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InTheLoop | 11.08.2004

The Weekly Electronic Newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences Employees

November 8, 2004

Kathy Yelick to Lead Berkeley Institute of Performance Studies (BIPS)

Kathy Yelick, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Computational Research Division, has been named the new lead for CRD's Future Technologies Group (FTG). She will also be leading the newly established Berkeley Institute of Performance Studies, which will bring together a number of projects in computer performance and evaluation. The Berkeley Institute for Performance Studies (BIPS) is the umbrella organization encompassing several research activities at LBNL and UC Berkeley:
• The Performance Evaluation Research Center (PERC)
• The Berkeley Benchmarking and Optimization Group (BeBOP)
• LAPACK/ScaLAPACK project
• Architectural evaluation research project
• Benchmarking and performance optimization project

Kathy's appointment, which includes a leave of absence from her teaching position, officially takes effect January 1, 2005.

The main goal of Kathy's research is to develop techniques for obtaining high performance on a wide range of computational platforms and to ease the programming effort required to obtain performance. Kathy is perhaps best known for her efforts in global address space (GAS) languages, which attempt to present the programmer with a shared memory model for parallel programming. These efforts have led to the design of Unified Parallel C (UPC), which merged some of the ideas from three shared address space dialects of C: Split-C, AC (from IDA), and PCP (from LLNL). In recent years, UPC has gained recognition as an alternative to message passing programming for large-scale machines. Compaq, Sun, Cray, HP, and SGI are implementing UPC, and Kathy is currently leading a large effort at LBNL to implement UPC on Linux clusters and IBM machines and to develop new optimizations. The language provides a uniform programming model for both shared and distributed memory hardware. Read more at <http://upc.lbl.gov/>. She has also worked on other global address space languages such as Titanium, which is based on Java.

Kathy has also done some notable work on single processor optimizations including techniques for automatically optimizing sparse matrix algorithms for memory hierarchies. These efforts are part of an NSF funded project called BeBOP (Berkeley Benchmarking and Optimization) that is working on methods to take advantage of special structure such as symmetry and triangular solves.

Another area that Kathy has worked on that has led to very interesting results is her research on architectures for memory-intensive applications and in particular the use of mixed logic and DRAM, which avoids the off-chip accesses to DRAM, thereby gaining bandwidth while lowering latency and energy consumption. In the IRAM project, a joint effort with David Patterson, Kathy developed an architecture to take advantage of this technology. The IRAM processor is a single chip system designed for low power and high performance on multimedia applications and achieves an estimated 6.4 GOP/s in a 2 watt design. The IRAM architecture is based on vector instructions, historically reserved for expensive vector supercomputers designed for large-scale scientific and engineering applications.

Kathy received her bachelor's (1985), master's (1985), and Ph.D. (1991) degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include parallel computing, memory hierarchy optimizations, programming languages and compilers. You can read her UC Berkeley Web page at <http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~yelick/>.

Warning to Red Hat Linux Users: Delete Bogus Security Update Messages

Bogus email messages advising users to download and install certain Red Hat Linux updates are circulating on the Internet. They appear to have been sent by the Red Hat Security Team; the "updates" are actually malicious programs designed to allow perpetrators to gain control of the system in which they are installed. If you receive one of these messages, delete it right away; do not forward it to anyone you know. More information is available at <http://www.redhat.com/security/>.

DOE Seeking Applicants for Chief Technology Officer for Cyber Security

DOE has an IPA posting for a chief technology officer for cyber security. An IPA position is a temporary, one- to four-year position under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

“IPAs frequently perform important roles for DOE, and this posting in the cyber security area is particularly pertinent right now,” said ITSD Director Sandy Merola. “Additionally, the IPA brings expertise back to LBNL at the end of their IPA service, and that is useful both for LBNL and frequently for the person's career path.”

An LBNL staff member who serves as an IPA continues to be administratively attached to LBNL as a permanent staff member and retains all benefits (salary, benefits, retirement, seniority, etc.).

Here is the IPA Posting:
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for cyber security (CS) reports directly to the Assistant CIO for Cyber Security. The CTO-CS provides consultation and advice on cyber security technology issues and strategic long-term technology vision and roadmaps for the CIO-CS organization and the Department of Energy. The CTO-CS will assist in determining the CIO and DOE's long-term needs and develops the strategy for achieving the stated goals. The CTO-CS will play a critical role in helping define the strategic vision for the CIO-CS based upon a clear understanding of DOE requirements and the state of the art in government and industry capabilities.

For more information, contact John C. Davis at 202-586-0891 (w) or 703-407-7236 (c).

Reminder: Be Careful When Entering Elevator If Doors Are Closing

A University of California employee working in the OSF building recently had an unpleasant experience while attempting to get into the elevator as the doors were closing. Returning from lunch and in a hurry, she tried to make it onto the elevator before the doors closed. Although the elevator doors can be held open by counter pressure, the employee's arms were full and she was not able to use her hands to push against the doors. As a result, the doors closed on her, causing a minor physical injury and shaking her up.

The elevator was inspected after the incident, and the technician found that all design safety features were and are in good working order. However, the mechanism which can keep the door open is not designed to function if it is not triggered by counter pressure from hands or arms. But rather than trying to squeeze between closing doors, a safer approach is to just wait for the next elevator car to arrive.

According to national statistics, more than 17,000 people are injured in elevators each year in the U.S., and another 30 are killed. Read more about one such fatal incident at <http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Southwest/08/18/doctor.decapitated.ap/>.

Latest Phishing Scam Targets Washington Mutual Customers

The bad guys are at it again — trying to con unsuspecting users into revealing their credit card, account, and other information. The latest ploy comes in the form of what appears to be a message from Washington Mutual Bank, informing recipients that "technical services of the Bank are carrying out a planned software upgrade" and that it is necessary for each customer to click on a web link and then enter customer data. Don't fall for this one — it is yet another identify theft attempt.

Travel Power Users Can Get Training Today in New On-Line Booking Tool

Lab employees who use the Travel Power application to book reservations can attend a training session today to learn more about “Cliqbook," a new and improved booking tool which debuts Monday, November 22. Cliqbook has the capability to search popular web sites as well as the agency reservations system for a comprehensive low fare search.

An introductory demo will be offered from 1:30-3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, in the Bldg. 50 auditorium. This session,  as well as a series of hands-on training classes, are available for sign up. To enroll, go to the employee self-service Web site at <https://hris.lbl.gov>. Go to "Training Enrollment" and select "Travel" to find "Intro to Cliqbook" TRV0102

For questions, please contact travelhotline@lbl.gov.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.