Indiana students receive $100k to research cloud computing

Two students have received grants of $50k each to use in cloud computing research projects.

Two doctoral students at Indiana University have secured a grant of $100k, to be shared equally, to assist them in their cloud computing and bioinformatics research.

The funding has come from Persistent systems, a global company set up in 1990 that specializes in software products and development. The organisation focuses on research in cloud computing, mobility, analytic and business intelligence solutions.

One of the receivers of this grant, Thilina Gunarathne, is a fourth-year computer science student who will be using the funding to research the use of cloud computing in scientific roles. He will be focusing on developing applications to support scientific research through cloud computing. This will include development of parallel programming systems rooted in the commercial Microsoft cloud Azure.

Cloud computing has exploded within academia over the last few years, and as a result, there has been more interesting in studying this particular computing specialty -- some universities now offer cloud computing degrees in order to placate the demand for such specialists in the field. However, scientific use of cloud systems is not quite as developed as commercial use, so these kinds of grants may help the scientific community catch up.

The other student, Anoop Mayampurath, is a fourth-year informatics student who will focus on studying glycopeptides and their use in disease prognosis. The doctorate student will be developing methods to improve software systems for the identification of this protein's modification, which has been observed in various diseases including cancer. If current, outdated systems can be improved, this may mean that overall disease prognosis in the West could benefit.

Persistent Systems hope that the partnership between itself and the academic institution will help develop new ideas and further encourage student innovation. Anand Deshpande, CEO of Persistent Systems, said:

"Indiana University continues to be a pioneer and at the forefront of U.S. Informatics research. At Persistent Systems we are continuously tracking new technology trends and aligning our areas of expertise with these market developments.

Cloud computing, mass spectrometry and NGS are considered disruptive technologies, and the research can make significant impact in health care, life sciences and other domains."

Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski