The first goal of the Academic Cluster Computing Initiative was to familiarize the academic community with the methods necessary to run very large datasets on massive distributed computer networks. By expanding that program to include research grants through the National Science Foundation's Cluster Exploratory (CLuE) program, we're also hoping to enable new and better approaches to data-intensive research across a range of disciplines.

Now that the NSF has announced the 2009 CLuE grants in addition to some previous Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) grants, we're excited to congratulate the recipient researchers and wish them the best as they bring new projects online and continue to run existing SGER projects on the Google/IBM cluster.

The NSF selected projects based on their potential to advance computer science as well as to benefit society as a whole, and researchers at 14 institutions are tackling ambitious problems in everything from computer science to bioinformatics. The institutions receiving CLuE grants are Purdue, UC Santa Barbara, University of Washington, University of Massachussetts-Amherst, UC San Diego, University of Virginia, Yale, MIT, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carnegie Mellon, University of Maryland- College Park, University of Utah and UC Irvine. Florida International University, Carnegie Mellon and University of Maryland will continue other projects with exiting SGER grants. These grantees will run their projects on a Google/IBM-provided cluster running an open source implementation of Google's MapReduce and File System.

We're excited to help foster new approaches to difficult, data-intensive problems across a range of fields, and we can't wait to see more students and researchers come up with creative applications for massive, highly distributed computing.