Brookhaven Lab Presents Cutting-Edge Computing Capabilities at SC15

Exhibiting along with all Department of Energy National Laboratories, Brookhaven will showcase a vision for fast and efficient computing that will enable world-leading science

Kerstin Kleese van Dam enlarge

Kerstin Kleese van Dam, Director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven, will present a talk at the SC15 conference in Austin, Texas.

UPTON, NY—High-performance data analysis is the underpinning of much of the science done at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories, and it will be on display at the SC15 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis in Austin, Texas, November 15-20. 

Brookhaven National Laboratory will join the 16 other DOE Labs to showcase the expertise and experimental facilities it has built in an exhibition that plays on the conference theme, "HPC Transforms." 

"Our work focuses on how we bring supercomputing techniques to data management and analysis at experimental facilities to enhance their scientific outcome," said Kerstin Kleese van Dam, Director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven. She will present work funded by the DOE Office of Science's Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the MTAGS15 workshop – "Enabling Structured Exploration of Workflow Performance Variability in Extreme-scale Environments." In addition, she will be one of the featured presenters at the exhibition, with a talk at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at the DOE exhibit booth entitled, "Streaming Data Analysis and Decision-making in Extreme-scale Experimental Environments."

One key to data analysis for scientific research, Kleese van Dam said, is focusing on the interpretation of data within the context of the field of research. "The scientist directs the decision-making and has access to background knowledge," she said. "We ask: How can the human and the computer collaborate in this decision-making process and the steering of analysis? Interactive systems for this type of analysis have been around for a while, but they've often been used in small-scale applications. We want to push this into the supercomputing environment."

That will take a change in programming models and languages, algorithms, scalability, and performance, which means different computing communities will need to come together to solve these challenges. 

"We are building our computing capabilities at Brookhaven," she continued, "but we're also looking to build our human capital. We are looking for people at all levels who are excited about this challenge and want to join us." 

Kleese van Dam is one of those people. She began her career as a computer scientist working in high-performance computing, but moved into data management, analysis and preservation as those emerged as key limiting challenges for many computational and experimental communities. She built collaborative data management systems, including the ICAT system for experimental facilities, which is in operation in many European and U.S. facilities. 

"I'm really excited to talk about this great opportunity to bring the expertise of high-performance computing to bear on this new application area for computing, where I think high-performance computing could have a major impact on the scientific outcomes that can be achieved," she said. 

At SC15, Kleese van Dam will be joined by Brookhaven Computer Science Group Leader Dantong Yu, who will present a demonstration of the Multicore-Aware Data Transfer Middleware (MDTM) project. MDTM is a collaboration between DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Brookhaven that aims to accelerate data movement on multicore systems, particularly in very high data-rate environments. The demo will use MDTM data transfer tools to move bulk data over long-distance wide area networks and will showcase its substantially improved speed as it compares to current tools. 

Brookhaven's most data-intensive facilities will benefit from projects like MDTM, said Kleese van Dam. "The National Synchrotron Light Source II and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials have new instruments that are much more complex than they used to have, and to optimize the science outcome done on those instruments, we need the ability to analyze data in real time. Based on that analysis, scientists can redirect or steer the experiment to a better outcome," she said. 

At SC15, the DOE National Laboratory exhibition booth will host a program featuring presentations and HPC demos from experts at all the National Laboratories. 

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

Tags: computing

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