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InTheLoop | 01.08.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

January 8, 2007

CRD Nanoscience Project Awarded 1.5 Million Hours under DOE INCITE Program

DOE Under Secretary of Science Ray Orbach today announced the 2007 INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) program allocations. Among the projects awarded time was “Linear Scale Electronic Structure Calculations for Nanostructures,” led by Lin-Wang Wang of CRD's Scientific Computing Group. The project was awarded 1.5 million processor-hours on the Cray XT3 supercomputer at Oak Ridge. Co-investigators are Juan Meza and Zhengji Zhao, both of CRD.

“This INCITE award will allow us to calculate the internal electric fields and their effects on the electronic and optical properties of nanostructures consisting of hundreds of thousands of atoms,” Lin-Wang said. “It will help us to design better nanoscience applications ranging from single electron devices to solar cells.”

As part of the 2007 INCITE awards, seven research projects will receive nearly nine million processor hours at NERSC in 2007. The projects range from studying the behavior of a supernova to designing more energy-efficient cars. More information about the INCITE program and other awards can be found at http://www.sc.doe.gov/ascr/INCITE/index.html.

NERSC Division Director Search Under Way

As announced previously, Horst Simon is stepping down as NERSC Division Director to focus on his other two positions at Berkeley Lab, and the search for a new Division Director is under way. The NERSC Director should provide vision and leadership to establish and maintain the leading-edge computing capability accessible to scientists supporting the mission of the DOE Office of Science, and will provide for planning, organization, monitoring, and control functions for a group of over 70 staff members.

Candidates should have a recognized national and international reputation as an authority on computational science, computer science, or applied mathematics; demonstrated expertise in the use of scientific high performance computing applications; a high level of technical accomplishment in high performance computing operations; significant experience and demonstrated competence in the management of large-scale scientific projects; and experience with very large-scale computer centers employing advanced technology and serving hundreds of remote scientific users.

For more information on the position, see http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Careers/OpenPositions/NE20110.html.

Reminder: Lab Resources Cannot Be Used for Lobbying Officials

With the current lack of approved funding for many Laboratory programs, some LBNL staff have received messages encouraging them to contact their Congressional representatives and ask that funding be approved.

The RPM states that “Employees may not act or give the appearance of acting on behalf of the Laboratory or the University when communicating with state or federal officials unless they are authorized to do so. To act or give the appearance of acting on behalf of the Laboratory or the University in such instances without authorization may be construed as a conflict of interest.

“When corresponding with state and federal officials, a writer may use Laboratory letterhead only when authorized to represent the Laboratory or the University. Letters expressing personal views must be written on personal stationery. If Laboratory letterhead is used for corresponding with principal state and federal officials, including executive branch appointees, members of Congress, the state legislature, and their staffs, copies of the correspondence must be sent to the appropriate division director and to the Head of the Public Affairs Department.

“When employees give opinions as independent professionals, they must state clearly that they are speaking for themselves and not on behalf of the Laboratory or the University of California.” (http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/RPM/R2.23.html#RTFToC24)

The Laboratory's RPM also prohibits employees from using “personal computers, workstations, networking services, mainframes, minicomputers, associated peripherals and software, electronic mail, telephones, voicemail, and faxes” for lobbying or other unacceptable uses (see http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/RPM/R9.01.html#RTFToC12).

Vern Paxson Named Fellow of Association of Computing Machinery

Vern Paxson, a researcher in CRD's Distributed Systems Department, has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The fellowship is given to scientists who have made “outstanding technical and professional achievements in the field of information technology,” according to ACM. Paxson is probably best known for his original development work on Bro, the Lab's intrusion detection system, which monitors incoming and outgoing traffic and alerts cyber security staff when suspicious traffic patterns are detected. Paxson will be inducted at the ACM Awards Banquet on June 9 in San Diego.

Horst Simon Named to DOE Advisory Committee

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has appointed Horst Simon, head of Computing Sciences, to the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC), which is the federal advisory committee to the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. More information about ASCAC can be found at http://www.sc.doe.gov/ascr/ASCAC/ASCAC.html.

CRD's Juan Meza Appointed to SIAM, AAAS Committees

Juan Meza, head of CRD's High Performance Computing Research Department, has been named to two committees of two research societies.

Cleve Moler, who begins his term as president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics this month, has asked Meza to serve a three-year term on the SIAM Committee on Science Policy starting Jan 1, 2007. More information about the committee can be found at http://www.siam.org/about/science/sci-pol.php.

Meza was also elected to a three-year term on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Electorate Nominating Committee of the Section on Mathematics. The 24 sections of AAAS arrange symposia for the Annual Meeting, elect officers, and provide expertise for association-wide projects.

International Supercomputing Conference Issues Call for Papers

ISC2007, the International Supercomputing Conference, is seeking papers from scientists and technologists reporting original work in theoretical, experimental and industrial research and development. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007.

ISC2007, the leading supercomputing event in Europe, will be held June 26–29, 2007 in Dresden, Germany. Winning papers will be presented on June 26 as part of Scientific Day, a new conference event. Scientific Day is designed to give engineers and scientists in academia, industry, and government the chance to present and discuss issues and trends that will shape the future of high performance computing and networking. The conference program is presented in English.

Two papers will be selected for awards, and both authors will present their work in lectures during the afternoon of Scientific Day. An awards ceremony will take place during the ISC2007 Opening Session on Wednesday, June 27, 2007. Authors of the winning papers will receive round-trip transportation (economy class) to the conference and complimentary registration. The winners also will receive prizes, sponsored by Microsoft, worth 5.000 EUR each. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of CCPE, http://www.cc-pe.net/journalinfo/.

Paper submissions should consist of original work in theoretical, experimental, and industrial research and development on the following topics:

  • Advances in very large-scale applications of science and engineering modeling, simulation and design (capability computing)
  • Successful implementation and deployment of large-scale Grid-enabled systems
  • Computation pipelines and workflows for life sciences, especially computational biology and biological data integration
  • High performance computer architectures
  • Data- and I/O-intensive computing
  • Scalable tools for performance analysis and tuning for hundreds and thousands of PEs
  • High-speed system area networks for large computer system architectures
  • Measurement and modeling of grid middleware and applications

Papers should be submitted in English. Extended abstracts of not less than four pages but not more than 6,000 words should be submitted in electronic form (PDF or doc) to cfp@supercomp.de by Feb. 20, 2007. Abstracts should clearly describe the contents, relevance and originality of the contribution. The topic area should be indicated, and important references must be included.

UC Berkeley Dean of Engineering, Richard Newton, Dies

UC Berkeley Dean of Engineering, Richard Newton, died on January 2 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55 years old. ALD Horst Simon called Newton “a big supporter of CSE and Lab collaborations.”

According to Shankar Sastry, director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), Newton was one of the driving forces in the conceptualization of CITRIS and “was one of the first visionaries to understand the importance of marrying technology push to the needs of society. Rich cared deeply about solving societal problems to better the lot of his fellow humans. Rich believed that technologies could be a means to alleviating poverty and was instrumental in setting up programs such as ICT4B and the Technology Peace Corps. We have all been inspired and touched by his endless optimism, good humor, and bonhommie. We will sorely miss him but hope that CITRIS can indeed realize a number of his visionary ideas.”

The San Francisco Chronicle's obituary on Newton can be read at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/01/04/BAG31NCF251.DTL.

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.