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InTheLoop 07.05.2016

July 5, 2016

New Interactive Timeline Highlights ESnet's Leadership in Science Networking

In 1986, DOE merged the Magnetic Fusion Energy Network (MFEnet) with the High Energy Physics Network (HEPnet) to create the Energy Sciences Network, better known as ESnet. To recognize ESnet’s many contributions to the research and education networking community, the Computing Sciences Communications Group created an interactive timeline highlighting ESnet’s networking innovations and milestones, and including extensive documentation of the network as it evolved.
ESnet’s roots reach back to the mid-1970s when four dial-up modems connected the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to the National Magnetic Fusion Energy Computer Center, which is today known as NERSC.

A Peek Inside the Earliest Moments of the Universe

Researchers from the NPLQCD Collaboration are using NERSC supercomputers to gain new insights into big bang nucleosynthesis, a process that occurred in the first few minutes following the Big Bang, some 14 billion years ago.

One of the most critical aspects of big bang nucleosynthesis is the radiative capture process, in which a proton captures a neutron and fuses to produce a deuteron and a photon. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how they used lattice quantum chromodynamics calculations to precisely measure the nuclear reaction rate that occurs when a deuteron is formed. While physicists have been able to experimentally measure these phenomena in the laboratory, they haven’t been able to do the same, with certainty, using only calculations—until now.

NERSC's Jason Lee Presents 400G Network Deployment at International Conference

Jason Lee of NERSC’s Networking and Security Group gave a talk on “400G Deployed by a National Research and Education Network” at the 18th annual Next Generation Optical Networking conference held June 28-July 1 in Nice, France. Lee’s June 30 talk was part of the Next Generation Optical track.
His presentation looked at the 400 gigabits-per-second link between the Oakland Scientific Facility and Wang Hall on the main lab campus. The connection, set up in 2015 to help move data between the sites as part of NERSC’s transition back to LBNL, is believed to be the world’s first production 400G network.
According to Lee, the 400 Gbps optical connection linking two distinct, large-scale data centers is used to integrate scientific workflows and support research in the areas of fiber-optic signal transport, data movement and management techniques and support the execution of those workflows.

Call for Posters: Women in HPC Workshop at SC16

Posters are now being accepted for the fifth international Women in HPC workshop, which will be held Sunday, November 13, at SC16.
This year’s workshop, “Diversifying the HPC Community,” will address the under-representation of women in HPC, with discussions about the challenges faced by women in this field and how to improve the opportunities provided to women interested in HPC.

The day-long workshop will provide activities of interest to two particular groups:

  • Those responsible for hiring and recruiting staff who are interested in increasing diversity and retention of under-represented groups in their organization
  • Early and mid career women working in HPC who wish to improve their career opportunities

Anyone interested in improving diversity in the HPC community is invited to attend.

NERSC 2015 Annual Report Now Available Online

The 2015 NERSC Annual Report has been published and is now available online as a PDF.

The 80-page report showcases NERSC's many activities and accomplishments in 2015, including the move back to the Berkeley Lab main campus; the installation of Phase 1 of its newest supercomputer, Cori; key science findings enabled by NERSC resources; new projects and programs designed to help prepare users for the next generation of supercomputing architectures; and innovative technologies developed by NERSC staff to support the center's three strategic focus areas: exascale computing, data-intensive science and operational excellence.

This Week's CS Seminars

»CS Seminars Calendar

Wednesday, July 6

Cyclotron Road Seminar Series: A New Approach to Solid-State Batteries
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Bldg. 67, Rm. 3111
Mauro Pasta, University of Oxford

Pasta will describe his work, being done in conjunction with Richard Wang of Stanford University, on Cuberg, a new approach to solid-state batteries. Through Cuberg, they are  developing solid-state batteries using low-cost materials that offer increased energy density, high-power performance, improved safety, thermal stability and scalable processing. Ultimately, this pioneering technology could power the electric vehicles of the future.

Thursday, July 7

ETA Seminar: Ecohacking: Web-based Analytics Driving the Urban Sustainability Transition
12-1 pm, Bldg. 90, Room 3122
John McKibbin, University of Technology Sydney

One of the most exciting developments in urban sustainability research and policy in recent years has been the emergence of "ecohacking." Beginning around 5 years ago, we’ve witnessed the emergence of a swathe of innovations applying the latest data science and web technology to drive sustainable behaviours and the uptake of efficient appliances, renewables and other technologies. This seminar will provide a snapshot of recent ecohacking work emerging from Australia. Key subjects will include: methods and tools for integrating, analysing and visualising urban environmental performance data including web-based data platforms and browser-based interactive visualisation tools; methods and tools for simulating and forecasting the energy and water requirements of buildings, precincts and cities including end use modelling, building and appliance stock modelling (for simulating stock turnover), building services modelling (for simulating heating and cooling, water heating requirements etc); and methods and tools for assessing alternative energy and water servicing opportunities, including efficiency measures (e.g. efficient appliances), distributed resource measures (solar PV, rainwater harvesting) and network infrastructure measures (e.g. network augmentations).

The seminar will attempt to draw links with recent work at Berkeley Lab and elsewhere in the U.S., with a view to identify collaboration opportunities between Australia and the U.S. Read more about this seminar and speaker or contact Samuel Fernandes sgfernandes@lbl.gov for further information.

External Facelist Calculation with Data-Parallel Primitives 
12-1 pm, Bldg. 59, Rm. 3042
Brent Lessley, University of Oregon

External facelist calculation on three-dimensional unstructured meshes is used in scientific visualization libraries to efficiently render the results of operations such as clipping, interval volumes, and material boundaries. With this study, we consider the external facelist algorithm on many-core architectures. We design and introduce two novel approaches, one based on sorting and one based on hashing. Both of these algorithms consist entirely of data-parallel primitive operations, in an effort to achieve portable performance across different architectures. We study the performance of the algorithms via experiments varying over data set, hardware, and other factors. Overall, we observe that the hashing-based implementation achieves better runtime performance for the majority of configurations, while also achieving the most-stable performance on highly unstructured data sets.