The 2018 Peebles Memorial Lecture "Computing and Cyberinfrastructure in support of research, scholarship, and creative activity: forward in challenging times" presented by Dr. Craig A. Stewart, Executive Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute.
Dr. Stewart takes a look back at where IU has been in computing and cyberinfrastructure, assesses the value of IU’s current implementation of information technology in support of research, scholarship, and creative activity, and suggests strategies for supporting IU’s excellence in these areas in the coming years.
Computing resources provided and used in support of research, scholarship, and creative activities have been viewed as a common good since the early 1950s. At this time Marshall Wrubel, astronomer and first director of the Research Computing Center of IU, established as a principle that IU’s electronic computer was a resource available to the entire IU research community. Since that time the use of computing resources – and what is now termed cyberinfrastructure – has been expanded to include all fields of scholarship (particularly humanities research) as well as the fine and performing arts. And since the late 1990s, IU has been a national leader in the use of cyberinfrastructure to accelerate innovation and expand capabilities of the members of the IU community for decades.
We stand now at the beginning of what may be years of challenging times for research and higher education generally. Many current predictions hold that hundreds of small- to mid-size colleges and universities will become insolvent in coming years. It seems likely that federal funding for research will stay constant or decrease – and certainly decrease relative to the perceived needs of the research community – for years to come. At the same time, we face more diversity in availability of computing architectures and uncertainty in processor roadmaps than we, as a national community, have faced in years. Locally-sourced supercomputers, federally-funded cyberinfrastructure resources, commercial cloud computing, uncertainty in processor roadmaps, the end of Moore’s Law scaling, and competition from China constitute a broad set of opportunities for the IU community and challenges to the global position of the US.
About the series:
The series commemorates decades of service given to Indiana University by Dr. Christopher S. Peebles, former associate vice president for research and academic computing and dean for information technology. When Peebles stepped down as associate vice president in 2003, then-Vice President for Information Technology Michael McRobbie established an endowment through the IU Foundation to fund a lecture series in his honor. The series is expected to bring some of the sharpest minds in information technology to Indiana University.
"Chris was a distinguished scholar in multiple disciplines, an inveterate reader, and a leader who helped set the foundations for the excellent IT environment we enjoy at IU," said longtime colleague Dr. Craig Stewart. "This lecture series honors Chris's service and dedication to IU and to academia in general."
About Dr. Christopher Peebles:
Peebles came to Indiana University in 1985 as director of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory. His career at Indiana University uniquely encompassed both anthropology and information technology. His interest in formal organizations and their cultures' effect on quality of corporate performance led to a key role in bringing vital cost and quality management programs to Indiana University's central information technology organization. Dr. Peebles served twice as interim chief information officer at Indiana University. Dr. Peebles has published and made important contributions in several distinct fields: anthropology, information science, quality management, and information technology, and was active in the Indiana University community and faculty governance. Peebles retired from IU in 2009, and passed away in 2012.https://kb.iu.edu/d/apwo