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InTheLoop | 03.13.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

March 13, 2006

NERSC's Experience Cited in Article on Importance of Interconnect Speed

Joab Jackson, a writer for Government Computer News, often calls Computing Sciences when looking for an expert to quote. When writing a recent article about the role of fast interconnects in overall supercomputer performance, Jackson quoted NERSC's General Manager. Here's the start of his article, which can be found at http://www.gcn.com/print/25_5/40021-1.html.

“When the Energy Department's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center went shopping for a new mid-sized supercomputer, processor speed was a critical factor, as expected. But it also carefully scrutinized the interconnect speeds of the proposed systems. That's because for this supercomputing center, the speed of the conduit between processors was as important as the speed of the CPUs themselves.

“‘The interconnect is important because a lot of the applications rely on low latency and high bandwidth,' said Bill Kramer, NERSC general manager. ‘We run highly parallel applications. One application may make use of 50 or 100 individual nodes.'

“Because high-performance computing applications are increasingly spread out over so many processors, how fast they perform comes down in large part to how fast individual nodes can communicate with one another.”

Submission Deadline Extended for Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The submission deadline for the 6th Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, to be held Oct. 4-7, 2006, in San Diego, has been extended to Wednesday, March 22. Submissions on both technical and professional topics are welcomed. The Grace Hopper Program Committee encourages technical submissions that cross disciplines and other boundaries.

The largest gathering of women in computing in the world, the Grace Hopper Celebration is a technical conference featuring invited keynote and technical speakers, panels, workshops, new investigator technical papers, Ph.D. forums, technical posters, birds of a feather sessions (BOFs) and the ACM Student Research Competition.

Submissions are now being accepted for:
* Panels, Workshops, and Presentations
* Technical Posters
* Ph.D. Forum
* ACM Student Research Competition
* New Investigator Technical Papers

The deadline for Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions is Monday, May 1.

Information and requirements for submissions can be found at http://www.gracehopper.org/call_for_participation.html.

Job Posting: NERSC User Services Seeks HPC Consultant for PDSF

NERSC's User Services Group has a job opening to support users of the PDSF cluster. Here's the position summary:

“The Parallel Distributed Systems Facility (PDSF) High Performance Computing Consultant is responsible for PDSF user consulting and trouble ticket management; helps maintain the user software environment for each of the large PDSF experiments; helps support the software associated with these experiments; maintains user documentation; and third-party applications and libraries. In addition, the PDSF Consultant participates in the support of other systems in the NERSC High Performance Computing Department and participates in the NERSC consulting rotation.”

Details of the posting can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Careers/OpenPositions/NE18835.html.

DOE's Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee to Meet this Week

DOE's Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC), which provides independent advice to DOE on a variety of complex scientific and technical issues related to its Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, will hold a two-day meeting this week in Washington, D.C. Chaired by Jill Dahlburg of the Naval Research Laboratory, the committee will hear a series of program-related presentation by program managers in the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. More information on ASCAC is at http://www.sc.doe.gov/ascr/adviscommittee.html.

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.