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InTheLoop | 11.13.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

November 13, 2006

Wes Bethel Gives His Views on Scientific Visualization and Analytics

HPCwire recently published a Q&A with Visualization Group Leader Wes Bethel, who discussed the new SciDAC center he is co-leading, the emerging field of analytics, and how software centers can better meet the needs of scientists. A copy of the interview, entitled “The Yin and Yang of Understanding Data,” has been posted at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news110306.html.

Kathy Yelick Discusses Petascale Software Challenges

Another HPCwire interview appeared last week with Kathy Yelick discussing software challenges related to petascale and other large-scale computing systems. “If ever there was a time to innovate in parallel hardware, languages, and software, this is it,” Kathy said. The article, “The Software Challenges of Petascale Computing,” can be read at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news111006.html.

Berkeley Lab to Showcase HPC and Networking Leadership at SC06 Conference

Computing and networking experts from the Lab will share their leadership expertise via talks, technical papers and demonstrations at the SC06 conference being held Nov. 11–17 in Tampa, Fla.

Berkeley Lab, located in booth 1812, will present demonstrations of a number of tools and techniques developed to advance scientific computing and networking. Booth demonstrations will include the following:
• The Bro Cluster for Intrusion Detection on a 10 Gig Network
• Using FastBit for High-Performance Visual Analysis of Numerical and Text Data: Mining the Enron Email Archive
• Python Tools for Automatically Wrapping Legacy Codes as Grid Services
• Tool for Validating Compatibility and Interoperability of Storage Resource Managers (SRMs) for Heterogeneous Storage Systems
• ACTS Collection User Support Clinic
• Using VisIt to Visualize and Analyze AMR Data of Turbulent Reactive Chemistry Simulations
• Plasma Wakefield Acceleration Visualization
• High Performance Visualization using an 8-socket, 16-core Opteron Machine

Talks in the LBNL booth will cover three Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) projects led by Berkeley Lab, the new Cray XT4 being installed at NERSC, ESnet's new network partnership with Internet2, and supernova research at NERSC.

Read the news release at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news111006a.html.

Vern Paxson Wins Award for Internet Research

The Special Interest Group on Data Communications (SIGCOMM) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has given its inaugural Test of Time Award to Vern Paxson, a researcher in CRD's Distributed Systems Department. The award highlights decade-old research that remains relevant and insightful today. Paxson won for his 1996 paper showing a new way to measure Internet performance, a task that was becoming difficult to accomplish for scientists. Find out why and what Paxson discovered in his research by checking out the latest CRD Report at http://crd.lbl.gov/html/news/CRDreport1006.pdf and SIGCOMM's Computer Communications Review at http://www.sigcomm.org/ccr/drupal/files/p43-paxson.pdf.

Kurt Stockinger Moves from CRD/SDM to NERSC Analytics Team

Kurt Stockinger has joined the NERSC Analytics Team after working for almost three years in CRD's Scientific Data Management (SDM) Research Group, where he contributed to the development of FastBit, an efficient compressed bitmap index technology, and DEX (Dexterous Data Explorer), a query-driven visualization tool which combines the FastBit query engine with 3D visualization methods, enabling scientists to quickly identify characteristic features of their data. Kurt's focus at NERSC is on designing, developing and deploying scientific data management technology for accelerating large-scale data-intensive visualization.

NERSC, UC Institute Co-Host Nov. 14 Talk by Google's Peter Norvig

NERSC and BISC-UCB , the Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (part of the EECS-CS Division) are jointly sponsoring a talk on “Artificial Intelligence as the Future of Search” by Peter Norvig of Google. The talk will start at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the HP Auditorium in Soda Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. The talk is presented as part of the BISC-UCB and NERSC-LBNL Joint Distinguished Lecture Series.


“Current Internet search engines are very large systems with a variety of interacting components. However, the core of current systems consists of keyword-based information retrieval and link analysis. This talk describes a possible future for search engines based on ideas from artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning, natural language processing, and reasoning with uncertainty.”

Norvig, a Berkeley alumnus, has been at Google Inc. since 2001 as its director of machine learning, search quality, and research. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and coauthor of “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach,” the leading textbook in the field. Previously he was the senior computer scientist at NASA and head of the 200-person Computational Sciences Division at Ames Research Center.

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.