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NSF Awards $2.3 Million Grant for High-Performance Wireless Network to UC San Diego-led Collaboration

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $2.3 million, three-year research grant to UC San Diego to create, demonstrate, and evaluate a non-commercial prototype, high-performance wide-area, wireless network for research and education. Principals on the proposal are with the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR) at SDSC, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO).

The project involves a multi-institution collaboration led by Hans-Werner Braun of the NLANR group at SDSC and co-principal investigator Frank Vernon of the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics at SIO, and includes researchers from San Diego State University's Mount Laguna Observatory and Astronomy Department and researchers from UC San Diego's Center for Wireless Communications.

The project will create a wireless backbone network in southern California that will initially include backbone nodes on the UC San Diego campus and mountaintops in San Diego County including Mt. Woodson, Mt. Laguna, Mt. Palomar, and Toro Peak. Researchers in various disciplines and educational communities will be able to connect to the Internet through this backbone network. (v4.17)

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Trans-Pacific Telemicroscopy Demonstrated across End-to-End IPv6 Network

Researchers from UC San Diego and
NPACI demonstrated one of the first uses of the next-generation Internet Protocol in a major scientific application during the 10th Annual Internet Society Conference, INET 2000. At the conference in Yokohama, Japan, the researchers conducted interactive remote control of an electron microscope over end-to-end native IPv6 networks that spanned the Pacific Ocean.

Representatives of UC San Diego's National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research (NCMIR) and SDSC highlighted how telescience technologies can provide worldwide access to unique scientific instruments and enable researchers to collaborate more easily.

In the telescience demos, microscope images and status information traveled from the NCMIR microscope by way of a Sun Microsystems IPv6-enabled Web server to SDSC, where the messages are routed onto the NSF-sponsored vBNS network. An IPv6 transfer point called 6TAP at the STAR TAP exchange in Chicago connected to the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) in Tokyo via the 100 megabit per second APAN-TransPAC link. From there, the data traveled over the Japan Gigabit Network to the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center, where the iGrid network carried the data to the Sun workstation running the demo's interactive remote-control system. (v4.15)

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SDSC Computer Security Expert Testifies before Congress on FBI Internet Monitoring

SDSC computer security researcher Tom Perrine testified before the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution at a July 24 oversight hearing on Fourth Amendment issues raised by the FBI's Carnivore digital wiretap program. Perrine participated on a seven-member panel of non-governmental security experts; the subcommittee also heard testimony from Justice Department witnesses.

Perrine discussed Carnivore from his perspective as manager of the Pacific Institute for Computer Security (PICS) at SDSC and computer security manager for SDSC and NPACI. Perrine previously had provided testimony on the vulnerabilities of computer-based systems to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

"The fundamental issue boils down to: How do we balance the government's legitimate need to monitor suspects of criminal investigations without trampling the rights of other citizens who happen to share the Internet with them?" Perrine told the committee. (v4.15)

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Caltech's HP X2000 Retired; HP V2500 Enters Production

The 256-processor Hewlett-Packard X2000 at Caltech's Center for Advanced Computing Research, used by NPACI, NASA, and Caltech users for the past three years, was retired from service on June 13, 2000. It was in production three years, serving NPACI, NASA, and Caltech users.

Prior to its retirement, existing X2000 applications and selected new codes were transitioned onto the successor system, a 128-processor HP V2500 that entered full production in May 2000. The HP V2500--actually a pair of 64-processor V2500 systems named Scully and Mulder--features PA8500 processors, 128 GB of memory, and 1.15 TB of disk storage. The peak system performance is 225 Gflops. (v4.14)

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CAIDA Tech Transfer Enhances Internet Monitoring and Management Solutions

SDSC's Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) announced the licensing of certain results of its research efforts to Caimis, Inc., a start-up company developing commercial Internet monitoring and network management tools, and Caimis Geo, Inc., an affiliated start-up developing geographic location services.

Caimis and Caimis Geo will build products based upon prototypes from CAIDA to provide the Internet community with "industrial-strength" applications. The first product distributed by Caimis is a refined version of CAIDA's skping, a graphical Unix-based tool for measuring round-trip time and packet loss to a single designation.

The UC San Diego Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services approved the licensing of CAIDA programming code to Caimis in July. Technologies licensed to Caimis include skitter, an application for mapping and analysis of the Internet infrastructure, and CoralReef, a tool for passive monitoring and analysis of traffic on OC-3 and OC-12 links. NetGeo, a tool for determining geographic locations of Internet entities, was licensed to Caimis Geo.

As a CAIDA spin-off, Caimis will make its products available to CAIDA to support its analyses of Internet infrastructure and performance. Public source code maintained by CAIDA to which Caimis will contribute include cflowd, for analysis and reporting of workload data from routers, and arts++, a binary file format for storage and analysis of Internet data. (v4.14)

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Heart Cell Simulation Wins Computational Science Olympics

For their project on "Simulation of the Contractile Behavior of an Isolated Cardiac Myocyte," SDSU students Lena van der Stap and Patrick McNairnie won this year's Computational Science Olympics, hosted by NPACI's Education Center on Computational Science and Engineering at SDSU, an EOT-PACI partner.

McNairnie and van der Stap's simulation aimed to increase understanding of the fundamental driving forces of contraction by the ability to visualize a combination of different types of data together in one image. Van der Stap and McNairnie are working with Paul Paolini at the Rees-Stealy Research Foundation Laboratory on a way to visualize the effects of agents such as lipopolysaccharides on cell shortening and lengthening and on intracellular calcium movement. (v4.13)

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NPACI Hosts Third Parallel Computing Institute

The Fourth NPACI Parallel Computing Institute was held at SDSC August 28–September 1. For four consecutive years, NPACI has organized a week-long Parallel Computing Institute, designed to help new researchers use NPACI resources more effectively. Attendees benefit from the opportunity to closely interact with experts in various aspects of high-performance computing.

This year's institute included lectures on the performance characteristics of high-performance computing resources, programming methodologies and tools, and parallel algorithms with hands-on lab time during which attendees experimented with the techniques and ideas presented. The institute, directed by Donald Frederick of SDSC, offers presentations on a wide range of topics from staff at NPACI partner institutions and prominent guest speakers. (v4.11)

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SDSC Creates Testbed for Evaluation and Training with XML Technology

Researchers in the Data-Intensive Computing Group (DICE) at SDSC are developing an XML testbed for evaluating cutting-edge XML database technologies and developing hands-on XML training courses and tutorials. XML is emerging as the Web standard for annotating content because access to XML databases is not limited to vendor-specific applications.

By using proxies or wrapper software for translation, XML data can be retrieved without the user needing to know things like the location, platform, or even the structure of the XML data. For example, the Art Museum Image Consortium (AMICO) image collection, hosted at SDSC, is a set of XML records contributed by more than 30 art museums to a full-scale prototype XML database developed by SDSC to help the museum consortium provide educational use of their digital multimedia resources.

At this year's SC2000 conference in Dallas, DICE members will present two half-day tutorials that will provide an overview of XML and explore building concrete XML applications based on experience gained in SDSC's XML technology testbed. (v4.14)

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CDC Report Offers Suggestions for Addressing Underrepresentation in Computer Science

A recent Coalition to Diversify Computing (CDC) workshop report, "Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minority Graduate Students in Computer Science," offers 25 practical suggestions for university computer science departments to attract and retain minority students.

The report highlights outreach programs such as the Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley; the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society, a joint program between the University of Colorado at Boulder and Tuskegee University in Alabama; and the Spend a Summer with a Scientist program at Rice University.

The report also suggests that the culture of the computing and research environments must be as strongly emphasized as the technical education presented to women and minority graduate students. For retention and success at the graduate level, faculty members are encouraged to assist minority students in acclimating to the research environment culture. (v4.15)