From the Executive Director

Wuerthwein_FrankWith this note, I’d like to restart a tradition from a few years ago of adding an “Executive Director’s Perspective” to the bimonthly OSG newsletter.

As you can see from the stories in this newsletter, we’ve seen some exciting science on OSG within the last few months. We are,  of course, very proud to have been able to contribute to the detection of gravitational waves by LIGO, and are looking forward to witnessing the growth of observational astrophysics using gravitational waves, both directly with LIGO as well as indirectly by experiments like DES looking for the afterglow of these violent cosmic phenomena.

Photo courtesy Ben Tolo, San Diego Supercomputer Center

At the recent OSG AHM, we saw reports from AMS, IceCube, and a host of intensity frontier experiments, NOvA and Mu2e being the most prominent among them. And this is only the beginning. We are in the process of engaging with multiple liquid noble gas dark matter detection experiments, as well as experiments dedicated to the precision measurement of the cosmic microwave background polarization. In short, a long list of international science collaborations are “discovering” the Open Science Grid.

In the life sciences, structural biology continues to be of great interest to OSG, as indicated in this newsletter. In addition, the AHM showcased some very interesting genomics activities. Both are likely to be future growth areas for science on OSG. SBGrid is a particularly interesting example as it “bundles” many individual scientists with a common interest in a domain science, and thus a common set of tools. This kind of bundling is sometimes referred to as science gateways. In fact, SBGrid is the third largest science gateway by CPU hours consumed across XSEDE and OSG.

On the infrastructure side, it is gratifying to see how institutions with no LHC affiliation are increasingly playing an important role on OSG. The April 2015 newsletter had just one non-LHC institution among the top ten opportunistic resource providers. This newsletter has three such institutions among the top 10.

In summary, science on the Open Science Grid continues to thrive and grow, and increasingly both science and infrastructure on OSG includes much beyond the core LHC community.

Best wishes, Frank Würthwein