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InTheLoop | 06.09.2008

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

June 9, 2008

Scientific Computing Pioneer George Michael Will Be Remembered

George Michael, a retired computational physicist from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and founder of both the Salishan Conference on High Speed Computing and the Supercomputing (SC) conference series, died in his sleep last week. He was 82. Starting at LLNL in 1953, George helped define computational physics as a discipline and was one of the first organizers of the HPC community. Although he retired in 1992, he remained active in the SC conference until very recently, and also devoted his time to a website dedicated to a history of computing at LLNL: Stories of the Development of Large Scale Scientific Computing. He donated quite a few of his personal papers to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, and was a great booster of that museum’s efforts, both in their collections and in their speaker series.

In an email to the SC08 Steering Committee last Thursday, committee member Patricia Teller wrote:

This is such a pity as we were so looking forward to his sharing in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the conference that he started. And, in a conversation during the SC08 planning meeting this week, we spoke of how lucky we are that all of the 20 past chairs are still alive.

It is so fortunate, thanks to Tom DeBoni and Jon Bashor, that we already videotaped George for the 20th Anniversary video that will be shown at the SC08 Keynote Session. And, the day that he was taped, he was full of energy and enthusiasm.

There will be a viewing Thursday, June 12, starting at 4 p.m., with a rosary at 7 p.m., at Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, 3833 East Ave., Livermore (925-447-2942). A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 13, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 458 Maple Street, Livermore. Family and friends will gather after the services to honor George’s memory at a yet to be determined location (probably the Shriner’s Hall). Drop-ins are welcome, but if you are planning to attend, please contact Tom DeBoni <deboni@comcast.net> so he can estimate the number of guests.

Green Flash Project Website Makes Its Debut

John Shalf, Michael Wehner, and Lenny Oliker’s LDRD project “Holistic Approach to Energy Efficient Computing Architecture” — also known as the “Climate Computer” — has been given a more distinctive name: the “Green Flash” project. The project also has a new website that provides an overview of the project and their collaboration with Tensilica, Inc., along with the latest news and links to background information, workshops, and more. Go to http://www.lbl.gov/CS/html/greenflash.html.

CRD Researchers Invited to CSCAPES Workshop

Sherry Li, Ali Pinar, and Philip Sternberg of CRD are participating in the invitation-only Combinatorial Scientific Computing and Petascale Simulations (CSCAPES) workshop being held June 10–13 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. CSCAPES (pronounced “seascapes”) is a SciDAC Institute, and the workshop will bring together CSCAPES researchers, members of other SciDAC centers and application groups, and members of the academic community to discuss how combinatorial scientific computing can advance the state of the art in computational science and petascale computing.

Summer Student Program Kicks Off This Week

This year’s summer student program kicks off this week with a welcome session led by ALD Horst Simon on Wednesday, June 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the 50B-4205 conference room. Pizza and refreshments will be served.

Supervisors of summer students are reminded to invite them to the following seminars:

Scientific Visualization as a Means of “Seeing the Unseeable”

Wes Bethel, CRD Visualization Group Leader
Tuesday, June 24, noon
Building 50 Auditorium

Multicore: Fallout from a Computing Revolution

Kathy Yelick, NERSC Director
Tuesday, July 22, noon
Building 50 Auditorium

In August, summer students will have an opportunity to present the results of their research to peers and colleagues. Details will be released later.

SciDAC 2008 Tutorial Deadline Is Near and Travel Stipends Are Available

The July 1 cutoff date for the 2008 SciDAC Tutorial Day in Redmond Washington is fast approaching. This is an opportunity to learn parallel computing, scientific data management, and applied math from experts gathered for the SciDAC meeting. The agenda and registration form are available here: <https://outreach.scidac.gov/scidac08/tutorials/>.

As it was last year, the Tutorial Day is being held the day after the main SciDAC annual meeting, with separate registration for the two events. If you plan to attend the tutorials, please register at the website above. Feel free to direct students and other interested parties to the Tutorial Day, as there is no fee or need to attend the main meeting.

The SciDAC Outreach Center can provide a limited number of travel stipends. Students, partners from industry, and other interested parties who do not have existing DOE support to travel to the 2008 meeting are eligible for stipends. Interested parties should contact <help@outreach.scidac.gov>.

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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.