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ESnet's Bill Johnston, Nearing Retirement, Reflects on His Career

April 11, 2008

In a few months, Bill Johnston of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will step down as head of ESnet, the Department of Energy's international network that provides high bandwidth networking to tens of thousands of researchers around the world. In a career that began in the 1970s and has included seminal work in networking, distributed computing, the Grid, and even crossing paths with Al Gore, Johnston has had a hand in the development of many of the high performance computing and networking resources that are today taken for granted. And as he tells it, it all began with the brain of Berkeley Lab scientist Tom Budinger. Read More »

The Greening of High Performance Computing

April 10, 2008

Will power consumption become the limiting factor for future growth in high performance computing (HPC)? Berkeley Lab's Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences, Horst Simon, addressed this topic in the Distinguished Lecture Series in Petascale Simulation at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences and the Texas Advanced Computing Center on April 10, 2008. Read More »

Code Booster

April 1, 2008

A research paper exploring ways to make a popular scientific analysis code run smoothly on different types of multicore computers won a Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS) this month. The paper’s lead author and CRD researcher, Samuel Williams, and his collaborators chose the lattice Bolzmann code to explore a broader issue: how to make best use of multicore supercomputers. The multicore trend started recently, and the… Read More »

Radical Computer

April 1, 2008

Three CRD researchers have proposed an innovative way to improve global climate change predictions by using a supercomputer with low-power embedded microprocessors, an approach that would overcome limitations posed by today’s conventional supercomputers. In a paper published in the May issue of the International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, Michael Wehner, Lenny Oliker and John Shalf lay out the benefit of a new class of supercomputers for modeling climate… Read More »


Flood Zone

April 1, 2008

Climate change is expected to lead to flooding of roads, railways, airport runways and other transit systems in the United States, according to two recent national reports that were co-authored by CRD climate modeling expert Michael Wehner. Though the impacts of climate change will vary by region throughout the United States, it is certain they will be widespread and costly in human and economic terms. It also will require significant changes in the planning, design, construction,… Read More »


Promoting Diversity

April 1, 2008

Computing Sciences researchers are undertaking initiatives to work on increasing diversity and to encourage K-12 students to study and pursue a career in math and science. They formed the Computing Sciences Diversity Committee to provide a forum for researchers and other staff to brainstorm and carry out ideas that promote diversity. The committee will also coordinate the various diversity-related efforts that many researchers and managers already have undertaken. Members of the… Read More »


Shanghai Professors Visit Lab

April 1, 2008

A delegation from Shanghai Jiao Tong University visited Berkeley Lab this month to learn about computational research here. Horst Simon, Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences and CRD Director, welcomed the group and gave an overview of the CRD research activities. Shanghai Jiao Tong is one of the premier universities in China, known for its science and engineering programs. The visiting group consisted of professors in electrical engineering and included Professor Wenjun Zhang,… Read More »

Hall of Fame

April 1, 2008

Parallel Computing Conference The 13th SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing again drew a large number of CRD researchers, who presented papers on subjects such as hardware and applications for petascale computing, adaptive mesh refinement algorithms, data-flow programming techniques, and power-efficient hardware and software designs. The three-day conference by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics drew hundreds of attendees from universities,… Read More »

Making “Parallel Programming” Synonymous with “Programming”

March 24, 2008

“This is one of the first times in my career when it actually feels like the major processor manufacturers might actually listen to people in terms of what they would like to make it easier to write parallel programs, or easier to get performance out of them,” said NERSC Director Kathy Yelick in an HPCwire interview with some of the major players in the two new Universal Parallel Computer Research Centers (UPCRC) funded by Intel and Microsoft — one at the University of California, Berkeley (Par Lab) and the other at the University of Illinois. UPCRC research targets single-socket parallel programming for mainstream computing and applications. Read More »


Berkeley Lab Climate Researcher Contributes to Two National Reports on Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation

March 17, 2008

WASHINGTON — According to a report issued this week by the National Research Council, climate change will affect every mode of transportation in the U.S. The greatest impact is expected to result from flooding of roads, railways, transit systems, and airport runways in coastal areas because of rising sea levels and surges brought on by more intense storms. Though the impacts of climate change will vary by region, it is certain they will be widespread and costly in human and economic terms, and will require significant changes in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems. Read More »