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InTheLoop | 10.21.2013

October 21, 2013

Yelick, Agarwal Among Lab Women Honored for Contributions to Science, Education

Kathy Yelick, Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences, and Deborah Agarwal, head of CRD’s Advanced Computing for Science Department, were among 15 women honored October 18 during the first annual Women @The Lab event. Sponsored by the lab’s Diversity & Inclusion Office and the Women Scientists and Engineers Council, the event highlighted the women’s contributions to science and technology as well as the lab’s commitment to diversity and its support for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce.

“By promoting the achievement of these 15 brilliant women, we hope to encourage a new generation of women to enter the STEM workforce,” noted Paul Alivisatos, lab director, during the event. “A big part of our success at the lab is having the incredible capacity of women participating in science coming to the forefront.”

The celebration also marked launch of the Women @ The Lab web site , which features profiles of the honorees, how they became interested in a STEM career, and what inspires them in their work at Berkeley Lab.


CS Distinguished Lecture Series to Launch Nov. 13 with MATLAB’s Cleve Moler

Computing Sciences is launching a Distinguished Lecturer Series, which will feature noted researchers. The first talk will be given by Cleve Moler at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Bldg. 50 Auditorium. Moler is the creator of MATLAB and a cofounder of MathWorks., where he is currently chairman and chief mathematician of the company. Prior to founding MathWorks in 1989, Moler was a professor of mathematics and computer science for almost 20 years at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the University of New Mexico. He also spent several years in industries, working at Intel Corporation and Ardent Computer. In addition to being the original author of MATLAB, Moler is one of the authors of the LINPACK and EISPACK libraries, which are well known in scientific computing. He is coauthor of three traditional textbooks on numerical methods and author of two online books, "Numerical Computing with MATLAB" and "Experiments with MATLAB."

In his talk, Moler will show how MATLAB has evolved over more than 30 years from a simple matrix calculator to a powerful technical computing environment. He will demonstrate several examples of MATLAB applications, then conclude with a discussion of current developments, including Parallel MATLAB for multicore and multicomputer systems.


NERSC Now Connected to ESnet and Beyond at 100G

All network traffic flowing in-and-out of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is now moving at 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps)—this includes everything from email to massive scientific datasets. Jason Lee, who leads NERSC’s Network and Security Team, worked with engineers at the DOE’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) to set up a 100Gbps Science DMZ, which gives NERSC network engineers the ability to set up multiple private circuits using software-defined networking (SDN). With these tools, NERSC staff can help remote scientists who may see their data transfers slow down due to firewalls at their local campuses achieve a true 100Gbps end-to-end connection. Additionally, ESnet engineers also helped NERSC set up a system to announce their own address space. This allows the center to separately route traffic to any research or education (R&E) site or separate R&E traffic from the commodity Internet.


Computing Sciences Women Share Experiences, Expertise at Grace Hopper Conference

Five women in Computing Sciences contributed to outreach, networking and recruiting efforts at the recent 2013 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference (GHC). Deb Agarwal, head of CRD’s Advanced Computing for Science Department, worked on multiple leadership committees for GHC this year. Elizabeth Bautista, head of NERSC’s Operations Technology Group, gave an interactive workshop on “Building Your Professional Network” within different communities. Kirsten Fagnan of NERSC User Services and Daniela Ushizima of CRD’s Visualization Group shared their research experiences on the “Technologies Spark Techie Data Wars” panel, which discussed medical technology and how data can be used to enlighten the science community. And Lavanya Ramakrishnan of the Advanced Computing for Science Department shared her career experiences on “The Quiet Success” panel that was geared towards sharing best practices for networking as an introvert. »Read more about the conference.


Old Weather Blog Cites 20th Century Reanalysis Project at NERSC

Old Weather Blog in an online project which explores and uncovers old weather data to advance current and future climate research. For example, the project recently added 1.6 million new observations from an original set of Royal Navy logs. ” These new basic observations are a permanent foundation on which scientists all over the world can build new reconstructions and products, and today we can see such a building appear,” the blog authors wrote.

“Gil Compo and colleagues, from NOAA/CIRES/University of Colorado, are using our new observations in an atmospheric reanalysis (20CR). Essentially they combine surface weather observations (such as ours) with information on sea temperature and sea-ice, and a physical model of the atmosphere, to make a detailed and comprehensive picture of the global weather. It takes some of the world’s largest supercomputers to do this analysis: 20CR was produced at the US National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and the US Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. But it’s worth the effort – not only do they make a global weather reconstruction, but they also calculate the accuracy of their reconstruction, and we can compare their new reconstruction with one they made earlier, to see how much difference our observations have made.” »Read the blog and watch the accompanying video.


This Week’s Computing Sciences Seminar

Rise of Civil Robots

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 12-1 p.m., Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Joshua Peschel, University of Illinois

Abstract: This talk will discuss the use of unmanned land, sea and aerial systems for civil and environmental engineering with specific focus on the human-robot interaction necessary for these types of systems to be of practical use in the field. A new human-robot interface for ad hoc mission specialists that provides role-specific visual common ground and permits shared control of the robot’s payload camera and verbal coordination with the pilot will be discussed.

This research is of importance to human-robot interaction researchers and practitioners, as well as those in the fields of robotics, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence because it found that a human pilot role is necessary for assistance and understanding, and that there are hidden dependencies in the human-robot team that affect mission specialist performance. Additional future directions for this research will be discussed.

Sponsor: CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society)