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InTheLoop | 05.21.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

May 21, 2007

DOE Releases the 2008 INCITE Call for Proposals

DOE has released the 2008 INCITE Call for Proposals. This program awards significant allocations of computing resources at three Office of Science HPC centers, including 10% of NERSC’s resources. It seeks computationally intensive research projects of large scale, with no requirement of DOE sponsorship. The INCITE program also provides opportunities for industry to use DOE high-end computing resources. In 2008 the Office of Science expects to award up to a quarter of a billion hours through the INCITE program.

The deadline to apply (or renew) is Wednesday, August 8, 2007. The call is at http://hpc.science.doe.gov/.

Petascale Systems Integration Workshop Draws 70 Participants

Last week, NERSC hosted a DOE workshop on Petascale Systems Integration that drew about 70 participants from roughly 30 organizations from the United States and Europe, including supercomputer centers, vendors, and other research institutions. The workshop, funded by the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) in the Office of Science, set out to identify challenges and opportunities for designing and deploying petascale systems. Through breakout sessions and panel discussions, attendees tackled issues such as facility requirements, performance assessment, software development, and data management. The workshop ended with a final brainstorming session on solving the biggest challenges. Find links to presentations and reports from breakout sessions at http://www.nersc.gov/projects/HPC-Integration.

E3SGS Town Hall Meeting at Argonne Is Open for Registration

The third in a series of town hall meetings on the proposed initiative for Simulation and Modeling at the Exascale for Energy, Ecological Sustainability and Global Security (E3SGS) will be held at Argonne National Laboratory on May 31 and June 1, 2007. The first meeting was held at Berkeley Lab in April, and the second was held last week at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

To register for the Argonne meeting, go to https://www.cls.anl.gov/events/workshops/townhall07/index.php.

Seminar to Discuss DFT for Local Defects in Crystalline Materials

The next CRD Scientific Computing Seminar will take place Friday, May 25, from 1–2 pm in room 50A-5132. Eric Cances from CERMICS-ENPC in France will discuss “Density functional theory for local defects in crystalline materials.”

Describing the electronic state of crystals with local defects is a major issue in solid-state physics, materials science, and nano-electronics. In a recent article, Cances and collaborators used rigorous thermodynamic limit arguments to derive a model allowing them to directly compute the perturbation of the electronic first-order density matrix generated by a local defect. The full abstract is available at http://crd.lbl.gov/SCG/SCSeminars/20070525.html.

Diane Heim Transitions to New Position at the Laboratory

Diane Heim, Computing Sciences’ HR Generalist since November 2000, will be moving on to a new position at the Lab. Beginning Monday, June 4, she will be working as the HR Generalist for the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division (AFRD). Diane decided that she would prefer a 50% time position, and when the half-time position in AFRD became available, she took advantage of the opportunity.

We will miss her, even though she’s just down the hall (50 4037D). You are welcome to stop by and say “hi” to her any time from 9 am to 1 pm — just don’t ask her to do any Computing Sciences-related work for you when you visit.

Computing Sciences will be recruiting for a replacement.

My Cluster Is Better Than Your Cluster

SC07 will host the inaugural Cluster Challenge in which university student teams compete to design and run cluster computer systems. The competition, which will take place on the exhibition floor, aims to demonstrate the speed, advances, and accessibility of small clusters. Each team can include up to six undergraduate students, who will design a state-of-the-art cluster system from commodity components, then run a set of open-source applications to solve computational problems in a head-to-head competition. The team must have a supervisor who is an employee of the team’s school, but the supervisor will not be allowed to offer technical assistance during the competition.

SC07 will take place in Reno this November. Competition entries must be submitted by July 31 at http://sc-submissions.org. Find out more about the rules of the Cluster Challenge at http://sc07.supercomputing.org/clusterchallenge.

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.