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InTheLoop | 12.15.2008

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

December 15, 2008

C3 Team Tackles a Rising Tide of Cosmic Data


From COBE to Planck and beyond, the volume of data from measurements of the cosmic microwave background continues to grow by orders of magnitude. The Computational Cosmology Center (C3), a collaboration between Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and Computational Research Division led by Julian Borrill and Peter Nugent, has algorithms and implementations in the works so that NERSC’s supercomputers can handle the rising tide of CMB data. Read more at NewsCenter.


DOE Announces 2009 NERSC Allocations


DOE has allocated 146.5 million Cray XT4-based hours to NERSC projects, and 14 million hours remain in reserves. An additional 20 million hours will be awarded through the INCITE program. On the HPSS side, 40 million Storage Resource Units have been allocated, and 10 million remain in reserve. To browse the allocations lists, go to NERSC Accounts and Allocation.


New Lab-wide Cluster, “Lawrencium,” Is Available to LBNL PIs


The Berkeley Lab IT Division has made a new cluster computer named Lawrencium available to the Lab scientific community for general use. The system is a 198-node, 1584-processor core Linux cluster equipped with a high performance Infiniband interconnect. It is suitable for running a wide range of scientific applications and for developing and debugging codes to run on larger systems at national centers such as NERSC. It’s a fairly powerful machine, having made the Top 500 list last month.

Access will be made available to LBNL PIs and their staff. There is no charge for the compute cycles, but there is nominal $25/mo. charge per user to cover storage and backup costs. New user accounts will be phased in on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the months of December and January. To get an Account on Lawrencium. A detailed description of the system is available at Lawrencium Cluster.


OASCR Has Open Position for Computer Science Program Manager


The DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Computational Science Research and Partnerships Division, is seeking a motivated and highly qualified individual to serve as a recognized scientific computing authority and expert resource in computer science. The application deadline is January 5, 2009. The job posting can be found at http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=78067260&AVSDM=2008-12-12+00%3A03%3A01&Logo=0&brd=3876&q=09-DE-SC-HQ-012+jam&FedEmp=N&sort=rv&vw=d&brd=3876&ss=0&FedPub=Y&caller=/advanced_search.asp&SUBMIT1.x=52&SUBMIT1.y=14.


Visualization Group Seeks Computer Systems Engineer


The LBNL Visualization Group has an open position for a Computer Systems Engineer to conceive, create, adapt, extend, and deploy visualization and analytics technologies on a diverse array of computing platforms to provide solutions to some of the world’s most challenging scientific data understanding problems. Complete details are available at http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=22477&p=1.

For information on the Lab’s Employee Referral Incentive Program (ERIP), which awards $1,000 (net) to employees whose referral of an external candidate leads to a successful hire, go to HR Documents.


SLAC Has Opening for CIO/Director of Computing


The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park has an opening for a Chief Information Officer and Division Director for Scientific Computing and Computing Services (single position). For details, see SLAC Human Resources.


IEEE Magazine Features Cecilia Aragon’s High-Flying Hobby


When she’s not creating software tools for data management, analysis, and visualization, CRD computer scientist Cecilia Aragon exercises other parts of her brain as a world-champion aerobatic flyer and flight instructor. IEEE’s magazine The Institute features a story about her hobby at IEEE - The Institute (scroll down to the second story).


Keep Safety in Mind during the Holidays


Whether entertaining guests, decorating the home, or shopping for gifts, it is easy to get caught up in the holidays. The winter holiday season is a prime time for residential fires caused by the increase in the energy used to power lighting displays and Christmas trees, as well as the energy used to prepare feasts and host friends and family in your home.

During this time, people are inadvertently exposed to greater risk of becoming the victim of a fire or electrical accident, such as shock and electrocution. Most of these accidents could be prevented by following important safety tips from the Lab’s EH&S Division, which you can read at Helpful Tips for a Safe Holiday Season.


This Week’s Seminar Schedule

Tuesday, December 16, 10:00 am, Bldg. 90 Room 3075

Bio-Synthetic Wall Systems Visualization
Maria-Paz Gutierrez, Assistant Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley and co-founder of Gensler+Gutierrez interdisciplinary practice

Architecture is becoming progressively more aware of the vast benefits that biomimetics can yield particularly in the development of ecologically sensitive systems. Yet, the emerging incorporation of bionics into architecture is differing largely to that within the sciences by centering almost exclusively in form (geometrical pattern) generation. This presentation analyzes an alternative rising biomimetic material research methodology in design — matter-form parametrics — a design praxis that explores bio-physical properties’ data integration through scripting. Expansive exposure to imaging and data processing that reveals ever more unseen phenomena will increase the understanding of material-structure intricate interdependencies across scales. These advances in the formulation of computational grammar can significantly amplify performative simulation of architectural material systems. Specific study of the incorporation of broad-scalar imaging into the formulation of parametric design inquiries in the development of material systems will be discussed through a bio-synthetic polymer wall system SugarWall developed by Gensler+Gutierrez. Wednesday, December 17, 6-8 pm, UC Berkeley International House, Chevron Auditorium, 2299 Piedmont Ave.
Threat to the Planet: Implications for Intergenerational Justice and Energy Policies
James Hansen, Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
James Hansen, renowned climate scientist and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, gives a compelling lecture regarding the implications of today’s actions on earth’s future.

Admission is free, but seating priority will be given to those who register at Bio-Synthetic Wall Systems or (510) 642-2163.

Link of the Week: Giving an Academic Talk in CS or Math


In a short essay on how to give a talk in computer science or mathematics, Jonathan Shewchuk, Associate Professor in Computer Science at UC Berkeley, writes, “Ask yourself: why are you projecting a slide that virtually guarantees that your audience will stop listening to you? If you expect them to listen, why are you showing slides that they won't have time to read?” Shewchuk’s suggestions on how to avoid this ubiquitous but counterproductive habit, along with other tips, can be found at Giving an Academic Talk.


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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.