, Interim Director, Califa Group; Susan Hildreth, Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, University of Washington; Misty Jones, Director, San Diego Public Library; and Susan Broman, Director of Emerging Technologies and Collections, Los Angeles Public Library. The panelists provided insights into new applications that have been enabled by their increased bandwidth connections to CalREN, new partnerships that have been similarly enabled, and aspirations for future innovations to serve libraries and library patrons. Read more on our blog. >
In order to serve its many constituents, CENIC works with hundreds of private sector organizations — many of which are located in California —, to operate production and leading-edge research and education networks. As a result, CENIC contributes tens of millions of dollars every year to the California economy, creating jobs and economic development across the state. Leaders from AT&T, VAST Networks, Level 3, and Transtelco discussed how they currently intersect with CENIC and its members, and they discussed future opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Read more on our blog. >
A highlight of the conference was a series of presentations at Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute, a state-of-the-art research facility on the University of California San Diego Campus, which brings together interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, technical professionals, and industry partners to develop innovative technology solutions to large-scale challenges facing society in the 21st century.
Presentations at Calit2 included:
Catalyst CAVEkiosk: Sharing Cultural Heritage Data over the Pacific Research Platform.
Archaeological sites in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Morocco, and Cyprus can now be visited virtually using the CAVEkiosk, the first large-scale 3D immersive environment designed expressly for public engagement. Professor Thomas E. Levy, Department of Anthropology, from the Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability, discussed his use of virtual reality for real-time sharing of digital archaeology data collected by UC San Diego and UC Merced researchers in the eastern Mediterranean region in 2016. Read more on our blog. >
Earth Science Knowledge Discovery
With the availability of ever-increasing amounts of observational data, enhanced computational capabilities, and innovative computational approaches, a new era in computational earth sciences is within our grasp. These approaches enable the assimilation, analysis, and modeling of complex earth science phenomena. Scott L. Sellars, Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, discussed the development of the CONNected objECT (CONNECT) algorithm to study “Atmospheric Rivers” events impacting the Western United States — events often associated with torrential rains, swollen rivers, flash flooding, and mudslides.
We would like to thank all the conference sponsors, presenters, and attendees for making the 2017 conference a success. Planning is already underway for the 2018 conference to be held in March in Monterey. If you are affiliated with a CENIC member institution, consider volunteering to be a part of the conference planning committee by contacting Lee Ann Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org. A call for session proposals will be issued this fall and CENIC welcomes proposals on topics such as fostering global scientific and cultural exchange, bringing high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities, promoting gender equity in the technology workforce, enabling public access to data, and optimizing network security.
Innovations in Networking Awards are given annually at the conference by CENIC to highlight exemplary innovations which leverage ultra high-bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to revolutionize the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment of broadband in underserved areas.
Gary Kazaryan began working at CENIC in January of 2014 as a Network Engineer on our Operations team, where he demonstrated a high degree of expertise and analytical skill. In February of 2016, Gary was promoted to Associate Core Network Engineer on our Engineering team, where he continues to distinguish himself.