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21 December 2011

Few laypeople think of computing innovation in connection with the Tevatron particle accelerator, which shut down earlier this year. Mention of the Tevatron inspires images of majestic machinery, or thoughts of immense energies and groundbreaking physics research, not circuit boards, hardware, networks, and software.

Yet over the course of more than three decades of planning and operation, a tremendous amount of computing innovation was necessary to keep the data flowing and physics results coming. Those innovations will continue to influence scientific computing and data analysis for years to come.

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This year, the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) turned 10. It was September 2001 when the idea was concieved of and approved by the CERN council to handle the large volumes of data.

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What were you reading in 2011? We re-cap the most popular stories of the year.

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Spotlight

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High-energy cosmic beams hit the Earth’s outer atmosphere, which in turn scatters these rays into a shower of particle decays. A team of CERN openlab summer students has used a recent ‘webfest’ event held at CERN to build a...

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Modern farming practices are often blamed for the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. A new big data analysis indicates change in land use might be as much to blame. With an eye to best practices, researchers see solutions to mitigate these...

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The world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2044. Thanks to an international team of genetic researchers, clothing our burgeoning global family has just gotten a little easier.

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