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InTheLoop | 11.12.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

November 12, 2007

Berkeley Lab Shares Expertise at SC07 Conference

From a 2006 Nobel laureate to five technical papers, from organizing workshops and sessions to speaking on timely topics in panel discussions, HPC experts from Berkeley Lab will have a strong presence at the SC07 conference being held today through Friday (November 12–16) in Reno.

“The conference is a great venue to highlight the expertise of our researchers, who are contributing to nearly 10 percent of all the papers accepted for the conference,” said Horst Simon, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences. “They also influence dialogues and research trends in scientific computing through hosting workshops and other discussions.”

A complete description of the Computing Sciences staff’s many contributions to SC07 can be found at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news110807.html.

Berkeley Unified Parallel C 2.6.0 and GASNet 1.10.0 Are Released

The Berkeley Unified Parallel C (UPC) team — a collaboration of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley — has announced the release of Berkeley UPC 2.6.0, which is available for download at http://upc.lbl.gov/download/. CDs of the release will be freely available at the PGAS (Partitioned Global Address Space) booth at SC07 this week.

UPC is an extension of the C programming language designed for high performance computing on large-scale parallel machines. The language provides a uniform programming model for both shared and distributed memory hardware. UPC uses a Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) model of computation in which the amount of parallelism is fixed at program startup time, typically with a single thread of execution per processor.

The UPC 2.6.0 release contains numerous improvements and fixes. Bundled with this release is the new 1.10.0 release of the GASNet communication system, which is also available for separate download at http://gasnet.cs.berkeley.edu/. GASNet stands for “Global Address Space Networking.” It is a language-independent, low-level networking layer that provides network-independent, high performance communication primitives tailored for implementing PGAS SPMD languages such as UPC, Titanium, and Co-Array Fortran.

Berkeley Lab members of the UPC/GASNet team include Kathy Yelick (PI), Dan Bonachea, Wei Chen, Jason Duell, Paul Hargrove, Costin Iancu, and Rajesh Nishtala, all of CRD, and Mike Welcome of NERSC.

KGO-TV Story Features Energy Efficiency Experiment at NERSC

A November 5 report by Richard Hart of KGO-TV (ABC 7 in San Francisco) describes the expanding energy consumption of data centers, and how some large Silicon Valley companies are now building outside the area because they can’t get enough electricity. The story features Berkeley Lab scientists Richard Brown and Bill Tschudi, both with the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and includes details on an experiment at NERSC to develop more cost-effective ways to cool data centers. Possible options include direct current, huge fans installed in the floor of computers, and virtualization, which enables one computer to do the job of many servers. To read the text or watch a video of this story, go to http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=drive_to_discover&id=5742941.

New Computing Sciences Website Makes Its Debut

The Computing Sciences website — http://www.lbl.gov/CS — has undergone its first major redesign and reorganization in more than five years. The goal is to better highlight the scientific achievements and expertise of CS researchers. Ucilia Wang of the CS Communications Team coordinated the project with graphic and web designers Caitlin Youngquist and Erik Richman of the Creative Services Office, and with input from Jon Bashor and John Hules of the communications team.

Like all websites, this one is a work in progress. Not all of the old web pages have been converted to the new format yet, and there are several bugs and glitches we’re already aware of. Please give us a few days to correct these glitches; if you see any we haven’t fixed by the end of this week, contact Ucilia (UWang@lbl.gov) or John (JAHules@lbl.gov).

EH&S Division Offers Online Safety Survey

Help make the Lab a safer place by filling out an online survey on the Lab’s safety culture and the services provided through the Lab’s Environment, Health & Safety programs. The questionnaire has about 30 questions and should take 10 minutes or less to complete. All input is anonymous. The survey will help identify which EH&S systems are working well and which need more attention. The latest survey has added new questions on ergonomics to help officials better understand this challenging issue. The survey will close on Wednesday, Nov. 21. To take the survey, go to http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB2272KZJRX4P.

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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 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.