In the News

IBM's online series highlights NCMIR's Telescience technologies


February 2006

When IBM seeks an authority on Grid-computing, they look to UCSD researchers.

NCMIR’s Abel Lin has authored a tutorial, “Building a Unified Grid” for IBM’s authoritative online reference, DeveloperWorks,  In this multi-part series, Lin details how Telescience’s Grid-based system architecture for science, developed at NCMIR over the past 20 years, is helping to blaze trails for Grid-developers outside of the ivory tower.

Infoworld, a Web site popular with chief technology officers, recently included a review of Lin’s series with IBM, noting that "the entire set of articles in this series is a great reference for enterprise developers building an end-to-end Grid process."

The seeds for Telescience were sown in 1991, when researchers at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) began developing new ways to remotely control microscopes. In 1992, NCMIR’s interdisciplinary team demonstrated the first system to control, acquire, and view electron microscope images remotely over the Internet. In 1999, Telemicroscopy was released for the Web, enabling researchers to remotely interface with microscopes for acquiring large datasets. Their early successes uncovered new storage and analysis bottlenecks to high throughput processing of remotely acquired data. The NCMIR researchers responded to these challenges by developing unique Grid-enabling tools to facilitate maximal throughput for the end-to-end process.  Today, Telescience provides a robust Grid-based architecture to combine the use of remote instrumentation with tools enabling parallel distributed computation, distributed data management, and interactive integrated visualization.

The unique Telescience architecture has been instrumental in spawning many new Grid-based science programs, including the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (, National Center for High-Performance Computing Ecogrid (, Pacific Rim Applications & Grid Middleware Assembly (, and the NIEHS Hurricane Response Portal ( katrina). In essence, Telescience’s Grid-based system architecture enables application developers to build a Grid-enabled portal for any domain—science, industry, or government.

Lin’s IBM DeveloperWorks series, "Building a Unified Grid,” is an accessible tutorial for anyone interested in Grid-base system architecture:

Part 1: Grid architecture in the Telescience Project
Part 2: Portlet interfaces in the grid user environment
Part 3: Components for security, authentication, and authorization