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InTheLoop | 04.28.2014

April 28, 2014

Calming Plasma's Stormy Seas 

Turbulence inside a fusion reactor can increase the rate of plasma heat loss, dramatically reducing energy output. Researchers are now pinpointing what causes this turbulence and how it might be controlled, thanks to simulations run at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). This study sheds light on a central piece of the puzzle: the relationship between fast ion particles in the plasma and plasma microturbulence. »Read more.

NERSC, ESnet Show Best Side On Earth Day

NERSC and ESnet joined other Lab staff, 146 in all, to support NASA's Earth Day #GlobalSelfie portraits. The aim? Recreate the iconic "Blue Marble" photo taken by an Apollo spacecraft in the 1970s. »See the photos.

Former CRD Post-doc Praises Lab Experience in Interview 

Former CRD post-doc Eugene Feller has kind words for his experience with the Data Intensive Systems Group of the Advanced Computing for Science Department in a recent interview. His CRD sponsors included Deb Agarwal and Lavanya Ramakrishnan. »Read more.

ESnet’s Mike Bennett Retiring After 26 Years of Making Key Connections

Since he started working at the Lab back in 1988, Mike Bennett has found himself in the middle of a number of interesting transitions. But come April 30, he’ll make his last one – transitioning into retirement.

When Bennett started as an engineering technologist at the Bevatron, one end of the control room was filled with analog equipment featuring knobs, dials, oscilloscopes and other devices. At the other end was a computer powered by an Intel 286 CPU. Since then things have gotten a lot faster and one of Bennett's more recent projects was connecting Berkeley Lab to ESnet's 100 gigabit-per-second network backbone. Along the way, he's also played a key role in establishing energy-efficiency standards for network equipment. »Read more.

CRT Construction to Impact Parking through May

Cable work on the Computational Research and Theory (CRT) facility requires blocking off several parking stalls along Lawrence Road and N1 Road. The cable work starts today, Monday, April 28 and is expected to last through May. »Download a map showing closures (PDF | 500KB; requires LBNL login).

This Week's CS Seminar

From PDEs to Information Science and Back

Wednesday, April 30, 3:30pm – 4:30pm; 939 Evans Hall - UC Berkeley Campus
Russell Caflisch, University of California, Los Angeles

The arrival of massive amounts of data from imaging, sensors, computation and the Internet brought with it significant challenges for information science. New methods for analysis and manipulation of big data have come from many scientific disciplines. The first focus of this presentation is the application of ideas from PDEs, such as variational principles and numerical diffusion, to image and data analysis. Examples include denoising, segmentation, inpainting and texture extraction for images. The second focus is the development of new ideas in information science, such as soft-thresholding, sparsity and compressed sensing. The subsequent application of these ideas to PDEs and numerical computation is the third focus of this talk. Examples include soft-thresholding in multiscale computation, solutions with compact support and “compressed modes” for PDEs that come from variational principles, and applications to density functional theory.

Link of the Week: Nobel Minds

Two of the Lab's Nobel laureates, Saul Perlmutter and George Smoot, were among four of UC Berkeley's top professors who recently engaged in an onstage conversation last Cal Day. »Watch the video.