You are here

Microsoft Research Funds e-Science Appliance Project

07/27/08 Portland, Ore.

Bill HoweIt may still be taboo in corporate America, but Oregon Health & Science University researcher William (Bill) Howe, Ph.D., believes in thinking inside the box. What’s more, thanks to a recent Microsoft grant, he also plans to build the box itself.

Howe, an OHSU senior scientist at the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction (CMOP), received a $25,000 Jim Gray Seed Grant from Microsoft Research to develop what he calls “CMOP in a Box,” a complete software/hardware platform for coastal research using Microsoft’s eScience concept.

The grant will fund collaboration with the External Research Group at Microsoft Research to build and deploy an eScience appliance that integrates coastal research data, software and hardware into one unit.

As a multi-institutional center, CMOP has collaborators in locations across the country. With that in mind, the data appliance is envisioned as a low-cost alternative to supplying and supporting a variety of software tools in far-flung sites. With the cost of support rising and the cost of hardware falling, Howe says it makes sense to build complete platforms in the lab and deliver them to CMOP researchers wherever they may be.

The appliance will integrate several pre-existing technologies developed by CMOP, Microsoft and other collaborators to influence the growth of eScience concepts, technology and training.

These technologies include the Trident Workbench, developed by Microsoft Research for analysis of oceanographic data, and GridFields, developed by Howe for efficient and convenient manipulation of complex model results.

CMOP, anchored at OHSU, is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center also led by Oregon State University and the University of Washington. Its purpose is to facilitate interdisciplinary research, technology development, education and knowledge transfer to advance understanding of physical, chemical and biological processes regulating river-to-ocean ecosystems.

Microsoft Research collaborates with university researchers around the world, focusing on current real-world issues, cutting-edge research, and challenges facing the academic ecosystem. Microsoft Research also collaborates openly with colleges and universities worldwide to broadly advance the field of computer science.