By JOSÉ ALVARADO VEGA
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR) has become the first private university on the island to join Internet 2, an exclusive network for research and education collaboration.
The upgrade is part the university’s technology and infrastructure improvements, in which the Hato Rey-based institution invested approximately $3.5 million, said PUPR President Ernesto Vázquez Barquet. The public University of Puerto Rico system was the only island university to have Internet 2 access before PUPR came online.
“Imagine a local student participating in a major research project with MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] or watching a live stream of an aeronautics conference at NASA while sitting comfortably at a Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico classroom. Thanks to the university’s access to Internet 2, these are now viable possibilities,” Vázquez Barquet said in a press release.
Pedro J. Pérez-Dorta, PUPR’s chief information officer, called the university’s access to Internet 2 “a very significant achievement,” noting that it will not only provide expanded online education services, but also open new research possibilities.
“This will open doors for the university, giving us the opportunity to create and expand on collaboration agreements with other universities and government agencies from all over the world,” he said, describing Internet 2 as “a hybrid optical and packet network that delivers a platform for networking ideas and next-generation production services to the research and education community.”
Internet 2 (http://internet2.edu/
) is a nonprofit advanced networking consortium that includes 221 U.S. universities, in cooperation with 45 leading corporations, 66 government agencies, laboratories and other higher-learning institutions, 35 regional and state research and education networks, and more than 100 national research and education networking organizations from over 50 countries. The network provides participants with adequate bandwidth capability to sustain collaborative applications such as video conferencing, global-scale distributed research, grid-based data analysis and social networking.
PUPR, which has a campus in Florida, has one of the largest cluster computer laboratories on the island, with 256 processors, as well as the only computer forensics laboratory, with NVIDIA CUDA processors. The university has received nearly $3 million in grants from federal agencies such as the Department of Defense for information security research and development.