Workforce Development

The New Frontiers Initiative is committed to preparing the current and future workforce to address the computing and data analytics research and development challenges facing our nation’s intelligence community.

The workforce development activities are provided in direct response to the needs of our partners. We invite you to contact us at newfrontiers@illinois.edu to discuss your needs and interests.

The New Frontiers Initiative office coordinates the selection of individuals from among faculty, staff and researchers with the expertise to support the efforts. The activities may be conducted in a classified environment as requested by our partners.

Allocations of time on University high performance computing systems are available to support workforce development projects.

Training

The training topics to be offered may be chosen by our partners to ensure that the presentations are tailored to be responsive to the background, experience, and needs of the participants – spanning introductory to advanced aspects.  Hands-on activities and exercises may be offered to complement the presentations. All presentations will be recorded and available to our partners, unless classified information is being discussed.

Training can be delivered as self-paced courses, live events, and via recordings and slides from previous events (e.g. https://bluewaters.ncsa.illinois.edu/training). Live sessions may be conducted at a location chosen by our partners and/or as web-cast sessions, as determined to be most appropriate for the participants.

A list of categories that can be presented follow. The sessions can address high performance computing, high throughput computing, and/or cloud computing environments as determined in consultation with our partners. Whether or not the topic(s) of interest to you are on this list, contact us at newfrontiers@illinois.edu to discuss your specific needs and interests.

  • Computing Infrastructure – select, install, and manage computing systems, storage systems, visualization systems, networks, software, system and data security
  • Applications environments – select, install, manage, operate and use software infrastructure • Parallel programming – selecting from among the various programming, models, and how to develop reusable and reproducible quality codes at scale
  • Code profiling and optimization – optimizing software environments to utilize computing and storage resources
  • Scaling-up and improving codes – maximizing computing capabilities of HPC systems and/or scale out computing systems
  • Software engineering – designing and supporting code for long-term use by distributed teams of developers and users
  • Image Analysis – automatication of image analysis for understanding of earth, space, human heath, etc.
  • Information Inference – the processes and methods to derive insight and understanding from wide ranges of information sources 17
  • Scientific applications – select and support a broad range of numerical algorithms, scientific packages, community codes, workflows, and legacy systems.
  • Scientific and Engineering methods –researchers and developers from across the University of Illinois in a broad range of science and engineering fields will share strategies for using advanced computing systems and infrastructure to advance geospatial intelligence research and development
  • Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and deep learning – how to utilize tools, systems, packages, data, and techniques for conducting analyses at scale
  • Advanced networking and security – how to install, manage and support an open but secure computing environments with high performance and functionality
  • Data management – how to select, manage, support and use a broad range of databases and data collections, including scaling to terabytes of distributed information
  • Technology Assessment – Evaluation of new hardware and software technology, and innovative systems prototype implementation

Hackathons are in-person or virtual hands-on working sessions in which research and software development teams with existing software codes or applications are assigned expert mentors to work one-on-one with each team. The mentors and teams work to achieve the teams’ goals such as improving workflows, incorporating the use of GPUs, profiling and optimizing software, and scaling up codes. There are short presentations on the use of tools needed to analyze codes, while the majority of time is focused on mentors working with their assigned team to accelerate personnel productivity, improve code performance, and reduce the time to discovery.

Webinars

Webinars are offered throughout the year and are posted at https://newfrontiers.illinois.edu/news-and-events. The webinars cover a broad spectrum of topics including technologies, applications codes and packages, research projects, and other emerging and leading-edge topics. We welcome suggestions for webinar topics by sending email to newfrontiers@illinois.edu.

Education

The University of Illinois offers a broad range of courses and degrees (http://catalog.illinois.edu/courses-of-instruction/). A few of the programs that may be of interest include the following.

  •  Computer Science Department is ranked #5 in the U.S.
    • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Math+Computer Science, Stat+Computer Science
    • Masters of Science in Computer Science
    •  Online programs
      • Masters of Science in Computer Science
      • Masters of Science in Computer Science in Data Science
    • PhD programs that combine Computer Science and another discipline:
      • CS + Anthropology,CS + Astronomy, CS + Chemistry, and CS + Linguistics, CS + Crop Sciences, CS + Music, CS + Advertising, CS + Economics, CS + Geography & Geographic Information Science, and CS + Philosophy, CS + Advertising, CS + Economics, CS + Geography & Geographic Information Science, and CS + Philosophy.
  • Undergraduate Computer Engineering is ranked #3
  • School of Information Sciences is ranked #1
  • Granger College of Engineering
    • 39 degree programs are ranked among the top 10

The University is working with the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) to gain accreditation for courses that align with the USGIF Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK).  The University currently offers CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science as online courses. Participants may pursue two paths:

    • 12 credit hour Graduate Certificate or
    • 32 credit hour Master’s Degree

The courses offered through the CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science online program (https://ggis.illinois.edu/CyberGIS-online-programs) include:

  • Geographic Information Science and Systems
  • Foundations of CyberGIS & Geospatial Data Science
  • Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • Principles of Geographic Information Science
  • Geospatial Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Graduate Capstone Project
  • Geospatial Visualization & Visual Analytics
  • Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • High-Performance Geospatial Computing

Student Engagement

The New Frontiers Initiative has extensive experience engaging undergraduate and graduate students in computational science, data analytics, and geospatial intelligence internships and fellowships. We have developed two-week parallel programming institutes to prepare students for internships. We have documented an extensive set of lessons learned for preparing students for internships, fellowships, and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Among the key lessons learned is the assignment of mentors (or Points of Contact) to work with students and researchers.

Diversity

We place a strong emphasis on engaging a diverse community of participants. This includes proactively recruiting:

  1. women, minorities and people with disabilities,
  2. participants from among all academic institutions including Minority Serving Institutions and institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions,
  3. participants from business and industry, as well as
  4. researchers and scholars from all disciplines.

Consultations

We welcome you to contact us at newfrontiers@illinois.edu to discuss your technical and scientific needs and questions. These discussions may lead to the development of tailored training sessions, technology consultations, research consultations, or software development projects.

The University has personnel with wide ranges of expertise. Many of these areas have personnel with security clearances.