News & Resources

The latest survey of computing news of interest to ASCR was compiled by Jon Bashor ( with news provided by ASCR Program Managers and Argonne, Fermi, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National labs. Contact information and links to additional information, where available, are included with each article.


Multiple significant technical challenges punctuate the path to Exascale. Millions of threads of parallelism need be tractable and manageable. New algorithms and programming models may be required that can utilize these extreme levels of parallelism and can be efficiently mapped to system resources.
Magellan Report On Cloud Computing for Science
The goal of Magellan, a project funded through ASCR, was to investigate the potential role of cloud computing in addressing the ever growing computational needs of Science, particularly in midrange computing and data-intensive computing workloads. A set of research questions was formed to probe various aspects of cloud computing from performance, usability, and cost with some interesting results that are now available in the Magellan Final Report ».pdf file (10.2MB)
Dr. Daniel Hitchcock Appointed ASCR Associate Director
Effective December 18, 2011, Dr. Daniel Hitchcock was named as Associate Director of ASCR and assumed responsiblity for the overall management of ASCR's $450 million portfolio of basic research and scientific user facilities. Dr. Hitchcock’s expertise in the installation and operation of high performance computing and network facilities as well as the mathematics, computer science and computational science required to make these facilities into tools for scientific discovery is widely recognized outside of DOE. Bio »
Barry F. Smith and Lois Curfman McInnes
ASCR Researchers Win E. O. Lawrence Award
Lois Curfman McInnes and Barry F. Smith will be honored for scientific leadership in advancing the innovative and transformative numerical software package PETSc, which provides robust, efficient, scalable, and extensible tools that are the backbone of numerous high-performance DOE simulation computer codes. More »

SciDAC Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA)
The Office of Science has issued a number of FOAs for the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) Program that include High-Energy Physics, Fusion Energy Science, Earth System Science, Nuclear Physics, Materials and Chemical Sciences and Data Management, Analysis and Visualization. For information about these funding opportunities, please visit the ASCR Funding Opportunities web page.
SciDAC Institutes - Fiscal Year 2011 Awards
The Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing Institutes call for proposals was issued February 23, 2011 and closed May 2, 2011. Three Institutes were awarded funding for a total of $10.5 million per year over the next five years.
Learn more »
ASCR American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Projects
ASCR is managing a number of projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These targeted projects span the ASCR program and support Post-Docs and Researchers in applied math, computer science, computational science, and networking research as well as an Advanced Networking Initiative to a to develop and deploy 100 gigabit per second technologies and an experiment in scientific use of cloud computing. More »
Exascale Research and Development Request For Information (RFI)
DOE and six national labs, have formed a consortium (referred to as E7) to manage the RFI process to deliver platform and crosscutting co-design and critical research and development (R&D) technologies targeted at deploying exascale computers by 2019-2020. The E7 is performing a market survey to evaluate obtaining products and services that are the subject of this RFI. The public is invited to submit a response to this RFI to provide the supplies and services.
New Department of Energy Strategic Plan calls for continued leadership in "Computational Sciences and High-Performance Computing"
Page 28 of the new plan announces that "The Department will continue to invest in the applied mathematics, computer science, and networking tools necessary to build upon this core competency in scientific simulation. The Department will perform research required to develop exascale computing platforms and associated software environments in support of energy, science, and security missions. The Department will continue to advance the frontiers of energy-efficient computing and supercomputing to enable greater computational capacity with lower energy needs." With a Targeted outcome to "Continue to develop and deploy high-performance computing hardware and software systems through exascale platforms." Link to the DOE Strategic Plan »
Illustration of 1s and 0s
ASCR supported FastBit was first developed to help nuclear and high energy physicists sort through billions of data records to find a few key pieces of information produced by nuclear physics experiments. This SciDAC project, a 2008 R&D 100 award winner, bestowed by R & D Magazine and often called the "Oscar of Innovation, is now finding important commercial uses. Find out more about FastBit at this link
ASCR Supercomputer Used to Develop More Energy-Efficient Long-Haul Trucks
Simulations performed on the nation's most powerful supercomputer at the OLCF help semi-trailer trucks achieve between 7 and 12 percent improvements in fuel mileage.
Blood Simulation on Jaguar Takes Gordon Bell Prize
A team of researches won the prestigious Gordon Bell PrizeExternal link at SC10External link by pushing the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's (OLCF) Jaguar supercomputer to 700 trillion calculations per second (700 teraflops) with a groundbreaking simulation of blood flow. The team wins a $10,000 prize provided by HPC pioneer Bell as well as the distinction of having the world's leading scientific computing application. Another team using Jaguar took an honorable mention in the competition for developing an innovative framework that calculates critical nanoscale properties of materials.
ASCR Recognizes Warren Washington
Dr. Warren Washington was named one of ten researchers to receive the National Medal of ScienceExternal link. ASCR supports Dr. Washington's work by providing large allocations of supercomputer time at the Leadership Computing Facilities. ASCR also acknowledges Dr. Washington's contributions to planning for the future as the chairperson of the recent Grand Challenges Climate Science Workshop
Dan Hitchcock Named ASCR Facilities Division Director
Dr. Daniel A. Hitchcock was officially appointed as the Director for the Facilities Division in the office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Office of Science in the Department of Energy. Dr. Hitchcock has over 27 years experience in the Office of Science.
More about Dr. Hitchcock »
Jim Demmel Named Sidney Fernbach Award Winner
The IEEE named Jim Demmel as the winner of this year's Sidney Fernbach Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computing using innovative approaches. Jim, who is a member of LBNL's Future Technologies Group and a professor at UC Berkeley, was cited "for computational science leadership for creating adaptive, innovative high performance linear algebra software". The award will be formally presented at the SC10 Conference in November. LBNL now has four recipients of the Fernbach Award: David Bailey, John Bell, Phil Colella and Jim Demmel.
NERSC Upgrade Toward Petascale Computing
NERSC recently accepted a 5,312-core Cray XT5 machine, called Hopper (Phase 1). The system, named after pioneering computer scientist Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, is a Cray XT5 with 664 compute nodes each containing two 2.4 GHz AMD Opteron quad-core processors connected at 25 GB/sec to an external Lustre File System that contains 2 PB of disk space. Hopper Phase 1 will help NERSC staff optimize the external node architecture before the second phase of the Hopper system arrives - delivering to users petascale capabilities.
Progress Demonstrated on Recovery Act Funded Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI)
At the SC09 Conference, 100Gbps of test data was transmitted from Portland to Seattle and then looped back to Portland. These 100Gbps demonstrations represent the continued advances made by the joint initiative, announced in 2009External link, between the department's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Internet2, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications. The five organizations announced an initiative to work together to develop and deploy 100GbE services. ESnet and Internet2 are planning testbeds and eventual production deployment of 100GbE. The ANI would connect DOE supercomputer centers at speeds 10 times faster than current technology. Since SC09, additional progress has been demonstrated.
ASCR Funded Computers Take Top Honors at SC09 HPC Challenges
Results of the "Best Performance" awards, which measure excellence in handling computing workloads, were announced at SC09 and included ASCR funded supercomputers. Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facilities' (OLCF) Jaguar took three first place awards for HPL code (solving a dense matrix of linear algebra equations), STREAM (measures how fast a node can retrieve and store information) and executing the Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT). For running the RandomAccess measure of the rate of integer updates to random locations in a large global memory array, the IBM Blue Gene machines at LLNL took first, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facilities' (ALCF) Blue Gene took second and OLCF's Jaguar took third place. For more info about the HPC challenges, see the HPCwire article External link
Jaguar - The World's Fastest Computer
Jaguar, a Cray XT5 supercomputer located at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), was named the world's fastest computer. The announcement was made at SC09External link, The international conference on High Performance Computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis, by, a supercomputing tracking website.
Magellan - A Scientific Cloud Computing Project
DOE is launching a $32 million program to study how scientific codes can make use of cloud computing technology. The program, called Magellan, is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), with the money to be split between the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).
DOE Labs Take Pride in Award-Winning IBM Blue Gene Series
Argonne, IL - President Obama recognized IBM and its Blue Gene family of supercomputers with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the country's most prestigious award given to leading innovators for technological achievement. Computer scientists at the DOE's Argonne and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories can take pride in their role in making these computers a reality. Both sites contributed critical input and software components through a DOE research and development partnership with IBM that strongly impacted Blue Gene's extreme-scale design.
Juan Meza Named One of Hispanic Business Magazine's "100 Influentials"
Berkeley, CA - Juan Meza, an ASCR research at LBL, has been named to Hispanic Business magazine's annual list of 100 influential Hispanics. The list, published in the October issue, includes Hispanics who play leading roles in politics, business, science, information technology, health care, education, the media and other areas.
ESnet Honored as One of Top 10 Government IT Innovators
Berkeley, CA - Once a year, InformationWeek magazine honors the most innovative players in the field of information technology, including the top 10 government agency innovatorsExternal link. This year, the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) was recognized as a member of this select group for its work helping thousands of researchers worldwide manage the massive amounts of scientific data stemming from the application of petascale supercomputers and high-precision instruments to cutting-edge disciplines such as climate science, high energy physics, astrophysics and genomics.
ESnet was also recently honored as an Excellence.Gov Award winnerExternal link for enhancing government transparency. The winners were announced in April and ESnet 4 won in the category of "application of technology". The Excellence.Gov Awards Program was established by the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council to recognize the best practices in the federal government's management and use of information technology. Highlights SciDAC Visualizations
WIRED.comExternal link, the online content for Wired Magazine, highlighted the SciDAC Top 10 Scientific VisualizationsExternal link. These visualizations were selected at the annual Vis Night awards (the OASCRs), at the 2009 SciDAC conference.
NERSC Awards Supercomputer Contract to CRAY Inc
Berkeley, CA - NERSC has chosen Cray Inc. to provide its next generation supercomputing system. The new system will ultimately deliver a peak performance of more than 1 PFlop/sec and will will help advance open scientific research.
ASCR Research Wins Three R&D 100 Awards
R&D 100 Logo Washington, DC - The winning of an R&D 100 award, often dubbed the "Oscars of invention", provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government and academia and represents one of the most innovative ideas of the year. In 2009, ASCR supported research garnered three of these coveted awards.
The three award winners are PETScExternal link (pronounced PET-see), part of the TOPSExternal link SciDAC project, ROSEExternal link and Catamount N-Way (CNW) lightweight kernelExternal link (supported by the NNSA-ASC program)External link. For a complete list of the 2009 R&D 100 winners, select This Link External link.
ASCR Researchers Honored With 2008 Presidential Early Career (PCASE) Awards
Washington, DC - ASCR supported researchers Cecilia Aragon and Alexandre Tartakovsky (who is also supported by the Biological and Environmental Research program) were among the 100 researchers named 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.
PerfSONAR - Performance focused Service Oriented Network monitoring ARchitecture
Berkeley, CA - perfSONAR is a new network performance monitoring and diagnostic system that assists network engineers with identifying bottlenecks, which allow them to make relatively small tweaks to gain significant speedups. It was developed through a global collaboration consortium led by the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), GÉANT2, Internet2 and Rede Nacional De Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP).
2010 INCITE Call for Proposals
Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today it is accepting proposals for a program to support high-impact scientific advances through the use of some of the world's most powerful supercomputers located at DOE national laboratories. Approximately 1.3 billion supercomputer processor-hours will be awarded in 2010 through the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program for large-scale, computationally intensive projects addressing some of the toughest challenges in science and engineering.
ASCR Recognizes PECASE Award Winner
Washington, DC - The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) awards are intended to recognize some of the finest scientists and engineers who, while early in their research careers, show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. ASCR is proud to recognize Fiscal Year 2007 PESACE award winner, Bert Debusschere, of Sandia National LaboratoriesExternal link, for introducing rigorous mathematical methods capturing stochastic uncertainties in computational biology and providing a framework for simulation-based discovery; and for service to the Sandia Diversity CouncilExternal link and Foreign National Networking GroupExternal link.
Read More » .pdf file (347KB)
DOE-Humanities Projects Announced
Washington, DC - Last year, the DOE announced a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities to facilitate access to high performance computing resources for research in the Humanities. At the Supercomputing 2008 conference in Austin, Texas the Endowment announced the winners of the program. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for humanities scholars whose research requires high performance computing to collaborate with computer scientists and others at centers already familiar with the challenges of intensive data mining, visualization, and other demanding applications. For additional information about the about the program, follow this link »
DOE's Oak Ridge Supercomputer Now World's Fastest for Open Science
Oak Ridge, TN - DOE's Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is home to the world's first petaflop supercomputer dedicated to open scientific research. The new petaflops machine will make it possible to address some of the most challenging scientific problems in areas such as climate modeling, renewable energy, materials science, fusion and combustion. Annually, 80 percent of Jaguar's resources are allocated through DOE's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, a competitively selected, peer reviewed process open to researchers from universities, industry, government and non-profit organizations.
Last modified: 8/14/2013 3:27:43 PM