NSF Awards high performance connections to ten institutions

May 21, 2000

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded high performance network connections for ten additional universities, bringing the total number of institutions assisted through such grants to 177. They will join previous awardees in connecting to a national grid of research networks that operate at speeds up to 2.4 billion bits per second.

The two-year awards average $350,000, which will be matched at least equally by each recipient. Awardees may use the funds to connect with the vBNS (very high performance Backbone Network System), the Internet2 consortium's Abilene network or another national research network. NSF and MCI Worldcom recently announced an agreement that will keep vBNS in operation through March 2003.

Since 1995 the NSF High Performance Connections (HPC) program has given scientists and engineers better access to research facilities across the U.S., including those maintained by NSF through its Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure program (PACI). HPC and PACI are part of the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

Among the latest recipients are two universities (Idaho State and Mississippi's Jackson State) in EPSCoR states, which are defined as those that have historically received fewer federal research funds. EPSCoR stands for Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Jackson State and another awardee (the University of Texas at El Paso) are classified as Minority Serving Institutions (MSI).

NSF's award to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT) is an example of how HPC improves access to research facilities. The NMIMT network link will let scientists across the world view real-time data from the Very Large Array (VLA), an advanced telescope operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico. The connection will also improve access to archived data from the VLA and the Very Long Baseline Array, a system of ten radio telescopes that work together as the world's largest dedicated, full-time instrument for astronomy.

The latest institutions to be connected through the HPC program are:For information about CISE, see: http://www.nsf.gov/home/cise/

For a list of all HPC awardees, see: http://www.interact.nsf.gov/CISE/ASC/CISEWeb.nsf/program_ani

National Science Foundation

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