Interactions in
Understanding the Universe

Real science education with real data and real experience

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I2U2 Research Goals

Interactions in Understanding the Universe (I2U2)

The overall goal of Interactions in Understanding the Universe is to support and strengthen the education and outreach activities of Grid-based scientific experiments that utilize federated resources at U.S. labs and universities. This year a group of scientists, computer scientists and educators are committed to building a rich portfolio of coherent, online collaborative labs and to planning an Education Virtual Organization to support participants and developers long-term across projects.

I2U2 will develop and maintain a virtual portfolio of laboratories ("e-Labs" and "i-Labs") for a diverse range of audiences, and will provide tools and support services to assist developers in creating these educational resources. These laboratories break new ground by using the Grid for education in the same way that science uses the Grid.

I2U2 is initially a collaboration between the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, Fermilab & QuarkNet, the ATLAS, CMS and MARIACHI experiments, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), the University of Chicago, and the University of Houston.

One potential component of the I2U2 web portal is a set of on-line discussion rooms, similar to the discussion forums provided by BOINC based projects like SETI@Home and Einstein@Home. We are using this site to test the idea that we can use the BOINC forum code for I2U2 without too much effort. Is this a useful alternative to e-mail, telecons, meetings, and the logbooks, or is it just a distraction? We don't know the right answer yet, which is why it's called 'research'.

This is only a small part of the overall I2U2 effort for LIGO. We will also develop e-Labs and supporting software tools that will allow high school students and their teachers to make use of the wealth of data collected by LIGO's environmental monitors, which include seismometers, tiltmeters, magnetometers, and weather stations. Students will be able to learn about science by actually participating in investigative projects, and there is a real potential to make a contribution to LIGO's search for gravitational waves by adding to our understanding of the sources of background noise.

Getting Started

Participation in the I2U2 discussion site is intially by invitation only. You will need to enter an invitation code in order to create an account. Contact the Fermilab education office if you need to obtain an invitation code.

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Copyright © 2022 Marge Bardeen, for the I2U2 Confederation