The scientists and engineers who use OSC find interaction in the research community to be central for the advancement of computational methods within and between disciplines. To ensure a productive environment for research, an active Statewide Users Group (SUG) provides the director with program and policy advice. SUG meets twice a year and is headed by a chairperson elected yearly from the SUG membership. The SUG has established Allocations, Software and Activities, and Hardware and Operations standing committees to assist in providing advice and direction to the Center.
All principal investigators on OSC projects can be SUG members and committee members.
The SUG Allocations Committee oversees a peer review grant process that allocates system resources to all academic users of the Center. Peer review through an on-line form followed by peer panel review guarantees access by all eligible principal investigators and guarantees the State of Ohio that the research conducted at the Center meets nationally recognized standards. This group also reviews proposals from the Software and Activities Committee for system access to support their programs.
The SUG Hardware and Operations Committee advises the OSC director on user needs and priorities for hardware configuration and aquisitions. It reviews proposals for all major hardware acquisitions for both the Ohio Visualization Laboratory and other public OSC services. The committee is also responsible for discussing policy, procurement, and operational issues.
One priority of SUG is to advise the OSC director on acquiring outstanding software requested by the user community. Commercial and user software supported by the Center is reviewed for availability of the resource, clarity of documentation, quality of user interface, ease of use, logical development of the presentation, effectiveness, contribution to OSC resources, and degree of restrictions. The Software and Activities Committee oversees a program that supplies academic writers of useful software with system time for porting in return for long-term access to the software for OSC users.