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InTheLoop | 05.14.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

May 14, 2007

NERSC Staff Present Four Papers at Cray User Group Meeting

Presentations given by NERSC staff received a good response from attendees at the Cray User Group meeting in Seattle last week. During the meeting, Peter Ungaro, Cray’s CEO, highlighted the paper “The Performance Effect of Multi-Core on Scientific Applications,” which was presented by Helen He and co-authored by Jonathan Carter, John Shalf, Hongzhang Shan, and Harvey Wasserman. Other NERSC members who gave talks included Bill Kramer (“PERCU Results in a Reawakened Relationship for NERSC and Cray”), Nick Cardo (“Scaling into Tomorrow”), and Hongzhang Shan and John Shalf (“Using IOR to Analyze the I/O Performance of XT3”). The 49th annual technical conference drew participants from research institutions and industry. More information about the meeting can be found at http://cug.org/1-conferences/CUG2007. Presentation slides from the meeting will be posted later today at http://www.nersc.gov/news/presentations/.

“Quantum Coaxial Cables” Could Boost Solar Energy Production

Lin-Wang Wang, a scientist in the Computational Research Division, has modeled a type of nanowire that could improve solar energy and hydrogen fuel production. Wang, along with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, have devised a coaxial cable using gallium nitride and gallium phosphide, which prove to be more effective than other materials in preventing electrons from recombining with the “holes” they left behind after they have been excited by photons and jump to higher energy levels. Allowing them to recombine means fewer electrons available to generate energy. When used together, the two semiconductor materials also form a structure with a relatively small band gap between the conduction and valence bands, leading to better conductivity. Wang modeled the 4-nanometer wire using a supercomputer at NERSC. The researchers published the results in the April 5 online edition of the American Chemical Society’s Nano Letters in a paper titled “‘Quantum Coaxial Cables’ for Solar Energy Harvesting” (http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/asap.cgi/nalefd/asap/html/nl070174f.html).

Berkeley Lab to Sponsor Gulliver Multiscale Bioimaging Workshop, May 17–19

The Gulliver Multiscale Bioimaging Workshop will be held this Thursday through Saturday, May 17–19, at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute above the Berkeley campus. The LBNL Gulliver Initiative, starting with this workshop, aims to address the barriers and stimulate the development of (1) imaging and detection technologies whose spatial resolution levels range from molecules up to whole organisms, (2) technologies that address all relevant time scales, (3) labeling methods that facilitate studies across multiple scales and imaging modalities, (4) instrumentation and computational methods to correlate, integrate and visualize imaging information from these different imaging modalities, and (5) a clear focus on the specific and important biological research goals that require these capabilities.

The workshop will feature two days of presentations and discussions focused on the primary application areas (bioenergy and cancer biology). The third day of the workshop is reserved for planning sessions by the participants in the initiative. For more information or to register for the workshop, please visit the workshop page, http://www.lbl.gov/gulliver/.

Registration Deadline Tomorrow for DOE Summer School in Multiscale Math and HPC

The Northwest Consortium for Multiscale Mathematics and Applications invites students and researchers to participate in the 2007 DOE Summer School in Multiscale Mathematics and High Performance Computing. The school will be held on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis from June 29 to July 3, 2007. Computing facilities will be provided by Oregon State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The application deadline is tomorrow, May 15. For more information and to register, go to http://multiscale.emsl.pnl.gov/.

Seminar Will Be Held Today on Quantum Dot Intraband Devices

Nenad Vukmirovic of the Institute of Microwaves and Photonics at the University of Leeds will present a seminar today on “Electronic, Optical and Transport Properties of Quantum Dot Intraband Devices.” The seminar will be held today (May 14) from 11 am until noon in conference room 50F-1647. For the abstract, go to http://crd.lbl.gov/SCG/SCSeminars/20070514.html.

“Smart Bombs to Reading Machines for the Blind” at CITRIS Speaker Series

As part of the CITRIS Distinguished Speaker Series, James Fruchterman, the President and CEO of Benetech, will speak on “Smart Bombs to Reading Machines for the Blind” at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18 at UC Santa Cruz with simultaneous public web viewing set up at UC Berkeley in 521 Cory Hall. Refreshments will be served, and admission is free. The talk will also be broadcast live online at mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/ucsc.

What do smart bombs and reading machines for the blind have in common? They both use the same underlying technology to do their jobs. A technology entrepreneur and engineer, Jim Fruchterman has been a rocket scientist, founded two of the foremost optical character recognition companies, and developed a successful line of reading machines for the blind. He is now a leading social entrepreneur through his deliberately nonprofit technology company, Benetech, which concentrates on applying technology to human rights and literacy for people with disabilities. For more information, see http://www.citris-uc.org/event/citris_distinguished_speaker_series_james_fruchterman.

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.