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InTheLoop | 12.10.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

December 10, 2007

Shalf and Strohmaier Ranked Among Favorite Speakers at International Conference

Every year at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany, attendees are asked to rate each speaker’s presentation. The results are in from the meeting held in June 2007, with NERSC’s John Shalf and CRD’s Erich Strohmaier tied for third. Shalf was applauded for his talk on “Overturning the Conventional Wisdom for the Multicore Era: Everything You Know Is Wrong,” while Strohmaier’s “Highlights of the 29th TOP500 List” was equally popular. Both were named by 31.8 percent of the attendees, who were asked to list up to three speakers they were “most interested in hearing” during the three-day conference. The top two slots went to Thomas Sterling of Louisiana State University, while Microsoft’s Burton Smith rounded out the list of the Top 5 speakers.

Schrier, Demchenko and Wang Author 10th Most-Read Paper in Nano Letters

A report authored by CRD's Joshua Schrier, Denis Demchenko and Lin-Wang Wang was on the list of the most accessed papers published by Nano Letters in the third quarter. Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society, recently posted its quarterly list of the top 20 papers that were viewed or downloaded most often in the full-text version. Their paper, “Optical Properties of ZnO/ZnS and ZnO/ZnTe Heterostructures for Photovoltaic Applications,” ranked No. 10. Paul Alivisatos in the Materials Sciences Division also co-authored the paper, which examined ways to turn zinc oxide and zinc sulfide nanowires into efficient photovoltaic devices. You can see the list and read the paper at http://pubs.acs.org/journals/nalefd/promo/most/most_accessed/index.html.

Inverse Problems in X-Ray Scattering Will Be Topic of Seminar Friday

Stefano Marchesini from the Advanced Light Source will present a Scientific Computing Seminar on “Large Scale Inverse Problems in X-Ray Scattering” from 1 to 2 pm Friday, December 14, in the Building 50A, 5132 Conference Room. Here is the abstract:

“The most successful routine to image macro-molecular structures is by numerically processing the diffraction pattern of a structure replicated in a periodic system: X-ray crystallography. The next challenge, imaging entire cellular organisms with billions of resolution elements, requires the solution to a large scale nonconvex problem. A nonconvex fixed point iteration has demonstrated practical solutions to giga-element nonlinear phase retrieval problems, escaping local minima and producing images at resolutions beyond the capabilities of lens-based optical methods. These methods have been applied to image objects as complex as biological cells, quantum dots, nanocrystals, and nanoscale aerogel structures. Other test patterns were captured in the fastest flash image ever recorded at suboptical resolution. With a 1010 increase in peak brightness of upcoming light sources, more powerful algorithms will be required to tackle problems of increasing scale. Acceleration strategies for the fixed point iteration using lower dimensional Newton and quasi-Newton methods will be discussed.”

Help Spread the Word: Alvarez Fellowship Applications Now Being Accepted

NERSC and the Computational Research Division are now accepting applications for the Luis W. Alvarez Fellowship in Computational Science. The fellowship allows recent graduates with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) to acquire further scientific training at one of the leading facilities for scientific computing and to develop professional maturity for independent research. Applicants must be a recent graduate (within the past three years) with a strong emphasis on computing or computational science. The successful applicant will be compensated with a competitive salary and excellent benefits. Applications are due by January 11, 2008 for Fall 2008. For more information, go to http://www.lbl.gov/CS/html/alvarez.html.

Got Old Stuff? CS Provides Weekly Disposal of Old, Surplus Property

Computing Sciences staff who have old or unneeded property can now arrange for free pickup by calling Wallace Haynes at x4371 or Parisa Farvid at x4965. Calling for a pickup is both safer than putting stuff out in the hallway and also ensures it will be properly reconciled with the Lab’s property database.

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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.