The NCHC's Dr. Fang Pang Lin Wins the "2006 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Science and Technology;" Taiwan's Executive Yuan Recognizes NCHC's ECO Grid project2007/04/26
Technological research and innovation is the driving force behind a nation's development.The Taiwanese government issues outstanding achievement awards in order to thank the scientiests and researchers who make noteworthy contributions to the improvement of society and to encourage technological progress. On April 17th 2007, the winners of the "2006 Award for Outstanding Contributions in Science and Technology" were announced. The winners were Dr. Fang Pang Lin of the National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) and Dr. Hwung-Hweng Hwung of the National Cheng Kung University's (NCKU) Department of Hydraulics and Oceaniac Engineering. Dr. Fang Pang Lin received the award for creating and heading the NCHC's ECO Grid project and Dr. Hwung-Hweng Hwung for establishing the world's largest hydrolics-based earthquake simulation site. The Executive Yuan will present the awards during their meeting on the April 18th.This year, a total of 31 projects were evaluated and considered for the award. As a qualifying criteria, the winning project must be able to demonstrate innovation and an outstanding contribution to society. Dr. Chien-Jen Chen, minister of Taiwan's National Science Concil (NSC), said that Eco Grid's creative information technology application and simulation analysis to long-term ecological observation will have a profound effect on our livelihood. Also, the ECO Grid has enabled Taiwan to play a leading role in organizations like the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) and the Coral Reef Environmental Observatory Network (CREON).In 2000, Grid technolgy was predicted to be the next global trend. The NCHC took this prediction seriously and began to build infrastructure and reserach Grid applications. At that time, Dr. Fang Pang Lin invited experts from Japan's Grid Center to Taiwan, thus, beginning his research into Grid networks. During the annual NSF-NSC bilateral meeting in 2002, Dr.Fang-Pang Lin suggested to Dr. Hen-Biau King, one of the leaders of the Taiwan Long Term Ecological Research Network, integrating ecological research with Grid. This suggestion was subsequently supported by Dr. King and leading Taiwanese ecologists. At this suggestion, the NCHC then took the initative to establish its prototype ECO Grid project for long term forest ecology at the Fushan Botinical Garden. Later, the observation network expanded to include lakes, oceans and coral reefs, thus, making Taiwan's Yuan Yan Lake and Kenting's coral reef projects well known internationally.Dr. Fang Pang Lin said that ECO Grid bypassed the difficulties assocaited with observing “in-the-wild” and increased the time, frequency and quality of scientists' observations. The Grid enabled the NCHC to integrate its specialties in large scale computing, networking and storage with the global ecology. The data obtained from the Grid might prove instrumental in important discoveries.Our livelihood is deeply tied to our environment. It would be very meaningful if information technology could lend a hand in solving our scientific problems. Our progress would not have been possible if not for the continuing support of the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) and members of the project team.Grid applications are not only for ecology. The NCHC has already applied the same technology to medicine, disaster prevention and education as well. NCHC's Medical Grid project, as an example, includeds advanced in-home patient healthcare and online medical services. During the SARS epidemic of 2003, the NCHC-developed online diagnosis system established at area hospitals and clinics was a major step forward in emergency response and information integration. In the future, as more Grid technolgies are applied to various aspects of our lives, it will have a revolutionary effect on the progress of society.