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NERSC's Debbie Bard Delivers Google I/O Talk on Machine Learning in Science

May 15, 2018


NERSC's Debbie Bard briefed Google I/O conference attendees on how NERSC is applying TensorFlow to science problems, including exploring the large-scale structure of the universe.

NERSC’s Debbie Bard was invited to give a presentation May 10 during Google I/O, Google’s annual developer’s conference held in Mountain View, CA, where she talked about how machine learning and deep learning are being used in cosmology to explore the large-scale structure of the universe.

At NERSC, Bard - acting group lead for the Data Science Engagement Group - is working to scale up TensorFlow, an open source framework for machine learning developed by Google, to run effectively on thousands of nodes on the center's Cori supercomputer.

“One of the nice things about scientific uses of deep learning versus commercial applications is that the challenges are different and scientists use it in a different way,” Bard said. “For example, we are looking at 3D data sets because at lot of data sets in science are 3D, which is something you don’t see that much in the commercial sector. Plus we are doing code optimization for 3D data sets.”

Bard’s talk covered the use of generative networks to augment or emulate computationally expensive simulations of the universe; how researchers can use the features learned by a neural network to gain insight into which structures in the universe are most affected by our theoretical model; and how scientists can use deep learning to predict theoretical parameters from the 3D distribution of matter in the universe.

Watch Bard's presentation here:

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.