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InTheLoop | 08.27.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

August 27, 2007

More Grid Services Added for NERSC Users

Several NERSC supercomputers are now connected to the Open Science Grid, which enables scientists to manage their research and data efficiently. Open Science Grid (OSG), which connects about 50 research sites in the United States, South America, and Asia, reduces the time and effort for scientists who want to carry out research at multiple computing facilities. Instead of dealing with different authentication processes and software at each site, scientists can manage their computing jobs and data centrally through OSG. The NERSC supercomputers that are now available over the OSG are Jacquard, Bassi, and DaVinci. In the past, only the PDSF system, which is used for high energy physics and nuclear science, and the High Performance Storage System at NERSC were available over OSG. Bill Kramer, NERSC’s general manager, chairs the OSG Council.

Learn more about the grid services at NERSC at http://www.nersc.gov/nusers/services/Grid/grid.php.

NITRD Seeks Comments on Advanced Networking R&D Plan

The National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) is seeking comments from the research community on a draft Federal Plan for Advanced Networking Research and Development, which will help set the networking research priorities for federal programs in the next seven or eight years. The draft interagency plan initially was developed earlier this year to provide input for the FY2009 budget planning process. NITRD plans to finalize this report and is looking for comments from a wide range of networking research and development communities, including national labs, universities, and commercial developers. The final report will be used for the federal budget planning process starting in FY2010. More information about the draft plan can be found at http://www.nitrd.gov/advancednetworkingplan/. Comments are requested by September 30, 2007.

Osni Marques Is Awarded Fellowship in Japan

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science has awarded a fellowship to Osni Marques, a researcher in the Scientific Computing Group in CRD. The fellowship allows Marques to spend 60 days in a research institution in Japan. Marques plans to do so in February and March next year and will be based at the University of Tokyo. The fellowship program, called “Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan,” encourages Japanese scientists to invite their foreign colleagues and work more closely in research and academic activities.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to pursue collaborations in Japan, and I am looking forward to it,” Marques said.

More information about the fellowship and other programs offered by the society can be found at http://www.jsps.go.jp/English.

Onsite Traffic Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Last week Computing Sciences Safety Coordinator John Hutchings saw two successive examples of inattention to onsite traffic safety. Three pedestrians were taking a shortcut from the Bevatron parking area across the circle at the juncture of Alvarez, Chu, and Smoot roads; they were not using the designated crosswalk on the west side of the circle. Even worse, they stepped into the street in front of a forklift that was coming down the hill towards the circle, making the dangerous assumption that the forklift would be able to stop for them. Fortunately the forklift driver was alert, courteous, and driving at a safe speed, and was able to stop for the pedestrians before making a right turn. But then the vehicle behind the forklift drove over the raised island into the opposing traffic lane to speed around it.

RPM section 1.04 on Operation and Parking of Motor Vehicles and Bicycles (http://www.lbl.gov/Workplace/RPM/R1.04.html) begins with these important reminders:

“Berkeley Lab presents many unique challenges for motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian safety. The roadways are narrow, can be crowded and under construction, traverse steep terrain, and intersect in many different ways. It is critically important for all individuals who share the roadways at the Laboratory to exercise caution at all times for their own safety and the safety of others. Bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians must be especially aware of safety considerations and be more vigilant when in close proximity to one another.

“All individuals operating motor vehicles or bicycles on Laboratory property must comply with the California Vehicle Code (CVC) and Berkeley Lab traffic and parking regulations. Permission to operate a vehicle or bicycle on Laboratory property is subject to the control of the Laboratory Security Manager and may be revoked at any time…. Employees may also be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal for traffic and parking violations. In the absence of any special conditions or regulations applicable to traffic or parking, all provisions of the California Vehicle Code relating to traffic or parking apply. The maximum speed limit on all Laboratory property is 25 miles per hour (for all but emergency vehicles), or slower as conditions require.”

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.