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April 1, 2008

Parallel Computing Conference

The 13th SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing again drew a large number of CRD researchers, who presented papers on subjects such as hardware and applications for petascale computing, adaptive mesh refinement algorithms, data-flow programming techniques, and power-efficient hardware and software designs.

The three-day conference by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics drew hundreds of attendees from universities, national labs and other research institutions around the world. Esmond Ng, head of CRD’s Scientific Computing Group, served as a co-chair for the conference in Atlanta, Georgia last month.

The conference emphasized the intersection between high performance scientific computing and scalable algorithms, architectures and software. It drew researchers from the applied mathematics, computer science, computational science and engineering fields.

More than a dozen CRD scientists contributed to the conference as authors/speakers or organizers of minisymposia. The CRD researchers who participated were John Bell, Andrew Canning, Phillip Colella, James Demmel, Tony Drummond, Parry Husbands, Sherry Li, Esmond Ng, Lenny Oliker, John Shalf, Horst Simon, Philip Sternberg, Brian Van Straalen, and Chao Yang.

One of the highlights at the conference was a panel discussion organized by Horst Simon. The intent of the panel was to provide a global perspective on parallel processing research for scientific computing. There were representatives from Brazil, China, India, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and the U.S.A. The panelists provided overviews of high-performance scientific computing in various countries and touched on issues related to opportunities for global collaborations.

Greening of HPC 

Horst Simon, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab, recently gave a talk as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series in Petascale Simulation at the University of Texas at Austin.

Horst Simon

Simon discussed efforts to promote the growth of high performance comput- ing without contributing to global warming in the talk, “The Greening of High Performance Computing — Will Power Consumption Become the Limiting Factor for Future Growth?” He also outlined the Lab’s research projects that address the issue of reducing power consumption.

ACM Award

Dave Patterson, a CRD computer scientist and a UC Berkeley professor, won the 2007 ACM Distinguished Service Award.

The Association of Computing Machinery gave Patterson the award for his initiatives that brought more respect and understanding to the computing profession.

Dave Patterson

Patterson is the founding director of the Parallel Computing Laboratory (Par Lab) at UC Berkeley. Par Lab works on projects that aim to solve hardware and software challenges in multicore computing. He also founded the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Laboratory (RAD Lab), which focuses on the design of more dependable computing systems.

His membership on President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) under President George W. Bush and on the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Membership Committee enabled him to advance the interest of the computing research community. He helped to increase the number of computer scientists being elected to the NAE annually by highlighting work by outstanding computing researchers.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.