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CSM 2008 Highlight Archive

Tony Mezzacappa Named Editor-in-Chief - Computational Science & Discovery

mezzacappa imageNon-profit scientific publisher Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP), UK, has announced the launch of a new journal - Computational Science & Discovery. The journal will focus on scientific advances and discovery through computational science in physics, chemistry, biology and applied science. Tony Mezzacappa of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Computational Science & Discovery will publish original, peer-reviewed research across physics, chemistry, biology and applied science. The journal offers an opportunity for researchers to publish all the important components of their enterprise, together with their scientific results.

The first issue is currently available online at http://www.iop.org/EJ/toc/1749-4699/1/1.



Jaguar simulation wins Gordon Bell Prize

A team led by the Computer Science & Mathematics Division's Thomas Schulthess received the prestigious 2008 Association for Computing Machinery Gordon Bell Prize Thursday after attaining the fastest performance ever in a scientific supercomputing application.

Thomas is group leader of ORNL's Computational Materials Science Group and recently accepted a position as director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center at Manno, an institution of ETH Zurich. He and colleagues Thomas Maier, Michael Summers and Gonzalo Alvarez, all of ORNL, achieved 1.352 quadrillion calculations a second—or 1.352 petaflop - on ORNL's Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer with a simulation of superconductors, or materials that conduct electricity without resistance. By modifying the algorithms and software design of its DCA++ code to maximize speed without sacrificing accuracy, the team was able to boost performance tenfold with the help of John Levesque and Jeff Larkin of Cray Inc.

The team's simulation made efficient use of 150,000 of Jaguar's 180,000-plus processing cores to explore electrical conductance.

To put the achievement into perspective, it would take every man, woman and child on earth more than 500 years to work through as many calculations as DCA++ gets through in a single day - and that's assuming each of us worked day and night solving one calculation a second. More details.

Maccabe named director of Computer Science and Mathematics Division

MaccabeArthur Bernard (“Barney”) Maccabe, a professor of computer science and chief information officer at the University of New Mexico, will direct the Computer Science and Mathematics (CSM) Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Associate Laboratory Director for Computing and Computational Sciences Thomas Zacharia has announced. Through advanced computing research, CSM supports national priorities in partnership with industry and academia and has programs in basic and applied research in the computational sciences, information technologies, and intelligent systems. Maccabe’s appointment will be effective Jan. 5.

On the faculty of the University of New Mexico since 1982, Maccabe is an expert in “lightweight” system software for massively parallel computing systems. In contrast to full-featured operating systems, lightweight operating systems have minimal features, improving the ability of software to scale for use on systems employing thousands of processors.

View official announcement.

ORNL Group Leader Appointed Swiss National Supercomputing Centre Director

Thomas SchulthessThomas Schulthess (former Group leader of ORNL's Computational Materials Science Group) is the new Director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) at Manno. He studied physics and earned his Ph.D. degree at ETH Zurich. As CSCS director, he will also be professor of computational physics at ETH. He replaces professor Marco Baggiolini who was the acting director of the Centre.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre is an institution of ETH Zurich. The new director was elected by ETH President Ralph Eichler, and will also serve as professor of computational physics at ETH. According to professor Ralph Eichler, Thomas Schulthess is an expert of supercomputing and has international scientific reputation. He worked for twelve years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, a leading supercomputing and research laboratory in the US. Since 2002, he led the Computational Materials Science Group and since 2005 the Nanomaterials Theory Institute, with a total of 30 co-workers. "After many years in the United States, I am happy to return to Switzerland and to participate to the further development of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre" Thomas Schulthess said.

View official announcement

Hoffman Presents Two Papers at the International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software

In July, Forrest Hoffman (ORNL Computer Science and Mathematics Division) presented two papers at the International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2008) biennial meeting in Barcelona, Spain.  One paper described the application of multivariate spatio-temporal cluster analysis to environmental problems, including ecoregionalization, sampling network analysis and design, and model/data comparison.  This paper described a variety of new algorithm improvements that have dramatically reduced the computational run time of the analysis tool and allow even larger data sets to be included in analyses.  The second paper presented the Carbon-Land Model Intercomparison Project (C-LAMP)--partially funded by a SciDAC2 climate project--to the international modeling community.  This paper focused on the modeling protocol and metrics for evaluating terrestrial biogeochemistry models.  Both papers are available in the Proceedings of the iEMSs Fourth Biennial Meeting: International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2008), ISBN 978-84-7653-074-0.  Hoffman's research is funded primarily by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER), Climate and Environmental Sciences Division.

The People Have Spoken!
ORNL Researchers Take Top Honors for Poster

The poster, titled A Cluster Analysis Approach to Comparing Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Data and Global Climate Model (GCM) Results, won the Gold Medal of the People's Choice Awards at the recent 2008 ARM Science Team Meeting in Norfolk, Virginia. Developed by Forrest Hoffman (ORNL), Salil Mahajan (Texas A&M), William Hargrove (USDA Forest Service), Richard Mills (ORNL), and Tony Del Genio (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), this poster described the results of a comparison of five years of atmospheric observations from the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site with corresponding 6-hourly output from an integration of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) run under the Intergovnmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 scenario for the current decade.  Also presented were recent improvements to the parallel clustering code used for the analysis and a new parallel Principal Components Analysis (PCA) tool.  The Peoples' Choice Awards, new to this year's meeting, were awarded based on votes from all of the ARM scientists attending the meeting. Hoffman and Mills presented the poster at the meeting's poster session in Norfolk.

This poster, along with the second and third place winners, can be seen at http://stm.arm.gov/2008/winning_posters_pc.stm

Future Technologies (FT) Group's Investigation Reveals Popular Scientific Benchmarks Do Not Accurately Represent TLB Behaviors of Real Applications

FT Group members Collin McCurdy and Jeff Vetter, along with Alan Cox of Rice University, will be presenting their paper "Investigating the TLB Behavior of High-end Scientific Applications on Commodity Microprocessors," in Austin, TX this April at the 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS’08). The paper is the culmination of work, undertaken as part of the PetaSSI FastOS project, seeking to understand the TLB behavior of scientific applications. The analysis shows that two benchmark suites that are understood to represent scientific application behavior (SPEC CPU and HPCC) are not representative of the TLB behavior of important full scale applications. Furthermore, the paper demonstrates that false conclusions drawn from benchmark TLB performance can have significant ramifications for application performance.

Please click HERE to visit the ISPASS-2008 website.
Please click HERE to visit the Future Technologies Group website.

Researchers Win Outstanding Mentor Award

ORNL Outstanding Mentors

On February 5th, CSMD researchers Forrest Hoffman, Nagiza Samatova, Sudharshan Vazhkudai, and Tatiana Karpinets were awarded Oak Ridge Associated Universities' Outstanding Mentor Award. The award is given to honor the outstanding commitment ORNL scientists and engineers make to students and teachers participating in the Laboratory's education programs.

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was William Valdez, Director of the Office of Science's Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists. Thom Mason (ORNL Laboratory Director) and James Roberto (Deputy Director for Science and Technology) presented the awards.