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InTheLoop | 06.26.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

June 26, 2006

NERSC, CRD to Share Expertise at International Supercomputer Conference

When the International Supercomputer Conference convenes June 27-30 in Dresden, Germany, NERSC staff will share the center's expertise in a panel discussion, special briefing and poster session. Now in its 21st year, ISC2006 is Europe's leading HPC conference and will attract more than 800 attendees.

On Wednesday, June 28, NERSC Division Director Horst Simon will discuss “Petascale Computing in the U.S.” and an analyst briefing sponsored by IDC. On Friday, June 30, Simon will chair a conference session on “The Asian Attack,” a look at the growing role of supercomputing in Asia.

On Wednesday evening, NERSC Division Deputy Bill Kramer will co-chair a panel discussion on “Acquisition and Operation of an HPC System.”

Both Kramer and Simon will serve as presenters during the conference poster session, discussing aspects of the NERSC Global Filesystem, which provides seamless data access across the five different HPC systems at NERSC.

Also, Erich Strohmaier of CRD's Future Technologies Group will present the 27th TOP500 list of the world's supercomputers during the conference opening session on Wednesday.

SciDAC 2006 Conference Features Berkeley Lab Research

Berkeley Lab's research in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics is well represented at the SciDAC 2006 conference, being held today through Thursday (June 26–29) in Denver. The conference brings together three hundred researchers to highlight scientific discoveries and advances made under the DOE Office of Science's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program, now in its fifth year.

Two Berkeley Lab researchers are presenting featured talks: John Bell of the Computational Research Division (CRD) is giving a keynote presentation on “Simulation of Lean Premixed Turbulent Combustion,” and Rob Ryne of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division will talk on “Extraordinary Tools for Extraordinary Science: The Impact of SciDAC on Accelerator Science and Technology.” Other invited talks will include “Advanced Simulation Methods for Biological Modeling” by Adam Arkin of the Physical Biosciences Division, and “Using Meshes, Matrices, and Particles in Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) languages” by Kathy Yelick of CRD.

Seven researchers from CRD, ESnet, and NERSC are presenting posters:

  • Marc Day: “Large-scale low-Mach-number simulations of lean premixed turbulent flames”
  • Andrew Canning and Osni Marques: “Predicting the Electronic Properties of 3D, Million-Atom Semiconductor Nanostructure Architectures”
  • Paul Hargrove: “BLCR: Serial, Parallel and Distributed Checkpoint/Restart for Linux Clusters”
  • Bill Johnston: “Next Generation ESnet Support for Science”
  • Phil Colella: “A Local Corrections Algorithm for Solving Poisson's Equation in Three Dimensions”
  • Wes Bethel: “Meet the Proposed Visualization and Analytics Center for Enabling Technologies”

The full conference program with links to abstracts is available at http://www.scidac.org/Conference2006/SD06program.html.

John Pon Retires After 13 Years of Service at LBNL

John Pon, who is matrixed from the IT Division to EH&S in Facilities, will leave the Lab officially on July 1 after 13 years. John said his best memories of LBNL are the people he's met and worked with and the friends he has made. John has led a number of process improvement teams across disciplines at the Lab, which allowed him to work with a diverse group of people.

“I can be really proud of the fact that in IT we really do make a difference by working together to solve problems effectively,” he said.

Since he started in 1993 working on information technology in Facilities, John has seen IT go through numerous changes. In the early 1990s, he said that most of IT was using Macs, but that has shifted now to a more heterogeneous mixture, and more recently to standardization. “On the systems side we're a lot more integrated now,” he said. “And we've re-engineered our business practices to take advantage of this.”

One of his other sources of pride is that his team won first place in the meat category of the Facilities infamous annual chili cook-off last year.

In his retirement, John plans to go to spend more time reading the newspaper, gardening and doing photography. He wants to learn a number of foreign languages—Italian and Mandarin are on the top of his list. He also plans to spend more time with his grandchildren. “I have two grandchildren and I tell my children I want seven more,” he said.

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.