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Computing Manager Jason Simms Named Co-Principal Investigator on NSF Grant

Jason Simms

Jason Simms was named a co-principal investigator on a $1,092,012 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure program. His work with this NSF grant exemplifies Swarthmore's mission of fostering innovative research, creative production, and encouraging collaboration among faculty, students, and staff.

“The grant will promote high-performance computing capabilities at five participating institutions,” says Simms, who is the research computing manager within Information Technology Services. He and his fellow investigators received the grant for the Pennsylvania Science DMZ (PA Science DMZ), a groundbreaking project that addresses critical cyber infrastructure and connectivity gaps. The project will allow non-R1 institutions to process data comparable to the data that R1 institutions (doctoral-granting universities with very high research activity) work with.

The grant will work to enhance all participating institutions' high-performance computing infrastructures to better support large-scale research, collaboration, and data analysis. The DMZ project will connect networks at the institutions, allowing for data sharing, as well as creating a model for how other non-R1 universities and colleges can collaboratively bolster their computing and collaborative capabilities.

By opening the door to a multitude of research opportunities, the PA Science DMZ works within the initial consortium and through collaborations with smaller institutions that lack access to tools of contemporary science. Those include Pennsylvania State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Lafayette College, The Digital Foundry at New Kensington, and Swarthmore.

By implementing a regional model for integrating computer networks and equipment the project will provide a robust and economically efficient template for initiatives within the state and nationwide. Ideally, this will foster a more inclusive and interconnected cyberinfrastructure landscape.

At Swarthmore, Simms will use the grant to foster collaborative research across disciplines, including projects in linguistics and biology. He is looking forward to the project and enhancing accessibility for the College’s students, faculty, and staff. Simms has one student worker and is interested in involving additional students in this project. Students who would like to participate can contact Simms for additional information.

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