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News Release

Undergrads contribute to, learn from NSF-funded cloud

Contact: Paul Redfern
Cell: (607) 227-1865

FOR RELEASE: October 1, 2019

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students made valuable contributions to the Aristotle Cloud Federation project this summer working at Cornell University and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The undergrads gained first-hand experience configuring science and engineering applications for Aristotle federation clouds and public clouds.

Jackie Zheng, a Cornell REU student, produced a script which sets up Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances to run the Lake Problem application on different instances. Zheng used Ansible and Terraform to configure the Docker containers to allow for multi-instance communication where each instance takes up a single Docker container. He also created a Docker container which will run the scripts inside a container so that the host does not need additional dependencies. These accomplishments were in support of professor Patrick Reed’s water resource management research.

Cornell’s Ryan Hill built a functioning neural network that classifies different types of radio frequency interference (RFI) into one of five categories, including no RFI. It does so with up to 90% accuracy depending on the loss rate. The code for the neural network exists in a Jupyter Notebook and PY File Extension versions. In addition, Hill created code to develop, use, and modify the RFI and single pulse graphs. These codes will support the transient detection in radio astronomy research led by professor James Cordes.

At UCSB, REU student Gareth George developed an AWS compatibility layer for microcontrollers to use as part of the Citrus Under Protective Screening (CUPS) project whose goal is to protect the California citrus crop which is under threat from the citrus greening disease that devasted Florida citrus. AWS Lambda is an event-driven, serverless computing platform that is popular with UCSB scientists but restricted for use to AWS. George created a compatibility service that not only runs in the Aristotle cloud but can also run on resource restricted devices themselves. “From a systems perspective, this is a significant breakthrough and a paper is being prepared for publication.” said Rich Wolski, UCSB computer science professor and Aristotle co-PI.

UCSB’s Gabriel Soule became the primary developer and deployment engineer for the Aristotle collaboration with the UCSB Edible Campus project. The project plans to use UCSB professor Chandra Krintz’s SmartFarm technologies to monitor Edible Campus farm sites. Soule sited solar power and long-distance Wi-Fi at the Edible Campus farm which is located on unincorporated land next to UCSB.

The Aristotle project team is grateful to the NSF for sponsoring these student experiences. Special thanks to the research professors and staff who took the time to teach and mentor the students.

The Aristotle Cloud Federation project——is supported by National Science Foundation grant number OAC-1541215 and the Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) in partnership with the University at Buffalo Center for Computational Research (CCR) and the UCSB Department of Computer Science.

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program— active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.