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InTheLoop | 11.21.2011

November 21, 2011

Lab Staff Give Awe-Inspiring Demo of 100 Gbps Capability at SC11 Conference

Last week's SC11 conference in Seattle got off to a gala start Monday night with the annual exhibition opening party, an occasion used by Berkeley Lab staff to showcase the scientific capabilities of the new 100 gigabit-per-second prototype network created by ESnet under DOE's Advanced Networking Initiative. The demo, which included side-by-side presentations of a 5 terabyte dataset streamed from NERSC, was a team effort from all of Computing Sciences. From CRD, the visualization drew on the talents of Yushu Yao, Prabhat, Burlen Loring, Hank Childs, Mark Howison, Wes Bethel, John Shalf and Aaron Thomas. ESnet contributors include Brian Tierney, Eric Pouyoul, Patrick Dorn, Evangelos Chaniotakis, Chin Guok, Chris Tracy and Lauren Rotman. From NERSC, Jason Lee, Shane Canon, Tina Declerck and Cary Whitney provided critical support.

The demo showed how the universe has changed from a nearly homogeneous universe or 13 billion years ago to today's universe which is rich in structures that include galaxies; clusters of gravitationally bound galaxies; galaxy super-structures called "walls" that span hundreds of millions of light-years; and the relatively empty spaces between superstructures, called voids. The simulation was created using the Nyx code on 4,096 cores of NERSC's Hopper, a Cray XE6 system. Read more about the demo.

The demo premier was viewed by a crowd of more than 50 attendees, who also toasted ESnet's 25th anniversary of networking leadership.


Berkeley Lab Staff Share their Experiences at Albany High School Career Day

In what's becoming a tradition, nine staff members volunteered to speak at Career Day, an annual event at Albany High School. Organized by parent volunteers and school staff, Career Day brings in about 40 professionals to talk about their current careers and the paths they have taken.

This year's Berkeley Lab participants in the Nov. 15 event were:

  • Peter Nugent and Andy Nonaka of the Computational Research Division
  • Margie Wylie and Linda Vu of the Computing Sciences Communications Group
  • Jay Krous from Information Technologies
  • Deirdre Olynick from Materials Sciences Division
  • Julian Sproul and George Ban-Weiss from Environmental Energy Technologies Division
  • Ian White of Facilities

"Physics teacher Valerie Risk was giddy about the opportunity to hear Peter Nugent's presentation and it sounds like the kids were really excited too," said Albany High Career Counselor Becca Burns. "Career Day was a total hit. Everyone present–teachers, students, counselors, administrators, and fabulous parent volunteers–was thoroughly impressed by the quality of our speakers and the seeming effortlessness of the behind-the-scenes planning."

Jon Bashor of Computing Sciences and Jonathan Slack of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division were among the parent volunteers organizing this year’s Career Day.


Women Still Struggle to Find Their Place in HPC

Although women comprise the majority of the United States labor force, 60 percent of college graduates in developed countries, most of the of internet users, and start the majority of new companies created each year in the US, they have made surprisingly few inroads into high performance computing. Women earn roughly 10 percent of bachelor's degrees and 20 percent of advanced degrees in computer science and computer engineering. In recent years, the once-celebrated diversity of Silicon Valley has declined.

Last Thursday, NERSC's Katie Antypas joined several computer scientists from the Department of Energy's National Laboratories and Universities across the country to discuss this disparity in the second annual SC Birds of a Feather session called, "Developing, Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce in HPC." With this panel, the scientists hoped to empower employers and supervisors with the tools to create a work or educational environment where people of all types can flourish. The panel was higlighted in HPC Wire.



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.