Archive of Scientists behind SciDAC

Khaleel named AAAS fellow

Ian Foster   

Moe Khaleel, director of the Computational Sciences and Mathematics Division at PNNL and a PNNL Laboratory Fellow, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was recognized for his leadership in computational engineering, which involves designing and developing computational tools to solve engineering and scientific problems. He focuses on computational models for solid oxide fuel cells and advanced lightweight materials. He also develops methods and computational tools that allow scientists and engineers to build and test fuels cells and their material components, which speeds up the development of energy technologies like fuel cells. Additionally, he created a cost-effective process for forming aluminum sheet materials that are now used to make lightweight vehicles.

Meza named AAAS fellow

Ian Foster   

Juan Meza of LBNL’s Computational Research Division was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Meza was cited “for exemplary service to the federal energy laboratories and professional societies in enhancing research and research participation.”




Foster named ACM fellow

Ian Foster   

Ian Foster of Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago (above right) was named a fellow “for work in parallel programming languages, collaborative and distributed computing.” Dr. Foster is PI of the SciDAC Center for Enabling Distributed Petascale Science.

ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Fellows are recognized for their contributions to computing and computer science that have contributed fundamental knowledge to the field and generated a broad range of innovations in industry, commerce, entertainment, and education.


Choudhary named ACM fellow

Alok Choudhary   

Alok Choudhary of Northwestern University has been named a Fellow by the ACM “for contributions to High Performance Computing, storage, and parallel I/O.” Dr. Choudhary is co-PI of the SciDAC Scientific Data Management center.

ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Fellows are recognized for their contributions to computing and computer science that have contributed fundamental knowledge to the field and generated a broad range of innovations in industry, commerce, entertainment, and education.


Nichols named ORNL's scientific computing chief

Jeff Nichols   

As of Oct. 1, Jeff Nichols is ORNL's Associate Lab Director for Computing and Computational Sciences. He had held the position on an interim basis since April, when Thomas Zacharia was named Deputy Lab Director for Science and Technology.

In 2002, Nichols joined ORNL as director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. He was named Deputy Associate Lab Director for Computational Sciences in December 2007. Before coming to Oak Ridge, Nichols was deputy director of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a staff scientist with IBM at the Utah Supercomputing Institute, an associate professor of chemistry at Malone College (Canton, Ohio), and a postdoc at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Utah.

Witek Nazarewicz honored by University of West Scotland

Witek Nazarewicz   

Witold Nazarewicz received an honorary doctorate from University of the West of Scotland at its gradation ceremony on July 8 in Paisley, Scotland. Witek, who is joint faculty with the University of Tennessee and scientific director of the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility, was also recently appointed a visiting professor at UWS following a three-month Carnegie Centenary Professorship that he held last year. Witek is co-PI of the SciDAC UNEDF project.

Cecilia Aragon receives Presidential Early Career Award

Cecilia Aragon   

Researcher Cecilia Aragon was among the 100 researchers named last week by President Barack Obama to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on early-career researchers. Together with two other young scientists from LBNL, Cecilia will receive her award in the fall at a White House ceremony.

The award recognized Aragon's groundbreaking research in data-intensive scientific workflow management, and pioneering development of innovative methods for visualization, analysis, and organization of massive scientific data sets, which will be critical to the success of the Department of Energy (DOE) mission.

Terence Critchlow Inducted as Senior Member of ACM

Terence Critchlow   

Terence Critchlow, Associate Director of Scientific Data Management at PNNL, has been elected a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Terence is one of 395 members inducted into the ACM Senior Member program this year.

The program, initiated in 2006, includes members with at least 10 years of professional experience who have demonstrated performance that sets them apart from their peers through technical leadership, and technical or professional contributions. ACM Senior Member status recognizes the top 25 percent of ACM Professional Members for their demonstrated excellence in the computing field. ACM's Senior Members join a distinguished list of colleagues to whom ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership in computing and information technology.

Juan Meza: "How Math Will Help Save the World"


On April 19, Juan Meza, head of LBNL’s High Performance Computing Research Department, was the invited speaker at the Sonoma State University Northern California Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, where he addressed the topic “The Role of Mathematics in Amplifying Science Research: How Mathematics Will Help Save the World.” The slides from his presentation are online at youtube.

Dr. Meza is the LBNL point of contact for SciDAC, Base Math, and Computer Science projects. He is lead PI for a joint BES/ASCR project developing scaleable methods for studying the electronic excitation and optical responses of nanostructures. This research has resulted in new optimization techniques for electronic structure calculations, physics-based preconditioners for accelerating convergence of self-consistent calculations, and development of a new linear scaling 3D fragment electronic structure calculation that scales up to 2000 processors.

Carol Woodward Elected as SIAM CSE Officer

Carol Woodward   

Carol Woodward, computational scientist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), was elected in early January to serve as the Secretary for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) activity group on Computational Science and Engineering. SIAM is one of the premier professional societies, whose mission is “to ensure the strongest interactions between mathematics and other scientific and technological communities through membership activities, publication of journals and books, and conferences.” Woodward leads the Nonlinear Solvers and Differential Equations (NSDE) Project within CASC, and is a member of the SciDAC TOPS project. Her research interests include numerical methods for nonlinear partial differential equations, nonlinear and linear solvers, verification of scientific codes, and parallel computing.

DOE teams capture 2008 Gordon Bell Prizes

Thomas SchulthessLin-Wang Wang   

Computational science teams from Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories won the prestigious 2008 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Gordon Bell Prizes announced during the Nov. 20 awards session at the SC08 conference. The prize has been awarded since 1987 to recognize outstanding achievement in high-performance computing.

A team led by Thomas Schulthess of Oak Ridge National Laboratory received the prize after attaining the fastest performance ever in a scientific supercomputing application, while a team of scientists from Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, led by Lin-Wang Wang won a special prize for algorithm innovation.

Schulthess, leader of ORNL's Computational Materials Science Group who was recently named director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Center, worked with colleagues Thomas Maier, Michael Summers and Gonzalo Alvarezl of ORNL, to achieve 1.352 quadrillion calculations a second - or 1.352 petaflops - on ORNL's Cray XT Jaguar supercomputer with a simulation of superconductors.

The LBNL team, led by Wang, won for developing the Linearly Scaling 3D Fragment (LS3DF) Method, which was used to predict the energy harnessing efficiency of nanostructures that can be used in solar cell design. The LS3DF team consisted of Berkeley Lab’s Byounghak Lee, Hongzhang Shan, Zhengji Zhao, Juan Meza, Erich Strohmaier and David Bailey.

Steven Ashby named New PNNL Deputy Director for Science and Technology

Steven Ashby   

Steven Ashby recently joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at its new Deputy Director for Science and Technology after spending more than twenty years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nearly all of it in the Computation Directorate.

As DDST, Ashby will work with PNNL’s scientific and technical staff to integrate and advance its S&T capabilities on behalf of scientific discovery, energy independence, environmental stewardship, and national security. “These missions, which are not dissimilar to LLNL’s, are important to me and I welcome the opportunity to help shape PNNL’s contributions to them,” Ashby said. He added, “I look forward to working with colleagues throughout the scientific community to forge new partnerships aimed at addressing many of the challenges facing our nation.” Ashby, who has been an advocate for computational science throughout his career, expects to remain active in advanced scientific computing programs, including SciDAC.

Steve Cotter: Internet2 to Google to ESnet


Steve Cotter, who has 10 years of experience in designing and deploying research and commercial networks at the national and international scale, has been named as the new head of ESnet, the Department of Energy’s high-speed network supporting science around the world.

Cotter, who most recently served as Google’s network deployment manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, assumes his new job on Friday, August 29. Before joining Google in 2007, Cotter worked for Internet2, a high performance network serving more than 300 institutions in the research and education community in the U.S. Since 2006, ESnet and Internet2 have worked as partners in building ESnet’s next-generation infrastructure. Cotter succeeds Bill Johnston, who is retiring from Berkeley Lab after more than 35 years.

“Steve Cotter brings to this job exactly the right combination of experience in all aspects of network design, development, deployment and operation,” said LBNL Associate Laboratory Director Horst Simon. “On top of that, Steve is already familiar with ESnet’s staff and operations and has strong connections to the research network community. We are thrilled by his decision to lead ESnet.”

ESnet, or the Energy Sciences Network, is managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. ESnet provides direct connections to more than 40 DOE sites, as well as fast interconnections to more than 100 other networks. Funded principally by DOE's Office of Science, ESnet services allow scientists to make effective use of unique DOE research facilities and computing resources, independent of time and geographic location.

full press release

In Memoriam: Carl Edward Oliver 1943-2008


The Office of Science is saddened by the loss of Carl Edward Oliver, a former Associate Director of ASCR. Dr. Oliver served as the Associate Director under an Intergovernmental Personnel As-signment from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories from August 1999 until July 2005. Upon completion of his IPA Assignment, Dr. Oliver returned to Sandia National Laboratories where he worked for the Computation, Computers, Information & Mathematical Center until his retirement. Prior to his appointment as Associate Director, Dr. Oliver was on detail from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to the Office of Energy Research where he served as an expert on the development of the Scientific Simulation Initiative which ultimately led to the current SciDAC program.

Pete Beckman Appointed ALCF Project Director


Pete Beckman has been appointed project director of the ALCF. He also will serve as acting division director for the Leadership Computing Facility. Pete will be responsible for bringing the 500-TF IBM BG/P through acceptance testing and into early science, bringing the 100-TF BG/P into INCITE production, upgrading the storage and I/O systems, and transitioning the ALCF organization into steady-state operations. He will also recruit additional staff and users to the ALCF and chart a path for the future.

Pete previously served as the ALCF's chief architect and has more than a decade of experience in large-scale computing and project management. He has worked in systems software for parallel computing, operating systems, and Grid computing for 20 years. He also worked in industry, serving as vice president of Turbolinux's worldwide engineering efforts, managing development offices in the United States, Japan, China, Korea, and Slovenia.

James Hack Named Director of NCCS


James J. ("Jim") Hack has been selected to direct the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), a leadership computing facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and to head ORNL's Climate Change Initiative. As director of the NCCS, in partnership with the project director of the Leadership Computing Facility at ORNL, Hack will lead the world's premier high-performance computing facility for open science and advancing scientific discovery. As leader of the Climate Change Initiative, he will develop Laboratory-wide programs in climate change and lead a team of scientists and engineers across ORNL in advancing the state of the art in Earth system discovery and policy through enhanced scientific understanding, Earth system modeling, and advances in computational and observational programs.

Hack joins ORNL from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) with a distinguished career in climate science research. He has long collaborated with the international climate community and continues to serve on the Department of Energy's Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee and the Workin Group on Numerical Experimentation, which is supported by the Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Program and the World Meteorological Organization Committee for Atmospheric Sciences, the United Nations' authoritative voices on weather, climate, and water.

Kathy Yelick named New NERSC Division Director


Kathy Yelick, head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Future Technologies Group, a professor of computer science at UC Berkeley and an internationally recognized expert in developing methods to advance the use of supercomputers, has been named director of the NERSC Division at Berkeley Lab. Yelick, who has been head of the Future Technologies Group since 2005, will officially assume her new job in January 2008.

Yelick has a major involvement in two SciDAC projects: The Center for Scalable Application Development Software for Advanced Architectures (CSCaDS) and The Performance Engineering Research Institute (PERI), where she leads the automatic tuning effort. These activities reflect her career focus on making parallel machines easier to use through the use of libraries, languages, compilers, and other software tools.

The Winter 2007 issue of SciDAC Review has a feature Kathy Yelick and her new role at NERSC. "When Horst Simon announced that he wanted to relinquish the leadership of NERSC, we knew he would be a tough act to follow," said Dr. Michael Strayer, head of DOE's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, which funds NERSC. "But with the selection of Kathy Yelick as the next director, I believe that NERSC will continue to build upon its success in advancing scientific discovery through computation. We are extremely happy to have her take on this role."
Read her longer biography.

David Keyes Receives 2007 Fernbach Award


David Keyes, an applied mathematician with a long history of involvement in SciDAC research, has been named the recipient of the 2007 Sidney Fernbach Award. The Fernbach award was established in 1992 in memory of Sidney Fernbach, a pioneer in the development and application of high performance computers, and is given by the IEEE Computer Society for innovative uses of high-performance computing in problem solving. Keyes was designated the 2007 award recipient in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of scalable numerical algorithms for the solution of nonlinear partial differential equations as well as his exceptional leadership in high-performance computation. Keyes is PI of the SciDAC TOPS Center and General Chair of the 2007 SciDAC Conference. The award was presented at SC07, where Keyes gave a plenary lecture as part of a special awards session. more


Sherry Li Named Associate Editor of ACM TOMS Journal

Xiaoye Sherry Li, a computer scientist in LBNL’s Computational Research Division, has been named an associate editor of the ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software (TOMS). TOMS publishes research results addressing the development, evaluation and use of mathematical software. In addition, TOMS publishes machine-readable computer software which is incorporated into the Collected Algorithms of the ACM. Li is well known for her development work on SuperLU, a general purpose library for the direct solution of large, sparse, nonsymmetric systems of linear equations on high performance machines. She is a member of the SciDAC TOPS Center.
more on Li

Dean Williams wins the Emerald Award


Dean Williams, principal investigator for the SciDAC project “Scaling the Earth System Grid to Petascale Data Center for Enabling Technologies," has won the Senior Investigator Emerald Award, which recognizes consistent leadership in advancing basic science knowledge or discovering, developing, and implementing entirely new technologies. The Emerald Awards, sponsored by Science Spectrum magazine, are billed as the premier awards for African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans working in the research sciences.

Williams has been the lead computer scientist for the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the last 18 years, designing and developing data analysis tools and visualization. He is the also the Deputy Division Leader of the Biology Atmosphere, Chemistry and Earth (BACE) Division at LLNL.

Williams' career has been focused on unifying the scientists of the climate change community by providing tools, data, and computing to enable scientific discovery. He created Climate Data Analysis Tools (CDAT), a DOE-funded environment of open source tools that allow users to manage, analyze, visualize, and control climate data sets. Williams and his team developed, contributed, and supported numerous software packages to the climate community through CDAT. He increased the effectiveness of CDAT by increasing the accessibility to the worldwide datasets, most notably by hosting the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) data. He has incorporated cutting edge grid technology to leverage the compute power of several organizations with his ASCR-funded Earth Systems Grid project. His strategic vision has resulted in enabling scientific advances in climate change as evidenced by more than 200 publications, most notably the IPCC reports on climate. He credits his success to the combined accomplishments of his team.

William Gropp Named ACM Fellow


William Gropp, a senior scientist in Argonne's Mathematics and Computer Science Division, has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Fellows represent the top one percent of ACM members, recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and outstanding service to the computing community. Gropp was cited for his pioneering work in message passing, numerical methods for solving partial differential equations, and parallel methods for advanced scientific computing; a prominent example of his contributions is the major role he played in developing the MPICH, an open-source implementation of the Message-Passing Interface standard. Not only the co-author of more than 150 papers and an editor of MIT Press’s scientific computation series, he is also a member of SciDAC’s Scientific Data Management (SDM) Center for Enabling Technologies. The SDM Center focuses on improving the framework for handling the vast quantities and increasing complexity of data that will be generated by petascale scientific endeavors.

Bill did not start his academic career in computer science. Initially a physics major, he “had a blast” in two courses in his senior year, numerical analysis and non-numerical programming, and eventually shifted his focus to computing. As a relaxing aside, Bill practices at being a dessert chef, and is currently trying to master the art of making crème brûlée (complete with the appropriate accents!). He also builds scale models of seaplanes as their multipurpose character fascinates him.

AMS recognizes Warren Washington


The American Meteorological Society has presented Warren Washington with the Charles Franklin Brooks Award for Outstanding Services to the Society, "for decades of service to the AMS and as a representative of the atmospheric sciences community at the highest levels of policymakers."

In addition to his duties as Senior Scientist and Section Head for the Climate Change Research Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Washington is consultant and advisor to a number of government officials and committees on climate system modeling. He has been on the Secretary of Energy's Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee (BERAC) since 1990.

With the others members of the SciDAC project "Modeling the Earth System", Washington is using the formidable computing resources of the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) to increase the confidence of global climate analysis. In doing so, the project will provide information needed by residents and policy makers alike to address their changing climate.

The team contributed simulations for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sponsored by the United Nations. The reported concluded that there is more than a 90-percent chance that climate warming over the last 50 years has been the result of human activity.

Washington's team goes into 2007 with an INCITE allocation of 4 million processor hours on the Cray XT4 Jaguar and 1.5 million processor hours on the Cray X1E Phoenix systems at NCCS. The outcome will be of benefit not only to the dozens of leading scientists working on the project, but also to the scientific community in general.

In Memoriam: Ken Kennedy, Rice University

The computing world was saddened at the loss in early February of Ken Kennedy, the founder of Rice University's nationally ranked computer science program and one of the world's foremost experts on high-performance computing. In 1997, he was tapped to co-chair the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC), a congressionally mandated committee charged with advising the president, Congress and other federal agencies on advanced information technology. The panel's 1999 report urged U.S. leaders to increase spending for computing research by more than $1 billion, and it served as a catalyst for increased IT research support from numerous federal agencies.

Kennedy's ground-breaking work on program language implementation and optimization techniques were recognized by his peers with the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award from ACM SIGPLAN. Kennedy also dedicated more than two decades of his research career to developing high-level programming tools for parallel and distributed computer systems. His contributions helped make supercomputers more accessible to scientists and engineers.

More recently, Kennedy had been selected to lead the Center for Scalable Applications Development Software for Advanced Architectures (CScADS) for the Department of Energy's SciDAC program. The Center will address the challenges of multi-core compilers.

"Ken's leadership, talent, and enthusiasm will be sorely missed as we address the challenges of petascale computing," said Dr. Michael Strayer, director of the SciDAC program for DOE's Office of Science. "As the CScADS team moves forward in implementing the shared vision for U.S. high performance computing, we hope to continue the legacy of the pioneer from Rice."

Rice University's tribute to Dr. Kennedy.

SciDAC researchers prominent in INCITE Awards

The Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program was conceived specifically to seek out computationally intensive, large-scale research projects with the potential to significantly advance key areas in science and engineering. The program encourages proposals from universities, other research institutions and industry. In 2007, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest national laboratories all provided resources for the INCITE program. Read the project factsheets (pdf).

2006 Gordon Bell prize has SciDAC connection

A team led by Francois Gygi (left) has been awarded the prestigious Gordon Bell Prize for "peak performance". Gygi is a member of the SciDAC Q-SIMAN project. Also on the winning Gordon Bell team is Bronis de Supinski (right), a member of the SciDAC Performance Engineering Research Institute. Their entry was titled “Large-Scale Structure Calculations of High-Z Metals on the BlueGene/L Platform.” Molybdenum, a high-Z or heavy metal, is of particular interest to scientists with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program.

The team used Qbox, a first principles molecular dynamics (FPMD) code, to achieve simulations of unprecedented scale and detail. A sustained peak performance of 207.3 TFlop/s was measured on 65,536 nodes, corresponding to 56.5 percent of the theoretical full machine peak using all 128k CPUs. Read more about the award-winning effort.

SciDAC Supernova Researcher Honored

Stan Woosley, leader of SciDAC's Supernova Science Center project, was among 72 scientists recently elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his original research contributions to science. Woosley is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The SciDAC project he leads aims to develop detailed computer simulations to understand how supernovae explode, creating the most powerful explosions and brightest objects in the universe. Read more about the center.


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