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InTheLoop 01.07.2013

The Weekly Newsletter of Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

January 7, 2013

2013 Laboratory Directed Research and Development Awards Announced

On December 18, 2012, Lab Director Paul Alivisatos announced the awards for the FY2013 Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. A total of about $22.3 million was allocated for 85 projects. The complete list of funded projects can be viewed here.

Evaluations for the traditional Track 1 proposals used input from area and divisional review committees. A much smaller number of proposals of Lab-wide significance went through a parallel scientific review process led by the Associate Lab Directors. Out of 31 Lab-wide proposals submitted, 19 projects were funded (noted with an asterisk in the list).

Ten projects were funded in the Computational Research Division and two in the NERSC Division:




Total allocation ($K)

CRD Haranczyk, Maciej Optimization-based Strategy for Computational Design of Nanoporous Carbon-Zero Materials


CRD Li, Xiaoye Sherry Next Generation Computing for X-Ray Science


CRD Nugent, Peter E Nyx: The Lyman Alpha Forest Cosmology Simulator


CRD Oliker, Leonid High-Performance Parallel Graph-Analysis for Key Genomics Computations


CRD Sethian, James A * Interlinkage of Cross-Disciplinary Mathematical Technologies


CRD Trebotich, David Paul Modeling Subsurface Reactive Transport Processes from Mineral Surface-to-Pore-to-Continuum


CRD Tull, Craig * Towards an End-to-End Solution for Light Source Data


CRD Ushizima, Daniela Mayumi Quantitative Image Analysis for Computational Modeling


CRD Yang, Chao Computational Approaches to Understanding Ultrafast Science (Alvarez Fellowship)


CRD Yang, Chao Numerical Algorithms and Mathematical Software Tools for Computational Material Science and Chemistry


NERSC Canon, Richard Defining an Ecosystem to Support Data -Intensive Science


NERSC Skinner, David E * Integrated Tools for Next Generation Bioimaging



JGI’s Susan Lucas Named ESnet’s Deputy Director for Operations

Susan Lucas has been named the new Scientific Networking Division (SND) Deputy Director for Operations, SND and ESnet Director Greg Bell announced on January 6. Lucas, whose appointment is effective January 14, currently works at the Joint Genome Institute as head of the Production Department, as well as leader of the Strategic Planning, Operations, and Capabilities Group.

“Our selection committee reviewed more than 100 applications for this critical position, and we’re very fortunate to have found a leader of Susan’s caliber to fill it,” Bell wrote in announcing the appointment. “I think you’ll find her to be an optimistic, energetic, team-oriented colleague — in short, an excellent cultural fit for this Division.” Read more.

Can We Accurately Model Fluid Flow in Shale?

Shale is a sedimentary rock consisting of layered, fine-grained clay minerals and, often, organic matter such as kerogen, the source of oil and gas. Now, CRD researchers have developed a new mathematical model that incorporates kerogen in calculating how gas and oil become available and how long a reservoir is liable to keep producing. Read more.

NERSC Helps Develop Next-Generation Batteries

As part of DOE’s new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub, researchers will use NERSC resources to predict the properties of electrolytes. When the center is up and running, collaborators will be able to combine their results with the existing Materials Project to get a complete scope of battery components. Together these tools allow researchers to employ a systematic and predictive approach to battery design. Berkeley Lab is a major contributor to this collaboration and will be leading the computational modeling effort. Read more.

ESnet Tests a Novel Approach for Guiding Large Data Flows

Software defined networking (SDN) is an emerging field that makes it easier for software applications to automatically configure and control the various layers of the network. ESnet has been conducting localized tests to demonstrate the value of SDN when applied towards end-to-end support of data-intensive science collaborations and applications. In late November, ESnet joined Infinera to demo a prototype SDN Open Transport Switch (OTS) capable of dynamically controlling bandwidth services at the optical layer. The demo marked the first time an open architecture with SDN was used to provide traffic-engineered paths at the optical layer and was accomplished through extensions to the OpenFlow protocol. Read more.

ESnet Staff to Share Expertise at International Networking Conference

Networking staff from ESnet, Internet2 and the Asia Pacific Advanced Network will host TIP2013 on January 13–18 in Honolulu. More than 420 networking experts from Asia, North America, South America, and Europe have registered for the conference, which encourages greater global dialogue, facilitates technical collaboration across the Pacific, and provides an important discussion forum for issues of concern to research and education network stakeholders in the Pacific region. Click here for a day-by-day list of Berkeley Lab contributions.

Death of a Star

The discovery of a nearby supernova by Berkeley Lab’s Peter Nugent in August 2011 has brought astrophysicists closer to understanding a class of stellar explosions. Along with that success came an unexpected tragedy, as reported by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in the January 4, 2013 issue of Science magazine. Read more.

UC Research Opportunity Fund Closes January 24

The UC Research Opportunity Fund provides small grants (<20K) to help pilot or seed new projects that demonstrate a strong systemwide benefit and help establish a platform for future investment. Proposals must “enhance UC’s ability to compete for funding, advance research discoveries, support innovative graduate student research, inform public policy or otherwise impact the lives of Californians.”

LBNL is eligible to compete for this funding, with submissions for the winter quarter review due on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

Funding is open to all fields, and may be used for workshops or meetings, proposal development, public or industry outreach, or other projects that can demonstrate system-wide benefit to research. The list of recently funded projects at the link below are helpful in understanding the opportunity.

Funding requests are accepted throughout the year, and are reviewed and awarded on a quarterly basis. Please submit requests as early as possible, particularly if you have questions or are seeking help finding a UCOP sponsor.

For more information, please refer to the updated overview, FAQS, and examples of recently funded projects located here.

Giving a Presentation? Let InTheLoop Know

Are you giving a presentation at a conference? Do you have any recent awards, honors, or professional achievements? Have you seen a fascinating article or website we could include as Link of the Week? Let us know. We depend on our readers for the news we present every week. Just reply to the weekly InTheLoop email, or contact John Hules.

Link of the Week: Experiences in an All-LED Home

In an article written for Home Energy magazine, David H. Bailey, head of the Complex Systems Group in the Computational Research Division, recounts his experiences in converting almost all the lights in his home to LEDs. The LED lights, along with other energy efficiency modifications over the last four years, have contributed to a drop in his family’s average monthly electricity bill from around $400 to $60. “Our LED lights are brighter, more attractive-looking, instant-on to full brightness and, most importantly, use only about 1/10 the energy of equivalent incandescent lights,” Bailey writes. 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.