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September 2016 — November 2016

NCSA Collaboration Helps Discover New Dwarf Planet (Nov 4, 2016)
While cataloguing dark energy in space, scientists made a startling discovery with help from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) supercomputer Blue Waters. The discovery: A new dwarf planet, temporarily named DeeDee. The Chilean telescope at the center of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) discovered the icy planet over the summer. Previous telescopes didn't detect the planet, which is as faint as a single candle 100,000 miles away. Researchers from the University of Michigan wr...
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U.K. Weather Office Gets Exascale Boost (Nov 3, 2016)
Improved weather forecasting and climate change analysis are among the emerging applications for the combination of exascale computing, data analytics and the storage demands each places on data management tasks. European forecasters have been at the forefront of leveraging these technologies. The latest example comes from the U.K.'s national weather service, the Met Office, which announced this week it has selected a trio of HPC vendors to boost the capabilities of its Scientific Processing and...
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NSF CyberTraining Webinar - Nov. 10th (Nov 2, 2016)
The overarching goal of this program is to prepare, nurture and grow the national scientific workforce for creating, utilizing, and supporting advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) that enables cutting-edge science and engineering and contributes to the Nation's overall economic competiveness and security. This solicitation calls for developing innovative, scalable training programs to address the emerging needs and unresolved bottlenecks in scientific and engineering workforce development of target...
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Advances in Artificial Intelligence Could Lead to Mass Unemployment (Oct 22, 2016)
Experts have warned that rapidly improving artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment just days after Google revealed the purchase of a London based start-up dedicated to developing this technology. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today program, Dr Stuart Armstrong from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford said that there was a risk that computers could take over human jobs “at a faster rate than new jobs could be generated.”



Lego-Like Wall Produces Acoustic Holograms (Oct 22, 2016)
Research Triangle engineers have developed a simple, energy-efficient way to create three-dimensional acoustic holograms. The technique could revolutionize applications ranging from home stereo systems to medical ultrasound devices. Most everyone is familiar with the concept of visual holograms, which manipulate light to make it appear as though a 3-D object is sitting in empty space. These optical tricks work by shaping the electromagnetic field so that it mimics light bouncing off an actual ob...
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Diamonds Aren't Forever: Team Creates First Quantum Computer Bridge (Oct 21, 2016)
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together. "People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer but a connected cluster of small ones." Distributing quantum information on a bridge, or network, could also enable ...
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Meet Luigi: MIT's Sewer-Scouring Robot (Oct 21, 2016)
We've seen used robots as personal assistants, emergency rescuers and even hotel concierges -- but what if they could also do our dirty work? Meet Luigi: the sewer-trawling robot developed by Underworlds -- a project from MIT's Senseable City Lab -- which is designed to harness the gold mine of information lurking in the sewer. Scientists believe that by studying fecal matter, they can predict the spread of communicable diseases, paint a picture of a community's collective health and even influe...
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Meet Luigi: MIT's Sewer-Scouring Robot (Oct 21, 2016)
We've seen used robots as personal assistants, emergency rescuers and even hotel concierges -- but what if they could also do our dirty work? Meet Luigi: the sewer-trawling robot developed by Underworlds -- a project from MIT's Senseable City Lab -- which is designed to harness the gold mine of information lurking in the sewer. Scientists believe that by studying fecal matter, they can predict the spread of communicable diseases, paint a picture of a community's collective health and even influe...
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ORNL Creates Programming System for NVM Main Memory Systems (Oct 20, 2016)
Non-volatile memory (NVM) is playing a more important role in the memory architectures of HPC systems as illustrated by recent deployments and procurements. Yet there exist neither standard language constructs nor portable programming systems that provide support for these types of emerging memory architectures. To address this issue, researchers at the Future Technologies Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a novel programming system that extends C with intuitive, langu...
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Novel Tensor Mining Tool to Enable Automated Modeling Described in Big Data (Oct 20, 2016)
Tensors and tensor decompositions, a powerful set of new data mining tools that can be used to model and extract knowledge from multidimensional data, can be automated for more widespread use in Big Data applications. The effectiveness of these innovative tools in a variety of data modeling scenarios is demonstrated in an article published in Big Data. In the article "Unsupervised Tensor Mining for Big Data Practitioners," Evangelos Papalexakis and Christos Faloutsos, Carnegie Mellon University,...
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Women Considered to Write Better Code, Study Suggests (Oct 19, 2016)
American researchers have found that computer code written by women tends to be rated more highly than that written by men. However, women's work is only more highly-approved if their gender is not mentioned, the study suggested. The paper, authored by a group of six students from California Polytechnic State University and North Carolina State University, has been published online, but is not yet peer-reviewed. During their resarch, the team analysed of the behaviour of over a million users of ...
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A New Spin on Superconductivity (Oct 19, 2016)
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have made a discovery that could lay the foundation for quantum superconducting devices. Their breakthrough solves one the main challenges to quantum computing: how to transmit spin information through superconducting materials.



In a First, Brain Computer Interface Helps Paralyzed Man Feel Again (Oct 18, 2016)
Imagine being in an accident that leaves you unable to feel any sensation in your arms and fingers. Now imagine regaining that sensation, a decade later, through a mind-controlled robotic arm that is directly connected to your brain. That is what 28-year-old Nathan Copeland experienced after he came out of brain surgery and was connected to the Brain Computer Interface, developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. A team of experts led by Robert Gaunt, assistant professor o...
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Google Adds Polling Place, Ballot Information to Search Results (Oct 18, 2016)
Google is making it easier for you to find information about the upcoming election. The company is updating its search so that information about polling places and who is on your ballot will appear directly within search results. Now, when you enter queries like "where is my polling place" or "who's on my ballot," Google will surface relevant results within the search in both Spanish and English. In both cases, you'll need to enter your home address where you're registered to vote in order for t...
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New Supercomputer Could Dramatically Cut the Time Taken to Bring Products and Services to Market (Oct 17, 2016)
Businesses could dramatically cut the time taken to bring products and services to market with a new supercomputer. Its applications could include helping to create efficient engineering devices, solving complex genetic calculations, or optimizing the design of buildings. The high performance computing (HPC) facility could also help businesses from a range of science and engineering sectors cut the cost of product and service development. Access to the supercomputer, called Cirrus, is provided b...
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IBM Advances Neuromorphic Computing for Deep Learning (Oct 17, 2016)
Deep learning efforts today are run on standard computer hardware using convolutional neural networks. Indeed, the approach has proven powerful by pioneers such as Google and Microsoft. In contrast neuromorphic computing, whose spiking neuron architecture more closely mimics human brain function, has generated less enthusiasm in the deep learning community. Now, work by IBM using its TrueNorth chip as a test case may bring deep learning to neuromorphic architectures.



Gen-Z Consortium to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect (Oct 16, 2016)
A group of leading technology companies formed the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today’s bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Tech...
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SUG Meeting Illustrates Wealth of OSC-Supported Research (Oct 16, 2016)
More than ever, academic and manufacturing researchers from across Ohio are turning to the high performance computing power offered by the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). An abundance of that research was on display at OSC’s semi-annual Statewide Users Group (SUG) meeting. Attendees shared and gained insight into topics ranging from auto safety and dark matter to gene flow and a myriad of chemistry-related topics. They also heard two keynote addresses, and the competition portion of the meeti...
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New Hikari Supercomputer Starts Solar HVDC (Oct 1, 2016)
The roar can be deafening. Cooling fans and power supplies whoosh and whine from rows and rows of supercomputers at the main data center of the Texas Advanced Computing Center in Austin. The power bill at TACC can reach over a million dollars a year to keep the machines humming. But there's a stranger in town that might change how data centers power their systems. A new kind of advanced computing system called Hikari (Japanese for the word "light") came online at TACC late August 2016. What's ne...
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Materials Programmed to Shape Shift (Sep 30, 2016)
Previous shape-shifting materials have needed some external trigger to tell them to transform, like light or heat. Now, a US-based team has encoded a sequence of shape transformations into the very substance of a polymer, with each change occurring at a pre-determined time.The principles could be applied in implants that deliver medicine from within the human body and the technology could also see use in heavy industry. Professor Sergei Sheiko from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill...
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Bringing IoT Data into Public Clouds is Getting Easier (Sep 30, 2016)
The formidable processing power and analytical tools available in public clouds could make industrial IoT more effective and less expensive. But bringing IoT data into the cloud takes more than a network connection. Two companies have moved to help enterprises adapt their IoT data for popular cloud services. OSIsoft introduced its PI Integrator for Microsoft Azure, and Particle announced a custom integration with Google Cloud Platform. While some large enterprises with sensitive IoT data do all ...
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Los Angeles Fire Dept. and UC San Diego WIFIRE Team Join Forces to Fight Wildfires (Sep 29, 2016)
The Los Angeles Fire Department, recently challenged by yet another series of late summer wildfires, has successfully tested a new web-based tool developed by University of California San Diego researchers to perform data-driven predictive modeling and analysis of fires that have a high potential for rapid spread. Called Firemap, and developed by the University’s ‘WIFIRE’ collaboration, the new tool enables a ‘what-if’ analysis of fire scenarios ahead of the time as well as real-time f...
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Earlham Institute Tests Green HPC from Verne Global in Iceland (Sep 29, 2016)
Verne Global announced that the Earlham Institute (EI) in the UK has selected Verne Global’s data center campus in Iceland to investigate the efficiencies of distributing large-scale genomics and computational biology data analysis. The research institute is renowned for its contribution to the analysis and data-sharing of the highly complex wheat genome that is critical to securing future global food supplies.



Automated Screening for Childhood Communication Disorders (Sep 28, 2016)
For children with speech and language disorders, early-childhood intervention can make a great difference in their later academic and social success. But many such children—one study estimates 60 percent—go undiagnosed until kindergarten or even later. Researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute of Health Professions hope to change that, with a computer system that can automatically screen young children for...
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New Genomics Pipeline Combines AWS, Local HPC, and Supercomputing (Sep 28, 2016)
Declining DNA sequencing costs and the rush to do whole genome sequencing (WGS) of large cohort populations – think 5000 subjects now, but many more thousands soon – presents a formidable computational challenge to researchers attempting to make sense of large cohort datasets. No single architecture is best. This month researchers report developing a hybrid approach that combines cloud (AWS), local high performance compute (LHPC) clusters, and supercomputers.

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