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October 2017 — November 2017

How to Store Information in Your Clothes Invisibly, Without Electronics (Nov 13, 2017)
The UW computer scientists have created fabrics and fashion accessories that can store data -- from security codes to identification tags -- without needing any on-board electronics or sensors. As described in a paper presented at the Association for Computing Machinery's User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST 2017), they leveraged previously unexplored magnetic properties of off-the-shelf conductive thread. The data can be read using an instrument embedded in existing smartphone...
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PSC, XSEDE Support Gene Assembly of Key Aquaculture Species (Nov 12, 2017)
Commercial abalone “aquaculture”—farming the shellfish in enclosures—has exploded over the past decade, becoming a $100-million global industry. Understanding the DNA of the abaloneis key to improving and expanding its aquaculture for California producers. That’s why scientists at Iowa State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked with PSC experts to “assemble” the DNA sequences of several species of abalone on the Bridges supercomputer.

White House Official: Investing in Computer Science Education Will Pay Off (Nov 12, 2017)
Computer science education in K-12 and at the college level will propel today’s students into careers that allow them to “do amazing things in the economy,” Matt Lira said to an audience of government and industry technology experts. Lira, special assistant for Innovation Policy and Initiatives at the White House’s Office of American Innovation, highlighted the Trump administration’s recent STEM announcement, which instructs the U.S. Department of Education to direct at least $200 mill...
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Universities Aren’t Preparing Enough Computer Science Teachers (Nov 11, 2017)
As states and districts ramp up efforts to increase computer science offerings in schools, they often stop in their tracks and ask us, “but where do the teachers come from?” Good question. has prepared teachers from every subject area to begin teaching computer science. And, we’ve seen first hand how many of them are eager and excited to teach this fundamental subject despite being certified in English, math, history, and other subject areas. So, why aren’t there more computer s...
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Computer Science Educators to Decode Field’s Future at Event (Nov 11, 2017)
Educators looking to gain the inspiration and tools they need to teach all students to become literate in computer science and to ready the next generation of engineers, coders and industry visionaries gathered at UMass Lowell for a first-of-its-kind conference. Massachusetts Secretary of Education James Peyser and Steve Vinter, Google's executive coach and tech leadership development adviser, are scheduled to deliver keynote addresses at "Working Together to Strengthen K-12 Computer Science," t...
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Can Vector Supercomputing Be Revived? (Nov 10, 2017)
Seymour Cray loved vector supercomputers, and made the second part of that term a household word because of it. NEC, the last of the pure vector supercomputer makers, is so excited about its new “Aurora” SX-10+ vector processor and the “Tsubasa” supercomputer that will use it that it forgot to announce the processor to the world when it previewed the system this week.

Students Explore Immigration Through a Big Data Lens (Nov 10, 2017)
Supercomputers have helped scientists discover merging black holes and design new nanomaterials, but can they help solve society's most challenging policy issues? At the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (also known as Supercomputing 2017 or SC17) in Denver, Colorado, from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15, undergraduate and graduate students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds will learn how to use advanced computing skills to explore the nation's i...
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ORNL, City of Oak Ridge Partner on Sensor Project to Capture Trends in Cities (Nov 9, 2017)
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are partnering with the city of Oak Ridge to develop UrbanSense, a comprehensive sensor network and real-time visualization platform that helps cities evaluate trends in urban activity. The project, initiated by ORNL’s Urban Dynamics Institute, centers on addressing cities’ real-world challenges through applied urban science.

Designing HPC, Big Data, & Deep Learning Middleware for Exascale (Nov 9, 2017)
In this video from HPC Advisory Council Spain Conference, DK Panda from Ohio State University presents: Designing HPC, Big Data & Deep Learning Middleware for Exascale. "This talk will focus on challenges in designing HPC, Big Data, and Deep Learning middleware for Exascale systems with millions of processors and accelerators. For the HPC domain, we will discuss about the challenges in designing runtime environments for MPI+X (PGAS OpenSHMEM/UPC/CAF/UPC++, OpenMP, and CUDA) programming models."

Single Nanoparticle Mapping Paves the Way for Better Nanotechnology (Nov 1, 2017)
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the Technical University of Denmark have developed a method that makes it possible to map the individual responses of nanoparticles in different situations and contexts. The results pave the way for better nanomaterials and safer nanotechnology and were recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Data Is Not The New Oil (Nov 1, 2017)
How do you know when a pithy phrase or seductive idea has become fashionable in policy circles? When The Economist devotes a briefing to it. In a briefing and accompanying editorial earlier this summer, that distinguished newspaper (it's a magazine, but still calls itself a newspaper, and I'm happy to indulge such eccentricity) argued that data is today what oil was a century ago.

Focus Computer Science Funding on Teacher Training, Founder Says (Oct 31, 2017)
Every dollar devoted to computer science education should be spent on professional development for teachers, said Hadi Partovi, the founder and CEO of That includes “100 percent,” he said, of the $200 million the Trump administration has directed the U.S. Department of Education to spend on STEM and computer science programs each year.

Scheme Would Make New High-Capacity Data Caches 33 to 50 Percent More Efficient (Oct 31, 2017)
As processors' transistor counts have gone up, the relatively slow connection between the processor and main memory has become the chief impediment to improving computers' performance. So, in the past few years, chip manufacturers have started putting dynamic random-access memory -- or DRAM, the type of memory traditionally used for main memory -- right on the chip package.

‘Mind-Reading’ Brain-Decoding Tech (Oct 30, 2017)
Researchers have demonstrated how to decode what the human brain is seeing by using artificial intelligence to interpret fMRI scans from people watching videos, representing a sort of mind-reading technology. The advance could aid efforts to improve artificial intelligence and lead to new insights into brain function. Critical to the research is a type of algorithm called a convolutional neural network, which has been instrumental in enabling computers and smartphones to recognize faces and obje...
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Scientists Write ‘Traps’ for Light with Tiny Ink Droplets (Oct 30, 2017)
A microscopic 'pen' that is able to write structures small enough to trap and harness light using a commercially available printing technique could be used for sensing, biotechnology, lasers, and studying the interaction between light and matter.

GPUs Power Near-Global Climate Simulation at 1 Km Resolution (Oct 29, 2017)
A new peer-reviewed paper is reportedly causing a stir in the climatology community. Entitled, “Near-global climate simulation at 1 km resolution: establishing a performance baseline on 4888 GPUs with COSMO 5.0” the Swiss paper was written by Oliver Fuhrer, Tarun Chadha, Torsten Hoefler, Grzegorz Kwasniewski, Xavier Lapillonne, David Leutwyler, Daniel Lüthi, Carlos Osuna, Christoph Schär, Thomas C. Schulthess, and Hannes Vogt.

Public Cloud Doesn’t Dominate It Quite Yet (Oct 29, 2017)
Everyone in the IT industry likes drama, and we here at The Next Platform are no different. But it is also important as the industry in undergoing gut-wrenching transformations, as it has been for five decades now and will probably do so for a decade or two more, to keep some perspective. While the public cloud is certainly an exciting part of the IT market, it hasn’t taken over the world even if it has become the dominant metaphor that all kinds of IT – public, private, and hybrid – aspir...
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Two ORNL-Led Research Teams Receive $10.5 Million to Advance Quantum Computing (Oct 28, 2017)
By harnessing the power of quantum mechanics, researchers hope to create quantum computers capable of simulating phenomenon at a scale and speed unthinkable on traditional architectures, an effort of great interest to agencies such as the Department of Energy tasked with tackling some of the world’s most complex science problems.

Single Node “Cyclops” Supercomputer Looks to Set Records (Oct 28, 2017)
The Radio Free HPC podcast team announced announced plans to build what they hope will be the “fastest single-node supercomputer in the world” for the High Performance Conjugate Gradients Benchmark (HPCG). Codenamed “Project Cyclops”, the single-node supercomputer demonstrates the computational power that individual scientists, engineers, artificial intelligence practitioners, and data scientists can deploy in their offices.

Exascale and the City (Oct 27, 2017)
Walk around any city neighborhood and chances are it looks nothing like it did 20 years ago. Thanks to growing urbanization, cities globally are rapidly expanding and accounting for more of our world’s population, gross domestic product and greenhouse gases. Adapting a city to keep up with evolving needs is one of the greatest daily challenges that city planners, designers and managers face. They must consider how proposed changes will affect systems and processes such as our power grid, green...
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China Builds Tianhe-3, The World's First Exascale Supercomputer, Says Scientist (Oct 27, 2017)
China is developing and building the Tianhe-3, the world's first exascale supercomputer, a leading scientist said. When completed it will be capable of a quintillion (a billion, billion; or 1 followed by 18 zeros) calculations per second. It will be 10 times faster the current world leader, China's Sunway TaihuLight, and will "become an important platform for national scientific development and industrial reforms", Mr Meng Xiangfei, head of the applications department of the National Supercomput...
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Machine Learning Used to Predict Earthquakes in a Lab Setting (Oct 26, 2017)
A group of researchers from the UK and the US have used machine learning techniques to successfully predict earthquakes. Although their work was performed in a laboratory setting, the experiment closely mimics real-life conditions, and the results could be used to predict the timing of a real earthquake.

Why U.S. Tech Needs to Fear China (Oct 26, 2017)
China’s push to take over global technology leadership is relentless. It wants to lead in computing, semiconductors, research and development, and clean energy. It is accelerating science investment as the U.S. retreats.

The Human Cell Atlas: From Vision to Reality (Oct 25, 2017)
Our knowledge of the cells that make up the human body, and how they vary from person to person, or throughout development and in health or disease, is still very limited. This week, a year after project planning began, more than 130 biologists, computational scientists, technologists and clinicians are reconvening in Rehovot, Israel, to kick the Human Cell Atlas initiative1 into full gear. This international collaboration between hundreds of scientists from dozens of universities and institutes...
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Physics Boosts Artificial Intelligence Methods (Oct 25, 2017)
Researchers from Caltech and the University of Southern California (USC) report the first application of quantum computing to a physics problem. By employing quantum-compatible machine learning techniques, they developed a method of extracting a rare Higgs boson signal from copious noise data. Higgs is the particle that was predicted to imbue elementary particles with mass and was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012. The new quantum machine learning method is found to perform well ev...
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