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InTheLoop | 08.21.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

August 21, 2006

Seventh Annual ACTS Workshop Draws 60 Participants this Week


CRD is hosting the seventh annual Workshop on the DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection for HPC Applications at the Lab this week. This year's workshop theme is “Gearing Up Scientific Applications for the Petascale Era.”

Organized by Osni Marques and Tony Drummond of the Scientific Computing Group, the four-day workshop introducing the ACTS Collection will provide hands-on instruction in building robust scientific and engineering high-end computing applications. The ACTS Collection (http://acts.nersc.gov) comprises a set of tools mainly developed at DOE laboratories and proven in many applications and fields in computational sciences. These software tools aim to simplify the solution of common and important computational problems and have substantially benefited a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

This year's workshop drew approximately 40 registered attendees, and the program will feature 20 speakers. The event is being held in the Bldg. 66 auditorium. More information about the workshop can be found at http://acts.nersc.gov/events/Workshop2006/.


Fellowship Programs Designed to Bring Science Expertise to Government


(Note: The following information is taken from the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News.)

At a symposium at the National Academy of Sciences on June 15, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) spoke about the importance of bringing high-quality scientific advice and expertise to the U.S. government. His words have relevance for anyone interested in the fellowship programs that bring bright, motivated scientists to Washington each year to provide their knowledge and skills to the nation's decision makers. The American Institute of Physics (AIP), with additional support from the American Astronomical Society (AAS); the American Physical Society (APS); the American Geophysical Union (AGU); and the Optical Society of America (OSA) all sponsor fellowship programs for qualified scientists.

“It is a challenge” to bring science to any part of the federal government, Holt said, speaking from first-hand knowledge, having served as the American Physical Society's 1982-1983 Congressional Science Fellow, as well as four terms as a member of the House of Representatives. Most Americans, he said, have “a poor understanding of how science is done” and “what science is for.”

While the Sputnik scare in the 1950s “did produce a couple of generations of the finest scientists and engineers the world has ever seen,” Holt acknowledged, it “left behind” most of the general public. The result, he said, “is that well-educated, well-meaning members of the government don't know a damn thing about science.” The House of Representatives, in which he serves, “is nothing if not representative” in this regard, he added.

As fellows, Holt said, scientists are in a position to convey to policymakers what science is, how it works, and why “scientific knowledge is reliable knowledge.” He cautioned, however, that fellows will be dealing with people they must “educate, not alienate.” George Atkinson, the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, echoed this by highlighting the importance of building “interpersonal relationships” in order to get a scientific voice included in policy decisions. Atkinson also served as a fellow; he was AIP's first State Department Science Fellow in 2001-2002. “The conundrum for science in the 21st century,” Atkinson remarked, “is that policymakers want certainty.”

There are a number of fellowship programs that enable scientists and engineers to come to Washington each September, for at least a year, to offer their expertise to the federal government. Requirements for these programs vary, but generally include graduate education in a field of science or engineering, membership in the professional society sponsoring the Fellowship, and often U.S. citizenship, as well as a passionate interest in how science can inform and improve government policymaking.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), through its Science and Technology Policy Fellowships (see http://fellowships.aaas.org/), offers Fellowships in Congress and many executive branch agencies.

AIP runs two fellowship programs, a State Department Science Fellowship that enables at least one scientist per year to work in a bureau of the State Department (see http://www.aip.org/gov/sdf.html), and a Congressional Science Fellowship that supports one scientist annually to work for a member of Congress or for a congressional committee (see http://www.aip.org/gov/cf.html). Partial support for the AIP State Department Fellowship is provided by the American Astronomical Society.

APS, AGU, and OSA, all AIP Member Societies, also run Congressional Science Fellowships. Application deadlines for these programs differ, but are usually near the beginning of the year. Please see the individual web sites below for details:

American Physical Society: http://www.aps.org/public_affairs/fellow/
American Geophysical Union: http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/sci_pol.html
Optical Society of America (sponsors two Congressional Fellows, jointly with the Materials Research Society and the International Society for Optical Engineering): http://www.osa.org/publicpolicy/fellowships/


Job Posting: Network Engineer for ESnet


CRD's ESnet has an open position for a Network Engineer. The posting is available on the Laboratory's jobs page at http://jobs.lbl.gov/ under the requisition number (#019374). Go to http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19374&p=1 for details.

Job summary:
As a member of the Operations and Deployment Group (O&DG) team, support, configure and test hardware and OS installations of all ESnet LAN and WAN routers, switches and associated equipment, both local and remote. Implement and use tools and measures to improve the performance of systems and operational procedures. Participate in on-call 24/7 activities on a rotational basis.



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 6,000 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 DOE 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.