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NSF Grant Provides Direct Support to Researchers at Boise State

National Science Foundation

Boise State University received a $380,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to hire a cyberinfrastructure (CI) engineer to enhance data, network and software systems for collaborative research.

The CI engineer will be the technical ambassador to consult with and match the needs of university researchers to centralized high-performance computers, visualization equipment and high-speed data networks across the country.

Specifically, the CI engineer will work with Boise State researchers, postdocs and graduate students to:

  • provide expertise in parallel software development;
  • leverage existing on- and off-campus CI resources to increase computational science;
  • develop solutions for big data transfer, storage and retrieval;
  • advance education and broaden knowledge of CI resources through community engagement

The grant will fund two years for the new position, which then will become a permanent position in the Department of Research Computing in the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

The CI engineer position supports both the “State of Idaho CI Strategic Plan for Idaho Universities” and the “Boise State CI Strategic Plan,” which identify a critical need for increased CI technical staffing. Both plans call for expanding the academic programs in computer science and engineering to support interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers in the social sciences, biology, geosciences, physical sciences, engineering and the humanities.

Harold Blackman, associate vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development is principal investigator for the grant, along with co-PIs Max Davis-Johnson, associate vice president and chief information officer of OIT; Steven Cutchin, associate professor and Sole Pera, assistant professor, both in the Department of Computer Science in the College of Engineering.

The award was presented to Boise State through the NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Data, Networking and Innovation Program, which seeks to invest in campus-level data and networking infrastructure and integration activities tied to achieving higher levels of performance, reliability and predictability for science applications and distributed research projects.

For more information, please contact Brian McDevitt, director for research computing, at (208) 867-5224 or

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