LSST Discovery Alliance (LSST-DA) is building an LSST Interdisciplinary Network for Collaboration and Computing (LINCC) to deliver on our organization’s mission by changing the way astronomy is done. LSST-DA’s inter-connected suite of projects and programs provide tools, training, and collaboration support designed to create a future where:

  • Researchers can create and use state-of-the-art analysis tools to analyze Rubin LSST’s complex and high-velocity big data.
  • True interdisciplinary networks and collaboration make it possible to fully realize the scientific potential of Rubin’s LSST.
  • There is deeply inclusive participation in STEM research.
  • There are career paths that bridge astronomy, physics, data science, and computer science.

All of LSST-DA’s current programs are part of LINCC.

LINCC Structure

LSST-DA is the central hub and driving force of LINCC–ensuring the implementation of a connected network of nodes, activities, programs, and researchers. 

Some programs are primarily delivered by node institutions—a set of member institutions uniquely positioned and committed to developing, sharing, and/or supporting community-wide resources for Rubin LSST. The founding LINCC nodes are:

  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
  • University of Washington (UW)
  • Northwestern University (NU)
  • University of Arizona (UA)

CMU and UW implement LINCC Frameworks. The Data Science Fellowship Program is based at NU. LSST-DA delivers the Catalyst Fellowship, which is closely “LINCC’ed” to the LINCC Frameworks program.

LINCC Background

LSST-DA designed LINCC in collaboration with representatives from member institutions and in consultation with LSST Science Collaborations and experts in setting up academic networks and open-source software. The following objectives drove LINCC’s original design.

  • Create and share software analysis tools for key LSST science goals
  • Train and mentor future scientific leaders for the era of big data
  • Provide an agile conduit to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary projects 
  • Open discovery space to a larger and more inclusive community

In 2019, the Executive Board of LSST-DA (then LSSTC) unanimously endorsed the aim for LSST-DA to establish LINCC – a set of major, interconnected programs with a value of tens of millions of dollars that would accomplish the objectives listed above.

Since that time, we have made incredible progress toward that goal. We launched two new flagship programs – the LSST-DA Catalyst Fellowship and LINCC Frameworks – brought several long-standing programs into the LINCC ecosystem, and initiated some of the most creative programs in the field of astrophysics to support inclusive participation in science. 

Watch the original LINCC launch presentation from Rubin Observatory’s annual Project and Community Workshop in 2021.

LINCC is intended to evolve and grow over time. Several years into the development of LINCC, LSST-DA is now preparing the process through which member institutions can embark on becoming one of the LINCC nodes. Faculty from current and future node institutions will work closely with LSST-DA staff and each other to launch future LSST-DA programs. 

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