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InTheLoop 08.03.2015

August 3, 2015

NSF Funds Upgrade Network Linking Lab, Universities and Research Networks Based on Science DMZ

For the last three years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a series of competitive grants to over 100 U.S. universities to aggressively upgrade their campus network capacities. As these upgrades are for greatly enhanced science data access, many incorporate ESnet’s Science DMZ architecture. NSF is now building on that distributed investment by funding a $5 million, five-year award to UC San Diego and UC Berkeley to establish a Pacific Research Platform (PRP), a science-driven high-capacity data-centric “freeway system” on a large regional scale.

The PRP is basing its initial deployment on a proven and scalable network design model for optimizing science data transfers developed by ESnet. “ESnet developed the Science DMZ concept to help address common network performance problems encountered at research institutions by creating a network architecture designed for high-performance applications, where the data science network is distinct from the commodity shared Internet,” said ESnet Director Greg Bell. “As part of its extensive national and international outreach, ESnet is committed to working closely with the Pacific Research Platform to leverage the Science DMZ and Science Engagement concepts to enable collaborating scientists to advance their research.” In the PRP the Science DMZ model will be extended from a set of heterogeneous campus-level DMZs to an interoperable regional model. »Read more.

Summer Interns to Present Work at Thursday Reception

This Thursday, August 6, undergraduate students who have spent a term participating in a research internship here at Berkeley Lab will present their work at a poster session and reception hosted by Workforce Development & Education. The event will be held from 3 to 5pm in the lab cafeteria (building 54) and refreshments will be served. 

These internships provide the opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on projects related to the Lab’s cutting-edge research programs. The event provides the rare opportunity to bring together examples of the breadth of research conducted at the Lab through the experience of the students taking part in the programs. All Lab staff are encouraged to come and support the next generation of scientists and engineers.

July Brings Four New Faces to CS, NERSC

In July, Deborah Bard, Jackson Gore and Indira Kassymkhanova joined NERSC, and Lisa Theobald became assistant to ALD Kathy Yelick in Computing Sciences.  »Read more.

Apply Now for Fall 2015 Python Bootcamp

Applications are now being accepted for the Python Boot Camp Fall 2015. Held at Berkeley Lab from August 19 - 21, the camp is designed to familiarize programmers of other languages (like C, Java, FORTRAN, and Lisp) with the basics of Python. In addition to knowing a different computer language, attendees should understand basic computer science concepts (such as looping, recursion, pointers, etc.) as a foundation for the boot camp curriculum. Camp is held 8:30am to 5:00pm each day and consists of a mixture of formal lectures, in-class demos, coding breakout sessions and homework projects. It is open to anyone within the UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab community.  A small fee to offset the costs will be collected at the time of official registration. There will be a limited number of slots open to industry participants. »Learn more.  »Apply.

Second Chance to Attend Software Carpentry Workshop for Women

If you missed out on registering for Software Carpentry's WiSE (workshop for Women in Science and Engineering), held Monday and Tuesday, August 17-18 at UC Davis, you may get another chance. The workshop, designed for scientists, engineers, and those in related fields who identify as women, female, or on the non-binary spectrum, is currently sold-out. However, event organizers encourage interested parties to join the waitlist, as seats are becoming available. Software Carpentry is a volunteer organization whose goal is to make scientists more productive, and their work more reliable, by teaching them basic computing skills. Founded in 1998, it runs short, intensive workshops that cover program design, version control, testing, and task automation. »Learn more.

Volunteers Needed to Inspire 5th Graders in Science

The Berkeley Lab Adventure Zone in Elementary Science (BLAZES) program is holding its first volunteer workshop on Monday, August 10, 11:30am to 1:30pm. BLAZES provides hands-on science learning opportunities to 1,500 local 5th graders each year. The program, however, depends on volunteers from across the Lab to lead these small-group activities. You need not be a scientist to volunteer. Kits and scripted lessons are provided.  »Learn more. »Register now.

This Week's CS Seminars

Development of a Fast Sparse Solver Using Low-rank Approximations and Randomized Sampling

Tuesday, August 4, 10–11am, Bldg. 50F, Room 1647
Pieter Ghysels Performance and Algorithms Research Group Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

In this talk I will present a new code for solving or preconditioning large sparse linear systems. Typical factorization based sparse solvers require a lot of memory due to so-called fill-in, the introduction of nonzeros in the matrix factors. The algorithm used in our solver compresses the factorization by applying low-rank approximations in the form of hierarchically semi-separable (HSS) matrices. For many sparse systems, mainly those arising from PDE discretizations, this leads to a very economic representation of the matrix factorization at a much lower computational cost than traditional methods. The low-rank approximations are computed by a randomized sampling followed by rank-revealing QR factorizations. The code is available as a software package called STRUMPACK, currently under development at LBNL. STRUMPACK is written in modern C++ and supports single and double precision as well as complex arithmetic through C++ templates. A fill-reducing nested-dissection reordering of the matrix is computed using either (Par)METIS or (PT-)Scotch. On node parallelism is exploited using the OpenMP task construct, which leads to efficient dynamically scheduled execution of fine grained tasks. For inter-node parallelism we use MPI and ScaLAPACK. This is joint work with Sherry Li, Francois-Henry Rouet, Artem Napov and Samuel Williams.

Undergraduate Intern Poster Session for Summer Term

Thursday, August 6, 3–5pm guests; (2 – 6pm presenters)
Building 54 (Cafeteria), Berkeley Lab

The Poster Session highlights the work of undergraduate students who have spent a term participating in a research internship here at Berkeley Lab, hosted by Workforce Development & Education at Berkeley Lab. 

The internships provide the opportunity to work with world-class scientists and engineers on projects related to the Lab’s cutting-edge research programs. The event provides the rare opportunity to bring together examples of the breadth of research conducted at the Lab through the experience of the students taking part in the programs.

Poster presenters are encouraged to invite family and/or friends to this event,  

AGENDA: 
2:00pm: Presenters arrive at the Cafeteria, Building 54 
2:30 – 3:30pm: Presenters set up for the Poster Session 
3:00pm: Group photo 
3:30 – 5:00pm: Poster Session – undergraduate interns discuss their work with guests (Refreshments will be served) 
5:00 – 5:30pm: Break down posters