Two scientists who previously worked as postdoctoral researchers at Livermore are among the 94 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers named by President Barack Obama. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers.
Fotini Katopodes Chow, now an assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, was honored for research conducted between 2004 and 2005. The Laboratory nomination cited her for “original contributions to atmospheric flow simulation in areas with complex terrain, and leadership in bridging the gap between meteorology researchers and weather forecasters.”
Logan Liu is now a professor in the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He was nominated for innovative research in understanding the interactions between photons, plasmons, and electrons. His research has contributed to the development of miniaturized spectroscopic and sensing systems with applications in homeland security, renewable energy, and health care.
Steve MacLaren, a physicist with Livermore’s Weapons and Complex Integration Principal Directorate, received the Employee of the Quarter Award from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Defense Programs. Award recipients are recognized for going beyond the call of duty in supporting the Defense Programs’ mission. MacLaren was recognized for his work as the lead designer for several high-energy-density experiments on the National Ignition Facility at Livermore and the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico. These experiments delivered validation data for three-dimensional simulations that allowed Laboratory researchers to develop and implement key physics-based models for the Stockpile Stewardship Program.
The Blue Gene/Q Prototype II supercomputer, now located at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center in New York and soon to be installed at Livermore as the Sequoia system, won first place on the annual Graph 500 list. Blue Gene/Q traversed more than 254 billion graph edges per second, a rate that is more than 2.5 times greater than the next machine on the list. The ranking corroborates the new machine’s data-intensive computing abilities, which were developed in support of the nation’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program.
Lawrence Livermore submitted multiple entries to this year’s Graph 500 competition, including several by Maya Gokhale and Roger Pearce that used solid-state drive storage arrays to hold the graphs. (See Finding Data Needles in Gigabit Haystacks.) Leviathan, a system with a single 40-core node, 1 terabyte of memory, and 12 terabytes of flash storage, processed a graph of 1 trillion edges, larger than the Laboratory’s top-ranked entry.
Graph 500 ranks the world’s most powerful computer systems for data-intensive computing. The list gets its name from graph-type problems, or algorithms, that are a core part of many analytics workloads, including applications for cybersecurity, medical informatics, and data enrichment.
The Department of Energy named Laboratory geochemist Tom Guilderson the 2011 winner of its prestigious Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award. Guilderson is the senior research scientist in the natural carbon research group at the Laboratory’s Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Ocean Sciences and Institute of Marine Sciences at University of California at Santa Cruz. He is honored for groundbreaking radiocarbon measurements of corals, advancements in understanding the paleohistory of ocean currents and ocean processes that reveal past climate variability, and the explanation of how physical and biogeochemical oceanic processes affect the global carbon cycle.
The E. O. Lawrence Award honors midcareer scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and its mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States. Named for the physicist who cofounded Lawrence Livermore, it comes with a citation signed by the Secretary of Energy, a gold medal bearing the likeness of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, and $20,000. Guilderson is the 28th current or former Laboratory employee to receive the award.
Laboratory researchers Roger Aines, Tom Buscheck, Mark Havstad, Wayne Miller, Christopher Spadaccini, and Todd Weisgraber received the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award for their contributions to flow-rate calculations for the Macondo Well in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. The six scientists were part of the Flow Rate Technical Group and Nodal Analysis Team, led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. This collaborative effort included research teams from Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest national laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, each of which used different methods to estimate the well’s flow rate. The Livermore calculations were based on the properties of the oil, well-bore geometry, and damage caused by the explosion. The collective work of the teams also accounted for the sequence of attempts to cap the well.