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HPC Research and Education News for the Week of November 25, 2013 Sponsored by XSEDE

HPC Happenings

Blue Waters Student Internship Program
Application Period Begins -
November 1, 2013
Application Period Ends - March 1, 2014

Support is provided by the NSF-funded Blue Waters Project for sustained petascale computing to support year-long undergraduate internship experiences involving the application of high-performance computing to problems in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. The program provides a student stipend totaling $5000, a two-week intensive high-performance computing workshop, and travel to the Blue Waters Symposium 2015. This program provides support for undergraduate internship activities at any accredited degree granting institution in the United States. The internships awarded through this program may be to students working with a faculty mentor on their home campus, or at another campus. Interested faculty need to create a position description, and can specify a particular student that the position is intended for, or may select a qualified applicant with Blue Waters support through our program. For more information and to apply, please visit

University of Edinburgh Offers One-Year Postdoctoral Masters of Science in High Performance Computing

The Masters of Science in High Performance Computing (HPC) is a one-year postgraduate masters program taught by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh. HPC is the use of powerful processors, networks and parallel supercomputers to tackle problems that are very compute or data-intensive. The same HPC techniques can be used to program the world’s largest supercomputer containing hundreds of thousands of processors, or to exploit the full potential of a multi-core laptop. This well-established MSc provides an excellent grounding in HPC technologies and their practical application. For more information, please visit

Call for Participation - Opportunity to Collaborate to Offer Parallel Computing Course on Your Campus

The XSEDE project and the University of California, Berkeley are offering an online course on parallel computing for graduate students and advanced undergraduates and are seeking other university partners that are interested in offering the course for credit to their students.  The course includes online video lectures, quizzes, and homework assignments with access to free accounts on the NSF supported XSEDE supercomputers.  Participating institutions will need to provide a local instructor that will be responsible for advising the local students and officially assigning grades.  Students will complete the online course quizzes and exercises as part of their grade and can then undertake a final group project supervised by the local instructor. The course will begin on January 21, 2014 and end on May 2, 2014. Course materials can be reviewed at The XSEDE and Berkeley staff will meet with local instructors online every two weeks and also help with answers to student questions using an online forum.  Local instructors may design their own group project or choose from a number of projects that have been undertaken by students in the past.  For examples of class projects done in previous semesters at UC Berkeley, see  for students presenting their projects in the Spring 2013 offering, or the posters from Spring 2009 at interested in the collaborative class should contact Steve Gordon, lead for the XSEDE education program at or by phone at 614-292-4132.

HPC Conference Call for Participation

HASTAC 2014 Annual Conference - Call for Proposals/Papers
April 24-27, 2014 - Ministerio de Cultura, Lima, Peru

Extended Submissions Deadline: November 30, 2013

The challenges facing the Western hemisphere are multidimensional  and complex.  Urban agglomeration, economic development, ecological crisis, military conflict, digital privacy, impediments to advanced learning, negotiations of multiple cultural and historical perspectives—these are problems with scientific and human factors that must be considered together.  HASTAC 2014 challenges participants to consider the interplay of science, technology, the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts in the context of addressing the urgent contingencies facing the evolving hemisphere.  For more information including submission guidelines, please visit

Advanced Techniques for Scientific Programming and Management of Open Source Software Packages
March 10-21, 2014 –
Trieste, Italy
Registration Deadline – December 1, 2013

This is the second installment of an activity aiming to introduce computational scientist to tools and best practices of developing scientific software packages. There will be lectures from experts working on widely used software packages (e.g., in condensed matter physics, electronic structure calculations, high energy physics, climatology) and extensive hands-on exercises. The two week activity is covering topics that are general to many different software packages. There is no registration fee and - as with other ICTP activities - scientists from developing countries can apply for financial support to attend the activity. For more information and to register, please visit

Rice University 2014 Oil & Gas HPC Workshop
March 6, 2014 – Houston, Texas

Submission Deadline – December 6, 2013
Notification of Abstract Acceptance – January 10, 2014|
Submission Deadline for Student Poster Abstracts – January 17, 2014

Notification of Student Abstract Acceptance – January 31, 2014

The Oil and Gas HPC Workshop, hosted annually at Rice University, is a premier meeting place for engaging in discussion focused on high performance computing and computational science and engineering for the oil and gas industry. The program committee is pleased to invite you to participate in the 7th annual workshop and encourages you to submit abstract(s) for consideration for the technical program. For more information, please visit

10th International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering (ICCMSE 2014) – Call for Papers
April 4-7, 2014 - Athens, Greece
Extended Abstract Deadline – February 28, 2014

Researchers are asked to contribute to Symposium #12 "Accelerate Discovery and Design of New Materials Applications in Nuclear Power by High Performance Supercomputing". Further information can be found at Questions can be sent to Liviu Popa-Simil at

Upcoming Conferences, Workshops and Webinars

2md International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Natural Computing (TPNC 2013)
December 3-5, 2013 -
Cáceres, Spain

TPNC is a conference series intending to cover the wide spectrum of computational principles, models and techniques inspired by information processing in nature. TPNC 2013 will reserve significant room for young scholars at the beginning of their career. It aims at attracting contributions to nature-inspired models of computation, synthesizing nature by means of computation, nature-inspired materials, and information processing in nature. For more information, please visit

XSEDE HPC Monthly Workshop – MPI
December 4-5 2013 – various locations

XSEDE along with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the Texas Advanced Computing Center are pleased to announce a two-day MPI workshop. This workshop is intended to give C and Fortran programmers a hands-on introduction to MPI programming. Both days are compact, to accommodate multiple time zones, but packed with useful information and lab exercises. Attendees will leave with a working knowledge of how to write scalable codes using MPI ­ the standard programming tool of scalable parallel computing. You may register for this event at any of the following sites:

*    Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

*   Ohio Supercomputer Center

*    Georgia State University

*   The University of Utah

*    South Carolina University

*   Harvey Mudd College

*    The University of Iowa

*    The University of Houston, Clear-Lake

Please choose the appropriate link on the XSEDE Portal Registration pages: Please address any questions to Tom Maiden at

Research Features From Across the Country and Around the World

Indiana University Researcher Teaches Machines to Think
The Atlantic

Indiana University professor and artificial intelligence expert Douglas Hofstadter directs the Fluid Analogies Research Group (FARG) in a mission to understand how humans think and to write software that functions in the same manner. FARG believes the mind is akin to a unique piece of software and to understand how software works, you must write it yourself. If successful, the group will not only explain human thought, but also make truly intelligent machines. Although in the early 1980s Hofstadter was hailed as a leader in the emerging AI field, his popularity waned as AI proved more difficult than first envisioned and mainstream AI embraced more attainable goals. For example, IBM in 1988 started a language translation project called Candide, opting for a machine-learning approach instead of trying to create a system with a true understanding of semantics, syntax, and morphology. To read further, please visit

Micron Exposes the Double Life of Memory with Automata Processor

If we had to take a pick from some of the most compelling announcements from SC13, the news from memory vendor (although that narrow distinction may soon change) Micron about its new Automata processor is at the top of the list. While at this point there’s still enough theory to lead us to file this under a technology to watch, the concept is unique in what it promises—both to Micron’s future and the accelerator/CPU space for some key HPC-oriented workloads. To read further, please visit!.

LLNL Seeks Big Data System Balance with Catalyst

The new Cray CS300 324-node system, dubbed Catalyst, will be bestowed with its inaugural applications sometime in December. Delivered in October, the 150 teraflop cluster sports some notable specs, which LLNL and Intel have commented on in detail below One thing that might pop out immediately about these configuration details is that some unique choices have been made in the name of enhancing I/O and overall system balance. The 12-core processor choice, the use of QDR-80, and NVRAM all point to some serious thought about balancing architecture to the requirements of emerging classes of “big data” applications. To read further, please visit!.

Educator Opportunities and Information

Computer Science Education: The 'Why' and 'How'
eSchool News

Some U.S. states are starting to boost computer science education as a way to prepare students for high-paying jobs that will help boost the economy. In May, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to count Advance Placement (AP) computer science as a math or science credit. The state previously offered computer science as an elective, and many students passed over the course for others that met graduation requirements. However, only 35 of the state’s 622 high schools offer AP computer science. Nationwide, just 10 percent of schools offer programming classes, and only 10 states count computer science toward math or science requirements for high school graduation. Experts say the sooner students develop a love for computer science, the better, and in- and after-school activities will be key to helping cultivate and sustain their interest in the subject. Data from the New Jersey Institute of Technology suggests that 150,000 new computing jobs will need to be filled each year for the next 10 years. Computer science is the highest-paid college degree and jobs are growing at twice the national average, but fewer than 2.4 percent of graduates earn degrees in the subject, according to To read further, please visit

Sign Up to Get Robots In Your Classroom!

Play-i is a startup that is making delightful robots that make computer programming fun and accessible for children ages 5 and up. They are launching a pair of robots - Bo and Yana - today in a crowdfunding campaign. You can check out videos and more information on their website here:n  These robots are perfect for children ages 5-10, so elementary school teachers are especially encouraged to sign up. If your school gets selected, they will be given to you for free during the summer of 2014.  Every child should have access to computer science education but of course not all schools or parents can afford to provide state-of-the-art tools for learning computer programming. As part of their crowdfunding campaign, they are raising money to buy robots for schools and organizations in need.  To get more information about bringing robotics into your classroom and to sign up, please visit If you have any questions, you can contact their partnerships coordinator at

CS Teachers Encouraged to Apply for PAEMST Awards
Nomination Deadline – April 1, 2014

The Presidential Awards Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awards program is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2013-2014 award year are open. Anyone – principals, teachers, parents, students or members of the general public – may nominate exceptional mathematics or science teachers who are currently teaching grades K-6 for the 2014 award year. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been administering the program on behalf of the White House since the program began in 1983. Over the past 30 years, the predominance of technology in the lives of teachers and students has made computer science a valuable addition to the K-12 curriculum. NSF welcomes the assistance of CSTA members in reaching out to identify and nominate excellent mathematics and science teachers –especially in the computer sciences. NSF is encouraging educators to nominate outstanding computer science teachers who are currently teaching grades K-6. (Teachers of secondary students will be recognized in next year’s awards program.) For more information on the PAEMST Awards, visit the PAEMST website at

Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program

Bard College's pre-service program offers a one-year, 63 credit Master of Arts in Teaching degree and NYS Initial Teaching Certification, grades 7-12 for math, biology, history, and English. Applications are being accepted for the program and fellowship now through the spring. Visit their website for more information and apply online at: Responding to a nationally recognized need for computer science curriculum in our public schools, the Bard MAT Program is offering a unique curriculum for math teachers with a commitment to teaching computer science in secondary public schools. The student dedicated to becoming a mathematics and computer science teacher values the Bard MAT Program’s commitment to the discipline with its substantive research projects in mathematics, computer science, and math/computer science education. Students will work with exemplary computer science teachers in New York City middle and high schools, preparing for teaching careers in computer science.

American Computer Science League(ACSL) Deadline Approaching!
Application Deadline – December 1, 2013

The ACSL contest requires that teachers and students prepare for the categories of the short answer portion of the test.  Early registration gives teachers and students more time to prepare. ACSL preparation materials are sent upon registration. The categories used on the first test are:  Computer Number Systems, Recursive Functions and What Does This Program Do.  On this portion of the test the only materials allowed are paper and pencil. For the first contest, the 72-hour take home programming problem in each division, can be done using just IF-THEN-ELSE statements. As in the past, ACSL will include a free previous year's question set CD for all CSTA members registering for the first time. For more information, please visit For questions, please send email to

SSP Launches New Science Competition for Adults
Application Deadline – January 4, 2014

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in collaboration with Society for Science & the Public, is hosting the Science Play and Research Kit (SPARK): Reimagining the Chemistry Set for the 21st Century competition. This competition is seeking ideas and prototypes designed to create a new set of experiences and activities that encourage imagination, interest, and curiosity, and in doing so, recapture the spirit of the chemistry set. Submissions in all fields of science are encouraged and applicants can win up to $50,000. Do you have a great idea? Or something you have already created?! To learn more, please visit

Student Engagement and Information

Applications Now Being Accepted for Blue Waters Graduate Fellowships

The Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program is a new and unique program funded by the National Science Foundation. This prestigious program will select graduate students from across the country to immerse themselves in a year of focused high-performance computing (HPC) research. The fellowships will empower these talented graduate students to advance their HPC knowledge while also providing them with time and support to accelerate their research. The fellowship is designed to support PhD students who are engaged in a program of study and research that is directly relevant to the use of the Blue Waters supercomputer. Preference will be given to candidates engaged in a multidisciplinary research project that combines disciplines such as computer science, applied mathematics and computational science applications. For complete information on the fellowships, visit Questions? Contact

2014 RASC-AL Robo-Ops Competition
Notice of Intent Deadline – December 8, 2013

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace announce the 2014 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage Exploration Robo-Ops, also known as RASC-AL Robo-Ops, competition. This design competition is aimed at university-level engineering students. The RASC-AL Robo-Ops contest challenges participants to build a planetary rover prototype and demonstrate its capabilities in field tests at NASA's Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard. Up to three members of the team (plus the faculty advisor) may travel to Johnson Space Center for the onsite testing. The remaining team members will stay behind at the local university to conduct mission control tasks. The prototype rovers will be tele-operated by the mission control team members and must negotiate a series of obstacles while accomplishing a variety of tasks that include sample collection and acquisition. The only information available to the rover controller to perform the required tasks will be information transmitted through onboard rover video camera(s) or other onboard sensors. For more information about this competition, visit If you have questions about this competition, please contact Stacy Dees at or Shelley Spears at

Fall 2014 Simons Postdoctoral Fellowship
University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Application Deadline - December 15, 2013

The Simons Institute at the University of California, Berkeley and the Computing Sciences Area at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) invites applications for the Simons Postdoctoral Fellowship in the "Theory of Computing for Science." The fellowship allows recent graduates with a Ph.D. (or equivalent) to acquire further scientific training in an exciting new collaboration between the Simons Institute and Berkeley. The postdoctoral fellows will be part of a research project in partnership with Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division, National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Division, or Scientific Networking Division (home of ESnet), which include state-of-the-are computing and networking facilities in addition to basic research in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, and Computational Science. Fellows will also serve one semester as Fellows in the Simons Institute in the "Algorithmic Spectral Graph Theory" or "Algorithms and Complexity in Algebraic Geometry" programs during the fall of 2014. For more information and to apply, please visit

Applications Open for Paid Summer 2014 Internships
Submission Deadline – January 10, 2014

LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) has just opened its Summer 2014 application for:

These internships support STEM workforce development at the DOE laboratories. Interns perform research under staff scientists or engineers on DOE projects. For more information, please visit

NASA IRIS Challenge: Tracking a Solar Storm

Challenge Ends – January 31, 2014.

Join the Tracking a Solar Storm Challenge and guide students as they learn about the sun’s anatomy, the space weather it generates, and why studying the sun is important. Launched on June 27, 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, spacecraft is actively studying the dynamics of our sun’s atmosphere using an ultraviolet telescope and imaging spectrograph. Designed around the IRIS mission, this challenge is an opportunity for students to learn about the IRIS mission and the instruments scientists use to gather solar data as well as to study the sun’s weather, track a solar storm and predict its effect on Earth. Students will demonstrate what they have learned by collecting data and producing a video or slide show space weather report.

 To learn more about the challenge, visit

Please email any questions about this challenge to

NASA Exploration Design Challenge
Registration Deadline – July 31, 2014

Students from Kindergarten through 12th grade will have the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight through participation in NASA's Exploration Design Challenge, or EDC. NASA EDC invites students around the world to think and act like scientists in order to overcome one of the major hurdles of deep space long-duration exploration -- the dangers associated with space radiation. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, currently being developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners to carry astronauts to space, venturing farther than humans have ever gone before. Through a series of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, engagement activities, students in grades K-8 will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding and recommend materials that best block radiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will think and act like engineers as they apply what they learn to design shielding to protect a sensor on the Orion crew module from space radiation. After a review of the design solutions submitted by teams in the grades 9-12 challenge, five finalist teams will be selected and matched with a mentor from NASA to test their designs in a virtual simulator. The winning team will build a prototype radiation shield that will be analyzed and submitted to Lockheed Martin for flight certification on the inaugural flight of the Orion Exploration Flight Test, or EFT-1. For more information and to register online, visit

Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University Researcher Explores Student Online Collaboration
Penn State News

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and Carnegie Mellon University are using a National Science Foundation grant to study blended learning in which online and traditional components are used together in instruction. "We hope that this project will contribute to higher quality collaborative environments for students in online and blended learning environments," says PSU senior researcher Marcela Borge. The three-year project will "merge what we know from the fields of human-computer interaction, the learning sciences, and computational linguistics to support an online collaborative learning environment," Borge says. The researchers will create a collaborative environment that will be able to analyze student posts and evaluate their ability to plan, build on ideas, assess ideas, and make progress. To read further, please visit

Faculty Proposal Opportunities

NSF Call for Proposals: Coastal SEES: Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability
Full Proposal Deadline  - January 21, 2014

Coastal SEES is focused on the sustainability of coastal systems. For this solicitation we define coastal systems as the swath of land closely connected to the sea, including barrier islands, wetlands, mudflats, beaches, estuaries, cities, towns, recreational areas, and maritime facilities; the continental seas and shelves; and the overlying atmosphere. For complete information, please visit

On the Lighter Side – Computational Science News on the Edge

The Quest to Build a Truly Free Version of Android
Wired News

Replicant is an independent version of Android that contains no proprietary software, and was developed based on the concept of free software. Most of the code in the Android Open Source Project is open source, but a lot of the software that interacts with hardware components, such as global positioning system chips and cameras, is proprietary. In addition, Google software, including Google Play, Gmail, and Google Maps, requires Google's permission to distribute. Replicant's founders began exploring Android source code in 2008 when the first Android phone was released, to create a version without proprietary software. Replicant now supports 10 different devices and includes only free code. Although Replicant lacks the Google Play marketplace for Android apps and media, it offers a free and open source app store called F-Droid. To read further, please visit

Analyzing Hundreds of Cells in a Few Mouse Clicks
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have developed Active Cell, a technique for analyzing hundreds of images of cells in just a few mouse clicks. The researchers say Active Cell uses complex mathematical equations and sophisticated algorithms to virtually analyze dozens of images in just an hour, which is the equivalent of analyzing hundreds of cells, on a standard computer. When seen on a computer display, the data looks like a flattened sphere that can be changed into various shapes, with lines around its surface similar to a world-map globe. Users can scroll their mouse over a three-dimensional digital microscopic image, using the globe to identify and separate single cells from within the image. The globe fixes itself to the target cell and adopts its contours, delineating the cell's shape, size, and density in real time. To read further, please visit

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