2008 News

2008 News

E-research—Taking Research to the Next Level

e-research taking research to the next level

More than 60 research staff and students from Victoria University, Crown Research Institutes, and government agencies attended the E-Research Symposium.

Hosted by the School of Computer Science, the symposium featured a presentation from Professor John Hine, Head of School, among other keynote addresses.

Professor Hine opened the symposium with an introduction to e-research—defined as research done faster, to a better quality, or by different methods, using advanced digital tools and services that enable diverse research expertise to be assembled in global teams focused on specific research problems.

Professor Hine introduced the audience to key national and Victoria-based e-research tools and services, like the KAREN network, the University's grid computing facilities, and the BlueFern supercomputer at Canterbury University. He also launched the Victoria E-Research Professional Development Awards, designed to help Victoria researchers to travel to international events to learn more about e-research, and encouraged symposium attendees to apply.

The symposium delegates also enjoyed the perspective of international e-research from Professor Mark Gahegan, Director of E-Research at the University of Auckland, and from Professor Neil Gemmell, Director of the Centre for Genomics and Reproduction at the University of Otago.

Professor Gahegan gave an overview of the role of Geoscience Network in enabling geoscientists worldwide to participate in a global community and share data, tools and expertise. He used a 3-D simulation of a major earthquake near Los Angeles to demonstrate how e-research tools and services can enable scientists to integrate data and present results in compelling new way, with impacts for science as well as for other agencies such as emergency services and civil planning authorities.

Professor Gemmell gave an overview of e-research opportunities in the biosciences, focusing on the ways in which e-research tools and services mean that researchers no longer need to leave New Zealand to participate in global collaborations. He described the work of the BeSTGRID project that looks at ways of sharing data and computational resources across institutions, and tools like the Access Grid for communicating with colleagues around the globe.

A full report of the symposium, with links to people's presentations, is available on the School of Engineering and Computer Science Wiki.