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InTheLoop | 01.10.2011

January 10, 2011

ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge Applications Due Feb. 15

The DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) is interested in receiving applications for one-year allocations on ASCR high performance and leadership computing facilities through the ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC). Applications submitted by February 15, 2011 will be considered for allocation in 2011. Go here for more information.

Open to scientists from the research community in national laboratories, academia and industry, the ALCC program allocates up to 30% of the computational resources at NERSC and the Leadership Computing Facilities at Argonne and Oak Ridge for special situations of interest to the Department with an emphasis on high-risk, high-payoff simulations in areas directly related to the Department’s energy mission in areas such as advancing the clean energy agenda and understanding the Earth’s climate, for national emergencies, or for broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources.


ESnet Publishes Design Guide for High-Performance Data Movers

As science becomes more and more data-intensive, demand for the capability of moving large data sets between sites over high-performance networks keeps increasing. Now ESnet engineers Eric Pouyoul and Roberto Morelli have designed a powerful yet inexpensive data transfer host that can function as a test server for network troubleshooting or as a data mover for scientific applications. Read more.


Deadlines Extended for ICCS Manycore Scientific Computing Workshop

Registration is still open for a workshop on Manycore and Accelerator-Based High-Performance Scientific Computing to be held January 24–28, 2011, in Berkeley, Calif. Workshop organizers have also issued a call for research papers and posters. The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to Tuesday, January 18.

The workshop, now in its second year, is organized by the International Center for Computational Sciences (ICCS) located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. ICCS is an international collaboration to research and deliver state-of-the-art high-performance computing (HPC) hardware and software solutions to broader scientific communities.


Kennedy High School Students Get a Lesson in Job Hunting

Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences Communications staffers Jon Bashor and Linda Vu joined Berkeley Lab recruiters Andi Horton and Robert Rodriguez in a presentation on finding rewarding jobs to a group of seniors at Kennedy High School in Richmond on Thursday, Dec. 16. The session drew 40 students from the school’s IT Academy and stemmed from a summer outreach program organized by Communications staff last summer. Among the topics covered were where to look for jobs, who to call on for help, dressing for success, likely interview questions, Berkeley Lab’s CSEE program, and a “circle of support” exercise to identify people, organizations, and other support resources. Read more and see photos.


Seminar on Psychological Principles of User Interface Design

Jeff Johnson, President and Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consulting firm, will present a seminar on “Designing with the Mind in Mind: The Psychological Basis for User Interface Design Rules” tomorrow, January 11, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm in conference room 50F-1647. (If a larger room is needed, the seminar will move to 70A-3377.)

The seminar is being hosted by Sarah Poon and John McCarthy of the Advanced Computing for Science Department for a user interface interest group; but the talk will not be technical and should appeal to anyone who has any interest in user interface/usability issues, whether from an engineering or an end user standpoint. Here is the abstract:

User Interface (UI) design rules are not simple recipes to be applied mindlessly. Applying them effectively requires determining their applicability (and precedence) in specific situations. It also requires balancing the trade-offs that inevitably arise in situations when design rules appear to contradict each other. By understanding the underlying psychology for the design rules, designers and evaluators enhance their ability to interpret and apply them. Explaining that psychology is the focus of Jeff Johnson’s new book, Designing with the Mind in Mind, a taste of which is presented in this talk.

Jeff Johnson has worked in the field of human-computer interaction since 1978. After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked as a user-interface designer and implementer, engineer manager, usability tester, and researcher at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems. He has taught at Stanford University, Mills College, and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics in human-computer interaction and the impact of technology on society. He is the author of GUI Bloopers: Don’ts and Dos for Software Developers and Web Designers (2000), Web Bloopers: 60 Common Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (2003), GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don’ts and Dos (2007), and Designing with the Mind in Mind (2010).

If you plan to attend, please email Sarah Poon so she can estimate audience size and let you know which conference room will be used.


This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

Designing with the Mind in Mind: The Psychological Basis for User Interface Design Rules
Tuesday, January 11, 2:00–3:30 pm, 50F-1647 (may be moved to 70A-3377)
Jeff Johnson, UI Wizards, Inc.

User Interface (UI) design rules are not simple recipes to be applied mindlessly. Applying them effectively requires determining their applicability (and precedence) in specific situations. It also requires balancing the trade-offs that inevitably arise in situations when design rules appear to contradict each other. By understanding the underlying psychology for the design rules, designers and evaluators enhance their ability to interpret and apply them. Explaining that psychology is the focus of Jeff Johnson’s new book, Designing with the Mind in Mind, a taste of which is presented in this talk.

A Fast Algorithm for Approximating Hydrodynamic Lubrication Interactions between Elastic Particles
Friday, January 14, 10:00–11:00 am, 50B-2222
Kenneth Higa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Simulations of suspensions of elastic particles are of practical interest and may help to resolve questions about particle suspensions under extreme conditions. However, existing simulations have been severely limited by the difficulty of quickly and accurately describing lubrication interactions between neighboring particles. I will present an algorithm, developed as part of my graduate work, which provides approximate solutions for this problem of coupled elastic and hydrodynamic effects. Results suggest that these solutions compare favorably with FEM solutions under a range of conditions, at relatively low computational cost.

Efficient Algorithms for Modeling Reacting Flows
Friday, January 14, 12:00–1:00 pm, 90-3122
Michael Singer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The simulation of chemically reacting flows is computationally challenging and expensive. Much of the difficulty stems from solving the stiff systems of equations that describe the combustion chemistry. As a result, the development of efficient numerical algorithms that reduce the time required to model combustion phenomena are of great interest. In this talk I will present the development and application of an algorithm that accelerates the simulation of laminar flames. This methodology is based on operator-splitting and in-situ adaptive tabulation (ISAT). The scheme is applied to one- and two-dimensional test problems and is applicable to a wide range of flow problems.


Link of the Week: The Power Law of Terrorism

After studying four decades of terrorism, Aaron Clauset thinks he’s found mathematical patterns that can help governments prevent and prepare for major terror attacks. The U.S. government seems to agree. 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.