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InTheLoop | 10.05.2009

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

October 5, 2009

NUG Meeting This Wednesday and Thursday in Boulder

The annual NERSC Users’ Group (NUG) meeting will be held this Wednesday and Thursday, October 7–8, hosted by Tech-X Corporation in Boulder, Colo. NERSC users are invited to attend either in person or remotely (via a live webcast and teleconference — registration is required).

Wednesday’s business meeting will include updates from NERSC Program Manager Yukiko Sekine and NERSC Director Kathy Yelick, followed by presentations on a variety of topics by NERSC staff (see agenda). For those attending in person, the day will end with a tour of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Thursday’s agenda includes training and discussions.

CCSE Members Have Full Presentation Agenda This Week

Members of CRD’s Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering will be presenting their research at several venues this week.

Ann Almgren, Andy Aspden, Andy Nonaka and George Pau are all speaking at the SIAM Conference on Mathematics for Industry on Friday, October 9. Almgren will be speaking on “Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Reacting Flow in Porous Media,” Aspden will speak on “Numerical Simulation of Turbulent Hydrogen Combustion,” Nonaka will talk about “Numerical Simulation of Viscoelastic Fluids,” and Pau will discuss “A Reduced Basis Model for Nano-mosfet Simulation.”

CCSE group leader John Bell is giving two invited talks in Berlin, Germany, this week. Bell's first invited lecture, on his work with Prof. Alej Garcia of San Jose State University and Alvarez  Postdoctoral Fellow Aleksandar Donev, will be at the meeting on “Multiscale Problems in  Fluid Mechanics and Meteorology” (MetStroem) at the Freie Universitaet in Berlin. His Second talk will describe his porous media work with Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellow George Pau and will be given on Friday, Oct. 9, at the International Workshop on Coupled Models in Energy, Hydrological and Climate Research at the Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics.

Kathy Yelick Will Give Keynote Address at PGAS Conference

NERSC Director Kathy Yelick will give an invited keynote address on “Beyond UPC” on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Third Conference on Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) Programming Models, October 5–8 at George Washington University in Ashburn, Virginia. She will also participate in a panel discussing “Is the PGAS model appropriate for heterogeneous computing?”

Bill Johnston to Give Keynote Lecture at Grid Workshop in Poland

Bill Johnston, retired last year as head of ESnet and now acting as scientific liaison for the network, has been invited to give a keynote lecture at the Krakow Grid Workshop. Bill’s talk is entitled “Progress in Integrating Networks with Service Oriented Architectures / Grids: ESnet’s Guaranteed Bandwidth Service.” The workshop is being held Oct. 12–14 in Krakow, Poland.

This workshop is one of several significant European Grid-in-the-service-of-science events that draws science Grid developers from around Europe. According to Bill, the workshop is an important opportunity to spread the ESnet message of the importance of service-oriented network capabilities to key science communities in Europe. These communities will be ESnet allies in the work to get virtual circuit services instantiated in European networks that connect key collaborators in DOE science.

SciDAC Outreach Center Hosts Software Best Practices Workshop in SF

Nearly 70 members of the HPC community attended last week’s Third Workshop on HPC Best Practices, “HPC Center Software Lifecycles,” co-chaired by NERSC’s David Skinner, head of the SciDAC Outreach Center.  September 28–29 at the Hotel Nikko. The purpose of the workshop, held Sept. 28-29 in San Francisco, is to identify best practices for creating and maintaining reliable and sustainable software for use at HPC centers.

Computing Sciences staff played key roles in running the various breakout sessions. Skinner co-chaired a breakout session on Tools; Tony Drummond of CRD co-chaired a session on Libraries; Shane Canon of NERSC co-chaired System Software; Craig Tull of CRD co-chaired Planning; and Deb Agarwal of CRD co-chaired Development.

The workshop was sponsored by two DOE offices: the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) in the Office of Science, and Advanced Simulation and Computing in the National Nuclear Security Administration.

This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

Re-design of High-level Matrix Algorithms for Multicore and Distributed Architectures

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 11:10 a.m.-12 p.m., 380 Soda Hall, UC Berkeley
Prof. Zhaojun, UC Davis

In this talk, we discuss how to re-design two matrix algorithms for computing the polar decomposition and Green's function. These re-designed algorithms explicitly exploit the BLAS and primitive matrix decomposition kernels (such as DGEMM and QR) which are optimized for multicore and distributed architectures. The application of these matrix algorithms to nano-structure simulation will also be discussed.

A Computer Scientist Looks at the Energy Problem

Wednesday, Oct.7, 12-1 p.m., Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley
Randy Katz and David Culler, EECS, UC Berkeley

In this talk, we describe LoCal, a new research project at Berkeley that applies the lessons of the Internet, for building distributed and robust communications infrastructures, to a radical new architecture for energy generation, distribution and sharing. The project's objective is to understand how pervasive information changes energy production, distribution and use. The design of a more scalable and flexible electric infrastructure, encouraging efficient use, integrating local generation, and managing demand through awareness of energy availability and use over time, is investigated. Our approach is to develop a cyber overlay on the energy distribution system in its physical manifestations: machine rooms, buildings, neighborhoods, isolated generation islands and regional grids. A scaled series of experimental energy networks is being constructed, to demonstrate monitoring, negotiation protocols, control algorithms and Intelligent Power Switches integrating information and energy flows in a datacenter, building, renewable energy "farm", and off-grid village. These will be generalized and validated through larger scale simulations. We seek to understand broadly how information enables energy efficiencies: through intelligent matching of loads to sources, via various levels of aggregation, and by managing how and when energy is delivered to demand, adapted in time and form to available supply. Bi-directional information exchange is integrated everywhere that power is transferred. The project is supported by Siemens, Vestas, and the National Science Foundation.

On an Unsymmetric Eigenvalue Problem Governing Free Vibrations of Fluid-Solid Structures

Monday, Oct. 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Bldg. 50F, Room 1647, LBNL
Professor Heinrich Voss, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany

Read the abstract.

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.