November 5, 1998
When SC98, the annual conference on high-performance computing
and networking, convenes Nov. 7 in Orlando, computational scientists
from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
will be out in force.
During the week-long conference of the nation's leaders in computing
and networking, members of Berkeley Lab's Computing Sciences organization
will be presenting leading-edge computer simulations, demonstrating
the latest tools for enhancing scientific research, and sharing
their expertise with hundreds of other attendees by leading tutorial
sessions. The Laboratory is home to the National Energy Research
Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), which serves researchers at
national labs, universities and industry, and the Information and
Computing Sciences Division, which conducts computing and networking
"With the combination of these two successful programs, Berkeley
Lab has truly emerged as one of the nation's leading centers for
computational science," said C. William McCurdy, associate laboratory
director for Computing Sciences. "And our leadership in the field
is reflected in the program for SC we're leading tutorials,
demonstrating the latest technologies, highlighting our collaborations
with other research organizations, and bringing home oneif
not twoof the top computing honors for the year."
Phillip Colella, a mathematician and leader of the Applied Numerical
Algorithms Group at NERSC, has been named as the recipient of the
IEEE Computer Society's 1998 Sidney Fernbach Award, given each year
to one person who has made "an outstanding contribution in the application
of high performance computers using innovative approaches." He will
receive the award during the conference.
NERSC physicist Andrew Canning is a member of a team of scientists
from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NERSC which is a finalist
for the Gordon Bell Prize, given for best accomplishment in high-performance
computing. The team, which also includes collaborators at the Pittsburgh
Supercomputing Center and the University of Bristol (UK), performed
a 1,024-atom first-principles simulation of metallic magnetism in
iron which ran at 657 Gigaflops (billions of calculations per second)
on a 1024-processor Cray/SGI T3E supercomputer.
Representatives from Berkeley Lab will be leading in-depth tutorials
in the emerging fields of large-scale, data-intensive computing,
an introduction to Message Passing Interface (the standard for writing
scalable applications), and parallel programming of industrial applications.
Additionally, four of the 48 technical papers accepted for the conference
are by authors who either work or are affiliated with Berkeley Lab.
Also, Berkeley Lab researchers will be organizing and staffing
a display for DOE2000, a Department of Energy program to develop
computer applications allowing scientists at DOE sites across the
country to remotely use scientific facilities and collaborate on-line
to conduct experiments and research.
Among the demonstrations scheduled by Berkeley Lab are:
Semilocal strings: a computer model, in striking detail,
of a possible state of the universe only a hundred billionth of
a trillionth of a trillionth of a second (10-35 second) after the
Big Bang. In 3-D computer, objects called "semilocal strings" condense
out of interacting quantum fields to form writhing tubes of energy.
Climate modeling: A partnership between climate modeling
experts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado
and NERSC has resulted in more comprehensive models running 28 times
faster than before. The work, funded by Department of Energy and
the National Science Foundation, is aimed at investigating the effect
of greenhouse gas increases and sulfate aerosols on global warming.
The Human Genome and Computational Biology: As the Human
Genome Project continues to decipher the secrets of our genetic
makeup, scientists around the world are gaining new insight into
our understanding of the biology of health and of disease. Berkeley
Lab scientists are developing new ways to predict protein folding,
a key step in designing new drugs and understanding genetic diseases.
Radiance: A computer application which allows users to
model different lighting conditions in buildingsand see how
the light would change as they moved through the room. Radiance
is part of the Virtual Building Laboratory, a project which aims
to use energy simulations and 3-D visualization technology to allow
scientists to test building performance and to examine and test
materials and designs in virtual real-time, bypassing reducing the
need for expensive laboratory experiments and avoiding design mistakes
that later might require costly building retrofits.
NetLogger: NetLogger is a tool for diagnosing problems
in networks and in distributed systems code and is being adopted
by researchers at other national laboratories. The toolkit allows
users to monitor exactly what is happening inside a distributed
application - from the time a request for data is sent and received
to the time the data are starting to be read, the point at which
the read is completed, and the time when processing begins and ends.
The Energy Sciences Network, or ESnet: ESnet, is a high-speed
network serving thousands of Department of Energy researchers and
collaborators worldwide. Managed and operated by the ESnet staff
at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ESnet provides direct
connections to more than 30 DOE sites at speeds up to 622 megabits
Turbulent flow in three dimensions: By its very nature,
turbulence is a constantly changing problem involving complex flows.
Although fluid flow and resulting turbulence are central to many
scientific and engineering problems, such as building more efficient
and less polluting internal combustion engines, it's a field that
is difficult to understand and even harder to accurately simulate
using a computer. In a parallel simulation of a three-dimensional
turbulent fluid jet, the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering
at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrates one method
of solving a hyperbolic computational physics problem.
Subsurface flow modeling: From groundwater contamination
to increasing the flow from oil and natural gas fields, understanding
the movement of liquids and gases in the subsurface is essential
- and computer simulations give scientists insight into otherwise
inaccessible regions. In the Earth Sciences Division at Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory, earth scientists have developed a
code for simulating multiphase flow and transport processes in fractured-porous
media. Called TOUGH2, the code can model one-, two- and three dimensional
flows of multiple phases, such as gas, aqueous liquids and oil,
and multiple components, such as water, air, organics and radionucleides.
Finally, Saul Perlmutter, leader of the international Supernova
Cosmology Project and a member of the Center for Particle Astrophysics
based at Berkeley Lab, will be an invited speaker at SC98. In his
talk, "Supercomputing and the Fate of the Universe," Perlmutter
will discuss how he used computer simulations to confirm conclusions
from observing supernovae that the universe will continue to expand,
rather than eventually collapse, as some scientists have predicted.
Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences (www.lbl.gov/CS)
provides high performance computing services to DOE's Energy Research
programs at national laboratories, universities, and industry, and
conducts computing science and network research. Berkeley Lab (www.lbl.gov)
conducts unclassified research and is managed by the University