A supernova discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory survey is closer to Earth—approximately 21 million light-years away—than any other of its kind in a generation. Astronomers believe they caught the supernova within hours of its explosion, a rare feat made possible with a specialized survey telescope and state-of-the-art computational tools from DOE's NERSC and ESnet. Astronomers say this event is an "instant cosmic classic." More>
Using NERSC systems, scientists have found that the small effects of particles suspended in our atmosphere add up over time and can lead to big errors in climate prediction models. Known as aerosols, particles such as ozone, dust and sea salt both scatter and absorb sunlight in different proportions depending on their type and elevation. Taken together, the effects of these small particles can tip the Earth’s energy balance toward heating or cooling. More>
Energy science is a broad field that encompasses a diverse group of scientists. But these researchers have a common end in mind: improving energy efficiency, conversion, and storage. In the ASCR Discovery article “Extreme computing to power energy science breakthroughs,” NERSC users Giulia Galli of UC Davis, Ram Devanathan of PNNL, and Jeff Grossman of MIT discuss how their research is contributing to those goals, and how new computational tools will be crucial to further progress. More>
Introducing: Lauren Rotman and Alex Slepoy. More>
Berkeley Lab researchers were prominent on the program of the the 7th International Congress on Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM 2011) held July 18–22, in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Two of Berkeley Lab's leading mathematicians received special prizes for their research contributions and an impressive total of 26 lab staff members gave talks, organized technical sessions, and presented papers and posters. More>
ESnet collects a huge amount of data as part of operating and monitoring the network. That data is processed and aggregated in various ways to distill useful information. On August 10, ESnet launched the MyESnet portal, which provides a cohesive view of that information organized through a single unified interface. Read more. Take a look at the explanatory screen cast which demonstrates the portal with video and voice commentary.
Jay Srinivasan has been selected as the Computational Systems Group Lead in the NERSC Systems Department. In this role, he will supervise the day-to-day operation of all of NERSC’s computer systems. Srinivasan has over 15 years of experience in high performance computing both as a user and administrator. Since joining NERSC in 2001, he has worked on all the large systems from Seaborg (IBM/SP2) to Hopper (Cray XE6) and was the system lead for the Jacquard system. Most recently, Jay was the team lead for the PDSF cluster that supports Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics. More>
CRD computer scientist and musician Keith Jackson was recognized in the recently published book The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song by Elena Mannes. (Read the excerpt.) Mannes recognizes Jackson for his contributions to “Rhythms of the Universe,” the musical project by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart sought to “sonify” the universe. Jackson converted the electromagnetic data from exploding supernova light waves by slowing down the frequency and elongating or “stretching” it into audio form; Hart then took the sounds and incorporated them into his musical composition. The resulting piece was performed at a conference held in 2010 and sponsored by Nobel Laureate and Berkeley Lab scientist George Smoot’s Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics. In her book, Mannes argues that music may contain organizing principles that underlie the cosmos itself, as exemplified in Jackson and Hart’s supernova music.
On July 28, Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences and the Molecular Foundry hosted some two dozen students from the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science, or COSMOS. A month-long summer program for high school students who excel at math and science, COSMOS allows participants to take subject-specific classes taught by UC faculty and researchers.
The visiting students were from the Computer Security, Privacy and Cybervillainy cluster, which was partly taught by Sean Peisert of CRD’s Complex Systems Group. As part of the Berkeley Lab tour, the students visited the NERSC facility where they got to see some of the world’s fastest supercomputers; they learned about scientific visualizations and analytics, and toured the Molecular Foundry. Tour guides for the day included Katie Antypas and Nick Cardo of NERSC, Joerg Meyer and Prabhat of the Visualization and Analytics Group, and the Molecular Foundry's Aditi Risbud.
A newborn, nearby supernova with the potential to significantly improve our knowledge of the universe has been discovered by a supercomputer, two telescopes on opposite sides of the world, sharp-eyed astronomer Peter Nugent, and his helpful Oxford colleague. More>
Supercomputers have become a critical tool for scientists. Each year, they get bigger and faster — and use a lot more power. Soon, each one will need as much energy as a small city. That has researchers looking for ways to reinvent the supercomputer — by using the technology inside cellphones explains NERSC's John Shalf. More>
Data growth has exploded everywhere over the past 10 years, but nowhere has the impact been felt more keenly than in science and research. This growth is driven by the ability of scientific instruments like the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to produce massive amounts of data, the increasing capability of high-performance computers, and the development of collaborative international experiments. Answering the challenge of exploding amounts of data, ESnet and Internet2 announced an agreement to build one of the world's fastest and most advanced scientific networks to further accelerate US competitiveness in science and technology. More>
Associate Lab Director Kathy Yelick appeared on Intel’s online talk show, Parallel Computing Talk, where she discussed NERSC's 1.3 petaflop Hopper system and offered her insights about the programming challenges inherent to petascale and exascale systems. Yelick appears eight minutes into the program. More>
While adding up your grocery bill in the supermarket, you're probably not thinking how important or sophisticated our number system is. But the discovery of the present system, by unknown mathematicians in India roughly 2,000 years ago— and shared with Europe from the 13th century onwards—was pivotal to the development of our modern world. In this editorial, Berkeley Lab's Chief Technologist David Bailey and University of Newcastle mathematics professor Jon Borwein explore the origins of our numerical system and the decimal. At Berkeley Lab, Bailey also heads the Computational Research Division's Complex Systems Group. More>
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