SDSC Thread Graphic Issue 5, April 2006

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User Services Director:
Anke Kamrath

Subhashini Sivagnanam

Graphics Designer:
Diana Diehl

Application Designer:
Fariba Fana

Word from User Support

I'm excited to highlight a number of different developments at SDSC in this issue of Thread.

The 12th annual SDSC Summer Institute, "Taking Your Science to the Next Level: On the Path to Petascale Computing" will take place July 17-21. This year's institute will focus on common bottlenecks encountered when computing at a large scale and features lectures on a variety of topics as well as hands-on laboratory sessions. Attendees are encouraged to come with their own codes and research problems to address. Travel, housing and meals are paid for matriculating graduate and undergraduate students at U.S. colleges and universities.

SDSC continues to expand its infrastructure. Tapes for our archival storage system reside in silos on the machine room floor, named due to their similarity in shape to grain silos. Inside the silos is a robot arm that grabs a tape and inserts it into a tape drive when a user requests a file on that tape. Layton Chen describes - in words and pictures - the deployment of a new silo, resulting in a significant increase in both capacity and performance. I started at the center in 1993. There were times when a user request for a file meant a call to our operators had to get up, pull a tape off a shelf and insert it into a drive. We have truly come a long way.

Finally, I always enjoy highlighting the work of our researchers. Dr. P.K. Yeung from the Georgia Institute of Technology has been computing at SDSC since at least 1997. He and his students are studying turbulent mixing at low diffusivity, a process important for industrial liquid-phase processing and nanomaterial synthesis operations. They have run the world's largest simulation of turbulent mixing at low diffusivity, routinely making runs on the entire DataStar system. Please see our featured story for more on his work, as well as stunning visualization of the results provided by Steve Cutchin and his group at SDSC. Steve also provides a very detailed guide to rendering your own data in his visualization article.

Best Regards,
Nancy Wilkins-Diehr
Consulting, Training & Documentation Director

Nancy Wilkins-Diehr is reachable via e-mail at

Did you know ..?

Login to the DSPOE node to run jobs in the DataStar "express" queue. There are 4 nodes set up to run up to 64 task 24/7 -Eva Hocks