Skip to main content

The instructors for the Cyber Carpentry workshop are the investigators of the successful Datanet Federation Consortium (DFC) project, which ran between 2013 and 2017. The instructors come from multiple universities and bring unique perspectives in applying cyberinfrastructure for problems in science and engineering disciplines. The DFC project implements a collaboration framework that promotes sharing in and across multiple science and engineering disciplines.

The chief outcome of DFC is an integrated policy-oriented federation platform that intertwines human interactions – through policy sets – with evolving cyberinfrastructure, leading to a system that has proven to be extensible, sustainable and applicable across multiple disciplines. DFC meshes three core concepts: (a) virtualization, (b) policy-driven automations, and (c) federation to provide the extensibility, sustainability, and technology independence needed for long-term scientific collaboration.

Arcot Rajasekar

Dr. Arcot Rajasekar is a Professor in the School of Information and Library Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Chief Scientist at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), and co-Director of Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center at UNC. Previously he was at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, leading the Data Grids Technology Group. He has been involved in research and development of data grid middleware systems for over a decade and is a lead originator behind the concepts in the Storage Resource Broker (SRB) and the integrated Rule Oriented Data Systems (iRODS), two premier data grid middleware developed by the Data Intensive Cyber Environments Group. A leading proponent of policy-oriented, large-scale data management, Dr. Rajasekar has several research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Archives, National Institute of Health and other federal agencies. Dr. Rajasekar has more than 150 publications in the areas of data grids, digital library, persistent archives, logic programming, and artificial intelligence. His latest projects include the Datanet Federation Consortium and DataBridge, building a social network platform for scientific data.

Bakinam Essawy HeadshotBakinam Essawy

Bakinam T. Essawy is a Research Associate in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Virginia. She completed her Ph.D. in August 2017 on modeling regional-scale hydrologic systems to understand water availability and drought. Her work is part of the DataNet Federation Consortium (DFC) project using iRODS to create workflows for hydrologic modeling. Bakinam is working now on the GeoTrust project for improving reproducibility in computational hydrology.

Don Sizemore

Don Sizemore is a Systems Programmer for the H.W. Odum Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a Masters of Information Science from UNC’s School of Information and Library Science and offers 22 years of experience in implementing open source solutions for data archives. At Odum he maintains the UNC Dataverse, iRODS-based data preservation pipelines and supports multiple researchers and grant projects in pursuit of the university’s teaching and research mission.


Hao Xu

Xu is a research scientist at the Renaissance Computing Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been working on improving the rule engine and the rule language, and the metadata catalog of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) since 2010. He developed pluggable rule engine architecture that allows interoperability between different programming languages and the iRODS data management systems. He also developed QueryArrow, a semantically unified query and update system that allows bidirectional integration of metadata from multiple heterogeneous data stores. His research interests include theory of data management, automatic theorem proving, programming languages, distributed data systems, and formal methods in software development. He has a B.E. in computer science and engineering and a B.S. minor in applied mathematics from Beihang University and a Ph.D. in computer science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jane Greenberg

Jane Greenberg is the Alice B. Kroeger Professor and Director of the Metadata Research Center ( at the College of Computing & Informatics, Drexel University. Her research activities focus on metadata, knowledge organization/semantics, linked data, data science, and information economics. She serves on the advisory board of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and the steering committee for the NSF Northeast Big Data Innovation Hub (NEBDIH).  She is a principal investigator (PI) on the NSF Spoke initiative, ‘A Licensing Model and Ecosystem for Data Sharing,’ and the lead PI the Metadata Capital Initiative (MetaDataCAPT’L) and the Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering (HIVE) linked data project.  She is also a co-PI for Drexel’s NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (NSF-I/UCRC), Center for Visualization and Decision Informatics (CVDI).  Her research has been funded by the NSF, NIH, IMLS, Microsoft Research, National Library of Medicine, Library of Congress, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, among other organizational and private sponsors. She has received numerous awards and honors for her research and leadership. She is a 2016 ELATE at Drexel® Fellow and, in 2014, she was among the first cohort of Data Science Fellows at the National Consortium for Data Science, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Jon Crabtree

Crabtree is Assistant Director for Cyberinfrastructure at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC Chapel Hill. The institute’s social science data archive is one of the oldest and most extensive in the country. As assistant director, Crabtree completely revamped the institute’s technology infrastructure and has positioned the institute to assume a leading national role in information archiving. He is co-designer of the Virtual Institute for Social Research (VISR) and its integration into the research data lifecycle. Crabtree’s experience in information technology and networking as well as his engineering background bring a different perspective to his current role. Crabtree joined the institute over twenty years ago and is responsible for designing and maintaining the technology infrastructure that supports the institute’s wide array of services. Before moving to the social science side of campus he was an information systems technologist for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. His grounding in medical information technology adds to his education and training in electrical engineering, library and information science, digital preservation, computer science, economics, geographic information systems, hydrology and geomorphology.  He is currently enrolled in the UNC School of Information and Library Science doctoral program with his area of interest focused on the auditing of trusted repositories.

Jon Goodall

Jonathan Goodall is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Computer Science (by courtesy) at the University of Virginia. His teaching and research interests are in environmental and water resources engineering focusing in particular on modeling and managing water infrastructure as a cyber-physical system. Professor Goodall is the recipient of an National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award and an International Society for Environmental Modelling & Software (iEMSs) Early Career Research Excellence award. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Water Resources Research, Enivronmental Modelling & Software, and the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. He is Associate Director of the interdisciplinary LINK LAB, leads the HYDROINFORMATICS RESEARCH GROUP, and is an affiliated faculty member of the CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION STUDIES. Prior to joining UVA in the fall of 2013, he held faculty positions at the University of South Carolina-Columbia and Duke University.

Nirav Merchant

Mr. Nirav Merchant is the director for Bio Computing at the University of Arizona (UA), overseeing the comprehensive computational cyberinfrastructure for biomedical research, supporting diverse projects ranging from large scale clinical NGS analytics platforms to mobile health (mHealth) interventions. With over 20 years of experience at UA as technology strategist and architect for multi institutional projects involving scalable data analytics. Within CyVerse he advises on CI strategy, leads the technology assessment effort, and oversees daily operations of the CyVerse Core Software and Core Services groups. Mr. Merchant also co-teaches an interdisciplinary course in Applied Cyberinfrastructure Concepts, designed with CyVerse, XSEDE, and FutureGrid infrastructure.

Terrell Russell

Terrell Russell currently serves as the Chief Technologist for the iRODS Consortium. He manages the software roadmap and the development team. He holds a PhD in Information Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and is interested in distributed systems, metadata, security, and open source software that accelerates science.

Jeremy Fischer

Jeremy Fischer is the Senior Technical Adviser for the Jetstream project, working for UITS Research Technologies at Indiana University. Prior to returning to IU in 2012, he was the Director for Unix Systems and Security at a regional ISP and was the CEO of a multi-store retail chain for ten years following that. Finding that technology was his true professional passion, he returned to IU, first working with small scale clusters and then with practical applications of cloud computing. As part of the Jetstream team, he contributes as the technical outreach lead to researchers and also as the author and librarian for the virtual machine featured images among other duties. He has learned enough about OpenStack to be well and truly dangerous and probably shouldn’t have root on those systems.

Course Assessment:

Melanie Feinberg

Melanie Feinberg joined the SILS faculty in the fall of 2015. She had most recently been an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a classificationist whose research approach combines design with the humanities. Her work focuses on learning how to read and write databases to complement our engineering and mining of them. She received her PhD in 2008 from the iSchool at the University of Washington; she has a master’s from the iSchool at Berkeley (2004) and was an undergraduate at Stanford (1992). In her professional career before returning to academia, she was a content strategist and technical editor, working at companies such as Apple Computer, Scient, and PeopleSoft.

Mohammad Jarrahi

Largely influenced by the sociotechnical tradition, Mohammad’s research focuses on the use and consequences of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the accompanying social and organizational changes that these bring to knowledge-intensive organizational contexts. His current research projects explore the salient technological and information-centric challenges of mobile knowledge work. He is particularly interested in the relationship between mobile knowledge workers’ information practices and their emergent and personalized digital infrastructures, and how these workers intelligently span infrastructural barriers to ensure the availability and use of informational and technological resources. Mohammad’s research also examines the adoption of activity tracking devices (e.g., Fitbit) and the way that these tools provide informational and motivational affordances to their users. His previous work centered on the use and uptake of multiple social technologies by consultants–technological assemblages–that can foster their knowledge sharing within and across organizations.