"It has a prestigious element. It's a 'Who's Who' of those conducting computational research", stated Tim Kuhfuss, UW's director of research support for Information Technology. "To be invited is an honour. The University of Wyoming will benefit big time."
The university was invited in early January to join because of its strong core of programmes in the computational sciences - areas include biology, engineering, geology and math - and its partnership with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Wyoming Supercomputing Center, located in Cheyenne, according to Tim Kuhfuss. It also didn't hurt that UW is located in the West, where the organisation has fewer members, he said.
"UW's membership in the CASC places us among the institutions that have made lasting commitments to the rapidly evolving 'third leg' of science", stated Myron Allen, UW's provost and vice president for academic affairs. "It's an important peer group for any university that wants to stay at the cutting edge."
"The members of the CASC are pleased to welcome the University of Wyoming as a partner in the academic high-performance computing scientific community", stated CASC Chair Amy Apon, who also chairs Clemson University's Division of Computer Science.
Founded in 1989, CASC is an educational non-profit organisation with 69 member institutions in 38 states, according to Sue Fratkin, CASC's liaison. Organisation members represent many of the nation's most forward-thinking universities and computing centres. CASC is dedicated to advocating the use of the most advanced computing technology to accelerate scientific discovery for national competitiveness, global security and economic success, as well as develop a diverse and well-prepared 21st-century work force.
CASC's mission is to:
The affiliation is already paying dividends, according to Tim Kuhfuss. UW has culled information from officials at CASC member schools Princeton, Cornell and the University of Colorado - as well as Colorado School of Mines - that will be beneficial in establishing a "campus cluster". The cluster, expected to be completed this summer, will be a 500-square-foot advanced computing center in the IT Building that will provide UW additional computing access to the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) site in Cheyenne.
The CASC affiliation also will enable UW to participate in the organisation's two annual meetings, which take place in Washington, D.C., Tim Kuhfuss said.
"It's a good opportunity to tell the federal government our ideas and thoughts. It's also an opportunity for them to discuss where they see us going", stated Tim Kuhfuss, who pushed to get UW in the organisation shortly after he arrived at the university from Chicago six months ago. "The university will receive access and updates from agencies, (research) partners and potential competitors."
"Being represented by an organisation like CASC will enhance the reputation of the University of Wyoming and among our peers", he stated.