Information technology platforms that have emerged in the last decade have made possible processing, manipulating, storing and transfer of large data sets inexpensive and fast. At the same time, the wireless technology together with the sensor and actuator technology have led to significant increase in functionality and flexibility in terms of mobility and ubiquitous connectivity.
The collusion of these abilities has spawned new enterprises and endeavors that did not seem possible just a decade ago. Examples include multidisciplinary and separate research groups producing large incongruous data sets to enable scientific discovery, informatics techniques for the design of new materials (material informatics) a large set of relatively independent agents that need to execute a global objective (cooperative behavior), and monitoring of critical infrastructure like transportation, power and health care infrastructures. These opportunities have led to new challenges that include methods to manage large data sets to produce meaningful inferences, paradigms for dynamic data driven applications with the need for a proper interface between the information infrastructure and applications and methodologies for distributed decision making with information constraints.
A coordinated effort in developing an engineering cyber-infrastructure program for research and education of the type that NSF is promoting would be a good example of the type of activity in this cluster hire area. There are numerous interdisciplinary programs and facilities at Iowa State University that provide exciting opportunities for the growth of this cluster hire initiative, including the recent acquisition of two supercomputers, ISU’s participation in the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computing, the Information Assurance Center and interdepartmental programs in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
Students interested in doing research in this area should contact faculty working in one of our related research centers and institutes (links to the right).