The American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is best known for its weather forecasting and tracking services but also has responsibility for fisheries management, severe storm warnings, coastal restoration, and supporting marine commerce. By the agencies’ own estimate they indirectly provide support for one-third of America’s gross domestic product.
Behind the scenes NOAA’s scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers, and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it. To help meet the needs of its researchers the agency has built a high speed network called n-wave that facilitates collaboration and enables access to supercomputers by teams across the country. Besides helping scientists work together it also provides value to the American taxpayer by ensuring optimal use of government-operated storage and compute resources.
Hear more on his agency’s vision for a 100-Gig-capable network. Read More »
Like many of us, scientific researchers tend to be creatures of habit. This includes research teams working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. government agency charged with measuring the behavior of oceans, atmosphere, and weather.
Few scientists know more about the condition of planet Earth than those who work within the American National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.) There, it’s all about the science of climate – from the surface of the sun, to the bottom of the oceans, and to the clouds in the sky.
For NOAA, every day is Earth Day.
This Sunday, on the official Earth Day, NOAA will host educational events all over the nation. Meanwhile, back in the labs, its scientists and researchers continue to work out what it takes to predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts.
Why is Cisco talking about a government agency such as NOAA, and its Earth Day intentions? Because there’s a network angle in here, of course. At Cisco we know a lot about clouds, as in Cloud Networks. Cloud networking is more than just storage and compute – you’ve got to have a network in there as well.
One of the newer resources NOAA scientists are tapping into these days is a high performance computing network it calls “n-wave.” Its purpose is to efficiently and cost-effectively link data sources – meaning internal NOAA scientists and researchers, as well as external partners – with data and computing resources.
How much bandwidth do NOAA scientists need? Try 80 to 100 Terabytes, per day – a volume that filled its existing 10 Gbps network, all day long, no downtime, explains Jerry Janssen, Manager of NOAA’s n-wave network, in this video about the agency’s vision for a 100-Gig-capable network.
On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.
Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.
In my most recent blog “U.S. manufacturing: is it sustainable?“, I referenced an article about how U.S. manufacturing has been leading the economy out of the depths of the Great Recession. The authors put forward a thesis with supporting data that suggest Americans believe the manufacturing industry is the basis for wealth creation and is fundamental to a sustained and successful U.S. economy.
The rub is that only 30% of Americans said they have or would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.
Why such a discrepancy? An answer to this question is not simple. However, I do believe we must seek that answer and address the gap, if the U.S. is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Being an engineer myself--a manufacturing and controls engineer no less--I know the first and most essential step to a solution is making sure we’ve defined the problem well.
According to the survey, the top three reasons why kids aren’t interested in engineering:
Kids don’t know much about engineering (44 percent).
Kids prefer a more exciting career than engineering (30 percent).
They don’t feel confident enough in their math or science skills (21 percent) to be good at it. This is despite the fact that the largest number of kids ranked math (22 percent) and science (17 percent) as their favorite subjects.
Survey findings on the adult side:
Only 20 percent of parents have encouraged or will encourage their child(ren) to consider an engineering career.
The vast majority of parents (97 percent) believe that knowledge of math and science will help their children have a successful career.
So, while American children and adults both feel that math and science are important (even enjoyable), there is an ironic disconnect (cognitive dissociation?) between recognizing the importance and committing to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing.