The Office of Advanced Research Computing (OARC) is the university’s centralized research computing and data science resource. Reporting to both the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Office for Research, OARC provides Rutgers researchers with essential computing, networking, storage, and data-handling capabilities, and students with necessary exposure and training, through centralized resources, services, and education.
High-performance computing is fundamental to the research mission of Rutgers University. In 2011, the Rutgers research community pulled together under esteemed faculty members Helen Berman and Manish Parashar, forming an Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) Strategic Planning Committee, and successfully lobbying then-President Robert Barchi for the inclusion of a new Office of Advanced Research Computing in the overall Rutgers Strategic Plan. Recognizing this mission as critical to the university’s future as an R1 research institution, OARC was officially announced by President Barchi in February 2015 and was led by Berman and Parashar for the next year. In spring 2016, the university’s first fully appointed Associate Vice President for Advanced Research Computing, J. Barr von Oehsen, was brought in to continue the growth and development of this essential university-wide ACI.
In the past five years, Rutgers University has made great strides in expanding and improving a technology core to support and organize research and academic cluster computing, data science, and networking, providing a high-quality infrastructure to support those who perform grant-funded and scholarly research, and supporting a tremendous increase in interdisciplinary collaborations. In cooperation with and with the support of OIT, Office for Research, the university’s central administration, and its research community, OARC has coordinated and built a centralized ACI for the university community in a short timeframe, finally providing the university with one, well-known, university-wide resource for research computing and data needs, effective research computing training, and essential workforce development.