I joined the nanoHUB ages ago (Sept. 2007) and haven’t paid much attention until recently when they sent me a survey to analyze my needs and, a few weeks after that, sent me a newsletter. Still, I was a bit surprised to find out they have 150,000 users on their hub and are now canvassing for people to join a user group (from the Nov. 12 2010 news item on Nanowerk),
To better serve its more than 150,000 users this year, nanoHUB.org is establishing a User Group to serve as a forum to facilitate the exchange of ideas among nanoHUB users.
The inaugural User Group meeting will be Wednesday, December 8, 2010, at the Westin Arlington Gateway hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m., and will be in conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Grantees Conference. Registration is required to attend and may be made at https://nanohub.org/eventregistration/.
The meeting topics will be: “150,000 Users and Growing: A nanoHUB.org Overview”; “nanoHUB.org: Real Users and Real Stories”; and “The Future of nanoHUB.org”. nanoHUB.org users are invited to attend.
Members of the User Group include representatives from education, research and industry. Insight gathered from the user Group will help guide selection of content, improve the understanding of user needs, and accelerate the evolution of nanoHUB.
nanoHUB.org is funded by the National Science Foundation, is a project of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology which, according to its contact page, is located at the University of Purdue in Indiana (US).
There is an August 2007 ELI paper (No. 7) written by Carie Windham for EDUCAUSE which gives a history and some insight into nanoHUB’s development,
In 2002, when Purdue University researchers merged the six-year-old Purdue University Network Computing Hubs (PUNCH) with the mission of the NSF’s Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), scientists saw, from the beginning, a new frontier for computational science. What would happen, they wondered, if researchers in the field of nanotechnology (the study of particles 25,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair) could harness the power of grid computing to provide a single entry point to scientific tools, discoveries, and research on the Web without forcing the user to download a single piece of code?
The fruits of that marriage became the nanoHUB (http://www.nanohub.org/), a Science Gateway1 for researchers, faculty, and students in nanotechnology. Taking advantage of PUNCH’s extensive cyberinfrastructure and later that of TeraGrid—which employs supercomputers and data storage at nine partner sites—the nanoHUB portal enables users to access scientific tools for research, demonstration, and collaboration. It also serves as a resource for nanotechnology workshops, lectures, and curricula. Users can run experiments, brush up on nanotechnology research, or download a series of undergraduate lectures meant to explain the science at a level appropriate for novices.
The nanoHUB site has to lots to offer even if you’re not a member or particularly scientific and it could even provide an interesting case study for developing online communities.