Culmination of the 2022 Cloud Computing Fellowship

The Michigan State University Cloud Computing Fellowship has completed another exciting and engaging year that highlighted the significance of using computational methods among many fields of research. The Cloud Computing Fellowship introduces its cohorts to new opportunities to further their research. Through the fellowship, the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (ICER) and the ITS Analytics and Data Solutions (ADS) group select researchers to join the program to gain hands-on experience and knowledge with cloud computing which can be implemented in their work. 

At the end of the year, the researchers share the work they have completed using the cloud computing knowledge they gained during their fellowship at the Annual Cloud Computing Fellowship Symposium. Each year, this is an impressive symposium that showcases research across many academic disciplines. 

“The fellowship culminates in an annual symposium where each participant will present on the incorporation of some specific cloud-computing resource into their current research,” stated Cloud Computing Fellowship facilitator Dr. Mahmoud Parvizi. “This will provide each fellow with real-world experience in assessing, applying, and evaluating cloud-computing tools in an academic research environment as well as the chance to share their insights with other participants from a very diverse field of research interests.”

This year, these fields spanned a wide range of academic disciplines including genetics and genome sciences, communications, political science, statistics and probability, and education. Research topics included examining how citizens' engagement with political information impacts their attitudes and behaviors, improving teaching practices through machine learning, and understanding the genetic basis of traits in different species.

“This cohort is the most diverse in terms of research fields and project scope,” noted Parvizi. “It highlights the rising importance of computational methods to many traditional areas of research.”

One Cloud Computing Fellow, master’s student John Salako from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, conducts research aimed at understanding and predicting the spatial distribution of tree roots using geophysical tools.

“I developed a machine-learning-based application capable of predicting and forecasting energy datasets,” shared Salako. “However, I noticed that this application exhibited a lengthy runtime when operating on free cloud services. Consequently, the primary objective of my project was to investigate whether the runtime could be significantly improved by upgrading the cloud services. Upon conducting my research, I discovered that upgrading … exponentially decreased the web application's runtime.”

“The cloud fellowship impacted the project by providing the knowledge and platform to enhance my web application and also explore the possibilities in cloud computing,” said Salako. 

This year’s cohort demonstrated impressive work while embracing the challenge of applying cloud computing computational tools to their academic research. If you wish to apply to the Cloud Computing Fellowship next year, stay tuned on ICER’s website and social media for more details!


Written by Kylie McClung, ICER Student Intern