NAIRR: Pilot Exploration

SSEC Engineers

Niki Burggraf, Senior Research Software Engineer

Rob Fatland, UW Director of Cloud and Data Solutions

The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded effort aiming to connect U.S. researchers to computational, data, software, model and training resources they need to participate in AI research. The NAIRR Pilot will focus on supporting research and education across the nationwide research community, while gaining insights that will refine the design of a full NAIRR. 

As a part of this process, Cloud Bank, a provider of managed services to support computer science research and education for NSF awardees, is aiming to better understand how it can serve the needs and use cases of NAIRR awarded researchers. 

As a member of the CloudBank team, the UW eScience Institute is engaging the Scientific Software Engineering Center (SSEC) to investigate how research teams have implemented AI and ML in various public clouds, with the intention to develop resources for CloudBank that will bolster cloud adoption and streamline AI workflows for future teams. SSEC Senior Software Engineer Niki Burggraf is leveraging her prior experience as a software engineer building cloud infrastructure services at AWS to determine these needs. 

Across multiple interviews with AI researchers in a variety of fields, Burggraf learned about their cloud usage patterns, specific architectures, and challenges they faced in using the Cloud Bank portal to access AI resources for their research. After discussions on possible solutions to common challenges and how to learn from the experiences of this set of groups, the SSEC team presented their findings to the UW Cloudbank team. As a result of these conversations, Burggraf is working on adding a fuzzy search to the Cloud Bank website to ease finding answers across the website, forums, and portal.  

More information can be found on the NAIRR Pilot site, and the Cloudbank portal.