When DJ Patil called data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century” in 2012, it caused quite a stir…in part because very few people at the time knew what “data science” actually meant. Despite detractors who claimed “all science is data science!” or joked that data science was just “statistics on a MacBook,” the term has picked up steam, from universities to corporations to government (where Patil was recently named Chief Data Scientist of the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy).


Academic research, for all its aspirations of collaboration and openness, remains a very closed community. Data and software are rarely shared, findings are published in static, paywalled journal articles, and collaborations are typically "invite-only." But as more researchers turn to computational methods to power their work, many are looking to the culture of software programming as a potential model for a more open world of science.


For decades, computer scientists have coasted on the momentum of Moore's law, confident that the steadily increasing number of transistors on a microchip would eventually solve all challenges. But as more and more experts predict the encroaching end of Moore's, much of the inherited computing wisdom of the past may soon expire as well.


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The Discovery Cloud is CI Director Ian Foster's vision to deliver powerful computational tools and methods to every professional and amateur scientist around the world, fundamentally transforming the ecosystem of science. Globus is the first step towards realizing this vision.

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The OSDC is a petabyte scale science cloud for researchers to manage, analyze and share their data and to get easy access to data from other scientists.

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Nimbus is an open-source toolkit focused on providing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities to the scientific community. Nimbus enables providers of resources to build private or community IaaS clouds, users to use IaaS clouds and developers to extend, experiment and customize IaaS. Combining those tools and capabilities in different ways allows users to rapidly develop custom community-specific solutions.

Researcher Spotlight