EVL Awarded NSF MRI Support to Build the Data Observation and Computation Collaboratory (DOCC)

October 1st, 2023 - September 30th, 2026

Categories: Devices, Software, Tele-Immersion, User Groups, Visualization, VR, Tele-Collaboration, Augmented Reality, Deep Learning, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Machine Learning, Instrumentation, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Creative Coding, Computer Vision


The National Science Foundation has awarded EVL a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant to build the Data Observation and Computation Collaboratory (DOCC) in the new Computer Design Research and Learning Center (CDRBC) building. The Data Observation and Computation Collaboratory (DOCC, ’the dock’) is a much-needed visual data science instrument for UIC science and engineering research and research training. DOCC provides high-performance computing, advanced networking, high-speed data storage, interactive high-resolution displays and software and services for Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML), data analytics, data simulations, visualization, and virtual-reality requirements. Given how varied modern data-science application requirements can be, DOCC is designed as a configurable, heterogeneous computing environment that prioritizes real-time, interactive, collaborative applications and remote data streaming, but can be scheduled off-hours for large, batch-mode processing.

DOCC will empower users to work with their data and their colleagues in real-time, test codes, view a ’window in the oven’to watch large simulations run, and simultaneously view results along with related data and ensemble runs on large display walls. DOCC has a visual front end that enables users to easily access familiar collaboration tools, scientific notebooks, AI/ML workflows, and popular visualization software.

Alternatively, users can add new AI/ML models or create them from scratch. And because DOCC will be connected to the campus research network, data and/or computer codes can be ported to remote computer and cloud resources located on campus, regionally, nationally, or internationally.

A room-sized instrument, DOCC will be located in the high-trafficked atrium of the new CDRLC, home to the UIC Computer Science Department, part of the College of Engineering, situated across from an auditorium and multi-purpose event space. This location will promote UIC data-science research initiatives and the instrument’s collaboration potential. DOCC will also be used to conduct campus research meetings, programs and training initiatives.

Award Number (FAIN): 2320261
Period of Performance: 10/01/2023 - 09/30/2026
Project Title: Research Infrastructure: MRI: Track 2 Acquisition of Data Observation and Computation Collaboratory (DOCC)