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CAIDA Sponsors Internet Teaching Labs at U.S. Universities

Thirteen universities across the country will soon implement Internet Teaching Laboratories (ITLs) on their campuses for use in their fall 2000 terms. The ITL project, sponsored by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), includes plans for hands-on teaching laboratories at 25 U.S. universities during the year 2000.

"The Internet Teaching Labs are a natural outgrowth of CAIDA's Internet Engineering Curriculum project that aims to improve curriculum resources as a step toward better preparing the next generation of network engineers and technology workers," said Aubrey Bush, Director of the Division of Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research of the National Science Foundation (NSF). "We are particularly excited that CAIDA, through their successful collaborative relationships with the networking industry, has been able to establish this program to place modern networking equipment into university labs."

CAIDA has solicited proposals for a second round of grants to establish another 12 ITL facilities on U.S. campuses. The lab facilities will be tailored to the requirements of individual institutions.

"Few Internet engineering courses include a realistic hands-on laboratory component, largely due to a lack of equipment," said Evi Nemeth, leader of CAIDA's Internet Engineering Curriculum (IEC) project. "Industry participants have generously committed equipment, software, and time to make the ITLs possible, and we hope that these laboratories will have a major impact on undergraduate education in computer science and networking." (v4.8, v4.9)

UC San Diego and SDSC Host International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology

The Eighth International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB 2000) is scheduled for August 19-23 at UC San Diego in La Jolla, California. With over 800 registrants anticipated and more than 140 papers, ISMB 2000, hosted by SDSC and UC San Diego, promises to be the largest ISMB meeting yet.

"The conference provides a general forum for disseminating the latest developments in bioinformatics. "This event is a multidisciplinary conference that brings together scientists from computer science, molecular biology, mathematics, and statistics," said SDSC's Phil Bourne, co-chair, along with fellow SDSC computational biologist Michael Gribskov, of the Local Organizing Committee for ISMB 2000. "The papers this year reflect recent advances in technology, particularly in the area of DNA microarrays, as well as our efforts, in silico, to represent complex biological systems."

ISMB 2000 will include discussions on the interpretation of large-scale gene expression data, whole genome comparative analysis, mathematical modeling of biochemical pathways, interpretation of large macromolecular assemblies using data at different resolutions, and many other topics. (v4.8)

SDSC Releases New Version of SDSC Storage Resource Broker

SDSC released version 1.1.7 of the SDSC Storage Resource Broker (SRB) software package, which provides a uniform interface for managing data from distributed, heterogeneous storage resources. Version 1.1.7 supports integration with the Grid Security Infrastructure (GSI) for authentication and DataCutter software for data extraction.

The GSI authentication scheme uses an X.509 public key infrastructure like those used in Web-based e-commerce to securely identify users and servers across the Internet and across administrative domains. The DataCutter software from the University of Maryland extracts desired subsets of data at the location where the data is stored, returning only the requested information--an important savings in network traffic when large data sets are involved.

Interest is growing in the innovative SDSC SRB software, developed by SDSC's Data-Intensive Computing Environments (DICE) group, because of the need to integrate, manage, and access the explosively growing data collections in astronomy, physics, biology, environmental science, museums, medical records, and many other fields. There are currently more than 140 registered users of the SDSC SRB. (v4.10)

SDSC Plays a Role in National Library of Medicine Project

SDSC-developed storage and visualization technologies will be integrated into a National Library of Medicine project to create one of the largest-ever medical image databases. The project will demonstrate how leading-edge information technologies in computation, visualization, collaboration, and networking can expand the capabilities of medical science in developmental studies, clinical work, and teaching.

"We'll be responsible for housing and maintaining a medical image database that will be one of the largest ever created," said Reagan Moore, leader of SDSC's Data-Intensive Computing projects. "We will enable project participants to study data sets of sizes up to a terabyte, in multi-gigabyte images, using our IBM HPSS archival storage system, our Storage Resource Broker, and the MPIRE system to support 3-D rendering of the data."

The project title is "Human Embryology Digital Library and Collaboratory Support Tools." The data are derived from the Carnegie Human Embryology Collection held at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. The project focuses on providing a capability for medical professionals to communicate detailed information about the development of the human embryo in a visual form. It involves three medical schools and five participating technical organizations. Led by Dr. J. Mark Pullen of George Mason University, the technical team will develop a network of medical collaboration workstations to be interconnected over the Abilene and NTON networks at OC-3 and OC-12 rates.(v4.6)

National Archives Joins NSF in Support of NPACI Based on SDSC Successes

In testimony to a Congressional committee on March 28, U.S. Archivist John Carlin announced plans for the creation of an Electronic Records Archives that will enable the National Archives and Records Administration to preserve and provide access to records of the Federal Government in the digital age. "This is news of potential importance to the entire Federal Government and to everyone else in our country who keeps records and depends on them," Carlin said in testimony on Fiscal Year 2001 appropriations before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government.

"On previous occasions," he continued, "I've identified the problems of preserving and providing access to vast quantities of system-dependent electronic records, in multiplying formats, as a great challenge for NARA in the 21st Century. Today I can tell you that we're on the verge of a major technological breakthrough for the long-term preservation of computer generated records of the Federal Government. Research-and-development work done for us by the San Diego Supercomputer Center indicates that a practical Electronic Records Archives may be in sight.

"I have just approved an interagency agreement with the National Science Foundation for work on such an Electronic Records Archives to be carried forward within the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), which was created by NSF to take advantage of newly emerging opportunities in high performance computing and communications." (v4.7)

Intruders Vandalize SDSC Computer while Security Experts Dissect Their Moves

Over the course of its short lifetime, an SDSC computer was probed heavily and successfully intruded several times. Intruders exploited a well-known flaw in the operating system of "" to gain root access to the machine, but what they didn't know was that this host was really part of an experiment and they were being observed and analyzed.

The "" machine was an old Pentium desktop computer that the SDSC Security Technologies group installed in late December 1999 on one of SDSC's "untrusted" networks, and it was running an older version of Red Hat Linux--completely unpatched and unsecured. The experiment's objective was to determine the "life expectancy" of a popular commercial operating system when attached to the public Internet. Watch for a paper at a USENIX Security conference regarding lessons learned. (v4.7)

SDSC Continues Contributions to Science Education

Middle school students from the San Diego area demonstrated projects for friends, family, and community members at SDSC's second annual Celebration of Science on Tuesday, May 16. With more than 300 guests, the event featured student-created displays focusing on science, engineering, and computing.

For this and similar projects, SDSC was presented an Institutional Award for Educational Service by the San Diego Science Alliance (SDSA) March 10. Nominated by San Diego educator Steve Wavra, a former participant in the center's Supercomputer Teacher Enhancement Program, SDSC was the first institution to be honored for educational service by the SDSA. Other award recipients represented business, teachers, administrators, and volunteers. (v4.6, v4.10)

SDSC Decommissions NPACI's 128-processor IBM RS/6000 SP

With NPACI's Blue Horizon now in full production, the 128-node IBM SP system at SDSC was decommissioned on May 26. Users of the original IBM SP will be migrated to Blue Horizon and IBM SP systems at NPACI resource partners in Texas and Michigan.

"Over the entire life of this SP system, SDSC and allocated users maintained more than 86% utilization, which is testimony to the popularity and reliability of this system," said Mike Vildibill, SDSC deputy director for resources.

Originally installed in November 1997, the IBM SP has served more than 1,500 researchers during its nearly 2.5 years of service at SDSC and proved to be a highly reliable production resource for the NSF Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program. (v4.11)

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