Cloud Computing Fellowship Culminates in Impressive Symposium

What do movie trailers, rib fractures, and mummified corn have in common? Admittedly, not a lot. One similarity is that these topics, and many more, were explored by the MSU 2020 Cloud Computing Fellowship cohort. These researchers come from excitingly diverse academic backgrounds including communication, engineering, political science, and many other fields. 

The Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (ICER) and the ITS Analytics and Data Solutions (ADS) group selected the cohort of researchers to gain hands-on experience with cloud computing and advance their work by exploring new possibilities. The fellowship provided cloud computing workshops and hands-on learning experiences along with support for fellows to implement cloud computing in their research. This work culminated in the MSU Cloud Computing Fellows Symposium.

Sylmarie Dávila-Montero, a Cloud Fellow working with Dr. Andrew J. Mason in the Human Augmentation Technologies Laboratory (HATlab), used cloud computing resources in her research on technologies to improve teamwork performance aimed at identifying disruptive human behaviors during virtual social interactions. “One important part of my research is the need to synchronize sensor signals being captured at remote locations from each of the individuals participating in the interaction,” Dávila-Montero explains. “The Cloud Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to explore the tools… that could help me with the task of recording and synchronizing these sensor signals.”

Dr. David Luecke, working with Dr. Jason Gallant in the Department of Integrative Biology, used the Cloud Computing Fellowship to supplement his research on electric fish. Dr. Luecke compares the electric organs with skeletal muscle to understand which genes are contributing to the unique abilities of an electric organ. “All of my current research can be accomplished by traditional HPCC [High-Performance Computing Cluster] approaches,” Luecke remarks, adding that his interest in cloud computing is “to expand these analyses to our global collaborators who aren't guaranteed access to those resources.”

In the Secure and Intelligent Things (SEIT) Lab led by Dr. Qiben Yan and in collaboration with Dr. Qingyang Wang from Louisiana State University, Cloud Fellow Nick Ivanov worked on a unique system combining blockchain and cloud computing. On the impact of the fellowship, Ivanov comments, “the paper that culminates my Cloud Fellowship project has been accepted at a flagship peer-reviewed conference on distributed systems (IEEE ICDCS)… The Cloud Fellowship turned my research idea into a real solution - the first and only framework [of its kind].”

In true Spartan spirit, the future goals of this cohort are ambitious: creating a more sustainable world, increasing access to computational resources, and fighting corruption, to name a few. Based on the impressive showing at the recent symposium, they are well on their way to achieving their goals. Stay tuned for information about applying for the upcoming 2021 MSU Cloud Computing Fellowship!