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InTheLoop 05.16.2016

May 16, 2016

Berkeley Lab Team Wins CUG2016 ‘Best Paper’ Award

A new paper outlining NERSC’s Burst Buffer Early User Program and the center’s pioneering efforts to test drive the technology using real science applications on Cori Phase 1 has won the Best Paper award at this year’s Cray User Group (CUG) meeting.

Based on the Cray DataWarp I/O accelerator, the burst buffer on Cori is designed to move data in and out of the processor cores more quickly, which improves the overall performance of the system. This helps researchers make more effective use of the resource as they address key scientific challenges.

Last week at CUG 2016 held in London, Wahid Bhimji accepted the honor on behalf on the entire team, which also includes Deborah Bard, David Paul, Melissa Romanus, Andrey Ovsyannikov, Brian Friesen, Matt Bryson, Joaquin Correa, Glenn Lockwood, Vakho Tsulaia, Suren Byna, Steve Farrell, Chris Daley, Vince Beckner, Brian Van Straalen, David Trebotich, Craig Tull, Gunther Weber, Nick Wright, Katie Antypas and Prabhat, all of Berkeley Lab, and Doga Gursoy of Argonne National Laboratory.

Hazen Named NERSC Storage Systems' Group Lead

NERSC's Damian Hazen has been named group lead for Storage Systems. Hazen has been acting lead since last October, taking over for Jason Hick, who recently left NERSC to take a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Hazen's near-term top priority is to hire new staff to fill open positions in the group, including a senior HPC storage systems analyst and two HPC storage systems engineers. Farther out, Hazen is evaluating how new storage technologies such as flash will influence how storage at NERSC is going to look in the next few years.

Science DMZ: The Fast Path for Science Data

Science Node, a newsletter based in the U.S. and Europe, recently interviewed Larry Smarr about the importance of Science DMZs in advancing research. Developed by ESnet, the Science DMZ is a scalable network design model for optimizing science data transfers. The model has been endorsed by the National Science Foundation, which funds programs to build Science DMZs on university campuses. Smarr is founding director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and a UC San Diego professor.

Link of the Week: Strange New Form of Light = Faster Fiber Optics?

One of the measurable characteristics of a beam of light is known as angular momentum. Until now, it was thought that in all forms of light the angular momentum would be a multiple of Planck’s constant, but scientists have recently have demonstrated a new form of light where the angular momentum of each photon takes only half of this value. This difference, though small, is profound. Theoretical physicists since the 1980s have speculated how quantum mechanics works for particles that are free to move in only two of the three dimensions of space. They discovered that this would enable strange new possibilities, including particles the quantum numbers of which would be fractions of those expected. This work shows for the first time that these speculations can be realized with light. Harnessing this light could lead to faster communications technologies.