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InTheLoop | 01.20.2009

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

January 20, 2009

HDF5 Workshop on Scalable Performance at NERSC This Week

The SciDAC Outreach Center (led by NERSC’s David Skinner) and the HDF Group are co-sponsoring a two-day HDF5 Workshop on Scalable Performance Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 20-21, at NERSC (OSF room 238). HDF5 is a widely used approach to parallel I/O in many HPC applications.

The workshop will provide a day of information on HDF5, a day of hands-on HDF5 coding and tuning, and plenty of opportunities to interact with NERSC User Services Group HPC consultants and HDF5 developers. An expected outcome of this workshop, beyond improving individual applications, is to develop a prioritized list of features and use cases which the HDF Group should focus on.

NERSC and CRD staff giving presentations include Andrew Uselton, Katie Antypas, John Shalf, Shane Canon, Noel Keen, and Prabhat. The workshop agenda can be found at <https://outreach.scidac.gov/hdf/>.

NERSC Posts Opening for Systems Department Head

Now that Howard Walter is serving as NERSC Division Deputy, an active search has begun for a new Systems Department Head. The Systems Department is responsible for the introduction, integration, and support of innovative technologies for high performance computing, storage, networking, computer security, visualization, and data analysis. The Systems Department Head will work with the vendor community to identify new and emerging technologies to address future DOE computational science requirements, and will collaborate with other senior NERSC management to provide integrated and balanced systems that meet the needs of the user community. A detailed position description is posted at <http://jobs.lbl.gov/LBNLCareers/details.asp?jid=22564&p=1>.

New Acting Associate Director of SC for Fusion Energy Sciences

Last week Patricia Dehmer, Deputy Director for Science Programs in the DOE Office of Science, announced that Dr. Steve Eckstrand has been detailed to the position of Acting Associate Director of the Office of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences. (Acting Directors in the Office of Science are rotated every few months, and this represents one of those rotations.)

Dr. Eckstrand has over thirty years of experience in the management of science and technology research programs in the government, initially with the U.S. Air Force Avionics Laboratory and later with the Department of Energy. He has served as the program manager for the Alcator C tokamak, the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR), and the fusion theory and computing program. He also served as the Acting SciDAC Director at the time the initial projects were selected. Since 2006, he has taken on increasing responsibilities in FES management, including serving as the Acting Director of the FES Research Division. Dr. Eckstrand is located in DOE’s Germantown Building, Room J-206, and can be reached at 301-903-4941 or <steve.eckstrand@science.doe.gov>.

Name Change for Scientific Computing Seminars

The Scientific Computing Seminars series was started when Horst Simon came to Berkeley Lab and was initially focused almost exclusively on numerical linear algebra. Over the years, the scope has been broadened, with a mix of applied math, computer science, and computational science talks. To reflect this broadened focus, the seminars will now be called Computing Sciences Seminars. All CS staff will automatically be included on the email list, and the former Scientific Computing Seminars email list will be renamed. Non staff members who wish to be added to or removed from the list, and anyone with questions or suggestions, should contact Esmond Ng <EGNg@lbl.gov>.

DOE Cybersecurity Conference Issues Call for Presentations

Planning is under way for the 30th Department of Energy Cyber Security Conference, being held May 11–15, 2009, in Henderson, NV. This year’s theme, “Beyond Compliance — Launch Pad for the Future,” focuses on developing and enhancing performance-based cyber security while still maintaining compliance.

The Program Committee is now accepting submissions of abstracts and speaker biographies for conference presentations or workshops. Presentations are limited to 50 minutes, and training workshops can range from two hours to all-day sessions. Proposals should address the following conference theme and tracks:

  • Cyber Security and New Technology in Government — Emerging Technologies
  • Cyber Security Technology Solutions
  • Cyber Security Incident Management
  • Cyber Security Training
  • Cyber Security Basics
  • Cyber Security Performance Assurance

Abstracts and biographies must be submitted using the form at <http://cio.energy.gov/documents/Call_for_Presentations.pdf>. Proposals are due on February 13, and selections will be announced on March 6. Presentations are due on April 17. The conference website will be open for registration in February; a placeholder page is <http://cio.energy.gov/csc_conference.htm>. For questions, please contact Program Chair Art Wegener, <awegener@kcp.com> or (816) 997-3435. All submissions must be sent to <cybsectrn@hq.doe.gov>.

Forum to Guide Federal Investments in Networking and IT R&D

On February 25–26, 2009, the Subcommittee for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) will host a forum to inform the development of a new interagency five-year strategic plan that will guide future federal investments in networking and information technology research and development. Why should you care? The new strategic plan will influence budget priorities across the thirteen federal NITRD agencies, including the DOE Office of Science.

HHS Safety Audit and Workers Safety Rights

The HHS safety audit is scheduled for January 27–February 5, and it is important for every staff member to understand their Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) and review it if necessary <https://ehswprod.lbl.gov/ehstraining/jha/login.aspx>. If you have any questions, contact Betsy MacGowan at 495-2826.

DOE contractors are required to provide their workers with a safe and healthful workplace. A poster on worker safety rights should be posted on a bulletin board near you (or read it at <http://www.lbl.gov/CS/staff/rights_poster30Apr2008.pdf>). To obtain more information about those requirements and your rights, seek advice or assistance, or to report a safety concern, contact your supervisor, the LBNL EH&S Division Office at ext. 5514, the DOE Berkeley Site Office at ext. 4373, or the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security (http://www.hss.energy.gov). Additional inquiries or concerns may be addressed to the Employee Concerns Manager at the DOE Berkeley Site Office, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Link of the Week: Defeating Bedlam

Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist and author of “Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation,” wrote in the December 16 New York Times that “access to information is easier and faster than ever before … but there’s been no obvious way to manage it once you’ve got it.” After trying in vain to manage downloaded PDFs with incomprehensible file names and unruly stacks of printouts, she discovered two new software programs, Zotero and Papers, that can help scientists organize research articles. You can read her article at <http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/defeating-bedlam/>.

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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.