Executive Summary of Meeting

Wed, 6/26 – 12pm ET | 11am CT | 10am MT | 9am PT


PRESENT (tick)/(error)
XAB Members 
Karin Remington (Chair)(tick)
Lisa Arafune(tick)
Ken Bloom(error)
Randy Bryant(error)
Thomas Cheatham(error)
Toni Collis(error)
Rudolph Eigenmann(error)
Cliff Jacobs(tick)
Albert Lazzarini(error)
Ani Ural(error)
Service Provider Forum 

Ruth Marinshaw


Jonathon Anderson

David Hancock(error)
User Advisory Committee 
Emre Brookes(tick)
John Towns(tick)
Kelly Gaither(error)
David Lifka(error)
David Hart(tick)
Gregory Peterson(error)
Victor Hazlewood(error)
Ron Payne(tick)
Sergiu Sanielevici(error)
Lizanne DeStefano(tick)


10 min
  • Welcome
  • Approval of XAB April meeting summary
    • Comments or corrections?
    • Cliff: the summary accurately reflects what was discussed
    • Voting will happy by electronic ballot since there isn't a quorum present.
  • Voting on new chair
    • Voting will happy by electronic ballot since there isn't a quorum present.
  • John: Thank you to Cliff, Albert, Karin for your service on the XAB, as they will be rotating off after this meeting.
  • Open call for new XAB members has resulted in 19 nominations. Hope to have the new members join us at the next meeting.
    • Will plan to offer another "what is XSEDE" session for new members.

50 min
  • Recap of NSF review
    • Went extremely well. Appreciate XAB input that helped shape it. Review report was sent to XAB members. Report was very positive. Happy with value XSEDE is delivering to the community.
    • Opportunities for Improvement will all be responded to.
    • Spoke with Program Officer (Bob) for clarification on some of the text, but he advised John to interpret it as he sees fit. These are recommendations from the panel; not instructions. There are a couple that we will not implement but will provide a reason in our response as to why.
    • Pg 3: XSEDE is a project; not organization. Reacting to our Discover More brand campaign. Project should consult with NSF re. promoting XSEDE vs. promoting national cyberinfrastructure.
      • Concerning as it is our mission to provide info about XSEDE to new communities/individuals
      • Cliff: Does NSF want you to be your agent in wider content than XSEDE?
        • JT: Strategic goal to raise awareness of adv research computing in support of science. Has been a goal all along. In prior reviews have been told we're not promoting XSEDE sufficiently. Conflicting info from different panels over the years. Bob emphasized that the panel wanted to make sure whatever we're doing is done in consultation with NSF. We consult with NSF regularly. Will respond to indicate that we have consulted with NSF.
        • Cliff: Could tell PO: this is great & we've done it. If you want more you need to tell us what you want us to do to help NSF
    • Have internally proposed longitudinal studies but don't have adequate funding to do them all. Where have students gone after they got degree; How has training impacted; How has this brought benefit to workforce development...
      • For some studies, would need to be completed as an extension because full data wouldn't be available until then. Wouldn't impact how we execute project. However they represent an understanding about community that is more broadly applicable that could impact follow-on award. Clear broader impact these could have.
      • Concern that we would engage in something that can't be completed by end of project
      • Making sure when we make expenditures that they have clear & direct benefit on our delivery of services to the community.
      • Panel didn't see this as appropriate investment for the project to make. We will disagree in our response and explain benefit to community, follow-on activities.
      • Have developed 10-year data set that hasn't been available previously to understand some of these issues. To not leverage that to better understand impact of these activities on community seems like a significant loss.
      • Are these the right points to make in our response?
        • Emre: Points of uniqueness & broader impact are valid. Insufficient funding: planning to request supplement?
        • JT: Brought this up with Bob but he's not ready to respond to this. Expect to have a subsequent discussion. Suspect he'll state that we can submit a supplemental request without giving an indication of whether there is interest & support on NSF's part. Makes it difficult to know whether it's worth the effort to develop the supplemental request.
        • Emre: Would answer that you feel this is an important activity if you put time into developing request.
        • Emre: Wasn't XSEDE told no supplemental funds can be requested?
          • JT: when negotiating award, were given verbal guidance that we should not submit any request for supplemental award. No written documentation of this. New program officer who may have a different opinion. When discussing with Bob have gotten non-committal response. Don't want to commit time if it won't be considered.
        • Cliff: Take opportunity when you talk to NSF that they should be complimented about what they've invested in. Make it about NSF's foresight in creating XSEDE, execution of it, how that has helped the community.
          • JT: Will see Manish Parashar & Jim Perosa in the next couple days and will express this and ask a few other questions in hopes of getting better guidance.
          • NSF doesn't do anything–expect agents to advance their mission. You are one of their agents.
      • Discussed with panel staff climate study and related professional development ideas we've been discussing. Requests not just for tech training, but for mgmt & leadership training. Panel says investments should have clear & direct impact on our ability to serve the community. Have backed off on target for number of projects in ECSS in order to provide time for staff to participate in training. Easy to see direct connection for that. Mgmt & leadership training doesn't provide direct value so should be provided by home institutions. Not all institutions are doing this. Plan to defend position in response. Is that going too far? Out of scope for XSEDE?
        • Cliff: Don't think it's a well-focused comment. XSEDE should develop leadership for the community. Idea that XSEDE can compliment & enhance home institution effort was part of original plan. If home institutions can provide everything, wouldn't need XSEDE. Way to advance nation. XSEDE can do this very well, essence of what CI is about: people not hardware.
          • JT: have added text to report to state that people are our most important asset. Skills have to be developed, are rare and difficult to retain. Need appropriate workforce to provide the function that XSEDE provides.
        • Ruth: Was amazing how supportive reviewers were, applauded everyone in the program. Tension between campuses vs. XSEDE. Most XSEDE staff are partial & have other responsibilities. Balance of who is responsible for prof development is palpable. May be opportunities to share costs? Important to build national community leaders. Shared responsibility–not solely XSEDE's responsibility.
        • Lisa: Haven't heard this brought up before. Interesting
      • Number of other recommendations in report. More thoughtful panel than we've had in awhile. Appreciate that they dove deeper into things and considered how this fits into broader picture. Will be developing responses to report over the next week.
  • Karin: I have enjoyed being part of this program. John is a wonderful leader. I appreciate that he relies on the XAB for advice.
    • JT: Input from XAB has been very important, particularly at the April F2F meeting when we review our program plan for the coming year.



Topics requested by XAB members:

  • None requested


Close Meeting

Next meeting: August 21, 2019 at 12pm ET (11CT/10MT/9PT)


Action items