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March 31, 2010

Announcement - Deadline extended for applications: SuperComputing Camp

The deadline for applications has been extended by one week, to Friday, May 7, for the 2010 Super Computing and Distributed Systems Camp, taking place 15-22 August in Catay, Santander, Colombia.
The eight day event will consist of six days of scientific sessions, one leisure day with an organized activity such as hiking or rafting, and one day for a parallel programming contest. Lectures and practical sessions will cover a variety of topics, including:

Parallel Programming
Multiprocessors Programming
Distributed Systems

Cluster Computing
Grid Computing
Cloud Computing
Volunteer Computing

Resource/Job Management & Scheduling
Green Computing
Performance Evaluation

Applicants should have a good knowledge of written and spoken English, with a background in high performance computing and good programming skills. Masters students and undergraduates in their final year are prefe

March 31, 2010

Campus grids secret to productive grid sites A picture of FermiGrid, the campus grid at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Image courtesy of Fermilab Visual Media Services.Photo by Reidar Hahn. Fostering a local campus grid may be the secret to running a super-productive grid site, according to Rob Gardner, integration coordinator for Open Science Grid. “We noticed certain sites on Open Science Grid that were very productive relative to their peers,” Gardner said. “The common denominator was that they were accessing resources beyond the scope of their research domain by accessing resources on their campus.” That realization prompted OSG to look more deeply into existing campus grids. The idea, Gardner said, was to find out what the sites were doing right, and to learn from them in three key areas: job management, data management, and identity management. The ultimate goal? To arrive at a set of best practices for establishing and running campus grids.

March 24, 2010

Feature - Ecological forecasting in NEON

TOP: NEON's proto-tower just north of Boulder, Colorado, where the project is testing equipment. The site is already producing a real-data stream.
BOTTOM: Hongyan Luo conducts tests at the base of NEON's test proto-tower.
Images courtesy of NEON, Inc.

Massive independent networks of environmental and ecological data stations distributed across the globe could launch environmental science into the petascale era, transforming the way scientists look at our planet.
In the United States, the National Ecological Observatory Network is poised to begin construction later this year.
“What NEON is about is measuring the effects of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on continental scale ecology. And we’re doing that in order to enable ecological forecasting,” said Michael Keller, the chief of science at NEON.
Ecological forecasting, like weather forecasting, uses extensive data sets over large areas and pe

March 24, 2010

Feature - Q&A: Grid Colombia warms up

A group photo at an Open Science Grid-sponsored Grid Colombia workshop, which took place in October 2009. Image courtesy of Open Science Grid.

With a little help from colleagues at Open Science Grid and EGEE (via EELA-2), Colombia is on the cusp of launching its first national grid infrastructure. iSGTW caught up with Jose Caballero to learn more about the present and future of this promising project. Caballero currently does software development for ATLAS, and serves as the OSG liaison to South America. Previously, he spent five years working with the gLite grid software for the CMS experiment.
iSGTW: How did Grid Colombia get started?
Caballero: EELA-2 (E-science grid facility for Europe and Latin America) chose Colombia to host one of its main conferences in 2008, and that brought the worldwide grid movement to the attention of both academia and government in Colombia. After that, universities started to study the creation of a national

March 17, 2010

Announcement - Call for proposals: Cycles on ALCF 10 petaflop Blue Gene system

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility is now accepting proposals for time allocations on its next-generation, 10 petaflop IBM Blue Gene system. Allocations through the Early Science Program (ESP) are for pre-production hours (between system installation and full production) beginning in early 2012. More than four billion core hours are available.
To ensure the success of these early projects, ESP awardees will receive significant support from the ALCF staff of computational scientists and performance engineers, plus additional assistance from program postdocs.
Proposals are due 29 April 2010, and must include a detailed plan for the science to be accomplished plus a description of the application development that would be done. For full details or to submit your proposal, visit the website.  Or, for more information about the Early Science Program, please email [email protected].

March 17, 2010

Announcement - Virtually attend UPCRC 18-19 March

The UPCRC Illinois Summit brings together researchers from the Illinois Universal Parallel Computing Research Center, the Intel Corporation, and Microsoft Corporation, who sponsor the UPCRC. Summit presentations showcase UPCRC Illinois’ current agenda, research, progress, and collaborations.
Although on-site participation is limited to UPCRC Illinois, Intel, and Microsoft, friends and colleagues in academia, media, and industry are invited to attend online via live streaming 18-19 March. (The workshops 16-17 March will not be streamed for public consumption.
Online participants must register in advance. The agenda and links for live streaming and live chat are now available online.

March 17, 2010

Feature - Case Study: Einstein@OSG

A screenshot of the Einstein@Home screensaver. Image courtesy of Einstein@Home.

For over five years, volunteers have been lending their computers’ spare cycles to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) and GEO-600 projects via the BOINC application Einstein@Home. Now a new application wrapper, dubbed “Einstein@OSG,” brings the application to the Open Science Grid.
Today, although Einstein@OSG has been running for only six months, it is already the top contributor to Einstein@Home, processing about 10 percent of jobs.
“The Grid was perfectly suitable to run an application of this type,” said Robert Engel, lead developer and production coordinator for the Einstein@OSG project. “BOINC would benefit from every single CPU that we would provide for it. Increasing the number of CPUs by 1000 really results in 1000 times more science getting done.”
Getting Einstein@Home to run on a grid wa

March 17, 2010

Feature - OSG All Hands Meeting

Attendees visited vendor tables to network and watch demonstrations at the first ever vendor and e-demonstration session to run at an OSG All Hands Meeting.
Image by Miriam Boon.

Last week, 183 researchers and vendors gathered at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois for the Open Science Grid’s annual All Hands Meeting.
In addition to hosting workshops for CMS and ATLAS computing meetings, sessions covered a variety of topics, including security, virtualization, cloud computing, biology applications, reports from European colleagues, and the future of US cyberinfrastructure. This year also marked the first vendor and e-demonstration session.
Several people expressed pleasure at the dynamic discussions that occurred during the panel-style sessions, said Paul Avery, a researcher at the University of Florida and co-chair of the OSG Consortium Council. Kent Blackburn, Avery’s fellow co-chair and a researcher with LIGO Caltech, suggested that the inc

March 17, 2010

Computationally mapping damage in Haiti

Image courtesy of MAGIC.

This image maps earthquake damage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti as of 13 January 2010. Areas overlaid by the translucent orange squares suffered the most damage, followed by dark and then pale yellow. (To see a larger version of the image and read the legend, click on the image above.)
A variety of data sets crucial to disaster relief efforts, including these maps, are hosted on the Corral system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The Mid-American Geospatial Information Center (MAGIC) at the Center for Space Research (CSR) at the University of Texas at Austin curates remote sensing data gathered via satellites, aerial reconnaissance, radar, LiDAR, and photography.
According to Gordon Wells, program manager and principal investigator for MAGIC, data needs to be processed before it is distributed to emergency responders.

Satellite images captured obliquely from space distort the Earth’s topography such that th

March 10, 2010

Announcement - Submissions now accepted, SC10 Technical Program, New Orleans, Louisiana

Supercomputing 10 (SC10) is now accepting submissions for its technical program. The 23rd annual conference in the series, SC10 will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from November 13–19, 2010. Over 11,000 attendees from industry, academia and government are anticipated.
This year, the technical program encourages participants to focus on one of three thrust areas to be featured prominently at the conference: climate simulation, heterogeneous computing and data-intensive computing.
Climate simulation spotlights the tremendous importance of research in global climate change, including HPC-based climate simulation techniques which help scientists understand global warming, climate change and other environmental processes.
SC10’s other thrusts highlight important emerging HPC technologies. Heterogeneous computing covers the technological and research advances in software that are required fo

March 3, 2010

Announcement - Grace Hopper call for participation

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference is now accepting proposals.
The conference, which will take place 28 September – 2 October 2010, is part of a conference series designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industrial, academic and government communities. Leading researchers present their current work, while special sessions focus on the role of women in today's technology fields, including computer science, information technology, research and engineering.
Past Grace Hopper Celebrations have resulted in collaborative proposals, networking, mentoring, and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing.
Key Deadlines:

The deadline to submit proposals is 16 March 2010.
Notifications on the submission status will be sent out by 18 May 2010.

Recommendations to anyone who wants

March 3, 2010

Announcement - HUBbub 2010 Early Bird Registration

An open source release of HUBzero’s core software is scheduled to be unveiled at HUBbub2010, a workshop for current and potential users of the HUBzero Platform for Scientific computing.
The two-day workshop is designed for people interested in employing the open source release to establish their own hub, or already using a hub who want to learn more; early bird registration is due on 12 March 2010.
Developed at Purdue University, HUBzero is a sort of Swiss Army Knife for deploying and accessing computational research codes, and visualizing and analyzing results, all through a familiar Web browser interface. Built-in social networking features akin to Facebook create communities of researchers and educators in science, engineering, medicine, almost any field or subject matter and facilitate online collaborations.
The HUBzero platform powers and 20 other sites already, delivering hundreds of research tools and seminars to n

March 3, 2010

Announcement - Internet2 Issues Call for 2010 Richard Rose Award Nominees

Internet2 is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Richard Rose Award. The annual award, established in 2009, recognizes outstanding individual efforts aimed at extending the benefits of advanced networking to the broadest education community. The award will be presented at the Internet2 Spring 2010 Member Meeting in Arlington, Virginia to be held 26-28 April 2010. Nominations will be accepted until 15 March 2010.
The Rose Award celebrates educators or technologists who have had a demonstrable impact on the K20 community through the bringing together of diverse communities around common goals and projects, and have accumulated a record of community accomplishments. The award also presents an important opportunity to recognize the achievements of leaders across all educational sectors who are working hard to ensure that students of all ages and locations have access to the most advanced networking resources available.

March 3, 2010

Blog post of the week - Out of the mouths of babes

A recent high school field trip to Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory was recorded the 21st century way – with tweets.
In a recent Symmetry Breaking blog post, Symmetry intern Andrea Mustain wrote:

“I was looking for a way for them to journal, but in a more realistic way. I think that’s what texting is and definitely what Twitter is—a way to journal,” says Dale Basler, instigator of all that cell-phone gazing and a physics teacher at Appleton East High School. Basler gave the students several assignments for the field trip; he’d set up a Twitter feed, and one option was to post tweets throughout the day. But he laid out some ground rules. The students had to do at least 16 tweets, on a variety of topics–physics topics–and, Basler says, he enforced strict cell phone etiquette: ringers off, and utmost discretion while tweeting. He did allow for some lighthea

March 3, 2010

Feature - Black holes and their jets

This simulation depicts a black hole with a dipole as a magnetic field. This system is sufficiently orderly to generate gamma ray bursts that travel at relativistic speeds of over 99.9% the speed of light. (To see what happens with a more complex magnetic field, see the next video below!)
The black hole pulls in nearby matter (yellow) and sprays energy back out into the universe in a jet (blue and red) that is held together by the magnetic field (green lines).
The simulation was performed on the Texas Advanced Computing Center resources via TeraGrid, consuming approximately 400 000 service units.
Video courtesy of Jonathan McKinney and Roger Blandford.

Jets of particles streaming from black holes in far-away galaxies operate differently than previously thought, according to a study published recently in Nature.
High above the flat Milky Way galaxy, bright galaxies called blazars dominate the gamma-ray sky, discrete spots on the da

February 24, 2010

Q & A: Larry Rudolph talks about pervasive computing, virtualization, and science

Image courtesy of Larry Rudolph.

We’ve all heard about how pervasive computing will change the way we connect and compute in our everyday lives. But what about the way we do science? How is that going to change?
Larry Rudolph joined VMware in 2008 to help start a project on mobile phone virtualization, after five years as part of Project Oxygen: Pervasive Human-Centric Computing at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Read on to find out what he had to say about pervasive computing, virtualization, and science.
iSGTW: How would you define virtualization or virtual machines?
Rudolph: A virtual machine is a computer made out of software. It is just like a regular computer. It can run programs, and it has a file system, mouse, keyboard, and display. Virtual machines run on physical computers, but it can be easily moved from one physical machine to another an

February 17, 2010

Announcement - Internet2 Issues Call for IDEA Award Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Internet2 Driving Exemplary Applications (IDEA) Award.
Open to established or new applications, the IDEA Award was created in 2006 to recognize and encourage innovative applications of advanced network technology that have made—or promise to make—the most significant impact on the research and education community. The award also presents an important opportunity for the Internet2 community to recognize members who are changing the way we think about the possibilities and uses of advanced networking.
The judging committee, made up of representatives from Internet2 councils and working groups, expects an especially strong pool of applicants this year.
“IDEA Award winners represent advanced networking at its best, demonstrating in very real ways the promise of advanced networking, not just for the research and education community, but for the public at large,&rdquo

February 17, 2010

Feature - Doing science on the hub

Michael McLennan demonstrates a visualization tool hosted on in his office at Purdue University. Image courtesy Miriam Boon.

The HUBzero platform will be released as open source for the first time at the HUBbub 2010 workshop, 13-14 April. The release of this powerful platform could change the way you research, collaborate, and teach.
HUBzero has been described as a cloud, a content management system, and “FaceBook for scientists.” In a way, these are all true. Yet none of them adequately convey the capabilities of this platform.
It all began with a web infrastructure called PUNCH, which was developed in 1995 at Purdue University in order to deploy simple science gateways. Scientists could use PUNCH to create a web form that, when filled out and submitted, would run batch jobs.
At the time, this was pretty revolutionary. But by 2002, it was time for an update. So they began work on the now well-known nanotechnology resource

February 10, 2010

Bringing LHC data to US Tier-3s

Computer racks at the Fermilab Grid Computer Center. Image courtesy of Fermilab.

It’s a challenge for smaller research groups to get set up on a grid, but that’s exactly what physicists at over 40 sites across the United States need to do to get access to data from the Large Hadron Collider.
The new US Tier-3 centers – evenly split between the ATLAS and the Compact Muon Solenoid experiments – have each received about $30,000 in funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Physicists scattered around the country will be able to use them to do their own analysis of data generated by two of the LHC experiments.
To get these sites online, a great deal of expertise will be needed. And that’s where the US LHC Tier-3 support group comes into the picture.
“What we are trying to do is to help them get their systems set up and connected to the grid, to make it easier for them to get access to data and addi

February 3, 2010

Announcement - Call for papers: Life Sciences Workshop

The workshop on Emerging Computational Methods for the Life Sciences is now accepting paper submissions.
The event will take place 21-25 June 2010 in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing.
The purpose of this the workshop is to provide the opportunity for researchers, scientists, engineers, and students to discuss and share the latest research in parallel and distributed high performance systems applied to Life Science problems. It aims to offer an interactive environment for investigators working on novel “computational thinking” for (Systems) Biology, Bioinformatics, Biocomplexity, and Cheminformatics, so that future activities and collaborations will be initiated, as well as fostering discussions about the utilization of HPDC systems in their respective research initiatives. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Journal Concurrency and Compu

February 3, 2010

Announcement - Call for submissions: TeraGrid ’10

Participants can now submit papers and abstracts for the Science, Technology, Gateways, and Education tracks, and abstracts for all other parts of the TeraGrid’10 conference.
The conference, which will take place 2-5 August 2010 at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will showcase the capabilities and achievements of the nation’s largest open-access scientific discovery infrastructure.
Science, Technology, Gateways, Education Track Submissions Work for all Science, Technology, Gateways, and Education tracks not previously published in another venue, presented, or currently under consideration at another conference may be submitted as a paper or abstract. Papers should be no more than eight pages; abstracts should be no more than one page in length. Work previously published in another venue, presented, or currently under consideration at another conference may be submitted as a one-page abstract

February 3, 2010

Announcement - Early-bird registration: Women of Vision Awards Banquet

Early-bird registration for the Women of Vision Awards Banquet has been extended until 12 February 2010.
The Women of Vision Awards Banquet, hosted by the Anita Borg Institute Board of Trustees, honors women making significant contributions to technology. One winner is selected in each category: Innovation, Leadership, and Social Impact.
The banquet will take place 12 May 2010 from 6-9:30 p.m. in the Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara, California. This year’s keynote speaker is Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post.
For more information, please visit the event’s webpage.
To register, please visit the registration page.

February 3, 2010

Feature - Cosmic simulation

This video simulates Governato’s new model of the formation of a dwarf galaxy over time. It is the first such simulation to match observations in terms of the mass of stars and dark matter in the galactic core. Video courtesy of Fabio Governato.

Cosmic structure formation theory has passed test after test, predicting how many galaxies will form, where they will form, and what type of galaxy they will be. But for almost 20 years, its predictions about the central mass of dwarf galaxies have been wrong.
“Potentially, this is a very big problem for the model,” said Fabio Governato, a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It might imply that the dark matter particle that we think is the correct one is not the correct one, or maybe that gravity works differently than we think it does. So this is a very fundamental problem for physics.”
Now, a simulation running on computer resources at NASA Advanced Supercomput

January 27, 2010


Announcement - Call for papers, CLADE, deadline 1 March, Chicago

Under the ‘El’ in Chicago.
Image courtesy of Brad Martyna, stock.exchng

Papers are now being accepted for CLADE (Challenges of Large Applications in Distributed Environments); the deadline is 1 March for this Chicago, Illinois, event.
Subjects to be covered at CLADE are applicable to science, engineering, medicine, business, economics, education, and other disciplines. They  include recent results on large scale  innovative applications that use distributed heterogeneous and dynamic computing environments.
Topics of interest will illustrate advances in:

Large-scale distributed applications, both computation- and data-centric
Application-specific portals in distributed environments
Distributed problem-solving environments
Distributed, collaborative science applications
Large, distributed data analysis
Applications with heterogeneous spatial and temporal characteristics

January 27, 2010

Feature: The grid that sifts for dark matter

Cryogenic Dark Matter Search detectors. The CDMS experiment uses five towers of six detectors each. Photo credit: Reidar Hahn.

Think of grid computing as a sieve that physicists use to sift out those rare events that might just be signs of dark matter — the mysterious substance that appears to exert gravitational pull on visible matter, accelerating the rotation of galaxies.
FermiGrid, the campus grid of Fermilab and the interface to the Open Science Grid, recently helped researchers from the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment do just that: identify two possible hints of dark matter.
Dark matter has never been detected. And although the CDMS team cannot yet claim to have detected it, their findings have generated considerable excitement in the scientific community.
“This is a very intriguing result,” said Lauren Hsu, a CDMS researcher at Fermilab who announced the experiment’s results at a talk last Dec