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ECSITE’13: EarthCube Summer Institute for Technology Exploration 2013

ECSITE’13: the first EarthCube Summer Institute for Technology Exploration was held August 12th - 16th, 2013, at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California, San Diego.

Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Geoinformatics program and the EarthCube program, ECSITE’13 built upon eight years of the Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists, from 2004-2011 (see Previous Summer Institutes).

The EarthCube Summer Institute is designed for geoscience researchers engaged in computational and data science including, graduate students, postdoctoral associates, junior and senior faculty, and research staff. ECSITE’13 in particular targeted early career faculty, especially those interested in carrying forward the concepts learned at ECSITE into their own research activities and to their classroom teaching.

ECSITE’13 provided an introduction to data science concepts and topics, while also covering topics in computational science. The topic areas introduced included:

  • Use cases and generating needs and requirements: Formulating use cases and developing a use case repository: How scientists versus cyberinfrastructure experts think about use cases.
  • Data and its meaning: An introduction to the notion of “data semantics” and ontologies. What are they? Why do these concepts exist?
  • Data and metadata. Effective versus ineffective metadata; tools and techniques to capture metadata; best practices in recording information at the time of data collection.
  • Services and brokering: What are “web services” and “brokering”? How do these concepts assist in building better cyberinfrastructure systems? How much does a geoscientist need to know and care?
  • Science processes and workflows: What are “workflows” and how are they used?. Exploratory data analysis vs. “processing pipelines”. Scientist’s versus cyber expert’s view of data processing.
  • Modeling and Visualization tools: Introduction and demonstrations of computational modeling and visualization tools. Types of models, e.g. community models, modular modeling approaches.

The material was structured to provide an introduction, cover the state-of-the-art, provide examples of use in “real systems”, and discuss remaining challenges, especially in the context of geoscience research applications.

Please see the General Information page for additional details regarding logistics, the intended audience for the institute, etc.

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