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SDSC Researchers and Blue Horizon Transport Viewers to Orion Nebula in Dazzling New Planetarium Show

Astronomically accurate visualizations made possible for the first time by SDSC researchers and Blue Horizon transported space theater visitors to the Orion Nebula--the first destination of the virtual starship departing from the reopened Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

February 16 marked the dedication of the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The $210 million exhibition and research facility includes the Hayden Planetarium. The Hayden's 87-foot sphere holds the world's largest virtual reality environment.

When the planetarium's space theater opened to the public on February 19, thousands of people viewed the premiere of a breathtaking new space epic, Passport to the Universe--the voyage of a starship through the galaxy and to the Orion Nebula.

The Orion Nebula sequence--three minutes of high-resolution animation displayed by seven independent projectors--was produced by SDSC's MPIRE Galaxy Renderer software running on 800 processors for 12 hours, generating more than 28,000 separate images that filled more than 100 gigabytes of digital storage. (v4.4)

SDSC Director Sid Karin Appointed to PITAC Panel on Transforming the Practice of Healthcare

Sid Karin, director of SDSC and NPACI, has been appointed to the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee's (PITAC) Panel on Transforming the Practice of Healthcare, which has been charged with developing a long-range technology strategy to implement the healthcare vision from the February 1999 PITAC report to the President.

Co-chaired by Sherrilynne Fuller, head of the Division of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Edward Shortliffe, professor and chair of the Department of Medical Informatics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the PITAC Panel on Transforming the Practice of Healthcare is slated to have its report to the full PITAC by September 2000.

"I'm happy to be participating in advancing the future of healthcare through the PITAC subcommittee," Karin said. "Information technology research, such as that being conducted at SDSC and by NPACI partners, stands to benefit the daily lives of U.S. citizens through advances in drug design and dosage, protein and genome analysis, diagnostic technologies, and improvements in patient care." (v4.5)

National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid Joins NPACI International Affiliates Program

NPACI's Executive Committee has announced the sixth member of the partnership's international affiliates program--the BioComputing Unit of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB) in Madrid, Spain. The CNB will collaborate with NPACI partners in the areas of 3-D reconstruction algorithms, scientific data collections, and parallel computing.

"The CNB is the national focal point for biotechnology in Spain, performing world-class research as well as supporting industrial and academic collaboration along the country," said José María Carazo, CNB deputy director and head of the BioComputing Unit. "The BioComputing Unit's research complements several research areas of NPACI and extends established collaborations with a number of UC San Diego and SDSC researchers." (v4.5)

CAIDA's KC Claffy Named One of Top 25 Women of the Internet

KC Claffy, principal investigator of the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at SDSC, has been named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web. The award reflects Claffy's contributions to the analysis of Internet traffic data and promotion of cooperation to help create a more robust Internet. San Francisco Women on the Web (SFWoW) conferred the honor in a ceremony on January 31, 2000.

Claffy is nationally recognized as a leader in the world of networking research and is the founder and principal investigator of CAIDA, a research group at SDSC. CAIDA fosters greater cooperation in the engineering and maintenance of a robust, scalable global Internet infrastructure. "Service providers face many great challenges today," Claffy said, "not least of which are inter-ISP traffic engineering, analysis, and problem resolution."

Recent CAIDA contributions to the community include an update of cflowd, software used to analyze netflow output from Cisco routers; Gtrace, an interactive tool for geographical visualization of Internet paths; CoralReef, a comprehensive software suite for passive monitoring of Internet traffic; and Skitter, a measurement tool that CAIDA has developed to monitor forward IP paths to many thousands of destinations. (v4.3)

SDSC'S IRCache Team Announces New Web Cache Bakeoff Results

The results of the second Web Cache Bakeoff have been announced by the IRCache team of SDSC and the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR). IRCache, an independent research and support organization for high-performance networking sponsored by NSF, has conducted an unbiased test of products from the industry's major vendors.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout for the second bakeoff," IRCache researcher Duane Wessels said. "At last year's bakeoff, we had only six companies and nine products. Now we have almost triple that--nearly all the major players in the industry. I think this clearly indicates the relevance of our tests, and the maturity of the caching community to come together like this."

Several dozen Web cache products have entered the marketplace within the past few years. Unfortunately, competing performance claims have been difficult to verify, and haven't meant quite the same thing from vendor to vendor. IRCache bakeoffs address the data networking community's needs for high-quality, independent performance data on commercial products. Vendors who want to test the performance of their products have an opportunity to do so under impartial, evenly matched conditions. (v4.5)

EOT-PACI Receives $1 Million for Advanced Networking Project with Minority-Serving Institutions

The Education, Outreach, and Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (EOT-PACI) received a $1 million award as part of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advanced Networking Project with Minority-Serving Institutions (AN-MSI).

The four-year AN-MSI program, which grants almost $6 million to groups across the country, was awarded to EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to transform education through information technologies. The new program helps higher education institutions that traditionally serve minority communities prepare for the next generation of information technology and computer networking.

EOT-PACI is a joint effort of the National Computational Science Alliance (Alliance) and NPACI. EOT-PACI is dedicated to making emerging technologies accessible to learners and educators at all levels and to forging an inclusive computing community "Networks connecting minority-serving institutions will help us extend the opportunities of science and computing to all of tomorrow's scientists. Such connections are the lifeblood of the Grid and its potential," said Sid Karin, director of NPACI. (v3.23)

Grid Leaders Convene at 3rd Grid Forum Meeting, Hosted by SDSC and NPACI

SDSC and NPACI hosted the 3rd Grid Forum meeting (GF-3) March 22-24, 2000, at the Price Center Ballroom on the UC San Diego campus.

Grid Forum is a community-initiated forum of researchers and practitioners working on distributed computing, or "grid" technologies. Grid Forum focuses on the promotion and development of Grid technologies and applications via the development and documentation of "best practices," implementation guidelines, and standards with an emphasis on rough consensus and running code.

These "Grid" technologies are critical to such activities as the PACI National Technology Grid, being developed through NPACI's Metasystems efforts in collaboration with the National Computational Science Alliance; NASA's Information Power Grid; the Department of Energy's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative; and other activities worldwide. Grid Forum is organized in nine working groups focusing on such areas as security, scheduling, and Grid user services. (v4.5)

SDSC Security Expert Tom Perrine Named Investigator of the Year

The San Diego Chapter of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) has given Tom Perrine its award for "Investigator of the Year." The award was presented to Perrine for his "superior job skills, knowledge, and dedication to high-technology investigations" in the private sector. A parallel Law Enforcement Award was given to Detective David Hendron of the San Diego Police Department.

Perrine, manager of computer security technologies at SDSC, often works closely with other security specialists across the nation and with federal and local law enforcement officials. He is responsible for defining policies, deploying new security tools and technologies, and investigating intrusion attempts to protect the interests of the users of SDSC resources. (v3.25)

SDSC Kicks Off Regular Webcast Schedule

SDSC began a series of Web broadcasts with the plenary sessions from the NPACI All-Hands Meeting February 8-11. The plenary presentations are being followed in March and April with seminars hosted by SDSC as part of the Computational Science Seminar Series (CSSS) and the Center Happenings and Tea (CHAT) speaker series. The current schedule is available on the Web.

The SDSC Webcasts require RealPlayer G2 or better. Links to a live presentation will be available on the SDSC Web site and the Webcast calendar page. Check the Webcast calendar for additions to the schedule. (v4.4)

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