Computation Directorate 2007 Annual Report

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If there is a single word that both characterized 2007 and dominated the thoughts and actions of many Laboratory employees throughout the year, it is transition. Transition refers to the major shift that took place on October 1, when the University of California relinquished management responsibility for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), became the new Laboratory management contractor for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the 55 years under the University of California, LLNL amassed an extraordinary record of significant accomplishments, clever inventions, and momentous contributions in the ... continued below

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Henson, V E & Guse, J A March 6, 2008.

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Description

If there is a single word that both characterized 2007 and dominated the thoughts and actions of many Laboratory employees throughout the year, it is transition. Transition refers to the major shift that took place on October 1, when the University of California relinquished management responsibility for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (LLNS), became the new Laboratory management contractor for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the 55 years under the University of California, LLNL amassed an extraordinary record of significant accomplishments, clever inventions, and momentous contributions in the service of protecting the nation. This legacy provides the new organization with a built-in history, a tradition of excellence, and a solid set of core competencies from which to build the future. I am proud to note that in the nearly seven years I have had the privilege of leading the Computation Directorate, our talented and dedicated staff has made far-reaching contributions to the legacy and tradition we passed on to LLNS. Our place among the world's leaders in high-performance computing, algorithmic research and development, applications, and information technology (IT) services and support is solid. I am especially gratified to report that through all the transition turmoil, and it has been considerable, the Computation Directorate continues to produce remarkable achievements. Our most important asset--the talented, skilled, and creative people who work in Computation--has continued a long-standing Laboratory tradition of delivering cutting-edge science even in the face of adversity. The scope of those achievements is breathtaking, and in 2007, our accomplishments span an amazing range of topics. From making an important contribution to a Nobel Prize-winning effort to creating tools that can detect malicious codes embedded in commercial software; from expanding BlueGene/L, the world's most powerful computer, by 60% and using it to capture the most prestigious prize in the field of computing, to helping create an automated control system for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) that monitors and adjusts more than 60,000 control and diagnostic points; from creating a microarray probe that rapidly detects virulent high-threat organisms, natural or bioterrorist in origin, to replacing large numbers of physical computer servers with small numbers of virtual servers, reducing operating expense by 60%, the people in Computation have been at the center of weighty projects whose impacts are felt across the Laboratory and the DOE community. The accomplishments I just mentioned, and another two dozen or so, make up the stories contained in this report. While they form an exceptionally diverse set of projects and topics, it is what they have in common that excites me. They share the characteristic of being central, often crucial, to the mission-driven business of the Laboratory. Computational science has become fundamental to nearly every aspect of the Laboratory's approach to science and even to the conduct of administration. It is difficult to consider how we would proceed without computing, which occurs at all scales, from handheld and desktop computing to the systems controlling the instruments and mechanisms in the laboratories to the massively parallel supercomputers. The reasons for the dramatic increase in the importance of computing are manifest. Practical, fiscal, or political realities make the traditional approach to science, the cycle of theoretical analysis leading to experimental testing, leading to adjustment of theory, and so on, impossible, impractical, or forbidden. How, for example, can we understand the intricate relationship between human activity and weather and climate? We cannot test our hypotheses by experiment, which would require controlled use of the entire earth over centuries. It is only through extremely intricate, detailed computational simulation that we can test our theories, and simulating weather and climate over the entire globe requires the most massive high-performance computers that exist. Such extreme problems are found in numerous laboratory missions, including astrophysics, weapons programs, materials science, and earth science.

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PDF-file: 63 pages; size: 20.7 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-402150
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/928536 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928536
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897732

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  • March 6, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 10:26 p.m.

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Henson, V E & Guse, J A. Computation Directorate 2007 Annual Report, report, March 6, 2008; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897732/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.