Rhys Francis: Platforms for collaboration

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The NCRIS investment in Platforms for Collaboration provides for new and changed features in services provided to support computational science, data management and interoperation and collaboration. The focus moving forward will be on increasing the support for inexpert as well as expert users of e-Research infrastructure. In particular, this involves the development of application specific computational services, support for emerging data collections and a broadening of grid activities to more fully encompass web services and web based collaboration solutions. The presentation will cover the rationale for this perspective and the services expected to be provided by the NCRIS infrastructure as it evolves.

About the speaker

Rhys FrancisRhys completed applied mathematics at Monash University and his Ph.D in computer science at La Trobe University and started work as a software engineer with Varian Techtron developing their first remote computer control interface for an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. He returned to La Trobe University for a ten year period, teaching and researching parallel and distributed systems, and pursued the development of a sophisticated architecture simulation system able to explore the relationship between parallel architecture features and application performance.

In 1990 Rhys moved to CSIRO to develop high-level application languages and algorithms for high performance computing. He was appointed as a Research Program Manager in 1994 and asked to establish a new research group. The new group focussed into electronic document technologies which led to many projects including: electronic record keeping in government, e-commerce in the wool industry, and resource discovery and advanced information products in the manufacturing, construction, finance and media sectors. Appointed as CSIRO's ICT Sector Leader in 2001, Rhys helped articulate the strategy for ICT research in CSIRO which led to the establishment of the CSIRO ICT Centre. He then moved to became CSIRO's Director for High Performance Scientific Computing, and has since helped evolve CSIRO’s strategy in emerging e-science services.

From 2005, as the program manager for the APAC National Grid, Rhys has developed and deployed an infrastructure that provides seamless access from research desktops to many of Australia’s high end computing and mass data services, and is now the NCRIS Facilitator for Platforms for Collaboration (see www.pfc.org.au for details).