PEARC20 Conference

This workshop was featured on the opening day of PEARC20, July 27, 2020 in a virtual delivery format, and was well attended and received. Later in August 2020, a full video of the day-long event will be made available by the ACM, and a link to it will be provided when it is available on this page. Please see details below, including a link to the presentations given by the participants.

This workshop explores the role of humans in making cloud computing useful in research settings. Cloud computing is a type of cyberinfrastructure (CI), defined as comprising “computing systems, data storage systems, advanced instruments and data repositories, visualization environments, and people, all linked together by software and high-performance networks to improve research productivity and enable breakthroughs not otherwise possible.”  

This workshop will focus on the "people" part of cyberinfrastructure, particularly the role of people in supporting the use of commercial cloud resources in research.

The workshop is a joint effort of the Humans Advancing Research in the Cloud (HARC) program based in the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University and the Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability initiative based in the National Institutes of Health (STRIDES).

The overall goal of this workshop is to share information about best practices, successes, and challenges in supporting research use of commercial clouds. To accomplish this, we will:

  • Provide detailed, concrete examples of the effective use of cloud computing, comparing and contrasting use of cloud resources with traditional campus/premise-based and national infrastructure alternatives.
  • Provide a forum for a free exchange of ideas, challenges, and best practices in support of the use of commercial cloud computing in advancing research across many disciplines.
  • Foster networking amongst attendees and broaden the impact of efforts to put greater emphasis on the human component of cyberinfrastructure, which includes Campus Champions, the Campus Research Computing Consortium (CaRCC), and Humanware, a new effort led by IU that is working to build a larger and more effective community of experts.

Workshop Format

The format of sessions for the full-day workshop will be as follows, with each listed session taking approximately 30 minutes unless otherwise noted, including presentation and Q&A with attendees. Occasional breaks during the workshop will be provided, as will a brief time for online attendees to gather lunch before returning to the agenda while eating in their locations.

  • An introductory talk by Brian Voss (PTI@IU) with an overall description of the HARC program and its observations, findings, and lessons learned to date
  • An introductory talk (45 minutes) in two parts by Nick Weber (NIH), with an overall description of the STRIDES program (Part 1) and general NIH directions regarding use of cloud computing (Part 2)
  • Four talks by the Cloud Research Support Engineers (CRSEs) who are funded in the CRSE2 phase of the HARC program: Chris Kurtz, Arizona State University; Kim Wong, The University of Pittsburgh Center for Research Computing; Matt VanderWerf, University of Notre Dame; and Robert Podschwadt, Georgia State University
  • Four talks selected from the call for participation by individuals who submitted papers. These include: Craig A. Stewart (IU), financial returns on investments in XSEDE; Rick McMullen (IU), a strategic approach to cloud services in supporting academic research; James McCombs (IU), hybrid premise and cloud attention clustering workflow; and Marlon Pierce (IU), integrating science gateways with secure cloud computing resources.
  • A talk by Jamie Sunderland of Internet2 with an update on the Exploring Clouds for Acceleration of Science (E-CAS) project
  • A talk by Shava Smallen of the San Diego Supercomputing Center with an update on the Cloudbank project
  • A final summary to include open discussion of lessons learned and an opportunity for participants in the online audience to seek further information and clarification on the topics, as well as share their experiences




NOTE:  Due to concerns about COVID-19, the PEARC20 conference will be held virtually, and that includes this workshop on Monday July 27, 2020, from 8am to 5pm PDT. Details of how PEARC20-registered individuals can attend will be forthcoming once provided by PEARC20 conference coordinators. We look forward to your attendance and participation!

Submission Guidelines

Papers that are sought cover all aspects of human involvement in cloud-based CI environments. Submissions that discuss elements of support for commercial cloud resources used for research are particularly desirable.

PEARC20 paper requirements will apply: Paper manuscripts should be submitted using the ACM template with a page length of four to eight pages.

Authors must submit papers via the EasyChair review site for this workshop. Papers will be reviewed by a panel of CI experts.

The deadline for paper submission via EasyChair is 11:59pm in the author’s local time zone, May 22, 2020.

Papers not submitted by the deadline will not be included for review.

Please note that at least one author for accepted papers and posters must attend the workshop.

The PEARC20 Conference requires that any workshop attendee register for the full conference.

Important Dates

Deadline for paper submissions: May 22, 2020

Notification of acceptance: No later than 30 days before workshop

Date of workshop: Full conference is July 26-30, 2020; exact date of the workshop is TBA

Camera-ready deadline for papers to be included in proceedings: August 7, 2020