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InTheLoop | 05.18.2015

May 18, 2015

Researchers Learn to Control Graphene with Lasers

New numerical simulations by Berkeley Lab Alvarez Fellow Alexander Kemper and his colleagues reveal how the quantum properties of graphene can be manipulated at ultrafast timescales with femtosecond laser pulses. This work opens a new area of research, where scientists can tune and control material properties with optical laser pulses. »Read more.

New York Times Quotes Shalf on 'Inexact Computing'

Some researchers are promoting the idea of "inexact computing" as a way to build exascale computers within a reasonable power budget, the New York Times reported in a May 11 article. The idea, first forwarded to save battery power in mobile phones, involves using processors that don't have as many transistors to do error-checks. While inexact computing has its merits, Berkeley Lab's John Shalf expressed caution at overselling it: “Inexact computing works well for mobile applications where the consequence of choosing incorrectly is low," the article quotes Shalf, who is chief technology officer for NERSC and head of the Computer Science Department in CRD. "For consequential problems, where inexact results could cause a bridge to be misdesigned, or erroneous conclusions about the mechanics of climate, the inexactness is problematic."   »Read more.

Monga Keynotes Two R&E Network Workshops

ESnet's Chief Technology Officer Inder Monga will keynote two workshops and participate in a panel focusing on research and education (R&E) networks in Brazil next week.

On May 18, Monga opens the National Research and Education Network Workshop (WRNP) hosted by ESnet's Brazilian counterpart. In his talk, entitled "R&E Networks: Imagining the next generation," Monga will focus on new ideas in R&E networks, from technologies like software defined networking (SDN) and named data networking (NDN) to collaborative architectures to build an internet of different capabilities for global science collaborations. He will also showcase the challenges R&E networks face and focus on enabling end-to-end architectures, including concepts like the Science DMZ.

On May 22, Monga opens the Experimental Research Workshop of the Future Internet (WPIEF). His keynote is entitled "Moving from SDN demo to operations: Challenges."

Both workshops are held as part of the Brazilian Symposium on Computer Networks  and Distributed Systems (SBRC) conference where Monga will contribute to a May 19 panel discussing "Challenges in the Development of Network Infrastructure, Testbeds Definitions Infrastructures Software."

ESnet and 'Superfacility' Collaboration Highlighted in DOE-SC Blog

The Department of Energy Office of Science's blog last week featured ESnet in an article focusing on the emerging "superfacility" concept. "ESnet's speed and capabilities are creating opportunities for real-time collaborations between scientists and equipment in far-flung locations," the May 14 article reads. It goes on to describe an exploratory collaboration between the Advanced Light Source, Computational Research Division (CRD), NERSC, ESnet and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). The article quotes ESnet's Eli Dart and CRD's Craig Tull, who coined the term "superfacility," about the collaboration. »Read more.

This Week's CS Seminars

»CS Seminars Calendar

EECS Seminar: Next Generation Mobile Communications for High-Speed Railway

Tuesday, May 19, 2-3 p.m., 531 Cory Hall, UC Berkeley
Bo Ai, Visiting Professor at Stanford University, from Beijing Jiaotong University

High-speed railway (HSR) has brought much convenience for peoples’ traveling. To ensure safe and reliable operation of HSR, the train operation control system acts as a nerve center. To make such nerve center work well with less time delay, maintaining a reliable bidirectional communication link between the train and the ground, dedicated mobile communication systems such as GSM for railway (GSM-R) and LTE for railway (LTE-R) play key roles. Moreover, rapid growth of future railway services and applications such as real-time high-definition (HD) video surveillance has aroused 1 Gbps data transmission rate with 100 MHz bandwidth at least. Thus, higher frequency band such as mm-wave technique, the fifth generation (5G) technique and corresponding mobile communication network should be designed accordingly to provide high capacity and high data transmission rate for newly developed railway services and applications. In this presentation, the key techniques and challenges for GSM-R, LTE-R and the fifth generation technique such as massive MIMO implemented in HSR will be discussed in detail.