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InTheLoop | 11.19.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

November 19, 2007

ESnet, Internet2 Complete Next-Generation Network

Two of the nation’s leading research networks — ESnet and Internet2 — have completed five interconnected rings, each consisting of one or more 10-gigabit-per-second paths, that form a coast-to-coast network that is the backbone of DOE’s next-generation scientific network. Called ESnet4, the new network built by this partnership is a highly reliable, high capacity network that will greatly enhance the capabilities of scientists at national laboratories and universities across the country.

In addition to providing production IP services, ESnet4 will enable new optical services like point-to-point dynamic circuit networking, which will serve as an advanced and dependable platform for scientists and researchers supported by ESnet. ESnet is working with Internet2 and other partners to develop and deploy interoperable dynamic circuit networking which extends the reach and value of this revolutionary technology.

The next steps will be to add a sixth ring connecting the northern and southern sections of the national network, and to increase the capacity of all of the rings by adding 10 Gbps to the existing rings. Once complete, these connections will increase both bandwidth and network reliability for the tens of thousands of DOE-supported researchers at national laboratories and universities around the country.

You can read more and see a map of ESnet4 at http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Archive/news111507.html.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Win Best Poster Award at IEEE VAST 2007

A group of Berkeley Lab researchers won the Best Poster Award at IEEE VAST 2007 (IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2007). Cecilia Aragon, Stephen Bailey, Sarah Poon, Karl Runge, and Rollin Thomas were recognized for their poster “Sunfall: A Collaborative Visual Analytics System for Astrophysics,” describing the first visual analytics system in production use at a major astrophysics project (the Nearby Supernova Factory).

A two-page abstract of the poster can be read at http://vis.lbl.gov/Publications/2007/Sunfall_VAST07.pdf, and the poster itself can be seen at http://vis.lbl.gov/Publications/2007/Sunfall_VAST07_poster.pdf.

Cecilia Aragon is a member of CRD’s Visualization Group and the NERSC Analytics Team; Bailey, Poon, Runge, and Thomas were all with the Physics Division when the research was performed (Bailey and Poon have since left the Lab).

Under Secretary Orbach’s SC07 Presentation Available Online

DOE Under Secretary of Science Raymond L. Orbach’s plenary talk from last week’s SC07 conference in Reno is now online. In his talk, Orbach specifically referred to the contributions by NERSC and ESnet in helping transform computational science. Orbach’s presentation can be found at http://www.science.doe.gov/News_Information/speeches/speeches/07/SC07/SC07.htm.

Korean TV Crew Spends a Day at NERSC, LBNL

Last Friday, a television crew from YTN, a TV network in South Korea, spent a full day conducting interviews and getting shots of the NERSC machine room and LBNL site. The crew is working on a documentary about supercomputing. Joining the visit were representatives from KISTI, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information. The visit was coordinated by Ucilia Wang of the CS communications staff.

“Dynamics on the Nanoscale” Will Be Discussed Tomorrow on Campus

The UC Berkeley Chemistry Department will sponsor a lecture on “Dynamics on the Nanoscale: Time-Domain Ab Initio Studies of Molecule-Semiconductor Interfaces, Quantum Dots, and Carbon Nanotubes” on Tuesday, November 20, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall on campus. The lecturer will be Oleg Prezhdo, Professor of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry at the University of Washington.

The goal of Professor Prezhdo’s research is to obtain a theoretical understanding at the molecular level of chemical reactivity and energy transfer in complex condensed-phase chemical and biological environments. The Prezhdo group pioneered ab initio real-time simulations of the ultrafast electron injection across the molecule-semiconductor interface that drives Graetzel-type solar cells. Such organic-inorganic interface is critical in molecular electronics and remain the field’s least understood components. The electron-injection mechanism they have established suggests a way to improve solar cell voltage. Simulations of electron-phonon interactions in carbon nanotubes create the theoretical basis for optical and conductance switches, quantum wires, logic gates, miniature field-effect transitions, and lasers.

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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.