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InTheLoop | 03.22.2010

March 22, 2010

Computing Sciences Awards List Posted on the Web

A list of around 50 awards won by Computing Sciences staff over the past dozen years has been posted on the Web. The awards start in 1998 with Phil Colella’s Sidney Fernbach Award and Andrew Canning’s Gordon Bell Prize, and continue through 2010 with Kamesh Madduri’s SIAM Junior Scientist Prize. If you have any additions to the list, please send them to Jon Bashor.

Berkeley Lab Appoints New Ombudsperson

Effective April 1, Sara Thacker, UC Berkeley’s Ombudsperson, will begin providing ombuds services for Berkeley Lab. The services will be available to all employees who need help with work-related conflict, including those in scientific and operational divisions, as well as postdoctoral fellows. You may also get additional information here.

This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

Self-Similar Blowup Solutions to an Aggregation Equation
Monday, March 22, 10:00–11:00 am, 943-236 and 50F-1647
Yanghong Huang, University of California at Los Angeles

Various blowup solutions of the aggregation equation are presented, depending on the power of the homogeneous kernel. As the power is large enough (>2), the solutions converge to a delta-ring in space. Otherwise, there is a self-similar solution of the second kind, together with the asymptotic behavior when the power goes to the two extreme of zero and two. All these results are motivated by numerical computations.

Cheminformatics and Molecular Modeling: A Computational Perspective
Friday, March 26, 11:00 am–12:00 pm, 50A-5132
Matthias Rarey, Institute for Computational Molecular Design, University of Hamburg, Germany

Cheminformatics and molecular modeling tools belong to the standard repertoire of modern life science research. Software development in these application areas always faces the challenge of designing a good chemical model which allows predictions of real world phenomena like the formation of molecular structure or complexes. Quite often, we are also facing severe computational challenges resulting from the fact that large numbers of molecules are tested or complicated discrete and geometrical problems have to be addressed properly. This talk will survey a variety of problems ranging from molecular docking, the description of molecular similarity to the visualization of chemical data and highlight the computational aspects of their solutions. For molecular docking, the TrixX approach which employs the FastBit compressed indexing technology developed at Berkeley Lab will be briefly introduced.

Link of the Week: The Biggest Cheaters

A recent study by the San Jose Mercury News shows that at Stanford, cheating in computer science classes accounts for 22% of the university’s total honor code violations, despite accounting for only 7% of student enrollment. Violations included:

  • unpermitted collaboration (43%)
  • plagiarism, uncited work from the Internet (31%)
  • copying from classmates (11%)

The computer science department at Stanford utilizes computerized screening software to detect potential plagiarism. The software scans a student’s code and compares it with other students’ and assignments from previous years.

One Stanford computer science student suggests that the high occurrence of cheating within the department is due to non-computer science majors students in lower level classes. Read more.

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.