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InTheLoop | 10.02.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

October 2, 2006

Reminder: Free Tutorial on Secure Computing to Be Offered Thursday, Oct. 5

A free, one-day tutorial in “Computing Protection in Open HPC Environments” is being offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5. The session, which is a preview of a tutorial to be given at the SC06 conference in November, will be held in Bldg. 50B, room 2222. Speakers will be Steve Lau, formerly of NERSC and now at UC San Francisco; Bill Kramer and Scott Campbell of NERSC; and Brian Tierney of the Distributed Systems Department.

This tutorial will provide an underlying knowledge of the current state of computer security, its effects on HPC environments, and mitigation strategies. For more information, contact Brian Tierney at BLTierney@lbl.gov.

Lab Scientist and NERSC User Wim Leemans' Research Noted in Economist

Wim Leemans, a scientist in the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division who is developing plasma wakefield accelerators, recently co-authored a paper in Nature Physics about his research. Along with Simon Hooker of Oxford University , Leemans reported that their team has made significant progress toward their goal of a tabletop-sized particle accelerator. Two years ago, Leemans and others made the cover of Nature with earlier experimental results, which were modeled on NERSC supercomputers using the VORPAL code. The computational results allowed scientists to view the evolution of their experimental results.

Their latest results were reported in the Sept. 30 issue of the Economist, which notes that current accelerators are viewed as too large and too expensive to continue building.

“High-energy particle physicists like to smash things together, break them open and see what is inside,” the article begins. “It is a good way of working out what the world is really made of, but it has its limits. The faster you hurl things, the more you find out. But the apparatus needed to hurl things fast enough to interest today's physicists is huge and horrifyingly expensive. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), now being built near Geneva in a tunnel 27 km (17 miles) in circumference, is expected to have cost SFr10 billion ($8 billion) by the time it opens next year.”

Read the full story at http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7963592.

Job Postings: New SciDAC Outreach Center Begins Staffing Up; IT Business Manager

The SciDAC Outreach Center , announced last month as a new component of DOE's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, has posted job openings for a software engineer, an HPC analyst/technical writer, and an outreach coordinator. The objective of the center is to serve as a clearinghouse for information about SciDAC. Here are descriptions of the three positions:

The SciDAC software engineer is a Web and information services specialist with an emphasis in software development practices and services. This position is responsible for deployment of information services for the SciDAC Outreach Center and promoting software maintenance and testing practices that make SciDAC software more accessible to a wide variety of researchers. Details can be found at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19495&p=1.

The SciDAC Center HPC analyst/technical writer is responsible for requirements analysis for projects, contributing to implementation of software and algorithms, and writing Web-based content of high quality targeted at a variety of technical skill levels. This person also helps to address inquiries made to the outreach center either directly or by finding the appropriate resource. Resolution of some inquiries will require coding work to implement SciDAC technologies, providing performance analysis, and general problem solving. Upon resolution of requests, this person is expected to write summaries and synopses of how SciDAC-supported technologies have been and can be used. More information can be found at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19497&p=2.

The SciDAC outreach coordinator is principally responsible for addressing the needs of those producing and those seeking SciDAC-supported technologies with a goal of effectively delivering those technologies in ways that promote breakthrough scientific research. The SciDAC outreach coordinator is in charge of promoting the diffusion of SciDAC resources to new and existing audiences, arranging outreach and trainings as well as coordinating with HPC specialists at remote sites on technical resolution of specific requests. This person also shares responsibility for addressing inquiries made to the outreach center and assessing the technical needs of audiences as well as venues and resources available for outreach. Details at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19498&p=2.

Elsewhere in the organization, the IT Division, as part of its move from Computing Sciences to Operations, is seeking a business manager. The new business manager, reporting to the division director, will oversee the development, planning and execution of a complex $23M budget involving overhead allocations, charge-back mechanisms and direct funding; will manage seven to nine financial and administrative staff members providing business support to the division; and will serve as the division's primary liaison with finance, budget, procurement, facilities, property, travel and safety offices at the Laboratory. The business manager will also provide expert consultation and advice on complex business issues ranging from internal business practices between departments to strategic issues involving levels of service provided to external customers, as well as play an active role with the senior management team in the execution of strategic plans, special projects and initiatives. Details can be found at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19492&p=1.

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.