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InTheLoop | 10.22.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

October 22, 2007

Computational Cosmology Center to Host Seminar and Launch Party Thursday

Peter Nugent and Julian Borrill, leaders of the new Computational Cosmology Center (C3), will give a seminar this Thursday, October 25, followed by a party to celebrate the center’s launch. At the seminar, which will take place at 4 p.m. in the 50A-5132 conference room, Nugent and Borrill will discuss research at C3, which brings together six scientists from the Lab’s Computational Research and Physics divisions to answer several key questions about the universe’s origin and expansion.

Nugent is know for his research on supernovae, including his work on the SuperNova Factory data analysis as part of a SciDAC collaboration. He also worked on the team, led by the Lab’s Saul Perlmutter, that found proof showing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, contrary to what many scientists had believed. The team was one of the two that announced the breakthrough independently in 1998; both teams have received numerous awards for the discovery, including the Gruber Cosmology Prize this year.

Borrill, who focuses on cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation research, was brought to the Lab 10 years ago to develop high performance computational tools for analyzing CMB data in the Laboratory Directed Research and Development project headed by George Smoot. Smoot won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the temperature and polarization fluctuations of CMB — the remnant radiation from the Big Bang that fills the universe — which were detected by the COBE satellite in 1992.

The launch party will take place at 5 p.m. at C3’s new office suite, 50B-4206. Refreshments will be served at each event.

Juan Meza and Kathy Yelick to Speak at Computational Nanotechnology Workshop

Juan Meza and Kathy Yelick of CRD will be speaking at a workshop on “Excellence in Computer Simulation” on Tuesday, November 6, at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley. The workshop is organized and sponsored by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN), the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS), and Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry.

The purpose of the meeting is to share thoughts about where computational science is heading and ideas on how the nanoscience community can be more effective in its research. It’s also an opportunity for students to think about how to prepare themselves for careers in computational science and engineering. For more information, see http://www.ncn.purdue.edu/Content/Workshops/Excellence_in_Computer_Simulation.

Marcia Ocon Joins Computing Sciences/IT Human Resources Center

Marcia (pronounced “mar-CEE-a”) Ocon has joined the Computing Sciences and IT Division Human Resources Center. Marcia fills the position vacated by Diane Heim when she moved to her current position in the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division.

Prior to joining Berkeley Lab, Marcia served as a Human Resources Consultant for a professional employer organization (HR outsourcing firm). For over nine years, she has held various positions in the generalist capacity including employee relations, strategic planning, benefits administration, and recruitment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Human Resources Management as well as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation. Marcia is located in 50B-4218C (x2727).

Sefa Dag and Anurag Chaudhry Join the Scientific Computing Group

Sefa Dag has joined CRD’s Scientific Computing Group as a postdoctoral fellow. He will be working with Lin-Wang Wang to study organic/inorganic interfaces and the electronic structures of organic systems. In particular, Sefa will study the atomic structures of organic/inorganic interfaces, the electron conductivity in organic polymers, and how the charge patching method can be applied to inorganic molecules.

Sefa received his Ph.D. from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Sefa was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has extensive experience in large-scale electronic structure calculations and material simulations, e.g., for carbon nanotubes and metal oxide surfaces.

Anurag Chaudhry, a Ph.D. student at UC Davis, has also joined the Scientific Computing Group as a guest researcher, with Andrew Canning and Niels Jensen serving as his thesis advisers. Anurag is currently involved in a life sciences project at Berkeley Lab called “High-Throughput Discovery of Improved Scintillation Materials,” for which he will be performing first principles simulations of cerium-doped materials to determine their brightness for gamma ray detection. Anurag received his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.

MSRI Presents Talk on Mathematics and HIV/AIDS Tonight

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute is presenting a free public lecture tonight at 8:00 PM in the Institute’s Simons Auditorium. Dr. Alan Perelson, Senior Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who will speak on “How Mathematics Provides Information about HIV/AIDS.” Dr. Perelson’s week-long visit is sponsored by the MSRI Biology Colloquium, which brings distinguished specialists to the Institute to interact with mathematicians and to engage the public with developments from the forefront of biological research. MSRI is located at 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley. For more information, please see www.msri.org/calendar/specialevents

CITRIS Presents “Lessons Learned from the Internet Project”

Douglas Comer, VP of Research Collaboration at Cisco systems and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, will speak on “Lessons Learned from the Internet Project” at noon on Wednesday, October 24, in the Hearst Memorial Mining Building on the UC Berkeley campus. The program is sponsored by the CITRIS Research Exchange and will be broadcast live online at http://www.citris-uc.orgmms//media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast. Here is the abstract:

“The Internet ranks among the greatest achievements of 20th century Computer Science. The basic technology was so well conceived that it has remained virtually unchanged despite completely new applications and dramatic growth in the number of connected computers and traffic. This eclectic talk presents a series of lessons drawn from the Internet experience that may help us better understand how to proceed with new research. It considers the design of protocols, general principles, technologies, the underlying architecture, the effect of economics on networking research, and ways that experimental research projects can be organized to ensure success.”

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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.