The Planck mission released "The Early Release Compact Source Catalog," which includes thousands of never-before-seen star-forming regions and some of the most massive galaxy clusters in the cosmos. This data was produced by the U.S. Planck team using computing resources at NERSC and JPL. More>
A Climate Time Machine
Using supercomputers at NERSC and OLCF, The 20th Century Reanalysis Project pieced together a new dataset for all global weather events from 1871 to the present day, providing an unprecedented record of past weather variability. The results were recently published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. More>
A Clearer Picture of Carbon Sequestration
Reseachers suspect that underground, or geologic, carbon sequestration will be a key tool in reducing atmospheric CO2. To investigate this idea further, Berkeley Lab's George Pau took advantage of the massively parallel computing capacity of NERSC to create the first-ever three-dimensional simulations exploring how sequestered CO2 and saline aquifers interact. Unprecedented in detail, these simulations will help scientists better predict the success of this kind of sequestration project. More>
NERSC Users Unlock the Secret of a Rechargeable Heat Battery
A new finding could help researchers produce a battery which repeatedly stores and releases heat gathered from sunlight. Using quantum mechanical calculations at NERSC, MIT's Jeffrey Grossman found that the fulvalene diruthenium molecule undergoes a structural transformation when it absorbs sunlight, putting the molecule into a charged state where it can remain stable indefinitely. When triggered by a catalyst, the molecule snaps back to its original shape, releasing heat in the process. More>
The first crop of experiments using ESnet's Advanced Networking Initiative testbed are now in full swing. In a project funded by the DOE Office of Science, Prof. Malathi Veeraraghavan and post-doc Zhenzhen Yan at the University of Virginia, along with consultant Prof. Admela Jukan, are investigating the role of hybrid networking in ESnet’s next generation 100 Gbps network. Their goal is to learn how to optimize a hybrid network comprised of two components, an IP datagram network and a high-speed optical dynamic circuit network, to best serve users’ data communication needs. More>
Introducing: Joerg Meyer, Chaopeng Shen and WangYi "Bobby" Liu. More>
This month, members of the Contra Costa College Parallel Computing Club were given an introduction to parallel computing and NERSC, as well as a tour of the facility's computer room from User Services Group Lead, Katie Antypas. In December, volunteers from Computing Sciences joined Lab recruiters for a visit to Kennedy High School in Richmond to share tips with students on finding rewarding jobs. Among the topics covered were where to look for jobs, dressing for success in the job interview, likely interview questions, and a “circle of support” exercise to identify people, organizations, and other resources. More>
The Sixth Annual Joint Genome Institute (JGI) User Meeting, with the theme “Genomics of Energy & Environment,” will be held March 22–24 in Walnut Creek, Calif. Associate Lab Directory Kathy Yelick will give a presentation on “Hardware and Software Trends in Computational Systems for Biology.” Three of the six workshops will be devoted to the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) data analysis system, which was jointly developed by JGI and the Biological Data Management and Technology Center (BDMTC) in the Computational Research Division. More>
Long-time NERSC user James Drake has been awarded the 2010 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, the highest honor bestowed to plasma physicists by the American Physical Society (APS). Drake, a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, has been a user of NERSC supercomputer systems for over a decade. He and his Maryland colleagues use NERSC resources to focus on two key problems in what is called “magnetic reconnection,” which refers to the breaking and topological rearrangement of magnetic field lines in a plasma.
In 2010 alone Drake and his coworkers reported eight journal publications arising from computations using NERSC resources. Drake is a leading investigator on the NERSC project "Turbulence, Transport and Magnetic Reconnection in High Temperature Plasma," which is funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Science (FES). More>
As scientific research becomes more collaborative and more data-intensive, larger teams of scientists are generating, sharing and analyzing increasingly large datasets. Many of these applications need networking support that provides predictable performance, which in turn requires effective algorithms for bandwidth reservations. A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has recently developed an algorithm that will allow users to inquire about bandwidth availability, and receive alternative suggestions when reservation requests fail. More>
In a whitepaper titled: Visualization From the Skinny Guys at Big Supercomputer Centers, Wes Bethel and Hank Childs (Berkeley Lab), Sean Ahern (ORNL) and Kelly Gaither (TACC) look at the importance of scientific visualization in understanding the results generated by high performance computing systems. The paper addresses a variety of relevant topics like whether or not data analysis hardware needs to be separate from the HPC systems, or integrated into the HPC systems, and how large should the data analysis staff be at a Supercomputing Center. More>
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