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InTheLoop | 05.07.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

May 7, 2007

D-Wave Founder in May 10 Talk on Optimization, Search using Quantum Computers

Geordie Rose, founder and chief technology officer of D-Wave Systems, will give a talk on “Revolutionizing optimization and search using quantum computers accessed via web services” at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 10, in Bldg. 50A-5132. The hour-long talk will be followed by a Q&A session from 2–2:30.

Abstract: “We have built a system for solving hard optimization and search problems. The core of the system is a superconducting adiabatic quantum computer. I will review how the system works, and our plans for deployment of a set of APIs for applications developers.”

D-Wave Systems is the world’s first and only source of quantum computing for commercial applications. They believe quantum technology in concert with classical, digital processors, can and will represent broad and significant advancements in the application of computer science. In February 2007, D-Wave unveiled and demonstrated this technology publicly for the first time. The company plans to deliver field-deployable systems in 2008.

David Bailey Co-Authors Book on “Experimental Mathematics in Action”

David Bailey, the chief technologist of the Computational Research Division, is the co-author of “Experimental Mathematics in Action,” a newly published 322-page book which grew out of a two-day course Bailey helped lead at the 2006 annual joint meeting of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. The eight lectures presented during the course are analogous to the eight chapters of the book, which is coauthored by Jonathan M. Borwein, Neil J. Calkin, Roland Girgensohn, D. Russell Luke and Victor H. Moll. A draft version of the book had actually been written before the course, with the contents then revised and polished in light of the authors’ experiences at the meeting, which drew about 80 participants. The goal of this book is to present a coherent variety of accessible examples of modern mathematics where intelligent computing plays a significant role and in so doing to highlight some of the key algorithms and to teach some of the key experimental approaches. The book is published by A.K. Peters Ltd. of Massachusetts.

In 2004 Bailey and Borwein co-authored “Mathematics by Experiment: Plausible Reasoning in the 21st Century,” and with Girgensohn they wrote “Experimentation in Mathematics: Computational Paths to Discovery.”

NERSC Hosts Visitors from Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

NERSC hosted four visitors from CSCS (Swiss National Supercomputing Centre) last Friday, May 4. After NERSC staff members gave talks about the center’s supercomputing and storage capabilities, they heard from Dominik Ulmer, the COO and Head of Administration at CSCS. Ulmer spoke about the upgrades to its flagship system, a Cray X3 with 3,328 dual-core processors, and plans to build a new computing facility by 2010.

He also talked about a recent initiative called Swiss ALPS Programme, which allocates millions of computing hours to each project and aims to boost the CSCS’s ability to run large-scale projects. Historically, a typical allocation at the center ranges from 40,000 to 200,000 computing hours. Many of the projects being carried out at the CSCS are in the field of molecular dynamics, although the center is striving to broaden the scientific scope in the next four years.

Nominations Being Accepted for 2007 IEEE Fernbach, Cray Awards

Nominations for the 2007 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award and the Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award must be submitted by Saturday, June 30. These awards, sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, will be presented during the SC2007 conference on high performance computing, networking and storage to be held Nov. 10–16 in Reno.

The Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award is given to individuals whose innovative contributions to high performance computing systems best exemplify the creative spirit demonstrated by Seymour Cray. The award consists of a crystal model, certificate, and honorarium of $10,000. The nomination form and submission information can be found at http://newton.computer.org/awards2.nsf/nominationform?openform&code=cray

The Sidney Fernbach Memorial Award was established in 1992 in memory of Sidney Fernbach, one of the pioneers in the development and application of high performance computers for the solution of large computational problems. A certificate and $2,000 are awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches. The nomination form and submission information can be found at http://newton.computer.org/awards2.nsf/nominationform?openform&code=fernbach.

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.