What's in a Name?

Thanks to all who participated in the new name voting! And the winner is…

with not far behind.

November 1 update:

Ask.CI and now both point to our site. Hope that everyone will help to pass the word along!

Please join us on Fridays at 11AM ET, 10AM CT, 9AM MT, 8 AM PT for a weekly informal zoom conference call with the moderators to discuss all topics related to “Ask”.


There is something really simplistic about that looks like it would be around for a long while.


I agree with @syockel. Also, it looks like is available as a twitter handle.

There are other perfectly acceptable suggestions, I just happen to like this one thus far.

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Will Research Computing be the sole purpose of the site? Or does it include all Northeast Cyberteam activities?

Pronouncing this ‘ascii’ is kind of cute. Goes back to our roots :slight_smile:

My IBM Mainframe roots (starting in 1966) would take me back to EBCDIC or even BCD.

I noticed that is for sale: Are most folk OK with “CI” (CyberInfrastructure) standing in for “RC” (Research Computing)? Too broad or too narrow?

@jacks9 Hoping @Chris will weigh in since he has the domain, but my understanding is this Q&A site is for the national/global research computing community, hence its presence in this domain.

NECyberteam-specific tools are at We can move other tools we are developing over to in the future if/when they similarly take on scope beyond the NECyberteam. Thanks for asking!

@jacks9 The history behind the DNS was from way back when NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure first started. Some clever guys at MIT registered that name when NSF coined that term and it has basically gone unused since then.

@syockel (and @Chris), that’s awesome. Since whatever name we choose, the URL for the Discourse site will be <the_name>, correct? So voting for this entry is actually voting for “Ask” as the name, correct? The brand name could be “Ask.CI”.

Glad to see the votes come in. I was worried that I’d have change my own vote to get this one on top. :wink:

@jacks9 I really like the idea of the shorter as “cyberinfrastructure” is a mouthful, but as a term I like the fact that it is more inclusive of the wider lens in our community which is more than just the computing side, but spans data, networking, and other stuff that is useful for our research communities.

@eshaw I like the ascii reference… and was tempted to propose the name Ascii McAskface for our site ala Boaty McBoatface:

QueRC (“kirk”, rhymes with PEARC) - Queries (Questions) about Research Computing. The Discourse URL would then be

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I’ve always had trouble with the word cyberinfrastructure since NSF adopted it. It’s a real mouthful and hard to explain to people outside the NSF OAC context. It’s even in my title (Cyberinfrastructure Coordinator). We do need to continue promoting it as a wider term (beyond the hardware/software) to include people, training, data resources, professional development, facilitation, advocacy, etc. - as the whole ecosystem supporting Research Computing.

No hits on Google. No anagrams for use in Scrabble or WWF even.

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I’m torn between QueRC and QuARC (brought up in a comment earlier Questions and Answers for Research Computing.

I actually started with QuARC, but I found prior use on a Google search, and I preferred to say “Kirk” (to rhyme with PEARC) over “Quark” (even though I’m a quantum guy). However, one is still tempted to pronounce it “Quirk” instead of “Kirk”.