Computer Science Seminar - University of Houston
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Computer Science Seminar

DesignSafe: Building a Science Gateway for Natural Hazards Engineering Research

When: Friday, October 26, 2018
Where: PGH 232
Time: 11:00 AM

Speaker: Josue Balandrano Coronel, DesignSafe

Host: Dr. Christoph Eick

Science Gateways facilitate research work by simplifying access to High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, data management and collaboration between all parties involved. For Natural Hazards Engineering Research (NHER) this is particularly difficult because of the different types of research (or projects) available in this context. Also, these types of projects are highly interactive and involve collaboration of multiple parties. In addition, there is a substantial amount of analysis, transformation and visualization of large amounts of data. NHER projects are often structured in different ways and it is necessary to offer flexibility when building a platform aiming to be used by as many researchers as possible. Designsafe helps to solve these problems by working together with different Natural Hazard Engineering Researchers. First, we developed multiple standardized models (for each type of project) based on different experiments presented by volunteer engineers. Based on these models we build a simple user interface (UI), which was presented to the volunteer engineers, making sure it will work within their own workflow. Finally, we implemented all the functionality to help users easily take advantage of HPC systems, manage their own data within a highly interactive and collaborative space and successfully publish their research. Designsafe also offers a very simplistic publication workflow to ensure every research is correctly curated and its data correctly preserved. On top of this, every publication is easily shareable and discovered. This presentation will focus more on how the necessary functionality was implemented to build Designsafe.


Josue focuses on building Science Gateways powered by web and mobile applications, web services, distributed systems and various interfaces to high performance computing resources. Mr. Coronel has presented multiple talks at different software conferences such as DjangoCon, PEARC17 and Gateways18. He is an open software supporter and enjoys sharing knowledge as well as learning from other people.