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iSGTW Feature - Stateside at the bi-continental LHC Grid Fest

Feature - Stateside celebration at the bi-continental LHC Grid Fest


Upper left, Pier Oddone, director of Fermilab, opens the festivities. Upper right, from l-to-r, Miron Livny, Don Petravick of Fermilab and DOE’s OHEP, Susan Turnbull (half hidden), and Patricia McBride. Bottom, Steve Cotter at the podium, and broadcast images from CERN and other sites.

Image courtesy of Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

Three weeks after the US-LHC community celebrated in the wee hours as the first beam circulated in the Large Hadron Collider across the Atlantic, staff and supporters gathered again in Fermilab’s signature high rise.  Via satellite, they co-celebrated the official start-up of the world-wide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) with their colleagues around the U.S. and abroad.

As the U.S. Tier-1 site for the CMS experiment, Fermilab has contributed significantly to the grid development for the experiment, and is an important Open Science Grid site, both in terms of resources and expertise. The same is true of Brookhaven National Lab with respect to the ATLAS experiment. The OSG supports the WLCG computing needs in the U.S.

Patricia McBride, deputy head of Fermilab’s Computing Division, recognized the contributions of the scientists and computing professionals who worked on the grid.

“A decade ago, a global computing center for data analysis by scientists collaborating on the four LHC experiments was an idea, a dream. To all of you who shared in this dream and worked hard to deploy (and debug) FermiGrid, Open Science Grid, and the world-wide LHC Computing Grid, I say congratulations and thank you,” she said. FermiGrid refers to Fermilab’s campus grid, which provides the lab’s interface to the OSG.

Michael Ernst, director of the RHIC and ATLAS Computing Facility at Brookhaven, acknowledged the years of work behind this achievement, and the “lively collaboration among some of the best universities and institutions in the U.S.” that made it possible.

Speakers were invited to a post-Grid Fest tour of Fermilab’s Grid Computing Center.  Framed in this shot are Kevin Thompson, Patricia McBride, Lothar Bauerdick, head of US-CMS software and computing, and Don Petravick.

Image courtesy of Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.  

Miron Livny, professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and principal investigator of the Open Science Grid, reasserted the OSG’s commitment to the WLCG, to providing know-how as well as resources.  The OSG, he said, will advance both software tools and distributed computing understanding, and will have a significant  impact on other sciences as well.

The OSG is already serving other sciences. Andrew Schultz, a chemical and biological engineering researcher from SUNY at Buffalo, spoke about his high-accuracy simulations of molecular interactions in gases run on the OSG. The OSG accelerated his research by about a factor of ten over the last several months, he said.

Steve Cotter of ESNet discussed the advancements in networking that have enabled the WLCG.  Kevin Thompson of the NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure acknowledged in particular the contributions of the US-LHC Tier-2 centers, and praised the WLCG as an exemplar of the Office’s vision of international collaboration.

Susan Turnbull, Program Manager, ASCR, Department of Energy, thanked the local and remote audiences on behalf of the DOE’s Office of Science for their “steadfast courage, vision, and leadership in conceiving and building the world-wide LHC Computing Grid.”  

“While you’re blazing a path forward with your ‘built-to-share’ scientific discovery infrastructure, the world is also watching and learning from you how global collaboration with expansive purpose can span traditional boundaries and multiply the creativity of our differences,” she said.

Anne Heavey, iSGTW

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