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InTheLoop | 07.16.2012

July 16, 2012

HPCwire: DOE Primes Pump for Exascale Supercomputers

HPCwire reports that Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and Whamcloud have been awarded tens of millions of dollars by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to kick-start research and development required to build exascale supercomputers. The work will be performed under the FastForward program, a joint effort run by the DOE Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that will focus on developing future hardware and software technologies capable of supporting such machines. Read more.

A New Approach to Water Desalination

The availability of fresh water is dwindling in many parts of the world, a problem that is expected to grow with populations. One promising source of potable water is the world’s virtually limitless supply of seawater, but so far desalination technology has been too expensive for widespread use. But using supercomputers at NERSC, MIT researchers have come up with a new approach for desalinating water—using sheets of graphene, a one-atom-thick form of the element carbon, which they say can be far more efficient and possibly less expensive than existing desalination systems. Read more.

Summer Series Conversation with Kathy Yelick on July 18

The second installment of the “Summer Series of Conversations” takes place at noon Wednesday, July 18, with guest Kathy Yelick, the Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences. The event, which takes place in the Building 50 auditorium, will be hosted by Public Affairs Head Jeff Miller. The last installment, on August 1, will feature Shashi Buluswar, the executive director of the LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies. The talks are being videotaped and will be available for later viewing.

Performance Management Process Reminder

The annual Performance Management Process is under way, and employees who have not yet submitted their self-assessment to their supervisor should do so as soon as possible (they were due on June 29). Completed performance reviews are due Friday, August 31. Forms and supporting materials are available here.

CS Summer Party on August 15

Computing Sciences will be hosting a summer party from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on Wednesday, August 15, at the Berkeley Yacht Club. All CS, Cray, and OSF staff and spouses/partners are welcome. Children who do not require supervision are also welcome. Food and nonalcoholic beverages will be provided (although you are welcome to bring a dish if you wish). Drinks will be available for purchase. Hope to see you there!

This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminars

Systems Biology Knowledgebase
Tuesday, July 17, 12:00–1:00 pm, 50A-5132
Adam Arkin, Division Director, Physical Biosciences, LBNL

The new Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase) is a collaborative effort designed to accelerate our understanding of microbes, microbial communities, and plants. It will be a community-driven, extensible and scalable open-source software framework and application system. KBase will offer free and open access to data, models and simulations, enabling scientists and researchers to build new knowledge and share their findings. We will share our vision and the progress towards this system and aim to have a lively discussion of ways in which you can be involved as a contributor or user of the system, or as a collaborator with the team. More information can be found at http://kbase.us.

Summer Series Conversation with Kathy Yelick
Wednesday, July 18, 12:00–1:00 pm, Bldg. 50 auditorium
Kathy Yelick, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences

The conversation will be hosted by Jeff Miller, head of Public Affairs.

NERSC Brown Bag: Jim Bristow
Friday, July 20, 12:00–1:30 pm, OSF 943-238
Jim Bristow, Director of Science Programs, DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)

Jim Bristow will give an overview of research at JGI.

Link of the Week: The Evolution of the Web

The web today is a growing universe of interlinked web pages and web apps, teeming with videos, photos, and interactive content. What the average user doesn’t see is the interplay of web technologies and browsers that makes all this possible.

Over time, web technologies have evolved to give web developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive web experiences. Today’s web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open web community that helps define these web technologies, like HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL, and ensure that they’re supported in all web browsers.

The Evolution of the Web presents a visualization of the interaction between web technologies and browsers, which brings to life the many powerful web apps that we use daily.

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.