Six Indiana University regional campuses will share a National Science Foundation grant for infrastructure upgrades. The university says the $450,000 grant will help the campuses advance research efforts and support science and technology instruction.

The money will allow students and faculty at IU Northwest, IU South Bend, IU Kokomo, IU East, IU Southeast and Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus to take advantage of the 10 gigabit-per-second internet connection provided by the I-Light network. The IU Global Research Network Operations Center manages the network, which connects member sites to state, national and international research and education networks.

"Big data research projects are severely hampered by the low bandwidth that currently connects the regionals to IU computing resources, to collaborators outside of IU and to national computational resources," said Carol Wood, executive director of information technology at IU Northwest. "And our undergraduate research students are having a less fulfilling experience due to the slow turnaround of data or the limits on data set sizes that can be studied. I’m excited to say that this new upgrade will allow our faculty and students to transfer data sets over the network as much as 10 times faster."

IU says the grant will defray the costs of upgrading each campus’ internet connection. The university says students stand to benefit the most, especially those taking part in information systems, data analytics, and cloud computing courses.