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Berkeley Lab Launches New Center for Innovative Financial Technology

July 23, 2010

Contact: David Leinweber, djleinweber@gmail.com

To help build a bridge between the computational science and financial markets communities, the Center for Innovative Financial Technology (CIFT) has been established in the Computational Research Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

CIFT will be led by David Leinweber, who was a Haas Fellow in Finance at UC Berkeley before joining Berkeley Lab in 2010. Leinweber, who has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University, may be best known as the author of "Nerds on Wall Street: Math Machines and Wired Markets" published in 2009. The Computational Research Division creates computational tools and techniques that enable scientific breakthroughs, by conducting applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.

It is striking how many themes in scientific computing and networking are directly relevant to issues faced by participants in financial markets, and to governments that seek to understand, monitor and regulate them. Example of overlapping areas of interest include: Understanding Complex Systems, Simulations Driving Next Generation Technology, Discovery through Visualization, Real-time Analytics, Robust Adaptive Systems and Network Security. In the HPC context, these themes are discussed in the context of applications in many fields, such as physics, chemistry, material science, biology, climate and energy.

It is also striking how, in quite a large stack of publications focusing on high performance computing, there is no mention of markets, despite their intimate relations to technology, and common basis in high-speed large-scale information processing. Advanced computing has a great deal to offer to the world of markets, and market participants of all flavors have a great deal to gain by closer relationships with the advanced computing research community.

Financial markets and high performance computing research are a natural fit in many ways. Markets are a rich area for research. Their data volumes are huge, and their real-time requirements are at the edge of technological capabilities.

"Security and stability of markets is a national security issue of the first order. This has been made clear by recent events on both macro and micro time scales.We hope this center will stimulate discussion of these topics, and lead to a larger role for advanced computing researchers in understanding markets that have become advanced computers," says Leinweber.

Click here for more information about David Leinwebewer.

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 6,000 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 DOE 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.