Chemical reactions facilitated by catalysts are crucial to many industrial processes. Although many catalysts used in industry work just fine, researchers at PNNL want them to reach their full potential. Using supercomputing simulations (done partly at NERSC) and laboratory experiments they found that placing protons in the right spots avoids wasting time-and-energy on profligate reactions. More>
Since its launch in 1999, the SuperLU software library for solving sparse linear systems of equations has become the third most downloaded software at Berkeley Lab. Between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012, SuperLU was downloaded 24,303 times, nearly a 50 percent increase over the 16,876 downloads the previous year. More>
Introducing: Farzad Fatollahi-Fard, Alexander Williams, Mathias Jacquelin, Joaquin Correa and Andrew Weaver. More>
The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) have announced a 100-Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) link between their networks at the Sunnyvale backbone node of CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN). Between them, CENIC and ESnet serve some of the most advanced and innovative research institutions in the world, including universities, national laboratories, supercomputing centers and large-scale scientific facilities. This new ultra high bandwidth connection will enable more effective collaboration on pressing, data-intensive scientific challenges. More>
The most used filesystem at NERSC—global scratch—is getting an upgrade. As a result, some users may see their data output to global scratch at rates up to 80 gigabytes per second. Though users are not likely to see their 20-terabyte quotas increase on this particular filesystem, this upgrade will ensure that global scratch remains flexible and pave the way to eventually allow the physics cluster, PDSF, to use the system. NERSC connected global scratch to all of its compute platforms (except PDSF) several years ago. This approach allows users to access their scratch data from any NERSC system, not just the one that generated it. Global scratch typically operates at 90 percent capacity with data input and output rates around 15 gigabytes per second.
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), has announced the appointment of 12 Research Associates to the organization. ESnet Chief Technologist Inder Monga is one of nine new industry thought leaders named as a research associate for the coming year. More>
ESnet Director Greg Bell spoke about "Network as discovery instrument: a Quick-Start Guide" at the 8th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, Calif. In his talk, Bell notes that it is time to start thinking about research networks as instruments for discovery, not infrastructures for service-delivery. He describes what is at stake in this distinction, and explains how campuses and networks can prepare themselves to support data-intensive science collaborations and workflows. More>
The Department of Energy's NERSC Center accepted the first phase of its new Cray Cascade system, named Edison. To find out the reasoning behind the design and deployment of Edison and what it means to NERSC's 4,500 users, Jon Bashor of Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences spoke with NERSC Division Director Sudip Dosanjh, NERSC Systems Department Head Jeff Broughton and Advanced Technologies Group Leader Nick Wright. More>
An article in the federal technology magazine FCW, titled “What the heck is Hadoop?” discusses the uses and limitations of Hadoop, an open-source, distributed programming framework that relies on parallel processing to store and analyze tremendous amounts of structured and unstructured data. Although Hadoop is far from the only big-data tool, it is one that has generated remarkable buzz and excitement in recent years. And it offers a possible solution for IT leaders and scientific researchers who are realizing that they will soon be buried in more data than they can efficiently manage and use. Among the experts quoted in the article are David Skinner and Shane Canon of NERSC and Deb Agarwal of CRD. More>
A recent feature story in DOE Pulse points out that to keep up with nature, climate models are running at ever-higher resolutions, requiring ever-greater processing speeds and altered computer architectures. Michael Wehner of CRD notes that simulations run with a low-resolution climate model can give completely contrary results from a high-resolution version of the same model. John Shalf of NERSC and Wes Bethel of CRD are also quoted in the story. More>
The DOE newsletter ASCR Discovery recently posted a story, “Of colorful candies and fluid dynamics,” about Aleksandar Donev, assistant mathematics professor at New York University’s Courant Institute, 2009 Alvarez Fellow in CRD’s Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering (CSEE) and DOE Early Career Research Award recipient. Donev uses computer simulations to study how thermal fluctuations affect fluid behavior at scales comparable to the size of molecules. CCSE head John Bell was a co-author of the paper that provided the illustration for the article. More>
A widely circulating pi meme asserts, among other things:
Pi is an infinite, nonrepeating decimal — meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in pi. Converted into ASCII text, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is the name of every person you will ever love, the date, time, and manner of your death, and the answers to all great questions of the universe.
So is this really true? The answer given in a Huffington Post blog by David Bailey, head of the Complex Systems Group in the Computational Research Division, and Jonathan Borwein of the University of Newcastle, Australia, is “probably, maybe....” The key difficulty, they say, is proving that pi is normal. More>
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