Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-burning power plants are major contributors to global warming. So researchers are searching for porous materials to filter the CO2 generated by these plants before it reaches the atmosphere. Using borrowed techniques from drug discovery, and state-of-the-art advances in mathematics, computational algorithms and supercomputing, researchers in Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division developed a tool for identifying the most efficient porous materials for CO2. More>
With the help of supercomputers at NERSC, researchers at Stanford University have uncovered yet another hidden talent of graphene—with a little chemical doping, it can be transformed into a controllable piezoelectric material. This discovery could lead to a wide variety of graphene-based nanoscale devices from electronics to chemical sensors. More>
Developmental biologists at Stanford University, using computing resources at the U.S. Department of Energy’s NERSC, have taken a new mathematical method used in signal processing and applied it to biochemistry, using it to reveal the atomic-level details of protein–DNA interactions with unprecedented accuracy. They hope this method, called “compressed sensing,” will speed up research into where genes are turned on and off, and they expect it to have applications in many other scientific domains as well. More>
James Sethian and Robert Saye, mathematicians who both hold joint appointments with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, have won the 2011 Cozzarelli Prize for the best scientific paper in the category of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Their winning paper, “The Voronoi Implicit Interface Method for Computing Multiphase Physics,” introduces a robust, accurate, and efficient numerical method for tracking large numbers of interacting and evolving regions (phases) whose motions are determined by complex interactions of geometry, physics, constraints, and internal boundary conditions. More>
“The Cactus Code: A Problem Solving Environment for the Grid,” a paper co-authored by John Shalf of the Computational Research Division, has been selected as one of the top papers in the 20 years of publications from HPDC, the International ACM Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing. Other authors of the paper, written in 2000, are Gabrielle Allen, Werner Benger, Tom Goodale, Hans-Christian Hege, Gerd Lanfermann, André Merzky, Thomas Radke and Edward Seidel. More>
This month the ESnet Policy Board held its first meeting at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The seven-member board was created last summer to provide scientific and executive-level advice to the Laboratory’s Director regarding the overall ESnet program. Meeting annually, the Policy Board focuses on specific issues such as resource utilization to maximize the present and future scientific impact of ESnet and long-range planning for the program, including research and development necessary for future capabilities. More>
Kathy Yelick, Berkeley Lab's Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences, was one of 16 speakers invited to share their expertise at a Feb. 16 symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. Yelick gave a presentation on "More and Moore: Growing Computing Performance for Scientific Discovery." Other speakers on the program included Former Vice President Al Gore, who spearheaded the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991, David Keyes of Columbia University and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and Vinton Cerf, one of the “fathers of the Internet” and a member of the ESnet Policy Board.
On Tuesday afternoons, as many Lab employees are heading down the Hill after work, a group of more than 60 high school girls from Berkeley and Albany head up to Berkeley Lab for a series of 10 two-hour workshops to develop science education apps for Android smartphones. Split into five-member teams, the girls are being mentored by 20 women who work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. More>
Earlier this month, Berkeley Lab hosted an invitation-only workshop on Materials for Energy Applications, which was jointly sponsored by all 17 DOE national laboratories. This three-day conference—the first of a planned series—was held to increase industry awareness of relevant research capabilities within the DOE national laboratory system, to deepen the national laboratories’ understanding of the technical challenges facing industry, and to identify and improve paths forward for collaboration. David Skinner of NERSC, who also heads the SciDAC Outreach Center, represented the Center with a poster on “Software Opportunities: Industry, ISVs [independent software vendors] and SciDAC.” The poster pointed out the breadth of the SciDAC software portfolio and how it can be leveraged in the manufacturing sector and the private sector more generally, increasing return on investment and decreasing time to solution. More>
Indiana and Ohio are the first states to take advantage of the next-generation backbone being built out by Internet2 and the Energy Department's Energy Sciences Network, linking in-state academic research networks to the 100-gigabits/sec cross-country network. More>
In a picturesque spot overlooking San Francisco Bay, the US Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab has begun building a new computing center that will one day house exascale systems. The DOE doesn't know what an exascale system will look like. The types of chips, the storage, the networking and programming methods that will go into these systems are all works in progress. But what the DOE does have an idea about it is how to cool these systems. The Computational Research and Theory (CRT) Facility at Berkeley will use outside air cooling. It can rely on the Bay area's cool temperatures to meet its needs about 95% of the time. More>
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu joined UC and Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBNL) leaders Feb. 1 to break ground on the lab’s new Computational Research and Theory facility. Chu used the occasion to highlight President Obama’s recent State of the Union address and the Obama administration’s commitment to U.S. leadership in scientific innovation, particularly in the area of energy. More>
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