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InTheLoop | 10.23.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

October 23, 2006

ASCR Director Michael Strayer Announces Reorganization

The Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), which supports most of the projects in NERSC and CRD, has been reorganized. In an announcement sent out earlier this month, ASCR Associate Director Michael Strayer wrote, “To accommodate and accomplish the rapidly evolving activities related to advanced scientific computing research for the office, the office has expanded in several areas — expand high-performance networking; manage an expanded SciDAC to include partnerships with other Departmental offices; deliver expanded high-performance computing resources at NERSC to computational scientists; and expand our Leadership Class resources.”

The Mathematical, Information and Computational Sciences Division has been abolished and two new divisions created.

The Computational Science Research & Partnerships (SciDAC) Division will foster and support world-class research in applied math, computer science and networking, and partner with other SC offices and other Departmental elements in the computational sciences to utilize tera- to petascale computing research for modeling and simulating complex scientific and engineering problems, and will manage the SciDAC program. Walt Polansky was named as acting director.

The Facilities Division will plan, administer and fund the design, construction and operation of major computing networks and computing facilities to serve our researchers from the university, national laboratory, and industrial research communities. Dan Hitchcock was named as acting director.

CRD's Chris Ding Gives Distinguished Lecture on Bioinformatics

On Friday, Oct. 20, Chris Ding of the Scientific Computing Group gave a presentation on “Protein Interaction Module Detection Using Graph Algorithms” as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the School of Computing and Information Sciences and Florida International University in Miami.

After giving an introduction to the rapidly growing field of genomics and clarifying the vital role of protein interaction studies, Chris's talk discussed two graph algorithms for detecting protein modules: spectral clustering and clique/biclique finding. Spectral clustering formulates the problem as eigenvectors of the graph Laplacian; maximal clique/biclique finding algorithms use a new type of constrained quadratic optimization. Both algorithms can be efficiently computed on parallel architectures. The biological significance of the discovered protein modules is verified through concepts from gene ontology. With the use of these algorithms, a number of uncharacterized proteins have been found to be new members of important protein complexes.

Open Enrollment for UC Employees Starts Wednesday, Nov. 1

Open Enrollment for UC health and welfare benefits plans runs from November 1 to November 21, but employees are encouraged to start planning now by visiting the At Your Service website at http://atyourservice.ucop.edu and selecting the “Open Enrollment 2007” icon to get started. Also, watch for the general Open Enrollment announcement that you'll be receiving in the mail at your home address later this week or early next week.

At the Open Enrollment website, you'll be able to review your current plan enrollments; read about plan benefits, services, and changes for 2007; see what the medical plan rates for 2007 will be; and use some helpful planning tools.

Please note that you will not be able to make changes via the website until 8 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 (and no later than midnight November 21). Also, the Medical Plan Chooser tool on the website will be active starting on October 24.

Here are the actions you can take during Open Enrollment:
• Change to a different medical plan.
• Change to a different dental plan (California residents only).
• Enroll eligible family members in your health plans.
• Enroll or re-enroll in the Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) and/or Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DepCare). Even if you are currently enrolled in these plans, you must re-enroll to participate in 2007.
• Opt out of your medical, dental, or vision plan, or enroll in a new plan if you previously opted out.
• Change participation in the Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP) program (enrollment is automatic unless you opt out).
• With the exception of HCRA and DepCare, you don't need to do anything if you are satisfied with your current enrollments and have no plan changes to make.
• NOTE: The ARAG Legal Plan is not open for new enrollments this year; however, existing members can de-enroll a family member or cancel the plan. Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is open for paper enrollment year-round.

If you make any changes during Open Enrollment, your new coverage will be effective January 1, 2007.

Job Postings: IT Division Has Openings for BI Developer, Desktop Support Staff

Here are the latest job postings from the IT Division:

BI Developer: Work as a member of the Data Administration and Decision Support (DADS) Group to build, maintain, monitor, and optimize Cognos-based multi-dimensional structures and reporting mechanisms running against Oracle databases using a combination of Cognos Series 7, Cognos ReportNet, Tivoli Job Scheduler, UNIX shell scripting, Oracle SQL and PL/SQL. Will also provide basic maintenance and administration for LBNL's BRS report delivery solution based on Cognos SDK, and work with other members within the group to enhance the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) data content and data quality issues. Position details can be found at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19551&p=1.

IT Support Engineer: As a member of the Mac/PC Support Group, provide Mac and PC desktop break/fix assistance to scientific and administrative customers at the Lab. This involves installation and troubleshooting for a variety of desktop operating systems, office software products, and printing environments. Duties include assessing and resolving user problems involving multiple platforms and architectures in a cross-platform environment; providing answers and solutions to complex user questions concerning Macintosh and/or PC configuration, networking, printing, and interface issues; providing answers and solutions to complex user questions concerning usage of all the standard desktop software, including system, utility, security, web browsing, email, electronic scheduling, graphics, antivirus and office productivity software. Additional duties include imaging new computers, delivering to the customer, and transferring data and programs to the new system. Note: This is a full-time, 12-month term appointment with the possibility of renewal. More information at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19558&p=1.

Help Desk Specialist: As a member of the Information Technology User Support Department Help Desk, provide assistance to Lab employees by phone and/or the use of remote desktop management software; process requests for help that come in through electronic mail, web or phone; use CRM/workflow software (Remedy) to manage help requests; and provide initial analysis, solve a significant majority of the problems that come in and refer the balance to Tier II support groups. Details can be found at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=19560&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.