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InTheLoop | 10.25.2010

October 25, 2010

Kathy Yelick to Deliver Keynote at ISC Cloud Conference in Frankfurt

Kathy Yelick, director of the NERSC Division and associate laboratory director for Computing Sciences, will travel to Germany this week to deliver a keynote address at the ISC Cloud ’10 conference. In her talk on Friday, Oct. 29, Yelick will discuss “Science in the Clouds: The View from Berkeley.”

Building on the NERSC experience serving a broad scientific workload with over 3000 users, this talk will examine some of the characteristics of scientific applications, including both data- and compute-intensive problems, and the suitability of the cloud computing model. The talk will examine questions of how scientific clouds should be configured from a hardware and software standpoint, consider the value of some of the cloud programming models such as MapReduce, look at how the cloud business model translates to a scientific environment, and report on some of the early successes with Magellan for bioinformatics applications. On Thursday, Yelick will participate in a discussion entitled “Cloud Debate: Cloud or Not Cloud, That Is the Question.”

CRD Division Director Position Is Posted

Berkeley Lab is accepting applications for the Computational Research Division (CRD) Director position. This is a leadership position in a world-renowned center for scientific research that addresses the application of computation to emerging challenges in energy and related science domains, and performs basic research in computer science and applied mathematics. Reporting to the Laboratory Director, the primary role for this position will be to provide scientific leadership for the Division’s overall research and development programs, including defining the strategic vision, inspiring and motivating staff, and managing the organization to accomplish its goals in support of the vision. See job details.

Teresa Montero Joins CS Directorate Administrative Team

Teresa Montero, who has been working as a contractor providing administrative support at NERSC, has been hired as an administrative assistant for Computing Sciences. She will work in the CS suite on the fourth floor of Bldg. 50B. Prior to joining the Lab, Montero worked more than 12 years as an executive assistant at two research organizations, Physics International in San Leandro and Science Applications International Corp. in Oakland. Among her outside interests are interior decorating and design, sewing, traveling, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.

We’ve Got Energy-Efficient Ethernet — Now What?

As reported in the October 11 InTheLoop, IEEE has announced the ratification of the IEEE P802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet (EEE) standard. In the ESnet blog, Network Matters, Michael Bennett, senior network engineer for LBLnet and chair of the IEEE 802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet Task Force, explains why there isn’t an energy-efficient version of the higher-speed version of Ethernet.

Submission Deadlines Near for SIAM Conference and Workshop

The 2011 SIAM Conference on Optimization (OP11) will be held May 16–19, 2011, and the Fifth SIAM Workshop on Combinatorial Scientific Computing (CSC11) will be held May 19–21, both at the Darmstadtium Conference Center in Darmstadt, Germany. Both events are accepting proposals for papers and posters:

  • For OP11, titles and brief abstracts (75 words maximum) for 15-minute lectures or posters can be submitted here. The deadline is November 15.
  • For CSC11, two-page extended abstracts for 25-minute oral or poster presentations can be submitted here. The deadline is Saturday, October 30.

This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

The Evolving Internet: Driving Forces, Uncertainties, and Four Scenarios to 2025
Monday, October 25, 4:00–5:30 pm, 202 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Enrique Rueda-Sabader, Cisco Systems; Don Derosby, Monitor GBN

What will the Internet be like in 2025? How much bigger will it have grown from today’s 2 billion users and $3 trillion market? Will it have achieved its full potential to connect the world’s entire population in ways that advance global prosperity, business productivity, education and social interaction? Or will it be something less?

Cisco and the Monitor Group’s Global Business Network, the world leader in scenario planning, have published “The Evolving Internet,” a report examining the driving forces and uncertainties that will — in whatever combination — shape the path of the Internet over the next 15 years. Read the full abstract. Read the full report: “The Evolving Internet: Driving Forces, Uncertainties, and Four Scenarios to 2025”

Par Lab Seminar: GPU Computing and Irregular Parallelism
Tuesday, Oct. 26, 11:00 am–12:30 pm, 438 Soda Hall (Wozniak Lounge), UCB
John Owens, UC Davis

The computational power of GPUs, coupled with increasing programmability, is making the GPU a compelling platform for high-performance computing. GPUs excel at regular, structured computation, but irregular computation — where processors consume an irregular, runtime-dependent amount of input or produce an irregular, runtime-dependent amount of output — is a challenging problem in a parallel computing environment. In this talk I’ll discuss sparse matrix-dense vector multiplication as an example of the challenges of irregular parallelism, and then discuss our group’s recent work in surface subdivision, task queuing, hash tables, and fragment compositing as interesting irregularly parallel problems.

LAPACK Seminar: Recent Work in Communication-Avoiding Krylov Subspace Methods for Solving Linear Systems
Wednesday, October 27, 11:10 am–12:00 pm, 380 Soda Hall, UC Berkeley
Erin Carson, UC Berkeley

The performance of standard Krylov Subspace Methods (KSMs) for solving linear systems is bound by communication, with one or more SpMV operations required per iteration. In this talk, we motivate the need to avoid communication, and demonstrate how this can be achieved in KSMs using communication-avoiding kernels. We discuss the derivation, implementation, and convergence properties of our communication-avoiding versions of CG, GMRES, and BiCG. Preliminary results for preconditioning and the implementation of CGS and BiCG-Stab are presented.

Link of the Week: New Algorithm Reduces Linear Equation Runtimes

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a groundbreaking algorithm that can solve systems of linear equations used in important applications, including image processing, logistics and scheduling problems, and recommendation systems. The new algorithm is incredibly efficient and may make it possible for a desktop workstation to solve systems with a billion variables in just a few seconds, according to a Carnegie Mellon press release.

The new algorithm applies to a class of problems known as symmetric diagonally dominant (SDD) systems, which have gained prominence in recent years. It relies on new tools from graph theory, randomized algorithms and linear algebra to greatly speed the time to completion for these linear system problems, with runtimes up to a billion times faster than with Gaussian elimination.

The group's research paper, “Approaching Optimality for Solving SDD Linear Systems,” will be presented at the annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS 2010), Oct. 23-36 in Las Vegas.

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.