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InTheLoop | 08.13.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

August 13, 2007

Computing Sciences Hosts 8th Annual ACTS Collection Workshop This Week

For the eighth consecutive year, Tony Drummond and Osni Marques of CRD’s Scientific Computing Group are hosting a hands-on workshop focusing on the DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection, which comprises a set of noncommercial tools mainly developed at DOE laboratories, sometimes in collaboration with universities. This year’s workshop, which will be held Tuesday through Friday, Aug. 21–24, is entitled “Building Blocks for Reliable and High Performing Computing.” Nearly 40 people will attend the workshop, listening to presentations each morning and getting hands-on experience using NERSC’s supercomputers in the afternoon.

The workshop will present an introduction to the ACTS Collection for application scientists whose research demand includes either large amounts of computation, complex software integration, distributed computing, the use of robust numerical algorithms, or combinations of these. The workshop will include a range of tutorials on ACTS tools and tools developed by the DOE SciDAC Program, as well as discussion sessions aimed to solve specific computational problems.

The ACTS software tools aim to simplify the solution of common and important computational problems, and have substantially benefited a wide range of applications and fields in computational sciences, not only by enabling applications to run efficiently on high performing computing environments but also by realizing computation that would not have been possible otherwise. The workshop will cover the following topics:

* Direct and iterative methods for the solution of linear and nonlinear systems of equations
* PDEs and multi-level methods
* Numerical optimization
* Structured and unstructured meshes (generation, manipulation and computation)
* Development of high performance computing applications
* Performance monitoring and tuning
* Software interoperability

More information on the workshop is available at http://acts.nersc.gov/events/Workshop2007/.

NERSC Hosts Open Science Grid Council Meeting

The Open Science Grid Council held its annual meeting at NERSC last Friday, when they reviewed the accomplishments of the past year and discussed plans for the next year. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the Open Science Grid (OSG) is a distributed computing infrastructure that enables scientists to carry out and manage their research more efficiently. OSG has brought together national labs, universities, software developers and other experts to provide grid computing and storage resources to more than 50 sites in the United States, Asia and South America. The OSG Council is chaired by Bill Kramer, NERSC’s General Manager. More information about the meeting can be found at http://www.nersc.gov/projects/OSG.

Rollin Thomas Joins Scientific Computing Group as Alvarez Fellow

Rollin Thomas has joined the Scientific Computing Group as an Alvarez Fellow. Before joining the group, Rollin was a postdoc in the Physics Division at LBNL working on supernova projects. He received his Ph.D. in physics at the University of Oklahoma with a concentration in astronomy. In his new position, Rollin will continue his supernova research and work with his colleagues in the Physics Division. In particular, he will collaborate closely with Peter Nugent in the Scientific Computing Group and Dan Kasen, who will join UC Santa Cruz as a Hubble Fellow.

The Alvarez Fellowship allows recent graduates with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) with a strong emphasis on computing or computational science to acquire further scientific training in Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences organization and to develop professional maturity for independent research. For information on the fellowship, see http://www.lbl.gov/CS/html/alvarez.html.

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.