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CORE-MORe-OFFN Award Extends Oklahoma’s Research Network to Rural Campuses

Oklahoma’s Science DMZ continues to grow with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). OneNet and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) received a fifth award to expand the OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (OFFN).

NSF has awarded OneNet and OSRHE a $1,014,757 Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) grant to connect four additional campuses to OFFN. Administered by the NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, the CC* grant program invests in campus-level cyberinfrastructure improvements for science applications and research projects.

The newest grant, entitled Creating Opportunities for Research & Education Multiple Organization Regional OneOklahoma Friction Free Network (CORE-MORe-OFFN), is a two-year award. This award will connect Connors State College (CSC), Eastern Oklahoma State College (EOSC), Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO), and Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU). The project will bring the research and education network infrastructure, computing tools and scientific equipment OFFN enables to these rural campuses.

CORE-MORe-OFFN will increase connectivity to 10 Gbps to OneNet and the OFFN network for all four campuses. It will alsofund an optical fiber build from NEO’s main campus to its animal sciences building and a 10G service upgrade for OPSU.

Previous NSF CC* Awards

This award marks the seventh expansion of the OFFN network, originally established by an NSF grant in 2013. Previous NSF CC* awards have connected 26 college and university locations and advanced research computing capabilities across the state. These enhanced connections have already produced new collaboration opportunities for smaller institutions that had not had access to local computing resources.

“The OFFN connection enhances research collaborations and educational opportunities in a variety of critical degree programs for faculty and students throughout the state,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett.

Watch OneNet’s OFFN Highlight Video!

OFFN uses a Science DMZ network design to deliver high-speed data transfer capabilities. A Science DMZ engineers a portion of a campus network for science applications. According to ESnet, which developed the model, the configuration and security policies of a Science DMZ create an environment tailored to meet high-performance scientific computing needs, including high-volume data transfer, remote experiment control and data visualization.

As Oklahoma’s Science DMZ, OFFN is a 10 and 100 Gbps research network that provides higher education institutions with a specialized internet connection dedicated for research and education. In addition, it provides a pathway to connect to other resources, such as supercomputers, that empower for more sophisticated capabilities for students and faculty that are not geographically limited.

Campus Research and Education Initiatives

Newly connected campuses will leverage these tools for implementation of the research and education initiatives that comprised the proposal.  These projects will facilitate knowledge of how to use the system as well as generate future project ideas. The grant supports STEM-related fields that meet workforce needs outlined in the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Blueprint 2030 strategic plan.

Initial projects include:

Connors State College

  • Data Collection and Cataloging for Science Curriculum

Eastern Oklahoma State College

  • Multidisciplinary STEM Research Supporting Critical Thinking in Behavioral and Social Sciences

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College

  • “Hear to Observe” Program for NASA’s Planetary Science Division
  • Climate Change Modeling: Using Climate Models as an Undergraduate Student Teaching Tool in Environmental Science
  • NASA Technology Transfer Idea Competition
  • Research Topics in Equine and Ranch Management

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

  • Integrating Supercomputing into Rural Education: A Hands-On Learning Pathway for Hispanic Students
  • Improving Access to Online Library Databases

OneNet makes CORE-MORe-OFFN possible by providing the network that connects the colleges and universities. OneNet also provides access to Internet2, a nationwide network for education and research. Internet2 is a 400Gbps network that supports big data movement and collaboration among educators across the nation. OneNet is the only organization in Oklahoma that provides access to Internet2.

CORE-MORe-OFFN Network Map


Project Partners & Management

Internet2, along with several collaborating partners will provide support for the CORE-MORe-OFFN grant, including the University of OklahomaThe QuiltGreat Plains NetworkEngagement and Performance Operations Center (EPOC) and the Great Plains Regional Cyber Team.

The award will be managed by OneNet, the state system of higher education’s research and education network. Brian Burkhart, OneNet’s chief technology officer, will serve as principal investigator. Paul Wills, chair/instructor of psychology, sociology and child development for EOSC, will lead research and education application adoption, and Heath Hodges, chief information officer for the Oklahoma State University A&M system, will lead campus technology deployment. Bill Bradford of OneNet will manage network technology implementation and training, and April Goode of OneNet will provide planning, communications and coordination services for grant implementation.

“OneNet continues to build on the success of the OFFN network to expand cyberinfrastructure resources to Oklahoma’s colleges and universities,” said Burkhart. “OFFN’s high-speed connections and data transfer capabilities make research computing possible for campuses previously without access to these capabilities. As Oklahoma’s research and education network, OneNet’s mission is to advance research, science, innovation and discovery through initiatives like OFFN.”

Read our latest OFFN update.