InTheLoop | 11.19.2001
The Weekly Electronic Newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees.
November 19, 2001
Lab Team Surpasses Own Expectations in Winning SC2001 Bandwidth Challenge
When a Berkeley Lab-led team won the High-Performance Bandwidth
Challenge at the SC2001 conference last week for the second year in a
row, their sustained network saturation rate of 3.3 gigabits per second
exceeded even the team's expectations. In their entry for the
competition, team leader John Shalf said they expected to move 2.5
gigabits, completely saturating the specially installed OC-48 connection
between NERSC and the conference site in Denver. ESnet staffers made an
extra effort to get that link up and running in time for SC2001.
"Members of the ESnet staff really went out of their way to get the
OC-48 link up and running to make our participation in the
High-Performance Bandwidth Challenge possible," said Bill Kramer, head
of NERSC's High Performance Computing Department and chair of the
bandwidth competition. "In addition to the challenge team members, ESnet
deserves a lot of credit for helping the Lab team win."
Qwest Telecommunications, Level 3 and Juniper Networks also contributed
expertise and equipment to the effort.
The team was also able to take advantage of two other OC-12 network
connections, one ESnet connection from NERSC and the other from the
National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Illinois via the
Abilene network, to push their data transfer to the 3.3 Gbits rate. The
group ran a simulation of a grazing collision of two black holes using
the Cactus simulation code developed by collaborators at the Albert
Einstein Institute in Germany on NERSC's 5 teraflop/s IBM SP-2 system.
The data from that running simulation was then sent realtime via
high-performance networks to the Denver where it was volume-rendered in
parallel using the Visapult application running on a cluster of PCs in
the LBNL booth on the SC2001 show floor. The application provided highly
interactive visualization and computational steering of a
production-scale simulation code over a wide area network.
The team also had a new piece of equipment to help them out - a 10
Gigabit Ethernet switch built by Force 10 Networks. SC2001 marked the
public debut of the new switch, one of which was in the Lab booth and
the second was in the conference network operations center. John
Christman of LBLnet facilitated the use of the switches from Force 10.
The team used the switch to achieve a high bandwidth connection between
various sites. "The 10 Gigabit switch was one of the few trouble-free
components of this entire network-distributed application," said John
Shalf. "Despite the performance of the Visapult/Cactus application, we
never got close to stressing the Force 10 switch."
"High Performance Computing and 10 Gigabit Ethernet are a natural fit,
especially for distributed supercomputing clusters that require
significant bandwidth between the distributed sites," said Steve
Mullaney, vice president of marketing for the Milpitas-based Force 10.
"And as supercomputing nodes move to Gigabit Ethernet speeds, 10 Gigabit
Ethernet is needed to aggregate the Gigabit Ethernet connections in
scalable, non-blocking networks."
For more information about the winners of the High-Performance Bandwidth
Challenge, go to
NERSC's Andrew Canning Shares Honorable Mention in SC's Gordon Bell Prize
Andrew Canning, a member of the team that won the Gordon Bell Prize at
the SC98 conference for having the fastest application, received an
honorable mention in this year's Gordon Bell Prize competition,
announced at the SC2001 conference last week in Denver. Their entry,
"Multi-Teraflop/s Spin Dynamics Studies of the Magnetic Structure of
FeMn/Co Interfaces," achieved a maximum execution rate of 2.46
teraflop/s on NERSC's IBM SP supercomputer. In addition to Andrew, the
team included B. Ujfalussy, Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Tennessee, Knoxville; T. C. Schulthess, X.-G. Zhang, W. A.
Shelton, D. M. C. Nicholson, and G. M. Stocks, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory; Yang Wang, Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center; and T. Dirks,
Here's the abstract:
"We have used the power of massively parallel computers to perform
first-principles spin dynamics (SD) simulations of the magnetic
structure of Iron-Manganese/Cobalt (FeMn/Co) interfaces. These
large-scale quantum mechanical simulations, involving 2,016-atom
super-cell models, reveal details of the orientational configuration of
the magnetic moments at the interface that are unobtainable by any other
means. Exchange bias, which involves the use of an antiferromagnetic
(AFM) layer such as FeMn to pin the orientation of the magnetic moment
of a proximate ferromagnetic (FM) layer such as Co, is of fundamental
importance in magnetic multilayer storage and read head devices. Here
the equation of motion of first-principles SD is used to perform
relaxations of model magnetic structures to the true ground
UCSF Center for Gender Equity Hosts Women's Leadership Symposium in March 02
The Center for Gender Equity at the University of California, San
Francisco will present the third bi-annual conference, "Women Leaders
2002: A Symposium for Women in University Settings," on March 7-8, 2002
at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness Ave. at Geary Boulevard in
San Francisco. Highlights of the conference include 30 workshops in the
areas of leadership, personal development and communication. Early
registration is open now and encouraged because the symposium has been
sold out in the past.
Keynote speakers include Bertrice Berry, PhD, sociologist, educator,
author and comedian; Helen Zia, award-winning journalist, author and
contributing editor to Ms. Magazine; and Molly Ivins, best-selling
author and syndicated political columnist. The conference will also
feature a panel of top-level university women who will share insights on
what it takes to be a leader within the system. They include Chancellor
Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, UC Merced; Assistant Vice President Jacqueline
Mimms, UC Office of the President; and Assistant Vice President Cecilia
Burciaga, California State University, Monterey Bay. UC Regent Odessa
Johnson will serve as the moderator for the panel.
"The symposium offers wonderful opportunities for education, inspiration
and connection for all university women. It is an excellent way to
network with others to find out what it takes to be successful in higher
education," said Amy Levine, conference chair and director of the UCSF
Center for Gender Equity.
Registration is required to attend the symposium. Participants can
register online at the website http://www.ucsf.edu/cge/wls-2002 or
download and print a copy of the registration form to mail. The cost to
attend is $200 for Early Bird registration (through December 1, 2001);
$250 regular attendance (until March 1, 2002); and $300 on site. For a
full program of presenters and events, go to the website. For more
information, call Victoria Auer at (415) 476-5222.
Course on UNIX Security to Be Presented Wednesday, December 5
UNIX system administrators and users--is your UNIX system secure enough
to be able to withstand the many kinds of attacks that are launched
against UNIX systems? To help you in your effort to achieve security in
UNIX systems, the LBNL Computer Protection Program is sponsoring a
full-day course on UNIX security. This course will cover the following
* Major types of security-related vulnerabilities
* Physical security
* File protection
* System and network protection
* Account security
* Special security needs in different flavors of UNIX
* Useful tools (ssh, sudo, tcpdump, Tripwire, Crack, Fix-Modes, etc.)
This course will be held in the Building 66 auditorium from 9 a.m. to 5
p.m. on Wednesday, December 5. The instructors will be Jim Mellander and
Gene Schultz. There is no charge for attending, but pre-registration is
required. To register, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and
Meet the Three Newest Members of NERSC's Scientific Computing Group
Three relatively new hires have joined the Scientific Computing Group.
Jodi Lamoureux, who was a postdoc in NERSC since late 1998, is now a
regular staff in SCG; she will be SCG point of contact for several
projects in high-energy physics and fusion energy. In addition, Jodi
will continue her work on AMANDA.
Ali Pinar, who graduated from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, joined SCG in October as a postdoc fellow. Ali's
research interest is parallel combinatorial algorithms and he will be
working with Horst Simon and Esmond Ng.
Jingbo Li, who also reported to work in October, is a postdoc fellow
working with Lin-Wang Wang in the area of nanostructure calculations.
Microsoft Releases Cumulative Patch for Fixing Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities
Tired of patching your Internet Explorer (IE) browser? Microsoft has
released a cumulative patch for IE 5.5 (with Service Pack 2) and IE 6,
which is available at
This cumulative patch obviates the need to install one patch, then
another, although this cumulative patch does not work for other versions
MoveSmart Class Offered in Six Sessions on Nov. 26, 27 and 28
The Lab's EH&S Division is again offering the MoveSmart class (EHS 062
and retraining class EHS 066). MoveSmart is a program designed to help
participants develop skills for safer and stronger handling of
materials, boosting balance, lifting correctly and safe use of hands and
knees. Laboratory employees involved in moving and lifting as part of
their job are encouraged to attend. To register for one of the six
sessions listed below, go to the EH&S Training website at
https://hris.lbl.gov/self_service/training/index.html or call x7366.
All classes will be held in Bldg. 51, room 201. Here's the schedule:
Monday, Nov. 26, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
One-hour retraining classes:
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1-2 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.
About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Area provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) 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). NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (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.
Berkeley Lab 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.
The DOE Office of Science is the United States' single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.