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InTheLoop | 01.20.2015

January 20, 2015

Calculations Reveal Inner Workings of Lightest Nuclei

A team of nuclear physicists has calculated the magnetic structure of some of the lightest atomic nuclei, a key discovery in the quest to shed light on the structure and behavior of subatomic particles. Using supercomputing resources at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the Nuclear Physics with Lattice QCD (NPLQCD) collaboration demonstrated for the first time the ability of quantum chromodynamics (QCD)—a fundamental theory in particle physics—to calculate these "magnetic moments." Their findings, published December 16, 2014 in Physical Review Letters, are part of an ongoing effort to address fundamental questions in nuclear physics and high-energy physics and further our understanding of the universe. »Read more.

Berkeley Lab Boosts ASCR Cybersecurity Workshop

Berkeley Lab staff participated in an ASCR-sponsored workshop last week in Washington, D.C. on the subject of cybersecurity research in the context of the integrity of open science, a key interest of the DOE Office of Science, ASCR in particular. The workshop focused on four key topics: extreme scale power grids, trustworthy supercomputing, high-end networking & data centers, and extreme scale data, knowledge and analytics.

CRD's David Brown and ESnet's Brian Tierney were topic co-leads, while CRD's Eric Roman and NERSC's Scott Campbell also contributed significantly to the workshop. CRD's Sean Peisert is producing and editing the written output of the workshop, which he co-chaired.

ESnet’s Zurawski to Discuss Big Data Trends, Solutions at Regional Networks Meeting

Jason Zurawski of ESnet’s Science Engagement Group will give an invited talk on “Understanding Big Data Trends and the Key Role of the Regionals in Bridging Needs and Solutions” at the winter meeting of The Quilt, a national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education, representing 35 networks across the country and connecting over 200 universities. The meeting will be held Feb. 10-12 in La Jolla, Calif.

This Week's CS Seminars

»CS Seminars Calendar

Population Dynamics, Social Networks and Infectious Disease Epidemiology: A computational viewpoint

Thursday, January 22, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., Room 5132
Madhav Marathe, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Pandemics such as H1N1 influenza are global outbreaks of infectious disease. Human behavior, social contact networks, and pandemics are closely intertwined. The ordinary behavior and daily activities of individuals create varied and dense social interactions that are characteristic of modern urban societies. They provide a perfect fabric for rapid, uncontrolled disease propagation. Individuals’ changing behaviors in response to public policies and their evolving perception of how an infectious disease outbreak is unfolding can dramatically alter normal social interactions. Effective planning and response strategies must take these complicated interactions into account. Recent quantitative changes in high performance computing, availability of massive data and networking have created new opportunities for collecting, integrating, analyzing and accessing information related to such massive social contact networks, behavioral adaptation and pandemics. Together, they enhance our ability to formulate and analyze novel public policies pertaining to urban physical and socially coupled networks. In this talk I will describe our work on the development of high performance computing based crises management system called Comprehensive National Incident Management System (CNIMS). As an illustrative case study I will describe how CNIMS can be used for developing a scalable computer assisted decision support system for pandemic planning and response by focusing on Ebola outbreak response in West Africa.

Erasure Coding for Cloud Storage

Wednesday, January 21, 4 – 5 p.m. (light refreshments at 3:30 p.m.), 306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium), UC Berkeley
Parikshit Gopalan, Microsoft Research

As more and more data moves to the cloud, data replication has become prohibitively costly and there is an acute need for efficient, fault-tolerant schemes for data storage. Coding theory offers solutions for fault-tolerant storage that are potentially far more efficient than replication. At the same time, the cloud storage setting presents some unique challenges that traditional error-correcting codes do not handle. There have been some novel solution concepts proposed to address these challenges (such as Regenerating Codes and Locally Repairable Codes).

In this talk Gopalan will describe the challenges, both theoretical and practical, in designing efficient erasure coding schemes for cloud storage. His case study will be Locally Repairable Codes, or LRCs, that were first deployed by Azure Storage in 2012, resulting in tremendous savings in hardware costs, and have since been deployed in other Microsoft products. These codes are inspired by Locally Testable and Locally Decodable codes from theoretical computer science, and provide efficient recovery (independent of the code length) for typical failure scenarios.

This talk is based on joint work with collaborators from MSR and the Azure storage team. No prior background will be assumed. Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department.