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March 2017 — April 2017

Sensor-filled Glove Could Help Doctors Take Guesswork out of Physical Exams (Apr 28, 2017)
Everyone experiences stiff muscles from time to time, whether after a rigorous workout, in cold weather, or after falling asleep in an unusual position. People with cerebral palsy, stroke and multiple sclerosis, however, live with stiff muscles every single day, making everyday tasks such as extending an arm extremely difficult and painful for them. And since there isn't a foolproof way to objectively rate muscle stiffness, these patients often receive doses of medication that are too low or too...
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Why It's Really Hard to Pitch a Green Energy Startup (Apr 28, 2017)
Three Stanford graduates figured out a way to turn carbon dioxide into fuel. A few years have passed, and their idea has since become a company -- Opus 12 -- complete with a prototype, funding and a plan for a first commercial unit. Opus 12 is one of the lucky ones. Clean energy startups face challenges that software startups don't. Most entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley need minimal supplies -- often they can build their products on their computers. But those who try to bring a science-based conc...
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ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships (Apr 27, 2017)
ACM SIGHPC and Intel have partnered to create Computational and Data Science Fellowships, a 5-year program to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science. Specifically targeted at women or students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have not traditionally participated in the computing field, the program is open to students pursuing degrees at institutions anywhere in the world.

Quality over Quantity: The New Challenge Facing Computer Science Education (Apr 27, 2017)
“In the new economy, computer science isn’t an optional skill – it’s a basic skill, right along with the three “Rs.” President Obama made this bold declaration in January 2016, when he announced his Computer Science for All initiative, designed to expand computer science classes in public schools. While this presidential push marked the first concerted federal effort on the topic, the movement for expanded computer science education started long before. As early as 2009, the organiza...
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Learning To Code Requires You To Take Initiative (Apr 26, 2017)
Computer Science is not teaching me programming, it is teaching me maths. What can I do to use my coding knowledge to program apps, etc.? Well, what's stopping you? Go program. Stop waiting for someone else to hold your hand and physically press your fingers to the keys. You are learning programming. You're learning the fundamentals. You're learning different ways of storing data. You might end up using those ways directly, or it might just stretch your mind and you'll create your own way of sto...
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Computer Science as … Science? (Apr 26, 2017)
A resolution asking the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to allow computer science courses to count as science credits moved through the House Education Committee Monday and on to full House debate. House Concurrent Resolution 14, by Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, would ask BESE to accept computer science as a science credit when satisfying high school graduation requirements. The resolution also requests the board develop goals for computer science, strategies to meet the g...
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ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships (Apr 25, 2017)
ACM SIGHPC and Intel have partnered to create Computational and Data Science Fellowships, a 5-year program to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science. Specifically targeted at women or students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have not traditionally participated in the computing field, the program is open to students pursuing degrees at institutions anywhere in the world.

Oklahoma Lacks Women in Computer Science (Apr 25, 2017)
An analysis posted recently by revealed that more computer science degrees were awarded last year than ever before. But it also shows that women remain significantly underrepresented in the field, obtaining just 17.5 percent of those 49,000 degrees. Historic data shows women pursuing computer science degrees peaked in 1987, the year Microsoft Windows was introduced, Steve Wozniak departed from Apple and the world was introduced to the 3.5-inch diskette.

Supercomputing Gets Neural Network Boost in Quantum Chemistry (Apr 24, 2017)
Just two years ago, supercomputing was thrust into a larger spotlight because of the surge of interest in deep learning. The hardware similarities, particularly for training on GPU-accelerated machines and key HPC development approaches, including MPI to scale across a massive number of nodes, brought new attention to the world of scientific and technical computing. What wasn’t clear then was how traditional supercomputing could benefit from all the framework developments in deep learning. Aft...
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Harnessing Heat to Power Computers (Apr 24, 2017)
One of the biggest problems with computers, dating to the invention of the first one, has been finding ways to keep them cool so that they don't overheat or shut down. Instead of combating the heat, two University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers have embraced it as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures. Sidy Ndao, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, said his research group's development of a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or th...
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ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational & Data Science Fellowships (Apr 23, 2017)
ACM SIGHPC and Intel have partnered to create Computational and Data Science Fellowships, a 5-year program to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate degrees in data science and computational science. Specifically targeted at women or students from racial/ethnic backgrounds that have not traditionally participated in the computing field, the program is open to students pursuing degrees at institutions anywhere in the world.

SDSC to Enhance Campus Research Computing Resources for Bioinformatics (Apr 23, 2017)
The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that will augment its campus computing cluster with targeted capabilities for bioinformatics analyses to support researchers across campus and their collaborators – including the ability to conduct de-multiplexing, mapping, and variant calling of a single human genome in less than one hour. The grant is part of the NSF’s Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) program, which invests...
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DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation (Apr 17, 2017)
In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Just as classical computing systems have been instrumental in advancing their own forward progression, today’s fastest machines are helping pave the way for quantum computing breakthroughs, which will be revolutionary for applications in quantum chemistry, material science, machine learning, and cryptography.

So you think you can secure your mobile phone with a fingerprint? (Apr 17, 2017)
No two people are believed to have identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan State University College of Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints are common enough that the fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable than previously thought.

Workload Study: Blue Waters Enables Large-scale Science (Apr 16, 2017)
A technical report analyzing use and performance of NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer and all the scientific applications it has run—from its launch in April 2013, until September 2016—shows Blue Waters has spent the majority of its computing time solving large-scale scientific applications. These include projects like understanding the 160-million-atom flu virus capsid, or creating high resolution 3D maps of the Arctic from massive amounts of satellite data. The paper also shows many of thes...
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Modeling Protein Interactions Simplified with Computer Server (Apr 16, 2017)
Proteins are the most abundant substance in living cells aside from water, and their interactions with cellular functions are crucial to healthy life. When proteins fall short of their intended function or interact in an unusual way, these disruptions often lead to disease development. By modeling the structure of protein interactions – a process that has been complicated for researchers for years – scientists gain important insight to many diseases. Stony Brook University-led research team ...
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Scientists Use IBM Power Systems to Assemble Genome of West Nile Mosquito (Apr 4, 2017)
A team led by researchers from The Center for Genome Architecture at Baylor College of Medicine have used technologies from IBM, Mellanox and NVIDIA to assemble the 1.2 billion letter genome of the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, which carries West Nile virus. The new genome can help enable scientists to better combat West Nile virus by identifying vulnerabilities in the mosquito that the virus uses to spread.

Berkeley Lab Researchers Target Chem Code for Knights Landing (Apr 3, 2017)
A team of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Intel are working hard to make sure that computational chemists are prepared to compute efficiently on next-generation exascale machines. Recently, they achieved a milestone, successfully adding thread-level parallelism on top of MPI-level parallelism in the planewave density functional theory method within the popular software suite NWChem.

Neuralink, A Venture to Merge the Human Brain with AI (Apr 3, 2017)
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink. The company, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and has no public presence whatsoever, is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence. These enhancements could improve memory or allow for more direct interfacing with computing device...
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UK to Launce Six HPC Centers (Apr 2, 2017)
The UK is launching six HPC centers. Funded by £20 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) the centers are located around the UK, at the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, and Oxford, Loughborough University and UCL. “These centers will enable new discoveries, drive innovation and allow new insights into today’s scientific challenges. They are important because they address an existing gulf in capability between local university systems and the...
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Psychologists Enlist Machine Learning to Help Diagnose Depression (Apr 2, 2017)
Depression affects more than 15 million American adults or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, each year. Is it possible to detect who might be vulnerable to the illness before its onset using brain imaging? David Schnyer, a cognitive neuroscientist and professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, believes it may be. But identifying its tell-tale signs is no simpler matter. He is using the Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to train a machine lea...
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Liquid Batteries Could One Day Cool Your Processor While Powering It (Mar 28, 2017)
Managing heat is one of the biggest enemies of processor speed. It’s why overclocking your processor can literally result in burning out your computer, and why serious gaming PC rigs can have hundreds of dollars in liquid cooling to try and siphon away the extra heat. Researchers at ETH Zurich and IBM Research Zurich have developed a tiny liquid flow battery that could solve that problem, by both generating electricity to power the chip as well as siphoning off the excess heat through the liqu...
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DOE Office of Science Would Have to Grapple with $900 Million Cut Under Trump Budget (Mar 28, 2017)
The Trump administration outlined dramatic cuts for nearly every federal agency in order to pay for a $54 billion increase in Department of Defense spending. Those rollbacks would include a 20 percent annual reduction at the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, which would almost certainly put the agency’s pre-exascale and exascale programs in jeopardy. The $900 million Office of Science cut is apt to throw the US HPC research community into disarray, given that this agency is tasked ...
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Coding a Starkiller (Mar 27, 2017)
The spectacular Supernova 1987A, whose light reached Earth on Feb. 23 of the year it’s named for, captured the public’s fancy. It’s located at the edge of the Milky Way, in a dwarf galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. It had been four centuries since earthlings had witnessed light from a star exploding in our galaxy. A supernova’s awesome light show heralds a giant star’s death, and the next supernova’s post-mortem will generate reams of data, compared to the paltry dozen or so ...
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Using Big Data to Analyze Images and Video (Mar 27, 2017)
Improving traffic safety, better health services and environmental benefits - Big Data experts see a wide range of possibilities for advanced image analysis and recognition technology. "Advanced image recognition by computers is the result of a great deal of very demanding work. You have to mimic the way the human brain distinguishes significant from unimportant information," says Eirik Thorsnes at Uni Research in Bergen, Norway. Thorsnes heads a group in the company's Centre for Big Data Analys...
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