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Inspiring Careers in Science Research

January 21, 2012


David Turner shows Lowell High School students around NERSC's computer room. (Photo by Margie Wylie)

In an effort to expose high school students to careers in research, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences Diversity Outreach Program partnered with San Francisco’s Lowell High School Science Research Program, an after school program that aims to give highly motivated juniors and seniors a chance to develop research projects with professional guidance with the intent to have the students enter the Intel Science Talent Search, a competition sponsored by Intel that offers college scholarships for outstanding scientific work. 

As part of this collaboration, 32 Lowell students got a tour of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) in Oakland, Calif. earlier this month. Here, the students got to see Hopper—the world’s eighth most powerful supercomputer—and talk to the center’s system administrators, user consultants and supercomputer analysts about their day-to-day work.

Throughout the month of January, a number of Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences staff also trekked out to Lowell to talk about their research and career paths. The lecturers and mentors include:

  • Taghrid Samak, who talked about data-mining and anomaly detection for workflow scientific applications.
  • Daniela Ushizima, who talked about computational physics, computer-aided leukemia diagnosis, and image analysis on scientific applications.
  • Tony Drummond, who talked about the Energy Department’s Advanced Computational Software Collection, which includes tools to optimize global atmospheric circulation and a Virtual World Data Server for visualizing large datasets that arise in the earth system computer simulations.
  • Deborah Agarwal, who heads Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Computing for Science Department and the Data Intensive Systems Group.

Elizabeth Bautista, who heads NERSC’s Computer Operations and Network Support Group, coordinated the Lowell High School partnership with Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences. Over time the plan is to expand the speakers and tours to provide the students with exposure to science areas across the Laboratory. Scientists who are interested in speaking at Lowell High School about their research can contact Elizabeth at [email protected].

For more information on the program, please visit: http://lowellscienceresearch.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/welcome-to-lowell-science-research/

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery, and researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 13 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’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 energy.gov/science.