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Dr. Sushil Prasad has been awarded two grants by the National Science Foundation. The first grant is for a project titled “GIS Vector Data Overlay Processing on Azure Platform.” The award, which is valued at $200,000 and runs for two years, is a Collaborative Research grant funded by NSF’s Computing in the Cloud program. Another $50,000 was awarded to Dr. Xuan Shi of Georgia Tech’s Center for Geographic Information Systems. Both grants were funded through NSF’s Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research mechanism, which supports early-stage research that has a potentially high payoff.
The motivation for the project comes from the enormous vector-based data files produced by a geographic information system (GIS). Vector-based spatial data overlays are more complicated to process than raster-based data because of the huge number of vertices required to represent irregular geometric shapes. Dr. Prasad and his collaborator will tackle this problem using a cloud-computing approach, which offers high speed, large storage capacity, and on-demand accessibility. The researchers will attempt to develop distributed algorithms and test them on the Windows Azure platform, the first cloud computing product from Microsoft.
The second grant, valued at $60,000, is for a project titled “A Curriculum Initiative on Parallel and Distributed Computing – Toward Core Topics for Undergraduates.” The goal of this project is to propose a set of core topics in parallel and distributed computing for undergraduate computer science and computer engineering students. To achieve this goal, Dr. Prasad will release a preliminary curriculum, collect feedback, and recruit colleagues to try out portions of the proposed curriculum during the 2010–2011 academic year.