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InTheLoop | 07.12.2010

July 12, 2010

Planck Mission Delivers First All-Sky Image

“An extraordinary treasure chest of new data for astronomers, from the closest portions of the Milky Way to the furthest reaches of space and time,” says the European Space Agency of the Planck mission’s first all-sky image. The satellite was launched in May 2009 and has been surveying the sky since August 2009. NERSC hosts the U.S. Planck team’s data analysis through the Computational Cosmology Center, a collaboration of the Computational Research and Physics Divisions, with a group including Julian Borrill, Christopher Cantalupo, Ted Kisner, and Radek Stompor. George Smoot co-authored the proposal that led to Planck and, with Martin White of Physics, is a Planck scientist. Read more about Planck’s Berkeley Lab roots.


SciDAC 2010 Conference and Tutorials This Week

Each year, scientists participating in the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing Program (SciDAC), along with other researchers from the computational science community, gather at the annual SciDAC conference to present scientific results, discuss new technologies, and discover new approaches to collaboration. The SciDAC 2010 Conference is being held this week, July 11-15, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Papers being presented by Computing Sciences staff include:

  • “Numerical Simulation of Phase Space Advection in Gyrokinetic Models of Fusion Plasmas” by M.R. Dorr, R.H. Cohen, and J. A. F. Hittinger of Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Phil Colella and Dan Martin of CRD
  • “ISICLES: Ice Sheet Initiative for Climate Extremes” by Esmond Ng of CRD
  • “Scientific Data Management Challenges and Approaches in the Extreme Scale Era” by Arie Shoshani of CRD
  • “Bringing Users Along the Road to Billion-Way Concurrency” by NERSC Director Kathy Yelick

Posters include:

  • “MAESTRO, CASTRO, and SEDONA — Petascale Codes for Astrophysical Applications” by Ann Almgren, John Bell, Mike Lijewski, Andy Nonaka, Peter Nugent, and Rollin Thomas of CRD; Daniel Kasen of UC Santa Cruz; Charles Rendleman of D. E. Shaw Research; and Michael Zingale of Stony Brook University
  • “Simulation of Nitrogen Emissions in a Low Swirl Burner” by John Bell, Marc Day, Xinfeng Gao, and Mike Lijewski of CRD
  • “Applications of Locally Structured Grids in APDEC” by Phil Colella of CRD
  • “HPC Best Practices: Multi-Agency Perspectives on Making Production Computing Successful” by David Skinner of NERSC and many others
  • “Meeting Challenges in Extreme-Scale Electromagnetic Modeling of Next Generation Accelerators using ACE3P” by Cho Ng, Arno Candel, Lixin Ge, Andreas Kabel, Kwok Ko, Lie-Quan Lee, Zenghai Li, Vineet Rawat, Greg Schussman, and Liling Xiao of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Esmond Ng and Ichitaro Yamazaki of CRD; and Mark Shephard of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • “Scalable Solver Infrastructure for Computational Science & Engineering” by Esmond Ng of CRD and the TOPS team
  • “Managing the Shift to Multi-Core” by John Shalf, Nick Wright, and Karl Fuerlinger of NERSC; Nathan Wichmann and Ryan Olson of Cray Inc.; Stephane Ethier of Princeton Plasma Physics Lab; Hongzhang Shan and Tony Drummond of CRD; Marcus Wagner of Aachen University; and Mike Aamodt
  • “Advanced Vector Field Analysis using Integration-Based Visualization” by Christoph Garth, Hari Krishnan, and Kenneth I. Joy of UC Davis and Hank Childs of CRD
  • “Hybrid-Parallelism Improves Visualization Performance on Large, Multi-Core Systems” by Mark Howison, David Camp, Hank Childs, and Wes Bethel of CRD; Ken Joy and Christoph Garth of UC Davis; and Dave Pugmire of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

On Friday, July 16, the fourth SciDAC Tutorials Day will be held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Tutorials Day is presented by the SciDAC Outreach Center, staffed by David Skinner and Andrew Uselton at NERSC, with local organizing by Rusty Lusk of ORNL. Tutorial presentations will include:

  • “Advanced Visualization and Data Analysis with the VisIt Visualization System” by Hank Childs of CRD
  • “DOE Advanced CompuTational Software (ACTS) Collection Tutorial” by Tony Drummond of CRD

NERSC Annual Report Is Now Online

The latest NERSC Annual Report, including a special section on Climate and Energy Research, is now available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Other topics include NERSC Director Kathy Yelick’s The Year in Perspective; Research News: From Nanoelectronics to Galaxy Formation; and The NERSC Center: Innovation in the Service of Science.


Wright and Skinner Co-Author Book Chapter on IPM

Karl Fürlinger of UC Berkeley EECS and Nick Wright and David Skinner of NERSC recently published a chapter titled “Performance Analysis and Workload Characterization with IPM” in the Springer volume Tools for High Performance Computing 2009: Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Parallel Tools for High Performance Computing, September 2009, ZIH, Dresden. The chapter is an outgrowth of DOE- and NSF-funded research into HPC performance analysis.


SLAC to Host Extremely Large Databases Conference October 6–7

The 4th Extremely Large Databases Conference (XLDB4) will be held October 6–7, 2010, at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. Leading practitioners from science, industry, and academia will discuss lessons learned and real-world solutions for handling terabytes and petabytes of data. Arie Shoshani, head of CRD’s Scientific Data Management Research Group, is on the Organizing Committee. Early registration ends on July 31.


Link of the Week: Dream-Logic, the Internet and Artificial Thought

What does it mean to think? Can machines think, or only humans? Writing in Edge, David Gelernter, a professor of computer science at Yale and chief scientist at Mirror Worlds Technologies, argues that today’s mainstream ideas about human and artificial thought lead nowhere. No computer will be able to think like a human, he says, unless it can free-associate, hallucinate, and feel (or simulate) emotions. 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 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.